Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean WarLord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well-suited to light cavalry. Due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.
The events are best remembered as the subject of the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published just six weeks after the event, its lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the obvious outcome. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Alec Newman

Alec Newman was born in Glasgow on the 27th of November 1974. Raised both in Scotland and England he joined the National Youth theater at 17 after injury ruled out a career in soccer. There he played various roles most notably Iago in Shakespeare's Othello, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. Upon finishing his training both at the NYT and then at LAMDA, Newman went straight to work both on television and in the theater, appearing in the obligatory Scots cop show "Taggart" and playing leading roles at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum. Playing guest leads in several of Britain's leading network shows led Newman to his debut feature G:MT Greenwich Mean Time (1999), where he won critical acclaim for his performance. He landed the role of Paul Atreides in the SciFI channel mini series "Frank Herberts Dune"(2000) which exposed him to the US audience for the first time. Appearances on US shows such as "Angel"(2004), "Tru Calling"(2004) and "Star Trek:Enterprise"(2004) would follow.

However, he consistently returned to the British theatre, working with Cate Blanchettin the West end production of "Plenty", and leading a revival of Max Frisch's "Andorra" at London's Young Vic. A return to film came with the Working Title horror film "Long Time Dead" (2002).Further screen appearances included a reprisal of the role of Paul Atreides in Children of Dune (2003) and the title role in Frankenstein (2004) alongside Luke GossDonald Sutherland, and Julie Delpy. The hard hitting independent, The Principles of Lust (2003), hit screens in early 2004, further assurance of Newman's presence in British film after an appearance in Stephen Fry's debut Bright Young Things(2003).Both films were selected to play in competition at the 2004 Sundance Film festival.

2004 was also the year Newman played the lead in a John Wells pilot for a remake of the cult 60's show "Dark Shadows".His first foray into series television,Wells himself had fought with the network for his choice and won.Alec beat off the competition for that years most coveted role in television.The pilot was not selected for the 2004 season however despite being heavily tipped.

Despite the series not continuing,the actor reacted assertively and quickly, firing into more film work including Constellation(2005) directed by award winning Jordan Walker Pearlmain,and "Moonlight Serenade"(2006),opposite Academy Award nominee Amy Adams.His role in "The Fifth Patient"(2007)marked somewhat of a departure for Alec-he plays a British doctor,(having consistently realized American roles in most of his prior US work.)The film also stars Nick Chinlund and Peter Bogdanovich.

Alec next appeared in Lions Gate distributed "The Gene Generation" (2007) opposite Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway.

Returning to the UK he filmed "The Reichenbach Falls"(2007) for BBC 4- a John Mckay directed film based on an Ian Rankin short story "The Acid Test". It aired to unanimous critical acclaim.Continued work with the BBC featured a regular role on the series "Hope Springs"(2009) for Shed Productions, "Silent Witness"(2010) and medical long runner "Casualty".(2010)

In 2010 Alec shot the Julian Gilbey thriller "A Lonely Place To Die"(2011) in his native Scotland. He featured (opposite Sean Harris and Melissa George), as Rob, the leader of a climbing expedition in the wilds of the Highlands.The film opened to favorable reviews both sides of the Atlantic.

A return to stage work then beckoned, first in the National Theatre production of "Dantons Death" in which Alec appeared as the sadistic "Saint Just". The production was directed by Michael Grandage and Alec appeared next in his Donmar Warehouse production Of "King Lear"(2011) with Sir Derek Jacobi in the title role. Newman's performance as Edmund was noted in the UK and at BAM, where the production ended it's extensive tour.It also played worldwide in an NT Live broadcast to over 30 countries.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Bernard Cribbins

Bernard CribbinsOBE (born 29 December 1928) is an English character actorvoice-over artist and musical comedian with a career spanning over seventy years. He came to prominence in films of the 1960s, and has been in work consistently since his professional debut in the mid-1950s.
Cribbins narrated The Wombles, a BBC children's television programme that ran for 40 episodes between 1973 and 1975, and played the pretentious guest Mr. Hutchinson in the "The Hotel Inspectors" episode of Fawlty Towers(1975), and the belligerent barman in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972). He also recorded several novelty records in the early 1960s and was a regular and prolific performer on the BBC's Jackanory from 1966 to 1991. Having appeared as Tom Campbell, a companion to Dr. Who in the 1966 feature film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., Cribbins also appeared four decades later as Wilfred Mott, a companion to television's Tenth Doctor.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Peter Andre

Peter Andre (born Peter James Andrea;[1] 27 February 1973) is an English born Australian singer, songwriter, businessman, presenter, and television personality of Greek Cypriot descent. He is not British, but has lived in the UK for several years.
He gained popularity as a singer, best known for his successful singles "Mysterious Girl" and "Flava". He is also known for appearing on the third series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, and the thirteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing, in which he was partnered with Janette Manrara.
During his time on I'm A Celebrity, Andre developed an on-screen romantic relationship with fellow contestant, Katie Price. Andre and Price got married two years after the show's finale; they had two children, and released the 2006 album A Whole New World together, before divorcing in 2009.
In 2009 Andre released the album Revelation with the single "Behind Closed Doors", which reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. He followed it up with his sixth studio album Accelerate in 2010.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Joanna Lumley

Joanna Lamond LumleyOBE FRGS(born 1 May 1946) is an English[1]actress, voice-over artist, former model, author and activist, who starred in the British television series Absolutely Fabulous as Edina Monsoon's best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as in The New AvengersSapphire & SteelJam & Jerusalem and Sensitive Skin. In film she has appeared in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Trail of the Pink Panther (1982), and James and the Giant Peach (1996).
She later appeared in Maybe Baby(2000), Ella Enchanted (2004), and Corpse Bride (2005). She appeared alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the Martin Scorsese crime drama, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). She has also appeared in several stage roles and in 2011 was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in La BĂȘte.
She has spoken out as a human rights activist for Survival International and the Gurkha Justice Campaign and is now considered a "national treasure" of Nepal because of her support. She is an advocate for a number of charities and animal welfare groups such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians' International Voice for Animals. She is patron of the Farm Animal Sanctuary.[2] She also won the Special Recognition Award at The National Television Awards in 2013.
As of July 2012, she is planning, in collaboration with the designer Thomas Heatherwick, a pedestrian bridge across the Thames in London, "Garden Bridge".[3] This is planned to feature trees and gardens.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Barbara Windsor

Dame Barbara WindsorDBE (born Barbara Ann Deeks; 6 August 1937),[2]is an English actress, known for her appearances in the Carry On films and for playing Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders.[3] She joined the cast of EastEnders in 1994 and won the 1999 British Soap Awardfor Best Actress. She left the show in 2010, before returning for three episodes between 2013 and 2015. It was confirmed that Peggy would be killed off in episodes broadcast in 2016, Windsor having filmed her return scenes in November 2015.
Windsor began her career on stage in 1950 at the age of 13 and made her film debut in The Belles of St Trinian's(1954). She received a BAFTA Awardnomination for the film Sparrows Can't Sing (1963), and a Tony Awardnomination for the 1964 Broadwayproduction of Oh, What A Lovely War!. In 1972, she starred opposite Vanessa Redgrave in the West End production of The Threepenny Opera. Between 1964 and 1974, she appeared in nine Carry On films, including Carry On Spying(1964), Carry On Doctor (1967), Carry On Camping (1969), Carry On Henry(1971) and Carry On Abroad (1972). She also co-presented the 1977 Carry Oncompilation That's Carry On!. Other film roles include A Study in Terror (1965), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and as the voice of Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and the upcoming Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).