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Showing posts from February, 2013

Art in a dark moist place: David Breuer-Weil's Project 4

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David Breuer-Weil from Guy Natanel on Vimeo.

London-based artist David Breuer-Weil has taken over the vaults under Waterloo Station with Project 4, an evocative and thought-provoking exhibition about the world, the apocalypse and other social and political considerations. Nothing is small scale here. Everything is big. Most of his paintings are two metres high and four metres long. One giant canvas follows another and as you are drawn into the tunnels under Waterloo Station, they come together to form an impressive spectacle of colour. Interspersed amongst these is Breuer-Weil's sculptures which give the works an added dimension and physicality.

Many Londoners will be familiar with his works, particularly his sculpture. Emergence (see below after the jump) was temporarily installed into Hanover Square in 2012 and Visitor has previously been seen in Golders Hill Park, Hampstead.

New music, new voices: The Route to Happiness

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As part of the Landor Theatre's season of new musical writing, this week it is playing The Route to Happiness by Alexander S Bermange. It is an enjoyable three-hander about life relationships and ambition in London... A sort of a boy meets girl meets another girl while trying to succeed in business without really trying story...

It starts with the three characters down on their luck. The young and ambitious Marcus loses his job after getting caught out criticising his boss on social media, the ambitious but somewhat lacking in talent Trinity fails another audition, and writer Lorna who has been unlucky in love is again dumped. They all meet at a wedding and the three start up professional and personal relationships.

Bermange has written for West End shows and the BBC and has a range of musical styles. Here the piece feels like a London take on shows like I Love You Because or I Love You, You're Perfect Now Change. There is no dialogue but instead the story is told through the…

Opera: Cendrillon

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Cendrillon at the Royal Opera looks great and has a great cast. Joyce DiDonato in the title role is a delight as the strong willed Cinderella. Eglise Gutiérrez as the fairy godmother looks like she would be as much at home on the stage of Priscilla Queen of the Desert as she would at Covent Garden (although she sounded a lot better of course)... She looks like she is having fun waving her wand and watching the magic unfold...

Alas the opera is heavy going for a fairy tale. Part of the problem is that telling the story of Cinderella for three hours requires some memorable music and some frightfully comedy. The direction is somewhat inspired and wrestles out as much comedy as is probably possible. This includes a very wicked Ewa Podles as stepmother. But what is left is a piece that could do with some merciless editing, and perhaps removing a subplot, trimming an aria (or two) and one of the ballet sequences... That would probably make it not just family friendly, but friendly to every…

On a clear day: The View From the Shard

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The View from The Shard opens on Friday and having caught a preview of it earlier in the month, it is worth a look... Even if it is a snowy day... And visibility is poor... There is still a gee whiz excitement about looking down from the London landmark. There is something light and delicate about The Shard that makes it intriguing and not just another tall building.

The journey starts with a slightly eccentric tour of London and its people before you are shuffled into one of two lifts to take you to the thirty-third floor. You are told that it will take you at speeds of six metres a second but unlike other tall buildings in London, it is not a glass lift so there is no horror or nausea from shooting up. Perhaps it is the low lighting and video screens of soothing autumnal leaves and snow that does it, but you do not feel a thing.

You then have to take another lift to the top which again has soothing music and video screens which takes you to the top. There are a few more stairs to t…