Point incredibly well made (to me that is; as wiser heads know better) about the importance of Mental Health to us all by “Clear White Light” at Live Theatre (last night), as it weaved a tale of a single frightening first night-shift for a psychiatric nurse on a ward in an ageing neglected hospital (gothic / nhs angle) interspersed frequently with the music of Lindisfarne and based on a poem by Edgar Poe who might feel neglected by the business of everything else that was part of the show. No harm in that (poe angle, that is) me thinks as it was very well acted and played with clever staging and great relevant music. The “point well made” is that a mental health issue can occur in any one of us, at any time probably triggered by some event outside our control. More understanding and concern required as would happen with a physical injury. A personal co-incidence that my next work contract starting Monday is with Mental Health Concern and show ticket bought well before the work contract appeared.

Next week via “Northern Stage” I am off (non-literally) to the Welsh village of Llareggub for a play “Under Milk wood” that was originally written as a radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and later made into a film starring Richard Burton with Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole. Is described as a contemporary, technological twist on a classic text and the village name as above has been spelt backwards to protect the simple. But you saw through that ruse?.

On the reading scene (mine) “R.U.R.” by the Czech writer Karel Capek some 95 years ago is intriguingly relevant to the current day in terms of how we interact with robots, those with AI (artificial intelligence) rather than the more simplistic. For Karel, it must have been some amazing science fiction details but his analysis of the ethical issues arising from more intelligent robots was very prescient. (Imagine your best friend spending a weekend with a sex-robot or Don’t!!). Also part of the same book was “the Insect play” where Karel writes with his brother Josef who was himself to die in Belsen later. It is beautifully imaginative story about the interaction of various caterpillars butterflies etc with a tramp. Timeless tale of quality.

Nine great Greek lives by Plutarch (nearly 2000 years ago) is generally long on battles treachery spontaneity of actions with inherent non mentioned “luck” as otherwise some of the nine might not have become so well known. The story of Alexander of Macedon who in his short 33 year life conquered Persia from Turkey across to North West India is delivered with a more human touch than the other 8 in terms of eg his adopting of local customs and how this created opposition from his conservative followers before returning us to the battles and plundering.