Showing posts from May, 2008

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s

Movies: Sex and the City

Sex and the City the movie , originally uploaded by annalyn . I nearly didn't catch Sex and The City on Thursday night with Fliss as the first three cinemas I tried, it had already sold out... It is obviously the movie of the week. Fortunately the O2 centre had some seats and so that is where we caught it. With around 700 die hard fans of the series. Who were mostly women. With a smattering of self-conscious boyfriends... And a few gays... Fliss had to explain to her men-folk that she was going to this movie with her gay friend because she knew they wouldn't want to see it. One of them is jealous of our relationship but that's just because he doesn't have a filthy mind or a sense of humour... Actually I was disappointed with the gay turnout for a movie about (to borrow from a Simpsons episode) four gay men living in New York city... Played by women... But then again this is North Greenwich ... As the film started people started cheering. I don't understand

Hot news this week in London...

260520085836 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Some people don't like the brown word ...

Movies: Indiana Jones and something or other about a crystal skull

230520085774 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Friday evening I went to the Odeon Leicester Square to see the latest Indiana Jones and the very long title movie... I am glad they have shortened it to just "Indy" on the posters as that saves a lot of time. Despite the price of the ticket, the Odeon Leicester Square is a great place to go to see a movie with die-hard groupies (and is less likely than most other London Odeon cinemas to smell like a toilet and have bad sound). People cheered and carried on as if it were a football match... While my friend Adam is a fan of the series, he wasn't as hard core as half the crowd at the sold out Friday evening screening who came wearing brown leather jackets and hats. It was like a window into another world. All throughout London, seemingly normal and straight men had tucked away in their closets an Indiana Jones costume (complete with khaki trousers and shirt). They may have had whips too but I wasn't checking

Overheard at Clapham Sainsburys Saturday...

Chav man: Shuddup you stupid cow... Don't make a scene... Woman: Y-y-y-y-y-your a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaastard....

Overheard at the gym Monday...

Man #1: I really enjoyed it on Saturday... Man #2: Yeah what's it like? Man #1: Well there's loads of guys. There are the muscle daddies... But they just play with themselves...

Theatre: Pygmalion

Watching Pygmalion at the Old Vic this week it finally dawned on me why it has always felt a little creepy to think that Henry Higgins would end up with Eliza Doolittle. Well it isn't just because (in this production anyway) she is much younger. It is because he is just too camp. Henry Higgins already has a relationship with Colonel Pickering and so Eliza is simply left to pick up the slippers. She never had a chance with those two old poofs... There they were out all night drinking together, gambling together or hanging around in Covent Garden overhearing conversations... Not to mention all those contraptions in the study looking at the mouth... It all makes sense... It's a man's world in the Higgin's household... This version of Shaw's play goes back to his original version published in 1916. At times it felt like the production was using the original sets with its quaint production values and a taxi car that crawls across the stage (although the looked lovely an

Scenes from Leicester Square Monday

80793732MT029_Premiere_Sex_ , originally uploaded by travelingapostrophe3 . World premiere of Sex and the City movie in London... I was in rehearsals but darn it would have been fun to be there to yell out to Sarah, "Sarah! The hat! WTF??"

Scenes from Waterloo Sunday

12-05-2008 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . I didn't check if there was a body in the case... In London you never can tell...

Comedy: Dina Martina

Dina at Wigstock a few years back... We were treated to the fiddle as well... Thursday evening I was one of the "peeps" who caught Dina Martina at the Soho Theatre . Dina is part typical drag act and part something else. With a wig that looked like it was inspired by one of Liza's fights with Gest , makeup inspired by a clown, and a belly that was all his/hers, it was pretty out there (or as Dina would say, "Off the charts!")... But as the 80 minute performance went on it was clear that there was a real character in the making and it will be interesting to see her again in a few years. Best parts were the songs with forgotten lyrics, advice on how to deal with global warming (kill or the animals in the sea as that will make the water levels drop), and the mispronounciations of words. I particularly liked the soft "g" in her segment of the show called "gifts to give" which became "jiffs to jiv"... Thanks to Dina, I will try and work

Movies: Iron Man

Iron Man , originally uploaded by Luffyd . Caught the movie Iron Man on Wednesday evening as on a warm sunny evening it seemed like a good idea at the time. Besides there are not enough super hero stories set against war-torn Afghanistan (with the occasional nice shot of Miami). While there was a lot to enjoy about it, after seeing it I had a few questions: Why were there so many product tie-ins for crap products ? Why did Robert Downey Jr's character go for models who had too much sun and dimply skin? Why do the agents from S.H.I.E.L.D look like they are from the gay mafia? Did Jeff Bridges shave his head and grow a beard just to look more evil?? Was that final battle sequence made up of out-takes from the Transformers movie? And just how the hell do you take a leak in that suit?

Bank Holiday Banter...

Man #1: Don't I know you from somewhere? Paul: Hmm I don't know you look familiar... Man #1: You from Australia? Paul: I'm from Brisbane are you? Man #1: I lived in Sydney for a while... Paul: Oh I see that doesn't help... Man #1: Ah man I'm sure I'll work it out but I'm buzzing right now...

Hot news this week in London...

The Headlines from The Evening Standard , originally uploaded by robbyredbird . Don't panic...

Opera: The Minotaur

I caught the last night of the Harrison Birtwistles's new opera The Minotaur on Saturday at The Royal Opera . It is a thrilling and slightly disturbing opera (not to mention bloody too). Mind you, before the interval an elderly couple walked out. Maybe all that blood and rape and horror and gore was a bit too much for them. But that's new opera for you... At times I was wondering whether I was watching a high culture horror show (although I could have done with more blood and more realistic killings if that was the case). The first appearance of the Minotaur (played by John Tomlinson ) was a pretty dramatic moment and for nearly three hours the show didn't let up. Still, there is a lot to like about this opera starting with the music . The production design and the costumes - particularly the bulls head - were particularly creepy. The final battle sequence (depicted above) literally had everyone in my section on the edge of their seats (although that was party due to the