May 31st, 2011

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Mark Gatiss and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

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Cut and pasted from The Lexi Cinema Website:

Fri 10 June, 20:30 – Gala launch of Queens Park Book Festival with Mark Gatiss

When actor/producer/novelist Mark Gatiss agreed to host the inaugural event of Queens Park Book Festival he nominated this film as his most favourite film-of-a-book, and he will be with us on the night to tell us why. Mark – well known to TV audiences for his role in The League of Gentleman and his recent series on horror films – is a Holmes aficionado who co-created the hit Sherlock series on the BBC last year. Billy Wilder’s intriguing 1970 homage took a novel look at Holmes, suggesting homosexual tension between the protagonists, and also that Holmes had a healthy opium habit. Wilder had ambitious plans, intending to make it a ‘portmanteau’ film covering 5 separate cases. In the final event the studio took over the edit and what was released was much truncated. The stories that survived contain all sorts of tantalising red herrings, including the Loch Ness monster and a very odd wedding proposal for Sherlock.

To book follow the link:

I am going and have blown out The Holy Rosenbergs to do so!

Thank you to Roger Johnson and The Sherlock Holmes Society of London who tipped me off about this event.
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PJ's Art: Mycroft and the British Government

Awhile ago, I bought a number of postcards from PJ - some Mycroft, some Sherlock. I have been meaning to feature them on The Umbrella Organisation for some time. I have decided to feature one a day.

I am starting with my favourite - Mycroft and the British Government:

Artist: panijeziora

The Bruce-Partington Plans:

Sherlock speaking to John about Mycroft:
“You are right in thinking that he is under the British Government. You would also be right in a sense if you said that occasionally he is the British Government … Mycroft draws four hundred and fifty pounds a year, remains a subordinate, has no ambitions of any kind, will receive neither honour nor title, but remains the most indispensable man in the country. … His position is unique. He has made it for himself. There has never been anything like it before, nor will be again. He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. … They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant. Again and again his word has decided the national policy.”
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Lord of the Flies, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

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I saw this yesterday and it was excellent. The production captured perfectly the tipping point when civilisation breaks down and humanity descends into savagery. All the young actors are outstanding and the set quite took my break away. Mega congratulations to the Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, who is nothing short of a genius. He won an Olivier for Into The Woods (I loved that production to pieces too!).

Lord of the Flies will always have a special place in my heart. My English teacher Mike Birks taught it to me and it was the book where he finally broke down my defences and got me to speak up. For years he had been saying that I had the intellect but that was wasted as I was reticent in class. Anyway, with this book I finally exploded all over the classroom, and Mr Birks could not shut me up after this!

At the time, I championed Jack's cause, because he was a leader, he was a winner, and he was strong. However, a very wise person told me just last week that life is not about winning, it is about doing the right thing. I now agree with this view. Therefore, my allegiance has now transferred across to Ralph and Piggy. They were making a stand, trying to do what was right, and trying to hold together the vestiges of civilisation. Yes Jack had all the winning cards but he was a savage and he led through brute strength. Doing the right thing and integrity is paramount and so I am now championing Ralph not Jack!

For more details follow the link:

Here is a great review:

It closes on Saturday 18 June so get your tickets in now!

Buy the book here:
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Walk for Life is this Sunday (Sunday 5 June 2011)

My Walk for Life is this Sunday - Sunday 5 June 2011.

Rakshita's Personal Message:
Tackling HIV and AIDS in the UK and Africa is critical and I am very keen to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and AIDS in the UK and Africa.

This is the third time I am doing the walk and I have raised approx £1,500 for Crusaid over the 2 years that I have done the walk.

This year they have a theme which is the Wizard of Oz - I have therefore decided to go as the Wicked Witch of the West (no sarky comments please!).

This cause – Terrence Higgins Trust – is massively important to me so please sponsor me if you can. Every little bit helps so even if you can only give a pound that is valuable to me. I know it is the age of austerity but I would like to think that we can all give something towards helping others less fortunate than ourselves.

My fundraisng target is £500 so please sponsor me if you are able:

Walk for Life - Follow the link for all the details:

020 7812 1665