Monthly Archives: January 2014

In The Footsteps Of Martin Sheen

‘Saigon. Oh, spoons. I’m still only in Saigon.’ Wasn’t that what Martin Sheen said? Then there was that Robin Williams chap. A little too fond of the sound of his own voice, that one. And wasn’t the heat on in Saigon, according to Jonathan Pryce in ‘Miss Saigon’? Yes, armed with my copy of ‘Meditations […]

Middle-Class Conversations

  Okay, before we embark on this, I’m going to attempt to explain the British class system again. At some point in every British gathering or dinner party the subject of class raises its head. It’s a complex, thorny issue, and a curious one. Roughly speaking, the nation is divided into three bands, working, middle […]

Re:View – ’12 Years A Slave’

I remember seeing a screening of ‘World Trade Center’, before which Oliver Stone brought onto the stage two of the firemen who are portrayed in the film. In the light of how bad the film turned out to be, I felt – possibly uncharitably – that he was proofing the movie against criticism by playing […]

Quotes From My Non-Bryant & May Books No. 6: ‘Spanky’

  This was the book that propelled me back into the bestseller lists, thanks largely to a cover that really did epater le bourgeois, with its model, real name Fritz Kok (true) daring readers to pick the book up. I had found the image in a Dutch postcard shop, but oddly it was sold to […]

New London Books

 I know I said I wouldn’t cover any more London non-fiction books because there were simply too many coming out, but I’ve ended up buying several, and found a couple of good’uns. One of the problems is that many London books rehash old material that’s been out there for years, adding nothing new. This is […]

The HBO Of Manchester

I know this site is London-centric, so today let’s broaden the subject matter. Granada Television has often been described as the best television company in the world, with good reason. Founded in 1930 by Sidney Bernstein and his brother Cecil and began serving Manchester and the North West of England in 1954, when it quickly became […]

Re:View – ‘Metro Manila’

*No Spoilers* Young director Sean Ellis has hit upon a wheeze recently used by two other directors who have found that there’s no money to film in Britain unless you’re making period snoozefests like ‘The Other Woman’ or doom-laden arthouse fare like ‘The Selfish Giant’. Gareth Jones and Gareth Evans made the startling ‘Monsters’ (shot […]

Sold Out

London has quietly opened a new theatre. The Globe’s new Sam Wanamaker Theatre is named after the man who spent much of his life restoring Shakespeare’s Globe to London. The idea is to create the real sensation of early theatre, performing in a space lit  by candlelight. The Guardian had this to say: ‘The experience […]

A Site More Interesting

  I’ve been threatening this for ages, but now the time is right for an overhaul of this site, getting rid of the sidebars, cleaning it up and making it simpler and fresher to navigate. The process should be seamless, and will happen in the next few weeks. Thanks and farewell then, to lovely Simon […]

Wall Street Wolves and American Hustlers 2

  ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ and ‘American Hustle’ are modern spins on age-old con stories, but they get it right. Given the number of crime novels out there these days, you need to do something special to stand out from the crowd, but when you’ve found your characters and milieu, you then have to […]