Monday, November 29, 2010

When I'm not Paul in London... I'm Jack with a baby with a wonky penis...

Australian Couple for their Baby’s Hypospadias Surgery at Hospital of Mumbai in India

Hi I am Jack from Australia. I had my baby’s hypospadias surgery at hospital of Mumbai in India. Our child is a newborn baby. My wife is my other baby but that's another story. Doctors revealed that our son has symptoms of abnormal appearance of foreskin and penis on exam; abnormal direction of urine stream, the end of the penis was curved downward. All this indicated to (play dramatic music)...  hypospadias. Doctors suggested that we must go ahead for hypospadias surgery for our baby as soon as possible. I came in contact with Insert name of dodgy health tourism practice and Dr. Bojwani from Internet. I decided not to worry about my private health or the NHS and some quack online... I cannot praise them.  Enough. I contacted them and confirmed the appointment for my baby’s hypospadias surgery at hospital of Mumbai in India. The hospital staff was very friendly and efficient. The hospital is spotless and it is a pleasure to be treated humanely as opposed to the treatment I was used to in Australia where all they offered was the Butcher of Bundaberg Dr Jayant Patel.  I would have no hesitation in returning to this hospital for further treatment. I probably need my head examined and an oil change for my car and they offered a good deal on that too.

Apparently I'm Jack with a child with an odd shaped penis... And a wife! And she is happy! Who knew? Ok I might have played with the above text a little (the original looks like it was created using Google Translate), but a cautionary tale not to wear a new Abercrombie and Fitch polo when you are taking photos of yourself. You actually might look straight. I am not sure where my wife is. Maybe she is trying to translate the web page into English.

I think on my laptop I was just updating my blog and not updating gaydar at the time this image was taken...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Plugs: Make Your Own Kind of Christmas

In the lead up to the London Gay Men's Chorus Christmas Concert, the men have put together a series of clips to highlight the preparations... I think I can be spotted at the back row... I recognise that sweater from anywhere... The concert is on 10 and 11 December at Cadogan Hall and can be booked via the website. Discounts available through Whatsonstage and Gaydar as well...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Theatre: FELA!

Arriving early at the National Theatre to catch a preview of FELA! on Wednesday evening was a good idea. The band was already playing and they sounded so cool. It was such a contrast to the hillbilly rock-a-billy music playing in the theatre foyer, which was being enjoyed by a group of pensioners and a smattering of eccentric dancers who looked as if they were on day release. Who knew that one building could cater to so many tastes? The Olivier Theatre just felt like the place to be. That is no mean feat given the size of the place. Art, graffiti, lights are everywhere and there was the band with its cool beats and sounds...

When FELA! finally gets started, it tells the story of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti's last night at his Shrine club in the late seventies. Part concert, part dance, part rambling dialogue, and part musical, what is brilliant about this show is its ability to give context to the man and his music. The show weaves in the events that shaped his life and creativity but it is about recreating the experience of seeing the man and experiencing the thrill of his music that is most important. You mostly don't get a biography here, but if you're not familiar with the Afrobeat music he created, by the end of the evening you will be.  
When you're not outraged by the injustice, or perplexed by his tight trousers or blue speedos, you will be grooving along.

Sahr Ngaujah, who originated the role on Broadway (and in its earlier incarnations) keeps the show together playing Fela, and understandably shares the role over the season given the demands on the man as the singer, performer, musician and holding everything together. His supporting ladies also provide some amazing vocals.

The first act includes some audience participation that involves "shaking your clock". This is only best attempted if you are part of a large group of people and if you had visited the bar prior to the show. While I was uncertain about a number of elements of the first act, on reflection it was merely foreplay for some incredibly amazing sequences that take place in the second. By the second act the production and performances build at such intensity, that it is at times sensory overload.

Afrobeat surely can no longer be just pigeon-holed as "world music", since it has influenced most major recording artists these days, and so it is about time it had a wider audience. This show is a breathtaking new entry into musical theatre and a long overdue injection of life into the genre. Perhaps even proof that musicals could now even be cool and sexy again...

The show runs through to the new year and will also be part of the National Theatre Live programme on 13 January 2011. Don't miss the experience.

Life in London: One New Change

Friday, November 12, 2010

Plugs: Meat

The shows in London are always full of awfully talented people. Here is one in which I haven't seen but just love the poster. I suddenly have this urge for rib eye (or it could be really thick rump I suppose), even if I'm not so sure about the hand model...

The play is apparently based on a Tennessee Williams short story and it is dark obsessive tale set in an abattoir office.

It's at The Albany in Deptford next week and the Giant Olive Theatre at the Lion and the Unicorn in Kentish Town the week after. Vegetarians may wish to steer clear...

Theatre: Bright Lights Big City

Sunday afternoon was a chance to venture to Hoxton Hall to see the musical Bright Lights, Big City. For the second day running, this was another great cast in a a great production. The music (which I had not previously heard) wasn't that bad either.

Musicals usually have a set format but this is not your traditional quirky heterosexual musical, but a hard core, full-on journey through one man's drug-fuelled sordid week in the eighties. Naturally big hair and big glasses abound, but with the everything eighties seemingly fashionable again it all seemed a natural fit in the surrounds of Hoxton and the East End. It was like spending a cool afternoon in your living room with a concept album that came to life. The cast were all great, particularly Paul Ayres as the lead, Jamie, and Jodie Jacobs as Vicky.

Watching it with Johnnyfox, he was less sure about to make of it. He was off that night to see the concert version of Company so I thought it might be helpful to make a comparison between the two shows as they are broadly similar. Just instead of:
Phone rings
Door chimes
In comes
It was more like:
Lousy job
Wear shades
Snort coke
Eat pussy
There's something in that list we all can relate to. Catch it this month.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Theatre: Tomorrow Morning

Tomorrow Morning has been playing at the Landor Theatre in Clapham North for the past month and is a great little show. It is a four-hander musical about a young couple (well sort of young since Jon Lee is one half of it) getting married, and an older couple getting divorced. I don't want to say the second couple is old as it appears the couple getting divorced are no older than me and have fabulous jobs and tight fitting suits. Despite the divorce and the child custody issues you still get a sense they are living the dream though slim cut tailoring...

The show was first presented a few years ago and has gone through some revisions since then. Here it is presented as a very slick engaging production with an incredible cast. Heading it up with Jon Lee is the lovely Julie Atherton along with Grant Neal and Yvette Robinson. The performances make this show very memorable and the production is one of the best looking I have seen at the Landor. The set comprises of a series of sofas and cupboards that open and reveal things about the characters. Although maybe all those recent home improvements I have been undertaking has led me to develop in unhealthy fascination in cupboard doors and sofas that look like they were from Ikea...

The music is reminiscent of Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown and shows like I Love You Because and I Love You, Your Perfect Now Change. Actually after listening to them all they all seem to start to share the same set of values (and plots) it made me wonder whether slightly quirky heterosexual musicals with mild angst is an emerging sub-genre.

It runs until 13 November so catch the last few performances of this production while you can... Julie Atherton's latest CD was available in the foyer or iTunes and it isn't a bad little collection either...

Life in London: Speed flat-dating

The BBC has caught on to the trend of Speed flat-dating (or speed flat-mating... Actually either sound a bit suspecting). Here's hoping that stories like this will reduce the need to explain to partners you don't live with what you're getting up to...

Trying it over the summer when looking for a place I found it was great. It's less pressure than a real date as everyone has name tags which indicate what area they are looking for and what they are offering / prepared to pay so everyone knows where people stand and you don't have to trundle down confusing streets at night to meet new prospective flat mates. Of course you still might need to do that, but there is something reassuring about a familiar face at the end of dark road.

All that is left is to your partner for instance that you are going out for a speed-dating-like experience to find a flat share... It's not a good idea to say your going out drinking if you don't usually do that. But
I met a really nice landlord there who was in the same boat with his partner. We hit it off tremendously and I was ready to move in until I got a better offer... Hmm...