P/REVIEW : View from the Sofa 9

Brian Butler May 19, 2020

Surfing through recommendations on The YouTube turned up two gems for your delight.

First and shortest is an excerpt from the Late Late Show with James Corden. He teams up with Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt to present snatches from 22 movie musicals in just 12 minutes – and all in one take.  It’s breathless , not always on the note, but great fun and along with all the Cabarets and Chicagos, there’s a duet with Kermit the frog and some inventive props and costumes – go on,  its only 12 minutes of your life  .

This week’s offering from the National Theatre is a Young Vic production of Tennessee Williams’ classic A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois. If the trailer’s anything to go  by this will be a firecracker performance. It’s on NT @ home YouTube for a week from this Thurs evening ( 21May ).

While we’re on YouTube, I found a vintage recording from Carnegie Hall of a 1999 concert, compered  by Julie Andrews , called My Favourite Broadway – The Leading Ladies. I’ve long had the shortened CD soundtrack of this, but it’s a cracking night’s watch. Star-studded galas can often be variable and this has its down moments, but it’s worth it to hear the lush huge orchestra under maestro Paul Gemignani .And there’s a great sequence when Rosie O’Donnell attempts to sing Liza with a Z , to be interrupted by the real Liza. Watch is here:

There’s a new weekly date available, courtesy of Glyndebourne.  Called Peaceful Moments, a different artist from around the globe sings or plays a folk song they love. These intimate musical miniatures wil soothe your soul in these troubled times. Go to for details.

Thespie is the name of a new free platform that boasts bringing together through links around 1000 theatre  events from around the world . Entrepreneur  and theatre fan Tyler Stoops says users can filter to their favourite genres and maintain a list of things they want to save for later. Access to the site is free but not all the offerings are.

Organisations listed include: the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, New York Met, Audible and Disney. Go to Happy browsing !

Skyscape is a New York temple of espionage and they are now offering a free online James Bond exhibition , giving  many insights into some of the movie-making magic of this franchise, including animations, interviews and images. Check here for access details.

And finally I’m indebted to my friend Dan Hughes, a Texan currently locked-down in Valencia, for his southern belle take on a Thai curry .


Ingredients : 2 tbsps oil; 2 minced cloves of garlic; I minced stalk of lemon grass; 2 tbsps grated fresh ginger; 6 tbsps red curry paste ( or 2 for less spicy ); 4 cups chicken broth; 3 tbsps fish sauce; 2 tbsps soy sauce; 1 tbsp light brown sugar;  tin of coconut milk; 1 lb medium shrimps; 1/4 lb sliced mushrooms; 2 tbsps fresh lime juice; 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander.

Method: chop, slice and dice everything. Stir the garlic, ginger and lemon grass  into the heated oil ,stir for 30 secs; add the curry paste and stir for another 30 secs; pour  in 250 ml of the broth until the paste dissolves, then pour in the rest of the stock plus the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar.

Bring to the boil; reduce and simmer partly covered for 20 mins; stir in coconut milk, shrimp, mushrooms, lime juice and coriander. Simmer on a higher heat for 15 mins. Serve with rice and garnish with lime and cucumber.

Happy landings !