Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rum, Sodomy and The Lash...

Well, I'm not too sure about the last two but the first I can sort you out with. A mere snip at £599 a bottle.


Black Tot Last Consignment / British Royal Naval Rum 


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Paul's 50th...

It was Paul's 50th yesterday and he very generously treated Si, Charlie, Martin, Jan, Ian, Stu and me to dinner at Moro in Exmouth Market. We had a fab time ably assisted by a couple of bottles of Cava from the lovely Allegra and Suzie and the lovely Charlie. Paul is such a lovely man - the simple testament being... his lovely friends.

Pix below and slide show here.






Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hong Kong Phooey...

"Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy. Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye."


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Monday, July 26, 2010

Clever Advert...

Can you guess what this advert is really for? Subtle and clever as it dawns upon you.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Saturday night madness!...

A few weeks we had a go at Dance on Broadway (Wii). I hang my head in shame along with Mark Ashley, Stuart Archer and Mark Maguire.

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Dracula...

Last night Stu, Paul, Simon and I went to the world famous Hackney Empire to watch Dracula - the remastered 1931 b/w classic starring Bela Lugosi. It was being screened as part of the Blaze festival with a live score composed by Philip Glass and performed by the Kronos Quartet.

We really enjoyed it. It was perfect mix of the live... and the undead.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hair...



Stop me if you've heard this one before.... The first proper date Stu and I went on was to see a revival of the 1967 hippy musical Hair at the Gate Theatre in 2005. Twelve years earlier than that coincidentally we'd both seen the same 1993 production at The Old Vic starring Sinitta and John Barrowman.

We are both big fans. Obviously.

So naturally we went to see the Broadway revival at the Gielgud Theatre with the original New York cast a month or two ago.

And we just couldn't keep away so few weeks ago we went again.

And guess what? We still couldn't keep away. So we went yet again last night. Still at the Gieldgud Theatre and still with the original New York cast.

Well, you would wouldn't you?

Hair is undoubtabably a great musical. A rock musical no less. The first of its kind. It explores dramatic themes throughout, most of which are displayed right there on stage; swearing, drug use, overt sexuality, anti-war, anti-racism and nudity. What's not to like?

The songs are great too; Aquarius, Donna, Sodomy, Ain't Got No, Hair, Be-In (Hare Krishna), Good Morning Starshine and of course the seminal Let the Sun Shine In.

This production really does the material justice. It is active, energetic and enthusiastic. Simply staged it allows the great singing to come to the fore. Last night the audience were involved from start to finish being encouraged to join in as the action on the stage bled into the auitorium. Climbing over the seating the cast sang, danced, handed out posters and passed round flowers. By the finale the audience were so involved they flooded onto the stage to join in the fun. Naturally we just had to join them (again).

We probably liked it even more the third time of viewing. I wonder if we can sneak in a fourth and final time before it closes on 4th Sept?
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10...

I've recently got myself a new toy. A Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10. I did a lot of research; speaking to friends and checking out forums, reviews and comparing specs.
  • LUMIX Super Zoom Digital Camera
  • 12.1 megapixel, 25mm Wide-angle 12x Optical Zoom with LEICA DC Lens
  • Intelligent Resolution Technology and 16x Intelligent Zoom
  • HD Movie in AVCHD Lite and HDMI Compatibility Featuring VIERA Link
  • Travel Mode with GPS for Easy Organizing Images of Travel
  • P/A/S/M Mode for More Creative Shots
  • iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Charity...

Last November Stu and I went to a preview of Sweet Charity at the Menier Chocolate Factory and had felt at the time that a West End transfer would be coming. Sure enough, last night Paul, Allegra, Suzie and I went to see the show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The transfer itself wasn't a surprise as the creative team behind this show has propelled Little Shop of Horrors and La Cage aux Folles in the same direction.

So did it travel well across the river? You betcha.

The show follows the misadventures of love encountered by the gullible and guileless Charity Hope Valentine, a dancer at a dance hall called the Fandango Ballroom in New York City, who always gives her heart and her dreams to the wrong man. Again and again.

And it was just a great production. Tamzin Outhwaite made a simply superb Charity - she can sing, she can dance (and I guess we knew this already) she can act. The rest of the cast were spot on too. Bob Fosse would have been proud. It was funny, entertaining and energetic. As at the Menier, the staging was simple but affective.

Best songs of the night: I Love To Cry At Weddings, Big Spender, If My Friends Could See Me Now and There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This.

Highpoint of the night: The Rhythm Of Life

Go see.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Ginger Discrimination...

Isn't it discrimination that gingers only have two lifelines on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dickens World...

The other Friday I took Stu for a birthday outing to something he's been wanting to go to for years: Dickens World.

DW is a Dickensian theme park built on an industrial estate in the lovely town of Chatham - well, half an hour's walk out of Chatham to be precise - down by the old docks.

Once there (on a half-priced Fagin's Earlybird Friday deal) we were treated to A Christmas Carol haunted house, an animatronic theatre show "featuring all your favourites", a "4D" cartoon film biography of the great man, Oliver Twist being acted out/mimed and an Old Curiosity Shop to buy all the tat quality mechanise we could wish for.

Well, Stu enjoyed himself.


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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salome...

Last Friday Paul and I went to the Royal Opera House in London's glitzy Covent Garden to watch Richard Strauss's Salome - a music drama (OK, opera) based on Oscar Wilde's play. The production was really quite shocking: blood, nudity, gore and sex. The acting was great, the singing sublime and the set moved around like a stately galleon. Naturally we loved it.

I'd never been to the ROH before and I must say it was very impressive. Just what I'd expected. We had great seats too - access all arias.

One thing did make me smile though. As we were descending from the roof-top bar where we'd had our pre-performance drinkies I overheard one man say to his glamorous female companion, "Don't worry. I'm sure they'll be much better dressed in the stalls."


Click here for slide show.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

La Bête...

Last night Stu and I went to see La Bête at the Comedy Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

Starring Joanna Lumley (The Princess), David Hyde-Pierce (Elomire) and Mark Rylance (Valere) the play is a pastiche of a 17th century French play in the style of Moliere. Oh, and it is written entirely in rhyming couplets.

The action centres around a spitting, farting, burping, shitting street entertainer Valere who The Princess, a patron of the arts in the Languedoc of 1654, takes a fancy to. Current high-brow favourite actor-playwright Elomire is then commanded by the Princess, to his great annoyance and ire, to make Valere a member of his acting company. Low brow tackles high brow to the ground.

Rylance was excellent - in full flood and very funny - especially in the twenty-five minute opening egotistical monologue. Hyde-Pierce was given rather less to work with but was admirable in his first disdain and then anger at the pretentious cuckoo. Lumley was given the least to work with sadly. She did manage bring out the shrewdness in The Princesses shrewishness though. We laughed and laughed.

So Purdey, Niles and Rooster done good.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Gay Pride March...

Last Saturday around one million people took to the streets of London for the annual Pride parade. It was probably the biggest I've ever seen it and one of the best.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Alan Carr: Chatty Man...

Last night Andy, Darren, Mark, Mattie, Fabio and I went to see Alan Carr: Chatty Man being recorded at the Thames Studios on London's glitzy South Bank.

Alan was on top form, the studio was rather chilly though.

Guests were Grace Jones, Gok Wan and JLS (Lily Allen who had been due to perform was a no-show - again).

Grace Jones was weird, surreal and yet totally disarmingly honest. I wonder if her anecdote about Roger Moore and a black and white dildo will get broadcast?

Gok Wan was in uber-gay mode being rude, crude and funny as hell. He was obviously horny too.

JLS made very little sense - just giggling at everything Alan said. Their new single - some kind of Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music thing was lame.

Thanks for the ticket Andy.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Wimbledon Men's Singles Final...

Stuart very kindly bought me two tickets to go to Wimbledon Men's Final Day last Sunday. Centre Court no less. And brilliant court-side seats (Block 101, row D). Just perfect.

As Stu himself doesn't really like the tennis I took Mark (who's a big fan). We had a smashing (sic) time; the sun was shining, we had a picnic on the lawn and the tennis was excellent.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Gross Indecency...

On Saturday night Stu, me, Paul, Andy & Tim, Andy, Andrew & Tim, Darren & Mark all went to Duckie's annual anti-Pride shindig. This year it was called Gross Indecency and was held at Camden Centre next to Camden's Town Hall in the Euston Road.

We had a great time - 1960s music, a secret password to get in, a police raid...



Snaps below and more here.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Hair...



The first proper date Stu and I went on was to see a revival of the 1967 hippy musical Hair at the Gate Theatre in 2005. Twelve years earlier than that coincidentally we'd both seen the same 1993 production at The Old Vic starring Sinitta and John Barrowman. Four months ago we even went to the opening night of the new production at The Gieldgud in London's glitzy West End.

We are obviously both big fans.

So it was with more than little joy that we went to the The Gieldgud last night to see the original New York cast (with one or two changes - such as a now obviously British Claude) do their stuff again.

Hair is undoubtabably a great musical. A rock musical no less. The first of its kind. It explores dramatic themes throughout, most of which are displayed right there on stage; swearing, drug use, overt sexuality, anti-war, anti-racism and nudity. What's not to like?

The songs are great too; Aquarius, Donna, Sodomy, Ain't Got No, Hair, Be-In (Hare Krishna), Good Morning Starshine and of course the seminal Let the Sun Shine In.

This production really does the material justice. It is active, energetic and enthusiastic. Simply staged it allows the great singing to come to the fore. Last night the audience were involved from start to finish being encouraged to join in as the action on the stage bled into the auitorium. Climbing over the seating the cast sang, danced, handed out posters and passed round flowers. By the finale the audience were so involved they flooded onto the stage to join in the fun. Naturally we just had to join them.

I think we might be going again before it closes early Sept.

More snaps here.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mock The Week...

On Tuesday Andy, RVT David and I went to see a recording of BBC quiz show Mock the Week at the BBC Television Centre. The show starred Dara O'Briain and regulars Hugh Dennis, Russell Howard and Andy Parsons with guests Chris Addison, Ed Byrne and Micky Flanagan. Sadly Ben wasn't doing the warm-up that night.

On the way in we got a chance to take some snaps of a replica TARDIS. It would be churlish to say that this was the best part of the night - because the show was very funny. It's just the recording goes on for so looong. Nearly three hours.

The show is being broadcast tonight on BBC2 at 10pm.