26 Recommends

In terms of reading, I’ve been asked to write a children’s story and reread The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe– my Mum’s lovely original 1950 copy (which seems to be a first edition) with illustrations by Pauline Baynes, which are really beautiful – I love the one of Mr Tumnus and Lucy. I’m (re)amazed by the spareness of the language and the way Lewis tells the story so effectively with so few words and how he uses details to move the story on. If you haven’t read it before or not reread it for sometime, it’s a rare treat and a masterclass in one.

– Ed Prichard

The latest offering from National Theatre at Home is the Young Vic’s A Streetcar Named Desire – available until 7pm on Thursday 28 May. I remember the production being every bit as good as people say it is, so I’m planning to take the chance to watch it again. Keep an eye out for new releases each week, and consider donating to keep our theatres going at a time when they have very little revenue to keep them afloat!

– Sophie Gordon

I’m focusing my 26 Weeks piece on Roz Savage and I’ve submitted my first chapter.  Part of the point of featuring Roz was because of her amazing challenge to write a book in 3 weeks – which she did! The Gifts of Solitude is now available on Amazon. It’s an important book because it speaks to all of us as we grapple in our different ways with lockdown. Roz is an expert in isolation having spent many months by herself on a boat, single-handedly rowing across three oceans (at different times I hasten to add). Whilst this was self-imposed, her learning about the trials and gratitudes of isolation are rich and valuable. In the book she features two interviews, alongside her own story, and intersperses all this with short poems and quotes by way of contemplation and reflection. At the start of the year I never thought I’d need this book. I do now! I’m already re-reading it.

– Alastair Creamer

The National Centre for Writing’s A Delicate Sight is a guided creative experience that places darkness at the centre of your perception to explore how your senses, thoughts and emotions are heightened. This is just glorious!

– Julia Webb-Harvey

Fred Vargas’ Adamsberg crime series. Lockdown has been perfect time to exercise the ‘little grey cells’ and the body by re-reading all nine books whilst on exercise bike. So much interesting information (seals don’t smell of fish; how to look at grassy places to simply identify where building were centuries ago; recluse spiders – and how the name sounds like Irene!). Intelligent, whimsical, philosophical, great cast of characters.

– Irene Lofthouse

In terms of books, I finally read The Invisible Grail, which was superb, and the other highlight was Happiness by Design, by Paul Dolan. I also darned an embarrassing hole in my literary socks by reading 1984.

– Richard Broadbent

Like many of us, I’ve been watching TV, dramas, documentaries on a wider range of channels more than usual. Unorthodox was recommended to me, available on Netflix, a four-part drama that starts in New York then concludes in Berlin. Based on the true story of a young woman from the Jewish Orthodox community, who escapes an unhappy arranged marriage to seeker greater fulfilment. Beautifully done, brilliantly acted in English and Yiddish.

– John Simmons

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