Michael Chanan's video blog: Bankers' Blues

FILM: Theatre under threat from the cuts.

Banner Theatre's 1 May Band perform a number from their new show, Cabaret Against the Cuts, on a visit to Chelmsford TUC. Banner has been performing community theatre for over 35 years but now face the withdrawal of their Arts Council grant. See www.bannertheatre.co.uk

Michael Chanan is professor of film at Roehampton University. His video blog documents the emerging anti-cuts movement and will lead to a full-length film. You can watch previous instalments here.

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"Samphire": a poem by Alison Brackenbury

"Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light. . . ."

My grandmother could cook it, for
she grew up by that dangerous shore
where the sea skulked without a wall

where I have seen it, tough as grass,
where silent men with rods trooped past
its salty ranks, without a glance.

Lear’s gatherer hangs perilously.
Why? So much is closed to me.
Did Shakespeare ever hear the sea?

Once, said my father, far inland,
from friend or stall, one clutch was found,
steamed, in my grandmother’s great pan.

Once, a smooth leaflet from a shop
claimed they could “source it”, but they stocked
bunched, peppered cress – Another gap.

Yet how it waved, in coast’s late light,
stalks I will never taste, could make
tenderly dark, my coast’s sly snake,
salt on my tongue, before I wake.

Alison Brackenbury is an award-winning poet. Her ninth collection, Skies, will be published by Carcanet in March

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The legacy of Europe's worst battle