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Showing posts from January, 2009

Scenes from the Roundhouse Friday night

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img_0673, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. Grace Jones singing Slave to the Rhythm with a hula hoop. It had to be seen to be believed. Surely the Roundhouse this week with Grace Jones was the best place to be in London... Of course on Flickr there are better shots of this moment, but I enjoy working within the limitations of the iPhone and my standing position...

Later at Chalk Farm tube a girl was overheard saying, "I've just got to get me a hula hoop"...

Theatre: Spring Awakening

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Spring Awakening, originally uploaded by Lyric Hammersmith. Tuesday I caught a preview of Spring Awakening at the Lyric Hammersmith. It is one hell of an energetic show (and hopefully by the time it is out of preview all the cast will have grown into their roles). Teen angst, sexual discovery, masturbation, abortion and suicide have never looked better on stage or been presented with a great rock (? - well it's hard to classify it) score. It isn't quite a musical in the traditional sense but it presents it concept in such an interesting way that I only wished they turned up the volume more and blasted the audience... Well, when everyone is singing "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah," and looking so good, it just seems like the most logical thing to do...
The show won eight Tony Awards including for best new musical in 2007 and the creative team from the New York production are here at the Lyric. It is interesting that the Columbine massacre was part inspiration for t…

Hot news this week in London...

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Worst Slump Since 1980, originally uploaded by LinkMachineGo. The slumps have been better...

a big breakfast in East Dulwich

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With the weekend a bit of a washout, it was a time for Full English Breakfasts. Saturday's was at Liquorish... It may not look as good as the food presented at Tom's Kitchen (which is where I ate Sunday)... But it gives it a run for its money (and cheaper too)...
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Theatre: Complicit

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img_0621, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London. At intermission at Complicit Monday evening at the Old Vic it was a case of some people being complicit in staging photos featuring a very nice looking celebrity and director. Well some people at least seemed to be unnaturally excited to be in his theatre...

Kevin Spacey is directing this new play by Joe Sutton with Richard Dreyfuss, Elizabeth McGovern and David Suchet in the cast. It is still in preview but early word has been all about Richard Dreyfuss using an earpiece to remember lines. It is earpiece-gate. Now after seeing it I have to sympathise with all the actors as they have some weighty dialogue to deliver at times. It is afterall, another play about life under the Bush administration. And perhaps as a new president is innaguarated, the punters aren't ready to relive the horrors of the past eight years.
The play itself centres around a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (Dreyfuss) who has to face a Grand Jury and divulge the …

Scenes from Tottenham Court Road

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End Of The Astoria, originally uploaded by Ronald Hackston. Wednesday night was the last night for the Astoria on Charing Cross Road. What was the venue for G-A-Y and many a wild crazy night for chicken and their admirers will soon be gone. The Guardian is asking its readers to share your beer-stained memories but I wouldn't dare do that. I think the only blog posting that I ever did that got a "you be careful" comment from my mother was in relation to the Astoria. The story is blogged somewhere here but it is probably best left unlinked as those days are behind me. Well, I'm sure wherever there are gays, there will be a place for Jason Donnovan to perform. Bring on the wrecking ball...

Theatre: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour

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Maybe it was the fact that it was an 8.45pm start, or that I had a rather hearty meal just before seeing it, but I found it hard to stay awake watching Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the Olivier Theatre. The premise of a man hearing an orchestra in his head was interesting enough, but this work by Tom Stoppard and André Previn feels like three separate stories in one. The first story was the crazy guy with the triangle who hears the orchestra, the second being the one of the dissident, and the third being the perspective of his son. Throwing all three together, the play just didn't work. Judging by the audience's muted applause at the end, I don't think I was alone with that view.

Still, there is the novelty factor of seeing an orchestra and play combined. And Toby Jones is a treat in the lead role. The odd moments of insanity seemed to suggest this could have been something better. But for the most part it just felt so dated. Like something that would have been staged …

Scenes from a frosty Saturday in London

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gay, originally uploaded by BisForBabb. Nothing like freezing temperatures to bring someone out of the closet... In Battersea...

Life in London: When Theatre Goes Bad

On Friday evening I saw an awful piece of theatre in Kentish Town. It was at a theatre pub where the patrons of this boozer seemed to be street drinkers and addicts of various sorts. It was a pity they weren't in the play themselves as it would have given the play a little character. From time to time there were flashes of something that made it watchable, but for the most part I sat there wondering how many flats could be made from this upstairs space and whether it was productions like this that caused the death of theatre pubs across London.

It isn't necessary to know the name of the production as it has finished, but a friend of a friend of friend was in the production. So at the end of the show the inevitible discussion and dilemma about what to say we thought of the show ensued. In the end we all settled for lying through our teeth and saying what a challenging and thought-provoking show it was. Well, actors can be so sensitive, and usually (as in this case) the director …

Scenes from a gay man's bookshelf

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The host of a party in south London had some interesting reading on his shelf... Well some guys like to mix things up...

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Scenes from the Hayward

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At the Andy Warhol exhibition... It looked good at least even if the content was a bit suspect...

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Trends in London: The hot water bottle

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So far this year has been all about hot water bottles. As temperatures plummet, if you don't have a furry friend in your bed, then the next best and hottest thing to have is a faux fur hot water bottle. John Lewis has them. Or you could skip the faux and get the real thing (hot water bottle-wise)... Oh grrr...

Theatre: August: Osage County

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On the afternoon of new years eve I found myself at the National Theatre watching this production alone. It is a good idea not to invite people who have to cook dinner for six to a matinee that lasts for three hours. This play has been a sell out however so I didn't have trouble getting rid of the spare ticket. However I was worried about how much of an effort it would be to sit through this production. It turned out that this breathless production is so fast-paced, so gripping and thrilling that the time whizzed by. This production, from the Steppenwolf Company in Chicago won the Tony this year for best play (among others) and it is easy to see why.

The premise in this dark, dark comedy is that the Weston family is reunited in the family home in Oklahoma after their father disappears. This sets the scene for a series of disturbing revelations. The play has been marketed here as a view into a dysfunctional American family. The humour in Tracy Letts script however, is less derived f…

Scenes from London: the view from new year...

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This is what happens when New Year's Eve celebrations get popular. Who would have thought the punters would brave the freezing weather for ten minutes of spectacular fireworks (they did look rather good).

This new years I also learned
Italians wear red underwear for New Years EveThe Spanish like to start a new year with a mouthful of grapesCombine the above with the Australian tradition for a foine woine or beer and you're set for a great night out I think...
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