I was delighted when I met someone who when I told them I worked at Brook said they had used Brook's services in Belfast and had a fantastic experience. Always a pleasure to get feedback in unexpected places. Coincidentally this is the second time i have been on my holidays and meeting someone who has used Brook in Northern Ireland and had a great experience - last time I was on an aeroplane back from Australia and the young woman sat next to me saw me doing some work, asked me what I did and when I told her she was so full of praise for the staff.
Sticking with Northern Ireland, at the Edinburgh festival my favourite show was the Chronicles of Long Kesh, a play about the HM Maze Prison used to house paramilitary prisoners during the Northern Irish Troubles. The 6 actors played the whole range of characters with incredible skill. I have talked about the play a lot since seeing it - and people have very different reactions to it depending on their view. I was incredibly taken by the small windows into the often chilling impact of the 'Troubles' on interpersonal and intimate relationships between men, their wives and their children. The film 'hunger' about the same prison is very good too.
The sun didn't shine too much in Cornwall but I did stand up on a surf board (whilst in the sea) for at least 8 seconds.
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Starting Over by Tony Parsons
Incendiary by Chris Cleve
All of them fantastic in different ways.