Life, Love, Connection; The Power of the Theatre

Life, Love, Connection; The Power of the Theatre

From a very young age, my mind was captured and entranced by the magic of the theatre. Remaining vivid in my memory is one of my very first visits to the theatre; a play of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the age of ten. I had very little experience of visiting the theatre at that age although I already knew something of its magic of panto from precious family visits to pantomimes. I remember as a child, the excitement of arriving at the theatre, looking up with awe at the giant, magnificent images adorning the exterior of the building; the theatre doors welcoming us in as if we were about to enter an enchanted kingdom. The feeling of exiting the familiar, everyday world and stepping into a world of magic. I remember the hustle and bustle of the foyer, the red and gold embellishment of the seemingly towering staircase leading up to the auditorium. The sound of the orchestra tuning their instruments, the anticipation that something exciting awaited me. The excitement of that sound has never left me. As an adult, I will sit in my theatre seat and the same feelings I experienced as a child immediately return. A feeling which nothing else in my life can give me; a departure from the real world into a world of enchantment and wonder.

When I was ten years old, my school organised a school trip to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Manchester. It was my first experience of watching a play in the theatre. My anticipation was immense. My panto visits had already instilled in me the excitement of visiting the theatre but this was something different. I was going to see a play and I had no idea of the impact that this was to have on me.

I remember clearly my astonishment at the spectacle that unfolded in front of me. The colours, the lights, the music, the sound, the energy of the actors bringing this wonderful book to life in front of my eyes. I had no idea that such effects could be created in a theatre. Everything was real in front of me yet magic was happening. True magic right in front of my eyes. How could this be? This was no television trickery; magic was truly happening and yet it didn’t seem possible. And the girl…

For the first time in my life, I saw in front of me what I wanted to be. The girl on stage with the most vibrant, powerful energy. He beauty and her tremendous voice as she commanded the auditorium with her strength, power and vitality. A girl filled with confidence, happiness and passion. I remember her clearly; that extraordinary connection as the ten-year old me was struck by the realisation that this was someone she wanted to emulate. The theatre was where she wanted to be. This was where she belonged.

There were several mesmerising performances in the show but this was the one that stood out for me. Through an amazing series of events, I was to link up with this actor years later. And the name of the actor who brought that powerful connection and magic to the stage? Dee Anderson – someone who has since become a great friend and mentor to me. It’s incredible to think that the girl on the stage who made such an impression on me in my childhood was to have such a hugely positive and significant impact on me in later years.

That performance was in 1985. The magic and brilliance of that performance and the power it had on me as a child means that it never disappeared or fade away. That performance lives on to this day in my memory and my heart. It lives on through my own work, as its influence and inspiration has remained with me throughout my life.  This is the power of the theatre and those who work in this incredible industry.

The theatre has continued to be central to my life and it started with watching that beautiful, compelling, dynamic performance; it is my happy place. Although I don’t work in the industry, I feel a powerful connection to it. It is the place I belong. It is the place where I can be myself; where anything is possible. It heals, it speaks, it brings people together, it finds those who are lost. Theatre is life.

Courtesy of Alex Shewan

Cookalong Pancakes With Reza Mahammad This Shrove Tuesday

Cookalong Pancakes With Reza Mahammad This Shrove Tuesday

Reza is best known as the flamboyant and highly entertaining TV chef, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Indian food. He has received high praise for his last three Food Network series Reza’s African Kitchen and Reza, Spice Prince of India and Reza, Spice Prince of Thailand/Spice Prince of Vietnam.

He has made recent appearances on BBC’s The One Show as guest chef and judge for the UK Food and Farming Awards and guest chefs for ITV’s This Morning.
The British Curry Awards awarded Reza the special recognition award 2015 for his contribution to the UK curry industry.
Reza’s Indian Spice was published with Quadrille to much acclaim, winning 2nd prize in the Gourmand World Cookbook awards (Indian section) and Editor’s Pick in The Bookseller. Drawing from his encyclopaedic knowledge of Indian food, Reza combines Indian and Western flavours to stunning effect, delivered in his informal, humorous style.
Reza cut his televisual teeth on Flavours of India in 1993/4 but he really came into his own as co-presenter with Sanjeev Bhaskar on Delhi Belly in 2001 for UKTV. The much talked-about series is still being repeated on air to this day and has lost none of its popularity. In 2002 Channel 4 came looking for the next big star for their hugely popular series A Place in France and found it in Reza Mahammad. This resulted in the completion of the next two series,A Place in France II and III. Reza’s relationship with UKTV resumed with Coconut Coast in 2003 and was followed by United States of Reza in 2004.
Reza has a wealth of experience on the food festival circuit, headlining most recently at The Good Food and Wine Shows Durban, Cape Town, Jo’burg, Kuwait Food Festival, The Taste of Dubai, Taste of Abu Dhabi, Leicester Food Festival, Russia Food Festival as well as BBC Good Food Shows. He is scheduled to make appearances at the Fantastic British Food Festivals this year.

Below you will find all the ingredients needed to follow Reza at home for his delicious recipe for
‘Ricotta pancakes with spiced red and golden plums’

Follow along with Reza in this exclusive video

Ingredients                                      Serves 4

250g ricotta cheese
2 eggs separated plus I whole egg
25g unsalted butter melted plus more for frying
40g sugar
½ tsp vanilla paste/extract
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
50g plain flour

For the spiced plum compote

250ml water
225g caster sugar ( add 25g more if the plums are not too ripe and sharp)
3 star anise
Juice of 2 oranges
½ tbsp finely grated ginger
¼ tsp salt
200g ripe red plums cut into halves remove the stone then cut into wedges
200g ripe golden plums do the same as the red plums
A squeeze of lemon juice optional  (if the plums are very sweet)

Reza has a highly regarded cookery school in South West France, Chez Cartier, where he teaches and hosts international clients, showcasing his vast repertoire of cuisines and flavours.

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New Release – Jaffa Moore – Photograph

New Release – Jaffa Moore – Photograph

He’s the Godson of Frank Sinatra, and the son of the legendary James Bond actor, Roger Moore.

The name’s Moore…….Jaffa Moore

The Brand-New Album “PHOTOGRAPH” – Out Now

Featuring the Single

YOU AND I (with Naya Rivera) + Nile Rodgers

Video –

A percentage of proceeds to be donated to UNICEF

Photograph is the new album by Jaffa Moore, featuring the single You and I. Jaffa is better known as Geoffrey Moore, son of the legendary actor Roger Moore.

Geoffrey recorded the single with the late singer and actor, Naya Rivera, and the accompanying music video includes guest appearances from a host of stars including Michael Caine, Joan Collins, Liam Neeson, JJ Abrams, Piers Morgan, Graham Norton, Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry, Natalie Dormer, Naveen Andrews, Will Poulter, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Paris Hilton plus many more all in tribute to Roger Moore.

Geoffrey first started working in the entertainment industry in 1973, when he appeared as a child actor in the film Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a musical starring Kirk Douglas and Susan George. This was followed by Sherlock Holmes In New York in 1976, working alongside his father and John Huston. In total, he has worked on 14 films, and produced Roger Moore’s final movie, The Saint.

As a musician, he secured his first record deal with EMI, working with Mike Rutherford of Genesis, and with Warner Brothers.

In 1999, he founded the successful restaurant chain, Hush of Mayfair. He appeared weekly on ITV’s morning television, and with Gordon Ramsey on his Hell’s Kitchen show.

In 2004 Geoffrey partnered with American filmmaker William J. MacDonald and together they acquired the intellectual property rights to The Saint.

In 2010 he worked alongside his brother Christian at TV7, one of the largest networks based in Eastern Europe.

In 2017 he wrote and produced And the Winner Isn’t which was shortlisted for an Academy Award.

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