Friday, 31 July 2009

Broken Embraces with Pedro & Penelope

Before anyone gets too excited, I don't have a photo. I feel pretty lame but both tiny Adam and little Joe were much too shy to have a snap taken with these Spanish wonders. I suggested that it might break the ice if Adam deployed his magical song to serenade Ms Cruz but he seemed to think she might not be quite as impressed by it as I am.

Of course, the real, living, breathing Dr Buckles was doing another BUG tonight so I was onto a looser if I'd hoped to get a piece of cardboard to squeeze out a song. I just settled down to watch the film and then marvel at the wonderful mind of Mr Almodovar unravel in front of me. We had not been expecting Ms Cruz to join him for the Q & A and I found the 'oohs' and 'aaahs' from the audience rather amusing when her arrival was announced.

The truth is, I am only making this entry because I have done little of note other than work hard and see films this week (including the wonderful Mesrine double bill) and I might even be too busy to get the little fellas out for the next couple of weeks.

If anyone is saw Pedro at the Somerset House event this week, I hope you took a moment to admire the talents of the interpreter. He was utterly, mesmerisingly wonderful. Not only was he deliciously bi-lingual but he made beautifully creative and sensitive translations of what was said. At one point he let Mr Almodovar enthuse about the costume and styling for a good five minutes, then four or five pages of shorthand later, he delivered the most captivating rendition of what had been said. The audience gave him a rapturous round of applause. I really had the sense that he knew Pedro's films well and understood a good deal of what motivated him. This was not an off-the-peg translator. He has a gorgeous speaking voice too and seductive eyes. Did I say that out loud?

Ms Cruz was beautiful and charming, in case anyone is interested.

So there it is. I bit of a non-entry but I felt I was neglecting my chums. My little cut-outs have been all over the place with me but not really anywhere that warranted a snap.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Observer at the Cottesloe Theatre, RNT, South Bank

I realise this is becoming even more dull than it was when I went to different places so here is probably my last bunch of shots down at the South Bank part of the river.

An email popped into my box offering half price matinee seats for Richard Eyre's current directorial outing and being of temporarily diminished means, I grabbed the chance.

The NT is one those theatres where you really don't get that 'afternoon' sense from the audience so much, especially on a Saturday. Today's performance was staggering. It's a deeply political piece so Adam was a bit bored & kept asking Joe if he could explain things. Joe feigned deep interest but was clearly more transfixed by the implied promise of Anna Chancellor needing to loosen her clothing while she struggled to impose her character's sense of justice in the heat of the election process for this overlooked West African state.

If you've never been there, our glorious Royal National Theatre has three auditoriums. I prefer the Olivier but the teeny, tiny Cottesloe comes a close second. The Lyttelton is a bit of a lump but it serves it's purpose. Just don't make me sit in the circle of any one of them.

The Cottesloe is like a large studio with flexible staging & seating. It is accessed around the side of the main building so I couldn't take any really representative shots. The picture above is a combo of the foyer entrance, the sign and then the stage door which is a few yards up the road.

The sun was still cooking the planet (thanks, Al Gore) when the play finished so we lingered a little.
At this time of year there are outdoorsy projects and they wheel in the oversized green furniture for the tourists to play on. It's just a bit of fun. There was a parkour event slated but I didn't stick around for it.

I felt too conspicuous to take snaps inside but after we'd dribbled over the achingly moving work of James Ravilious in the Olivier foyer we found a secret stairway that took us directly to the annual exhibition of The Press Photographer’s Year 08 which is always one of the most staggering free photographic exhibitions of the summer. Now, I like to think I know my way around this complex pretty thoroughly but Stair 132 (or was it 131?) is a new one on me.

Finished off the afternoon with a little paddle. Sadly, the tide was so high that we couldn't make sandcastles on the beach but I fear that when we do stumble upon a low tide, that might give me another excuse to drone on about this area again..................and I haven't even got started about Tate Modern or The Globe, yet.

You might be thinking that I work in the PR department for river related cultural activities but I don't. My passion for this place is entirely genuine.

Friday, 24 July 2009

BUG 14 at the BFI

This is a cheat.
After the tension of the Teddington Studios outing which was fired with dire possibility that two mis-matched worlds might collide and even implode, I did not want to take any chances. I couldn't risk being caught in the act of playing with my Tiny Adam and Joe in the presence of the fine jumble of hair and other tissue so perfectly assembled into the glorious real form of Adam Buxton. Furthermore, I like to maintain my anonymity & with so many A&J fans around, that might have been tricky and yes, you can say it - embarrassing.

As previously mentioned, the South Bank is a regular haunt (as my next entry may well substantiate) so I took the precaution of grabbing an appropriate shot last time I was there. Whilst I can appreciate this is a bit of a cod thing to do, I wanted to make an entry in this blog to mark another mind blowing evening of sensory overload. I was overcome by those kind of laughs that make your shoulders vibrate way beyond any amount of time that is appropriate. I felt like a wind-up toy that couldn't stop. It's a shame I don't have more time to comment on the evening so I might come back and add a few thoughts to this later.............but history relates that I rarely return to a blog entry.
What other BFI event would still be so rapturously received if it started 30 minutes later than advertised? They had an unresolved problem with the wi-fi and a couple of sound issues (ouch!) but it was still superb fun. I guess they will have sorted the problems by next week's "repeat". If it wasn't sold out, I'd be tempted to go along again but that would be a certifiable act, wouldn't it?

I HAVE come back with a link to Adam's Blog that he updated early on Saturday evening. I forgot to mention he was almost clean-shaven last night. I know this will dissapoint some fans but he looks motherable in any guise, to me.

I hope this doesn't upset any copyright fineprint - I've scanned the BFI sheet from the night. You'll have to click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Jerwood Theatre at the Royal Court, Sloane Square

A bus broke down in front of the theatre when we arrived so we couldn't get the shot we wanted. We tried afterwards but with the combo of a tiny, Tiny Adam & Joe, a large building and low light, we were asking a bit much. I was too lazy to fumble for my reading glasses too. This only works for me if it's fun, right?

Jez Butterworth is a succulent thrust of writing force and much as I love Dominic Cooke, it's a great reason to get Ian Rickson back in to direct at the Royal Court.

If you can grab a ticket to see Jerusalem (run just extended a bit) your bum will be pampered on leather, your ears will be deliciously offended and your mind will expand to optimum size in that tiny little head of yours.

It's long, funny and twisted. With a top price of £ 25 you really won't want to bother with the West End again and it's so close to Sloane Square tube that you can hear the trains rumble. Mark Rylance and Tom Brooke gave several so-funny-I-had-to-stuff-my-hands-in-my-mouth moments.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Somewhere in South East England

............round at my Mummy's to be precise. It can't always be thrilling London, you know.

This was a small potted plant given to Mum nearly 20 years ago and chosen primarily for it's colour. It became enormous within a couple of years and is consistently one of the healthiest things in her garden. In fact, if she'd had any idea that it would thrive like this, she probably would have planted it further away from the front path.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Donmar Warehouse...or thereabouts

Always happy to get intimate with my little Adam and Joe but at this tiny, tactile theatre I was thoroughly distracted by startlingly good performances within this very sexy adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House at the Donmar Warehouse.

Disrespectful roadworks and a dread of my photographic behaviour ever becoming too conspicuous meant that I had to just take a long shot down Earlham Street from Seven Dials but the important thing is that Adam and Joe saw some outstandingly good theatre.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Thames, The South Bank

I had a little date at the BFI so we took the bus to Charing Cross & walked over the Hungerford Bridge to enjoy one of the grand views of the Thames.
Behind Adam and Joe, you can see Waterloo Bridge. Beyond that is St Paul's Catherderal and Norman Foster's Swiss Re building which are both on the north side of the Thames, though it winds so much, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

The South Bank Centre (the clue is in the name) is on the right and the blue pier you can see serves the British Airways London Eye where all the tourists like to spin around very slowly. This is one of my favourite, watery nooks of London as it is home the National Theatre, the BFI, Royal Festival & Queen Elizabeth Halls and the Hayward Gallery. Furthermore, it's accessed via such a gorgeous, bracing walk across the river. I think little Adam and Joe were pleased to get out of the breeze and back into my cosy bag after the photos, though.

Check out the video at the BFI link (while it's still there) where Duncan Jones talks about his beautiful film, Moon and don't forget that Labyrinth is due out on BlueRay in the UK next month.
....oh - and here is the UK link for Moon. and you might like to read Duncan's note here. I'm in no way connected to Duncan but I saw his film on Sunday & it's a poem of a piece. It's performance during the first week in the UK may determine how many European markets pick it up so get out there and thrill yourselves. This is a film maker we need to support. (I'll do the same for Joe when the time comes, of course - unless 'Attack' is a won't be, I have absolute faith.) I suppose I should have taken a picture of little Adam and Joe at the cinema but I go several times a week so it would become a little dull, for readers and companions alike.

I've been very rude. I should have mentioned that the spotty trees are part of an installation by Yayoi Kusama as part of the current show in the Hayward Gallery.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Mumford & Sons @ the iTunes Live Festival

I was very reserved in my choices of iTunes Festival ticket applications because illogically, I thought I might get luckier if I wasn't too greedy. A friend got his notification email on Friday so I had given up hope but they contacted me this afternoon - a few hours before the doors opened and that is how I came to be at the Roundhouse with my tiny Adam & Joe to see Mumford & Sons + Temper Trap + Stephen Fry.

Stephen was on first, giving a talk about copyright, the individual ethics on using torrents and the wooly thinking behind the prosecution of torrent users/providers.

The Temper Trap gave a mixed set and there was only one noodley piece I really liked but it was worth the wait for Mumford & Sons because they were beautiful and sweet and .........cute, damn it.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Scum Also Rises, recording at Teddington Studios

This evening we went to the recording for the final episode of The Scum Also Rises starring Adam Buxton.
It seemed a bit surreal to take my little Adam & Joe along to a place where I knew the real, beating heart of Dr Buckles would be pumping away but it had to be done. We arrived in good time & took a walk over the bridge to calm our nerves. You can see Teddington Lock in the background and the rear of the studios to the right.

I must say that the audience wrangling here was far superior to the cattle market you get at The London Studios on the South Bank.

The tension is mounting.

Just time for a swift half in The Angler before taking our position in the audience. No cameras allowed, of course.
Real Life Adam was able to deploy his cod Australian dialect to great effect and we'll frankly, never hear the end of that from Joe who seems to think he owns that accent.
Iain Lee appears to be a similar height to Joe and I can see that causing problems if a second series is commissioned. Let it go, Joe. Let it go.

Adam was lucky enough to be able to swig on a bottle of beer in character for the last scene. Several of the cast had wobbly moments with their lines and Adam was no exception but they handled it well and it added to the comedy. I had to keep tiny Adam & Joe safely in my bag until it was time to walk back to the car.

The Scum Also Rises - coming to a little screen near you sometime later this year.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Bath City (Widecombe side)

...a greatly welcomed, overnight pit stop on the other side of Bath with more dear friends before heading home to watch the tennis.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

It's party time in Bath

.......with views overlooking Solsbury Hill (thanks, Peter Gabriel) our steaming hot journey down the M4 corridor has paid dividends.
Celebrating a shiny, new home with endless, delicious food and beverages rounded off with interesting and diverse company. Good Times.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Blur in Hyde Park

Since we were going to a fairly high profile gig, they decided to wear their more recognisable t-shirts. Joe insisted that Adam left his hat in the station locker so that he didn't block the view of any other little people behind him.
With acts on tonight too good to be called 'support' we wondered why so many people were taking such a leisurely stroll through the turnstiles. We took this shot before going to our special gate. Very, very good evening.

Nice surprise when we got home, to see that James had updated the 6Music blog with the news about Andrew Collins covering tomorrow.