Live Music

Shakespeare Rattle & Roll with Martin Dimery

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Posted on 7th October 2012

Shakespeare Rattle & Roll with Martin Dimery

Mission Theatre, Bath

5th Oct 2012


And now for something completely different:

Fifty years to the day that the Beatles released their first record seemed an apt time to visit Martin Dimery, aka the very vocal John in Sgt Pepper's Only Dart Board Band.

But a tall, well spoken, well dressed guy turned up, wearing gold rimmed spectacles which he peered over, and a teacher's gown.

This patrician figure proceeded to deliver a lecture on Shakespeare's life and works and how Will's use of iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets lends his work to song.

With use of an acoustic guitar he demonstrated how Blow, blow, thou winter wind, fitted Bob Marley's style perfectly, while the chant of the Three Witches from Macbeth, Double, double, toil and trouble, was more suited to the Sex Pistols.

Neil Young, George Formby and inevitably, Dylan - “It takes years of practice to play the harmonica as badly as Bob Dylan,” he explained while doing just that.

It was all huge fun and much appreciated by the rather select audience whose final foot stamping demanded, and received, an encore in the style of John Lennon of course.

So was it different? Well, almost fifty years ago Cleo Laine recorded a great LP with Mr Dankworth of Shakespeare and All That Jazz. A seriously good disc, one of her best, but that was back in the day when jazz was more mainstream, the Beaulieu Jazz Festival was the only show in town, and George Melly was a slim blues singer.

Yes, it was different and deserves much wider appreciation (it had previously been performed at Stratford). But this is Bath, where alternative is a word rarely heard. Thus entertaining, even educational evenings such as this, are missed by many. Their bad luck.

Well done Martin, it was great.

Philip Horton


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