Monthly Archives: March 2011

Re:View – ‘Betty Blue Eyes’

In a West End awash with Broadway musicals – itself, hardly going through a golden age – the arrival of a British original is to be lauded, and Cameron Mackintosh can always be relied upon to try something different (I still have fond memories his frankly bonkers St Trinians version of ‘Moby Dick’). I’ve always […]

A New Wrinkle In The Miss Marple Story

It was obviously, really. Sherlock Holmes has recently been turned into a virtually teenaged TV heart-throb and we had a ludicrous Henry VIII in the form of Jonathan Rhys-Myers, so it makes sense for Hollywood to recast the venerable Miss Marple, who solves crimes through her great experience of village life, to be played by […]

Re:View – ‘Dirt’

The latest exhibition at the Wellcome Institute on Euston Road is its filthiest show ever. And it turns out to be rather disappointing.. ‘Dirt’ looks at around 200 artefacts spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific objects, film and literature connecting with dirt and public health, and in fairness the exhibition should have been […]

Farewell To The Shunt

Shunt, you have been disorienting the London public with your weird performance art, dances, gigs, bands and cocktails since as far back as, oh, 2009, and now you take off and abandon us? And for what? What are they going to do with the dripping vaults beneath London Bridge, build the usual mix of offices […]

When Science Fiction Goes Bad

Hollywood SF movies divide into two camps; the crowd-pleasingly awful and the nice tries. ‘Battle:Los Angeles’ is probably the worst of the bunch lately, but ‘Skyline’ is a close second, with its astonishingly unpleasant cast of selfish, dim, spiteful, whining, homophobic Los Angelenos, poor production design, derivative set pieces and embarrassing plot holes. The paranoid […]

An Admission

Stumbling across this picture in the paper, I thought ‘those children look annoying’ and then was shocked to realise that the still came from ‘The X Factor’, a show I have never seen and only faintly heard of. This is not snobbery, but an admission of failure on my part. An old boss once told […]

Health & Safety Gone Mad

I like the fact that in most parts of Europe, if you fall off things or get in the way of very large rapidly moving objects, Darwinism removes you from the equation and the gene pool is made slightly smarter by your absence. Not so, of course, in England, where we all have to be […]

Re:View – ‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’

The Jacques Demy film was always a mood piece, with a dazzling centrepiece in ‘I Will Wait For You’, some astonishing set design and Catherine Deneuve’s radiant innocence. Its strength derived from the combination of a prosaic, bitter-sweet story of compromised romance with the lurid conventions of film musicals, so the soaring jazzy score is […]

What Did You Do During The Protest March?

I was here – kind of. I had accidentally arranged something else on the same day that put me right in the middle of it. The march was mostly very orderly and happy, with people from the public service sector complaining about the cuts, elderly folk in wheelchairs and children with balloons and many banners, […]

Quiet, Rebellious, Underground, Deserted

Three to watch out for – how many more volumes can there be on the world below London? Peter Ackroyd goes further back into the past and gives us his spin on the subject. There’s a decent countercultural history of London, but I still prefer Time Out’s old paperback of agitprop, which captures the time […]