October 12th, 2011

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55th BFI London Film Festival Opens Today

The much anticipated (by me anyway!) London Film Festival opens today in Leicester Square with the film 360, starring Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Anthony Hopkins.

The Time Out critics' picks of the Festival are here:

I am seeing the following films at the Festival:

Browse the full programme and book tickets here:
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Jason Donovan for the Strictly Crown!

Photo credit: http://www.josephthemusical.com/the-show/the-creative-team/

Jason is my top tip to lift the Strictly Glitterball this year.

Joseph was one of the first shows in the West End that I saw multiple times - and that was as a student. I loved the production - it was genius - and Jason was fab!

Follow the link to find out more about the show:
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Written on the Heart, RSC

Cut and pasted from an email from the RSC:

This autumn, join the Royal Shakespeare Company to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the making of the King James Bible with a new play by acclaimed playwright David Edgar.

Written on the Heart tells the story of translators William Tyndale and Lancelot Andrewes, both working to the same end but in very different circumstances eighty years apart.

Written on the Heart plays at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, from 22 October 2011 to 10 March 2012 and tickets start from just £14.

Follow the link for more details:
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Tricycle Theatre: The leading London playhouse for political drama

Very belatedly, The Umbrella Organisation welcomes the Tricycle Theatre.

In recent years, the Tricycle has been THE leading London theatre for political drama. in 1996 it won a Special Award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for its "pioneering political work". It has reconstructed the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry "The Colour of Justice", presented scenes from the Hutton Inquiry "Justifying War", presented "Guantanamo", and presented a seven-hour trilogy of plays about Afghanistan "The Great Game". Very sadly, their Artistic Director, Nicolas Kent, is leaving after the current season. So, NOW is the time to experience the Tricycle at its best.

‘Britain’s leading political playhouse’ The Times

‘The Tricycle consistently punches above its small size and has become known as something of a powerhouse for political theatre and verbatim inquiry plays’ The Guardian

The Tricycle are here:

It has not opened yet but I am recommending The Riots by Gillian Slovo.

Photo credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

Cut and pasted from the Tricycle website:

The Government has so far refused a Public Inquiry into the riots that shook our cities this Summer, so the Tricycle is mounting its own.

From tweets by taxi drivers, to moment-by-moment accounts by riot police, it will build a real-time picture of the riots as they unfolded. And then, from interviews with politicians, police, teachers, lawyers, community leaders, as well as victims and on-lookers,The Riots will analyse what happened, why it happened, and what we should do towards making a better future for ourselves and our city.

Astonishing stories and equally astonishing conclusions told by the many voices that have been stirred up by the riots.

For more details, follow the link:
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The Kitchen, National Theatre

I saw The Kitchen when it was being filmed for its NT Live last Thursday and I saw it again on Saturday.

I did not like the play at all. If any other theatre company puts on a production of The Kitchen I will not be going to see it! But I loved what the National had done with pretty poor material. The staging was AMAZING. I loved the set. I loved the freeze frame sequences, when all the actors stop/pause and then come to life one by one, or when the whole ensemble cast stops/pauses and we just concentrate on one actor or a pair of actors. I loved the choreography and the choreographed sequences. I loved the way they recreated the Kitchen on stage, and the way they did the cooking on stage (with no food or raw material but all mimed). I loved the way the orders appeared projected onto the backdrop. The chaos and the frenetic nature of working in a Kitchen was fully conveyed. And, as this was the National Theatre, the whole of the ensemble cast were excellent.

That said, I wanted to give a special shout out to Tom Brooke who is definitely one to watch. When I watched this for the second time round, my attention was constantly drawn towards Tom Brooke. He has such an expressive face and body and I could not take my eyes off him. I definitely want to see more of him!
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Sherlock returning soon

Photo credit: http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/bfi_southbank/events/preview_sherlock_ep1_a_scandal_in_belgravia_qa

Preview: Sherlock
Series 2 Episode 1: A Scandal In Belgravia + Q&A

A preview of the first episode of the new series of Sherlock, followed by Q&A with the cast and crew, was due to go ahead at the BFI at the end of November. It has now been postponed until 6 December.

Follow the link for more details:
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All Souls, Langham Place

Photo credit: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2511334

I thought it was long overdue that I posted a photo of a building and a place, filled with people, all of whom have become increasingly important to me over the last 6-7 months - All Souls Church, Langham Place. It is 2 mins from Oxford Circus tube station, right next to Broadcasting House.

My feature on All Souls is here:

I went along for the first time in March and I have not missed a single Sunday since! I went from being a committed atheist to an evangelical Christian in the space of two hours. The Church has added real value and meaning to my life.

The All Souls website is here:

If you want to try the Church out before coming down in person, or if you are not in London, or cannot get to the Church, you can listen to the sermons given at All Souls here: