MAJOR INVESTIGATIONS into Portsmouth, Pompey and lies about Lanzarote

Norman Warwick reads of a  



According to Gazaette Life newsletter, sent out on Monday 13th March in its weekly support of the monthly, glossy magazine of the same name, ´The British press has once again printed false and damaging statements about Lanzarote and its tourist strategy, including claims that Lanzarote prefers German tourists to British ones¨. 

Their report informed readers that  The Times have recently printed a large article on page 3 titled “Brits Too Grotty For Lanzarote”, while GBNews posted an article titled  “Lanzarote Plotting Crackdown on UK Tourists As Canary Islands Seek “Higher Quality” Germans.

The Times article stated “The leader of Lanzarote, a Canary Island wildly popular with British holiday-makers, says her community has had its fill of them and will seek to attract a “higher-quality” class of visitor from Germany instead.”

However, Cabildo president María Dolores Corujo has said no such thing. She, nor any other official on Lanzarote has ever spoken disparagingly about British tourists, or compared them to German, or any other, tourists. 

Gazette Life reported that Once again, the source of this damaging misinformation appears to be the Tenerife-based English-language newspaper Canarian Weekly, which on March 8th published a story about a woman who had complained about the behaviour of British tourists in the Canaries on the Mumsnet website.

In this article, the paper claimed that  “the president of the Lanzarote Cabildo publicly stated that their aim was to reduce the number of ‘low quality’ British tourists in favour of ‘higher quality’ European visitors”.

´The newsletter suggested that What the president, Maria Dolores Corujo, actually said in a press release announcing Lanzarote’s participation at the ITB Berlin Travel Fair, was “It’s vital to work on the diversification of the sector and on the growth of markets such as Germany, which are in line with our intentions to commit to higher quality tourism and greater spending at the destination, at the expense of mass tourism.”

The recent misleading articles in the British press, added to false claims in early February that the island planned to limit British tourists, have prompted thousands of comments from British readers who have criticised Lanzarote and threatened not to holiday on the island´.

It is brave of Gazaette Life to highlight this matter but we, like them, believe that the current stories are misleading and not truly representative. Because we are now residents and have lived here full time for eight years, we are I think, entitled to own a dog in this race.

These are challenging times around the world, and the global tourism industry might be jiving to the dance band on the Titanic, because globe-trotting will become increasingly difficult if the world struggles to become green and clean, to stave off what feels like constantly imminent world war, pandemics, rising prices and recession..

 larry book  As a book by my friend Larry Yaskiel tells us, there have been strong connections between The Canary Islands and The British Isles for over 600 years. Some of those connections are og huge historical significance and others are more light-hearted, but his book certainly suggests that the links built up over six centuries are too strong and too important to be mis-represented as fractured, unsubstantiated accusations and mis-quotes.

There are undoubtedly challenging times ahead for Lanzarote´s tourisdt industry over the next five yearss are so, and we do have to be ahead of the game, and thje opposition, in anticpating what new wants and needs tourists will require in future.

The notion that anyone in the current political situation would in some way denounce a large sector of visiting holiday-makers seems non -sensical, and completely at odds with previous promises to seek new holiday styles in niche markets like sport and the arts etc.

As resdidnets on the island and having lived here all year round for seven years now, we do enjoy the off peak periods when tourists are not quite so plentiful and when covid denied us any tourists all we have to say that the peace and quiet descended on the ialsn, in an almost tangible manner. Nevertheless, when we see our beaches busy there is always a summer musical-soundtrack from the speakers in the nearby bars and restaurants, and we know that they are doing a roaring trade. We perhaps should prepare for an era which sees aeroplanes become as extinct as the flying dinosaur, and i think we have heard clues that the forward planners of Lanzarote might already be doing in what I suppose we should call blue-sky thinking. For now let´s celebrfate the fact that we own a landscape and climate of which people form elsewhere cannot get enough .

Before our colleagues, DCI Detours (left) and Superintendent returned to their UK homes to continue investigations of their own, I told them stories of when I was, for a quarter of a century, a civilian cctv operator working on match days in the police control room for Bolton Wanderers. Given that DCI Detours and Superintendent Sidetracks were heading back to the UK to look into the arts scene  in the Portsmouth area there was some relevance. There had been a season or two when Bolton met Portsmouth in the league and Portsmouth fans were a pretty loud and lively bunch. One of them, looked upon by many of them as a leader, became known by the press, police and public alike as Mr. Pompey. Every time I saw him attending a match he was shirtless and bare chested, and covered in tattoos that probably covered a bigger acreage than our Burnden Park (originally) ground and the (later) Reebok stadium in Horwich. Every time I caught him on camera he had one eye on the match and one eye on the Pompey supporters to ensure they were paying attention to his exhortations to roar on the Pompey players.

Mr. Pompey (right) may have looked like an archetypal, aggressive, hard-guy football fan, but in fact he was a sweetheart, caring for his fellow football supporters.S

So I waved off Superintendent Sidetracks and his DCI back to the UK from Lanzarote as they left to investigate whether Portsmouth deserves to be so called or whether it remains closer to its slang name of Pompey (ie Pompeii). Their initial reports are promising, having had a quick look at the appearance of The Portsmouth Royal New Theatre Royal and quick look through the physical evidence they collected in the form of a current Royal Opera House newsletter including several items and people of interest.

I didn´t know the story then that the Pompey nickname for the team and its city had connotations to the ruined city of Pompeii and its likeness to the Portsmouth torn by the volcano of the second world war..

Maybe you would like to listen to, or even to climb the Wall Of Floyd (left). You can do so on Friday 30th June at- 7.30pm 

For those Floyd fans who have not seen The Wall Of Floyd performed in Portsmouth before should be prepared for a spectacular show that will remain in your hearts long after the event has ended. Our 2023 Dark Side Of The Moon tour is a one-off show capturing the essence of Pink Floyd’s iconic live and studio sound that Pink Floyd fans across the world crave to hear.

Bridget Christie There will be something very different on Sunday 24 September at 7.30pm in the Main House, New Theatre Royalthere will be sounds like a fairly introspective performance by Bridget Christie in Who Am I?

Our detectives tell us that Bridget Christie is hot, but not in a good way. The 51 year old critically-acclaimed stand-up leaks blood, sweats, and thinks that Chris Rock is the same person as The Rock. The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award winning comedian cannot ride the motorbike she bought to combat her mid-life crisis because of early osteoarthritis in her hips and RSI in her wrist; and wonders why there are so many films, made by men, about young women discovering their sexuality, but none about middle-aged women forgetting theirs. It’s a menopause laugh-a-minute with a confused, furious, sweaty lady who is annoyed by everything.

This brand new show from the Rose d’Or and South Bank Sky Arts Award winner, will remind people of just why she was the star of her own Netflix special, Taskmaster favourite, Channel 4 sitcom The Change and BBC Radio 4 series Bridget Christie Minds the Gap and Mortal.

So, from what our investigators tell us, Portsmouth is even making stand-up comedy accessible! This is a captioned performance. Captioned performances are for people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, or for those for whom English is not their first language. Captioning weaves words into text that appears on a screen at the same time as they are spoken

Thursday 5 October 2023 – 7.30pm will see the Nutcracker performed by the Classical Ballet & Opera House at
Main House, New Theatre Royal.

The Nutcracker, always a feast for all the senses, will indeed be a lavish Ballet of festive season,  featuring live Orchestra with over 30 musicians.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to your local theatre for a dazzling production of the most famous ballet in the world – The Nutcracker.

Snow flurries, sweets, princes, magic, and love, are just some of the elements that will be brought together. This highly accessible ballet, is full of familiar music such as the Waltz of the Flowers and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This ballet continues to capture the hearts and imaginations of all generations across the world. It is a truly captivating piece of theatre, a wonderful introduction to ballet whilst retaining its appeal for anyone who is familiar with it.

flamenco art Are you practiced in the Art Of Believing? If so book tickets now to come and join the audience on  Monday 16th October – 7.30pm

Experience vibrant and authentic flamenco music and dance from the spectacular Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company.

Composer and flamenco guitarist Daniel Martinez presents his unique musical production, where the audience will enjoy a rich variety of flamenco styles; from the intense emotion of a Seguiriya to the joyful sounds of an Alegria.

The Opera Boys – A Night At The Musicals will be presented on Wednesday 1 November 2023  at 7.30pm again inMain House, New Theatre Royal.

The Opera Boys are back with their sell-out show A Night at the Musicals. Completely updated with brand new musical medleys, stunning solo performances… and a few surprises!
Whether you’re a fan of modern day smash hit musicals like Mamma Mia, Hairspray and Jersey Boys, prefer the classics from the likes of Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammerstein, or adore the definitive masterpieces like Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera and West Side Story, this show has something for everyone and is perfect for musical theatre lovers both young and old. With beautiful vocal arrangements, spectacular close part harmony and a great line in humour, The Opera Boys have been delighting audiences all over the world with their unique show combining beautiful, powerful and emotional music with funny, engaging and light-hearted entertainment.

If you are folk of a certain age you may well have danced around your hat in your youth, and if so it might well have been the hat that once belonged to tonight´s guest artists.

Steeleye Span, who recorded that and other hits, will perhaps even perform it on Saturday 18 November 2023 – 7.30pm at Main House, New Theatre Royal 

Folk Rock Pioneers, Steeleye Span changed the face of folk music forever, taking it out of small clubs and into the world of gold discs and international tours. Five decades on and this six-piece line up celebrate over fifty years of this wonderful music  playing all the  favorite songs and tunes  from their long and glittering career.

 It only remains for Sidetracks And Detours  to offer to you the same advice as The Independent offers to fans of Steeleye Span. That advice is the same three words when we send out Superintendent Sidetracks and DCI Detours when we send them under cover to find the arts gossip on the streets.

¨Don´t miss them´!

Our friends and colleagues DCI Detours and the Superintendent were disappointed to be called back to the UK just as Lanzaroter Carnival 2023 is set march / dance / gyrate / stroll down past the wall of our researchers´ Playa Blanca home. We know they love this annual parade and we do feel sorry for them but I guess I and Dutton The Button will have to wander down there ourselves so that we might be able to share the sights and sounds with our Sidetracks And Detours readers.

Residents and tourists in Yaiza, or anywhere South of the town  have to wait a little longer than everyone else on Lanzarote for their carnival celebrations to start. However, from next Thursday, March 16th,  the southern resort will turn a whole host of vibrant colours.

Thursday, March 16th, at 5pm is the start of the celebrations with a Canine Carnival. The popular pet costume competition will take place in the square in front of the church in town, with prices up for grabs. Anyone can participate and spectators are invited.

At 7pm the same day, the opening parade for the carnivals starts with performances from Los Timanfeiros (a local dance group who will be dressed in amazing bird costumes in fitting with this year’s theme.) The parade will start at the same square in front of the church.

At 8pm, the Murgas and Chirigotas will perform a show (usually dressed as clowns and singing songs that poke fun at politicians and current affairs). The show will start in the same square.

Friday, March 17th, at 8pm will see the Ritmo and Armonia parade with performances from Los Timanfeiros, Los Cumbacheros, and Guaracheros starting at Calle Limones next to the pier and running through the Avenida de Papagayo, finishing at the square in front of the church.

At 9pm comes the grand Drag Queen Gala with performances from the best drag acts on the Canaries, as well as performances from Ballet Dance Pop and the Third Age Queen. The show will take place at the square in front of the church.

Following that, there will be an open-air ball with performances from DJ Elvis, Migui Roger and the Mabo Latino Orchestra.

carnival Saturday, March 18th, at 6pm… the main event! The full carnival will be parade with floats, groups and lots of music. Groups depart at 6pm from Playa Flamingo, pass through Avenida de Canarias, Calle Don Jaime Quesada, and Avenida de Papagayo until meeting at the square in front of the church.

Following that, Grup Bomba and El Combo Dominicano will spearhead the fiesta from the square in front of the church. You best bring your dancing shoes.

Sunday, March 19th10am is the start of the children’s carnival with performances from Chau Chau and Los Desiguales. The event will take place at the square in front of the church.

12:30pm, the daytime carnival with performances from El Combo Dominicano and Grupo Bomba, as well as the artists Fulanito and Oscarito. This will take place at the square in front of the church.

When we previewed Carnival 2023 season in an article called Carnivals, Kids, Devils And Drums, posted on (th March we included a section on the fairly new phenomenon of Los Diabletes, a government scheme to include young children, under supervision of their parents, to participate in Carnival as traditional ´little devils´that are part of the carnival folk lore.

In their strange, dotted costumes Los Diabletes are a rare spectacle. So don´t blink or you´ll miss them. These ´creatures´ create their mischief and are gone in a flash.

So don´t blink or you´ll miss them

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