Tag Archives: play

Emperor Norton reigns supreme at the Jewish Museum

emperornortonMy brother regularly diversifies from his role as a movie producer to try his hands at other things – that’s what you get if you have the brain the size of a planet, and a work-rate as fast as The Flash.

This time, it’s a play: “The Emperor of America" -  based on the life of Emperor Norton I, a South-African/British immigrant to the US in the heyday of the American dream. Losing most of his money on an ill-fated set of investments in rice imports, he loses part of his mind – but the story that follows is a charming one of delusion, romance and sympathy as Emperor Norton makes his declarations, befriends a local journalist (One Samuel T Clemens) and charts out the remainder of his life.

There’s a read-through at the Jewish Museum in Camden on Thursday, at 8.30pm. Do come along if you are in the area, keen on this sort of thing generally or actually know something about Mr Norton – the play is funny and tragic in equal measures and entertaining in the extreme, regardless of my obvious bias.

The imaginative landscape of children

Transfomers Optimus Prime (Toys R' Us Exclusive)Watching Em play reminds me of the games I used to play, with my siblings and cousins, when I was growing up. Staring fascinated at the ball, or grabbing for Rigby (the bear) or one of her puzzle toys and waving stuff around with utter, magnificent glee is an absolutely wonderful thing to behold.

My own memories don’t date back quite as far as fascination with balls, but I have distinct memories of creating narratives around matchbox cars and my Transformers collection. The toys would be unearthed from the cupboard and arrayed for magnificent battle, heroic Autobots always triumphant over the evil Decepticons. Overnight stays with my cousin Reyhan would inevitably see us engage in one of these combat scenarios, although Rey – a year older than me – was always magnanimous about letting me be the good guys. I still remember the absolute pleasure I had when I managed to trade an Optimus Prime toy with Rey for some Decepticon toys. I’m sure he got the better deal in absolute value, but I had Optimus. Transform, Mr Prime, and roll-out.

I wonder what games Em will play once she gets past the ‘oooh, shiny’ stage (which arguably I’ve reverted to with my gadget-love).