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Orbis 184, Summer 2018

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Orbis 184, Summer

£5 (Overseas: £11/€14/$16); Subs: £18/4 pa (Overseas: £40/€50/$60)

Front cover artwork: ‘Dragon with Hiroshige‘ by Jeff Gettis

back cover, detail from image:

What are we to make of this fabulous Summer? Yes, enjoy the Heatwave,
along with Julie Mellor; it’s a veritable River of Light (Ali Pardoe),
Peter Sutton Echo o o o o (s). 
But let’s start by finding out about
Mark Paffard’s Mountaineers of Leningrad
or trust Margarita Serafimova,
and venture to
The Water’s Edge
However, if we find ourselves wondering about
Colin Pink‘s Beautiful Lies, it may lead to 
Lara Frankena
and The Plagiarist’s Lament, or perhaps all turn out to be Magic,
as Hiram Larew says. So why not stop to smell the (Pressed) Flowers,
from Marybeth Rua-Larsen, although sadly, they’re not to be found
Denise Bennett’s 
account of Blossom Alley, or with Calamity’s Child,
Daragh Bradish explains. 
And before it’s all what Tim Dwyer calls an
Imagined Memory, snap up a bargain, for example, 
In This Style, 10/6
Georgina Titmus). And here’s another one to make the most of –
make this issue of Orbis top of your reading list.

Featured Poet
Ian McEwen: The riches of embarrassment; A spell of wind; Homily on practice

Poems from: Michael Atkinson, Kafka’s Garden; Holly Day, The Sacred Texts;
Briege Duffaud,  
La Vie Simple à la Campagne;
Mary O’Donnell, A Report to the Home Galaxy on ‘Speck’;
John Zedolik, Concluding Comfort

Prose from: Peter Eagan, Mr Tortilla;
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois, Turbine Syndrome and The Baroness;
Fiona Vigo Marshall, The Library of Dreams

Translation: Luba Ostashevsky, Two poems by Anna Akhmatova

Past Master: Hannah Stone on Andrew Marvell

Reviews by
Maria Isakova Bennett, Angelina d’Roza, David Harmer, Jenny Hockey,
D. A. Prince, Andrew Taylor, Lynne Taylor, David Troman
and Noel Williams

Orbis 184 Contributors also include

Anne Banks, Jill Boucher, Peter French, Mary Melvin Geoghegan,
Ann Gibson, Alice Kinsella, Pete Langley, Gill McEvoy, Robert Ronnow,
Paul Saville, Pam Thompson, Carl Tomlinson, Ray Whitaker

July 25

Settle Sessions 2018 Poetry Competition

You are invited to submit a poem or poems; maximum length per poem of 40 lines.

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August 9

Second Light Competition

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NAWGFest 2018

nawgInside cover ad31st August – 2nd September 2018

NAWGFest 2018

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Swallows and Amazons

Until August 26

Storeyhouse, Chester


It’s a wonderful thing, children’s imagination, truly fantastic, and boundless. And for adaptations of this book, you certainly need to channel your inner child. That said, last time I saw a production, it was set in the attic; this, written by the acclaimed Bryony Lavery, has the undoubted advantage of

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The Big I Am

Until July 14



Peer Gynt? I know nothing.

And to be honest, not much wiser now except I don’t believe I should like to know him, for a worse anti-hero you are unlikely to meet. That he has

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Shrek: The Musical    

Liverpool EmpireShrek5a096c19-e350-436c-8cf7-68e8c0a864a8

June 13-23

On tour until January 6


What a pantomime – is it really possible for such a transformation, to make a cartoon film into a successful musical? Hell, yes. After all, if somebody can run the gamut from nun to doctor’s wife to royalty… Princess Fiona has you wanting to google another word for ‘feisty’, and you’re full of

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A Little Night Music

May 5-July 8



Some people may feel that a musical is a lot of songs interrupted by the plot whilst others suspect it’s the plot which has t o endure people bursting into song all over the place. Sondheim, bless him, always seems to get it right, perhaps not least in

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April 10-14

On tour until June

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Liverpool Empire

Reviewed for North West End; a version of which is on their website:



On tour until June

A little bit disco, a little bit rock n’ roll – as Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo’s Arts Editor pointed out to me: ‘Not really ballet at all. It’s Matthew Bourne. It’s a show.’

And so it is.

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April 10-14

The Last Ship

Liverpool PLayhouse

On tour until July

A version of this review is on the Northern Soul website:


You could say it looks like Sting’s ship has come in with this production… yes, far too many maritime metaphors spring to mind, rather as words and language do for Adrian Sanderson (Charlie Richmond), the intellectual docker. And there’s a fine line between archetype and stereotype, so we also

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