Wednesday, 21 February 2018

JOURNEY'S END

Out now is a new film about the First World War – Journey's End, but did you know it was originally a stage play written 90 years ago? 

I've dug out two interesting items from the ArtPix Archives to show you.

Written by R.C. Sherriff in 1928, the play centres around a small group of officers in a dug-out in St Quentin on the Western Front in 1918. It captures the differing experiences and levels of stress affecting the officers as the weight of war envelopes them.
Set over 4 days in March of 1918, as they prepare for another senseless attack, it was just before the Germans' Spring Offensive which nearly won them the war.

The first time the play was staged was at the Apollo Theatre in London on December 9th, 1928.

I've got this small book with the entire script, dated to October 1929.



It lists the cast of the first production. The lead character of Captain Stanhope was played by Laurence Olivier, who was only 21 at the time.
It was produced by James Whale, who found international fame when he directed the classic Frankenstein film in 1931.



Reading through the script is amazing, as you get the sense of the different emotions of the war weary characters. 
This is very much a play written from personal knowledge, as the writer based it on his own experiences as an officer in the trenches, he himself was badly wounded at Passchendaele in 1917.
Incidently, Sherriff would later find even more success as a script writer for cinema, chiefly on Goodbye, Mr Chips and legendary war movie The Dam Busters.

I've also got a theatre programme of Journey's End from October 7th, 1929, when the play was on at the Prince of Wales' Theatre in London.



These programmes were essentially a magazine, with small features about the play on at the theatre at that time. There are a couple of pictures, the cast list and the scene settings of the play though.



The cast has mostly remained the same, although Colin Clive has replaced Olivier as Captain Stanhope. 

A closer look at the scene page reveals an interesting list of credits as to who supplied what for the play, including 'Wigs by Clarkson' and 'Pencils by Waterman'!
There is also a long list of the music played throughout, with soldiers' favourite, Mademoiselle of Armentieres amongst them.





The play has been revived several times over the years, variously on stage, radio, television and film. 
I went to see a stage production in 2004 at the Comedy Theatre in London's West End and was blown away by it.
I've yet to see the new film, but I hope it remains true to the original script by R.C. Sherriff.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

THE WITCHING HOUR PICCIES


What a fantastic night it was down at The Harrison!

A packed venue, amazing performers and a brilliant audience. Was a privilege to be a part of it.

Now without further ado, here are a few pix...


The multi-talented Kate Arnold on the dulcimer.



Cathi Unsworth reading from her disturbing and beguiling new book, That Old Black Magic.



Simon Satori, better known as Hi-Reciprocity, with his brilliant mixture of dark and amusing tales.



Author Syd Moore talked us through her many meticulously researched books connecting Essex and witches.



A fabulous set from Kirsten Morrison, complete with her bewitching voice and sounds.


We were treated to a preview from Sarah Channing-Wright's fascinating work in progress of witches in north Devon around 1682.


Can't wait for the next event now!!!

Friday, 16 February 2018

THE WITCHING HOUR IN NEON!!

Just a few tickets left now for this amazing event!!!!

Hurry up and get them HERE


As some of the inspiration for the evening was Film Noir and the dark underbelly of London, I came up with this alternative version of the poster, with a nod to the neon signs of Soho.

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

THE WITCHING HOUR – A FEW TICKETS LEFT!!

That's right, if you want to come to this amazing night of mysterious Noir-influenced music and words, you'd better get your skates on!!



To bag your tickets now, go HERE

And to check out the event's Facebook page: HERE

You'll find me lurking around in the shadows at the merchandise stall, as I'll in be charge of it all evening!!

Friday, 9 February 2018

SHEPTON MALLET GIANT TOY COLLECTORS FAIR

I've booked up a stall to appear at this fantastic toy fair on Sunday 25th March!!


It's something new for me, but as I have loads of toys and games I thought I would give it a go.
I did a reccie at the last fair they did last month and it was absolutely buzzing!

So I've been rooting around the ArtPix Storeroom for any toy-related stuff and I've found some real gems.
A lot of them are things I had as a kid, so instead of it all just sitting in boxes doing nothing, it would be great if someone else can enjoy them. In exchange for big wads of cash of course!!

When I was a little-un I was obsessed with toy cars, so had a whole traffic jam of them.
Looking at them now you can see which ones I had first of all, as they are covered in paint, when I went on mad painting sprees!!
Then later on I was super-careful to keep them in mint condition, so luckily I've got loads in their original boxes. Gold dust for collectors nowadays!

Here are three examples of the type of stuff lurking in the ArtPix Storeroom.


I think I must have inherited this, as this Comma Bottle Float made by Matchbox, dates from the 1960s. Unfortunately it fell victim to one of my paint jobs!! I've tried to rescue it and scrape away all the various colours, and have revealed some of the original pale green colour.



Another Matchbox classic, the Dragster from 1970. This is the original box which looks in good nick. The fantastic car, in garish pink,  opens up to show an awesome engine.





Check out this brilliant James Bond Aston Martin!
This is the 2nd issue made by Corgi in the late 70s. And yes, it has its original box!!


It even has the original price sticker on it!
The princely sum of £2-84 from the long-forgotten Owen Wallis toy shop which was down Southend's High Street.




The car is well-known for its many special features, which included the brilliant ejector seat. It deposited the baddie onto the carpet. Just make sure the dog doesn't run off with him though!!


It also has machine guns and sticky-out bumpers, which could be handy when parking in a tight space, to shunt another car out of the way.


And a shield at the back in case anyway decides to fire a gun at you.


Here's the Aston with all the features showing.



I'll blog about some of the other treasures that I'll bring along to the toy fair very soon.
So start saving up now!!!

And if that isn't enough, I've got more news of other events I'll be doing this year, stay tuned right here!

Monday, 5 February 2018

NEW STOCK!

I've bunged in yet more fantastic stuff into my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset!!

Have a peep below at some of the goodies ...


Here we have some 1950s binoculars, complete with original case, instructions and cleaning cloth.
By chance I noticed, in tiny writing on the strap, a name and address written in fountain pen. It gives a tantalizing clue as to who were the first owners of these fine binoculars.
It reads ...
SMITH
RED TILES
DORCHESTER ON THAMES
OXFORD

I'm guessing Red Tiles was the name of a cottage, and Dorchester-on-Thames is a village 8 miles south east of Oxford. It was even once used as a location in Midsomer Murders!!



This is a great 1912 Ford Model T Van with the Colman's Mustard colour and insignia. Made by Matchbox as part of their Models of Yesteryear range, it was produced in 1979.



Joe 90 Top Secret Comic Annual from 1969! From the classic kids TV show, the annual is absolutely packed with stories, cartoon strips, quizzes and pictures of other iconic TV shows of the time.  



Really cool tracksuit top from Spanish footie giants Real Madrid.
The famous team have won an astonishing 12 European Cups/Champions League, 33 La Liga championships, 19 Spanish Cups and loads more!


 Close-up of the Real Madrid badge on the tracksuit.



Just look at this groovy record case from the 1970s!!
 With its faux snakeskin cover, all your fave vinyls will look fantastic in this!!



Simple and stylish brass cigarette tin made by the State Express Cigarettes company in the 1950s. It would look great on a desk as a handy little storage box. Underneath you can see the companies logo stamped on it, and the tin in inlaid with wood.



Keep on checking the unit for new goodies, as I've often down there stocking up!!!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

NEW ARTPIXMOBILE!

Another exciting new step in the ArtPix World this week, as I plundered the coffers to buy a new motor!!!



A fantastic Renault Kangoo 4x4 Trekka, which is part car/van/4x4. 

And in a groovy red colour, for which there is a good reason, it used to belong to the Fire Brigade!!

In 2018 I'm planning on getting out there more and doing loads of vintage fairs and markets, so it will be spectacularly useful.
I've been itching to do some of the fantastic Flea Markets around the South West for ages, as I've got loads of stock to show, but it never fitted into my poor little Ford Fiesta!!

So stay tuned for fair news as we trek around in our Trekka this year!!