Bloody Poetry

This isn’t a rant about how much I despise prose and rhyme in all its forms, no, no. Of poetry, I am a fan.

Something else I am a fan of is bloody good theatre and bloody good theatre is something that I saw last night.

Bloody Poetry – a play written by Howard Brenton and currently showing at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington – is not a play I’m familiar with, however I must say that it was thoroughly enjoyable. Good theatre is often difficult to seek out in London. Often you find yourself paying way over the odds to watch a cast that would be lucky to get a walk-on part on Hollyoaks (the West End production of Lord of the Rings for instance). However, with Bloody Poetry, I was fortunate to be entertained by not only a bloody good script, but also a fantastic troupe of bloody good actors.

The piece itself tells the tale of two great poets of our time – Shelley and Byron – and how they first met on the shores of Lake Geneva, then of the subsequent summer of love that followed…

I’ll admit I originally only went along to support my dear friend and old acting partner, Alex Barclay. He’s a damn fine actor and appears in the play as Doctor Polidori, biographer to Lord Byron. I haven’t seen Al in a few months, so I saw last night as a chance to catch up and say hi etc…

But I’m not writing this post for him (sorry Al – I love you really).

I’m putting this post together because the play really is that good. I came out beaming. Byron is perfectly pitched as the horny, swashbuckling cad he no doubt was back in his day. Providing some humorous asides throughout the performance, just think of Rik Mayall’s Lord Flashheart, add in some poetic pathos and you’re there. Ellie Turner – cast as soon-to-be author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – brings a fantastic realism and stoic worldly-ness to a woman who no doubt would have felt almost on the outskirts of the strange quartet that forms around her. Wise beyond her years, her talent is plain to see and was played perfectly. It feels rude to neglect the rest of the cast (who were all excellent) but I fear I am rambling so will leave you with a piece of blurb from the website and booking details too.

If you’re in London and you fancy something different one night this October, go and see Bloody Poetry, you won’t be disappointed.

“Percy Bysshe Shelley, radical nonconformist, poet, essayist, and committed vegetarian, fled England in 1816 with Mary Shelley and her step-sister Claire Clairmont.

Faced with unrest at home and Revolution abroad, England in 1816 had become a repressive surveillance state; exile was both a choice and a necessity for a poet who advocated for social justice, practised free love and opposed inherited power in any form.

On 25th May 1816, the Shelleys met Lord Byron on the shore of Lake Geneva. Together with Byron’s physician, Dr Polidori, the group spent the summer together, during which Mary began writing ‘Frankenstein’ and Byron and Shelley deepened their friendship. ‘Bloody Poetry’ explores the personal and political passions which drove these young writers and the obstacles they faced. It celebrates their daring while revealing their humanity. As a qualified idealist, Shelley still dares us to dream:

“The great instrument of moral good is the imagination. We must not let it become diseased…We might be all we dream of, happy, high, majestical. Where is the love, beauty and truth we seek, but in our mind? Poets are the legislators of mankind!””

The play runs Tuesday – Sunday until the end of this month. Tickets are £12.00 (£10.00 concessions) and are available from the White Bear Box Office website.

Enjoy! 🙂

Mobile Geeks of London VI

Hey there folks!

Can you believe it?!
We’re not two months into the start of 2009 and it’s already time for the next…

Mobile Geeks of London!

– WOOP WOOP –

I can’t believe it’s come round so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were all meeting up for the last gathering of 2008

But No!
It wasn’t yesterday! It was November! Bleedin’ AGES ago!
Let’s crack on with it shall we?

😉

This time round, with Mobile World Congress still fresh in the memory there should be lots to talk about, drink to and of course secretly discuss… Heh.

I know I’m bringing a whole host of phone-based toys to play with, what are you bringing?

If you’re new here then you’ll find all the details you need on the facebook event page.
If you want to keep up with future events then by all means join the facebook group page to stay in the loop.

However, if you’re not a facebook person – and I know some of you aren’t – the basics are as follows:

Date: 26th February 2009 – That’s TONIGHT!
Time: 18:30ish – 23:00ish
Location: All Bar One
Street: New Oxford Street (nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road)
Town/City: London Baby!

If you like beer and you like Mobile then you are very, very welcome to join us.

“lt’s not about buying stuff.
It’s not about selling stuff.
It’s about mobile geeks having a genuine discussion about using stuff…”

See you tonight boys and girls.

😉

Ps. If for some reason you can’t make it along. Keep an eye on the Qik video window on the top of the right hand coloumn over there —–>

I’ll try and take some video for you 🙂

See ya!

Today I missed The Tuttle: Take Two

Today is Friday.

And every Friday there is a little thing that happens in London, that used to be held just around the corner from Soho, above The Coach & Horses Pub on Greek Street.

It’s official name of this thing is The Social Media Cafe…. We’ve been here before.

…but, the important thing is, it’s not there anymore.
Oh no. The SMC or ‘Tuttle Club‘ as it is fondly referred to by it’s regulars, has since moved since it’s days down in Soho and is now held just as regularly at The ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Arts) on The Mall.

– a bit swish huh? –

Notionally referred to as ‘Phase II‘ – this next evolutionary step of Tuttle has been running at The ICA for just over a month now and well, I love it… I’m gutted to be missing out on it again. I’m in Madrid at the moment, waiting to meet some cool Spanish Bloggers that are attending EventoBlog. No doubt I’ll be waxing lyrical about the Social Media Cafe (and it’s new home) as soon as I get the chance!

Thing is, I was part of the the team that championed the move from the C&H in Soho see and it irks me that I’ve only actually managed to make it along a handful of times since the big day. The interest and attendance levels have upped dramatically thanks to the support of the ICA; and the breadth and diversity of those that have discovered the Social Media Cafe through said institution has also increased.

One thing I can share with you today however is a little video that my good friend Steve Lawson took last time I was there. Steve took it upon himself to ask me exactly why I go and why I like it so much…

Nice one Steve 🙂

What do you think of the Tuttle Club?
Have you been? What do you like about it?
If you’ve never been, why not?

Come on down!

😀

Mobile Geeks of London IV

It’s fast approaching…

– IT’S TONIGHT DAMMIT-

…and can you believe there is currently, at the time of writing, 119 people down as confirmed as coming?!
(don’t even ask me about the ‘maybes’)

Amazing.
Really.
I am completely and utterly overwhelmed.

Who’d have thought it huh?

It’s been just over a year since our very first meet-up way back when, upstairs in the Bricklayers Arms…

– Dodgy Lookin’ Bunch –

20 of us or so, all gathered round a table, drinking beer and coo-ing over the first generation iPhone.
What a sight we must have been.

From there Mobile Geeks of London, (or ‘MGoL‘ as it has become to be known) has gone from strength to strength. The MGoL facebook group is now 354 members strong and, as you can see – as time has gone on there has been a really lovely increase in the turnout for each event –

17 <> 61 <> 73 <>119

Just – awesome – really, really awesome 🙂

This year of course, also marked the first time we took MGoL: On Tour.

Starting (and ending – hehe) in Las Vegas and timed to coincide with the start of the CTIA Wireless Conference – MGoL, along with some help from the team at Brilliant Expos, set a new precendent in the history of the Mobile Geeks and laid down the template for any future events that take place under the ‘On Tour‘ banner. Of which, I can guarantee, there will be more coming soon… Watch this space.

So.. Here we are… Let’s do it shall we? 🙂

Ladies & Gentlemen… Presenting:

Mobile Geeks of London IV

The Time: 6:45pm – 11:30pm
The Date:
July 31st – Today!
The Place: All Bar One, New Oxford Street
Nearest Tube – Tottenham Court Road
Google Map: If You Must

“I don’t wanna buy it, I don’t wanna sell it; I just wanna play with it and use it…”

See you there folks!

🙂

Adventures in Soho Part 1: Me & Mrs JoJos

Soho isn’t my usual haunt. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

But – for some strange reason – since returning home from San Francisco – I have found myself in London’s Centre of Seediness three times in as many weeks!

“But why? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!”

I hear you cry.

Well for the first jaunt to the ho of so you may have two clues….

Clue 1 – The picture above

Clue 2 – If you remember way back when I was telling you about the best conversation I ever had

There was a sentence that went a little something like this:

“Yeah man, I know. Then I’ve got my show on the Sunday at Madam Jo Jos!”

Well ‘my show’ was in fact not my show at all. More like Lisa Devaney’s Show. Actually. To be completely correct it was:

“Lisa Devaney’s Hee-Haw Whore House!”

How did I get involved? Funny story. AGES ago (and I mean AGES – like August last year) I got Blogtagged by my dear friend Helen Keegan. Which basically meant I had to write up eight random things about me.

Did that. Job done. Sorted.

Well, in March this year I get a call from one of a mutual friend, (Lisa), saying:

“James! I remember what you said in your blog post! Ya wanna be in my show!?”

“Err… Yeah! OK!”

At this point I remembered – item number five: “I studied at Drama School” – Bugger. All makes sense now!
Note – when writing blog posts, remember that ANYONE CAN READ THEM! 😉

“Oh and by the way James, I need a Burlesque Dancer too… You don’t know any do you?”

“Err… Funny you should say that, my girlfriend is a burlesque dancer – I’m sure she’d love to get involved…”

“FANTASTIC! I’ll in be touch!”

Anywhoo, not soon after committing to this project, I discover that SpinVox need me in Las Vegas.
CTIA to be precise. I’ve been over this.

But what I haven’t been over is that when I landed back in Blighty on the Saturday afternoon I actually went STRAIGHT to rehearsals (suitcase an’ all!), worked for the afternoon, then went home, slept all night and all day and THEN went to Madam JoJo’s to perform (with some fantastic co-stars) The Hee Haw Whore House!
(and we were on first too dammit)

Hand on heart I didn’t publicise it as well as I could.

For a bunch of reasons really –
First and foremost I hadn’t been on the stage in over a year. Not that I was nervous (LIES) but I was just a bit anxious you see…

The last play I did was a Tacit Theatre Company production of
The Office Party.’

That’s me over there, in character ———>

Playing ‘Gavin Chapman, MD of ‘Chapman & Howard’

Anywhoo – yeah – that was back in February 2007 so I hadn’t done any real performing for AGES.

Plus, given the time constraints that we had, (what with me soddin’ off to Vegas and everything), we barely had time for two decent rehearsals…

TWO I TELL YOU. TWO!

So yeah. Anxious would be understating it.

All of that crap aside – I can’t tell you what a resounding success the night was. In all seriousness I doubt it could’ve been ANY better. We were up first and we gave the crowd such a riot it really helped warm the place up for every act that followed.. When I first trailed this post I said:

“I was in a cabaret show the other day. Must blog it.”

And I had every intention of doing a blog post on the events of the entire evening of performance etc… BUT!
I was beaten to it.

Lisa Devaney not only did a fantastic job of writing the piece, but she also did a fantastic job of reviewing it too!

I strongly recommend you go and have a read… if only to look at the pictures 😉

See you back here real soon for Spending Time in Soho – Part 2.

Statues of London

Hey all,

Was wandering over Waterloo Bridge on Saturday afternoon and I caught sight of the Anthony Gormley statues that formed a part of his exhibition at The Hayward Gallery

Unfortunately the whole thing’s over now… but I had to blog about it – there were just SO many of them..!

I took a couple of pics below…
This one – you can just make him out – lonely old chap that he is…

And this one…

Two in here – one on Waterloo Bridge itself and there in the background – there’s another one on the National.

I’m SO glad I caught these – I think they’re being taken down today – which to be honest is a real shame…
Having been there and experienced the almost comforting feeling of these figures looking down on me – I just got the feeling that this is one of those pieces of art that ideally would remain forever…

Much like when there was a similar work in Liverpool a while back and everyone wanted those to stay too..
Beautiful.

You can see more on this video interview that I found over on the BBC… worth a look – if only to get an idea of the scale of this project..

Just… Just watch it – you’ll see what I mean…

EDIT – thanks to regular reader – Nechbi – for a link to a great panoramic picture of some more statues…

Nice one dude.