Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Monday, August 23, 2021
Arsenal’s advice was: “…avoiding excessive shouting/singing/celebrations... You should avoid hugs, high-fives and any unnecessary close contact with people who are not known to you.”
Talking to strange men and having close contact with people who are not known to me was pretty much my modus operandi of my 20s and 30s!
And such close contact behaviour, albeit it in non-sexual way, had until more recently made a welcome return to my life at the Emirates Stadium. We hug a lot in Block 6. Or, we used to.
Oh well, it was back to nodding hellos and nodding goodbyes it is then.
Stay safe folks. And don’t talk to any strange men!
Friday, August 20, 2021
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Work started in 1902 constructing the cut-and-cover tunnel which had just two underground stations - Holborn tramway station and the steel roofed Aldwych tramway station.
Services opened to the public on 24th Feb 1906 with a tram running from Angel to Aldwych. Later that year they extended the route starting from Highbury Station to Tower Bridge and to Kennington Gate.
The tunnel was originally built for single-deck trams only but due to the popularity of the service in 1929 was deepened to accommodate the double-deckers too.
After WW2 tram usage declined and it was decided to replace trams with diesel buses which were more flexible. By 1952 the subway had closed.
By 1964 the lower bit of the tunnel near the river had been repurposed as the Strand Underpass for cars. The upper section remains empty so we got to see that and the two deserted stations. The space is occasionally used as a filming location. A forgotten piece of Hidden London history.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Monday, August 16, 2021
Based on the 1952 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical comedy film originally starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds it offers a comic depiction of Hollywood, and its transition from silent films to talking pictures.
Stu and I had seen the production before - nine years ago at The Palace Theatre in London's glitzy West End - so we were keen to see how it might have changed. To our pleasant surprise - not a jot.
The show is an almost scene for scene conversion from the film to the stage starring Adam Cooper (who played the same role nine years ago), Kevin Clifton and Charlotte Gooch.
The show is still very funny - but no funnier than the film. The singing is really good - but not really outstanding. No, it's the dancing that makes this show excel. The lead performers and ensemble really come into their own with the dance routines. The production is put on with such joy and with such a spring in it's step you can't help but want to jump up and dance yourself. You don't of course because that would be stupid but you have a good time anyway humming the songs, clapping your hands and tapping your feet. Yes, folks it's that sort of unadulterated fun show.
And every show needs it's stand out moment and this show is no different. The show stopper is, as might be expected, the title song Singin' In The Rain. Water pours down from above onto the stage and Adam Cooper dances, spins his umbrella and splashes about in the rising water just like in the film. Magic.
The first dozen rows got rather wet - but then that what they came for; a big splash.
My favourite two scenes both featured Steps star Faye Tozer, playing evil actress Lina Lamont.
Firstly Lina tries to talk proper...
Phoebe Dinsmore: [giving Lina diction lessons] Repeat after me - Tah, Tey, Tee, Toe, Too.
Lina Lamont: Tah, Tey, Tye, Tow, Tyo.
Phoebe Dinsmore: No, no, no Miss Lamont, Round tones, round tones. Now, let me hear you read your line.
Lina Lamont: And I cayn't stand'im.
Phoebe Dinsmore: And I can't stand him.
Lina Lamont: And I cayn't stand'im.
Phoebe Dinsmore: Can't.
Lina Lamont: Cayn't.
Phoebe Dinsmore: Caaaan't
Lina Lamont: Cayyyyn't
And later after being accused of being just like other people...
Lina Lamont: "People"? I ain't "people." I am a - "a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament."
[picks up newspaper]
Lina Lamont: It says so - right here!
Friday, August 13, 2021
The show was great. Stunning performance from the two leads. And genius usage of Rebel MC and Double Trouble's Street Tuff
Two men meet at a funeral.
Gil knew the deceased. Benny did not.
Before long their families are close.
Soon they’ll be singing the same tune.
Benny (Danny Sapani) is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil (Adrian Lester) longs to fulfil his potential. They form a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives, they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms.
Following a sold-out run of live streamed shows in February (which we also saw), Hymn's return is another triumph for the Almeida.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Last weekend Stuart and I spent an amazing Saturday afternoon helping Wayne celebrate his big 5-0 birthday at the RVT in London's glitzy Vauxhall.
What a fantastic day it was, with fabulous entertainment from the DE Experience.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
I dont know if I have some mild form of long covid or not but my sense of taste hasn't really returned and I am getting really tired in the afternoons and sleep much longer at night than even I did. Hopefully it's just post-viral fatigue and will gradually go.
Monday, August 09, 2021
Friday, August 06, 2021
Thursday, August 05, 2021
Constellations. One relationship. Infinite Possibilities (funny, thoughtful, and having a same-sex pairing brings a fresh perspective to it) ....
"One drink. And if you never want to see me again you never have to see me again."
A quantum physicist and a beekeeper meet at a barbeque. They hit it off, or perhaps they don’t. They go home together, or maybe they go their separate ways. In the multiverse, with every possible future ahead of them, a love of honey could make all the difference.
There are actually four sets of cast members in this fresh production - we saw Omari Douglas and Russell Tovey. The other pairings are Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah, Peter Capaldi and Zoë Wanamaker, and Anna Maxwell Martin and Chris O'Dowd.