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Journo's muses


Spring fashion notes – our guide to what’s in and what’s not out for the coming 2010 season


Flash the flesh: the certain way to attract the paparazzi.

The dare-to-bare look guarantees attention - but don’t try this if your body shape is more Brawny than Bruno. Fashionista tip:   if your waist measurement is greater than your batting average try extra cover if you want to bowl a maiden over.



Cutting a dash: form is temporary, style is permanent

On or off the field the classic style wins every time.   The Dapper look was voted “Best Dressed Player of 1973” for three years running – in 2006, 2007 and 2008.


Get the look: accessories - the finishing touches make the difference. 

In this picture:   bat by Gray Nichols, gloves by Slazenger, pads by Kookaburra, shades by Oakley, all from Cricket Equipment Direct; underwear by Nike, Adidas, Puma, Calvin Klein, Marks & Spencer, George and La Perla, from model’s own collection.


Glance to fine leg: WAGs push the boundaries


The modern WAG is more interested in setting fashions than places for cricket teas.   Whether it’s pulling a bowler, scoring a batsmen or catching a fielder, LBW is the new BMW when it comes to grabbing these ladies attention.


HCC Coaching Manual

To assist our up and coming players we offer this illustrated masterclass in the art of batting.


The Cover Drive (first seen on the cover of the 2003 Kookaburra catalogue)

The classic stance: weight carried on the front foot and a good high backlift. Head held steady and eyes following the ball closely as it is tossed back from wicket keeper to bowler.

The Pull (not to be attempted with the WAGs)

Back foot across the stumps to create room for the shot, face of the bat opened after addressing the ball to display the maker’s name, eyes following the ball with head turned to face the photographer.

The Slog Sweep

Head facing the direction of the shot, body turned to display name on the shirt. Good balance at the conclusion of the follow through, bat held steady until ball is safely in the wicket keeper’s gloves.

Running between the wickets

An essential skill for a successful player.   Good coordination is essential between the batsmen - note here their matching gloves and pad straps. Batsmen on left shows particular skill in keeping all equipment makers names lined up and bat held carefully to avoid obscuring logos.



Theatre Review

Theatre review “Rent Boy at St Trinians” starring Richard Humpreys and Laura Stein at the Buriton Village Hall .

“Rent Boy at St Trinians” is an innovative and thought-provoking analogy of Hawkley Cricket Club presented in the guise of a girls boarding school.Through the dramatic device of presenting familiar issues in unexpected surroundings,  Humpheys and Stein challenge our preconceived notions and test our responses to them.

Richard Humphreys in the role of Rent Boy keeps the audience in a state of deliberate ambiguity and suspense. The presence of a rent boy in a girls boarding school is not explained to us, nor is it clear why Humphreys dresses throughout in a white umpire’s coat. Does this symbolise a yearning for authority, or does the flapping white coat hint at madness and anarchy beneath the surface? In scenes all too familiar to Hawkley regulars last season Rent Boy has women swooning at his feet yet consistently fails to score.

Laura Stein too strikes a familiar note as she plays the part of Head WAG with a chilling blend of jollity and plotting. The scenes where the WAGs ensnare and ultimately corrupt four young boys and an OFSTED inspector are particularly poignant: is this a warning to lock up your sons (and possibly OFSTED inspectors) whenever the marauding WAGs are on the prowl, or a wake-up call to the club to review its youth protection policies? The young boys pose the conceptual problem of the outsider within a closeted environ: are they welcomed guests or spurned interlopers? Do they symbolise a welcome touring side or the reviled Liss Thirds?

Another theme woven within the densely crafted narrative is the interaction between audience and cast, forcing us to question whether we are each of us at heart players or spectators. The Stetson-clad “agent” who emerges from the audience to sign the players to a recording contract is clearly a scripted plant, but what are we to make of the Sherif and his frequent interjections regarding Rent Boy’s sexuality? Is this an act or real life? This blurring of boundaries between fact and fiction is a recurring theme.

The final musical scene compounds rather than explains the inherent ambiguities underlying the production.  The characters dance to the music of Status Quo, but is this a deliberate pun or not? The white-coated Humphreys gyrates like an amphetamine-charged Larry Knowles simultaneously signalling four wides and a leg-bye, while the mini-skirted Stein reminds us that fine leg has meanings beyond the cricket field.

The interplay between the two principal characters is finely wrought throughout, particularly in the closing scenes where the phrase “big girls blouse” is cleverly implied by Laura’s shimmering top, ostensibly as part of a school prom but also clearly a coded reference to Rent Boy.

All in all this is a daring and sometimes unsettling production: the themes and the two principal actors are familiar enough to Hawkley regulars but the interpretation is fresh and challenging. Definitely a performance not to miss.