Last night and Word Play in Halifax…in the renovated and extended Square Chapel Arts Centre to hear the poetry of Michael Crowley, Nigel Pantling and Ella Frears; taking nothing away from Michael and Nigel who were splendid with very different types of poetry telling very different histories, but Ella was a star, fantastically humane and beautiful thoughts with just enough surreal weirdness woven in to keep you not quite sure of where things were going. The one about texting while in the bath (or probably not) was genius.

In the centre which houses a theatre auditorium, plus a newly built cinema and a new library (when did you last hear of a new library being built?), everything was polished and new and lovely and extremely well lit. The photo is the floor of the bar, so highly polished that it resembles a galaxy at your feet, or perhaps the projection of a galaxy on the inside of Brian Cox’s well polished cranium; if Stephen Hawking’s brain is a particle being whizzed around the Higgs Bosun at almost the speed of light then Brian Cox’s is a planetarium available for family bookings and school parties.

The cakes look nice too.


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