Class act

Paid another visit to Birmingham’s Blue Orange Theatre on Tuesday, to film an interview with Tina Hofman, director of the Theatre’s production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, plus cast members Abi Castleton (Connie Chatterley) and Marcus Fernando (Oliver Mellors). As usual, Chrissie Harper shot the raw footage and will be handling the final edit.

The week-long in-house run began Thursday night, then it’s off on a month’s UK tour. Looking forward to catching a performance early next week.

[You can watch my conversation in September with Blue Orange Theatre trustee Mark Webster here.]

The Social Whirl

My colleague Chrissie Harper and I will be taking next Tuesday evening off, in order to join members of the Made In Birmingham TV team in celebrating the channel’s expansion onto Sky. We haven’t actually visited the company’s Walsall headquarters since my first appearance on The Big Picture six months ago, so it’ll be nice to have a little face-to-face contact with the presenters and studio crew.

With Stars In His Eyes

I learned yesterday that my old friend Peter Weston passed away on Thursday, aged 73. He’d been severely ill for several years and had consciously wound down a lifetime’s involvement in science fiction fandom in order to spend more time with his wife Eileen, their daughters and the wider family.

Next month would have been the fortieth anniversary of our first encounter, at the Birmingham Science Fiction Group, one which he quoted me recalling years later in his own memoir With Stars in my Eyes (NESFA Press, 2004). Later in 1977, he returned from Miami with news of the UK team he chaired having secured the 1979 Worldcon, the very first of those events I attended. His friendship, counsel and support was always welcome, such as when I headed up another worldcon bid, this time for 1989 (it eventually mutated into the successful 1987 bid, under more experienced hands).

My life would have been incalculably different and diminished had our paths not crossed, and I know this loss is shared by many, many people across the world. For now, my thoughts remain with his family.

Saturday Night at the Movies

As well as launching a new venue for its monthly meetings, Birmingham’s historic Gunmakers Arms, the Birmingham Horror Group held its first movie event on 7 January, when I got to introduce no fewer than 14 short films and a handful of trailers. Several of the directors sent along pre-recorded introductions, whilst local film-maker Carl Timms turned up to introduce his zombie comedy Still in person and discuss it with me afterwards on stage. The interview was filmed for Ghostwords TV, and Made In Birmingham TV wants to look at a three-minute extract for airing this Friday.

Update #1: Free tickets for the 4 February meeting are now available online.
Update #2: The extract was screened on 13 January as part of The Week with Carl Jones, and repeated twice during that weekend.