P/REVIEW: View From The Sofa 11

Brian Butler June 4, 2020

Hi sofa sitters! This week’s offerings are mostly from YouTube, which seems to have got the measure of my tastes and now throws recommendations at me unprompted.

On the musical theatre front there are some interesting offers from the archives. The Boston Pops Orchestra back a 1990 night celebrating some golden oldies from the Broadway of yesteryear. Hosted by Kitty Carlisle -Hart – playwright/director  Moss Hart’s widow, its novelty is that it boasts undiscovered original orchestrations. The colour quality of the recording is dire, but it’s got great offerings from Kern, Gershwin, Porter and Rodgers to keep you happy. And the men’s bouffant  hairstyles are a giggle.

If you want quick MT fixes, the channel also boasts a Kennedy Centre tribute to Sondheim, fronted by the fabulous Angela Lansbury. The Stars Align is a touching anthology by Broadway wannabes from the Oklahoma City University and is raising funds for Broadway Cares: Equity Fighting Aids- immensely talented youngsters !

There’s also a priceless 2019 Broadway rendition of Carousel, which I’ll review soon, and the inimitable John Wilson conducts the BBC 2012 Proms tribute to Broadway which is not to be missed. And there’s a 2016 production of Follies to enjoy too.

This week’s National Theatre @home offer is Shakespeare’s difficult Roman play Coriolanus, which must be worth a donation for Tom Hiddleston’s electrifying bravura performance – catch it for a week from Thursday 4 June.

The Shows Must Go On has passed on from Lloyd Webber classics and this week features Peter Pan The Musical, starring Allison Williams, Christopher Walken, Christian Borle and Taylor Louderman. It’s available for 48 hours from 7pm Friday 5 June.

Sad news this week that because of filming commitments for Netflix’s The Crown, Imelda Staunton’ s stage outing in Hello Dolly  is now slated for 2022. But you can catch her magic performance in Gypsy , with choreography by Brighton-based Stephen Mear , courtesy of

The first of the collaborations between the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company( RSC) is available this weekend, with the screening of Romeo and Juliet on BBC4 as part of its Culture in Quarantine Scheme. It stars Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick. Later offerings include Hamlet and Macbeth at dates to be announced.

Look out for my forthcoming preview of the 38 musicals which Playbill hails as having brought LGBTQ+ experiences to the stage. If you want to know now  what they are go to

First in a series of screenings from the Old Vic this Friday June 5,  will be the Olivier Award- winning A Monster Calls. It’s available for a week on

And finally , to celebrate all things Yorkshire – well why not ?

Here is my late mother Alice’s variation on a famous recipe which is made and enjoyed on Yorkshire Day – 1 August. So we’re a bit early but hey, it’s something I make often  as a comfort starter before Sunday roasts.

It’s called Yorkshire Season pudding and online you’ll find it made with bread soaked in milk and other strange ingredients. Mine and Alice’s is better :

Leave 6 large slices of bread out overnight to go dry – you can also use bread rolls or muffins. The following day boil 2 medium onions till soft – I add mixed herbs  and white pepper to the liquid. Set aside to cool.

In a food mixer blitz the bread in chunks, the cooled onions and some of the liquid in from their  pan; add a small jar of Sage -or  you can use any mixed herbs; add garlic granules, a teaspoon of ready-made mustard, a few pinches of paprika powder, 2 raw eggs. Add boiling water little by little till the mixture is the thick consistency of a cake mix. Cover and leave for 1 hour.

Heat an oven to 220 C ( 200 fan) with an oven dish containing a tablespoon of olive oil or animal dripping. Add the mixture, spreading it evenly. Cook for 45 minutes till the edges are crisp and the centre is still soft.

Serve with onion gravy (use the onion liquid for this with stock, and small pieces of chicken liver, a  small glass of red wine and mustard for body and taste)

Ee By Gum xx