IT'S A CROSS I WAS HAPPY TO BEAR
Some of you may have read my review of Jesus Christ, Superstar as it is performed at Gloucester Cathedral so I hope you don't mind that I mention the show again. No, I'm not on a percentage of the takings but I think that when such an event takes place on our doorstep it should be fully recognised. This may not be the best ever performance of JCS but it is certainly the bravest and one that its producers deserve credit for even attempting. What I didn't have space to mention in the review was that the cast not only had to overcome sound difficulties in such a vast and hollow space but they had to compete with the building itself.Many members of the audience had never set foot in Gloucester Cathedral before and were so mesmerised by it that I wonder how much of the performance they missed! Some are bound to have been sufficiently impressed to visit again.I'm one of the first to bemoan the fact that a city the size of Gloucester doesn't have a professional theatre and the number of bums on seats for JCS at the Cathedral is proof that if something good is put on here, people will turn out for it.I love the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham and it consistently provides top class entertainment –as does the Cheltenham Town Hall. But our more affluent rival along the A40 could never match this, simply because Cheltenham doesn't have a Cathedral. So on this occasion, Gloucester comes out on top.Additionally, not enough credit has been given to the Queen's Philharmonic Orchestra for its superb musical skill, or to Voices Unlimited, a vocal group that travels from Worcestershire every day for the performance and delivers the goods.I also want to commend Stephen Lake, the Dean of Gloucester Cathedral, for having the courage to allow 'his' church to be taken over by a theatrical company.I'm looking at the positives here – not something I'm usually known for.A show that's been a massive hit since it first began life as a ground-breaking double-album in 1969, is being performed in Gloucester, inside the city's most famous building. We've had big media coverage as a result and as I see it, Gloucester can only benefit from the experience. If Jerry Lane can get Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat into the Cathedral, I'll be first in the queue.
WHAT THE HELLY'S WRONG?
It's a pity that yet another store is putting up the shutters for good. Helly Hansen will close for the final time in May. Businesses only seem to thrive at The Quays if they are serving food or coffee. One of the reasons could be pricing. Being a designer outlet, the stuff on offer may be cheaper than it is in centres like London or Birmingham, but the 'cut price' clothes still cost much more than many of the city's residents can afford to pay. With TGI Friday planning to open in The Quays - and the Portivo Lounge, Ed's Easy Diner and Zizzi constantly fully booked - the worry is that it will become a giant 'restaurant quarter' rather than a shopping centre.Although Helly Hansen will be leaving in May, Gloucester Quays has confirmed that they have retailers lined up for the space already. Really? So why haven't these companies occupied one of the units that have been empty since The Quays was built? The Quays is an attractive building and has the potential to be a great place to shop. But for some reason, it isn't.
THE POWER IS IN YOUR HANDS…
Gloucestershire's police and crime commissioner, Martin Surl, has said he is keen for the force to adopt a greener option when it comes to transport and he's "delighted that Gloucestershire County Council has been able to fund the installation of the constabulary's first vehicle electric charging point. In 10 years' time, maybe the whole fleet could be electric."I can hear it now; "Get yer trahsers on, yer nicked – as soon as I charge me battery"!