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A little less conversation: After Sex @Arcolatheatre

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According to research, millennials in rich countries are having sex less these days. But they were prepared to talk more about it. So, it is no surprise to see a story about what happens when a series of no-strings-attached encounters start to become attachments. And the conversations arising from it. Such is the premise of After Sex, Siofra Dromgoole’s two-hander of the conversations afterwards. It’s not particularly sexy or erotic, and the snappy pacing and short scenes sometimes make you wish they stayed longer to finish the conversation. Nevertheless, it is still a funny and, at times, bittersweet picture of single lives in the big city. It’s currently playing at the Arcola Theatre .  He is bi and works for her in an office job. She is neither ready for a commitment nor to let the office know what’s happening. He isn’t prepared to tell his mum there’s someone special in his life. He doesn’t speak to his dad, so his mum is his world. It’s a perfect relationship/arrangement. Or so it

Running with scissors: Cut #Cuttheplay

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  A sensory and unnerving experience awaits anyone heading off to see Cut at  The Vaults  in Waterloo. A one woman show performed by  Hannah Norris . S he is your guide, predator and prey in this story about paranoia, obsession and an awful lot of cling film. Part of the experience of the piece is to throw the audience into complete darkness. With a pulsing soundtrack it makes things feel pretty intense.  The intensity at first is all in your mind. But then Norris throws herself about the traverse stage. She is one place. Then another. And then another. Smiling and grinning. There is a menacing demeanour about her, especially when she tells audience members to take off their glowing watches.

Dusk in a muddy park: Babel

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Babel , billed as one of the theatrical events of 2012 (in a year that no doubt will be full of these) is currently playing at Caledonian Park in North London. It's part street theatre, part performance art, part art and craft, part singing and part muddy field. It's a lot of parts but it is a pretty ambitious piece that brings together a story of a city like London where people are from all corners of the world and representing a variety of cultures and backgrounds...

Concert: New York Philharmonic at the Barbican with Joyce DiDonato

It is easy to appreciate the music of Berlioz, Ravel, Stravinsky and English Born composer Thomas Adès when it is the New York Philharmonic performing. Part of their residency series at the Barbican , Friday night was an opportunity to be wowed by some impressive musicianship and a passion for music. You know you're in for something a little bit different when you notice that after taking your seats you're surrounded by various members of the brass section. This was for Adès piece Polaris which had its European Premiere and was a joint commission with the Barbican and New York Philharmonic. It was an intriguing and hypnotic piece, although depending on your proximity to the off stage brass may have swayed your views on it (as no doubt you would not have heard much else). The above video shot for its premiere in New York gives some context to it The rest of the programme featured Joyce DiDonato in Berlioz’s song cycle Les nuits d’été which gave a delicate and light touch to

Theatre: John Leguizamo Ghetto Klown

John Leguizamo's latest show is in London for the next couple of weeks. It is a chance for him to showcase his ability to impersonate people, dance and tell some pretty funny stories based on his personal and professional life. Relating the experiences of working with Al Pacino, Patrick Swayze and Sean Penn are funny, but it is his personal life stories that are particularly engaging. When he talks about his depression that involves drinking too much coffee and not being able to sleep it, the delivery and visuals take it to a whole new level. It isn't stand up comedy, it's more intense, it's more personal and as it is so coherent and well written it is much more satisfying. He calls it therapy. Whatever it is, it is good value. And it works really well in the Charing Cross Theatre.

Performance: The Storeroom

In an attempt to see something different from the usual theatrical fare on Saturday evening, I was at the Drill Hall to catch The Storeroom , which has been described as a potent cocktail of glamour murder and intrigue. This one-woman show starring Sian Williams is very intriguing and inventive. And certainly something different. Williams does hold your attention while she is on stage, thanks to her intense performance and mildly sexy outfits... While its origins from the Edinburgh Fringe appear obvious at times (economical sets, lighting and props), it was an enjoyable piece from The Kosh . And the red raincoat and the ventriloquist scenes were particularly entertaining. There's one Sunday matinee performance to go today...

Music: West End Live (day one)

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It is a bit like it was shot from a mobile phone (probably because it was), but the London Gay Men's Chorus did take part in West End Live today... The rain held off (mostly) and the crowd seemed to like our stuff which is a good omen for the three big shows next Friday and Saturday at the Roundhouse in Camden... The resolution is not the best of the video above but I managed to do (slightly) better backstage just before we went on. Rest assured this is not the full chorus, there are almost going to be double this number on stage next week... And some of us even have hair... West End Live is a great showcase for some of the musicals playing on the West End and the chorus has been privileged to also take part. There is more tomorrow and it is worth a wander by...

Scenes from the backstage...

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Waiting for the act two call... Posted via email from paulinlondon's posterous

Theatre: Blood Brothers

I mentioned earlier this year to Grant and a few others in the chorus , that I had not seen Willy Russell's musical, Blood Brothers . The reaction to this statement was like one of those scenes in a movie... You know like in a western, when a stranger walks into a bar and the music stops, people gasp, and everyone looks up and stares... I was committing musical heresy apparently, even if a show about two guys who turn out to be brothers and then die wasn't high on my list of things to see... Well Grant was determined to rectify this oversight, so on Friday I found myself at the Phoenix Theatre where this show has been playing for a very long time... Blood Brothers tells the rather melodramatic story of two twins separated at birth. They grow up only knowing each other as friends and one goes to Oxbridge and becomes a Councillor, while the other goes mad (some may be confused about whether there is much of a contrast here). Eventually thanks to the love of a girl and shoes on a

Scenes from West End Live Saturday 15:30

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London Gay Men's Chorus at West End Live , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . Saturday the London Gay Men's Chorus took part in West End Live in Leicester Square. Not only was it a preview of the upcoming show Songs of Innocence and Experience at Cadogan Hall (July 4 and 5), but it was a chance to show off the new chorus uniform of coloured shirt... And chinos... Tickets on sale now for our concert and West End Live continues Sunday... West End Live is a great showcase for what's currently on stage and well worth checking out... The rather fit cast from High School Musical on stage preceded our Saturday afternoon slot certainly got our attention...

Concert: Accentuate the Positive

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Before the curtain rises (or rather the gauze) on what became a rather memorable show, a choir waits for its cue and a full house waits for the show to begin. After nine weeks of rehearsals it was show time. But the concert felt less of a show and more of a gathering of family and friends. A gathering that just happened to take place at the Palladium , where Judy, Liza, Barbara, Frank, Rufus and Jason Donovan have previously performed... To name a few... Throughout what turned out to be a long day with much waiting around, in our spare time one tried not to gawk too much at the Judy Garland memorials both front and backstage, nor did I linger too much around Connie Fisher's dressing room (although I was informed to see Sound of Music before she leaves as the replacements are rubbish). In every corner of the building there is a sense of history about the theatre, although when you get to the bar you tend to forget all that when you are being charged £7 for a G&T... True Colours

Scenes from the Coliseum Sunday Afternoon

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021220072920 , originally uploaded by Paul-in-London . It was Sunday evening around 10.30pm when I looked at my watch while waiting in the wings of the Coliseum and wondered what the hell I was doing there. Sure it was Barbara Cook's 80th Birthday concert. Sure she was great. Sure we were about to go on to sing two minutes in the finale chorus of Make Your Garden Grow... But after being there since 3pm it was a bit of a stretch. Well the concert didn't start at 3pm, it just felt like it did. Mind you there were more than just a few of us in the chorus that jumped at the chance to sing with Barbara Cook when asked a few months ago. Hell even if it was for just two minutes we were there. Some people in the chorus did ask "Who is Barbara Cook?" to which I replied "Wash your mouth". Well, in the four years I have been in London I have seen her perform twice and got her autograph but all that wasn't intentional. But she is one of the interpreters of th