It’s Only Rock N Roll But I Like It!

It’s Only Rock N Roll But I Like It!

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

A major new exhibition from GALERIE PRINTS London, features gorgeously candid shots of the best known faces of Rock & Pop,

from Elvis Presley to The Rolling Stones  and  Led Zeppelin to Blondie and Bruce Springsteen , David Bowie to Amy Winehouse and Nirvana and Oasis plus many more –

from such heavyweight photographers as Terry O’Neill, Michael Putland, Jill Furmanovsky, Christopher Simon Sykes and Duffy – to name but a few. 

Exhibition runs October 1st until November 26th

Experience this spectacular display of iconic music imagery at

GALERIE PRINTS GALLERY 152 Arthur Road, Wimbledon Park, London, SW19 8AQ

Follow on Instagram: galerieprints

Free Admission

https://www.galerieprints.com/

 

 

THE CLAYKICKERS CHORUS by Kevin McMahon

THE CLAYKICKERS CHORUS by Kevin McMahon

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

When I was invited by Joan Lane of The King’s Speech fame (she was at the helm of its development) to attend a showcase performance of the award winning play THE CLAYKICKERS CHORUS, at The Pleasance Theatre in Islington, I felt hugely privileged.

On several counts because I have great faith in Joan’s judgement, and because Amanda Noar, the Director and the play itself had won both the Kenneth Branagh and the Sylvia Anderson awards respectively in 2018 alongside other emerging talent.

The Claykickers’ Chorus.
L-R. Reece Richardson (Actor), Jordan Turk (Actor), Kevin McMahon (Writer), Simon Pontin (Actor), Amanda Noar (Director)

Visiting the Pleasance Theatre after several years also brought back memories of their triumphant history of more than 20 years of championing innovation, and providing a showcase for new writers and comedians.

As I waited in the foyer for the show to commence, I chatted to the writer Kevin McMahon, an earnest gentleman, who had felt passionately about the subject matter.  He outlined the play for me letting me know that he hoped it would eventually end up in Manchester, its birthplace.  He had travelled from there that day to see his work performed.

THE CLAYKICKERS’ CHORUS tells the story of men unexpectedly assigned during World War 2 and who had some experience in tunnelling, but who were given the hellish job of creating an underworld to help deviate the path of the enemy.  Ironically, two of these men were shot by a passing British officer when they failed to salute him.  The soldier’s only punishment was to have one of his stripes taken from him, which seemed to reflect the value of two men’s lives against the rather ineffectual demotion of the shooter by the British forces.

The performance from the three male cast, Alex Phelps, Reece Richardson and Jordan Turk was outstanding, as they demonstrated their odious tasks and recounted the dire conditions of their assignment.    They heaved and hauled and soldiered on, but the irony was, in spite of their former tunnelling knowledge, their lack of training of the task in hand as well as their ignorance of protocol, lead them to blindly make the wrong decision when confronted with authority.  As if the requirement to stand to attention, but in innocently ignoring the senseless salute, lost their lives with a single bullet through their heads.

Amanda Noar’s Direction was exemplary and reminded me why she had been commended for her work.  She understood the core message and had climbed in with the men as they tunnelled their way through the dialogue of the abyss, submerging their fears without redemption as they paid the price for a futile assignment.

Joan Lane had collaborated with Anthony Alderson, the Artistic Director of the Pleasance Theatre to put on the abridged version of the play, as they both felt it needed a showcase for interested parties to become involved in its development.  Perhaps a National tour or the Edinburgh Festival were both on the table, and the buzz after the show was promising.

https://www.pleasance.co.uk/

I for one came away with more knowledge of a desolate society of war torn years, uncaring of its people, desperate to win a futile battle with a horrific lack of consideration for human dignity or human life.

We could have been speaking about politicians and the World today, tunnelling our way into to an impossible future, and digging ourselves deeper through sheer desperation and with a shameless lack of humanity or anything that counts.

 

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ROMANCE BLOOMS AT THE OSCARS

ROMANCE BLOOMS AT THE OSCARS

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

We all know that relationships are a huge part of Hollywood dream, and how the paparazzi feed like hungry predators on the love lives of its icons.   But what makes Hollywood and the Oscars the ultimate aphrodisiac?  Is it the shared intimacy of performance between the creative forces that govern the silver screen, or just another attempt to evoke attention to its global stage.

We bore witness last night to some of the most amazing demonstrations of love at the Oscars in Hollywood.

The super passionate kiss from Rami Malek, as he was collecting his Oscar for Best Actor portraying Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, as a public display of his love for fellow Actor Lucy Boynton.

Then as Lady Gaga performed on stage beside her co-star from Star is Born, Bradley Cooper the entire Universe looked on as they exchanged the look of love between them at the end of their song.

As so many strive for fame and fortune, do they still believe that Hollywood spells happiness, in spite of the inevitable break up of relationships, with the rocky foundations of love affairs and the slippery slope to heartache.

Or do we just embrace the roller coaster of the rich and famous, as then we don’t have to share the pain, just revel in its glory as voyeurs for healthy escapism, and so that we don’t actually have to be personally entangled.

But we don’t want to rain on your parade, there is nothing wrong with the ultimate fantasy, Disney was built on it and has made it a universal phenomenon.    So for all its faults, we are all compelled to tune into the Oscars, and enjoy the ultimate sprinkling of fairy dust from our City of Dreams, so aptly named Tinseltown.

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ONE GIRL’S GARBAGE IS ANOTHER ONE’S GOLD

ONE GIRL’S GARBAGE IS ANOTHER ONE’S GOLD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

A second hand clothes shop in the mid-nineties, location – Primrose Hill, London.  A female, late twenties enthusiastically sorting through racks of pre-owned clothes, which have been immaculately cleaned and well ironed.  Her mother, a prim woman in her late fifties looking on with scornfully, silent and disapproving.  She suddenly bursts into dialogue with an accent resembling Hyacinth Bucket from the nineties TV show Keeping up Appearances, ‘can we please leave’ she spouts ‘this shop is making me feel quite sick’.

I am sure many of us have encountered the occasional Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) in our own lives, including the snobbish character within ourselves.  But as the majority of us are trying to do our bit to save the planet, the recycling of clothes is now becoming the norm, and in fact a respected way forward.

The past few years have seen the approval from celebrities and the wealthy who not only donate their garments to Charity Shops but also buy from them as well, just to keep the recycling circle going.  Also, as one famously said ‘one girl’s garbage is another one’s gold’.  This is often the case, and has happened time and time again with acquaintances who have boasted huge savings and acquisitions from their Charity Shop rummages.

My own mother Sylvia Anderson, a pioneer for women in television, who was one of the first women to make it to University from a working class family, because of her high level of intellect (but with very low funds), couldn’t afford to buy any new clothes.  But through her own ingenuity purchased a very high quality second hand tweed coat in London in the fifties – a garment she hung onto for years.  She adored the classic line and high quality of the material, even though she paid a fraction of its value.  So I was well rehearsed into recycling my clothes from an early age, as I remember her still wearing it when I was a child.

In fact moving on from this legacy, I was one of the pioneers of the home ‘clothes swap’ way back in the eighties when friends were encouraged to gather at each other’s houses, eat, drink and try on each of our pre-loved outfits.  Such fun, and often very fortuitous.

The environmental charity WRAP states that £30bn of unworn clothing lies hanging in UK wardrobes, and 11m goes to landfill.   So now the World has caught up, and rather than hiding our second hand acquisitions under a bushel, we are now encouraged to recycle our wardrobes as often as possible and restock from the ever giving pile of clothes donated from enthusiastic givers like ourselves.  After all there is nothing more satisfying than a bargain, especially when you are also contributing to the planet we inhabit whilst making a killing – metaphorically of course!

 

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THE TOWN FOOD CRYER

THE TOWN FOOD CRYER

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Remember you heard it here as I sample and report back on some of the best kept food secrets in town

 

Bob Bob Ricard

If you want sheer decadence as well as absolutely delight, Bob Bob Ricard is famous for each table sporting a button reading ‘press for Champagne’ as well as its ‘all booth’ ambience. As you can imagine the British/Russian menu is sumptuous as well as the fine wine and cocktails.  Wallow in sheer luxury in this glamorous restaurant in the heart of Soho.

Where: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, W1F 9DF
Website: www.bobbobricard.com

 

 

Brasserie Zedel

‘A stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus, out of No 1 exit and continue to walk straight were the perfect directions.  You can’t miss its distinctive front entrance on the left of Sherwood Street, with the distinctive style reminiscent of Paris of a bi-gone era, consistently reflected within its vast haughty walls.   The Brasserie sprawls proudly across its basement level alongside its Cabaret Club, The Crazy Coqs, and rather than confuse you, if you want a French meal at a meagre £10.50, you can order two courses in the Brasserie and then book to see one of its acts in the club.  It is also perfect for lunch when shopping or in the evening as a pre-theatre dinner.

Where: 20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED
Website: https://www.brasseriezedel.com/

 

 

Joe Allen

I have recently been re-introduced to this iconic restaurant in Covent Garden by my friend Debbie Arnold, who has a table in her name.  I was a regular in the nineties when performing in the West End, and it has held its own in spite of steep competition over the years.  But classics never date and Joe’s never does.  A great supporter of the arts and the homeless charities, you will always see a familiar face either from theatre or TV and as our very own national treasure Joanna Lumley says ‘when in doubt eat at Joe Allen, they will take good care of you’ and the food is always absolutely fabulous.

Where: 2 Burleigh St, London WC2E 7PX
Website: https://www.joeallen.co.uk/

 

 

Alounak 

This authentic Persian Restaurant has become one of the most recommended places in town to experience Persian food at its best.   I was taken there impromptu by my new friend Gudrun Jonsson, a wonderful biopath and holistic practitioner, who lives nearby in Napier Street, after having reflexology.   It is always a good sign when you are recommended personally and also see local Iranians and foodies sampling the mixed mezze of strained yoghurt, freshly walnuts and mirza ghassemi (smoked aubergine, garlic and tomato). For our main course, we had the grilled kebabs – chicken with saffron and lemon. Other sides include warm bread, and basmati rice –with raw egg yolk, butter and herbs if required. The spiced tea was really refreshing, and the service is great too with friendly staff who look as if they really care about their customers.

Where: 10 Russell Gardens, Kensington, London W14 8EZ

 

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