From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Theatre

Sunday Swoon. July 21st 2013.

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1. The much talked about Shake Shack may possibly topple my favourite burger joints in London (Patty & Bun and Dirty Burger). Don’t be put off by the queues, they are brilliantly quick at whizzing through orders. I was talked in to trying the Shake Stack (a cheeseburger with a lightly fried Portobello mushroom that is stuffed with their cheese sauce) along with crispy crinkle cut fries and one of their Concretes (frozen custard ice cream with “mixins”). If you leave your London cynic at home you’ll enjoy the enthusiastic and friendly (very American) service.

2. On Sunday evening I spent an evening utterly frightened and puzzled at a secret location in London courtesy of Punchdrunk theatre company. The Drowned Man was my first experience of promenade theatre, and though I suspect I missed huge chunks of the storyline due to lack of guidance the attention to detail and vastness of sets was impressive. I love that we all came away with a completely different experience. It is pricey but if you feel flush and want to immerse yourself in something completely different then do go. Tickets are limited but still available.

3. Public Service Broadcasting were a Glastonbury highlight for me. I thankfully remember their gig at the Lexington this week far more clearly and it will go down as a highlight for 2013. I’ve had a slight obsession with them since hearing London Can Take It on 6 Music a year ago. And for all the nerd girls out there you’ll find a heart-throb in bow tie wearing banjo playing J. Willgoose, Esq. A true fiek (fit geek). A band you have to experience live.

4. Adore this new track from Friends. Dev Hynes seems to be cropping up on so many amazing tracks right now. He’s made Samantha Urbani sound as if Kate Bush was born in the Bronx on The Way.

Sunday Swoon. March 24th 2013

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1. Polica live wasn’t quite what I was expecting but by singer Channy Leaneagh’s own admission she was finding herself “out of sorts and nervous” at Shepherds Bush Empire this Thursday. But when I’m sat with a rum and coke next to amazing friends watching live music then I’m always going to be blissfully happy. Especially as Wandering Star means a great deal to my closest friend who was there with me. Also epic double drummers are always a treat to watch.

2. I read my first Ray Bradbury book this week and can feel a new obsession coming on. Something Wicked This Way Comes made me miss tube stops, read under the duvet and utterly fired my imagination. For any bookworm who has been as rubbish as I at discovering him treat yourself this weekend. His writing is poetry at times light and in love and at others dark and gothic.

3. Adam Buxton’s BUG is something I instinctively knew I would adore before ever getting the opportunity to see it. Tuesday at Leicester Square Odeon I laughed more in those three hours than the entire month. I’ve since realised that when people have asked what BUG is I can’t do it justice with my summaries. “So he reads YouTube comments out…” is met with strange looks as I elaborate. So just go, laugh and still be smiling about it days later. To quote one enthusiastic Bowie fan mentioned “He is the tasty egg of my breakfast glory”.

4. The BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere played all last week. I don’t listen to audiobooks and only ever listen to 6 Music so this initially felt slightly odd  for my brain. But I was soon lost in London Below as an amazing cast (Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okonedo, James McAvoy, Bernard Cribbins and Natalie Dormer to name a smattering). I’m not sure how long it will be on iPlayer for but turn off the lights and listen to it, Dirk Maggs has done a tremendous job and the music featured is stunning.

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5. Finally Wilton’s Music Hall will get its own blog post at some point down the line as it is thoroughly deserving of its own limelight. I visited on Saturday for the historical tour and a quirky, borderline immersive, theatre production of The Great Gatsby followed after. This grand but crumbly music hall hidden away between Whitechapel and Shadwell epitomizes why London is such a great historical city, much like Dennis Severs’ house in Spitafields. I am booked in for a further two events so expect a fuller more detailed post soon.

Sunday Swoon. June 17th

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I raced around Torbay on a trawler listening to Azealia Banks on Saturday. What did you do?

1. Thanks to National Theatre Live I got to watch Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein at the beautifully old Gate Picturehouse after missing out on tickets when it was performed last year. I was slightly apprehensive about watching a theatre production as a piece of cinema but concerns were immediately quashed. We attended with Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster, and Danny Boyle’s production gives back the monster his voice, it is told from his perspective. I sobbed, quite a bit, it was utterly moving, challenging and bleak.

2. This  book deserves, and shall have, a blog post of its own but I have to include it in this weeks round-up as it inspired me to the point of scribbling in the margins, underlining passages and bursting into tears on the tube. I shall save my words for when I write that post but for the time being I urge any woman with a creative bone in her body to read A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.

3. Hot Chip released In Our Heads on Monday and from the opening track (Motion Sickness) I was in love all over again. Hot Chip make music anyone could dance to. White middle class boys slapping out rhythms that Prince would bow down to. People making whatever music they like, irrespective of whether it fits with outward appearances, and damn the consequences. Play it, buy it, improve your life ten fold. At least.

4. Despite growing up in Brixham I have always shied away from the annual Trawler Race as it tends to be fairly rowdy and as a teen I was too painfully introvert to join in. This year the town tradition saw its 50th race. My cousin is a skipper of a boat (star of Sky TV’s Trawler Race don’t you know) so this year I finally clambered clumsily and without grace over three boats to get to his boat with dear friend Lizzie on Saturday. We didn’t puke, the weather was so dire that it was called off halfway round the  race across Torbay, we didn’t fall overboard. A success.

 Also, Brixham appears to really, really, really like Azealia Banks 212

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Sunday Swoon. February 26th

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It’s been a bloody delightful week…..

1. Utterly smitten with Graham Linehan’s adaptation of The Ladykillers. Brilliant acting from an amazing cast (Peter Capaldi, James Fleet), found myself guffawing over the slapstick humour, laughed a ton and fell in love with the stage design (it’s my future home, in my dreams). Thanks to a twitter tip off from the man himself we had front row seats for the bargain price of £20 per person so if you tweet it’s worth keeping an eye out to see if the offer comes back around. Slick, brilliantly amusing script and visually a real treat. Peter Capladi’s facial expressions alone are worth the visit. Highly recommended.

2. I look at Sleigh Bells Alexis Krauss and think “you are everything I could never be”, by that mean I mean recklessly cool (I have wild abandon down to near perfection, coolness doesn’t come naturally to me). Reign Of Terror is hyperactive, destructive while being supportive and encouraging, storming and stomping as well as comforting. Alexis seems to be pulling someone, kicking and screaming, through a chaotic time. You can listen on Spotify.

3. All credit goes to Chris Owen on Twitter for bringing the above video This Is My Home into my life. I don’t want to say anything other than it was a beautiful reminder that there are good souls out there. Guarantee it will warm your cockles.

4. I took a seaside trip down to Broadstairs with ace friends yesterday. It used to be our family holiday destination growing up so for me personally it was revisiting my childhood. Nothing had changed, Bleak House (where Dickens wrote the book) perches on the cliff, fish and chips, second-hand book shops, the chipped and weather-beaten beach huts dotting the beach, Morelli’s ice-cream parlour dishing up sundaes. Perfect day.

5. A promising ballerina that had to give up her dancing career after a slipped disc and spinal fracture turns to writing music as a way of coping. I was always going to fall hard for Oh Land before even listening to her sing, seeing her live takes it to a completely bizarre and wonderful new height. She came on stage wearing brothel creepers, mint coloured tights and a skin tight pink dress complete with what looked like two slaughtered care bear heads puffed up on her shoulders. Hailing from a creative family she clearly lets performance course through her live shows, not just the costume changes and the constant dancing. A bunch of balloons at the back of stage had constant projections of a ballerina, a dozen tiny wolves and at one point each balloon dotted with her face providing the background vocals.

6. I’m cheating and letting this spill over into 6 swoons this week. The Shins have returned with Simple Song and I adore the track and accompanying video.  

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