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REVIEW: A PROGRAMME IN MEMORY OF ROBERT CALVERT Pentameters, Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 15:10 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:25 07 September 2010

Four star rating As part of the Pentameters 40th anniversary celebrations, Leonie Scott Matthews put together a few pieces to celebrate the memory of her friend Robert Calvert. The first pie

A PROGRAMME IN MEMORY OF ROBERT CALVERT

Pentameters, Hampstead

Four star rating

As part of the Pentameters' 40th anniversary celebrations, Leonie Scott Matthews put together a few pieces to celebrate the memory of her friend Robert Calvert.

The first piece, The Child, is by his wife Ruthi Blackmore, a long and evocative poem on loneliness and loss beautifully delivered by Georgia Cardy to a hushed and reverent reaction from the audience.

After this, Jeff Mash, Jonson Wilkinson and Georgia Cardy perform more of Blackmore's verses along with Married, by Calvert.

The final piece in Act I is Cattle At Twilight - a fantasy with Jonson Wilkinson as Noel Coward in a shiny gold suit and Jason Julien-Connage as Jimi Hendrix in colourful pop gear discussing what is going on in the world as they look down on it from their celestial plane.

The Hendrix theme leads on to the main event of the evening - The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice. But first we must have a sing-along as Jonson Wilkinson and Godfrey Old perform Blue Grow The Rushes O (A Lament For Hollywood). We are supplied with song sheets and required to join in.

After the interval, we hear the noise of an aeroplane in full flight and the harsh voice of Sergeant McNulty (Jeff Mash) as he instructs his paratroopers to jump from the plane. One of them doesn't jump.

That one is Jimi Hendrix. It is not generally known that Hendrix was an army paratrooper before he became famous as a rock musician and here Calvert imagines what could have happened on his final mission - number 25. He simply decides not to jump as the result of a dream he had the previous evening. Try explaining that to an army sergeant!

However, this leads to a mutual bonding between the two disparate elements and they begin to respect each other. Julien-Connage was quite brilliant as a young man convinced of his eventual destiny. "I'm gonna be a rock star," he says with a cheeky smile and Mash is very moving as he tells the story of his best friend killed in action.

Aline Waites

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