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Stage Review: DEAD SHEEP

Writer, Jonathan Maitland has recreated for stage the out of public view relationships between Mrs Thatcher and the most prominent politicians and advisers of the 80’s era. This is not an unfolding account as it concentrates on 1981 and 1989 particularly, and, for the sake of entertainment, skates over the political years in-between.

Steve Nallon (Mrs Thatcher)-Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe) Graham Seed (Ian Gow)- Carol Royale (Elspeth Howe)

Steve Nallon (Mrs Thatcher)-Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe) Graham Seed (Ian Gow)- Carol Royale (Elspeth Howe)

So the play opens in 1981, and, with the clever use of imagined dialogue and the stunning visual presence of Steve Nallon in character, it is a throwback setting that is something so consciously familiar for a lot of us; with only the smell of perspiring politicians in crisis that is missing!

The bug bear, was, of course, the government split over Europe. The play is also a true portrayal of the then Prime Minister’s divisive motivations and the strong hold she had over the men she chose to keep close.

On the flip side it is interestingly revealed, through her coolness and sarcastic behaviour when in the company of Elspeth Howe; wife of Geoffrey, that clearly demonstrates the insecurity Mrs T felt from having another strong woman in her midst. Elspeth and she were poles apart in manner and principle, and she thought Elspeth as a threat to the ‘family’ of men around her.

This it is not by any means a ‘see what happens when women take over’ story, but it does touch on the subject of sexual equality. The base of the play however, is allowing insight to the Prime Minister’s top dog motivations and the revealing of her potential to be unkind and insincere to those closest to her.

Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe)

Paul Bradley (Geoffrey Howe)

It’s a skilful piece, something about seeing those figures on stage telling the story is terrific. The jokes are well thought out and as you might well expect, there is lots of back stabbing and false sentiments expressed! Recommended!

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher


Stage Review – OSTRICH BOYS

This play is a revelatory experience all in all. The first reveal is immense, and a great place to start, but there is much more to the story. The script writing and the drama techniques used in getting the story out is pretty ingenious

Four pals – four troubled young men (with Ross in a dislocated state at all times), each possessing very different personalities, yet all four from the friendship quartet are energetic jokers: passionate, heroic, hedonistic and vital, and under the surface, deep down, spirits are crushed somewhat; mind and thoughts restricted

Adapted for stage by Carl Miller, from the successful book of the same title by author, Keith Gray, it is plain that the content is not particularly original, nevertheless, the slow uncovering of storytelling layers and the revealing of the real truth at the play’s end is handled extraordinary well

 SHEA DAVIS-Ross, CARL AU-Sim, FAAIZ MBELIZI-Kenny, FRED HAIG-blake. In Ostrich Boys Photographer Robert-Day

Photographer Robert-Day

Four multi-talented cast members, who double-up (and triple-up sometimes) as other necessary characters that need to feature. Four strikingly gifted young actors which can really ‘put on a show’, displaying excellent interpretation, fabulous energy, good comic pacing, and the performance of dance moves that can be described as being ‘theatrical contemporary’

The stage installation is fairly unadorned, with a couple of moving components that are compliant for the management of changing scenes. Yet along with some clever props you can envisage the settings: the train station, the fairground, the bike riding etc. Also scenes involve the use of height for a bungee jump, and, in contrast, the set allows for a spot of low down scrambling for when characters access the tramp hotel!

Directed by Tony Graham, Ostrich Boys is showing at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre until Sat 24th September, this fantastic play kicking off the Autumn Season in B2 will have wide appeal. Recommended!


SHEA DAVIS (Ross)– Theatre credits include The Sound of Music and Macbeth,
Film: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
TV: BBC’s Casualty

FRED HAIG (Blake) – Theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rent

CARL AU (Sim) -Theatre credits include A Christmas Carol, High School Musical
TV: The Lost Sitcoms – Till Death Us Do Part

FAAIZ MBELIZI (Kenny) – Theatre credits include Merchant of Venice and All My Sons

Photography by Robert Day

Theatre Critic, Debra Hall attended press night of Ostrich Boys at The Belgrade Theatre (B2) on Tuesday 13 Sept 8.00 pm. A repeat of this publication also appears at Remotegoat Stage

Cast members of Ostrich Boys Photography by Robert Day

Cast members of Ostrich Boys
Photography by Robert Day


Review: ‘Sully’ Is a Weirdly Good, and Original, Exploration of Heroism

From Jon Negroni, A Review of ‘Sully’ which Jon rates as an A Grade Film
Some movies are “based on a true story,” but it would be limiting to slot Sully, the latest film from Clint Eastwood, into such a broad, somewhat uninteresting category. When audiences …

Source: Review: ‘Sully’ Is a Weirdly Good, and Original, Exploration of Heroism


Chatsworth Country Fair on Saturday 03 September In Pictures (in the Rain)


The thirty fifth Chatsworth Country Fair was opened yesterday in a Grand Ring Opening ceremony (Friday 02 Sept) by the Country Fair President, Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and Wholefood Warrior, Eva Humphries

Our choice to attend today (Saturday 03 Sept) turned out to be a folly on our part with the weather being the overriding thing. The same view shared by everyone else involved and attending this day, I’m sure. Bet the wellie boot and umbrella sellers made a killing!

These pictures really convey a damp few hours spent at an organised grand event in the English countryside. They have their own charm however, because of the inclement weather. Enjoy viewing them:



a shaking Water Scurry participant after a dip in the River Derwent 


IMG_4282 (1)

In the Cookery Theatre and out of the rain – a live cookery demonstration by Great British Bake Off judge, Mary Berry



in an avenue between eight long rows of trade stands people mingled and browsed



The Household Cavalry Musical Ride


The Life Guards



Display performance from The Imps Motorcycle Display Team


One finely balanced mini ‘Imp’ 

Three Saturday hours spent with:













from the Children’s Zone















UNILIN flooring

7 smart reasons why UNILIN is a Growth Company

What is a growth Company?

‘A growth company is any company whose business generates significant positive cash flows or earnings, which increase at significantly faster rates than the overall economy. A growth company tends to have very profitable reinvestment opportunities for its own retained earnings’ Source: Investopedia

Here follows 7 Reasons why UNILIN is one of these companies:

1. Because since first becoming established in Flanders, Belgium in 1960, UNILIN has developed into a world player and maintains a leadership position in the flooring industry with its famous brands Quick-Step (introduced in 1990) and Pergo. UNILIN also manufactures products such as roof elements, insulation panels and furniture panels

Mohawk industries

2. And because UNILIN has been part of corporate retailing giant Mohawk Industries Inc since 2005. The UNILIN acquisition established a strong European presence for MOHAWK,  as well as bringing about a leading laminate position. Aside from Europe, Mohawk Production units are situated in North and South America and Asia too


UNILIN division flooring produces laminate floors, engineered wood and vinyl flooring (Quick-Step and Pergo). The division also produces and distributes matching accessories

UNILIN Division Flooring, Wielsbeke, Belgium

3. and UNILIN is a strong growth business because it is internationally active. UNILIN has nine production sites in Belgium with Unilin ‘s headquarters located in Wielsbeke near Waregem, Three divisions: UNILIN, division flooring (pictured above) Laminate flooring producing those quality brands, and Wood departments: which produce engineered wood, with a variety of natural decors; and Vinyl departments producing practical multi-layer vinyl floors with a printed surface in a variety of colours; UNILIN, division panels wood-based panels (particleboard, MDF), decorative panels; UNILIN, division insulation– roofing and insulation. Many other production units operating across Europe as a whole, plus a growing market in China. UNILIN also active in Brazil, in Australia, and in Vietnam too. Amounting to 20 Productions units internationally

4. And UNILIN is also a strong growth Business because it is financially sound. Consolidated turnover of the UNILIN Group amounts to € 1,4 billion

Unilin’s CEO Bernard Thiers (pictured above with 5 graduates) joined Unilin in 1984 as a plant manager, he has and served in roles of increasing management significance since that time, including President.

Unilin’s CEO Bernard Thiers (pictured above (rear) chairing a meeting with five graduates) joined Unilin in 1984 as a plant manager, he has served in roles of increasing management significance since that time, including President Image Source. Mark Magazine 2014 – a subscription magazine for the practice and perception of architecture

5. UNILIN is driven by innovation, with the company’s culture characterised by investments in technology and human capital. Therefore, being an employer of 4.800 people, it stands out as being not only a growth company but a passionate and one! At every level, real entrepreneurs are at the heart of UNILIN’s success, with attractive salaries and additional incentives for those that bring creativity and dynamism to the table and then becoming intrapreneurs who thrive. UNILIN was awarded the Top Employer from the Top Employer Institute België/Belgique 2016 certification

renewed production line

hi-tech production line at UNILIN, division flooring

6. UNILIN is a growth company as it produces high quality products: Laminate flooring, composite parquet floors and luxury vinyl flooring under the brands Quick-Step and Pergo. Note: Next month, September 2016, UNILIN, division flooring will be launching a brand-new Quick-Step Majestic laminate. 


Quick Step Impressive laminate flooring – IMAGE our own – a bathroom refit project showcased at tssreviews (Autumn 2015)

7. And last but not least, with ‘Respect’ being the cornerstone of the UNILIN philosophy, means the company is committed to its employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and everyone they work with. Having respect for the environment, UNILIN achieves good balance between economic, social and environmental considerations – which is why the business is successful, and so that everyone associated with this growth company is benefiting from its promise of top quality and service

UNILIN is TSS Business of the Month for August 2016



HW K950 soundbar

The Samsung HW-K950 Soundbar – Product feature

Samsung Electronics have today announced that the HW-K950 is the latest addition to its premium soundbar portfolio and the industry’s first to be custom developed to deliver captivating sound with Dolby Atmos technology, is now available to buy in the UK.

The Samsung HW-K950 is the world’s first 5.1.4 playback system to offer next-generation home theatre sound sporting 15 speakers, including four upward-firing Dolby Atmos enabled speakers and two rear wireless speakers, delivering overhead and surround sound.

Soundbar HW-K950

Soundbar HW-K950

At just 2.1” high, the HW-K950’s slim and sleek design features 15 built-in speakers including three forward-facing and two upwards-facing units which produce a rich, full sound big enough to fill a room. Specifically engineered wide range tweeters deliver the best audio in any seat, allowing people to enjoy crystal clear, accurate sound alongside realistic, cinematic detail for a breath-taking home audio experience.

HW K950 with speakers

HW K950 with speakers

The soundbar connects wirelessly to the subwoofer and rear speaker units, for a practical and seamless solution in any living space. This also means that ceiling-fitted speakers are not required for moving, multi-dimensional audio.

Not just for movie-lovers, customers can also enjoy studio-quality music with the HW-K950. Multiroom functionality enables the system to connect wirelessly to Samsung Multiroom speakers for High Res Audio in any chosen room ensuring the best possible music experience.

Commenting on the launch, Steve Mitchell, General Manager of TV and AV, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Interest in the HW-K950 since its unveiling at CES earlier this year has been phenomenal and we are hugely excited to be bringing the device to our customers in the UK. Whether you are listening to music, watching films, television shows or playing your favourite video games, we’re confident that the new Samsung HW-K950 soundbar will be the best product in the market to deliver the full impact of the entertainment experience, helping viewers get even closer to the action.”

The Samsung HW-K950 joins an award-winning AV product portfolio and retails at RRP of £1,299.99. For more information and stockist details visit



Combo Apps/Prisma

COMBO APPS: Mobile Extreme Editing

Prisma transforms your photos into artworks using the styles of famous artists:  Van Gogh, Picasso, Levitan, as well as world famous ornaments and patterns. A unique combination of neural networks and artificial intelligence helps you turn memorable moments into timeless art.”

Prisma Demo

You’ve watch the video and read the little bio about the app Prisma. So you’re wondering how does it all work, well I’ll give you the step by step and detailed information about the app.

Recently Added-528

Before you start using this app, make sure you’re online. I recommend using WiFi because I don’t know if this app will eat up your data. You can turn off the watermark without paying for it.

Recently Added-529

I like to go through my camera roll rather than take a photo. The app is set up in square format only. You can crop your photo to fit in the square. I tried pinching in and…

View original post 414 more words

the directors

Publisher Search Press is TSS Business of the Month for July 2016

Media and Publishing are the realms in which TSS operates and so excited to champion book publisher, Search Press, as our Business of the Month for July 2016

About Search Press

Now in its 46th year Search Press Ltd, is an award winning independent consumer publisher and wholesale business, operating from Tunbridge Wells, and one which has become a leading art and craft publisher in the UK. A family run business, Search Press has been championing and presenting, in book format, the best in fine art, textiles, general/children’s crafts since the company was founded by Charlotte (Lotti) de la Bedoyere in 1970

About Lotti

Lotti translated a book on Basket Weaving from German to English and published it in an attic room in Kensington. This the first of many titles with a winning format on art and craft subjects, at a good price, which proved to be popular. The move in the 1980s to Tunbridge Wells saw that Lotti had expanded the business at a fast pace, she continued to publish books of a series, developed new ones and commissioned larger titles

About Martin and Caroline
Lotti took the decision to retire in 1997, with son, Martin de la Bedoyere taking over as MD alongside wife, Caroline – Director of Sales and Marketing. Both directors having had knowledge and experience within publishing prior to, and both keen to carry on the high work ethics of Lotti (who remains well connected). To continue with her style and approach and to fit with publishing policies, but also to diversify, to grow sales, and to master the niche of being a high performing independent publisher. Directors: Martin and Caroline de la Bedoyere appear in the featured image at the top (Image: source

About the Books
Titles under the following main categories are: Knitting & Crochet, Needlecraft & Embroidery, Textile Craft, Practical Art, Beads & Braids, General Crafts, and C&T in the US

Amanda and Gordon Search Press Australia

Distributors Amanda and Gordon – Search Press Australia

About the Trade
As the company is a commercial business, its trading activity is global. Search Press has established overseas suppliers, and offices in Australia and the US. Search Press trade stalls and sales representatives have an ongoing presence at all major trading events and book fairs geared for publishing suppliers and book buyer interest, and, subsequently, Search Press titles are retailing in book shops nationally, internationally, and online

About the Website
The website is a web retailing outlet and includes a blue button to click over to the trade site, which operates (as many wholesale businesses do) on account based ordering to the Sales Department. Printed Wholesale catalogues and order forms are circulated regularly

Search Press author's party 2013 Image Source: Author, Debbie Shore

Search Press author’s party 2013
Image Source: Author, Debbie Shore

The Authors
Search Press has respect for its authors, who are sometimes talented newcomers with new and exciting ideas, sometimes returning authors with another title for Search Press. All authors are craft specialists within their field of expertise, who write well and are generous with their tip sharing; many books turn out to be bestsellers. Authors include: Beate Schmitz (an accomplished crocheter, designer, illustrator, writer and teacher); Debbie Shore (supplier of fresh and fun sewing projects) and Glyn Macey (who, in his own words ‘makes pictures with paint and stuff’) Some publications, like the ‘100 Little***to Make’ books are directly produced from The Search Press Studio
Note: Search Press accepts the submission of book proposals from those with a book idea as long as guidelines are followed


About the Teams
Search Press publishes up to 100 new titles each year, and so new releases are happening every month. Many staff members have been long term employees, working on both front and back list titles. Each holds a clearly defined position, but work closely with others and are supportive of one another. Under Sales and Marketing is Mary Ellingham the Publicity Manager, and under Accounts is Sue Hill -Trade Account Manager. The Editorial Team is headed by Katie French – Head of Editorial and under Production Marrianne Miall is a designer (digital) who also happens to be a Search Press author too! Michael Graham is Manager of a warehouse of 20,000sq ft and is home to 900,000 books
Altogether around 30 employees working at the premises North Farm Industrial Estate which includes in-house distribution and customer service

Mary (left) and Katie (right) pictured with author Lindsay Taylor (centre)

Mary (left) and Katie (right) pictured with author Lindsay Taylor (centre)

Search Press news
Search Press was the winner of two awards in the 2015 IPG Independent Publishing Awards. Awards received: Independent Publisher of the Year and Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year. “To dominate a competitive sector in the way it does is an outstanding feat.” Said the Judges.
The offices and warehouse at Tunbridge Wells have recently been extended.  A visitor to the studio, artist Alan Wollett is pictured working on a design below, also a new craft room is being used for workshops or demonstrations by customers, authors or organisations

studio visitor Alan Wollett

Studio visitor Alan Wollett


Making Great Illustration


ISBN 978-1-4081-2453-6
Making Great Illustration by Derek Brazell and Jo Davies (The Authors)
Published by Bloomsbury (imprint A&C Black Visual Arts)
Paperback Published 22.09.2011 Available at Amazon
RRP £35.00
Published as an e-book 10.05.2016
RRP £34.00


Introduction from The Authors
Foreword (with 3 sub headings)
10 main Chapters
The Photography
The Authors (about)

The book presents:
Illustrators and animators working in 2D and 3D across a broad area of career fields
Designers working in the commercial industry, in marketing and communication roles particularly, producing brand related creative content, logos, etc.

Chapters cover the following subjects: design, advertising and editorial concepts; philosophical commentary; development principles; observational studies; art direction and the illustrators’ work; the publishing world today; art and commerce; studio practices; working methodology; the link with storytelling narrative; and the different styles, techniques and approaches in making great illustration. All of this is led by a series of artist profiles in an interview format. Artists are indexed at the rear of the book. Profiles include case studies and many talk about cultural influences reflected in their designs. The talk is a mix of opinion, and a relaying of both professional and personal experience in the life of an illustrator

Information from an industry perspective. This book is not a teaching book, but it is a very good reference book. ‘An inspiring book’ better describes it, especially for people already working on commissions for clients, or who work in commercial areas that require some sort of illustrative practice i.e. advertising, graphic design, book publishing. Suitable too, for a wider reading audience interested in art and design and who enjoy ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ accounts from those making a successful living from their artistic talents across the globe

Marian Bantjes

This photograph of MARIAN BANTJES features on p111 of Making Great Illustration under the heading Typographical Illustration. The Client’s Perspective in this section is that of Terron E. Schaefer Group Senior Vice President, Creative and Marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue

10 main headings:
• Design and Advertising
• Fiction
• Decorative Illustration and Merchandising
• Editorial and Political Illustration
• Typographical
• Children’s Publishing
• Graphic Literature
• Fashion Illustration
• Topographical Illustration
• Authorial Practice
Under each heading is a single paged Client’s Perspective followed by a trio selection of artist interviews.
For instance, the Client’s Perspective under the heading Decorative Illustration and Merchandising is from MATTHIEU LELIÈVRE – Curator, at Musee des Arts Decoratifs , France. On the subject, LELIÈVRE (p54) says that Illustration is present in many museum collections, and in many forms, which reflect an era to which a variety of objects and artifacts belong, including manuscripts, lithographs; cartoons; photographs; posters. The artists interviewed under this same heading are ANTIOINE+MANUEL (France), CATALINA ESTRADA (Barcelona, Spain) and PETE FOWLER (London)
Another example to outline this repeated format comes under the heading Children’s Publishing the Client’s Perspective is that of Creative Director and Associate Publisher of Candlewick Press, USA – CHRISTINA PAUL. On the subject, PAUL (p114) talks of Picture Book making, acknowledging that Illustration is integral to children’s picture books, while reminding us that the genre is always a collaborative art form between author, artist, editor and art director/designer. The three artists profiled under this heading are OLIVER JEFFERS (New York, USA) QUENTIN BLAKE (France & UK), KITTY CROWTHER (Brussels, Belgium)
And this is the way the format goes. All artists have been carefully chosen to appear under headings which are appropriate to their individual art forms, and their high status within that category of their best working practice

A bright, modern, cover design, with exceptional print and paper quality throughout. A large Paperback measuring 280mm x 250mm. 224 Pages. Headings and Sub-headings as described under Main Body. Main text font is small, thin and fine, mostly black. Scattered quotes and typographical styles feature. Contributors have examples of their illustrative work beautifully showcased in full colour photography

Brad Holland

A portrait and studio photograph of BRAD HOLLAND, by photographer Andrea Liggins Note: This image features on p85 of Making Great Illustration Under the heading Editorial and Political. The Client’s Perspective in this section is that of New York Times Art Director, Jerelle Kraus

Over 250 full colour photographic images appear throughout.
Pencil/artist pen drawn portrait sketches of Lelièvre and Paul (and all the other Client Perspective contributors) are by The Authors themselves.
Informal photographs of the artists in their studios or homes mostly, open up a chapter, or appear within it, alongside examples of their illustrative work. The contributions of photographers are credited.

This, The Authors first published book on the subject of Illustration, is their original and their best


Wilder cover

Review of WILDER (a book of 21 fashion knits for women)

By Kim Hargreaves
Edition: Paperback
Publication: April 2016
ISBN: 9781906487256
Size: 215 x 280 mm
Pages: 105
RRP Price: £17.95 Amazon


LAKE from the knitting pattern book called 'Wilder' by Kim Hargreaves

LAKE from the knitting pattern book called ‘Wilder’ by Kim Hargreaves

SONG from the knitting pattern book called 'Wilder' by Kim Hargreaves

SONG from the knitting pattern book called ‘Wilder’ by Kim Hargreaves

PRAIRIE from the knitting pattern book called 'Wilder' by Kim Hargreaves

PRAIRIE from the knitting pattern book called ‘Wilder’ by Kim Hargreaves

TSS Says:

21 Knit or crochet patterns to make women’s knitted fashion pieces i.e. LAKE (a long line tunic with deep vents); SONG (a semi fitted sweater with cables and braids); WEST (a lacy scarf), PRAIRIE (a sweater with eyelets and button edgings) and BIRCH (a crochet beret). The ‘how to make’ methods are in the traditional knitting pattern format, with text being black on a white background which means instructions are very clear and makes reading easy on the eye in any daylight setting or under artificial lighting. The design of this book and the photography is extremely pleasing. The three images above are from the book (image source:, you will see that the model is pictured wearing the knitted items in natural outdoor settings in green or farmed fields, or in front of heritage style  buildings and fixtures. The Rowan yarns used are natural i.e. cotton and soft yak, and in colour tones with nature evoking names like Parsley and Sandstone. A must have book for those who love handmade fashion and working with yarn. Recommended