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Showing posts from October, 2007

Rehearsal: True Colours

Rehearsals for the next concert of the London Gay Men's Chorus on December 16 are well underway, but Tuesday evening I found myself rehearsing the song True Colours with the small group, that will be part of the show in the second act.

The first thing that struck me about the song was how much I didn't know it. Well I am not an expert on the Cindy Lauper canon, but I do know Time After Time much better.

Was it Show me a smile, you with the sad eyes don't you realise or was it You with the sad smile, show me your courage though I realise or was it You with the sad eyes, don't be unhappy can't remember when... I had no idea how two verses could sound so similar... But after a few lessons by rote I sort of got it... Lucky we have a few more rehearsals to go...

Hot news in London this week...

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GOOD OLD EVENING STANDARD, originally uploaded by D I C K S D A I L Y. Won't somebody please think of the children?

Oh and Flickr user Dicksdaily has some great photos of London and worth checking out...

Hot news this week in London...

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News headlines, originally uploaded by BillT. He probably just needs a holiday...

Music: Music in 12 Parts

I am not quite sure what I was thinking when back in February I booked tickets to see Music in 12 Parts. Maybe it was the opportunity to see Philip Glass. Maybe it was the opportunity to hear a lot of his music (well at least during his minimalist phase). Whatever the reason, I wasn't prepared for four hours of music plus an hour and a half of breaks when I arrived at the Barbican Sunday. The piece is all about recurring musical structures that grow and change. I was entering the world of musical minimalism and wondering if I would ever escape. It didn't help either that I was surrounded by people with thick rimmed glasses and black turtlenecks. Is this a minimalist thing I wondered? I was glad that I wore a black shirt so I didn't stand out too much...

As for the music, well listening to the minimalist music has a way of creeping up on you and becoming a bit hypnotic. By the first hour I was into it. Suddenly things like gestures by the ensemble members to the onstage mix…

Idle Chatter Sunday

Paul: I got this text at 2am from this guy who had just arrived at Fire. I'd said earlier I might be there...
Adam: What? Who goes out at 2am unless they are on drugs?
Paul: Well you know what's good about guys on drugs?
Adam: They're easy...
Paul: Eeeexactly...

Scenes from Lambeth North Saturday evening

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201020072672, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. Tried looking for it but couldn't find it...

Theatre: South Pacific

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Source:www.ukproductions.co.uk

Friday I found myself in Wimbledon catching a touring production of South Pacific. I saw it not just because I was asked nicely to, and not just because I had never seen a production of it before, and not just because I had never been to the New Wimbledon Theatre before. I also went and saw it because there were loads of tits on show and frankly when the south pacific is this bare-chested, who can resist? Oh and some of the sailors didn't have shirts on either.

While I have never seen a production of South Pacific before, I felt like I intimately knew it anyway. Growing up I heard it regularly as the cast album was a favourite of mum's. Watching the show was like going back to growing up back home in Oz... I can credit mum for introducing me to Funny Girl and South Pacific at an early age (she also is a fan of Evita but we don't talk about that). For some reason this fact is a tad amusing when I tell people this. But anyway, I suspect mum woul…

Overheard at the Wimbledon Theatre Friday...

Man #1: Oh you wouldn't believe my weekend last. I picked up two women. One was 35 and had a 16 year old son, the other was 25 and had a nine year old daughter...
Man #2: Oh wow man, great...

Theatre: I Love You Because...

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Not content with seeing just Hairspray this week, on Wednesday I went with John to see I Love You Because... at the Landor Theatre in Clapham. The Landor is a bit of an oasis in a cultural desert known as Landor road that is better known for the number of local youths with ASBOs and shops converted into bedsits. A pity since the show has been drawing in the crowds from across London that they have nowhere to spend their money before or after the show... Still it is my local theatre pub so the thought of seeing something that was really good at it was even more of a reason to get there...

The show is a quirky off-Broadway New York show that is actually pretty darn good. I have had the cast album for some months now, but hadn't given it much thought until Wednesday because let's face it, dramatic context helps. It helps allow for some of the more curious artistic choices (such as writing a song that prominently features a barista). The show charts the life and loves of the four …

Theatre: Hairspray

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Tuesday evening I found myself at the Shaftesbury theatre watching what has to be the most entertaining new show on the west end by a long shot: Hairspray (well I don't plan to see Bad Girls the musical but anyway). It is still only in its second week of previews but it there is so much energy and life on stage it was pretty overwhelming to the senses. Then again it is so well written, staged danced and acted and features some very lovable characters that it is hard not to like it, even if you think at times it gets a bit cheesy (or long)...

Michael Ball and Mel Smith receive top billing for the show. I hadn't seen Ball in anything before, and it didn't help that every musical theatre afficianado I knew kept telling me what an asshole he was. Maybe they had heard one too many renditions of "Love changes everything", but I figured anyone who gave such entertaining interviews to the Evening Standard can't be all that bad. And as for his peformance as Edna Turnbl…

News this week in London

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Skunks attack London, originally uploaded by Kevglobal. Skunk is conveniently on offer outside most tube stations... I hear in Camden Town they like it like that as it is better to frighten the weary tube travellers than the locals in their nice residential streets... Just tonight at Camden Town tube I was offered charlie, grass and skunk... I prefer raccoons though and they didn't have any of that on offer...

Coming up in December...

Overheard at a dodgy hotdog stand on the south bank

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141020072666-revised, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. Rough looking woman cooking sausage like things in a large amount of oil: Now careful kids the plate's hot and it might spit
Adam: Eww... So might the woman cooking 'em

Scenes from the Tate Modern Sunday

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141020072641, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. The thing to see this weekend was Doris's Crack. Everyone was there looking at it, putting their foot in it, some even got into it. I tried sniffing it... It was big and deep and reinforced... Outside Louise Bourgeois's giant spider is on show... It makes you wonder about those Tate curators...

Overheard at the gym today

Man #1: You see, if you make sure your (golf) swing is like this, then you aren't going to have any problems...
Man #2: But when I do that it hurts...
Man #1: Oh...

News this week in London

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Swan Bites Dog, Hampstead, originally uploaded by Fin Fahey. Hampstead is one tough part of London...

In the news during the week

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evening standard, originally uploaded by quarsan. Crossrail, Spice Girls and another Maddy story. London has it all...

News: Doris's Crack on show at the Tate Modern

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Doris Salcedo "Shibboleth" at Tate Modern, originally uploaded by darrenjle15. All the talk this week has been around Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth (otherwise known as Doris's crack) at the Tate Modern, which chops up the floor of the Turbine Hall to represent the great divide... This photo was taken by a Flickr visitor, but the story today was that two people fell into the crack at a private viewing... But were they pissed?

I was at the Tate on the weekend but the crack was under wraps. Now that is on show and people are falling over themselves to get into it, it is on the list of things to do...

Theatre: Parade

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Source: www.donmarwarehouse.com

I found myself having a discussion this week with a lady who suggested to me that Parade at the Donmar is the type of music theatre that young men go for. I was thinking about this all last night as I watched this great production. Is there something about (relative) youth that makes one enjoy a music piece about a Jewish factory owner who is accused of raping and murdering a young girl, found guilty and sentenced to death only to have his sentenced commuted but then lynched by an angry mob? Ok so it isn't the happiest night at the theatre but it was so well told, well sung and well staged you didn't mind the lynching and the preaching. You even had to look hard to see the trademark Donmar black brick wall.

Looking around the theatre there was an over-representation of young men there interspersed among the usual Donmar types. The story is based on the true story of Leo Frank and the press frenzy that was whipped up by the case. The show works bes…

This week in the news

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HOT WAX, originally uploaded by the_moog. I hear she was a bit of a babe...

Overheard outside the Scientology Centre on Tottenham Court Road Tuesday Evening

Woman: Oh that was interesting...
Man: Yeah it was...
Woman: Fancy some KFC?

Hot news this week in London...

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The Brits love their tabloids., originally uploaded by fueledbycoffee. They may not be able to find her, but she is talking to the Evening Standard about her dad...