New Improved McPhillamy

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There’s Been a Run on The Marmite

If anyone had any doubts that the supply chain is in serious peril, just try to get hold of a jar of Marmite.

When I lived in Manhattan I was close to two excellent retail outlets of traditional British foods: Digestive Biscuits, P G Tips tea, Golden Syrup, Fish n Chips, Sausage Rolls, Tiptree Jams, Bangers … to name only a few … all of these British adaptations of Nectar and Ambrosia could be had at Tea And Sympathy on Greenwich Avenue and Myers of Keswick on Hudson Street.

And I’m delighted to tell you that back in the day I found a closely similar emporium just a mile or two south of West Palm Beach in Florida. More than that: here in Westchester our local supermarket has a discrete section of three shelves dedicated to such British superfoods as Heinz Tomato Soup, Heinz Baked Beans and Hob Nobs.

The relationship between Great Britain and the United States has endured in various forums and alliances since 1776, and it’s my firm belief that if Marmite were more widely consumed in the  Americas it could only benefit the Republic. This works both ways of course. For example I have seen baseball played in Regent’s Park, and the ubiquity of the American vernacular now gives us the younger British royals peppering their speech with the word “like”.

I mention all the above because it’s well known that comedy shows are now approximately the only remaining source of genuine news. We know too that the few remaining people who can reliably and regularly speak truth to power are those characters created by gifted comic actors.

To their ranks I nominate my old friend and fellow-student, Matilda Thorpe who “manages” Celia Walmsley-Clarke. Celia’s material is given in convenient bite-size nuggets on Facebook, and this month she has kindly agreed to appear in The Guest Spot here to explain the burden of privilege that is being a member of the British aristocracy.

None of this can disguise the fact that supplies of Marmite have dwindled. The presenting reason is a global shortage of yeast but many of us know that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is to blame.

Fortunately there is a vegetarian alternative from Australia:


Images by unsplash


Can’t Go to the Theatre?

At the moment the inside of most theatres is like this:

Announcing the Guest Spot. Please take a look at the content there. You may not be able to go to the theatre in the present circs. Three varied niche pieces come to you!


And in other News

If you’ll take a look at the Video page you’ll see an interview with me by Margaret Ledford who helmed the Engage@GableStage project, which has commissioned a series of projects. The short 15 minute film we’re talking about will be premiered exclusively at on Friday September 18th.

So… the focus of this blog… was acting and allied subjects… hmm… the issue, as I’m sure you understand, is that live theatre depends upon lots of paying customers in close proximity to each other and within breathing space of the stage…

No sign of that returning just yet.

In which case what shall we talk about? While you’re here please sign up for the blog so as to find out!






The Bard Off-Planet

I will be guest speaker on Tuesday June 30th 2:30 pm Eastern USA/7:30 pm UK at:

Aquarius Rising: West of Scotland Astrological Association

My topic is:

Shakespeare was an astrologer

(Or if he wasn’t, he knew people who were)

Courtesy of The Birmingham Museums Trust, UK

Here is the blurb:

This talk is an astrological exploration looking at the chart of the Bard and his work. For example, it’s well known that the seven ages of man speech in As You Like It takes us from the Moon through to Saturn in order of orbital period. But did you know that there is a Jupiter signature in The Tempest, or a Saturn one in Romeo and Juliet, or that Sonnet 15 echoes the Duke’s speech at the top of act 3 in Measure for Measure? Mars figures in all the history plays, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is as lunar as it gets. Shakespeare was at home in the solar system and he wrote the plays to prove it! 

If you’d like to attend as a guest (no need to join the group although you are welcome if astrology is an interest), here is the zoom link and the date again is, June 30th 2:30 pm Eastern USA/7:30 pm UK

They do ask for a donation of five quid!

See you there!