The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
There's no escaping the work of Mike Kenny in Yorkshire this festive season.
The acclaimed children's playwright has been responsible for three family shows running in the region - Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel.
His adaptations are united by a desire to present the fairy stories from a novel perspective with the aid of a small cast. They are, nonetheless, very different in how they're realised.
Returning to the West Yorkshire Playhouse for the sixth year with his "big stories for little people," his Sleeping Beauty is a riot of fun and ingenuity.
Characters are larger than life, with many of the actors doubling up to play multiple parts while swapping old-fashioned aprons for crowns made out of balls of wool.
These inflated personalities are reflected in comedically exaggerated behaviour, with Simon Kerrigan as Noo Noo Nanna/Prince a twitching ball of energy as he flicks his hair, sucks on an outsize dummy and collapses on the laps of audience members.
It's a physicality that winds its way through the play in the same way a giant scarf is wound around Princess Briar Rose (Natasha Magigi) in order to protect her from spindles - rather like parents swaddling their children for fear of them growing up.
Ingeniously, the props connect with the wooden spinning wheel at the corner of the stage. The briar that grows over the castle while the inhabitants sleep for 100 years are roped lengths of wool and a wheel even forms part of a DIY drum-kit that's pushed around in a pram.
Sleeping Beauty runs until January 19. Box office: (0113) 213-770.