Sunday, 28 February 2010

Casino Royale Spoof: M wants to talk about Shakespeare

Spoof Casino Royale video: Judi Dench as M, repeatedly calling Daniel Craig to talk about Shakespeare. I found the video on Chris Goode's site, and he found it via B3TA.

Alice in Wonderland Film, 1903

Highlights from the 1903 film version of Alice in Wonderland in the BFI National Film Archive. Everything about it is great, although I particularly like the way Alice goes down the rabbit hole, and the unsmiling cheshire cat.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Literary Death Match, London

Last night I went to Literary Death Match at The Book Club, Shoreditch. Literary Death Match is a regular event that takes place in the US, London and Dublin, hosted by Todd Zuniga, editor of Opium Magazine. Last night it was also co-hosted by Anna Goodall of Pen Pusher Magazine, and was produced as part of the week-long Yarn Festival and sponsored by Picador.

The format of a Literary Death Match is that four writers take it in turns to read a short piece of work which is then judged by a panel - on literary merit, performance and intangibles. Last night the judges were poet Tim Wells, performer/presenter Emma Kennedy and singer/artist/performer Molly Carroll.

Contestants last night were poet Salena Godden, host of Book Club Boutique, poet John Osborne, published by Nasty Little Press, novelist Richard Milward, published by Faber, and writer/translator Sophie Lewis, editor of Litro Magazine.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable night full of wit, wine and absurdity; an opportunity for the hosts, contestants and judges to show off and be clever and funny and literary, and a commendably low-risk way for the audience to sample some of the new writing currently being published and performed, mostly outside the mainstream. The next LDM London will be in May - book early, last night was rammed.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Up the West End dot com

Friend of the blog Roo Rogers has just launched a very useful site: UptheWestEnd.com.

The site lists all the shows currently on in the West End, gathering the reviews and displaying them in one place (a unique service, so far as I'm aware), as well as giving essential information about the venues - location, accessibility, planning your journey there, seating advice, and so on. Visitors to the site can log on and leave a review if they'd like to share their thoughts about a show they've seen.

Shows are categorised so that it's easy to search through them - alphabetically, by what's opening or closing, by what kind of show it is (musical, comedy, thriller/whodunnit, Shakespeare), or by latest reviews.

There's also a news section - a kind of theatrical news aggregator with, for example (at the time of writing), information about new seasons at the Globe and the Donmar, the winners of the WhatsonStage Awards evening, and an overview of Isabelle Hupbert's performance in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Take a look - it's one of those 'ask an expert' sites that will have theatre-lovers wondering how they ever managed without it.