Month: November 2014

Review of Strictly Come Dancing (2014) Jigsaw Puzzle by Ravensburger

Under Review is this TV tie-in item: The Strictly Come Dancing Jigsaw (500 pieces) depicting this year’s (2014) Contestants! A TSS tester tells us all about it:   “I have never assembled a Ravensburger Puzzle before and I must say that it has been a pleasure to do so. This is a quality product which does not suffer from the problems of bending and breaking I have experienced with some obviously inferior puzzles I have completed. I have finished this puzzle which depicts the characters so very popular on the BBC. The picture is largely varied and therefore easier to put together but also has some areas of similar colour and texture which brings a welcome challenge around the edges. Well done Ravensburger! I shall look out for your beautifully made puzzles again.”     Advertisements

Stage Review: OTHELLO at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre

**** There are never many layers to a Shakespeare tragedy: OTHELLO features characters that have tyrannical tendencies, the plot escalates at astonishing speed, there is room allowed for a ripple or two of comedy in the madness of it all, and main characters experience demise at the end. Have no qualms, this adaptation hits the mark. This retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy is a pool room setting in a rough pub within a rough neighbourhood. Anarchy and aggression is advocated in the electronic dance music and in the behaviour of the young men. The girls are either hanging out or giving chase. The movement is vigorous, the pool cues are used in rhythmic terms, with choreographed moves where these items are handled and hand and arm locked by players in time with the music. Characters are true enough in this modern setting, Othello’s passion for Desdomona remains the key. Desdomona is best described as vivacious and popular under Scott Graham’s (Frantic Assembly) direction and Emilia is her loyal friend with a listening ear. Cassio is still …

DESIGN BY IKEA (A cultural History) by Sara Kristoffersson

  ISBN 9780857858146 Design by IKEA by Sara Kristoffersson Translated by William Jewson Bloomsbury (published October 2014) Price £19.99 CONTENT: list of illustrations Acknowledgements Chapters 1-6: Configuring IKEA, Once Upon a Time, Swedish Stories and Design, Sweden designed by IKEA, Counter-narratives, Democracy of State References Index Overview Essay style writing, which, rather deftly deals, in six information packed chapters, with the background and reasons behind the phenomenal global success of IKEA, and how a European country, namely Sweden, has obtained a cultural identity for itself largely because of this one giant of a brand. Delving deeper, Sara Kristofferrsson (the author) acknowledges that in the modern world Swedish and Scandinavian design has always influenced the industry and IKEA has never been slow to make reference to, and to be advocators of that very point. Yet, on the flip side, the author is able to state as a result of her research the following ‘That IKEA functions as Sweden’s face in the world as well as a symbol of Sweden is not just a role that the …

Go Ahead biscuit products – Review

The Go Ahead range from United Biscuits (UB) are promoted as being healthy snack items, rather than being meal replacement bars. No direct substitute, nutritionally speaking, for having pieces of fruit (fresh or dried); a pot of low-fat yoghurt, or a slice of plain toast, but obviously much more convenient to pack up and to consume while ‘On The Go’, so the idea is a good one. The product samples supplied for reviewing purposes did not have to travel too far from the Midlands Distribution Centre based in Ashby-De-La-Zouch; us being situated on a boundary with NW Leicestershire (just 10 minutes from the McVities site). Yet Go Ahead slices and break bars have been selling for a while in supermarkets and retail outlets countrywide, so this a range of fruity filled biscuits (some with toppings) that have earned their stripes for long enough, and as many consumers have either tried them, or are regularly buying, there is not much we can tell you in terms of quality and price that is not known already.   …

TSS Business of the Month for November 2014 is Northern Tea Merchants

Back in 2011 we partnered with this featured business to overview its long history of repute and to put a small leaf tea, a tea blend (in tea bags) and a ground coffee product to the test. We rounded all our findings in one dedicated post. Read it by clicking on the link here Recently it came to my attention (as Editor at tss) that Northern Tea Merchants had acquired a new website for itself, one with a functionality that is much improved overall and which now presents the quality of teas and coffees from many different origins, expert blends; herbal infusions and hot beverage making machinery, kits, accessory and gift items to better effect. The online purchasing experience is straightforward. Once registered, buyers can choose a specific pack size, quantity, or weight (whichever applies), and select the preferred grind in regard to the coffee selecting. The pricing is clear cut, item(s) can be added to the basket (or removed), and then one can move on through the secure checkout, using a debit or credit …

Stage Review – Dangerous Corner

We quickly learn that a man called Martin had died some months previous. A set of family and business related people spend an evening together, and while smoking and drinking they are slowly revealing bitter secrets and connections they had made in and around the knowing, and, in some cases, the loving of, Martin. Not long in we are suddenly keen to realise the circumstances surrounding Martin’s death, and the interest and intrigue, on the part of the audience, is to see how characters fit around this sad fact. This is the thing that grabs you early on. Nevertheless, this is not a revengeful crime thriller in a traditional sense. The revelations that come about are not Detective led. The play is fairly slow paced and tension does not really feature. Comedy is allowed to rise up, and, yes, it is most definitely a mystery, but it is the superb structure of the piece, by Priestley, that is the thing to applaud, because, at the play’s end, it has reverted to the point where it …