Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scenes from Knightsbridge Saturday


IMG_0025, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London.

The evening everyone decided to go shopping... While it was raining... And while there were several tube lines down...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Overheard at the gym Thursday...

Man 1: Yes what was how you used to do it?
Man 2: It was 2 egg whites in the blender with the protein shake
Man 3: Oh yeah that's right. After some pasta...
Man 2: Oh no pasta. That's carbs...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scenes from Carnaby Street...

Spreadin' the lurve...

Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Theatre: Nation



About half an hour into Nation, the new "exhilarating" production at the National Theatre at the Olivier Theatre, I hear whispered in my ear the words that you always wish you didn't hear on a night out: "This is a bit boring..." Alas it was the truth. The acting seemed one note, the direction flat, the music painful and there was also the return of the pointless revolve. As for the plot, it kept getting thicker every two minutes. It was as if the creative team decided to shove as much as possible of Terry Pratchett's book on stage and to hell with the consequences. Well the consequences were an awful lot of fidgeting in the audience as if they had fleas, a lot of watch staring and some fairly muted applause at intermission.

Bearing all this in mind, I would have suffered the second half, but I took the advice of some wise theatre peeps who suggested that life is too short to sit through bad plays when you could be enjoying your life at the pub. I did substitute pub for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at home but it had the same effect. Of course it is still in preview until later this month so no doubt it will improve... Having not read the book I never did find out what happened to the two leading characters Mau and Daphne. While it all seemed a bit Blue Lagoon at times, but I dare suspect few people who weren't devotees of the book would give a shit.

One element of drama which happened before the show started was a woman spilling wine spritzer over us. This is becoming a trend at the National. At Mother Courage I was kicked by somebody. Of course National Theatre audiences are so polite they apologise profusely... If only they weren't so clumsy...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Overheard on the Tube home Tuesday...

Man 1: She gives me evils because I'm dis neo liberal like you know...
Man 2: Yeah and wiv your business acumen and that...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Overheard at the gym Thursday...

Man number one: So how do you get it like that?
Man number two: Well the pastry has to be the right consistency...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Music: Michael Feinstein

Spending Sunday evening with Michael Feinstein and his 17 piece band was a great way to pass the time. When I last saw him five years ago, I wasn't so enthused by his performance. Since then he has released a number of new albums including most recently his Sinatra album with new interpretations to the music of Sinatra. This seems to have thankfully given him new music to explore, beyond being known just as the Gershwin man (or one of the foremost interpreters of Gershwin's music).

The concert featured a range of songs recorded by Sinatra, but also included some tributes to Cole Porter (including with John Barrowman) and at 53, he is looking and sounding pretty good. There were various nods to famous people in the audience such as Leslie Bricusse and Judge Judy (who married Feinstein and his partner), but in the end it was an evening of music. And the music sounded great... If only leaving us wanting to hear a little more from that band...

Play: Prick Up Your Ears



Prick Up Your Ears has sort of become known as the play that Matt Lucas pulled out from following the death of his ex partner. It is a shame really as it is a great little play that deserves to have an audience. Con O'Neill who replaces Lucas gives an excellent performance as Kenneth Halliwell, who killed his lover, playwright Joe Orton, in their small flat in Islington in the summer of 1967. Some of the reviews noted that it is definitely a play for anyone who has a more talented partner... While I would like to think that we all have our own strengths, but I have made a mental note not to share a studio flat with anyone who likes collages.

The play follows their antics of Kenneth and Joe where they defaced books at the Islington Library, and then following a short stint in prison, the rising career of Joe's. It all ends in a fight however, and I personally could have done without the nine hammer blows to the head at the end of the play, but then again I did see it on Halloween so there was plenty of fake blood about.

Regrettably, it has posted its closing notices for November 15, so get in quick to see it before it finishes.

Monday, November 02, 2009

People: Leslie Caron

Tuesday evening last week I managed to get very close to Leslie Caron. It was at one of the National Theatre's platform events where they talk about somebody and there is usually a book signing involved. Old queens, people close to death or a combination of the above seemed to make up the audience. Although there was one guy who took up two chairs that was definitely younger than me there... He sat two over and oohed and ahhed at everything she said as if he were her number one fan...

Anyway, Leslie Caron was the woman who at 16 danced with Gene Kelly in An American in Paris and then went on to be a star in her own right in films such as Gigi and Lili. She now runs a bed and breakfast outside Paris and has written a book about her life. She hasn't given up entirely on acting. She recently won an emmy for appearing in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and will be appearing in Paris next year in a production of A Little Night Music. It was interesting listening to her as she talked about her life and how it didn't quite work out the way that she always planned it, that she always managed to make the most of it... Of course, talent and ambition probably had a lot to do with it as well. Best line of the evening was confirming that Maurice Chevalier was more or less (well using a few more polite words anyway) a bastard.