April 3rd, 2011

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20th Century Icons: Film - Selected by Nicholas Hytner

As some of you know, I have randomly decided to read up about Nick Hytner and research him in some depth.

I found a lovely little book "20th century icons: Film" selected by Nicholas Hytner. The back cover reads "Nicholas Hytner, director of The Madness of King George, The Crucible and The Object of My Affection, chooses his iconic films of the century, taking in such outstanding and diverse talents as Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon and seven little dwarfs and a girl called Snow White in Walt Disney's classic animation."

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Raks's visit to Hindhead and Undershaw

I am going to make a full post about this later this week. And it will only be on The Umbrella Organisation - there will be lots of photos!

I saw Undershaw today for the first time. It broke my heart. The house has been left to go to rack and ruin. There is graffiti all over it. The windows are broken. It has been trashed. How can the Council and the people in whose care it is allow this to happen? This is a house that is historically and culturally incredibly significant. I was distraught.

Originally, I had been going to see Hindhead and Undershaw with Mark Gatiss. It is just as well I didn't. If I had gone to Undershaw with Mr Gatiss, I would definitely have broken down and wept when I saw the state of the house. And I don't think I would have been able to stop.

Luckily, I was only with Lynn. So we both just documented the sorry state that it had been allowed to fall into by taking photos. This situation is criminal.

It is imperative that the Undershaw Preservation Trust wins its fight to save Undershaw. I am now more determined that ever to ensure this happens.
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The Umbrella Organisation welcomes Sherlock

Stamford on Sherlock Holmes:
"He is a little queer in his ideas -- an enthusiast in some branches of science. … I believe he is well up in anatomy, and he is a first-class chemist; but, as far as I know, he has never taken out any systematic medical classes. His studies are very desultory and eccentric, but he has amassed a lot of out-of-the way knowledge which would astonish his professors. … He is sure to be at the laboratory … He either avoids the place for weeks, or else he works there from morning to night. … Holmes is a little too scientific for my tastes -- it approaches to cold-bloodedness. I could imagine his giving a friend a little pinch of the latest vegetable alkaloid, not out of malevolence, you understand, but simply out of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate idea of the effects. To do him justice, I think that he would take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge."

From "A Study In Scarlet" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Photo credit: aithine
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Backstage tours, National Theatre

From the National's website:
"Go backstage at Britain’s largest theatre complex and explore the fascinating history of this iconic building.

Led by experienced guides, visit the unseen parts of the three auditoriums, backstage areas and theatre workshops, where sets and props are created.

South London Press "From the moment the tour starts you know you are in a special place... A backstage tour could leave you with a serious theatre-going habit."

Every year more than 25,000 people from all over the world enjoy the unique experience of a backstage tour at the National – and they all come away with a lasting impression:
‘A one-of-a-kind opportunity to view the inner workings of an international treasure, the National Theatre.’"

I recommend doing the Backstage tour very very highly.

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Children's Monologues, Old Vic

Basically one of my favourite photos of all time - so bright, colourful, vibrant, fun and uplifting - all rolled into one.

Photo courtesy http://www.benedictcumberbatch.co.uk/

Danny and the cast of the Children's Monologues which took place on Sunday 14 November 2010 at the Old Vic. The event was a fundraiser for Dramatic Need.

Details here:
Satterlee Spry

Victorian costuming

A good friend of mine does costuming. She's a very talented seamstress and has made numerous pieces for me. Last night, she was the featured artist at Davenport & Winkleperry, the gallery where the Undershaw benefit will be held in late May. If you are interested in costuming, particularly Victorian costuming, I've put photos of the two main ensembles, plus a costume she made for me, under the cut.

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