Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

Charley's Aunt...

Last night Stu and I went to see classic comedy Charley's Aunt at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Set in 1890, two students at Oxford force their rascally friend and fellow student to pose as an aunt from Brazil - where the nuts come from - so they can persuade their sweethearts' guardian to let them propose.

It's one of those trickiest of pieces, a traditional farce. A genre that hinges on the skill of the central performances. Most of which were excellent. Most.

Starring Mathew Horne (him off of Gavin and Stacey), Jane Asher (her with the cakes), Norman Pace (him off of Hale and Pace) and Steven Pacey (him off of Blakes 7) it was certainly a stellar cast. Stand-out performance was Steven Pacey. He was funny, sweet and believable as father of one of the young suitors. The weakest performance however was Mathew Horne. He just wasn't convincing in drag as the 'aunt'. He should either have camped it up a bit more to be hyper-real pastiche or tried to be more convincing as a woman. Basically he should have either have gone for Pantomime Dame/Dockyard Doris or Mrs Doubtfire/Tootsie.

Worth a visit though. We did laugh.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meltdown: Marc and the Mambas: Torment and Toreros...

A few weeks ago David, Paul and I went to see Marc and the Mambas perform Torment and Toreros as part of the Antony Hegarty curated Meltdown festival at The Royal Festival Hall on London's glitzy South Bank.

Five stars - it was a brilliant, brilliant gig. Marc was on top form; singing, dancing and prancing. Not so much torment as triumph.

More pix here.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

The West Wing is back!...

Squeee! The West Wing is back! Well, sort of. The cast of the West Wing reunites to walk and talk about why it's important to vote on the nonpartisan section of the ballot in the US election. And it's been upgraded to a calamity.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Maps - 3D London Landmarks...

Apple's new iOS6 brings with it Apple Maps. Not quite as good as Google Maps but it's 3D images of central London are fab. You can fly down streets, twist and zoom around buildings. So close you can almost think you're looking in the windows.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton...

What a amazing game it was last Saturday. The Gunners took on The Saints at home at the Emirates Stadium and thrashed them. 6-1 if you please - OK, two OGs but that's still 4 goals by own boys. Sad we lost our clean sheet by letting one in but that's the first one in four games so the defence is looking good.

One of our goals was scored by the wonderful Lukas Podolski. Love the man!

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street..

Last night Stuart and I went to see Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Adelphi Theatre in London's glitzy Strand.

The muscial starred Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. It was dark, funny and very good.

I'd seen both the 1980 production starring Sheila Hancock as Mrs Lovett and also the 1993 production starring Julia McKenzie in the same role - and this revival was better than either. It caught the mood just right turning the audience's affections first this way and then that as the wronged Demon Barber of Fleet Street sets out to enact his revenge. Quite a few innocents meet a grisly end before the corrupt and evil get their comeuppance in the barber's chair.

Michael Ball was indeed very good at the eponymous barber but it was Imelda Staunton's Mrs Lovett that stole the show. Channeling Julie Waters' Mrs Overall she was cruel yet kind, heartless yet loving, knowing yet deluded. Catch it if you can!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

iPhone 5...

iPhone5 is evolution not revolution. Bit taller, bit thinner, bit faster, bit lighter, bit better battery life, bit better camera, bit of a shame about the new smaller cable though. iOS6 has no built-in YouTube, no Google Maps but new Apple maps instead, passbook (a virtual wallet), shared photo streams, Siri can now update Facebook, and few other improvements. Same prices, same capacity, same colours. Out 21st Sept. iTunes has newish interface and iCloud built-in.

Or in techie terms:- 802.11 a/b/g/n, 802.11n 2.4GHz & 5GHz (dual band 5GHz) up to 150Mbps
A6 is 2x fast processor and 2x graphics
battery life is now 8 hrs 3G talktime, 3G browsing. 8hrs LTE browsing, 10 hrs Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hrs video, 40 hours Music. 225 hrs of standby.
camera 8 megapixel sensor, 3264x2448 resolution w/backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f2.4 aperture. 25 percent smaller.
camera panorama function
video face-detection
take photos will recording
Facetime over cellular
3 microphones (front, back, bottom)
earpiece has noise-cancelling
new smaller connector
iOS6: no built-in YouTube, no Google Maps but new Apple maps instead, passbook (a virtual wallet), shared photo streams, few other improvements.
Same prices, same capacity, same colours.
iPhone 5 out 21st Sept
iOS6 out 19th Sept
iTunes has new interface

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

RIP Gore Vidal...

RIP Gore Vidal last month. A few quotes of his I love...
"When anyone says to me, 'Can you keep a secret?' I say, 'Why should I, if you can't?'"
"I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults."
"There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."
"The secret to a happy life. Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television."

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

Brighton Pride...

Last weekend Darren, Vince, Chris, Hudd, Stu and I went down to Brighton for the annual Brighton & Hove Pride. It had been delayed by a month due to the London 2012 Games. The event wasn't quite as busy as previous years but to be honest that was no bad thing!

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