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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Play: The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare


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Performed at the Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Garden Theatre by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Upon Avon and directed by Phillip Breen. 

It was wonderful to be able to go to the new, temporary Garden Theatre which has been built near the Swan Theatre, Stratford upon Avon and to experience a Royal Shakespeare Company production once more. We were lucky. The weather was kind to us and the whole evening was a delight! The Comedy of Errors was first performed in 1594. I have never seen it performed before but was struck by how lively and natural the dialogue seemed.




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Despite the ever-present COVID restrictions with mask wearing and one way systems, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the theatres again- The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre. The following day, we walked past the Other Place and it all looked to be safe and sound, waiting to re-open. Watching a play outside is an experience in itself. We started in bright sunshine, by a miracle, and gradually saw the evening dusk come on and the lights go up. The stage looked totally different under the lights in the dark but each had their own atmosphere and the final reunion at sunset was doubly apt. You were always aware of the audience and it emphasised the connection between the actors and the people sitting so close.
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    Of course, you have to suspend belief and take at face value all the good luck, chance meetings and mistaken identity situations which fill the play, with its pair of separated twins.Separation and reunion was at its heart, with the emphasis not just on separated siblings, but also on searching within yourself for all elements of your true self. When the Antipholus pair find each other, you are struck by how unsure they seem about this, unlike the Dromios who embrace and reunite in joy. It was a true ensemble piece with everyone playing their part. The live music enhanced the action and at times, punctuated the story for you. It lived up to its title, with standout comic timing from the Dromios. 

All I can add is that we will be back!

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