Culture Club

Issue 90

Rhona Dunn BEM - Chair of the Contact Morpeth Mental Health Group

Contact is an independent charity based in Morpeth, with a reach that covers the whole of South-East Northumberland, particularly Ashington, Bedlington, Cramlington, and Blyth.

They support people with mental health problems and/or their carers. People mainly on referral from GPs, Social Prescribers and Community Mental Health Teams as well as self-referrals.

Here Rhona tells us about her taste in music, art and culture.

Who is your favourite author and why?

My favourite Author is Edward Lear as he makes me laugh and we need to laugh in this world at the moment. However, I also like Wordsworth for his excellent and very lovely prose. My other favourite is George Orwell who wrote 1984.

What would be your three Desert Island Discs?

Les Miserables for the wonderful music and the lives of the people it portrays. Amazing choreography.

Vera Lyn, the forces sweetheart and her wonderful emotional songs that brought so much joy to so many hundreds of men and women who were far away from home and family.

Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus – Such amazing tempo and normally sung with such fervour and feeling by people who love to sing.

Who is your favourite film star and why?

Richard Burton – He was in so many amazing films and I particularly liked hearing him talk and his voice was very dominant but eloquent at the same time. He stood out from the others in the films.

What are your top three films?

Les Miserables – Again this film I have seen so many times and listened to the music many times as well. It portrays very strong people in difficult times and the music is so powerful it grips your heart

Sister Act with Whoopie Goldberg – This film was fun, laughter, sincererity, but struggling to keep safe at the same time. Particularly funny moment when the sisters were all floundering around the casino. Loved the singing as well.

The Wizard of Oz was a favourite with my two children many years ago and it was wonderful. Particularly liked the Tin Man and of course Dorothy and her red shoes. Judy Garland was wonderful. Nobody seems to make films like that now, all innocent and delightful.

Which poem left a lasting impression on you?

I love Daffodils by Wordsworth. His writing is so clear and understandable to all ages.

What box sets have you enjoyed?

I do not have any box sets, I would never have time to watch them! However if I did buy one it would probably be Lewis as I quite like him.

Who is your favourite artist or performer?

Do not have a favourite but in my younger days I liked Tom Jones and Frankie Vaughan. These days I like brass bands particularly local ones.

What is your favourite venue?

Lot of venues to like but locally I like Alnwick Playhouse as it is small and compact and wherever you sit you can see. Also been to The Albert Hall which has the most wonderful acoustics.

Which musical instrument do you particularly enjoy?

I particularly like the harp. It has such a wonderful delicate sound and it is the type of sound you could sit down in the quietness and let it wash all over you.

From the world of Arts and Culture who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

Judy Dench, Maggie Smith, Lowry the artist and The Archbishop of Canterbury.

Judy for her twinkle in her eye, Maggie for her dry sense of humour, Lowry, just love his paintings and The Archbishop for his openness.

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