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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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Fancy a closer look?

Introductory offer: 2 back issues for just £7, down from £5 each,
and that includes p+p: £1.60 (saving £3) –
because reading magazines helps judge the best match with your work
in order to maximize publication opportunities.

Overseas, 2 back issues: £16 (€18/$22),
down from £10 each, saving £4

NB, ‘back issues’ does what it says on the can,
ie here, it doesn’t mean current and previous issue
because they’re still on sale,
although most issues sell out pretty swiftly:
#170 – #173, and #175- #178.


Information is posted virtually every day,
regardless of what the date counter says, unless –

I’ve been wondering: does Alex Turner
really sound more and more like Bowie?



Subs: £18/4 pa. Single issue: £5, all including p+p

Overseas:  £38/€50/$60. Single issue: £10/€14/$16


NB, cheques payable to me, not to ORBIS.

Paypal: please use Contact Form or post request for email address 

Also, via LinkedIn or Facebook:



Orbis 183, Spring

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

Front cover artwork: ‘Dragonflies First Flight’ by Amanda Dagg
back cover, detail from image:

Who wouldn’t love to know More About the Marmoset? Fortunately,
Max Gutmann can explain. 
And why is Alex Josephy writing
On Not Going into the Garden? It’s a Gift,
says Sarah Lindon, like creating poems such as Julie Maclean’s Light Wave
and Particles of Icarus
and John Timothy Robinson: A Keepsake
in Handfuls of Memory Eart
Or even when you know things like
This is how it feels before the rain, as Ben Macnair tells us.
Meanwhile, Yvonne Adami can be discovered Walking the Merri,
whilst Katherine Swett 
is a Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog.
Mark Carson however reveals the grim details 
of being an Apprentice;
like John-Christopher Johnson, think Frankenstein
On that rather dark note,
let us reassure you there’s plenty here to make you Smile
thank you,
Lorna Sherry; you’re sure to enjoy this issue,
along with Grahaeme Barrasford Young – Because I say so.
And finally, or rather, with Tony Hendry,
simply And

Featured Poet
, Judith Shaw: Greek Juggernaut; genuine middle eastern sculpture;
it helps somehow; There are more fences now

Poems from Lucía Orellana-Damacela, Rain Noir:
Zebulon Huset, Of Chivalry and Chance;
Ed Jones, When Jesus Spoke to the Elephants;
Mary Makofske, Creation/Apocalypse;
Hannah Stone, ‘How unpleasant to meet Mr Eliot’;
Martin Zarrop, Sleepers

Prose from Jim Meirose, The Burning Bush;
Luba Ostashevsky, People are crazy;
Lorna Sherry, Smile

Past Master: Eamonn Lynskey on Eugene Lee Hamilton

Reviews by Maria Isakova Bennett, Philip Dunkerley, David Harmer,
Afric McGlinchey, 
D. A. Prince, Andrew Taylor, Lynne Taylor and Noel Williams

Contributors also include

John Arnold; Anne Ballard ; Stephen Clarke; Jim Conwell;
Nigel Ford; Paul Francis; 
Pauline Hawkesworth; Richard Hughes;
Paula Jennings; Lindy Newns; John Perrault; 
Anne Rees;
Peter Viggers; F. J. Williams; Nicky Winder

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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