London

Why ‘2001’ Still Rules SF

Passengers

  There’s a problem with most filmed science fiction. It’s just surfaced again in the flawed but enjoyable Chris Pratt/ Jennifer Lawrence starrer ‘Passengers’ and it’s this; most SF films are about earthly, human situations with the words ‘in space’ added. Outland = Cop chases villains – in space. Alien = People fight beast – […]

Dippy’s Off, But What’s The Real Reason?

5760

The diplodocus has always been there, right in the centre of the Natural History Museum, causing kids to crane their necks and work out how many London buses-long he was (why were dinosaurs always measured in buses?). But after 112 years he’s off. Dippy was the first upright skeleton of a diplodocus ever to have gone […]

The Most Haunted ‘House’ In London?

bloom9

Surrounded by venerable museums, pubs and churches, Senate House in Bloomsbury is the admin centre of the University of London, and has proved a source of inspiration for British writers. Books partly set there include include Graham Greene’s ‘The Ministry of Fear’, and George Orwell’s ‘1984’ – his wife Eileen worked inside it for the Censorship […]

Class Will Always Be The Last British Taboo

Lidl-warehouse-to-create-100-jobs

It’s the end of 2016, and evidence of growing class separation is suddenly all around us. ‘I ruined a goose last week,’ said the lady behind me at the theatre. ‘Then someone told me about this shop called Lidl. The most extraordinary place. They sell frozen geese. Do you know, it was every bit as […]

Are The Sights Of London Being Compromised?

IMG_7649

St. Paul’s Cathedral is an internationally recognised landmark in the London skyline. Since 1938 the City of London Corporation has operated a unique policy known as the ‘St Paul’s Heights’ to protect views of the Cathedral from the South Bank, Thames bridges and certain other points. For more than seventy years this has worked perfectly […]

The Bestiary Of London

IMG_7621

I have a book somewhere of all London’s stone lions, but there are many other carved creatures lurking around the eaves of the city. These include gryphons, dragons, elephants, sharks, unicorns, beavers, eagles, sphinxes, ants, mice, fish, grasshoppers, ships, angels, farmers, camels and something outside the Natural History Museum that looks like a pterodactyl. In […]

The Case For English Eccentricity

Sleeping-Beauty-Hackney-Empire-477

M’Lud, I am here to argue that our country is still as eccentric as it always was, and in some cases considerably more so. I will now submit my evidence. The Winter Solstice, time for Pagans, Druids and other mentally disenfranchised loners to head to Stonehenge to mumble about ley lines, past-life regression, homeopathy and other […]

Don’t Trust Anyone Who Doesn’t Like Shakespeare

Much-Ado-About-Nothing-10815

At this time of the year I try to do something for myself that conjures the spirit of Christmases past. This year, it was a double bill of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Edwardian finery, relocated on either side of the Great War in an English country house, based on Charlecote Park near […]

The Problem With ‘Snowden’

primary-snowden-600x315-1

I would like to think of myself as one of Churchill’s children, imbued with a fundamental knowledge of what is required to be a decent, moral person. It puts me on the side of Edward Snowden, and this past week I’ve become fascinated by the backlash against Oliver Stone’s film about him. In the UK […]

And The Next Creative Trend Is…

fantastic-beasts-cast-xlarge

If you try to jump on a bandwagon, lead times usually mean that you’ve already missed it – the carnival has passed. But certain trends do emerge that can catch your creative project and lift it up, if you happen to hit at the right time. We’re none of us clairvoyant, but there are cyclical […]