The Sea comes to Jericho Arts Centre

Edward Bond’s The Sea, comes ashore at the Jericho Arts Centre, presented by The Slamming Door Artist Collective, from May 2nd to 19th.  The Sea is set in the aftermath of a tempest on the salt-sprayed shores of a quiet village, two young lovers try to make sense of chaos in an irrational society peopled by eccentric characters.

A wild storm shakes a small East Anglian seaside village, and Willy is unable to save his friend from drowning. The raving coastguard is too drunk to do anything; Hatch the draper is passing by but he believes that hovering alien spaceships are slowly replacing people’s brains and he refuses to help, while the grande dame Mrs Rafi, bastion of respectability, amateur theatricals and velvet curtains from Birmingham, sets her face against the chaos.

First produced in 1973 in London, The Sea is the work of noted but controversial English playwright Edward Bond. Bond is widely regarded but also courts controversy due to the violence depicted in his plays, and radical take on modern theatre. The Sea is no exception, where its collection of furious eccentricity, bitter collision of class, and fierce burning of grief sways between light-hearted comedy and desolate poetry, in an unapologetic examination of rural manners and humanity’s unqualified potential.

With The Sea, The Slamming Door Artist Collective returns to the Jericho Arts Centre for its third time, having previously produced critically acclaimed Guest Productions of A Doll’s House and Flare Path.  The Sea’s creative team includes director Tamara McCarthy, lighting design by Celeste English, sound design by Matthew MacDonald-Bain, set design by Sandy Margaret, costume design by Chantal Short and Cheyenne Mabberley, stage management by Nico Dicecco and Victoria Snashall, assistant direction by Laura Jaye, and dialect coaching by Ashley O’Connell.

For tickets and show details visit 

The Garden Party – Croquet Classic

garden34Bright summer skies, high tea, champagne flutes, the thwack of a croquet mallet accenting the peace of neatly trimmed gardens.  Does this sound like a refined day out at an English Country House, yes but you can find it right here in Vancouver.  Next week, August 23rd, Van Dusen Gardens is the place to be for the first annual Garden Party & Croquet Classic, presented by Cocktails & Canapes and Max Cunningham the afternoon event will benefit Backpack Buddies.

Kicking off at noon with a creative variation on High Tea, from Cocktails & Canapes owner Chef Brett Turner, featuring traditional tea time favourites alongside creative hors d’oeuvres and champagne.  Absolut Vodka cocktails by Jacob Sweetapple as well as Stella Artois beer and Perrier Jouet Champagne will make sure your thirst is quenched all afternoon.

To build up an appetite, gather your foursome and register your team for the Croquet Classic, a staple of a traditional Garden Party.  Swing your mallet and whack your opponents balls while looking your best so you could win for your game, looks or team spirit. From my croquet experience, spirit definitely gets into full swing once the spirits take hold!

Shop online for your tickets to The Garden Party, on sale now starting at $55.00

The First Annual Garden Party & Croquet Classic takes place August 23, noon until 7pm at Van Dusen Gardens at 5251 Oak Street (at 37th Ave)

The Garden Party from Garden Party Vancouver on Vimeo.

The Wanted are most wanted


The Wanted – Orpheum Theatre – April 25, 2014

For the first and possibly the last time ever, The Wanted took to the stage in Vancouver, bringing their Word Of Mouth Tour to The Orpheum Theatre to close out the Canadian leg of the world tour.  The quintet; Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes, pulled out all the stops as they kept the all-ages audience, although mostly young screaming teens, on their feet.


Siva's Heart Vacancy Girl
Siva’s Heart Vacancy Girl

From the opening notes to the end of the nearly 2 hour set, the group made sure their fans were not disappointed. The setlist was filled with their hits from all three of their albums; Warzone, Walks Like Rihanna, I Found You, Chasing The Sun, All Time Low, We Own The Night, Glad You Came and more. One of the highlights for some audience members was during Heart Vacancy as the band choose 5 “Heart Vacancy Girls” from the crowd to sing to and dance with for the single.  In spite of the volume of screams and cheers, the sound for the show was quite good, save for a couple of quick glitches on Max’s mic when it appeared to cut out or wasn’t on at the right time. Plenty of singing along and dancing kept the energy full on the whole night.



With the band taking a hiatus, to pursue individual projects, after the tour wraps up, this could very well have been the first and last time that the group would perform in Canada.  The band definitely gave fans a night to remember until they reform and return to the road.  In the meantime, Word Of Mouth for The Wanted live is absolutely positive.

Follow The Wanted as the continue the tour through North America on Twitter @TheWanted or individually; @MaxTheWanted, @SivaTheWanted, @JayTheWanted, @TomTheWanted & @NathanTheWanted or on

English Country Pub vs London City Pub

Everyone visiting the United Kingdom should have experience the classic British Pub. Having just returned from a visit to London and visiting other friends out in the country it was interesting to note that there is two versions of the pub. The traditional English country side village pub and the more upscale London city neighbourhood pub.

Country Pub Sunday Lunch

Country Pub Fireplace

Country Pub Bar


Walking into a village pub there is an instant cozy and welcoming feeling, the landlord / owners are usually behind the bar and an eclectic selection of regulars are found at their usual perches around the bar or by the large stone fireplace.  At times it’s hard to tell if it’s 1912 or 2012, the country pub is older and a warren of smaller dark rooms, it’s an extension of the villagers’ homes, the living room for all to enjoy and share their news of the day.  On summer days, they move outside to enjoy the warmth and a pint or glass of Pimms, perhaps playing croquet or lawn bowls.  Some pubs serve a limited menu during the week; simple sandwiches, pies and chips but on Sunday’s it’s often replaced with a wider selection. Roast beef or Pork with crackling, Yorkshire pudding, Potatoes, Sausages, Mash and vegetables plus a selection of desserts brings the locals from far and wide for their Sunday Lunch. Leisurely kibitzing and eating over a bottle of wine or a pint the village comes together to share a meal with friends and family.

City Pub Menu – Pad Thai

City Pub Bar

City Pub Children’s Playground

In the city, it’s a slightly different story, a much more competitive market has made the urban pub change with the times, adapt or close.  More likely to have been a brewery owned pub (serving just the beers from that brewery versus the freehouse, able to serve any beer) the corporate money helping to refurbish and upgrade. Rather than an owner landlord, the Brewery hired staff, maybe working holiday-makers, are less invested in the pub but still friendly and welcoming. The regulars may still be perched on the same stool as always but new fixtures and fittings make the pub bright and roomy.  The style is still “English Pub” but the bar is new, TVs are probably mounted on the wall, they may host a Pub Quiz or other theme nights to entice the neighbours and the menu is more extensive and served 7 days per week lunch and dinner. An adjoining restaurant space and garden are places that the whole family can visit, kids and all, and still get the pub experience. While not on the same scale as the village pub, the city pub is still a place for the locals to gather and share the experience of community.
Whichever version you visit on your next trip to the U.K. be sure to take in at least one pub to get a taste of real English community.