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Christmas Mysteries: A Sherlock Carol @MaryleboneTHLDN

A mash-up of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes would seem an unlikely pairing. Yet it provides a surprisingly fun Christmas-themed adventure. These two Victorian tales (albeit separated by about 40 years) provide the basis for an inspired adventure at Christmastime that just also happens to turn out to be a murder mystery as well. With lavish costumes, a few spooky set pieces and some good old-fashioned stage trickery with lights and a lot of smoke machines, it is hard to resist. It returns to the Marylebone Theatre for Christmas after a run there last year.  The premise is that after Holmes sees off the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, he is left adrift in London. People thought he was dead, and he might as well be. Disinterested in the misdeeds of other Londoners, Holmes has even given up on his friend Dr Watson. It's almost as if he has become a Scrooge. Or half a Scrooge, moping about shouting, "bah" in respon
Art: Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy

Yesterday evening caught the The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2005 with the man from the Eurostar. It was fun and there were some wonderful works on display and for sale. Some cost more than a luxury car but that's art for you. I thought the giant statue of woman made out of dominoes for £80k seemed like a bargain. The double-six cut in two for nipples was a nice touch. In the same room however were two "mixed media" pieces that took a cute teddy bears and gave them evil gnarling killer looks, holding bright red powertools, and an array of dead animals underneath them. I loved it. Never mind the rest of the art, this was something that just appealed to my sense of humour and aesthetics. I suspected that my taste (and perhaps my sanity) was coming under question, but hey, cute teddy bears turned evil killers I just couldn't resist. I think they should mass-market the things... They would be a hit.

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