It’s bizarre but true: Brian ‘boom boom’ Blessed has never before played King Lear on stage. True, true, true! Now that particular anomaly is set right with the actor’s debut in the role at Holy Trinity Church Guildford from January 17 for 25 performances. He will also be performing alongside his daughter Rosalind who will portray Goneril. Directed by Caroline Devlin, this promises to be a real feast. Book tickets now from

Following the revival of interest in poetry in the UK and Europe, this work might be one to add to your collection. Alain Badiou, the renowned French philosopher, tackles the age-old question of the relation between literature, politics and philosophy in this collection of newly translated essays. The Age of the Poets: And Other Writings on Twentieth-Century Poetry and Prose demonstrate Badiou’s longstanding engagement with literature and poetry and includes writings on Paul Celan, Wallace Stevens, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bertolt Brecht. The writer explores the problem of the relation between literature and philosophy and also offers an illuminating set of readings of contemporary French prose writers. Published by Verso £16.99 ISBN: 9781781685693.

Now this looks fun: Wales Millennium Centre is to present an all-female production of Richard III in its vast roof void for the first time. Produced by Omidaze Productions in association with WMC, this promises to offer a unique and memorable audience experience, shed new light and perspective on Shakespearian text and engage new audiences. While all-male Shakespeare productions remain commonplace, women playing men still remains very much in the minority. Through adopting the unusual approach of presenting an all-female production, especially of a play often viewed as a vehicle for a male-star and which contains over 40 male characters, Omidaze’s production of Richard III seeks to challenge these conventions – and continues its mission to engage a non-traditional theatre-going audience and break down barriers to accessing theatre, Shakespeare and the arts generally. One of the ways they intend to do this is through their Open Rehearsal Strategy where they take rehearsals into over eight schools in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. More details at or call the ticket office on 02920 636464.

Yet another children’s author crosses the Ink Pellet radar: Kit Cox, a stand-up comedian, publishes the first of a series about junior monster hunter extraordinaire Benjamin Gaul. The author of How to Bag a Jabberwock: A Practical Guide to Monster Hunting (2012) takes readers into his weird, wonderful and occasionally terrifying world.  When Benjamin Gaul, the 13-year-old son of an English officer and his Sinhalese wife, is suddenly and mysteriously orphaned, he is sent back to live in Victorian England, in an orphanage deep in the Kentish countryside.  However, everything is not quite so cosy and safe as it at first appears: a strange illness breaks out and weird creatures haunt the orchards and fields… Undaunted, Benjamin and plucky Gypsy girl Rosalie, are determined to unravel the mystery… Published by Book Guild Ltd.

More brilliant theatre coming our way in spring includes the world premiere of After Electra, directed by Samuel West which will be performed at both the Theatre Royal Plymouth and the Tricycle Theatre in London.  After Electra has been described as a deeply moving and blisteringly witty black comedy challenging what it means to be a mother, and exploring how the choices we make can change our lives forever. Get more details from

P.S. The Ink Pellet team will be tapping their toes at this year’s Perform show at Olympia on February 13-15. Come and see us in between chats to industry professionals and workshops. Sessions costing as little as £3 (on top of entrance fee) can be booked at