Quote Of The Day

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

Friday, January 31, 2014

King Lear...

Last night Stuart and I went to see King Lear at the Olivier Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank.

Wow! What a production! Sam Mendes has put on a fantastic all-star, all-singing, all-dying show.

An aged king decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, according to which of them is most eloquent in praising him. The first two offer false sycophantic adulation and get much. His favourite, Cordelia, who says nothing gets banished. Lear seems to value a flattering public display of love over real love. There may be trouble ahead!

Deceit, torture, murder, war, tragedy, madness and death a bit like a Christmas episode of Eastenders.

Simon Russell Beale is magnificent and plays Lear as a bad-tempered egotistical tyrant. A thug and military leader who is both selfish and vain and entirely undeserving of any compassion. His quick to judge attitude is his undoing. He wants to be treated as a king and to enjoy the title, but he doesn't want to fulfill a king’s obligations of governing for the good of his subjects.

The three daughters are also superb - especially Anna Maxwell Martin's flirtatious Regan.

The production shines too from the bathing of the set in a rolling video backdrop to the ear-splitting thunder and the perfectly executed spinning stage.

It's well worth a seeing - especially if you can endure the two hour bum-numbing first half, a bit of eye-gouging and some full-front male nudity.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Pass...

On Saturday night Oliver, Steve, Stuart and I went to see The Pass at The Royal Court.

It was a brilliant production, fantastically acted and sexy has hell.

Starring the lovely Russell Tovey the story tells how the corruption that ambition and fame brings can ruin lives. Tovey plays Jason an aspiring footballer who along with his best mate Ade (Gary Carr) are poised on the brink of stardom. Jason makes a pass at Ade in their shared hotel room the night before a big game - something he fails to do the next day on the pitch - thereby changing both of their lives. Jason scores on and off the pitch, Ade fails to get picked, and then jacks in his ambitions and finds love being a plumber and with a new man. Jason goes on to bigger and badder things.

The action resumes years later as Jason, now a star, is trying to cover up his homosexuality. He is spending a night with a female pole dancer. But just who is fooling who? Jason's closet lifestyle and hunger for fame has driven him to the brink of a breakdown. He makes another misjudged pass and things soon spiral out of control. "I am not a gay man," he bellows, "I am an ATHLETE!", he then screams back at the woman as she questions his motives. And we believe him. His own disgust has driven him to self-denial and madness.

Fast forward a few years later and he has invited Ade up to his swanky hotel room. Drunk on pills, booze and power he makes his third and final pass. Perhaps trying to get back to that man he was, the man who stood a chance with his mate Ade. But Jason and Ade are both changed men. Jason's corruption is complete and the way he uses people disgusts Ade.

Steal a ticket!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Manchester United - mid-table team...

Manchester United are now 14 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Walking past Old Trafford last night I saw two season tickets nailed to the front gates. I thought "I'm having that!"
You can never have enough nails.

I heard a cat crying outside this morning. I looked out the window and saw 4 blokes in Manchester United shirts playing football with it. I was just about to call the RSPCA...
...until the cat went 1 - 0 up!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The new @HBO season is fab. @Girls is back on top form. @Looking has started well. And @TrueDetective is the new @TrueBlood

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pop Art Design...

Last week Dave and I went to the Pop Art Design exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London's glitzy Barbican Centre.

The Pop Art Design exhibition paints a new picture of Pop – but one that recognizes the central role played by design.

Design lead to Pop Art. Pop Art in turn inspired Design. Goto Line 10.
Eventual, some might argue, Pop ate itself.

The exhibition has over 200 works from dozens of artists and designers - Peter Blake, Pauline Boty, Judy Chicago, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol et al. There are posters, magazines, album sleeves, as well as film, photography and documentation of Pop interiors and architecture. Worth a visit. And there's a Pop Art app too to accompany the exhibition which is quite nifty.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Last night Stu and I went to see Ghosts at the Trafalgar Studios in London's glitzy Westminster.

It was a night of loss, abuse, self-denial, lies, snobbishness, debauchery, illegitimacy, incest, disease, suicide, and evangelical pomposity. And that was just the foyer programme seller.

In Richard Eyre's new version of this potent Ibsen drama, Lesley Manville's haunted widow never loosens her grip on the audience.

She plays Helene Alving, a rich widow stifled by several awkward relationships: with her son Oswald, an artist who has recently been living in Paris; with Manders, the local pastor to whom she was at one time attracted; and with her dead husband, whose memory she has chosen to honour by building an orphanage. There is also friction between her, her maid Regina (Charlene McKenna) and Jacob Engstrand, the devious hypocrite who is generally understood to be Regina’s father.

The play is superb - the acting top notch. I cried and cried at the raw emotion in the final scene. Bravo.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Radio, Radio...

I did something yesterday I'd not done in 20 years. I bought radio. Get me being all 1993.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Henry V...

Last week Stuart and I went to see Jude Law perform in Henry V at the Noel Coward Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

The play is a fairly straightforward account of Henry V's attack on the French at the Battle of Agincourt and his subsequent woeing of Catherine of Valois.

Mr Law gave a super performance as the battling king and as a straight history play it's fine. It begins to sparkle however when Shakespeare give full rein to his witty prose in the woeing scene.

This is the last of Michael Grandage's productions at the Noel Coward and I for one will be sorry to see him go.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

A Tumble...

Took a tumble on way into work today. Wet leaves. Ruined trousers, broke watch, sprained wrist, bruised hip and bruised ego.‪#‎morehastelessspeed‬

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Fascinating Aida...

Last night Stu and I went to the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's glitzy Southbank to see cabaret's own, its very own, Fascinating Aida.

Having seen them perhaps a dozen times since the mid-1980s I knew what to expect but being Stu's first time he was in for a treat.

And the gals didn't disappoint.

Two hours of great songs old and new they assaulted us with their very witty show Charm Offensive.

Bulgarian Song Cycle was back with new fresh outrageous lyrics.
Dogging made a return.
Look Mummy, No Hands was as poignant as ever.
Taboo made a welcome return.
New song Adele's Song was simply inspired - 10 years in the writing it was Adele's coming out story of being a transsexual and got the tone just right.
Cheap Flights - being their greatest hit - finished off the evening.

Oh, apart from a very rude song about Christmas!

Well done ladies. Another great show. Sweet FA!

Here's the full set-list:-

We’re Next
We’re Not Done Yet
Boomerang Kid
Spending Nigel’s Bonus
First Bulgarian Song Cycle 2013
Double Dip
Facebook Blues
Look Mummy No Hands
Down With The Kids

Allo, Bonjour Monsieur!
Ofsted Song (or A Teacher's Lot Is Not A Happy One)
Little Girls In Pink
Beetroot Song
Second Bulgarian Song Cycle 2013
Out of Practice
Old Home
Prisoner Of Gender
Cheap Flights
Your Home Town

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Uncle Hedgehog...

Great to have a catch up with Dave the other night. He's over from Oz on his biannual visit.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year's Day @ La Petite Auberge...

On New Years Day we had a bit of a knees up. A cheeky one at The Hen and Chickens was followed by lunch at French bistro La Petite Auberge and then a few bevvies at The Bull. All the gang were there and we had a nice time. We finished up early as it was a school night and Sherlock was on the telly. Oh how times have changed!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Eve @ Horse Meat Disco...

It was a fun New Year's Eve with all the boys at Horse Meat Disco. Darren had us all round for food first and then to headed down to The Eagle for a bit of a boogie. And Pink Flamingos was on the screens on repeat so we had fun watching that too.