Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Don't miss Of Mice & Men at Theatre Royal Brighton!

John Steinbeck's Of Mice & Men is often studied at school and we almost did it but our teacher decided on The Go-Between instead. I did read Steinbeck's classic novella but it wasn't until several years later. While I didn't read it at the impressionable age that people typically study it I still remember being moved by the story of George & Lenny. I had heard great things about the recent Broadway production starring James Franco and Chris O'Dowd but missed seeing it when it was screened in UK cinemas so when I saw a new touring production was coming to the Theatre Royal Brighton I was keen to see what the stage version would be like.

The story is set in America during the Great Depression and follows George & Lenny as they travel from ranch to ranch trying to find work. The set design was simple but effective, and the lighting really made you feel us if the characters were sweltering as they crossed the land.

This is not an action-packed story but a character-driven piece and the whole cast were terrific but the two leads were particularly good (William Rodell & Kristian Phillips) . Within a just a couple of minutes I was wrapped up in these characters lives, sympathising with George's frustrations at looking after his friend who he clearly loved so much and even though you knew Lenny would drive you mad, you can't help but like him and want to give him a hug!

Kristian Phillips (Lennie) and William Rodell (George)
I always try to avoid spoilers so I won't mention any details but I think it is well-known that this story does not have a happy ending, so the fact that the two leads were so engaging meant that when I remembered exactly what was coming up I almost wished they weren't so good! As mentioned the whole ensemble were fantastic and Lovejoy fans will be pleased to see Tinker (Dudley Sutton) is still acting in spite of only recently turning 83! I also must give a special mention to Alsaka the beautiful dog who is apparently local.

Before going in we had been warned that the first act was longer than usual at 1 hour 15 minutes but it certainly didn't seem like it. Of Mice & Men is theatre as it should be - engaging, emotive and thought-provoking. It is on until Saturday with matinees tomorrow (Thursday) and Saturday - don't miss it!


Oh and a final note - if you are lucky enough to be sitting in the Royal Box please don't try and wave at the actors!

Of Mice and Men
Theatre Royal Brighton
19th - 23rd April
2.30pm matinee Thursday & Saturday
7.45pm evening performances.

Friday, 15 April 2016

A tasty treat with no meat @FoodForFriends

Sometimes we all need a midweek treat and so we took ourselves off to Food for Friends to see what was new on the menu.

Food for Friends regularly change their menu as they use fresh, seasonal ingredients and it is completely vegetarian too. I remember the first time I went to a veggie restaurant I was a bit wary, wondering if I would find anything tempting without meat - how foolish I was! That was a while ago so now I know that there is so much more on offer then just nut roast or lentil soup.

Although before I talk about the food I have to mention the drink. We had more or less decided what we wanted but then our lovely waitress said the cocktail of the day was Passion fruit Mojito which we just had to try - what a fruity treat!

Passionfruit Mojito - cheers!
Some people think that vegetarian is the lighter option and I'm sure sometimes that's true but I can tell you that after three courses we were well and truly stuffed! I opted for the Falafel to start which not only looked pretty but it was a generous portion. After that I decided to go for the curry and again not only did it look colourful, it tasted great with a rich variety of flavours. 

Falafel to start
Curry for the main
We decided to be cheeky and squeeze in a pudding to round off the meal. There were quite a few exotic sounding options including Avocado ice-cream and something with black sesame but by this point in the evening we were not feeling terribly adventurous so we decided to play it safe with a chocolate torte & we were not disappointed.

Chocolate torte to finish
As well as being vegetarian Food for Friends cater for a variety of diets including vegan and gluten-free, both of these are clearly marked on the menu but if you have other requirements let them know as they are keen to cater for all. This makes the restaurant a great choice for groups as there will be dishes to suit everyone, with no-one being made to feel awkward.

The restaurant's name is an apt one as while the food is gourmet the atmosphere is relaxed, making it a great place to catch-up with friends while enjoying delicious dishes. Plus the location (middle of The Lanes) means it's perfect for people-watching.


Food for Friends 
17-18 Prince Albert Street
01273 202310