TIL SEPT 8

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MATCHDAY TOURS NOW AVAILABLE

Exciting interactive tour

Go behind the scenes at London Stadium

Historic London 2012 Olympic venue

Home to West Ham United and UK Athletics

See the changing room, indoor running track,

players’ tunnel, pitch side and much more

Enjoy beautiful parklands in Queen

Elizabeth Olympic Park

Ideal for individuals and groups

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CONTENTS

Events 4

Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine

Wembley Stadium Tours

Music 8

Dominion Theatre completes Restoration

Ute Lemper at Cadogan Hall

Exhibitions 12

20/21 Art Fair at Mall Galleries

Royal Miniatures Society Exhibition

Photo: Lee Parker.

Welcome to London

Theatre 16

Apologia

The Girl from the North Country

Proprietor Julie Jones

Publishing Consultant Terry Mansfield CBE

Associate Publisher Beth Jones

Editorial Clive Hirschhorn Sue Webster

© This is London Magazine Limited

This is London at the Olympic Park

Stour Space, 7 Roach Road,

Fish Island, London E3 2PA

Telephone: 020 7434 1281

www.til.com

www.thisislondonmagazine.com

It’s the time of the year again when air ambulances across the UK are raising

awareness of the fact that the Air Ambulance Services nationwide are all

charities. National Air Ambulance Week, from 11 - 18 September, helps

to spread the word and raise donations.

There are an amazing 582 hours of collections happening all week at 15 of

London’s largest stations. Also available are the new helicopter pin badges to

give away – these fun pin badges are a great way to help raise awareness.

You can find Londons Air Ambulance charity pin badges in 300 local shops

all around London.

For further information, or to make a donation visit

londonsairambulance.co.uk

Whilst every care is taken in the preparation of this

magazine and in the handling of all the material

supplied, neither the Publishers nor their agents

accept responsibility for any damage, errors or

omissions, however these may be caused.

VISITOR INFORMATION

Emergencies 999 Police Ambulance Fire

24 Hour Casualty 020 8746 8000

Dentistry 0808 155 3256

Victim Support 0845 30 30 900

free and confidential service

Visit London 020 7234 5833

Heathrow Airport 0844 335 1801

Gatwick Airport 0844 892 0322

Taxis 020 7272 5471

Dry Cleaner 7491 3426 Florist 7831 6776

Optician 7581 6336 Watches 7493 5916

Weather 0870 9000100

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4

ASCOT’S FESTIVAL OF FOOD & WINE RACING WEEKEND

A quintessentially British tradition, afternoon tea is one of the best-loved food

offerings served at Ascot Racecourse. This year’s Festival of Food & Wine Racing

Weekend, from 7-10 September – with Flat racing on Friday and Saturday – is set to

be a glorious few days of feasting, drinking and racing with Great British Bake Off

winner Candice Brown headlining the event, alongside two-Michelin star chef

Raymond Blanc OBE on Saturday 9 September.

CHINA CHANGING FESTIVAL

RETURNS TO SOUTHBANK CENTRE

Southbank Centre’s China Changing

Festival returns for its second year, on

Saturday 7 October, showcasing

contemporary China and exploring its

creative connection with the UK.

Launched in December 2016, this

three year international festival returns to

London presenting some of the most

innovative artists practising in China

today and celebrating inspiring work

from British-based Chinese and South

East Asian artists.

Over fifty per cent of the programme

is free, bringing together an eclectic day

including new perspectives on

traditional sounds, digital and electronic

art, surreal film, breakdance, comedy,

modern puppetry, theatre and topical

panel discussions.

KLEZMER IN THE PARK:

THE BIG MIX 2017

Jewish Music Institute’s flagship

annual one day Festival takes place this

year on Sunday 10 September, a funpacked

afternoon for all the family in

one of London’s most beautiful parks.

As well as BBC Radio 3 DJ Max

Reinhardt, Community Hub and Kids

Zone, this year’s live stage will feature

Klezmer in collaboration with a global

selection of artists. JMI Youth Big Band,

is a brand new youth ensemble

performing contemporary music of

Jewish origin. The ensemble will draw

inspiration from the great American big

bands and Jewish music throughout the

ages. The band is co?led by two world

class Jewish Jazz musicians; trumpet

player Sam Eastmond, and

instrumentalist Stewart Curtis.

WORLD-PREMIERE OF NETWORK

AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE

This autumn, the National Theatre will

stage the world-premiere of Network,

Lee Hall’s new adaptation of the Oscarwinning

film by Paddy Chayefsky.

Directed by Ivo van Hove, Douglas

Henshall will play Max Schumacher in a

cast which includes Tony award winner

Bryan Cranston as Howard Beale, and

Michelle Dockery as Diana Christenson.

Howard Beale, news anchor-man,

isn’t pulling in the viewers. In his final

broadcast he unravels live on screen.

But when the ratings soar, the network

seizes on their new found populist

prophet, and Howard becomes the

biggest thing on TV.

Network depicts a dystopian media

landscape where opinion trumps fact.

Hilarious and horrifying by turns, the

iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky won four

Academy Awards in 1976. Now, Lee Hall

(Billy Elliot, Our Ladies of Perpetual

Succour) and director Ivo van Hove

(Hedda Gabler) bring his masterwork to

the stage for the first time.

Douglas Henshall.

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wembleystadium.com/tours

0800 169 9933

TOURS DEPART DAILY: 10:00 – 15:00

PRINTED TRANSLATION GUIDES AVAILABLE IN 9 LANGUAGES


6

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO

LONDON – BEST ON RECORD

London welcomed a jump in visitors

during the first quarter of 2017, making

it the best on record according to new

figures released by the Office for

National Statistics. The number of

overseas visits to the UK for January to

June this year hit a record-breaking

19.1 million, up 9% on 2016. The past

six months have seen a 25% rise in

visitors from North America, thanks to

the ‘Brexit effect’ and weak pound. As

always, the transatlantic exchange has

valuable economic benefits.

There are some terrific shows running

on Broadway, with a West End transfer

for the juggernaut production of the

musical ‘Hamilton’ opening in

November. The story of America’s

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton,

the score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues,

rap, R&B and Broadway – the story of

America then, as told by America now.

For those returning home to or

through New York or UK travellers

heading over the Pond, a rising star on

the restaurant scene there is Thursday

Kitchen in the achingly cool Lower East

Side (thursdaykitchennyc.com)

The meanu, created by Kay Hyun, is

wonderfully eclectic. For veggies, angry

sweet potato with sriracha goat cheese

and chilla is a spicy favourite; there’s

kale with house-made lemon ponzu

dressing; and mapo tofu served with

green lentils and chili bean sauce.

The steak has a soy-garlic glaze and

feta grits; there is chicharron (confit pork

belly, cashew creme, white kimchi, lime

juice and cilantro) and local favourite

popcorn chicken in a sweet and spicy

sauce with black sesame crumbles.

There is also ramen, truffle mac and

cheese and edamame dumplings and the

seafood offering is just as good –

octopus served chilled with korean pear,

sweet soy-scallion, riesling gellee and

mango; tuna tataki and kimchi paella.

The wines are from all over, bubbles,

beer and Asian spirits and the amazing

‘got light’ korean liquor steeped for two

weeks with rose leaves, yuzu and egg

which is literally lit from within

(above) – available only on Thursdays.

SPEND A NIGHT WITH THE LIONS

AT GIR LION LODGE

Fancy falling asleep to tropical

birdsong, and waking up to a lion’s

roar instead of your alarm clock? Then

ZSL London Zoo has the experience for

you, right in the heart of the Capital.

Adventurous animal lovers can spend a

night within a whisker of the lions at

the Zoo’s Gir Lion Lodge overnight

experience.

Guests will be welcomed to nine

colourful cabins nestled in the heart of

the Land of the Lions exhibit. Beautifully

decorated with a bespoke, hand-painted

mural, each lodge has been named after

an animal from the Gir Forest, home to

the only wild population of Asiatic lions.

ZSL London Zoo’s dedicated hosts

will guide guests around the Zoo on

exclusive evening and morning tours,

sharing their insider tips on spotting

species and fascinating facts about some

of the Zoo’s 17,000 residents.You will

also discover more about the work ZSL

is doing with local communities and

rangers in India’s Gir Forest to protect

these endangered big cats.

Sleeping within roaring distance of

the pride of majestic Asiatic lions,

guests will then be treated to an evening

meal and breakfast, and each private

lodge comes fully equipped with home

comforts, including cosy beds and an

en-suite.

With places already selling fast, visit

www.zsl.org/girlionlodge to book a night

at the wildest overnight stay in London.

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WEMBLEY STADIUM TOURS

Wembley Stadium Tour takes visitors

deep into the heart of the stadium and

into areas usually reserved for the

biggest and best names in sport and

music such as Beckham, Messi,

Ronaldo, Tom Brady, Anthony Joshua,

Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

The award-winning, 75 minute,

guided tour includes access to the

Dressing Rooms, Press Room, Players

Tunnel, Pitchside and the iconic Royal

Box to have a photograph taken with a

replica of the world-famous FA Cup.

With multiple accessible train routes,

ample parking, a café, plentiful restroom

facilities and the London Designer Outlet

shopping centre next door, the Wembley

Tour caters for all visitor needs. It is

open 12 months a year and 7 days a

week with the exception of certain event

dates in the calendar. Tours depart at

10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00 and

15:00 with pre-booking advised.

Easily accessible via any of these

stations; Wembley Park via Metropolitan

and Jubilee Lines, Wembley Stadium

Station via Chiltern Line and Wembley

Central Station via Bakerloo Line,

London Overground and National Rail.

All tours are conducted in English.

Printed translation guides are available

in 9 languages. Book online at visiting

www.wembleystadium.com/tours or

calling 0800 169 9933.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

KEY CAST CHANGES

As the musical heads into its 32nd

year, there are key cast changes for The

Phantom Of The Opera. Joining the cast

from 4 September are Ben Lewis who

will play the title role of ‘The Phantom’,

Kelly Mathieson as ‘Christine Daaé’ and

Jeremey Taylor as ‘Raoul’.

The Phantom Of The Opera has won

over 70 major theatre awards, including

seven Tony’s on Broadway and four

Olivier Awards in the West End. It won

the ‘Magic Radio Audience Award’, voted

by the public, in the 2016 Laurence

Olivier Awards.

Wembley Stadium.

7

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8

DOMINION THEATRE COMPLETES

£6M RESTORATION

London’s Dominion Theatre, home to

Christopher Wheeldon’s stunning

reinvention of the Oscar® winning

Hollywood musical An American in

Paris, has completed a £6 million

restoration and unveiled a brand new

double-sided LED screen on Tottenham

Court Road, the largest and highest

resolution projecting screen on the

exterior of a West End theatre.

The extensive restoration of this

landmark Grade II listed building, which

sits majestically at the junction of

Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street

and Charing Cross Road, was started in

2014 and is now finally complete with

the unveiling of the beautifully restored

theatre façade and the brand new digital

screen.

An American in Paris has been

ecstatically received by audiences and

critics, earning an incredible 28 five star

reviews when it opened at the Dominion

Theatre in March this year. It has now

extended booking though to the end of

January 2018.

The sumptuous new musical about

following your heart and living your

dreams is written by Craig Lucas and

features the timeless music and lyrics of

George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin,

including the songs I Got Rhythm,

‘S Wonderful, I’ll Build a Stairway To

Paradise and They Can't Take That Away

from Me, together with George

Gershwin’s sweeping compositions

including ‘An American in Paris’.

Jerry Mulligan (played by Ashley Day,

(pictured below) is an American GI

pursuing his dream to make it as a

painter in a city suddenly bursting with

hope and possibility. Following a chance

encounter with a beautiful young dancer

named Lise, the streets of Paris become

the backdrop to a sensuous, modern

romance of art, friendship and love in

the aftermath of war.

For tickets, telephone 0845 200 7982.

Photo: Johan Persson.

LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES PRESENT

THE TERRIBLE INFANTS

Award-winning theatre company Les

Enfants Terribles have announced the full

cast for the anniversary production of The

Terrible Infants. Staged at Wilton’s Music

Hall in East London and featuring new

creative material, it will run from

27 September to 28 October.

The Terrible Infants is a collection of

twisted short stories by Oliver Lansley

and Sam Wyer, which recall both Roald

Dahl and Tim Burton, performed with

Photo: Rah Petherbridge

inventive puppetry and atmospheric live

music. Following the phenomenal

success of Alice’s Adventure’s

Underground at The Vaults and to reflect

Les Enfants Terribles’ bold and

innovative theatricality, this ten year

anniversary staging will feature new

creative material.

Featuring recorded narration from

Judi Dench, The Terrible Infants

originally debuted in 2007 before

multiple appearances on nationwide

tours and around the world. The

production received numerous awards

when it debuted a decade ago including

Best Entertainment and Outstanding

Theatre in the Fringe Report in 2008

For tickets, telephone 0207 702 2789.

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10

CRAIG REVEL HORWOOD TO PLAY

MISS HANNIGAN IN ANNIE

Michael Harrison and David Ian,

Producers of the West End production of

Annie have announced that from

18 September to 26 November, Craig

Revel Horwood will join the West End

Company to play the role of Miss

Hannigan for 10 weeks, as Nikolai

Foster’s production extends booking at

the Piccadilly Theatre to 18 February.

Best known on television as a judge

on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and

for a role he returns to this Autumn,

Craig Revel Horwood received great

critical acclaim in Foster’s production of

Annie that toured the UK in 2015.

Previously in the West End he has

performed the role of Munkustrap in

Cats, was Dance Captain in Miss Saigon

and played the role of Harry in Crazy for

You. His production of Son of a

Preacher Man will open in Bromley in

September before embarking on an

extensive UK tour. During his 10-week

run, because of his Strictly Come

Dancing commitments, Craig Revel

Horwood will not play the role of Miss

Hannigan on Saturdays.

Set in 1930s New York during The

Great Depression, brave young Annie is

forced to live a life of misery and

torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.

Her luck changes when she is chosen to

spend Christmas at the residence of

famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks.

Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has

other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil

Annie’s search for her true family...

Foster’s production arrived in the

West End 40 years after the original

Broadway production opened in 1977

and received seven Tony awards

including the Best Musical, Best Score

and Best Book. In 1982, Annie was

adapted for the big screen directed by

John Huston with a cast including Carol

Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Albert

Finney. The much-loved score includes

the classics It’s A Hard Knock Life,

Tomorrow and Easy Street.

Box Office telephone 0844 871 7630.

ROY ORBISON TRIBUTE SINGER TO

PERFORM BLACK & WHITE NIGHT

Roy Orbison had an extraordinary,

unique voice that ranged from baritone

to tenor, spanning three to four octaves,

including a superb and soaring falsetto.

Elvis Presley said Orbison had the

greatest and most distinctive voice he

had ever heard. Bruce Springsteen and

Billy Joel both commented on the

otherworldly quality of Orbison's voice

while Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees said

of Orbison’s voice in ‘Crying’ that ‘To me

that was the voice of God’.

Londoner Dave Collison, has

mastered the Roy Orbison sound. Dave

is the first to admit his voice isn’t Godgiven.

His voice has always had an

uncanny similarity to the Big O’s but he

has studied and trained very hard over

20 years to perfect the tone and reach

the very high and low notes with the

seeming ease that Roy Orbison had.

Dave will perform The Black & White

Night Revisited as a special, one-off

event next week and will cover exactly

the same set-list as the original concert.

Backing singers for the original show

included KD Lang, Jennifer Warnes and

Bonnie Raitt, so Dave has carefully

chosen female backing singers with the

same vocal style to match the sound as

closely as possible.

Visit tickets.halfmoon.co.uk

Dave Collison will perform a tribute to Roy Orbison.

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UTE LEMPER’S THE 9 SECRETS

ALBUM LAUNCH AT CADOGAN HALL

Grammy-nominated and

internationally acclaimed artist Ute

Lemper’s collaboration with renowned

best-selling author Paulo Coelho,

The 9 Secrets, has been released via

Steinway & Sons. The launch will be

celebrated with a concert at Cadogan

Hall on 15 September at 19.30.

The album presents a song cycle

composed and sung by Lemper, set to

words by Coelho from his 2012 novel

Manuscript Found in Accra, the thematic

content of which may be encapsulated in

the lines, ‘After lying undiscovered for

over 700 years, a manuscript holding

the answers to questions about life and

humanity is unearthed. Simple

questions about our lives torn between

happiness and sorrow and defined by

hope, intelligence and desire to love as

much as the capacity to hate and

destroy.’ Coelho himself is featured on

two tracks.

Ute was born in Munster, Germany

and completed her studies at The Dance

Academy in Cologne and the Max

Reinhardt Seminary Drama School in

Vienna.

Her career has been vast and varied,

having made her mark in films,

recordings and on theatre and concert

stages around the world. As a recording

artist, her discography thus far

encompasses more than 30 albums over

30 years, including 2012’s Grammynominated

Paris Days, Berlin Nights on

Steinway & Sons.

She has been lauded for her

interpretations of Berlin cabaret songs,

the works of Kurt Weill and Berthold

Brecht and the Chansons of Marlene

Dietrich, Edith Piaf and many others.

She has recorded the music of Elvis

Costello, Tom Waits, Philip Glass and

Nick Cave, and was named Billboard’s

Crossover Artist of the Year for 1993–

1994.

For tickets, telephone Cadogan Hall

box office on 020 7730 4500.

Ute Lemper.

Photo: Brigitte Dummer

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12

Yoshijiro Urushibara (1889-1953): (London

1910-1940): ‘Anemones in Black Vase’.

Coloured woodcut c.1930. 305 x 203mm.

From Hilary Chapman Fine Prints.

THE FINEST MODERN BRITISH AND

POST-WAR ART

The 20/21 British Art Fair, one of the

UK’s most popular art fairs and the only

one to specialise exclusively in Modern

and Post War British art, returns in a

new venue after its former location was

suddenly unavailable in 2016. After

some 25 years at the Royal College of

Art, it is moving to Mall Galleries in

central London close to the art market

hub of St James’s. The 28th staging will

take place between 13–17 September.

The fair is supported by 34 of the

UK's leading art dealers, some of whom

have exhibited at the fair since its

inception in 1988, which clearly

demonstrates the remarkable loyalty

which underpins this event. Its great

strength lies in the excellence and

variety of Modern (1900-1945) and

Post-War art (1945-1970). However,

work from 1970 to the present day will

also be on show.

Most of the great names of 20th

century British art will be represented:

Bomberg, Freud, Frink, Frost, Hepworth,

Hockney, Lowry, Moore, Nash, Piper,

Riley, Spencer and Sutherland to name a

few. Much of the work is privately

sourced and fresh to the market and

dealers keep work back for the fair. The

result is a niche event showcasing

paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture

of the highest quality.

Mall Galleries is a well-known venue

which hosts art events on behalf of the

Federation of British Artists such as the

New English Art Club. Many of the

artists represented at the fair would have

belonged to this group some 50 or even

100 years ago.

‘We are delighted to be back and are

very excited by the response to the new

venue’,say the founders and organisers,

Gay Hutson and Angela Wynn. ‘We are

confident that this select specialist fair,

with its great line up of dealers, will be

a feast for collectors.’

Open Wednesday 15.00-21.00;

Thursday: 11.00-20.00; Friday/Saturday

11.00-19.00; Sunday: 11.00-18.00.

www.britishartfair.co.uk

Patrick Procktor, RA (1936-2003): Jimi Hendrix.

Watercolour, 33 x 33 cm. Signed and dated ‘73.

From Christopher Kingzett Fine Art.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

describes Jimi Hendrix as ‘arguably the

greatest instrumentalist in the history of

rock music’. He died in London at the

age of twenty-seven.Hendrix was a friend

of Patrick Procktor having been

introduced to him by Ossie Clark. He

made one oil and a number of

watercolours of Hendrix. This is the

largest and strongest of the drawings.

Edward Bawden (1903-1989): ‘Queen’s Garden’ 1983 (Kew Palace) Linocut

and lithograph. 470 x 609mm. From: Dominic Kemp Modern British Prints.

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FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF

WORLD ATHLETES AT LONDON

STADIUM

Hot on the heels of the IAAF World

Athletics and World Para Athletics

Championships this summer, tours

around the former Olympic Stadium are

available to book now.

The tour gives exclusive access to

usually private areas of the stadium,

superstar interviews and unique photo

opportunities. Visitors will be able to

re-imagine the success of the Super

Saturday athletes as they made their

preparations on the warm up track and

out to the main arena where the roar of

the crowds spurred them on to gold.

And football fans will not be left

disappointed as they follow in the

footsteps of their heroes from the

changing rooms and make the walk

along the players’ tunnel, out to the

manager’s dug out before standing pitch

side.

In addition, the London Stadium are

now offering guided football specific

match day tours, so visitors can take a

behind the scenes view of the stadium

only hours before the players battle it

out on the pitch. This is a different style

of tour, as it tour will be guided in small

groups and everyone on the tour will be

accompanied by one of the exceptional

Experience Makers. The guides are full

of character, knowledge and stories

about West Ham United, athletics and

the incredible feat of architecture that is

the London Stadium, so guests will be

entertained on your journey through the

stadium.The popular areas of this tour

will still be visited, but the excitement of

a match day will be in the air.

Either way, the tour is ideal for all,

including families visiting the Olympic

Park, the stadium comes alive through a

75 minute interactive multimedia tour

that has been specifically developed for

the venue. www.london-stadium.com

The London Stadium is just a short

walk from Stratford Station, which is on

the Jubilee, Central and Overground

lines.

The magnificent London Stadium from the air.

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14

TECHNIQUES OF THE MINIATURE

ARTIST REVEALED

How do they create something that

small? That is usually the first question

you hear from people visiting The Royal

Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors

and Gravers’ (RMS) Annual Exhibition at

The Mall Galleries in London.

Two members of the RMS, wildlife

painter Jenny Musker and wildlife

sculptor Paul Eaton, reveal how they

create their tiny artworks.

Jenny works in watercolour on

polymin, the modern equivalent of ivory.

‘This is a man made cellulose, like

painting on the surface of a ping pong

ball. Before 1960, the surface would

have been ivory which is now banned for

wildlife conservation. Vellum, canvas,

board and paper are also acceptable; in

fact anything with a smooth surface

helps with the detail.

‘Polymin is an interesting surface to

paint on, the paint tends to ‘slide’ on the

surface, so you have to dry excess paint

off your brush first then build up layers

by stippling – dotting the paint on to

the surface. Each layer must be allowed

to dry before the next can go on and

one splash of water can lift the painting

right off!

‘The painting of wrens on cherry

blossom is approximately actual size at

just 1.5”x2.5”. Even at this scale it takes

many thousands of dots to make up the

layers. I am often asked why I work with

such a difficult medium. It adds a

beautiful translucency to the watercolour

and to the end result of the painting, and

I like the challenge of working on such a

tiny scale.’

Paul Eaton sculpts metal into

beautiful miniature masterpieces.

‘I sculpt from wax that is normally used

in injection moulding and comes in

pellet form. I use a low voltage soldering

iron to drip and mould wax almost like

painting, then I use various tools, some

made specifically for my own use, some

dental and engraving tools, to carve

more detail.

‘The subject is roughly assembled to

create a posture or pose, then detail is

Jenny Musker: Dancing in the Dog

Roses. Watercolour on polymin. Image

size 4.5x6.5cm with frame 9x11cm.

Left: Love Blossoms.

added and slowly the subject comes to

life. Once I am pleased with the

composition the wax is then cast into

metal using the lost wax process.

‘This process involves attaching a

wax bar or sprue to the subject and

immersing it in a liquid called

‘investment’, similar to clay slip. Many

layers are added to create a shell around

the subject and when dry the model is

fired in a kiln like a piece of porcelain. In

the kiln the wax burns away and leaves a

hollow shell into which molten bronze or

silver can be poured to create the final

piece. I then add further fine detail with

small drills and hand engravers before

adding patina and polish to bring out the

natural look of the metal. My love and

fascination of the natural world keeps

me inspired.’

The Royal Society of Miniature

Painters Sculptors and Gravers’ Annual

Exhibition opens on Wednesday

evening, 20 September, with the work on

view daily from 10.00-17.00 until

1 October.

A selection of artists will be

demonstrating different techniques

throughout the exhibition.

For details go to the website

www.royal-miniature-society.org.uk

Left: Paul Eaton miniature sculptures.

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DOROTHY CIRCUS GALLERY OPENS

IN NOTTING HILL

Dorothy Circus Gallery is opening the

doors of its British branch in Notting Hill

with a new exhibition. On the occasion

of their unique anniversary, the Gallery

have prepared a celebration in the form

of a Group Show, with a splendid

reunion of its most important pop and

surreal icons. These artists will

collaborate with new international

figures in a magical meeting, beginning

in October.

Pages from Mind Travellers Diaries is

the name of the Group show, the title

mirrors the Gallery’s restless mood and

ideologies. That is the way it all started,

with the idea of a journey toward the

most remote corners of surrealism. It is

a journey full of surprises and

significant meetings of minds which

have shaped the gallery’s identity.

With the aim of spreading its image

around the world while absorbing new

cultural concepts, the Gallery started its

journey around Europe from Rome,

heading towards London. Shifting from

extremely bizarre and unusual tastes to

the most refined tendencies, what could

have been a better first destination for

the Circus if not the magnificent

London? The city of extreme glamour

and the dynamic centre of the fashion

industry, which can suddenly turn into

the elegant abode of the classy and

refined afternoon tea. The directors

decided that London has the perfect

atmosphere to welcome Dorothy Circus

Gallery’s unique style.

The first Group Exhibition in London

will feature popular names in pop art,

and surreal characters already present in

the art scene. These great artists’

extravagant pieces are made from

multiple artistic mediums and personal

styles, ranging from highly detailed

digital images to a more traditional

approach of brushes on canvas.

Following the Group show, the artists

will continue to work with the Gallery on

a brilliant series of solo exhibitions, one

per each artist that will begin in 2018.

Joe Sorren - Coney Island Supper Club

25x100 cm (49x39inches) oil on canvas

15

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16

Photos: Marc Brenner.

APOLOGIA Trafalgar Studios

As playwrights have constantly

discovered, sending their characters on

overnight visits to town or country

houses reaped dividends. Back in the

twenties Noel Coward had a hit with Hay

Fever, in the thirties George S. Kaufman

and Moss Hart wowed Broadway with

The Man Who Came to Dinner and,

striking a more serious note in the

sixties were Edward Albee‘s a Delicate

Balance and Harold Pinter’s The

Homecoming. In 2004 David Eldredge

successfully adapted the Danish film

Festen, a recriminatory drama that

centered around a celebratory 60th

birthday.

Four years after Festen, the Bush

Theatre presented Alexi Kaye Campell’s

Apologia, in which a formidible

matriarch invites her two sons and their

girlfriends to an informal birthday dinner

in her country home. It’s now being

revived in the West End as a vehicle for

the American actress Stockard Channing

who was last seen on the London stage

in 1992 in John Guare’s Six Degrees of

Separation.

She plays Kristin, a published arthistorian

and fervent 1960’s political

activist around whom the play revolves.

As originally written, Kristin was

British. She’s now morphed into an

American (‘by birth not by choice’)

thereby necessitating some rewrites

which work well enough but without

going too deeply into her political

origins. What hasn’t changed, though,

is the superior moral high-ground she

adopts when her views are challenged or

those held by others differ from her own.

First to arrive is her son Peter, an

international banker (a taker rather than

a giver as Kristin puts it) and his rather

vanilla, deeply Christian fiancee Trudi.

Next up is Claire, a successful soap

actress who drives a Porsche and wears

a Japanese number that costs £2000.

She has come from London without

Peter’s unemployable brother Simon, a

would-be writer who arrives after

everyone has gone to bed.

What follows as Kristin monstrously

hurls insults at the two young women,

scoring cheap points as she dismisses

their beliefs and life-styles, raises

rudeness and insensitivity to an art form.

Not that she shows much compassion

for her sons either. The family dynamic

reaches a climax when Peter and Simon

confront her at different times for not

even mentioning them in a memoir she

has just published.

There are, of course, deep-rooted

reasons for Kristin’s behaviour and they

go way back to her divorce. She was in

Florence with her very young sons at the

time, and did nothing to regain custody

of them when they were taken from her

by her ex-husband. Living with the

burden of this guilt clearly resulted in

self-hatred which, in turn hardened her

into the lonely monster she’s become.

Also present at this dinner from hell

is Hugh, an outspokenly camp old

queen who holds the same political

beliefs as his host and probably knows

her better than anyone else. There’s a

scene the play desperately needs in

which he sets out to explain Kristin’s

behaviour to Peter but which,

unfortunately, is interrupted and goes for

nothing.

The raison d’etre of Jamie Lloyd’s

laid-back production is, clearly,

Stockard Channing and she’s terrific.

Watching her navigate her way around

Campbell’s razor-edged text or just

listening, as in a scene in which her son

Simon describes an experience he had

at age 12 when he was picked up by a

man in Genoa, is to appreciate an

actress working at the very top of her

form.

As Trudi Laura Carmichael slowly

peels off layers of her character not

initially in evidence; while Freema

Agyeman also brings out unexpected

facets in Claire. Desmond Barritt does

the best he can with the marginalsed

stereotype Hugh, and Joseph Millson,

playing both Peter and Simon,(obviously

never seen together) gives each brother

a convincing personality of their own.

Adding to a flawed but entertaining

evening is the excellent set by Soutra

Gilmour.

CLIVE HIRSCHHORN

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18

Photo: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams in

Mosquitoes by Lucy Kirkwood

MOSQUITOES Dorfman Theatre

Lucy Kirkwood’s award-winning

Chimerica was one of the theatrical

highlights of 2013, a brilliant, ambitious,

and visually exciting cross-continent

meld of the personal and political. Her

new play for the National Theatre doesn’t

have quite the same impact, but it’s

pretty impressive nonetheless – not least

because of a handful of top notch

performances under Rufus Norris’s fluid

direction.

Jenny and Alice are sisters – but

although they share the same parentage,

the similarities end there. Whilst Alice is

a highflying particle physicist working

on the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva

and bringing up her teenage son alone,

Jenny, at the beginning of the play is an

anxiously expectant, Luton-based

mother-to-be who sells medical

insurance by phone, consults her

horoscope and believes whatever she

reads on the internet.

Kirkwood covers a lot of ground in

what is primarily an account of the

siblings’ combustible relationship with

each other, and at times the science

(despite a white-coated Paul Hilton’s

passionate delivery) seems more of an

excuse for some beautiful, bubbling

visuals. But the antagonistic

co-dependency of the sisters on a very

human collision course holds one’s

attention. Olivia Williams’ dedicated

scientist is quick to jump on a plane

when her sister needs her (but can’t see

that her exceptionally bright but socially

inept, reluctantly sexting son – excellent

Joseph Quinn – will never fit in at the

Swiss school he hates). Olivia Colman’s

bereaved, train wreck Jenny, her limited

intellectual abilities constantly

undermined by the academics who

surround her, is the one who somehow

keeps the family practically afloat. And

Amanda Boxer is a hoot as their

querulous, insensitive mother, still

resentful that her errant husband long

ago received the glory of the Nobel Prize

she thought should have been hers as

she battles, now, with encroaching

dementia and incontinence.

Until 28 September.

Louise Kingsley

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR SEASON

EXTENDED AT OPEN AIR THEATRE

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s

production of Tim Rice and Andrew

Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar

is now playing until 23 September.

The production returned to the Open

Air Theatre following a sell-out run in

2016, with critics proclaiming it

‘adrenaline-pumping’ (The New York

Times), and ‘a gorgeous, thrilling,

heavenly musical’ (The Guardian).

Directed by Timothy Sheader, the

production won the 2016 Evening

Standard Award for Best Musical, and

the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical

Revival, with the Open Air Theatre

announced as ‘London Theatre of the

Year’ in The Stage Awards 2017. Tyrone

Huntley who reprises his role as Judas

this year, also won the Evening Standard

Award for Emerging Talent, and was

nominated as Best Actor in a Musical in

the Olivier Awards. The production also

picked up Olivier Award nominations for

Best Lighting, Best Sound, Outstanding

Achievement in Music, and Best Theatre

Choreography for Drew McOnie.

This is the UK’s first outdoor

production of Jesus Christ Superstar,

and 2017 also marks the 45th

anniversary of the show first opening in

the West End.

Established in 1932, the award

winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

is one of the largest theatres in London.

Situated in the beautiful surroundings of

a Royal Park, both its stage and

auditorium are entirely uncovered. Voted

London Theatre of the Year in The Stage

Awards 2017 and celebrated for its bold

and dynamic productions over 140,000

people visit the theatre each year during

the 18-week season. Timothy Sheader

and William Village were appointed Joint

Chief Executives in 2007.

For tickets telephone 0844 826 4242.

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Company of Girl From The North Country at The Old Vic.

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY

Old Vic

Having experienced a resounding

Broadway flop in 2006 with Twyla

Tharp’s The Times They Are A-Changin’,

song laureate Bob Dylan was

understandably protective when it came

to future theatrical presentations of his

work. Yet out of the blue, Dylan’s

manager contacted Irish playwright

Conor McPherson who, at the age of 25,

in 1997, was catapulted to fame with his

Olivier Award winning ghost story The

Weir. What was on offer was an open

invitation to McPherson to use Dylan’s

catalogue of songs in any manner he

chose.

As McPherson had never written a

musical before and neither had Dylan,

he didn’t give the suggestion much

thought until one day an idea struck

him: he would write a play set in a

rundown guest house in Dylan’s

birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota during

the height of the the Depression. It

wouldn’t be a conventional jukebox

musical in the mould of Jersey Boys but

a character-driven drama in which

Dylan’s songs would provide a soundtrack

appropriate to the mood of any

given moment without the necessity of

furthering the plot. It would, said Conor,

‘free the songs from the burden of

Photos: Manual Harlan

relevance for our generation and make

them timeless.’

It’s a brilliant concept and with a

multi-talented cast to prop it up, Girl

From the North Country works

thrillingly. Despite the familiarity of a

context exhaustively explored in so

many Depression-era books, films and

plays, Dylan’s songs lend it a freshness

and a contemporary relevance that

resonates powerfully and movingly.

Bronagh Gallagher (Mrs Burke).

The time is 1934 – one of the

bleakest years of the Depression. A

world in microcosm exists within the

confines of the shabby guest-house run

by Nick Laine (Ciaran Hinds) whose

parlous financial circumstances are

exacerbated by a wife (Shirley

Henderson, wonderful) suffering from

dementia, a layabout alcoholic son (Sam

Reid) with unfulfilled literary aspirations,

and a black adopted daughter (stunning

Sheila Atim) who is pregnant though the

father is nowhere to be seen. Nick is

doing his best to marry her off to an

elderly shoe salesman (Jim Norton)

while he himself is having a liaison with

a widow (Debbie Kurup) who occupies a

room upstairs.

Other characters wrestling despair,

disillusion and survival include a

destitute factory boss (Stanley

Townsend), his pill-addicted wife

(Bronagh Gallagher), their grown-up son

with the brain of a four-year-old (Jack

Shalloo), a boxer (Arinze Kene on top

form) whose promising career crashed

after he was wrongfully arrested, a local

morphine addicted doctor (Ron Cook)

who also serves as an occasional

narrator, and an unscrupulous, blackmailing

bible-salesman (Michael

Schaeffer, effectively creepy).

Reminiscent of plays by Eugene

O’Neill, William Saroyan, Thornton

Wilder, Arthur Miller and Maxim Gorky

in which a group of men and women

collectively represent humanity in its

desperate fight for fulfilment and

survival, McPherson’s drama and

Dylan’s songs (from 1963 to Duquesne

Whistle in 2012) attempt to take the

pulse of the human condition and

succeed.

The play is compellingly directed by

the author whose multi-tasking cast,

apart from delivering sharply delineated,

vividly observed characterisations, are

also terrific singers who happen to play

several musical instruments. They

deserve to be seen and heard.

CLIVE HIRSCHHORN

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20

Photo: Charlie Gray

PLAYS

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF

A major revival of Tennessee Williams’

Pulitzer Prize-winning play, starring Sienna

Miller and Jack O’Connell. Closes 7 October.

APOLLO THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (020 7851 2711)

THE COMEDY ABOUT A BANK ROBBERY

One enormous diamond, eight incompetent

crooks and a snoozing security guard. What

could possibly go right?

CRITERION THEATRE

Piccadilly Circus, (020 7492 0810)

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

A Polytechnic amateur drama group are

putting on a 1920s murder mystery and

everything that can go wrong... does!

DUCHESS THEATRE

Catherine Street, WC2 (0330 333 4810)

INK

James Graham's acclaimed new play transfers

following a sold-out season at the Almeida

Theatre in North London. From 19 September.

DUKE OF YORK’S THEATRE

St Martin’s Lane, WC2 (020 7492 1552)

THE WOMAN IN BLACK

An innocent outsider, a suspicious rural

community, a gothic house and a misty marsh

are the ingredients of this Victorian ghost story.

FORTUNE THEATRE

Russell Street, WC2 (0844 871 7626)

THE FERRYMAN

In Jez Butterworth’s new major drama, multi

award-winning actor, director and writer Paddy

Considine is joined by Laura Donnelly and

Genevieve O’Reilly. Directed by Sam Mendes.

GIELGUD THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (0844 482 5130)

QUEEN ANNE

Royal Shakespeare Company production of

Helen Edmundson’s new play, set in 1702,

with William III on the throne and England is

on the verge of war. Until 30 September.

VENUS IN FUR

A major production of David Ives' dark

comedy starring Natalie Dormer and David

Oakes. Opens 17 October.

HAYMARKET THEATRE

Haymarket, SW1 (020 7930 8800)

OSLO

Bartlett Sher's acclaimed production of

J.T. Rogers' new Tony Award-winning play. A

darkly funny political thriller, this production

comes to the West End following a three week

run at the National Theatre. Opens 2 October.

HAROLD PINTER THEATRE

Panton Street, SW1 (0844 871 7627)

Royal National Theatre

Plays in repertory

OLIVIER THEATRE.

FOLLIES

Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton

play the magnificent Follies in a dazzling new

production of Stephen Sondheim’s legendary

musical staged for the first time at the National.

LYTTELTON THEATRE

OSLO

Bartlett Sher's acclaimed production of

J.T. Rogers' new Tony Award-winning play.

5-23 September, then transfers to Harold

Pinter Theatre from 2 October.

DORFMAN THEATRE

MOSQUITOES

Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams play sisters

in a world premiere from Chimerica writer

Lucy Kirkwood, directed by Rufus Norris.

NATIONAL THEATRE

South Bank, SE1 (020 7452 3000)

LABOUR OF LOVE

World Premiere of James Graham's new

comedy starring Martin Freeman and Sarah

Lancashire. Set in the Labour Party's

traditional northern heartlands, a clash of

philosophy, culture and class.

Opens 25 September.

NOEL COWARD THEATRE

St Martin's Lane, WC2 (0844 482 5141)

GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY

Conor McPherson beautifully weaves the

iconic songbook of Bob Dylan into this new

show full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Until 7 October.

DR SEUSS’S THE LORAX

The return of David Greig's stage adaption

returns to London for a special three week

season. Opens 15 October.

OLD VIC THEATRE

The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 (0844 871 7628)

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED

CHILD PARTS I & II

A new stage play based on the Harry Potter

franchise written by Jack Thorne, based on

an original story by J.K Rowling.

PALACE THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (0330 333 4813)

DERREN BROWN

Derren Brown's 'greatest hits' show

Underground in London promises to be a

spell-binding experience of magical genius

and epic showmanship.

PLAYHOUSE THEATRE

Northumberland Ave, WC2 (0844 871 7631)

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

The return of the Timothy Sheader's acclaimed

revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's

seminal musical featuring songs I Don't Know

How to Love Him, Gethsemane and Superstar.

REGENT'S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE

Regent's Park, NW1 (0844 826 4242)

THE MOUSETRAP

Agatha Christie’s whodunnit is the longest

running play of its kind in the history of the

British theatre.

ST MARTIN’S THEATRE

West Street, WC2 (0844 499 1515)

APOLOGIA

Jamie Lloyd's production of Alexi Kaye

Campbell's play, starring Stockard Channing.

A witty, topical and passionate play about

generations, secrets, and warring perspectives.

Until 18 Noember.

TRAFALGAR STUDIOS

Whitehall, SW1 (020 7492 1548)

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

A major revival of Oscar Wilde's classic

starring Eve Best and Anne Reid and directed

by Dominic Dromgoole. From 6 October.

VAUDEVILLE THEATRE

Strand, WC2 (020 7400 1257)

HEISENBERG: THE UNCERTAINTY

PRINCIPLE

Marianne Elliott's West End Premiere of

Simon Stephens' play starring Anne-Marie

Duff and Kenneth Cranham.

WYNDHAM’S THEATRE

Charing Cross Rd, WC2 (0844 482 512)

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MUSICALS

KINKY BOOTS

Inspired by a true story and based on the

Miramax film, the show tells the story of Charlie

Price who has reluctantly inherited his father's

Northampton shoe factory.

ADELPHI THEATRE

Strand, WC2 (020 3725 7060)

STOMP

This multi-award winning show continues to

astound audiences across the world with its

universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy

and dance.

AMBASSADORS THEATRE

West Street, WC2 (020 7395 5405)

WICKED

Hit Broadway story of how a clever,

misunderstood girl with emerald green skin

and a girl who is beautiful and popular turn

into the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda

the Good Witch in the Land of Oz.

APOLLO VICTORIA THEATRE

Wilton Road, SW1 (0844 826 8000)

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE

New musical starring John McCrea transfers

to the West End following a sold-out run at

Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. Opens 22 Nov.

APOLLO THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (020 7851 2711)

MATILDA

Critically acclaimed Royal Shakespeare

Company production of Roald Dahl’s book,

directed by Matthew Warchus.

CAMBRIDGE THEATRE

Earlham Street, WC2 (0844 800 1110)

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

The award-winning, thrillingly staged and

astonishingly danced Broadway Gershwin

musical featuring some of the greatest music

and lyrics ever written.

DOMINION THEATRE

Tottenham Court Rd, W1 (020 7927 0900)

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

Major new musical based on Kenneth

Grahame’s book, starring Rufus Hound.

A riotous musical comedy that follows the

impulsive Mr Toad whose insatisable need for

speed lands him in serious trouble. To 9 Sept.

LONDON PALLADIUM

Argyll Street, W1 (0844 412 4655)

THE LION KING

Disney‘s phenomenally successful animated

film is transformed into a spectacular stage

musical, a superb evening of visual delight.

LYCEUM THEATRE

Wellington Street, WC2 (0844 871 3000)

THRILLER – LIVE

High octane show celebrating the career of the

King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Over two hours

of the non-stop hit songs that marked his

legendary live performances.

LYRIC THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (0330 333 4812)

SCHOOL OF ROCK

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage musical

with lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Julian

Fellowes, adapted from the film.

NEW LONDON THEATRE

Drury Lane, WC2 (020 7492 0810)

MAMMA MIA!

Hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, set

around the story of a mother and daughter on

the eve of the daughter’s wedding.

NOVELLO THEATRE

Aldwych, WC2 (0844 482 5170)

EVITA

A major revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd

Webber's legendary musical.

PHOENIX THEATRE

Charing Cross Road, WC2 (0844 871 7627)

ANNIE

Revival of the famous musical starring

Miranda Hart. A Depression-era rags-toriches

story featuring the songs It's The Hard-

Knock Life, Easy Street and Tomorrow.

PICCADILLY THEATRE

Denman Street, W1 (0844 871 7630)

ALADDIN

The classic hit film has been brought to thrilling

life on stage by Disney, featuring all the songs

from the Academy Award winning score.

PRINCE EDWARD THEATRE

Old Compton Street, W1 (0844 482 5151)

LES MISERABLES

A spectacularly staged version of Victor Hugo’s

epic novel about an escaped convict’s

search for redemption in Revolutionary France.

QUEEN’S THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (0844 482 5160)

DREAMGIRLS

Set in the USA during the late 1960s and

early 1970s, it follows a young female singing

trio as they become music superstars.

SAVOY THEATRE

Strand, WC2 (020 7492 0810)

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL

Featuring all the much loved classics from

Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and the Jackson 5,

the show tells the story behind the hits.

SHAFTESBURY THEATRE

Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (020 7492 0810)

42nd STREET

The song and dance, American dream fable of

Broadway returns to the West End. The

timeless tale of small town Peggy Sawyer’s

rise from chorus line to Broadway star.

THEATRE ROYAL

Drury Lane, WC2 (020 7492 0810)

21

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Legendary filmmaker and comedian Mel

Brooks brings his classic monster musical

comedy to life on stage in an all-singing,

all-dancing musical. Opens 10 October.

GARRICK THEATRE

Charing Cross Road, WC2 (0330 333 4811)

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Long running epic romance by Andrew Lloyd

Webber, set behind the scenes of a Paris opera

house where a deformed phantom stalks his prey.

HER MAJESTY’S THEATRE

Haymarket, SW1 (0844 412 2707)

Clare Halse & Company in 42nd Street.

Photo: Brinkhoff & Moegenburg

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22

CIGALA

One of the secret delights of London,

the backstreets of Bloomsbury remain

unknown to many visitors, who find

themselves culturally exhausted by the

British Museum. Who can blame them?

Such a treasure trove of antiquities

makes shopping seem lightweight.

Yet just a few hundred yards from

Russell Square is the fascinating

Brunswick Centre – a sort of

architectural monument to civic pride,

1970s style. It has been renovated and

given listed building status so that no

future arbiters of taste can knock it

down.

Those who feel like scowling at its

pre-formed concrete balconies will

almost certainly take more pleasure in

the Foundling Museum, which tells the

story of Britain’s first home for

abandoned babies, set up by Sir Thomas

Coram and his friend, the composer

Friedrich Handel. The little mementoes

left by the mothers of the foundlings – a

lock of hair, a scrap of card – are heart

breaking. Outside is Coram’s Field – to

this day a park and playground where

adults may only enter if accompanying a

child.

The best treat of this wander through

the area, however, is Lamb’s Conduit

Street. Together with Rugby Street (a

side turning) it is home to some of the

best boutiques and restaurants of

Bloomsbury. Many are niche menswear

outlets, like Oliver Spencer, Universal

works or Simon Carter. But there is also

the feminist publisher, Persephone

Books, Susannah Hunter, who makes

elaborate leather bags and even The

People’s supermarket, a true cooperative

store where locals can play

shop and get a discount on their

groceries.

Still, if you don’t live there and will

never benefit from such a scheme, I

recommend a quick peek in Maggie

Owen’s shop on Rugby Street, where the

costume jewellery is both beautiful and

surprising.

And then there is always dinner.

Or lunch. Lambs Conduit Street is a

bustling hub for diners. At the top end,

closest to the playground, families eat

pasta on the pavement outside Ciao

Bella. It is wildly popular and aroma of

warm garlic quite hard to resist. Further

south, Noble Rot is the name of a

magazine for wine aficionados, now

given to the wine bar where you can

imbibe any number of luscious vintages

alongside a simple British menu.

Which brings us to Cigala, plumb

opposite Noble Rot, a Spanish eatery

beloved of local business people and

doctors from Gt. Ormond Street hospital.

It is also a favourite haunt of a lot of

English people, who swear by the paella

and tapas. In fact the family at the table

closest to ours leant over to tell us that

the paella was ‘just like you get in Spain’

while I goggled at the sheer quantity of

rice and seafood that three adults can

apparently eat.

Anyway we were not to be swayed.

My main quest was a whole sea bream

grilled to perfection, with creamy

broccoli on the side. Then, serially, we

tried lots of tapas. The salted Marcona

almonds (£4.60) are excellent. The

‘Jamon Serrano’ (£9) – a cured

mountain ham – makes you swoon to be

in Spain again, I would say. Lots of

regulars were hoovering up the patatas

bravas (fired potatoes with spicy tomato

sauce) and the toast with ripe tomatoes,

olive oil and garlic, but if you are ‘agin

carbs’ then try the squid sizzled up with

hot peppers for a protein treat. The only

disappointment was a tiny dish of baked

crab which turned out to be mainly

breadcrumbs. The cheese board comes

with very nice crisp bread full of fennel

seeds and the dessert of orange jelly,

chocolate mousse and black bean ice

cream – a cute and tangy tower – is

wonderful. It is apparently the invention

of the restaurant’s owner and founder,

Jake Hodges, and has been described as

a chef’s satire on the Jaffa cake.

The atmosphere at Cigala is sweetly

relaxed. Not everything comes just at the

right time, but the waiters are eager

young Spaniards and the old-fashioned

décor makes you think of a seaside

eatery near the beach.

Sue Webster

54 Lamb’s Conduit Street,

WC1N 3LW

0207 405 1717

t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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