In April 2012 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a reception at IWM London, part of Imperial War Museums, to launch the fundraising campaign for major new First World War Galleries at IWM London to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the war in 2014.
The reception is being hosted by Viscount and Viscountess Rothermere on behalf of the IWM Foundation, an independent charitable trust set up under the chairmanship of Viscount Rothermere to help generate funds for the Museum's ambitious future plans. The Duke of Cambridge became Patron of the First World War Centenary Campaign in December 2010.
|the editor, april 2012|
End of the Rainbow
Tracie Bennett took the West End by storm when End of the Rainbow premiered in London last November, with critics lavishing praise on her extraordinary performance, and audiences rising to standing ovations at every show. Now audiences can see this compelling production when End of the Rainbow visits Richmond Theatre from Monday 21st to Saturday 26th November.
'There are moments in the
theatre when you lean forward in your seat with shivers racing down the spine, and realise
there is nowhere on God's earth you'd rather be. End of the Rainbow is one such occasion.'
End of the Rainbow is set in the last year of Judy Garland's life when, with a new fiancé and her pianist by her side, she is set to make a comeback with a series of concerts at The Talk of the Town in London. Alternating between Judy's hotel suite at the Ritz and her concert stage, End of the Rainbow is an 'extraordinary rollercoaster ride of emotion' (Whatsonstage). Tracie Bennett's remarkable portrayal of this tough, talented, compelling woman has been rewarded with standing ovations throughout its sell-out West End run. This extraordinary production - thrilling, hilarious, moving and tragic - is directed by Tony and Olivier-award winner Terry Johnson, featuring a six-piece onstage band and includes Garland's most memorable songs - The Man That Got Away, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and - of course - Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
|the review to follow|
Don't miss this one if you get the chance!
|by Robert Day|
Mon 21 -
Sat 26 Nov
Box Office: 0844 871 7651
and don't miss at Richmond Theatre in 2012
editor, november 2011
Earthquakes in London
Directed by Rupert Goold
Tue 25 - Sat 29 Oct
Following its sell-out success at the National Theatre last year, Headlong's Earthquakes in London will embark on a seven-date tour this Autumn. Mike Bartlett's dazzling play is a high octane and vertiginous roller-coaster ride, which spans from the late sixties to 2525, examining our all pervasive fear of the future and the guilty pleasure in the excesses of the present.
It's Cabaret, we've got our heads down and we're dancing and drinking as fast as we can. The enemy is on its way, but this time it doesn't have guns and gas it has storms and earthquakes, fire and brimstone.
Burlesque strip shows, bad dreams, social breakdown, population explosion, worldwide paranoia, Earthquakes in London is a fast and furious metropolitan crash of people, scenes and decades as three sisters attempt to navigate their dislocated lives and loves, while their dysfunctional father, a brilliant scientist, predicts global catastrophe.
Mike Bartlett's plays include Love Love Love for Paines Plough, Cock, Contractions and My Child at the Royal Court, and Artefacts at the Bush. He is currently Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre. His play Cock won an Olivier award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement and he won the Writer's Guild Tinniswood and Imision prizes for Not Talking , a radio play for BBC.
Following Earthquakes in London's very successful run at the National Theatre there were some questions as to whether the play would easily transfer to a proscenium arch format.
Richmond Theatre very cleverly set up a revolving stage with 3 rolling sub-stages that effectively gave the play an almost cinematic quality, as the scenes speedily moved from one set to the next and allowed the production to maintain a cohesive and coherent story- telling structure that gave life to the idea of the three sisters at its core.
Earthquakes in London is a sharp indictment of modern society seen through the eyes of three women - one a very successful member of parliament; the second a pregnant woman fearful of giving birth and concerned for the future of her child; and the third sister a student out to have fun at whatever cost.
The play's dark themes are
lightened by the script's acerbic irony and wit, as it deftly communicates the many
relentless doomsday scenarios running through the play. But it
Headlong unashamedly perpetuates a position that repeatedly illustrates the selfish existence of modern-day society. The company's track record of looking at the world through glasses that are tinged with despair and tainted with the personal obsession and an 'I deserve' mentality successfully creates a devastating and yet inspirational world's eye view. And these contradictions - that on balance err towards the negative - allow each member of the audience to choose whether they will interpret the play as the last chance saloon in an ever deteriorating existence or an opportunity to change the world for good.
And with this choice on offer, on the table, the audience can interpret the title of the play as a 21st century fact: an earth-shattering event will take place in everyone's lives as each individual's "earthquake" manifests itself - be it in a literal, emotional, financial or simply personally devastatingly - or they may respond from a position that allows the strongest to survive.
Stand-out performances include Tracey-Ann Oberman as Sarah; and Paul Shelley in the role of Robert.
Mike Bartlett's plays include Love Love Love for Paines Plough, Cock, Contractions and My Child at the Royal Court, and Artefacts at the Bush. He is currently Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre. His play Cock won an Olivier award in 2010 for Outstanding Achievement and he won the Writer's Guild Tinniswood and Imision prizes for Not Talking , a radio play for BBC.
Multi award-winning director Rupert Goold is Artistic Director of Headlong; his most recent productions include Enron, for which he won the Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Director (Chichester, Royal Court and West End); Time and the Conways (NT); and Macbeth (Olivier and Critics' Circle Awards for Best Director; Chichester, West End and Broadway). Rupert is an Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and his credits include The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet and his upcoming production of The Merchant of Venice which reunites him with Patrick Stewart.
Headlong Theatre is one of the UK's leading national touring companies, dedicated to exploring new ways in making theatre. The company consistently pushes the imaginative boundaries of the stage and makes provocative, exhilarating and spectacular new work across the UK and the world. Previous work includes most recently, the multi award-winning production, Enron. Other credits include King Lear with Peter Postlethwaite (Liverpool Everyman/Young Vic) Salome (UK tour and Hampstead) Six Characters in Search of An Author (Chichester Minerva/West End/UK tour/Sydney Festival/Perth Festival), Rough Crossings (UK tour/Lyric, Hammersmith), The English Game (UK tour), Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness (UK Tour and Soho), and Lyric Hammersmith), and Faustus (UK Tour). The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Almeida), Angels in America (UK Tour)
Earthquakes in London
Tue 25 - Sat 29 Oct
Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm, Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm
AT RICHMOND THEATRE
The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ
Box Office: 0844 871 7651 (fees apply)
Tickets - £11 - £23 (us$18 - us$38)
(Premium seats available)
editor, september 2011
ENTERTAINING THE NATION
25 May 2011 - 8 January 2012
Jewish entertainers have brightened our lives for decades in music, stage and screen. We are all familiar with TV and movie stars such as Peter Sellers, Sid James or Simon Amstell, as well as famous directors and writers like Mike Leigh and Harold Pinter behind the scenes, and singers from Frankie Vaughan and Alma Cogan to Marc Bolan and Amy Winehouse. But did you know that The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Sex Pistols all had Jewish managers? Or that the classic English Ealing comedies were created by Michael Balcon, the son of Jewish immigrants?
This ground-breaking exhibition explores the stories behind these household names through a fascinating display of costumes, props, vintage photographs, posters and hands-on objects as well as archive footage and newly commissioned films, in our 1920s inspired cinema.
And if you want to participate then both young and old can enjoy a range of interactive activities.
A very charming and entertaining exhibit which is very well designed to both entertain, inform and educate.
And while you are enjoying the exhibition, why not enjoy
the permanent exhibition
JEWISH HOLIDAY Festival closures: 2pm closure - Wednesday 28 September
Closed Thursday 29 September, Friday 30 September, Saturday 8 October
2pm closure Wednesday 12 October
Closed Thursday 13 October, Friday 14 October
Closes at 2pm Wednesday 19 October
Closed Thursday 20 October, Friday 21 October
Last entrance is 30 minutes before closing.
Child (5-16): £3.50
Family ticket: £18 for two adults and up to 4 children
Museum Friends and Under 5s: free
*Prices include voluntary donation for Gift Aid purposes.
Admission is free to the Welcome Gallery, museum shop and café.
for more info call +44 (0)20 7284 7384
editor, august 2011
Wilton's Music Hall
see show info below
Originally, the Prince of Denmark Public House (1828, also known as the Mahogany Bar, from c.1839) owned by Matthew Eltham.
The Mahogany Bar came into the ownership of John Wilton in about 1850. The Music hall was built for him in 1858 by Jacob Maggs, on the same site, as the former concert room of the public house. The bar itself was retained as the public entrance, and the hall was built in the area behind the existing block of houses. This was common practice at the time, as 'street frontage' for music halls was very expensive.
The music hall passed into the ownership of George Robinson (1870), to George Fredericks in 1874, and then in 1877 to Henry Hodkinson. The hall was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1877, by J. Buckley Wilson of Wilson, Wilcox and Wilson of Swansea, when a raked auditorium floor and proscenium arch were introduced and re-opened as Frederick's Royal Palace of Varieties. In 1880, John Wilton died, aged 60.
The theatre is an unrestored example of the 'giant pub hall'. In the theatre, a single gallery, on three sides and supported by 'barley sugar' cast iron pillars, rises above a large rectangular hall and a high stage with a proscenium arch. In its heyday, a 'sun-burner' chandelier of 300 gas jets and 27,000 cut crystals, illuminated a mirrored hall. Today, charring is still visible in the rafters, where the chimney exhausted the heat of this massive device. The hall would have had space for supper tables, a benched area, and promenades around the outside for standing customers.
Wilton's was modelled on many other successful London halls of the time, including the second Canterbury Hall (1854) in Lambeth, Evans Music-and-Supper Rooms (1856) in Covent Garden, and Weston's (1857) (later known as 'The Royal Holborn'). Wilton's remains the only surviving example.
faster than sound: brainwaves
Wiltons Music Hall -
near Tower Bridge north bank
Opening up a unique channel of communication between the worlds of art and science, Mira Calix and Anna Meredith present music performed by the Aurora Quartet. Commissioned to mark the 40th anniversary of the MRI scanners invention, Brainwaves responds by blending acoustic and electronic sound in a performance accompanied by Loop.pHs multimedia installation Neural Nest.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Aldeburgh Music and Lumin Barbican Centre
Tickets £15 - for one night only!
review: It is a
reminder to all critics that stepping outside the familiar is a good thing to do and
Faster Than Sound: Brainwaves was a perfect example of seeing/hearing what's new on the
Within this spectacular
setting the stage was set for a challenging innovative piece of musical entertainment ....
but a word of warning: it is important for the producers to remember that it is difficult
for an audience to process computer generated sounds when they work in isolation.......
and as a result the first piece fell on 'deaf ears' as there was little to draw in
Images of computer generated
skulls and brains worked in conjunction with the 'beat' to highlight what it is like to be
encased in an MRI machine. The 'banging rhythm' of having an MRI was mirrored by the
sounds in the theatre; as the combination came together to engage an audience who quickly
became emmersed by the 'cocktail' that challenged the full range of their sensory powers.
violinist alina ibragimova and legendary film-makers and stage designers the quay brothers
July 25-27, 2011
Part of the Barbicans Blaze festival and CREATE11
Violinist Alina Ibragimova and legendary film-makers and stage designers The Quay Brothers present a new visual reimagining of great works by Bach, Berio, Biber and Bartók.
RPS Young Artist winner Alina Ibragimovas performance will explore all the spaces in the Hall, as lit and animated by the Quay Brothers.
The three concerts also include a newly
commissioned stop-motion animated film, which acts as a counterpoint to Bartóks
Solo Violin Sonata.
editor, july 2011
Following the accolades of this year's Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Flower Show offered the usual serene and less crowded alternative.
Difficult to compete with the success of Chelsea 2011, the
'how to' was at the centre of the show alongside its theme of Alice in Wonderland.
editor, july 2011
The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, SW3
winners and review
There is a rule that generally applies that when Chelsea is fantastic Hampton Court can pale in comparison. We will find out if this rule applies in a few weeks!
This year's Chelsea was the best for many years with highlights including - at least from this journalist's perspective - the B&Q Show Garden; the Gold Fáilte Ireland Show Garden; the Principality of Monaco Show Garden; the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Show Garden; and all the small gardens.
They were all equally stunning; and like many of the gardens at Chelsea this year they captured the mood of the moment - tranquil, green and often very urban, practical and harmonious.
Few examples of ostentatious taste made Chelsea's Gardens a delight to enjoy; and the whole experience entertained and empowered the would-be gardener.
And the edition of green and environmental examples which everyone could emulate to scale was a big plus for Chelsea in 2011..
SHOW GARDEN AWARDS
Best Show Garden: The Daily Telegraph
Copyright: BBB WorldWide 2011
Science is the cornerstone to the British Heart Foundation garden designed by Anne Marie Powell. The garden celebrates the 50th anniversary of the British Heart Foundation with a practical, yet conceptual, space designed to demonstrate lifes journey. The design is themed around the movement of the hearts veins and arteries and includes the aspirin plant, Salix angustifolia. Times Eureka Garden in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew aims to showcase the significance of plants to science and society. The species chosen demonstrate both beauty and utility and many have medicinal, commercial and industrial uses.
The Laurent-Garden explores the theme of nature and human intervention with an intention to bring together garden, art and architecture in a composition that both reveals and complements a shared philosophy. At one end of the garden visitors will be experience a calm, meditative space and in contrast the other is densely planted and romantic. One of the artisan gardens, The Art of Yorkshire, celebrates Yorkshires art and landscape and is an ornamental representation of Yorkshire through the eyes of an artist. It takes inspiration from the great Yorkshire artists and those who found inspiration there Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Andy Goldworthy and Joseph Turner.
The history of plants and the plant
hunters are also celebrated in many of the gardens and exhibits. Trailfinders Australian
Garden presented by Flemings Nurseries is based on the voyage of discovery undertaken by
Captain James Hook, the renowned botanist and joint founder of the RHS; The RBC New Wild
garden, designed by Dr Nigel Dunnett, combines ecological awareness with artistic and
sculptural use of materials, but takes its planting ideas from one of the founding fathers
of British horticulture, the Victorian horticulturalist William Robinson.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Ticket prices range from £15 (US$24) -
The RHS Chelsea
Flower Show is the worlds most famous gardening event and marks the start of the
summer season. The show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital since 1912 and
has had headline sponsors since 2001. HRH the Queen regularly visits RHS Chelsea before
the Charity Gala Preview, which is believed to attract more FTSE 100 guests than any other
UK event. Around 900 of the worlds media attend press day.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UKs foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
editor, may 2011
Saturday and Sunday, September 11-12, 2010
A Topiary Weekend of events
The Museum will be filled with displays of both Box and non-Box topiary, plus displays on the history of topiary and examples from some of the best gardens. There will be talks and demonstrations throughout the weekend.
Talks on Saturday:
Talks on Sunday:
And its your last chance to see
Christopher Lloyd: A Life at Great Dixter exhibit,
The rediscovery of the tomb of 17th century plant hunters, the John Tradescants, in the churchyard of St Mary-at-Lambeth led John and Rosemary Nicholson to save the church from demolition and found the Museum of Garden History in 1977. While the building is one of great beauty its original purpose was not to house an historic collection and as the 20th century wore on St Marys struggled to work as a modern museum.
In October 2007 a competition for the design of a new interior was organised. The winner, London based architects Dow Jones, devised a free standing timber structure to create a contemporary space, including the first gallery in Britain for exhibitions in garden design. The makeover was complete when, to reflect the constantly evolving nature of gardening, the Museum of Garden History became The Garden Museum. With our innovative programme of exhibitions, symposia and events we are as much about the last 30 or 40 years as about the last 400.
Other Events Coming up
Tuesday 28 September, 6.30pm for 7pm
Wednesday 27 October, 6.30pm for 7pm
a private garden illustrating the art of topiary
editor, september 2010
- for the best of athletics acton
Friday - Saturday August 13-14, 2010
Enjoy two thrilling days of world-class athletics and a real party atmosphere at the Aviva London Grand Prix as the world s top athletics stars jet into Crystal Palace.
The best of British will be on show as we welcome back the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team fresh from record breaking European Championship success in Barcelona, including gold medallists Mo Farah and Phillips Idowu. So far 13 of the successful British medallists have confirmed their attendance!
Part of the new and prestigious Samsung Diamond League, a series of the top 14 grand prix meets from around the world, expect to see fierce competition as the sports big names clash on the track and field.
The officials have got their starters guns at the ready as the fastest man in the world this year, Jamaicas Asafa Powell, takes on former triple world champion USA s Tyson Gay in the 100m.
As well as the current crop of stars, athletics fans are in for a real treat as four legendary Great British athletes are donning their spikes and returning to the track for the Aviva Legends Relay. Olympic medallists Roger Black, Jason Gardener, John Regis and Iwan Thomas will be on the track for a head-to-head race on Saturday 14th August.
Were getting ready for another weekend of world class athletics and family fun, so come and join the party!
Tickets are now available -
don't miss out being part of our sell-out crowd.
editor, August 2010
I Was Looking at the Ceiling
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Reviewing a show such as 'I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky' is not an easy task. With music by world-renowned composer, John Adams and lyrics by June Jordan - the most published African-American in history - presumes that the performances of the cast and musicians will be equal to the challenge. After all, this is not light entertainment!
While the choice of a
relatively inexperienced group of actors may not have been my first choice, the decision
led to a freshness and relevance in today's 'rainbow' society. However, I Was
Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky is a complex piece of work which requires
maturity and dexterity - aomething which may have proved too much of a challenge for some
members of this very young cast.
This show has all the ingredients to be great and with time and perhaps a larger stage which would better reflect the gravitas of the production I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky should be a London hit. The chance to hear fabulous music and great lyrics with accomplished singers and musicians is a unique opportunity and one which should not be missed!
The Barbican and Theatre Royal Stratford East jointly present a new production of John Adams acclaimed music theatre show I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky in July. Taking its title from a quote by a survivor of the 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California, the work explores the lives of seven inner-city young people living on the West Coast of America. The performances take place from 2-17 July at Theatre Royal Stratford East and are part of Blaze, the Barbicans six-week summer music festival happening across East London.
I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky is a love story that focuses on seven twenty-somethings as their lives become intertwined on their journey towards self-discovery. Their personal dramas play out against the backdrop of social and political themes including racial conflict, sexual identity, persecution of immigrants and desire to rebel against the establishment.
The unfolding drama begins when Dewain, a former gang leader, is arrested by LAPD cop Mike for shoplifting two bottles of beer. He had been hurrying home to see his girlfriend Consuelo, an undocumented political refugee from El Salvador. Mikes arrest of Dewain is captured on videotape for a local TV station programme hosted by Tiffany, an anchorwoman. Tiffany is attracted to the handsome cop, but he doesnt seem interested. Rick, a public defender whose parents were Vietnamese boat people, makes an impassioned plea in court for releasing Dewain. Meanwhile, David, a charismatic local Baptist preacher, is romancing Leila, a family planning clinic counsellor. An earthquake that devastates the city undermines the stability of their lives leaving them vulnerable and lost. All rationale is thrown out as their raw, impulsive instincts take over, forcing them to reassess their lives and confront a host of unavoidable truths.
June Jordan (1936-2002), the late poet, political activist and much esteemed essayist on African-American culture, wrote the libretto and the lyrics for what she described as an earthquake-romance. The songs of John Adams' music mix pop, jazz, gospel, blues and funk and are rich in the sound and rhythms of American urban life.
David (A Baptist preacher and a notorious womaniser): Jason Dentons recent work includes the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Leila (An educated, socially conscious family planning clinic counsellor): Cynthia Erivo is a recent graduate of RADA and has performed her blend of Neo Acoustic Soul alongside Miss Dynamite and Shola Ama at venues such as The Jazz Café, London.
Consuelo (An illegal immigrant from El Salvador with two children, client of Leilas): Anna Mateos stage credits include Zorro the Musical and Evita at Adelphi Theatre.
Dewain (Ex gang-leader): Leon Lopez is a seasoned soap star (Brookside, Hollyoaks: In the City). His recent stage credits include Stephen Sondheims A Little Night Music (Châtelet Theatre, Paris), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Rent. Leon also enjoys a successful career as a recording artist and is currently working on a Dance/Electro album.
Mike (An idealistic Policeman and community activist): Stewart Charlesworths musical theatre credits include Frankly Swing, The Tender Land (The Arcola) and Pirates Of Penzance (Union Theatre).
Tiffany (An ambitious television-reporter who investigates police work): Natasha J Barnes made her first professional musical debut as Anna in the 2010 Olivier award-winning Spring Awakening (Lyric Theatre).
Rick (a young public defender,
whose parents were Vietnamese boat people):After graduating from Artsed Colin Ryan joined
a CBBC production called 'Hounded' with comedian Rufus Hound and filmed a pilot called
Shelfstackers for BBC Switch.
Directed by: Kerry Michael and Matthew Xia
Music Director: Clark Rundell
Assistant Music Director: Sean Green
Designer: Adam Wiltshire
Video Designer: Tal Rosner
Sound: John Leonard
Theatre Royal Stratford East
This famous producing theatre prides itself in reflecting the concerns, hopes and dreams of the people of East London. Theatre Royal Stratford East both inspires and is inspired by its vibrant, young and diverse community in a continuous loop that draws from and engages with audiences like no other UK theatre can. Theatre Royal Stratford East has always been passionate about developing new talent encouraging writers, performers, directors and other artists to break the mould of contemporary theatre.
Theatre Royal Stratford East has put its unique stamp on this reworking of an operatic story. The production features a live synthesised soundtrack as a backdrop to these explosive narratives. The casting process held at Theatre Royal Stratford East was designed to find the most authentic voices to illuminate these characters and their tumultuous situations. After exploring a variety of vocal ranges, including classically trained opera singers, it became clear that the most relevant voices were to be found from a talented pool of musical theatre singers and recording artists. This has resulted in a strong cast of young rising stars chosen for the emotional tone they bring to each character. They have been plucked from a variety of musical backgrounds, including RnB, pop, gospel and musical theatre. The production features video design by BAFTA award-winning artist Tal Rosner.
Box Office (Theatre Royal Stratford East): +44208 534 0310
Box Office (Barbican): +44845 120 7550
July 2-17, 2010
editor, July 2010
H. Forman & Son's salmon
smokehouse on Hackney Wick's Fish Island
MAY 6-31, 2010
Curator , Mathew Booth
about photography, I think about the depiction of reality and its picture, the materiality
of this picture and the context in which a viewer might encounter it. Beauty, intrigue,
the illusory quality of the photographic image and the capacity to crystallize a time in
light are for me the curatorial factors that bring these works together."
The inaugural exhibition of
Photography at the new Smokehouse Gallery is located inside
The exhibition brings together strands of photography by Artists who are dealing with its elemental nature:- Light, Darkness, Shadows, Details, Focus, and the Illusion of Space - a new movement which is returning to the essence and origins of photography.
In contrast to Photography's ability to accurately describe a 3-dimensional space, this show exploits the photographs? capacity to foreshorten distance and draw attention to the material nature of the photograph, as an object, as an emotive experience, as deception and not as a documentation of space and time. The interest in how we view the world, our literal or figurative perspective in recording a reflection on reality, or how we consider the viewer?s gaze are all Postmodern concerns, but are also allied to the origins of photography, where people were recording their existence for posterity. Between Two Truths displays work that is not merely about recording our existence, but highlights something other than that which is apparent through normal sight. Time, light, depth, are all principal considerations within the realities created by the photographers.
Participating artists include: Tim Soar, Roy Mehta, Emma Critchley, Stuart Bailes, Louise O'Kelly and Matthew Booth as well as food and drink served from Formans Restaurant.
If you can find your way to Fish Island you are in for a treat. Not only can you discover a great photography exhibit at the Smokehouse Gallery, Fish Island; you can also enjoy a veritable smorgasboard of salmon dishes in Forman's restaurant.
But it is the exhibit that was
the main draw for the crowds who filled this really impressive new space.
This is artwork that you can see
on your wall and really enjoy. My particular favorites included:
Both the gallery and the restaurant enjoy a London view to be envied: the construction site of the new Olympic Stadium which will - is due course - host the London 2012 Opening and Closing ceremonies alongside the main event: the athletics track and field.
Forman's now enjoys a spectacular position overlooking the main stadium alongside the 24/7 contractors working on site.
Following the delicious and very
good value brunch, I was invited to join a group visiting the smokehouse for a
demonstration how to best slice a salmon. No fingers were lost in the process!
- however, it may be fair to say that a few waistlines expanded.
Forman's Smokehouse Gallery
London E3 2NT
stations: Hackney Wick - overground
editor, May 2010
at Excel in
This is the
largest showcase of the latest cutting-edge design, new homes, interior products and
advice, green building and renovation techniques, as well as the sleekest and most stylish
kitchens & bathrooms for your home.
2. GRAND INTERIORS: As Britain has
become a nation of homemakers, come and get inspiration from cutting-edge interior
designers and transform your house into a home! Whether you're trying to create the
ultimate in comfort, or the latest most stylish contemporary pad, the Grand Interiors hall
will provide plenty of fixtures, fittings and soft furnishings at exclusive show prices.
Grand Designs Live, London
May 1-9, 2010
at London's ExCel Centre.
editor, April 2010
- a night in the bunker
The annual celebration of after-hours culture in museums and galleries takes place on May 14, 2010 so why not stay overnight in Churchill War Rooms?
The sleepover will offer lucky visitors
the chance to spend the night in Churchill's atmospheric Second World War shelter beneath
the streets of Whitehall.
The package includes for
Tickets available on a first come first served basis for 50 adults (over 18s only) priced at a mere £45.00 (US$70 approx.) per head
Something special and
unique to tell your friends back home!
And so for the review of the night's entertainment - although I must admit I did not stay for the sleepover but slipped out around 11.00pm which happened to coincide with lights out.
Of course it may be that I did not share the somewhat 'Dunkirk spirit' of the paying guests as I watched a large room - 'the mess?' - fill up with a wonderful variety of sleeping equipment from blow-up, mock-suede, purple double-bed delights to wafer thin grungy-looking well used sleeping 'things'. No doubt here was little sleep and lots of fun and games as the guests had enjoyed plenty of get to know their fellow sleep-mates earlier that evening.
Everything kicked off with a series of group tours taken by charming members of the venue's teams of experts. Insider stories were shared with the public and there was plenty of time to try on wartime clothes and uniforms; point rifles at your best mates; and take a lot of group photos for the album.
Plenty of time was also allowed for exploring the museum and its fine collection; and it was so much better being there at night than during regular opening hours. It all seemed so much more mysterious as the atmosphere of the venue took hold of the imaginations of the unsuspecting visitors.
Don't miss the opportunity to join in the nighttime fun next time this fab opportunity comes around. After a very enjoyable dinner and an early breakfast the following morning, the air was let out of the sleeping bags and the the sleepover guests wanders out into their own daytime reality!
editor, March 2010
Maverik Showroom presents The Unknown collection of paintings produced in a Psychotropic Daze by Bernard Rangel. The first series of the Unknown collection was executed in Brazil and the succeeding series is a product of London.
Bernard Rangel has been experimenting with 'colour' since 1977. Progressing from solid black, white and red to a fluid myriad of colours where the positive and the negative on the canvas harmoniously neutralize each other.
It is idealistic to say colour is the core, the inspiration, the manipulator. Truthfully, stimulants, chemicals and the human brain's response to these external elements are the subject. Colour, the consequence.
Bernard calls himself 'father of contemporary tribal surrealism'. Obviously, a term coined during one of the many resultant "flashbacks" of his now youthful psychotropic days.
From the tropical sun of Brazil to the winter sun of London, where he is based now, Bernard has reflected on how 'colour' influenced his work. A carefully curated study is now on show at the Maverik Showroom, to be perceived in your own Psychotropic daze.
In pursuit of the unknown we explore, indulge and question.
a fun showcase
editor, January 2010
the review: despite the many years that The Snowman has graced the seasonal Xmas London stages, this was my first visit.
I rose early on a Saturday morning to join parents and children at an 11.00am performance and I was delighted to see a dance/ballet show for the very young and very old alike.
The staging and choreography were delightful in the first act with larger than life furniture not dissimilar to a Matthew Borne productions.
The characters popped popped out from all corners of the stage and the children seemed mesmerized.
All boded well for the second act after what seemed to be a very long interval - no doubt due to a long line for the little boys and girls room.
And so in time the curtain rose for the second act and hand in hand the Snowman and the boy flew across the skies into snowman land to encounter the very nasty Jack Frost.
But who was this baddie and what did he do wrong? and how did the kids know who he was? and why he might harm the snowmen?
Around me , informed intelligent kids - of not a very old age - fired questions at their parents: "how will they make Jack Frost behave better? What has he done wrong? And why did the little boy end up in a bed which stood alone on an otherwise empty stage?"
Extending the story of The Snowman may have seemed like a good idea, but the second half effectively missed a plot and any clarity.
I recommend a Best Snowman Competition with Father Christmas as the nice judge and Jack Frost as the nasty judge...... a sort of Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Snowman celebrity competition.
To the producers: for more details please email email@example.com.
and a very merry Xmas!
Now in it's twelfth year, the live version of Raymond Brigg's much-loved children's classic, The Snowman, returns to London's Peacock Theatre
In the past five years alone the heart warming tale has been performed at the Peacock Theatre 226 times to over 180,000 people and continues to enthral and capture its audiences year after year, at its annual visit to the West End. The Snowman tells the magical story of a young boy's adventures when his snowman comes miraculously to life on Christmas Eve. A glittering host of international snowmen and snowwomen are joined onstage by an array of colourful characters including dancing penguins, magical reindeer, a beautiful snow princess and her abominable beau Jack Frost and of course, Father Christmas himself. With its joyful combination of classic storytelling, music and dance, The Snowman is an enchanting Christmas treat for all the family.
The Snowman first appeared as a beautifully illustrated picture book by Raymond Briggs in 1978. It has since inspired the classic Oscar Nominated, BAFTA Award winning animated film, first transmitted by Channel 4 on Christmas Eve, 1982. The magical stage production features Howard Blake's timeless musical score played by a live orchestra, and includes the signature song 'Walking in the Air' which reached number 3 in the UK charts when sung by choirboy Aled Jones in 1985.
Suitable for children aged two and upwards, The Snowman is the perfect introduction to dance for the very young.
Schedule varies with shows at 11am, 2.30pm and 7pm
No performances on 8, 10, 16, 17, 25 December 2009 & 1, 6 January 2010
Tickets £12 - £30 (US$ 19/48)
Family Ticket: £90 (4 tickets inc at least 1 child)
Tickets: 0844 412 4322
editor, December 2009
a new venue for the RCA through 31.01.10
Fashion, Room 40 at the V&A is showcasing
highlights from the Royal College of Art (RCA) fashion MA graduates' final collections.
editor, July 2009
December 03 -14, 2008
Photographer Credit: Grant Smith
English National Ballet launch their Christmas season with an exclusiveinvite-only VIP celebrity party at St Martins Lane Hotel followed by a performance of Kenneth MacMillan's 'The Sleeping Beauty'.
Guest line-up may include the likes of David & Samantha Cameron, Alexa Chung, >David & Samantha Cameron, Daisy de Villeneuve, Sadie Frost, Pixie Geldof, >Erin O'Connor, Arlene Phillips OBE, Bill Nighy, Boris Becker, Cherie Lunghi, >Chloe Madeley, Claire Goose, Daisy de Villeneuve, Dannii Minogue, Edith >Bowman , Emily Maitlis, Erin O'Connor, Fabio Capello, Geri Halliwell, Harry Enfield, Heidi Range, Henry Conway, Isaac Ferry, Jade Parfitt, Jane Asher, Jemima French, Kate Nash, Keisha Buchanan, Laila Rouass, Lily Allen, Lily Cole, Matthew MacFadyen, Matthew Williamson, Nancy Dell'Olio, Natalie Dormer, Sadie Frost, Susie Amy, Tamara Ecclestone, Terri Seymour.
Tchaikovskys glorious music and MacMillans classical choreography reawaken the magic of the worlds favourite fairy tale in an enchanted world of castles and curses, forests and fairies. At Princess Auroras christening, fairies bestowed her with gifts of beauty, temperament, purity, joy, wit and generosity. The wicked Fairy Carabosse put a curse on Aurora; to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday.
The beautiful and kind Lilac Fairy cast a spell to counter the curse so that instead of dying Aurora fell asleep for a hundred years. Only the touch of true loves kiss could awaken her and undo the evil spell
Join English National Ballets 67 dancers and full orchestra for this dazzling ballet.
St. Martin's Lane
London WC2N 4ES
|Dec 03, 7:30pm
Dec 04, 7:30pm
Dec 05, 7:30pm
Dec 06, 2:30pm
Dec 06, 7:30pm
Dec 07, 2:30pm
Dec 09, 7:30pm
Dec 10, 7:30pm
Dec 11, 7:30pm
Dec 12, 7:30pm
Dec 13, 2:30pm
Dec 13, 7:30pm
Dec 14, 2:30pm
The production runs for approximately three hours, including two intervals of 20 minutes.
editor, December 2008
Company of Angels
Theatre Café Festival
November 10 -15, 2008
a selection of different productions at the festival, we chose The Child by Jöel
Company of Angels present Theatre Café Festival - it is theatre for Young People (14+), a frequently neglected area, which is bridging the gap between childrens and adult theatre.
Theatre Café Europe is about giving a platform to new European plays, some of which are written expressly for young people, while some have simply caught the imagination of young people in their own countries.
The Theatre Café Festival International Symposium brings together
writers, directors, translators, producers and programmers to see and discuss some of the
most exciting work for young people currently being performed in Europe.
The productions at Southwark Playhouse, Mon 10th Sat 15th November are open to public viewing, and the readings at the Unicorn Theatre are open to public viewing Tue 11th Thu 13th November.
Playhouse operates a 'airline ticket' style pricing:
Shipwright Yard Corner of Tooley St & Bermondsey Street, London SE1 2TF
Tel: +4420 7407 0234
editor, November 2008
the fabulous Apollo West End
Between September 18 - 28, 2008, ten prize-winning films, produced in 2007-2008, will be premiered in London showcasing the very best of new Russian cinema.
The programme promises a variety of styles, genres and themes, depicting a multifaceted Russian culture from new, imaginative angles. The main programme presents the most recent works of young directors and well-established cinematic masters.
Alongside the main program is a selection of documentary, short and animation films for children and adults including a special programme of experimental cinema created in partnership with the legendary Moscow film club Cine Fantom; and a premium selection of short films by young filmmakers presented by another prominent Moscow film club Art Kino.
Audiences have the opportunity to meet and share their thoughts with some of the most prominent figures of contemporary Russian cinema during numerous special events: talks, panel discussions and master classes.
The Russian Film Festival also features a special issue of ROSSICA N19 journal dedicated to 100 Years of Russian Cinema, various topics from unknown Russian films of the early 20th century to reviews of the best contemporary creations, and interviews with Russias most prominent filmmakers.
No-one should forget that St Petersburg was - not so long ago - the Paris of Eurasia; and modern day Russians are often seen to 'struggle' to reclaim their inheritance.
Two films encapsulate Russia's
introspection about its country and inhabitants.
The movie addresses the issues of work, marriage, relationships and much more through the eyes of one man; but his character fails to truly engage the movie-goer because he is neither 'good' nor 'bad'. In fact, the audience finds any emotional involvement a challenge. Yes, he is unfaithful and he does drink; but like the other characters portrayed in the movie, he does little more than illustrate his underlying insecurities. The star of the show is the aging actor who plays the 'manipulation card' to perfection; and that characteristic dominates in the film 'Cruelty'.
In Cruelty we find a much more
extreme character. The lead is just a truly nasty girl who does everything she can
to get her hands on a magic pot of gold. And her 'revenge' on men - which becomes
contagious - is so lacking in charm that this dangerous adventure is at once captivating
Manipulation may be a common thread in the selection of films in the festival, but on a positive note, there is a significant energized, emerging 21st century film industry in Russia and the honesty and integrity of the film makers should be applauded for its lack of commercialism.
2nd Russian Film Festival Programme
Thursday 18 September
Nirvana (93 min) Q&A with cast and crew 8.30pm-9.33pm
Saturday 20 September
Nirvana (93 min) 6pm-7.33pm
12 (153 min) Q&A with cast 8pm-10.33pm
Sunday 21st September
Terra Nova (140 min) 6pm-8.20pm
Simple Things (110 min) 8pm-9.50pm Price: £12.50/ concessions £10/ AR members 2 for 1 (concession rate)
Monday 22 September
12 (153 min) 8pm-10.33pm
Tuesday 23 September
Terra Nova (140 min) 6pm-8.20pm
Cruelty (90 min) 8pm-9.30pm
Wednesday 24 September Cruelty (90 min) 6pm-7.30pm
Best of Times (93 min) Q&A with the director 8pm-9.33pm
Thursday 25 September
Roundtable: Documentary Fiction vs. Fictional Documentary 4pm- 5.45pm
Virginity (89 min) 6pm-7.29pm With introduction by the director
All three events above can be purchased at a concessions rate - £24; or separately as priced.
Wild Field (104 min) 8pm-9.44pm
Friday 26th September
Drunken Sailor (documentary) (90 min) 8.30pm-10.00pm
Saturday 27 September
20 Cigarettes (90 min) 6pm-7.30pm Q&A with crew Price: £12.50/ concessions £10/ AR members 2 for 1 (concession rate)
Live To Remember (100 min) 8.30pm-10.10pm Price: £12.50/ concessions £10/ AR members 2 for 1 (concession rate)
Sunday 28 September
Best of Times (93 min) 6pm-7.33pm
Closing Night Screening Yuri's Day (137 min) 7pm-9.17pm
Monday 29 September
20 Cigarettes (90 min)
The Apollo West End, Regent Street is the perfect venue for a film festival with its 5 screens and ritzy bar.
editor, September 2008
Psycho Buildings: Artists and Architecture
through August 25, 2008
at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank
'The Hayward remains one of my most favourite art galleries and the exhibit Psycho Buildings: Artists and Architecture celebrates The Hayward's 40th anniversary.
As one of the worlds most architecturally unique exhibition venues, the exhibition effectively re-invents the venue and makes it a fun indoor/outdoor space with artists imaginatively taking on the world usually owned by the architect .
The exhibition brings alive the work of the artists who have created habitat-like structures and architectural environments with a twist. They are perceptual and physical spaces as much as psychological ones. Visitors of all ages can immerse themselves in these somewhat surreal and atmospheric installations that redefine the way that we relate to our surroundings.
Become an adventurous participant as you explore The Hayward's spaces inside and out, including a room frozen in a moment of explosive disaster, an eerie village of over 200 dollhouses, a floating plastic cloud and a skyline boating pond.
Artists included in the exhibition are Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan), Michael Beutler (Germany), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Gelitin (Austria), Mike Nelson (UK), Ernesto Neto (Brazil), Tobias Putrih (Slovenia), Tomas Saraceno (Argentina), Do-Ho Suh (Korea), Rachel Whiteread (UK).
The exhibition also includes a cinema screening of architecturally inspired films including: Chris Burden Beam Drop (1984) Andrea Fraser Little Frank and his Carp (2001) Gordon Matta Clark, Conical Intersect (1975) and Jane Crawford and Robert Fiore, Sheds, (2004)
If you are interested in building, space and architecture don't miss this exhibit which allows you to explore your potential future environment
editor, June 2008
June 27, 2008
A Gathering of 46,664 Great Friends and Supporters will attend the London, Hyde Park Concert
Many of the world's most powerful and instantly recognisable figures and a concert audience of 46,664 will pay their tributes to one of the world's iconic figures: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and icon of freedom, Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela, as he turns 90 later this year.
Among many guests attending you may spot President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Will Smith, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro and Forest Whitaker.
Artists confirmed as specially invited to perform for Mr. Mandela's birthday concert include Queen + Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Simple Minds, Leona Lewis, the Sugababes, Dame Shirley Bassey, Razorlight, Andrea and Sharon Corr, Eddy Grant, and Jamelia, along with international 46664 Ambassadors Italy's Zucchero and Spain's Amaral.
The concert proceeds will go to the 46664 campaign which raises awareness about the impact of AIDS, especially in Africa, and promotes effective HIV prevention measures throughout the world.
editor, May 2008
Team GB - Jarvis and Kerr
April 27, 2008
Ahead of the season finale at Brands Hatch on 2 - 4 May, A1GP World Cup of Motorsport will make a pit stop in London's West End on Sunday 27 April. Lower Regent Street in London will be transformed into an A1GP grid with all 22 nations' single-seat race cars lining up. Visitors to one of London most iconic streets will have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the 22 teams and drivers - as well as meeting Formula One legends Emerson Fittipaldi and Alan Jones - in an exciting family-friendly festival atmosphere. The event will boast a live stage with jumbo screens broadcasting A1GP's high-speed racing highlights and driver interviews from throughout the 2007/08 season. And to mark, A1GP's partnership with Ferrari, two 599 GTBs used as the series' safety car will also be on display. Display stands, interactive competitions along with food and crafts from competing nations will line the route and give a truly international feel to the day. With action for all the family the A1GP Regent Street Pit Stop will include tyre change challenges, activities for the kids and the ever-popular A1GP grid girls. There will also be the opportunity to witness the roar of an A1GP car engine to start the day.
editor, April 2008
a movie theatre near you
February 8, 2008
It is rare that an animation targeted at kids attracts the attention of the editorial team at thelondonseason but The Ugly Duckling and Me is a charming and funny Scandinavian production that will appeal to adults and children alike. Based on the much loved fairytale The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling and Me tells the story of Ratso, a wheeler dealer city rat, and Ugly, a baby duckling who goes through all the growing pains of the average child, teenager and through to adulthood.
Ratso scrapes by a living as a theatrical agent of a hapless, eternally ungrateful worm named Wesley. When Ratso ends up on a duck farm and becomes the caretaker of a large egg, he discover a potential new winning talent as the egg cracks and an unsightly hatchling emerges. Ratso nicknames it "Ugly" and reluctantly finds himself assuming the role of the chick's de facto father.
Dollar signs flash before Ratso's eyes as he sees Ugly as a potential source of income and he schemes to exploit his ugliness as an attraction at his cousin Ernie's countryside carnival. Together, the unlikely pair escape the duck yard for the Big Time, embarking on an adventure-filled journey that sees Ugly discovering the truth about his own and Ratso's identity. Along the way, even the heartless rodent comes to realize that there is much more to life than making a quick buck.
Filmmakers Michael Hegner and
Karsten Kiilerich deliver top-notch 3D animation in this rollicking, lightning-paced story
full of visual humour, witticism, and snappy dialogue that will delight the whole family
It may be animation but it truly reflects some of the more painful aspects of
growing up in today's relentless overwhelming 'celebrity look-good' culture.
editor, January, 2008
JACQUES BREL - THE RAGE TO LIVE
with Anthony Cable as Brel
New End Theatre,
the review: The
intimate New End Theatre proved a good choice for a very unexpected Christmas show.
More like cabaret than theatre, Anthony Cable gave a fabulous insight into many aspects of
the legend that is Jacques Brel.
Cable's dialogue between the songs was not as effective as his passionate singing performance. The story was somewhat repetitive and on occasions failed to provide an insight into some essential aspects of Brel's life It succeeded best when the stories were anecdotal - such as the brief but very descriptive story of Brel's film career; but the audience was often left out in the cold without a real insight into the more obsessive aspects of Brel personlaity.
The staging, lighting and choreography were particularly effective and the accompaniment of a piano and accordion set the scene perfectly.
At times Cable slid into a rather
strange variety of accents as he told Brel's story, but his ability to portray Brel's
character through the brilliant lyrics was pure entertainment.
Written and directed by Judith Paris, lyrics translated and performed by Anthony Cable accompanied by Franko Boac.
This new show, THE RAGE TO LIVE,
is presented by Song Merchants. Musical direction is by Stuart Barr.
Judith Paris trained at the Royal Ballet School and
danced with the company.
Anthony Cable is
currently appearing in THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Palladium.
Stuart Barr has a
dual career as musical director and singing coach for both
Boac is the first Academic Accordion Professor in his native Croatia. A many times
prize winner at international festivals, he has performed with the Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic, recorded concerts for BBC Radio 3, formed his own quintet and has achieved
international status as a soloist. He will be playing a 7-octave button Arco accordion.
2008 marks the 30th anniversary of Jacques Brel's death from lung cancer. He was 49. Brel had hurled himself quite literally against life, writing, performing, touring, drinking and smoking through countless sleepless nights and passionate love affairs. Then in 1966 his life changed.
Jacques Brel died of cancer, aged 49, in October
What do you do when you are faced with a wall?
Do you go round it or climb over it? Me, I go through it with a pickaxe.'
when: December 26, 2007 to January 13, 2008 at
what: Running time 75 minutes
how: Box Office +44870 033 2733
how much: Tickets: £15 (US$32)
editor, December 27, 2007
Phil Collins: The return of the real
through November 10, 2007
The Victoria Miro Gallery
In his new and timely exhibition - the return of the real - Phil Collins investigates the post-documentary culture which reality television has come to epitomise, and the accompanying issues of authenticity and illusion, intimacy and inaccuracy, expectation and betrayal.
Popular factual programming has been the central focus of Collins' multifaceted practice for the last four years. When the artist was nominated for the 2006 Turner Prize, he decided to use the world's highest profile art award to directly engage with the media, and in particular with the talk-show, makeover and reality-show formats which dominate 21st century television.
the return of the real #2, 2007,
Miro first opened her gallery in Cork St, London in 1985. In 2000 she moved to an 8,000 sq
ft former furniture factory in the northeast. In October 2006 the gallery expanded further
opening Victoria Miro 14, a 9,000 sq ft exhibition and viewing space adjacent to the
original gallery. Today the gallery is one of the largest commercial spaces in London.
Combining established names with younger talent, Victoria Miro represents four Turner Prize nominees: Ian Hamilton Finlay, Peter Doig, Isaac Julien and Phil Collins and two winners Chris Ofili and Grayson Perry.
16 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
t: +44 (0)20 7336 8109
Tuesday - Saturday 10.00am - 6.00pm
Monday by appointment
editor, October 10, 2007
aRCHITECTURE AND dESIGN
tHE dESIGN mUSEUM, LONDON'S sOUTHBANK
Zaha Hadid Zaha
Hadid Zaha Hadid is one of the most distinctive creative talents of her generation. She
won the Pritzker Prize in 2004, when she had only just completed her first substantial project, the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. Now she is busy working on projects that range from masterplans in Singapore and Istanbul, to an opera house in China, a museum in Rome, and a skyscraper in Dubai. In the last year Hadid has opened two substantial buildings in Germany: a car factory for BMW and the Phaeno Science Centre, for which she was shortlisted for the 2006 RIBA Stirling Prize. Both have triumphantly demonstrated her ability to translate the essence of her virtuoso spatial invention in solid form.
The Design Museum exhibition will be the first full scale show of Zaha Hadids work in the UK. It will also be one of the largest projects undertaken by the Design Museum, spread over two floors of galleries, and will focus on this recent extraordinarily productive period in Hadids
born in baghdad in 1950, she first
came to London to study architecture in
1972, and this year celebrates 30 years
in practice. She runs an office of 250
people, working on projects that range
in scale from urban masterplans in
Singapore and Istanbul, to domestic
objects and furniture.
In the 1980s Hadid attracted
international attention for her unbuilt
projects that remained on paper, but
nevertheless transformed expectations
of what architecture could be. recently
completed designs, including the
Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg,
the bmW Central building in Leipzig and
the rosenthal Center for Contemporary
Art in Cincinnati, demonstrate Hadids
commitment to building. She is currently
working on a series of projects that will
serve as defining landmarks in such
disparate settings as Dubai, rome
London was in the depths of recession
when Hadid arrived as a student in
the 1970s. Its architects were
experiencing both a shortage of work
and a loss of confidence. modernism,
as pioneered by Le Corbusier and mies
van der rohe in the 1930s, looked dead
as the utopias of the 1960s soured.
the Architectural Association, where
Hadid studied from 1972 to 1977,
provided a unique centre for debate
about new directions in design. under
Alvin boyarskys leadership it attracted
radical thinkers and practitioners of
every ideological persuasion. At one
time, bernard tschumi, rem Koolhaas,
Leon Krier and brian Anson were all
on the teaching staff. Classicists,
community activists, conservationists
and radical modernists all had a
platform. the experience clearly had
a profound effect on Hadid.
the school provided an environment
in which Hadid could explore one of
the twentieth centurys great art
movements, russian Constructivism.
this revolutionary period was the point
of departure for her breakthrough
project the winning design for
the Peak an apartment complex and
club overlooking the city of Hong Kong.
the design rejected the current
architectural style of Post-modernism
that applied decorative classical
columns and cosmetic stone façades to
every new project. Although never built,
the extraordinarily dynamic paintings
that she used to convey the essence
of the design commanded worldwide
attention and continue to shape Hadids
A series of architectural competitions
were the focus for a huge outpouring
of design energy in the early part of
Hadids career. these powerful visions
persuaded rolf Felhbaum, the owner
of the furniture manufacturer vitra,
to commission Hadids first realised
project, a fire station on the companys
factory complex at Weil am rhein in
Germany. It was followed by a series of
unrealised designs, including the Cardiff
bay opera House (1994-96), one of the
great might have beens of architecture
in britain. Hadid belonged to a
generation familiar with the idea of
architecture as a speculative, theoretical
activity in which design drawings were
as important as building. the delay
between conceiving the designs that
made her reputation, and building them,
made it inevitable that Hadid would be
represented as being more concerned
with theory than practice. these
schemes, however, gave her the
opportunity to develop ideas and
working methods that would form
the basis of new work.
After the vitra Fire Station was
completed in 1993, Hadid built very
little until the major projects of the last
three years. taken together, the Phaeno
Science Center, the bmW Central
building and the rosenthal Center for
Contemporary Art powerfully lay to
rest the myth that Hadid is primarily
a theorist rather than a builder. each
has a strong material quality, and
demonstrates her ability to translate the
dynamic warping and disruption of space
evident in her drawings into physical
reality. In these projects the jagged,
linear spaces of her earlier work have
melted into more voluptuous forms.
Work in progress
A wave of remarkable buildings, now
under construction across the world,
will define the next stage in Hadids
career. She is one of very few architects
operating on a global scale, building
outside the usual european and north
American circuit, with commissions
throughout the middle east, russia,
India as well as China. Hadid has a
visibility that has attracted projects
on an increasing scale. She continues
to explore fresh shapes and new
thinking, making the transition from
the world of theory and research,
to large-scale practice. and projects include
the opus office tower, Dubai, uAe, 2007
London Aquatics Centre, London
in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games
Design and architecture are different
activities. their scale, material and
structure require a distinct tactical
approach. In the last decade, architects
have rediscovered an interest in
designing small-scale objects, often
seduced by working on a 1:1 scale
within a short timescale. A chair is not
a miniature building, but it can offer the
opportunity to explore an idea, or an
architectural form. Hadids designs
include both functional furniture and
limited edition pieces that occupy
territory somewhere between art
Shad thames, London Se1 2YD
Daily 10am 5.45pm
Last admission 5.15pm
£7 (US$15) adults;
£4 (US$9) students + concessions;
free to members and the under 12s
Zaha Hadid will be in conversation
with Deyan Sudjic on 12 october.
Design overtime, the museums late
opening event, will return on october 5.
For tickets, call +4420 7940 8783
saving the Cutty Sark
(above) and guests
at the O2
(nee The Dome)
on July 2, 2007
LOCAL BOY JOOLS HOLLAND HELPS THE RESTORATION FUND FOR LONDON's LANDMARK, THE CUTTY SARK WITH BENEFIT GIG ON 2ND JULY at opening night of the indigO2 (part of the infamous Dome)
The sensational Jools Holland accompanied by his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra opens Londons most exciting new live entertainment venue, the indigO2.
The Cutty Sark Benefit Gig on 2nd July follows the fire that swept through the famous 19th century ship Cutty Sark in May.
The vessel is now undergoing a £25m restoration project and local Greenwich boy Jools Holland will be making his contribution to a good cause.
Proceeds from the gig will be donated to the Cutty Sark Trust to rebuild the 150-year-old tea clipper.
Performing tracks from his vast catalogue of hits, Jools will be joined on stage by three of the worlds biggest stars, the iconic Lulu, Louise Marshall, and soul songstress Ruby Turner an all star line up not to be missed!
A historical night for London, as Jools Holland opens East Londons exciting new music venue, indigo2, whilst raising money for one of Londons oldest landmarks.
State-of-the-art venue indigO2 opens on 2nd July 2007 as part of the multi-million pound redevelopment of the O2. Located in the heart of London with fantastic travel links via Thames Clippers on The O2 Express service or 7 stops on the Jubilee Line from Westminster. This new 2,350 capacity venue with superior facilities is set to be the jewel in the crown of London's already vibrant live music scene.
As a purpose-built music venue, indigO2 has been designed with perfect acoustics and has installed a top of the range JBL sound system, plus comprehensive, intelligent moving Vari-Lite lighting with follow spots. And for maximum audience enjoyment indigO2 features faultless sightlines; '7 second pint' fast pour technology at its two large bars, table service in the venue's 'Purple Lounge' with premium views of the stage, plus the luxury of more restrooms per audience member than any other venue of comparable size, ensuring a comfortable atmosphere, fantastic view and no long queues!
the editor, June 2007
Antic Disposition presents
A theatre journalist is often inundated with press releases from which they somewhat cynically select the shows that they plan to review.
So when a publicist forwarded the release on The Importance of Being Earnest at the Jermyn Street Theatre, I was intrigued.
First of all, I had not had a chance to visit the renovated venue. And secondly, the image on my desktop of a male actor playing Lady Bracknell gave me the opportunity to evaluate a new slant on a play that I had seen many times in the past.
I then - somewhat erroneously - made the next giant leap of faith and assumed as this publicist specialized in musical theatre, that this was an all-male cast performing a musical version of the Importance of Being Ernest in a tiny intimate, venue bang in the centre of London. A first in my career!
Enthusiastically, I accepted the invitation for press night and sitting in the front row I was determined to be open-minded about the originality and suitability of this unusual interpretation.
I struggled with the concept in the opening moments, as I was having difficulty working out how the 'male actor' playing Gwendolen Fairfax could possibly be a man; while at the same time concentrating equally hard on how to be sure that I did not trip up one of the very 'close-up and personal' actors.
I had little opportunity to discreetly check-out the programme; and then, seizing my moment, I took a quick glance, only to discover that the only member of the cast not playing a character of their own sex was James Pellow in the role of Lady Bracknell. All that mis-directed energy was then transferred to watching a very enjoyable and intimate production.
Pellow played his role entirely straight and the rest of the cast entertained the audience with a subtle raising of an eyebrow, pouting lips and haughty profiles.
The Jermyn Street Theatre added an additional and very welcome ingredient to the experience. The audience was drawn into the performance and became almost 'the confidante' of the characters, rather than spectators.
This very entertaining production of one of Oscar Wilde's best known plays is well worth a visit! And both the location and the venue are just great.
And the moral of the story. Read the reviews with more care than some journalists read the press releases!
This is the story of the Jermyn Street Theatre.
The Jermyn Street Theatre was once the changing rooms for the staff of the Getti Restaurant (formerly the Spaghetti House Restaurant) upstairs.
In late 1991, Howard Jameson had a vision - to transform the space into a luxury studio theatre in the heart of the West End. Materials, expertise and services were donated by 56 British companies and with major donation from Laings Builders, the challenge was complete. The doors in August 1994.
In 1997, a further National
Lottery Grant from the Arts Council of England led to , even better facilities!
Central to proceedings is the dominant figure of Lady Bracknell, whose disapproval of Jack as a potential fiancée for her daughter Gwendolen acts as a catalyst for the events that ensue. James Pellow undertakes the invigorating challenge of playing the patriarchal role of Lady Bracknell in a way that reinforces the absurdity of her character whilst conveying the sincerity of her convictions and social status. The cast of this exuberant production also includes Stephen Carlile who recent played Freddy in the UK tour of My Fair Lady as Algernon, Ian Hallard (Where the Heart Is) as Jack and Georgina Carey as Gwendolen.
Produced by burgeoning young
theatre company Antic Disposition, The Importance of Being Earnest is directed by Ben
Horslen and John Risebero with design by John Risebero, lighting design by Howard Hudson
and music by James Burrows.
may not be a new venue but it has recently raised its game by showcasing a series of new documentary movies: the latest of which is My Name is Albert Ayler.
evening performances from February 9 -15, 2007
My Name is Albert Ayler is a documentary movie
about the prophetic free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, who is seen as one of the most
important innovators of his time. He was obsessed with the idea of radical music -
which for the most part originated from the heart and the soul and the feelings of the
moment - rather from a page of sheet music. Largely disregarded in the USA, he
spent much of his time in Sweden where in 1962 he recorded his first album. Eight years
later he was found dead in New York's East River, aged 34. His death remains a
For fans of jazz, this documentary is a must. It incorporates historic footage of performances of Ayler's band, interlaced with memories from friends and family.
His style of jazz was innovative - and although many of his colleagues did not necessarily understand it or even know where it came from - they all recognized his great musical talent.
What gives the film a broader interest and wider appeal is the fashion in which the director captures a moment in time in the USA when black Americans were often isolated.
Ayler's music in many respects mirrors the soul of the political agenda at the time; and his 'escape' to a much more liberal Sweden makes further comment on how music was included or excluded in a society where equality was still something for the future.
A beautiful documentary encompassing music and the mood of the USA and Europe, My name is Albert Ayler is a sad and moving retrospective which can be appreciated by everyone.
On February 9, 2007 director Kasper Collin will introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A session, hosted by The Wire's editor-in-chief Tony Herrington.
From the creators of De La Guarda Directed by Diqui James
Fuerzabruta can best be described as the ultimate in dance installation; and it provides an ideal launchpad for the updated and upgraded Roundhouse (see below for more information).
The opening show makes perfect use of the 'in-the-round' space; as today's contemporary dance breaks new barriers in testing the strength of the dancers and the imagination of the choreographers.
The audience - who move around the open 'stage' along with the action - watch in awe as the dancers/actors crash through barriers, travel at speed around a a circular curtain and swim and glide with grace in a suspended pool of water.
The music follows the rhythm of the dancers and the choreography is enhanced by the sounds from the DJ.
Wear comfortable shoes because you will be standing for the duration of this hour-long sound and light, acrobatic dance and mime spectacular.
It's a one-of-a-kind show which successfully synthesizes modern choreography and special effects with contemporary music and visual tricks.
Don't miss out. It's a
perfect to start the night and can be followed by anything from serious clubbing to a
The Roundhouse, north London's landmark cultural venue reopens on June 1, 2006.
The opening show - Fuerzabruta - follows the enormous success of its predecessor De La Guarda which played to packed crowds for close to a year at the Roundhouse in 1999/2000.
The show combines the most physical theatre with the most stunning theatrical imagery the UK will have ever seen, and plunges its audience into a world that is at times hard, dark and aggressive, and at other times joyous and celebratory.
Twelve performers hurtle through this 65 minute show at breakneck speed, using every elemental force known to man. At times the performance treads the edge of real danger with alarming effect, the audience engages with what increasingly becomes an investigation into the mind of a crowd, where occasionally one person is left alone, struggling against the masses.
Like those of De La Guarda, the visuals and effects are stunning. Performers run and tumble across a vertical wall of technicolour cloth, a man runs headlong through a wall, two people try desperately to connect from opposite sides of a huge spinning and whirling sail and - most extraordinary of all - performers dance in watery world just above the audience's heads.
This all takes place to a soundtrack that traverses thumping club beats to the mellow sounds of new world music. The show is awash with colour and light, at times the bright strobed and head spinning lights of a nightclub, at other times soft, warming and beautiful colours fill the space.
A legendary venue
Arts for everyone
The Roundhouse launches with a thrilling production! This sensational international show, presented by the Roundhouse and with the support of Arts Council London, will be the first production in a new programme of work that will reflect the excitement and diversity of 21st Century culture, including music, new and physical theatre, dance, circus and digital media.
For Diqui James, creative director, Fuerzabruta reinvents once again the concept of a unique and unrepeatable live experience. The barriers between performers and audience break down during the show, and when the audience takes part the event becomes a celebration.
Studio 42 opens on 1 June with Grassmarket Project's The Foolish Young Man which tells the story of a man who, disillusioned by the effects of success and money on his life, sets out to discover some truths, to find something real. It is a social experiment with unpredictable consequences but he discovers that to make a difference you have to take risks.
Part of GMP's Bus Stops Youth Programme, The Foolish Young Man is a collaboration with David Harewood, 15 non-professional young performers, Director Jeremy Weller's Grassmarket Project and the Roundhouse.
Box Office +44 870 389 1846
June 1 - 30 July, 2006
Check with the Box Office for
Tickets: Standing only
May 16, 2006/ reviewed June 12
Bankside is transformed into a winter wonderland when Southwark Council holds its annual Frost Fair from 16 to 18 December and launches a spectacular 40 metre real ice slide which will remain open until 4 January 2006.
This year's Frost Fair is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors and last minute shoppers.
The fair is open on December 16, 2005 4pm 10pm, December 17, 2005 10am 10pm and December 18, 2005 10am 6pm, and located outside Tate Modern and Sheakespeares Globe, where the riverwalk will be filled with a festive atmosphere.
On the opening day of the Frost Fair there ise a dazzling lantern procession at 4pm.
Attractions include marquees, a beer tent, street entertainment, ice sculpting, 40 stalls selling festive food and high quality gifts, local and professional bands, childrens activities, street theatre and choirs singing favourite Christmas tunes.
The festivities continue into the evening with entertainment and a frozen ice bar serving mulled ale and wine.
The main feature of the Fair is an impressive 40metre real ice slide, which will run until January 4, 2006. The Ice Slide costs £3 for 2 slides and is open from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm.
The Frost Fair dates back hundreds of years to when the Thames used to freeze and Londoners took to the ice for fun and games.
The last Frost Fair was held in 1814, almost 200 years ago, until Southwark Council recreated the Fair in 2003.
December 15, 2005
Stop press: December 4, 2005
Paul Haarhuis from the Netherlands claimed the $100,000 (winner takes all) prize at the Royal Albert Hall after beating the defending champion Jim Courier in a closely fought - but easily won - singles match. It was definitely Haarhuis' day, as the doubles expert - with an admirable singles record to back it up - found the lines and corners with unparalleled consistency.
Courier from the USA fought hard but admitted that Paul Haarhuis played a better game.
The match unfolded with humor coming from both ends of the court. Playing with great style, Courier lost in two exciting sets full of long, skillful rallies. A full house at the RAH appreciated that both players were 'there to win', and Courier, who had beaten Haarhuis on every one of the four times they met in the past, declared "I'll be back".... looking to claim the 2006 title.
While perhaps seniors tennis might have been considered entertainment by some, this year the Masters singles was as competitive as any other major tennis tournament around the world; and the stars of the past always remain a pleasure to watch!
Stop press: December 3, 2005
Both semi-finals scheduled for Saturday had the potential to be close matches. By the end of the afternoon Courier came one step closer to defending his title when he beat McEnroe 6-4; 6-4.
McEnroe did everything he could to overcome a strategy from Courier
that left very little to luck. And despite the very entertaining rallies and
skilful play, Courier held his service fairly easily and showed few cracks in preparation
for the finals.
Stop press: December 2, 2005
ORDER OF PLAY
Jim Courier vs. Cedric Pioline Sergi Bruguera vs. Anders Jarryd
John McEnroe vs. Thomas Muster
McEnroe, arrived in London on Wednesday morning just before his first match was scheduled to start. Despite suffering from a bout of ill health, he showed plenty of evidence to suggest that he could make the quarters himself having been beaten by clay court specialist, Sergi Bruguera 7-6(5), 4-6, 10-2 (on a Champions Tie-Break). On Thurday McEnroe overcame the tricky Swede Mikael Pernfors 7-6(5), 6-4 to make the quarters. McEnroes win over Pernfors was a bad-tempered affair, with the American letting rip at officialdom on numerous occasions.
Thomas Muster and Cedric Pioline also made their intentions clear with victories in their opening round-robin matches on Wednesday. Pioline, who won the title in Novi, Croatia in June, defeated countryman Henri Leconte 6-3, 6-4 in a polished display on his Royal Albert Hall debut. For Muster, it was a reminder of how close he go last year to scooping the US$100,000 prize. He defeated Jeremy Bates, the man who had produced a sensational comeback against Paul Haarhuis the night before, 7-5, 7-5. Muster is now assured of a place in the quarterfinals, while Bates needs Muster to beat Haarhuis in their final round-robin match on Thursday in order to advance.
will have his work cut out to successfully defend his Masters Tennis title after the
quarterfinal line-up paired him with Cedric Pioline. Courier squeezed past Anders Jarryd
6-4, 6-7(3), 10-7 (on a Champions Tie-Break) in his final group match and admitted
that he would have to be at his best to overcome Pioline on Friday. Pat Cash also defeated
Pioline 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (on a Champions Tie-break) to win Group C. He will now face
the runner-up in Group B, Paul Haarhuis.
Courier squeezed past Anders Jarryd
6-4, 6-7(3), 10-7 (on a Champions Tie-Break) in his final group match and admitted
that he would have to be at his best to overcome Pioline on Friday. Pat Cash also defeated
Pioline 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (on a Champions Tie-break) to win Group C. He will now face
the runner-up in Group B, Paul Haarhuis.
Pat Cash also defeated Pioline 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 (on a Champions Tie-break) to win Group C. He will now face the runner-up in Group B, Paul Haarhuis.
Stop Press: November 30, 2005
He flew in from New York on Wednesday morning to compete in the Champions Masters for the ninth straight year.
'Diehard' John McEnroe (above) has been abandoned by one of his main competitors as Goran Ivanisevic bowed out of The Champions Masters at the Royal Albert Hall in London (November 29 to December 4) when his country called upon his services. Goran will now be the fourth Croatian competing in in the Davis Cup Final against Slovakia in Bratislava in December. The emergence and success of Central European countries in sport is relentless..........
The Royal Festival Hall - better known for music
than sports happily hosts this annual sporting special!
The 10 qualifiers are John McEnroe,
Cedric Pioline, Sergi Bruguera, Anders Jarryd,
joined by Jim Courier
and Richard Krajicek, Paul Haarhuis and Mikael Pernfors
as well asThomas Muster
and not fogetting Pat Cash
The two wild cards have yet to be decided.
Supporting doubles players include Mansour Bahrami, Ross Case, Peter McNamara, Ilie Nastase, Chris Wilkinson and Mark Woodforde.
ROUND ROBIN Final Results
Matches Won/Lost (Sets)
Sergi Bruguera 2-0 (4-1)
John McEnroe 1-1 (3-2)
Mikael Pernfors 0-2 (0-4)
Thomas Muster 1-1 (3-2)
Paul Haarhuis 1-1 (3-3)
Jeremy Bates 1-1 (2-3)
Pat Cash 2-0 (4-1)
Cedric Pioline 1-1 (3-2)
Henri Leconte 0-2 (0-4)
Jim Courier 2-0 (4-1)
Anders Jarryd 1-1 (3-2)
Mats Wilander 0-2 (0-4)
RESULTS FOR TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29 2005
Sergi BRUGUERA d. Mikael PERNFORS 6-3, 6-1
Jim COURIER d. Mats WILANDER 6-2, 6-4
Pat CASH d. Henri LECONTE 7-6(4), 7-5
Jeremy BATES d. Paul Haarhuis 2-6, 7-6(17), 16-14 (on a Champions' Tie-Break)
ROUND ROBIN GROUPS
Matches Won/Lost (Sets)
ORDER OF PLAY
ROUND ROBIN GROUPS
order of play
December 1, 1:00pm
Pat CASH v Cedric PIOLINE
BAHRAMI / FLEMING v NASTASE / WOODFORDE
Jim COURIER v Anders JARRYD
December 1, 7:30pm
John McENROE v Mikael PERNFORS
BAHRAMI / WILKINSON v McNAMARA / NASTASE
Paul HAARHUIS v Thomas MUSTER
Order of Play is subject to change
|November 10, 2005|
SOME GIRLS ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS
with songs of Morrissey and Marr
conceived by Andrew Wale and Perrin Manzer Allen
Aka Anonymous Society
the Theatre Royal, Brighton
October 17 - 22,
Anonymous Society continues its return to the UK with another beautifully visual piece of music theatre. This time they turn their attention to the songs of Morrissey and Marr, and have created a witty, ironic and emotional production Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others takes the songs that were performed by The Smiths and turns them into a starkly visual and haunting story. The show is part musical, part play - stunningly choreographed with imaginative use of movement. It can best be described as a theatrical installation.
Having trod the boards of the London Lyric Theatre earlier in the year, Anonymous Society find themselves in the seaside town of Brighton.
You have a second chance to see this fabulous production in just under an hour from Waterloo Station. Take a train trip to Brighton and enjoy the best of the fresh air followed by this challenging - but not too challenging - production.
A cast of 4 female and 2 male singers bring the songs to life with the aid of a string quartet and synthesized rhythmic loops. The performance is accurately described as an expressionist window on the lives of four women and two men, their relationships and their environment. It is the words and music of the songs that determine the mood and sense of the performance. And the performances are universally excellent.
In 1999 Anonymous Society created an award winning piece of theatre based on the music of Jacques Brel first at the Edinburgh Festival and then at the Lyric Hammersmith. It threw out convention, with music and choreography, a cast of singers and dancers and a spare, almost chilling aesthetic. Yet through the raw emotion of the music by Jacques Brel, the carefully crafted and beautifully observed performances, they created a world in which audiences became totally involved.
So don't expect an easy night out. There is no simple message to take home and no single interpretation.
And Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others demonstrates to its audience that in a world of Pop Idol and the X Factor, there are actors who can showcase a fistful of talents in a single performance!
THEATRE ROYAL, BRIGHTON
New Road, Brighton, BN11 1SD
Call Box Office
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
October 24th 29th 2005
Box Office +44870 787 5793
WARWICK ARTS CENTRE
The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
October 31st November 5th 2005
Box Office +4424 7652 4524
editor, october 10, 2005
400th Anniversary of
staged rehearsed reading, with original songs of The Rape of Lucrece by Thomas Heywood
October 6-8, 2005 at 7.30pm
the Lions part is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the building of the Red Bull with a staged reading of Thomas Heywood¹s The Rape of Lucrece and an academic conference at the London Metropolitan Archive.
The Rape of Lucrece by Thomas Heywood was one of the Red Bull's greatest commercial and artistic successes. Its thrilling combination of politics, madness, sexual crime and war in both intimate and epic writing was repeatedly revived, while the play's unsettling repertoire of popular song grew with each revival.
Staged rehearsed reading at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, directed by Sonia Ritter
Nothing could be more impressive than watching a play in one of the most beautiful hidden secrets in London. The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great was the perfect venue for rape, treachery, family feuds, Kings, Queens and intrigue.
The cast marched back and forth across the sacred flagstones of the church. Deceit, treachery and blind ambition was the tone of a play, reminiscent of one of Shakespeare's best history/tragedies.
The cast lied and vied for contro. And during the frequent 'lighter moments' the cast sang little 'ditties' as they wooed members of the audience.
A unique and fabulous night out and indeed a privilege to watch great performances in such a hallowed environment.
a Conference: Beyond Shakespeare's Globe at the London Metropolitan Archive, Saturday 15th October 2005
the Red Bull
The Red Bull Playhouse was an open-yard theatre which lay just off St John¹s Street in Clerkenwell. Built in 1605, it was a hugely successful rival to the Globe, and to Shakespeare¹s company The King¹s Men. The resident Red Bull company, the Queen¹s Servants, performed a remarkable repertoire citizen¹s dramas (including Heywoods A Woman Killed With Kindness), Jacobean tragedy (such as Webster¹s The White Devil) and a range of popular music-based entertainment. Remarkably, and almost uniquely, the theatre survived the ravages of the Civil War and Cromwell¹s puritans, and remained open throughout the Interregnum. The site of the theatre can still be discerned as Heyward¹s Place in EC1.
In this extraordinary play, unlike Shakespeare in his long poem, Thomas Heywood shows the full political build-up to the violation of the young Roman matron Lucrece, and its warlike results. Heywood stages intimacy and battle, inner madness and outward pomp in a manner unequalled in the theatre of the age. An extraordinary counterpoint to the mayhem appears in the interweaving of popular satirical song, making this possibly England¹s first stage musical. The play remained popular for decades, and we perform it from a newly-prepared script transcribed from the British Library and edited by Dr Eva Griffith, a member of the Lions part and the foremost authority on the Red Bull.
The performance will be accompanied with live incidental music as well as the songs.
the Lions part is a professional company specialising in verse drama and celebration. The company has performed at Shakespeare¹s Globe and its own seasonal festivals on the Bankside; at Hampton Court, the Painted Hall at Greenwich and on tour all over the country; while its members¹ work includes the RSC, National Theatre, Shakespeare¹s Globe, Original Shakespeare Company and the West End. They staged a similar event on the architectural remains of the Rose Theatre in Southwark, producing Marlowe¹s Dr Faustus (with Anton Lesser and David Bradley as Faust and Mephistopheles, also directed by Sonia Ritter). The company has charitable status with an educational remit, and aims to raise the profile of the Red Bull in the media, among theatre professionals and in academia, as well as with the theatre-going public.
The 12th century Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great is one of the treasures of the City of London. Built when Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, was King of England, it survived the Great Fire of 1666 and the bombs dropped in Zeppelin raids in World War I and the Blitz in World War II. It has an extraordinarily good acoustic for speech and a beautiful and atmospheric interior, recognisable from the films Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love and The End of the Affair, and in BBC 2's Madame Bovary.
The Garfield Weston Foundation The Worshipful Company of Mercers The Worshipful Company of Skinners (Lady Neville Charity) Private sponsors include Tom Stoppard and Sir Eddie Kulukundis.
|editor, September 28, 2005|
at the charming Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art 39a Canonbury Square, London N1
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Arte is a museum showing works from the remarkable collection of modern Italian art created by Eric and Salome Estorick.
Eric Estorick (1913-1993) was an American political scientist and writer who was also a passionate collector and art dealer. The Eric and Salome Estorick Foundation was set up in 1993 to manage not only the permanent collection but also to stage temporary loan exhibitions and educational events. Powerful images by the main protagonists of the early 20th-century Italian avant-garde Futurist movement, including Balla, Boccioni, Carrà, Severini and Russolo, are on permanent view. The collection includes works by such figurative artists as Modigliani, Sironi and Campigli and the Metaphysical painter de Chirico. Northampton Lodge also houses a library of over 2,000 books, primarily on early 20th-century Italian art.
In 1999 the museum was named Best Museum of Fine or Applied Art in the National Heritage/NPI Museum of the Year Awards. In 2003 it was awarded Highly Commended in the London Tourism Awards 2003 Small Attraction category (under 100,000 visitors).
Rotella Untitled 1972
Mimmo Rotella (b.1918)
Untitled, 1972 mixed media on forex, 84 x 112 cm
FROM FUTURISM TO ARTE POVERA Works from the Marcello Levi Collection
The exhibition of over fifty works by major protagonists of modern and contemporary Italian art co-curated by Francesco Manacorda and Robert Lumley.
The works have been chosen from the Turin-based collection of Marcello Levi (b.1922) who, over the last sixty years, has been one of the leading collectors of contemporary art in Italy. He began collecting drawings and paintings by members of the Futurist movement, such as Giacomo Balla, Nicolay Diulgheroff and Gerardo Dottori, before becoming one of the earliest collectors of Arte Povera. He played a significant role in promoting the Deposito D'Arte Presente, an innovative exhibition space for young artists where Giuseppe Penone held his first ever show and where Michelangelo Pistoletto's 'Zoo' theatre group was active. His friendship with the artists enabled him to acquire a remarkable series of works that have rarely been shown in public.
Levi was collecting at the same time that Eric Estorick was building his own collection but, unlike Estorick, he tended to collect abstract rather than figurative art. The exhibition's selection, installation and display of key works will bring out both parallels and differences in their approaches to collecting, as well as serving to illuminate a particular slice of cultural life in Italy in the second half of the 20th century.
The earliest work in the show is a drawing by Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), entitled Rhythm, Noise and Speed of an Automobile. Dating from around 1913, it is a striking example of the artist's exploration of abstract solutions to conveying motion at this time, following his earlier, more analytical, studies of moving figures based on photographic sources. Balla's curving and jagged forms vividly evoke the visual and auditory sensations produced by a speeding car, an icon of Futurist art.
The main focus of the exhibition, however, is the Arte Povera movement that was founded in the second half of the 1960s and promoted by the Italian art critic Germano Celant. Arte Povera (literally 'poor art') is not a household name, unlike other art movements of the 1960s such as Pop or Minimal Art. However, it has recently become better known following the success of the 2001 touring exhibition Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-1972. Like Futurism, Arte Povera emerged at a time of dramatic socio-economic change, against a backdrop of political upheaval and technological expansion. Unlike the earlier movement, however, Arte Povera was internationalist in outlook and sceptical about industrialisation.
Although a European phenomenon, it developed principally in Italy, centred around Turin in the north, which at that time was a burgeoning industrial city. The name 'Arte Povera' referred to the choice of humble materials - such as earth, iron, wood and rags - with which the artists aimed to challenge conventional means of creative expression, reduce the artificial gap between art and life and react against the commercialism of the art market.
The exhibition includes two works by Michelangelo Pistoletto (b.1933), one of the key figures of Arte Povera. Blue Daniela (1962/72), is an example of his signature series of 'mirror paintings' in which images of figures are superimposed onto reflective steel plates, thereby enabling the viewer to become an integral part of an ever-changing picture. Another work, entitled Little Monument (1968), is characteristic of Pistoletto's use of brightly-coloured rags, which for Germano Celant represented 'the confusion and multivalence of marginalised people', celebrating the diversity of human experience and the disenfranchised elements of society.
Many of the artists associated with Arte Povera explored natural processes and incorporated organic elements into their works, but none more so than Giovanni Anselmo (b. 1934). Whilst walking on Mount Stromboli at dawn on 16 August 1965, Anselmo became aware of the invisible elemental forces that determine the workings of the natural world. The consistent aim of his subsequent installations and structures was to engage with and make manifest these mysterious forces, harnessing energy, tension, the pull of gravity and the power of magnetic fields.
Mario Merz (1925-2003) is perhaps the most famous name associated with Arte Povera and the exhibition includes two of his works. Snail and Spiral (c.1970), expresses Merz's interest in the Fibonacci sequence and its association with ideas of organic growth, as well as exemplifying Arte Povera's experimental approach to materials. Double Murano Bottle with Neon (1967) is an example of the increasingly complex installations that Merz was creating around this time, in which commonplace objects are exhibited in such a way as to imbue them with an undefined metaphysical significance.
Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) drew on a similarly wide range of media, including embroidery, printing, photography and construction - an approach reflected in the untitled work on display in this exhibition which incorporates franked postal envelopes. Boetti's work frequently investigated the role of chance in artistic creation and embraced non-Western artistic traditions and disciplines, as in his famous series of embroidered maps of the world, created in collaboration with craftsmen in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boetti disassociated himself from Arte Povera in the early 1970s, but remains a highly influential figure.
This adventurous approach to materials was shared by Mimmo Rotella (b.1918). After studying art in Naples, Rotella moved to Rome in 1945 and began experimenting with a number of different styles and techniques including photography, photomontage, assemblage and phonetic poetry. Rotella is best known for his works of 'decollage' - images created from layered posters torn from the walls of Rome that reveal the artist's Pop Art sensibilities in a similar way to the brash work in the current exhibition, dating from 1972.
Levi's collection of Italian art exists alongside works by such international giants of Modernism as Man Ray, Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, all of whom are represented in the exhibition. Also included is Paul Klee, whose beautiful Stained Glass Window of 1939-40 exemplifies his sensitivity to colour and intuitive approach to composition by 'taking a line for a walk'. Kurt Schwitters's White Carnival (1946) articulates his personal interpretation of the aesthetics of the Dada movement, which he baptised 'Merz'. His collages, constructed from discarded items such as bus tickets, magazine clippings, fragments of wood, fabric and other such 'debris', represent a highly innovative approach to materials which may be seen as anticipating that of Arte Povera itself.
From Futurism to Arte Povera: Works from the Marcello Levi Collection represents the Estorick Collection's most ambitious exhibition yet in terms of showcasing more contemporary Italian art, aiming to explore the legacy of the avant-garde pioneers whose works form the core of its own collection in these sophisticated and stimulating paintings, sculptures and installations.
Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) White Carnival, 1946 collage and oil on card 28 x 23 cm
Tel. +4420 7704 9522
Francesco Manacorda is a writer and freelance curator based in London. In 2004 he curated The Mythological Machine at the Mead Gallery, Warwick, and has contributed catalogue essays for such institutions as Milton Keynes Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna and Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, as well as writing for Flash Art, Metropolis M and Domus.
Robert Lumley is Professor of Italian Cultural History at University College London. He has a special interest in 20th century Italian art and his book Arte Povera was recently published by Tate Publishing. He contributed to the catalogue Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-1972, Tate Modern, London, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 2002, and has recently contributed an article on Mario Merz to Artforum.
Wednesday to Saturday 11.00 - 18.00 hours
Shop: open gallery hours.
£3.50 (USD 6)
Events: There will be series of gallery talks, free with admission ticket on the day.
|editor August 30, 2005|
credit: IWMGold-painted ceramic figure of a seated bulldog with Churchill's head. Soon after Churchill became Prime Minister production of Churchiliana, in the form of figurines, playing cards and posters, appeared in their thousands.
at The Churchill Museum
|Churchill giving the V sign outside No
10 Downing Street, having just arrived back in London from Washington where he held
discussions with President Roosevelt.
Dedicated to the complete life and times of Winston Churchill, the museum forms the core of the Churchill Project, a major restoration and expansion programme at the once secret underground wartime headquarters of the Cabinet War Rooms.
This is the first national museum dedicated to Winston Churchill. It creates an intimate and multifaceted portrait of him, one that reveals the private as well as the public man, his talents and flaws.
The exhibition examines Churchills many roles as a leader, statesman, politician, soldier, father, husband and son. Visitors will gain a real insight into Churchills lesser-known qualities and traits as well as his celebrated role as one of the greatest leaders of his time.
The Churchill Museum offers a real opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Churchills life. A 50-foot long Lifeline - an interactive chronicle of Churchills life - provides the visitor with a unique hands-on experience. This personally operated exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to access the details of Churchills daily life at their own pace and with as much depth as required.
The museum provides a wealth of material in a variety of media:
It is the interactively of this museum in conjunction with the diversity of content and visuals alongside the integrated seating which makes this museum educational and fun for everyone.
Churchill Museum, featuring the original door to Number 10 Downing Street
credit: IWM / John Maclean
Churchill Lecture Series
June Professor John Ramsden - CHURCHILL AND THE UNITED STATES
This lecture will discuss Winston Churchill's firm and steady friendship with the American nation, including his American lineage and his honorary American citizenship.
John Ramsden, Professor of Modern History and Director of the Humanities Graduate School at Queen Mary, University of London
Tuesday 5 July
Michael Dobbs - CHURCHILL: THE WOUNDED WARRIOR
This lecture will discuss the chaotic and often deeply damaged private life that dogged Churchill from his earliest years and had a decisive influence upon his career.
Michael Dobbs is a novelist and broadcaster and was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. He has written numerous novels about Churchill including Churchill's Hour, Never Surrender and Winston's War.
Tuesday 2 August
Angus Calder - POPULAR CHURCHILL
Churchill became PM in 1940 with a popular reputation as a wholly unusual politician, the unique 'Winston' hated by some, mistrusted by many, but his own man. He inspired multitudes with old-fashioned eloquence, but also entered popular culture as all-smoking, all-drinking, mischievous 'Winnie'. This talk explores his unofficial presence in documents ranging from diaries to children's comics.
Angus Calder, a Reader in Cultural Studies at the Open University in Scotland until 1993. He is now based in Edinburgh working as a freelance writer.
Tuesday 13 September
Dr Geoffrey Best - CHURCHILL AND THE LAWS OF WAR
This lecture explores Churchill's ideas about the conduct of war and how they coexisted with his conviction that when wars had to be fought, they had to be fought all-out. His robust attitudes towards small neutrals, aerial bombardment and chemical warfare particularly invite comment.
Dr Geoffrey Best, Senior Associate Member of St Anthony's College, Oxford University and author of Churchill: A Study in Greatness.
Tuesday 25 October
Professor David Cannadine - CHURCHILL AS THE VOICE OF DESTINY
This lecture will discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of Churchill's speaking style, explain how he mastered the art and craft of oratory, and show how, in his 'finest hour', he 'mobilised the English language and sent it into battle'.
Professor David Cannadine, the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Professor of British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is the author and editor of numerous books including In Churchill's Shadow: Confronting the Past in Modern Britain.
Tuesday 15 November
Andrew Roberts - CHURCHILL'S REPUTATION: THE STATE OF THE DEBATE
Despite being popularly voted as the Greatest Briton, fresh assaults are constantly being made on the reputation of Sir Winston Churchill by revisionist historians, newspaper columnists, and lately Mr Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Andrew Roberts considers these, and how Churchill himself would have rebutted them.
Andrew Roberts, historian and author of Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership and Eminent Churchillians.
Tuesday 13 December
Professor Richard Holmes - CHURCHILL: THE SOLDIER
Despite his success in several different careers, Churchill received his only professional training as a soldier. In this talk Richard Holmes explores Churchill's time as a soldier and the impact it had on the rest of his career.
Professor Richard Holmes is a military historian, and started teaching at the department of war studies at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in 1969. He is the author of many books and documentary series.
The Churchill Lecture Series is sponsored by UKTV
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AQ
9:30am - 6.00pm (last admission 5.00 pm)
Special Free Admission To mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2005 the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms will be free to those aged 60 and over on: VE Day (8 May) VJ Day (15 August) National Day of Commemoration (10 July) Armistice Day (11 November) Remembrance Sunday (13 November)
Individuals Adult: £10.00 US$20
All visitors are provided with a free personal Acoustiguide sound guide, available in English (adult and children's version), French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew and Dutch.
|editor June 10, 2005|
Written by Becky Mode
Based on characters created by Becky Mode and Mark Setlock
Starring Mark Setlock
Menier Chocolate Factory
Due to sell out shows, Fully Committed has extended its run at the Chocolate Factory, Southwark Street until October 17, 2004
Fully Committed sounds like a play about relationships. But don't be deceived. The phrase 'fully committed' applies to a fully booked restaurant with no spare tables on offer. And a restaurant which is fully committed to its VIP list.
The show gives you an insightinto the 'shenanigans' of a 'hot' spot. How do you get a table when you are just a 'nobody'? Well, as demonstrated, as a rule you don't!
Struggling actor, Sam sits in a dingy room in the basement of the restaurant, fielding literally hundreds of calls every day from the most demanding, obnoxious, sniveling and frankly crazy would-be restaurant goers all after the same thing: a table for dinner.... tonight if possible! He is left to work the shift alone as his colleague's car has apparently broken down - although we later find out that this is just another little white lie which line the walls of the reservations department..
Sam is left on his own to handle all the calls just as Mark Setlock single-handedly plays every role.
Becky Modes play introduces the audience through Sam to the crazy world of chic restaurants, power-mad chefs, desperate resting actors, domineering Maitre-ds. Setlock, who created the role in New York, produces a bewildering range of accents and mannerisms bringing life to a cast of over 40 characters. The show first opened in 1999 and is set to run and run.
Fully Committed has universal appeal. Even if you have never claimed to try and get a table at a fancy restaurant and succeeded or failed or never visitedNew York, you can't help enjoy this hilarious show. Indulge yourself. It's is fabulous and absolutely worth the trip to the recently opened Menier Chocolate Factory.
A beautifully restored building, the Menier Chocolate Factory houses a flexible 200-seat theatre; a restaurant (serving very large portions at reasonable prices); a bar; a gallery and other multi-purpose spaces.
This latest addition to very trendy Borough is just another little jewel close to London's SouthBank.
The Chocolate Factory also
offers a a pre-theatre £25(US$45) meal deal ticket.
Dancing Around the World
June 23, 2004 at 6pm
The recent renovation of the Hackney Empire - home in the past to every type of entertainment imaginable - brings back to London yet another theatrical inheritance.
The BBC Proms - recognizing the history and heritage of the venue - will bring a night of classical music to the Hackney Empire on Wednesday June 23, 2004 as part of its Proms series. Dancing Around the World is designed especially for families and offers the chance to experience and participate in the power of the 70+ musicians of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Every ticket for the event is free and this is just another example of the variety of entertainment on offer at this beautiful and historic theatre. (box office details below.)
The BBC Concert Orchestra features some of the best musicians in the country and is famous for its work in film and television as well as its electrifying concert performances. Conducted by Robert Ziegler, the Orchestra performs a range of music from around the world including well-known favourites such as the Can-Can from France and Lord of the Dance from Ireland, alongside great musical scores from Austria, Spain and Brazil. Principal Percussionist of the BBC Concert Orchestra and childrens performer Alasdair Malloy features as a soloist and brings an extra touch of magic and humour to the evening.
Nicholas Kenyon, Director BBC Proms says: We are delighted to be able to bring BBC Proms: Out & About at the Hackney Empire, taking the best of classical music into the heart of the community. Its so important for us to take the Proms to wherever people are, and these projects are an important part of the BBC Performing Groups role. The evening will provide a fantastic opportunity for families to see live music at its most exciting, and well be offering the chance for them to come to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
To obtain tickets
for the event call
other unmissable events
June 25 - July 4, 2004
Turkfest The UK's first festival of contemporary Turkish music. The festival offers ten days of remarkable performances featuring the work of young leading composers, instrumentalists, folk musicians, dancers and Turkey's celebrated pop star, Candan Ercetin.
July 27 -31, 2004
Vodou Nation Created and designed by Brett Bailey. Performed by an all-Haitian cast of musicians and dancers, Vodou Nation is where African, American and European cultures fuse and collide in a spectacular multi-media montage of dance, video, carnival and ceremony - accompanied by the pulsing rhythms and harmonies of RAM, Haiti's foremost Vodou rock band.
September 23, 2004
Jule Styne Gala starring singers Kim Creswell, Anna-Jane Casey and Rob Raines and the full BBC Concert orchestra celebrating the centenary of the birth of songwriting great Jule Styne.
December 3, 2004 - January 8, 20 05
After an absence of three years, Pantomime - that very British tradition - returns to the Empire, with an extra special production of the magical extravaganza, Aladdin. At last it's back!
The Architect: Frank Matcham (1854-1920)
Frank Matcham was, beyond argument, one of the world's most accomplished and inventive theatre architects. The architect and theatre historian, Victor Glasstone, suggests that he was the most prolific of all time and adds: 'He was the supreme example of the unacademic architect who could become master of his craft and who could always be relied upon to deliver a lively, sensuous interior, inexpensively constructed, but acutely aware of the technical difficulties of sightlines, acoustics and construction
Matcham and two architects he helped to train, Bertie Crewe and W.G.R. Sprague, were together responsible for the majority - certainly more than 200 - of the theatres and variety palaces of the great building boom which took place in Britain between about 1890 and 1915, peaking at the turn of the century.
The thirty years following World War II saw a scything down of such buildings, then an unstudied, certainly undervalued and largely unprotected building type. By 1975 the number of significant Matcham works remaining in more or less complete condition had been reduced to fewer than 25, even after taking into account the modern recreation of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and such non-theatrical prodigies as Blackpool Tower Ballroom and Leeds County Arcade.
Frank Matcham's skill was well recognised by those who commissioned his buildings, but he did not begin to achieve fuller recognition until 50 years after his death - and it took a further 25 years to achieve the accolade of inclusion in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was certainly not admired by the leaders of the profession in his day, who saw his office (if they gave it so much as a moments thought) as nothing more than a commercial theatre factory. He was nevertheless, a master of design, creating the building type which, for most people today, is pictured instantly when the word 'theatre' is uttered. He coped triumphantly with powerful commercial pressures (all theatres in his lifetime were commercial) to squeeze the biggest possible auditoria on to the smallest possible sites, while complying with all safety and escape regulations and providing excellent sighting and sound for every seat in the house. His theatres were functionally perfect by the standards of their time and they are still, with judicious updating, fully capable of serving modem demands.
The man was endlessly inventive. No two of his theatres were alike. They employed nearly every known - and some totally invented - styles with seeming abandon but, in fact, with total control, producing magical effects which work on performers and audiences today as they did when they were first built.
NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE
Now in its 95th year, the now 'New Wimbledon Theatre' remains a short skip, hop and a jump from Central London. Just grab one of those frequent trains out of Waterloo Station on the SouthBank and within 15 minutes you will find yourself in the suburbs of London and just two minutes walk from a glorious Victorian Theatre.
Created by JB Mulholland, an Edwardian entrepreneur who believed that no community was complete without it's own theatre (and already the owner of the Metropole in Camberwell and the Kings in Hammersmith), Mulholland saw the late Victorian expansion of the Wimbledon area as an opportunity to back his beliefs.
The Theatre was built in 1910 on the site of a large house with spacious grounds, and was designed by Cecil Masey and Roy Young. The imposing Georgian Renaissance frontage was topped by the Goddess of Gaiety, a winged angel fixed high on the dome above the buildings. Inside, the walls and ceilings were covered with painted and sculpted figures in the style of the Italian Renaissance. To this day, the Theatre contains many of its original features; with one exception- it has a new angel. During the period of the Second World War it became clear that the angel was being used as a directional beacon by the enemy aircraft flying back to the south coast ports to inflict more damage after raids on London. The figure was taken down and of course was subsequently lost. During the refurbishment period in 1991 a public appeal was launched to provide a new angel to symbolize the rebirth of the "Grand Old Lady" on the Broadway.
On Boxing Day 1910, with Mr Mulholland as sole owner and General Manager, the beautiful new Theatre opened its doors with the pantomime Jack and Jill. For the people of Wimbledon and the surrounding area it was a glittering social occasion, the first of many throughout the Theatres history. Reviewed favorably by the Times, the critic added: "For beauty and size Wimbledon Theatre would not disgrace Shaftesbury Avenue". Wimbledon built a fine reputation, with star names and famous companies appearing week by week. In those early days, the programme was priced at one penny, with seats in the stalls a shilling, and sixpence in the gallery and a glass of whiskey in the interval cost fourpence!
All the great actor-managers and producers of the day brought their productions to Wimbledon, and the Theatre played host to names like Matheson Lang, Julia Neilson, Fred Terry, Ellaline Terris and Laurence Irving-it was he who gave a party on stage after what was to be his last performance, prior to his trip to America on the tragic maiden voyage of the Titanic.
The Mulholland years were highly successful, with big shows and popular entertainers playing to packed houses. Names as famous and diverse as Gracie Fields and Sybil Thorndike, Ivor Novello, Markova and Nöel Coward. By the time of his death in 1925, "JB" had established Wimbledon as one of the best touring dates in the country. The Theatre continued under the control of the Mulholland family, operating as a touring house with the Kings Theatre, Hammersmith. In the early 30s a repertory policy was introduced with success, but the competition from the new "picture houses" was growing, and nationally the live theatre struggled to maintain its share of the market.
Wimbledon fought back with a vengeance. Although it was a period of "ups and downs", the great theatrical occasions were still staged there including the last appearance on February 21, 1934 of the distinguished actor, Sir Henry Lytton. During the Second World War years, the Theatre kept its doors open whenever possible, and narrowly survived several near misses in the London Blitz. Again, there were nights to remember, with the Theatre presenting a succession of fund-raining gala shows - one of which was a star-studded bill, organized by Mrs Churchill in aid of war refugees, with the famous Flanagan and Allen leading the chorus singing from the Wimbledon stage.
More recently and after a chequered history, the Theatre re-opened in November 1968 and over the next five years the presented a wide variety of productions with some successes including the final London appearances of the legendary Marlene Dietrich.
And a few weeks ago, with a new make-over, the New Wimbledon Theatre under the management of the Ambassador Theatre Group, (the second largest theatre group both in the West End and in the regions) opened its doors with a Gala performance of Matthew Bourne's wonderful interpretation of the Nutcracker!.
After a sell-out success at Sadlers Wells and prior to a world tour, Bourne's trademark wit, pathos and magical theatricality, took the Wimbledon audience on a breath-taking journey from a hilariously bleak Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross Orphanage, through a shimmering ice-skating wonderland, to the spectacular candy folk of Sweetieland. Set to Tchaikovsky's much loved score, Matthew Bournes Nutcracker! was designed by Olivier Award winning, Anthony Ward whose recent credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
The renovated theatre provides the perfect stage for large scale shows. The steep theatre (not for those who do not like heights) is reminiscent of days gone by. And Matthew Bourne having achieved worldwide artistic and critical success for his innovative new versions of classic ballets that include Swan Lake and Cinderella, chose to kick-off his world wide tour of this sensational production at the New Wimbledon Theatre.
This was followed by one of the West Ends biggest hits, the very British 'The Play What I Wrote'
With special celebrity (mystery) guest stars making a surprise nightly, (including the like of Roger Moore, Ewan McGregor, Kylie Minogue, Nigel Havers, Sting) on our night at Wimbledon the stage was graced by a very funny and 'over the top' performance by Richard Wilson.
The theatre's season also includes a series of musicals hot off the press from the West End and kicking - off (literally) with Crazy for You. The all-singing, all-dancing, hit Broadway musical featuring a cast of over 40 talented performers, tap-dances its way though those old favorites including classic Gershwin songs such as Slap That Bass, I Got Rhythm, They Cant Take That Away From Me, Embraceable You and Someone To Watch Over Me.
No doubt future shows will include the same Breath-taking dancing and classic songs and for the cost of a short train ride you get a great show for far less than the price of a West End ticket. So consider the New Wimbledon option a worthwhile choice of new venue for the best of London entertainment!
Box Office: +44870 060 6646
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London has great plans for Trafalgar Square.
One of the great assets of a major city is a central square where pedestrians and tourists alike can stop to chat and linger. The square must also be surrounded by great buildings to admire....and Trafalgar Square excels in this arena!
Ken has taken an often maligned home for pigeon feeders and made it into a venue for all kinds of entertainment and a focal point for events which inform the public.
During last summer, tourists and Londoners alike found themselves in the heart of central London surrounded by live, free shows. The recently expanded space was home to a summer season of dance, mime, rock concerts and much more, performed by international artists
More recently, Nelson's Column was the backdrop as London welcomed the Olympic Torch to the United Kingdom. Ken and a crowd of prominent athletes together with a group of local school kids raised the flag of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games over Trafalgar Square.
In June 2004 - no doubt one great
Olympian, such as Sir Steve Redgrave (the five time Olympic Gold medallist), may be seen
streaking across the Square as part of a leg on the long journey to Athens. London
takes its role as one of the 33 cities across the world taking part in the torch relay for
the 2004 Athens Olympic Games very seriously!
But you will not have to wait until next year for some Trafalgar Square action.
The annual lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 4 of the Christmas Tree is a tradition. A gift from Norway, it is the official start of Christmas and an excuse to kick-off the Christmas Carol singing extravaganza.
Right through to the holidays, the fabulous Trafalgar Square, complete with the traditional Norwegian Christmas Tree, will provide the backdrop to a free programme of carol singing, which begins on Saturday, December 6 and runs until Christmas Eve.
Highlights from many of the fund-raising free concerts include - and these are just a brief selection:
Friday, December 12:
Thursday, December 18:
Saturday, December 20:
The Mayor says: 'The reopening of
Trafalgar Square has been one of this year's highlights, providing a wonderful backdrop to
some great free entertainment throughout the year........ What better way to spend an hour
or two before a night on the town, or on your way home.'
Please note that the Christmas
programme is subject to change. If you can't get there 'til after Christmas the tree
stays until January 6, 2004 - the 12th Night of Christmas....but no Christmas Carols!
The Royal Academy's fabulous new space at Burlington Gardens opens with a major exhibition dedicated to the career of the internationally renowned fashion designer, Giorgio Armani. The building, acquired by the Royal Academy in January 2001, has been brought to life as a new art space in the centre of London. Located at 6 Burlington Gardens, it lies directly behind the Royal Academy.
With minimal intervention to the building itself, a temporary new and exciting exhibition space has been created on the first floor. Within the transformed exhibition space - including the white-painted stairwell, acclaimed artist and theatre director Robert Wilson has created a specially conceived installation for Giorgio Armani: A Retrospective. He combines architectural elements, dramatic lighting, music, and customized mannequins, to provide a spectacular setting for Armanis designs. The location for this exhibit is perfect and the venue makes for a sensational home for the 500 mannequins who fill the rooms, as if at a series of parties
Burlington Gardens - with its restricted use for 'public service' - originally formed part of the Burlington Estate, and was bought by the Government of the day from the Cavendish family in 1854. The listed Grade 2* building - which was always seen as a centre for intellectual life, for the arts, and for education - was designed by Sir James Pennethorne, a distinguished Victorian architect, between 1867 and 1870. It's original purpose: for the University of London to house its administrative and examination functions. It is
From 1970 the building was occupied by the British Museum, housing the ethnography collection and known as the Museum of Mankind. It closed to the public in December 1997. Today, the original galleries now form a continuous circuit of exhibition space with the addition of a bridge over the mezzanine gallery. The entrance hall and stairwell have been painted white throughout, revealing the decorative plasterwork.
The beautifully preserved building now enjoys enhanced facilities on the ground floor including a ticket office, cloakroom, a large entertaining room, a redecorated café and a refitted shop full of fab Armani goodies.
So if you want a good cup of coffee and expensive museum gifts this sensational space - its interiors reminiscent of the best of New York loft buildings (but with a central staircase) - is a 'must checkout' addition to your London 'best list'
A View into the Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, Islington, London, N1 1TA
September 8 update:
I.D. by Anthony Sher runs through October 18, 2003. It's the first opportunity that I have had to see a production at the Almeida since its renovation, and the theatre achieved everything that it set out to do - the acting space and the auditorium are almost all inclusive.
Consistent with a completely integrated experience, images from the play appear throughout the venue. The bar and foyer - which are also almost of a single space - act to prompt the audience that they are always part of a theatrical experience.
Some plays succeed in entertaining and others take on a different role. In Sher's first attempt at writing about his country South Africa you feel that he chose the Almeida as the venue for his world premiere because the stark rounded stage feels as if it could be the center of apartheid.
Certainly the audience share the experience of almost choking claustrophobia as Sher performs the role of a character engaged in the ultimate apartheid dilemma: appearing to be 'white', but according to apartheid law, a black man. Demetrios Tsafendas fails to change his I.D. status and therefore is rejected by his only love. Disenfranchised as a result of his inability to finds his place in society- even within the unbearably, desocialized South Africa, he assassinates the founder of Apartheid who is the very core representation of his lost love, Prime Minister Minister Hendrick Verwoerd. The chilling repetition of Verwoerd's words - that either the assassins are mad or we (the government) are mad - makes the statement on behalf of any modern leader.
I.D. acts as a lesson for the audience where knowledge of South African politics may not extend beyond Nelson Mandela.
With his mission to explain, we are drawn into the history by the intimacy of the production; and from which the audience may take away a new awareness of the dangers of any extreme ideologist.
Darryll Adler, theatre editor~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The dramatic new look to one of London's favorite theatres raised a tantalising question. Would the recently renovated Almeida - famous for the intermission crowd spilling out onto the street with nowhere else to go (and often getting rained on) - still draw the crowds?
For those who remember fondly those moments of bonding with fellow members of the audience, would the new millennium venue dislodge the very down to earth spirit of the place and performance which made the Almeida unique?
Curiosity was compounded when it was announced that Michael Attenborough was taking over as Artistic Director upon the company's return to North London. A fascinating debate: new management, a fabulous new foyer, slightly expanded seating... would the 'up-dated' Almeida live up to its past reputation?
'The Lady from the Sea' was the first production to 'treads the boards' of the refurbished Islington theatre. Seating just over 300, the unique qualities of the theatre remained untouched and the distinctive auditorium retained its curved brick wall. From the May 8 - June 28, 2003 Henrik Ibsen's play, directed by Trevor Nunn, designed by Rob Howell and starring Natasha Richardson played to sold-out houses.
And did the design by architect, Mark Foley - who is an expert in theatre restoration (and quietly aspires to get his hands on a visual arts venue) meet expectations and universal approval?
For those of you who did not share in past ground-breaking productions and ever-temporary restrooms, the new Almeida looks like a theatre-goers dream. But did the critics give the new look a unanimous thumbs up:
According to Foley, whose partnership had worked closely with the Almeida from its inception as a theatre, the intention of the redevelopment was to retain the integrity of the space, whilst improving the quality of the experience - both for the audience and employees of the company - including actors and the often forgotten technicians. "It's almost like a workshop, or in my opinion a living space.....you get performance of an epic scale.....it's back to basics - tough warehouse spontaneity - not super-slick, but efficient....... and the audience become effectively inclusive of the stage....".
I did not go see The Lady from the Sea but shows on the production line for the next season all promise to be huge hits. Attenborough defines the heart of his policy as "the ability to be completely eclectic, surprising and different - because that is the nature of the Almeida" And I will be in line to report on the first full season and its unique ability to deliver intimacy, whilst now offering the comfort of a beautifully designed bar and foyer.
Foley's 'living space' promotes the inside of the auditorium from the outset, from the outside. A huge hanging poster of the show in production acts as a back drop to the foyer and the first thing you see as you look through the glass frontage of the building.
"While the wine bar provides a warm, friendly space intended for daytime as well as night use, the foyer is treated as a much tougher semi-outside space with an expansive glass roof. The durable concrete finishes of the foyer are designed to take the wear and tear of a space that is used as much for the get-in and assembly of sets as a gathering space for the audiences entering the theatre", explains Foley.
So here is the line-up for the upcoming season:
But first a short backgrounder: The North London based Almeida Street Theatre is a listed building, originally built in 1837 as reading rooms and a lecture theatre for Islington's newly formed Literary and Scientific Institution. The Almeida Theatre Company - originally founded in 1980 by Pierre Audi - became an internationally recognised producing house under the Artistic Directorship of Jonathan Kent and Ian McDiarmid (1990-2002). Through a combination of age, temporary repair measures since its rescue in 1980, and pressing licensing and legislative issues, the building required urgent work in order to be kept open. In November 2000, under the Artistic Directorship of Kent and McDiarmid, the Almeida Theatre Company was awarded £1.9 million by the Arts Council of England as a result of an application to the National Lottery to undertake essential repairs to the theatre, rehearsal rooms and offices. The final performances at the 'old' Almeida Islington took place in February 2001 and the Company's work continued from March 2001 until July 2002, at a newly created theatre space in King's Cross on the site of a former coach station. During the Almeida at King's Cross residency the theatre presented two world premieres of LaBute's plays - The Distance From Here directed by David Leveaux and The Shape of Things, directed by the author. The Shape of Things transferred to New York with the original Almeida cast and was subsequently made into a feature film. (LaBute's other film work includes In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty and Possession.) During 2001/2, an additional £1.8 million was received from the Lottery and a further £3.9m million was raised by the Almeida itself, which included funds raised for its temporary home in Kings Cross. Michael Attenborough, the Almeida's new Artistic Director, re-opened the theatre in May 2003.
WORLD PREMIERE OF ANTONY SHER'S FIRST PLAY DIRECTED BY NANCY MECKLER
August 28 - October 18, 2003
On 6th September 1966 South African Prime Minister Hendrick Verwoerd was stabbed to death in Parliament by messenger Demetrios Tsafendas. I.D. is an epic portrait of the mad Old South Africa and of two individuals, the Prime Minister and his killer, both searching for the same thing - identity.
Antony Sher has written four novels - Middlepost, The Indoor Boy, Cheap Lives, and The Feast - as well as two theatre journals - Woza Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus in South Africa (written with Greg Doran) and Year of the King. His autobiography, Beside Myself, has recently been published in paperback. This month Sher revives his Royal Shakespeare Company roles in The Roman Actor and The Malcontent as part of a season at the Gielgud.
Nancy Meckler has been Artistic Director of Shared Experience since 1988 where her many productions for the company have included Anna Karenina and The Mill on The Floss. Previously she was Associate Director at Hampstead Theatre and the Leicester Haymarket. She has directed two feature films - Sister My Sister and Alive and Kicking (with Antony Sher). Her production of Martin Sherman's Rose played at the National Theatre and on Broadway. Nancy Meckler's recent tour for Shared Experience, A Passage to India, will play at the Riverside Studios in January 2003.
(Saturday, September 20
(matinee) - Audio Described performance
MICHAEL ATTENBOROUGH DIRECTS BRITISH PREMIERE OF NEIL LABUTE'S
T H E M E R C Y S E A T
October 23 - December 6, 2003
The Almeida continues its creative association with Neil LaBute by presenting the British premiere of his latest play, The Mercy Seat. Directed by Michael Attenborough and designed by Robert Jones. LaBute directed the world premiere of The Mercy Seat at the MCC Theater, New York.
12 September 2001. While the dust is still settling, Ben and Abby can choose to see what has happened as a tragedy, a catastrophe or an opportunity. With New York City choked with xeroxes of missing persons, this is their chance to disappear - to be dead to the world or to start a new life.
Michael Attenborough was educated at Westminster School and Sussex University. In 2002 Michael was appointed Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre. On leaving the RSC he was invited to become an Honorary Associate Artist of the company.
(Saturday, November 22 -
(matinee) - Audio Described performance
MICHAEL ATTENBOROUGH DIRECTS WORLD PREMIERE OF JOANNA LAURENS'
F I V E G O L D R I N G S
December 11, 2003 - January 17, 2004
Michael Attenborough directs 24 year-old, award-winning writer Joanna Laurens' second play, Five Gold Rings.
Henry has invited his two sons and their wives to his home for Christmas. One son is sexually fertile, one is not. Five Gold Rings sees the conflicting needs of the two couples clash, intertwine and explode.
Joanna Laurens' first play The Three Birds - which opened at The Gate Theatre in 2000 - was awarded The Critics' Circle Most Promising Playwright Award and the Time Out Award for Most Outstanding New Talent. In November this year The Three Birds received its US premiere in New York.
After leaving Hampstead Theatre in 1989, where he was Artistic Director, Michael Attenborough became Executive Producer and Resident Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company. His more recent productions for the RSC - where in 1996 he became Principal Associate Director - include David Edgar's Pentecost and The Prisoner's Dilemma, Peter Whelan's The Herbal Bed and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Henry IV Part 1 and Henry IV Part 2 and Antony and Cleopatra. Michael Attenborough was appointed as Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre earlier this year.
The refurbished theatre includes an Infra-Red Assisted Hearing System in the Auditorium, an Induction Loop in the Box Office, an increased number of spaces for wheelchair users, a ramped entrance to the auditorium and low level counters in all Front of House areas. Throughout the season there will be a full programme of Signed and Audio Described performances, Captioned performances and Touch Tours.
Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, Islington, London, N1 1TA
Phone (24hr) +4420 7359 4404 (no
The rebuilt Almeida Café-Bar will open from 11.30am - 11.00pm, Monday to Saturday, serving food, drinks and snacks.
Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 3.00pm
Tube: Highbury and Islington (Victoria Line, North London Line) Angel (Northern Line) Bus: 4, 19, 30, 43 (Upper Street) 38, 73, 171 (Islington Green) 271, 277 (Highbury Corner) Car Parking: Limited on-street parking on Almeida Street after 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, after 1.30pm Saturday. Nearest Car Park 5 minutes walk at the Business Design Centre.
(Acknowledgement should be given to the whole of the team under the Architects Burrell Foley Fisher, including Arup Acoustics, Alan Conisbee Associates (Structural Engineers), Max Fordham and Partners (Building Services Engineers), Purcell Miller Tritton (Access Consultants), Merriman and Partners (Property Consultants), Roger Rawlinson Associates (Quantity Surveyors), JGP Associates (Planning Supervisor), Theatre Plan (Theatre Consultant) and Tony Hudson (Project Manager).
THE SAATCHI GALLERY
COUNTY HALL, SOUTH BANK
LONDON SE1 7PB
DAMIEN HIRST RETROSPECTIVE
Opens 17th April 2003
THE SAATCHI GALLERY LAUNCHES AT COUNTY HALL
The doors to the Saatchi Gallery's new home at County Hall open this Thursday April 17. Be dazzled by a retrospective of Damien Hirst, together with many other iconic works of contemporary art. On display: the best of Tracey Emin, the Chapman Brothers, Jenny Saville, Sarah Lucas, Ron Mueck, Chris Ofili and Marcus Harvey. (for a full list see below)
But this is not all that's happening on April 17. There's also a chance to explore a space within the gallery called the Boiler Room which will be devoted to showing emerging new artists. These exhibitions will change every five to six weeks.
The Main Gallery will concentrate on exhibiting art from its own collection showcasing young British art, but in the future you may also catch the best of modern art originating from museums and galleries from around the world.
Located close to attractions such as the London Eye and the Aquarium and within striking distance of the Eurostar, The Saatchi Gallery plans to introduce new art to a wider and more diverse audience.
The review of the Gallery, its artwork and everything else will come hot off the press very soon!
+44870 1160 278
Westminster on District, Circle & Jubilee Lines
Waterloo on Northern, Jubilee, Waterloo & City
& Bakerloo Southbank exit 6 right along Thames Path
Westminster Bridge 12, 53, 159, 211
York Road 211 77 381
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