Monthly Archives: April 2010

Hidden London: Sir John Soane Museum

It’s not as hidden now as it once was. The Sir John Soane Museum at Lincoln’s Inn Fields now gets morning queues outside it because of the reduced numbers of visitors allowed in. This is a good thing, as the house is fragile and crowded with relics, and visitor numbers are increasing. It’s the world’s […]

Re:View – ‘Love Never Dies’

Jason came back. Freddy came back. Why not the Phantom? The obvious answer is that the story would then make no sense and wreck the arc of the original tale, but there’s money to be made from London’s tourists, so here are, with the action shifted to Coney Island and one eye on a Broadway […]

A Tidy House Is The Sign Of A Wasted Life

That’s what I read on a greetings card. Friends are always horrified when they walk into my home. ‘But where is everything?’ they ask. ‘How on earth can you work like this? There’s nothing here!’ I grew up in a terraced Victorian house where space and light were both restricted. In summer you stayed cool […]

R.I.P. Alan Sillitoe

One of my great heroes, Alan Sillitoe, an Angry Young Man of British fiction, died at Charing Cross hospital in London today, aged 82. Sillitoe is survived by his wife, the poet Ruth Fainlight, his daughter Susan and son David. Sillitoe worked in a bicycle factory in his native Nottingham before serving in the RAF. […]

Hidden London: Covent Garden

These are angles of Covent Garden you don’t usually see. I took them from the top floor of the Opera House terrace in a quiet moment between performances. The new additions to the building work beautifully with the original structure. The last film shot in the old Covent Garden is Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Frenzy’ (although there […]

Re:View – ‘Powder Her Face’

‘Powder Her Face’ is a chamber opera in two acts based on the scandalous life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, by British composer Thomas Ades, and is currently running at the Linbury Studio of the Royal Opera House, London. It was first staged in 1995 to mixed reviews, when it became notorious for its musical […]

How Special Effects Work

If you’re one of those people who knows they’re watching CGI but still doesn’t entirely appreciate just how much work goes into constructing the images you see, you should watch this brief award-winning film and then run the equally brilliant making-of short. It’s an eye-opener to anyone who complains that ‘it’s just special effects’.

The Same Old Story

Recently I mentioned the American director who’d had enough of staging safe, dull British theatre here in London, and how he is planning to leave for Paris. Now comes news that the BBC and Film4’s next big film projects are going to be…’Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’. It seems incredible that just when more and […]

Campaign For Real Fear: Ten Is Now Twenty!

We were going to get the Top Ten stories from the Campaign For Real Fear published by Action Audio and placed on Spoken Ink, but Simon Taylor at Action Audio liked our story selection so much that he is prepared to take your Top Twenty tales! Meanwhile, Black Static has promised to take the Top […]

Where Words Come From

Neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield was describing how those who live only in a virtual world don’t let their malleable brains develop properly, and said “Is it going to be a planet worth living in if you have a load of breezy people who go around saying yuk and wow? Is that the society we want?” She […]