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Showing posts from July, 2008

Movies: Savage Grace

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About twenty minutes into the movie Savage Grace - which I saw last night with Grant at the Curzon Soho - a couple in the row we were sitting decided to get up and leave. The seats aren't wide enough to let somebody pass easily so it was a bit of a drama to let them by. We both mumbled something along the lines of "furfukssake". I wasn't sure whether they had had enough of the unsettling content, or they were just in the wrong cinema. I settled on it being the latter as everytime I go to this cinema I find myself surrounded by freaks. But there was also something unsettling but still rather smashing about this film.


The movie is based on the book of the same name, which is an interpretation of the true dysfunctional and incestuous relationship of rich (but slightly disturbed) heiress Barbara Daly Baekeland and her even more disturbed son Antony. Julianne Moore plays Barbara and gives her a sympathetic bent. She also looks great too. Maybe the real Barbara Daly wasn…

Scenes from a sectional tug-of-war

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280720087786, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. It isn't just singing and touring in the London Gay Men's Chorus... There are the games too... Like tug of war...

Theatre: They're Playing Our Song

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It was one of those theatrical experiences that I love. Before the second act started of They're Playing Our Song, a revival now in preview at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the man next to me apologised for blocking my view in the first act. "It's just that I am having trouble staying awake watching this truly awful show...". He did add that he loved Connie Fisher. Well... What is there not to like about Connie Fisher? She does have a star quality about her and that cruel audition on TV to win the role of Maria in The Sound of Music (which I missed) and losing all that weight during the run shows what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. In this show she was just great as Sonia... The nice Jewish girl with the Farrah Fawcett ginger wig...

Still, I was surrounded by people who just hated this preview. The West End Whingers at intermission were ready to walk out, and I would like to take some credit for keeping everyone returning to the theatre for the secon…

Theatre: Nocturne

I found myself at the Almeida on Friday night watching Nocturne, thanks to some some spare tickets Sue had because she had to go to a summer barbecue.

This is a one-man show written by Adam Rapp and performed by Peter McDonald. There was something slightly unnerving about sitting in a theatre on a warm summer night watching a monologue about a man who accidentally kills his sister. It wasn't exactly summer fun and that might have explained why the theatre was a little empty. Perhaps it was the night for barbecues and drinking rather than monolgoues. Still the performance and story was strangely captivating. At times it was like you were at the edge of your seat, knowing you were about to hear something awful but keen to hear how he accidentally decapitated his younger sister.

I have been wary of watching monologues ever since I endured the pretentious and coma-enducing one-man Macbeth. Fortunately there was none of that here and McDonald's performance was incredible to watch. A…

Movies: The Dark Knight

At the London Premiere... It's all about camera phones...

Thursday night I crammed into a hot, sweaty cinema to watch the new Batman movie The Dark Knight. There is something about this dark, unrelenting film that people just wanna see. Perhaps it hits the mood of the times, even when it is so bright and hot outside.

The Dark Knight was worth the discomfort of The Ritzy to see it, and probably one of the better comic book adaptations. It doesn't keep up the momentum to the end, and there is a sequence about the good of the people of Gotham that will have you want to yell out, "WTF???" But its visuals and Heath Ledger's performance are good enough reasons to see it. My only question would be, why does Batman speak like Patty or Selma Bouvier? I am waiting for the cigarette tie-in...

News: Amy Winehouse goes green (and starchy)

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Amy Greenhouse, originally uploaded by Andrew Orange. And speaking of the West End Whingers, they have been enjoying their success and publicity with their award-winning vegetable sculpture of Amy Winehouse - Amy Greenhouse at the Lambeth Country Show over the weekend... But controversy has erupted with a suggestion the runner up, which was a vegetable arrangement of the characters from The Magic Roundabout were robbed...

Apart from being totally biased I thought the better sculpture won... Well whatever the case, the news has been far more interesting than Amy Winehouse as a wax model...

Theatre: Under the Blue Sky

Tuesday evening I wasn't sure I was in the mood to see a play in the West End, but the West End Whingers had organised a group outing to see Under the Blue Sky ages ago, so there I was. The play had quite a few good things going for it and that was before I even knew what it was about: it had a late start, and it was around 90 minutes without interval. The fact that it had a great cast (including Catherine Tate), was just a bonus.

Sitting so close in the stalls with a raised set, it struck me that we couldn't see the actors below their knees. For the first two acts I became preoccupied by wondering about feet. It probably didn't help that we all knew Catherine Tate had a nasty sprain last week which cancelled the first preview, so we were all wondering how she would fare... The other thing about sitting so close was that throughout the first act there was the lovely smell of onions, peppers and minced beef cooking and wafting into the audience... As the scene ended and the…

Overheard at Charing Cross Tuesday

American Girl 1: You know I saw like Jesus Christ Superstar
American Girl 2: Oh. My. God.
American Girl 1: And it had that guy in it.
American Girl 2: The black guy?

Hot news this week in London...

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police arrest batman, originally uploaded by secretlondon123. Apparently it was something to do with a kapow in the Dorchester Sunday evening...

Music: There's No Place Like Homo

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After a month which has been so far taken up with being in concerts or rehearsing for concerts or travelling to get to concerts rather than seeing them, it was a refreshing change to just watch one. Mind you, Monday night was the second and final preview of the London Gay Men's Chorus show for this year's Edinburgh Fringe, so it was still chorus related. Sometimes when you join a group you forget that you almost join a cult (albeit one that sings and can party hard as the recent tour to Spain proved). This show was performed by the Far From Kansas group within the chorus. It had all the usual references to be expected and cheap laughs abounded. There were some great musical numbers as well, including ones from the recent shows from the main chorus.

Watching the show in the third row I got a bit carried away... It was probably the overly warm theatre on a hot July night and the cheap bubbly that caused me to yell out among other things "nice legs" to the boys in kilts…

Hot news this week in London...

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Doomed, originally uploaded by Martin Deutsch. And you're fat, you're lazy, you're single, and you're gonna die!

Music: Mahler's 8th

I caught the second performance of the London Symphony Orchestra playing Mahler's 8th as part of the City of London Festival at St Paul's Cathedral tonight. I wondered whether I would enjoy listening to it as much as performing in a choral concert. Well when it is Mahler it isn't such a problem. What is more a problem is whether in a piece like this everything is held together (apparently it wasn't last night) and if the soupy acoustic of the Cathedral makes for a rather lost cause.

It might all depend on where you sat, but sitting in the north transept there were some startling moments of clarity and subtlety amongst the great forces at play (big choirs, huge orchestra, big soloists and gigantic cathedral). But there was also a lot of soupy ones... At the end of both the first and second movements, the audience stayed transfixed on the dome... We were all watching the music bounce around and around until it went up to God.

The last time I saw Mahler's 8th I was in i…

Hot news this week in London...

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DEAD NUNS DUG UP AND SENT HOME, originally uploaded by gilesbooth. The South London Press goes where other papers just couldn't be arsed to...

Cheap scenes from Gay Pride Saturday

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2008 Gay Pride, London, originally uploaded by randydandy. The moths in London are getting worse...

Movies: Mamma Mia! (the movie)

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After all the excitement of the weekend where one was part of the London Gay Men's Chorus performing their summer concert at Cadogan Hall, it was nice to unwind with a quiet movie at the Odeon Leicester Square Sunday evening. Well not quite quiet... It was Mamma Mia! And a special Gaydarnation preview for Pride weekend so a lot of the audience was gay, drunk, coming down whatever they took from last night, or all of the above.

All the stops were pulled out for tonight's preview, including organ player as pre-show entertainment, free lollipops and a souvenir brochure which made the exorbitant admission price for this exclusive preview week worth it (which was almost the cost of a theatre ticket - albeit not one to see Mamma Mia in the West End). The Odeon is still decked out in the cladding from Friday's premiere (above) as well so that was a nice touch too...

I have yet to see the stage musical after being put off by the awful cast recording of the show which I can only assu…

Scenes from London Pride Saturday

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IMG_0064, originally uploaded by Tom S Crowley. Another year, another pride... Bit chilly for the skimpy costumes flogging some cheesy gay internet site I would have thought... But anyway...

News this week in London

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SHIT!, originally uploaded by Igor Clark. The Hackney Gazette tries to give the knife crime story a local angle... As for Torn, I am hoping to catch it later this month...

Words: Just so random

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What Wordle thinks about my blog postings of late... Shows, musicals and bit of pants... I'd like to think that sums things up quite nicely...