Culture Bound – July

A lot of good stuff this month and nothing that really totally disappointed. It was tricky to choose the “Best Of The Bunch”. One main theme was the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing which inspired some into classic sci-fi reading

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July 19

Theatre

New Voices The National Theatre’s competition for young writers throws up some distinctive new voices Full review here ****

BEST OF THE BUNCH – JUST!

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – The Musical by Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary – and, of course, Sue Townsend (Ambassadors Theatre) A bouncing exuberant recreation of the book and the early 1980s. Full review here ****

Fiver by Alex James Ellison and Tom Lees (Southwark Playhouse) I really hoped I’d like this more than I did. An interesting concept but too many flaws left me feeling unsatisfied. Full review here ***

Fix Up by Kwame Kwei-Armah (Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington) An interesting and thought provoking dissection of a community leaving its roots behind in favour of something far more ephemeral. This was a production that was solid and challenging and was especially interesting being performed within a stone’s throw of the play’s setting. The central character (Brother Kiyi) as played by Richard Bobb-Semple was a complex enigma whose past was slowly revealed and he was given good support by a talented cast. ****

Canterbury Tales after Geoffrey Chaucer (Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington) This had a slight end of term feel to it (appropriate as it was the final production in the new theatre’s inaugural year). It went to show that the themes Chaucer explored were universal and still relevant – none more so than the harrowing Lawyer’s tale which told of refugees and religious fundamentalism. Most of the pieces were more light-hearted and retained Chaucer’s bawdy approach. The cast morphed into an amazing series of characters with minimal props and good use made of foley effects. ***

 

Books

Quicksand by Steve Stoltz The second of his books I’ve tried. Interesting but slightly soporific. Full review here ***

The Man Who Was Thursday by G K Chesterton  Unexpectedly bonkers but generally good fun. Full review here ****

From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne  On the 50th anniversary of the moon landings what better to read? Full review here ***

Around The Moon by Jules Verne. Sequel to the above. Full review here ***

The First Men In The Moon by H.G. Wells. Classic sci-fi, British this time. Full review here ****

The Man Who Knew Too Much by G.K. Chesterton. Slightly disappointing set of short detective stories. Full review here **

Overtaken by Alexi Sayle. A slice of modern life examined by the acerbic comedian. Full review here ****

 

Exhibition

Stanley Kubrick  (The Design Museum, Kensington) A wonderful exhibition showing just how painstaking Kubrick was. A fascinating intro via the film about Napoleon which he never got to make leads into separate areas about each of his masterpieces – which was most of them. There were plenty of film sequences to watch and artefacts such as the Durango 95 from A Clockwork Orange,  a model of the maze from The Shining and the interior of the space station from 2001: A Space Odyssey to enjoy. With the moon landing 50th anniversary coming up this latter was particularly timely. One or two of the exhibition areas seemed a little cramped but as numbers are strictly limited this didn’t cause too much inconvenience ****

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