Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Beatles Lyrics: The Unseen Story

Booking is open now at The British Library event The Beatles Lyrics: The Unseen Story.

Hunter Davies will be introducing his new guide to nearly 100 Beatles lyrics.

When: Fri 26 Sep 2014, 19.00-20.30
Where: Conference Centre, British Library
Price: £8, (£6 Over 60s) and £5

Find out more here.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Here’s your chance to meet Sir Paul McCartney

Help Paul McCartney fight childhood hunger this summer through Why Hunger’s Summer Meals Rock for Kids campaign. Here’s your chance to meet Sir Paul McCartney and win 2 tickets to the North American show of your choice.

Bid today at www.charitybuzz.com/whyhunger to help children in need access free, nutritious meals this summer. Check them out on Facebook too: www.facebook.com/whyhungerfans

Friday, 18 July 2014

MONTY PYTHON LIVE- 1 Down 5 to Go.

The O2 London, Tuesday 15th July 2014.

First of all- All this silliness- now is this Beatles related review? YES IT IS. George in particular was a huge fan of Python and funded “Life of Brian” through Handmade Films in 1979. Eric Idle is a Rutle, and George appeared in “The Rutles” in 1978. So in answer to your question, yes this is a Beatles related review. Okay now carry on.

It was only the weekend before that I decided I wanted to see Python live. To my great luck I found tickets for £25 for this show so just had to buy. The venue is one tube stop from where I work so getting there was easy.

This seemed too good to be true. Arriving at the 02 around 5.30, I went to collect my tickets which hadn’t arrived from the agent. I was told to come back in 30 minutes. I did and again they hadn’t arrived and I was told that a number of people had been affected and I would be reallocated a new seat. Could I come back in 30 minutes?

By now I was thinking there was a secret camera on me and the Pythons were having a good laugh, so after a pint of Peroni, I made my way back to the collection desk and yes I had a new £90 ticket with a view to the side of the stage but right in line with the stage itself. 
 
Things were looking up and about to get a lot better. After some music from the orchestra the Pythons appeared to rapturous applause at 7.45. They posed for photographs and the large screens to the side of the stage suddenly were flashing “Photo Opportunity”. 
 
The show was a mixture of music, sketches old and new, dance routines and old footage from the original TV shows.
 
The first half lasted just over an hour and featured a sketch with Eric, John,Terry and Michael reminiscing about how times were hard in the old days but much more fun. All dressed very dapper in white suits; they proceeded to tell of their squalid living conditions as youngsters such as the hole in the ground covered with a sheet of tarpaulin.
 
Sketches were then done mainly in pairs and as one sketch ended the set was pushed off the stage and a new set pushed on with 2 more pythons acting out another sketch.
 
At one point old footage of Graham Chapman dressed as an army sergeant appeared on the big screens, telling them to stop this silliness and go for an outdoor sketch. Graham’s appearance brought huge applause from the audience. He is clearly still loved by the Pythons and fans alike. 
 
Eventually the first REALLY well known sketch appeared. With Michael Palin being interviewed by John Cleese about the most ideal job for him. Having been a chartered accountant for over 20 years, Cleese tells him that this is his ideal job. Palin tells Cleese he wants something more exciting and wants to be a lion tamer. 
 
After he describes the animal to Cleese and says “I can easily tame one of those”, Cleese then asks if this long nosed 4 legged creature eats ants. “Yes” comes the reply. Cleese then breaks the news that Palin has been describing an anteater and not a lion. Eventually Palin says “I wanna be................” the audience are ready for the word “Lumberjack” which eventually comes and we have “The Lumberjack Song” with the wonderful Carol Cleveland. 
 
The wonderful animations of Terry Gilliam were evident on the big screen throughout. Then we were treated to some old sketches on the screens while the Pythons changed costume. 
 
I hadn’t seen many of these for years and couldn’t stop laughing, like the lady in the next seat to me who was in fits throughout the whole show. 
 
The 1972 Olympics sketch was shown, featuring events such as the 100 yards- FOR PEOPLE WITH NO SENSE OF CO-ORDINATION, the Marathon, FOR INCONTINENT PEOPLE, who kept disappearing into the bushes for .... (well you know nudge nudge wink wink). Plus the football sketch between the Germans and the ancient Greeks- I really must re-visit the original series. 
 
A musical song with Eric leading the singing about the human body’s most sensitive parts followed.
A sketch with Michael and Eric as judges coming out of court into their changing rooms follows. Both remove their court attire to reveal women’s undergarments about their persons. Before they get to this point, Eric asks Michael “Did you handle the Cleese divorce?” 
 
“Which one?” comes the reply- (Audience laughter) 
 
A debate then ensues as to how many wives John Cleese has had! Wonderful. 
 
The second half began with the wonderful dancers performing a routine to “The Ministry of Silly Walks”. 
 
A sketch called “Science Today” featured Eric and John. Typical Python humour was occurring when suddenly Eric corpsed and was trying to conceal it. John then said something and Eric had gone. The audience loved it. John was dressed as a woman with theories about Dinosaurs and suddenly completely burst out laughing.“WONDERFUL STUFF”. 
 
The Spanish Inquisition followed soon after, and then we found Michael Palin going into an office environment with 3 desks. The first desk featured Carol Cleveland who asked “Have you come for an argument?” To which Michael saying in a timid voice “Yes”. “Oh go to the next desk” is the reply. Meeting Terry Jones at the next desk Michael is told this isn’t the argument desk- it’s the next one. Suddenly Terry is about to laugh, and by now the audience were loving this. 
 
The banter that follows with Michael and John Cleese who is on the final desk was wonderful, ending with Terry Gilliam being transported some 30 feet above the stage on a high wire. 
 
John Cleese then produces a shotgun and shoots Gilliam whose stomach explodes. 
 
Terry Jones then features in a sketch I hadn’t seen, as a manager of a chocolate company “Whizzo Chocolates”. Policemen Cleese and Gilliam then converge on the factory regarding the contents of each chocolate, which include frog’s legs. Poor Gilliam has to taste these awful things and is eventually sick (not really- it’s staged of course). 
 
The game show Blackmail featured an incomplete jigsaw on the big screen with Michael Palin saying “To prevent us from revealing the identity of the 2 men with these women at a garage in Guildford, £4000 is required”. 
 
No phone call is forthcoming and the jigsaw starts to fill in revealing James May and ¾ of Jeremy Clarkson from “Top Gear” (a BBC show for those who aren’t aware). The phone rings and Palin says “Oh Hi Jeremy..... So the cheques in the post? Wonderful”
 
A person is then brought on who has a dark secret with a paper bag over their head to conceal his/her identity. On this night a small midget was brought onto the stage and the audience asked if this was a celebrity or not. 
 
Well who could it be? The audience were mostly shouting “Non celeb” and suddenly the bag was removed to reveal Warwick Davis. He got a well earned round of applause. 
 
As we approached the end the more famous sketches came to the fore. SPAM, the nudge nudge wink wink with Eric and Terry Jones, and of course the ”Dead Parrot” sketch. A great mix of dances, sketches, TV clips, music and laughter. 
 
I had such a wonderful night and hope George was having a large laugh from above, which I’m sure he was.
You can catch the last show on 20th July live on UK Gold or local cinemas. If it’s anywhere near as good as this, believe me you are in for a treat.

45 Revolutions by Morgan Howell Exhibit - Proud Galleries



45 Revolutions
 By Morgan Howell
 10th July - 2nd September 2014 
 All images © Morgan Howell 

 This summer Proud Galleries is pleased to introduce 45 Revolutions, an exhibition of supersized original paintings and prints of seven inch singles by artist Morgan Howell. This exhibition will celebrate the golden age of 'the 45' and will feature the most important and iconic single sleeves in 20th century culture. 

This unique collection of painted singles is set to rekindle the long-standing love affair between music devotees and vinyl. The seven inch single revolutionised the music industry with its recognisable sound quality and thought-provoking artwork. Everyone shares a memory of the time they bought their first vinyl and the obsessive collecting that inevitably followed. In a digital age where the ease of MP3 has replaced the collectible aura of vinyl, Proud Galleries celebrate the format that gave birth to rock n' roll. Vinyl is the physical and emotional manifestation of our musical choices, defining part of our identities, and act as time capsules to special moments in our past. 

Artist Morgan Howell celebrates this nostalgic love affair through his supersized art works. His unique mixed-media paintings are approximately fifteen times the surface area of the classic seven-inch singles on which they are based and he unsparingly captures the essence of each sleeve, recreating every little detail down to the crinkles and creases on each record. 

Staged at Proud Chelsea on London's historic King's Road, the very heart of the counterculture movement of Sixties London, the exhibition will delve into the bands that drew their musical inspiration from their surroundings in Chelsea at that time. From The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to David Bowie and The Kinks, this exhibition reveals an insight into the singles that where produced during this period of creativity and freedom that has defined generations of music that followed. 


Launch: Wednesday 9th July 
Dates: 10th July - 2nd 
September 2014 
Times: Monday to Sunday: 10am till 7pm 
Entry: Free 
Address: 161 King’s Road London SW3 5XP 
Website: www.proud.co.uk 

Morgan Howell 
A long-term member of the Royal Society of Art, Morgan Howell came up with the idea for creating these artworks in a moment of genius triggered by the call for entries to the RA Summer Exhibition. He rediscovered his formative years when music was everything and captured its’ essence in a series of ‘supersize’ singles. Each of his painted singles measures 27 x 27 inches, approximately fifteen times the surface area of the original singles on which they are based, unsparingly capturing the essence of each sleeve. Howell’s supersize paintings have achieved a cult following amongst music enthusiasts and his unique paintings of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie” sits proudly on the wall at Sony Music. Further examples of his work are a permanent feature of the Radio 2 Green Room alongside Elton John’s piano, and when the BBC interviewed The Rolling Stones in London’s Dorchester Hotel in the run up to their concerts at the 02 in November 2012, three of his supersize Rolling Stones singles formed the backdrop. Vinyl is making a come-back and British artist Morgan Howell is at the centre of it. 

Proud Galleries
Proud Galleries was launched in Autumn 1998. Its ethos? To bring the very best in high quality photography to the mainstream market. Proud instantly took the photography world by storm and quickly grew into Europe’s most popular private photography gallery. Today the Proud brand runs one of the most visited destinations in London. Three galleries, two live music venues and three Cabaret clubs across central London have cemented its success and in a harsh economic climate, Proud continues to expand. Never failing to exhibit the work of the world’s best photographers, Proud has hosted shows by everyone from Terry O’Neill to Jerry Schatzberg, Gered Mankowitz to Ken Russell. With star-studded launch parties and some of the best press coverage in the country, the unique Proud formula has situated the company at the very top of its game. 

FOR FURTHER EXHIBITION INFORMATION, SERIAL RIGHTS / USE OF PICTURES/ INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT: Amelia Maigrot: +44(0) 20 7839 4942 | amelia@proudgalleries.co.uk | www.proud.co.uk

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Epstein The Man Who Made The Beatles - 4 weeks away


Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd present
A ‘FAB FOUR’ WEEKS UNTIL EPSTEIN OFFICIAL OPENING IN LONDON
Starring Andrew Lancel as Brian Epstein, with Will Finlason as ‘This Boy’
Written by Andrew Sherlock | Directed by Jen Heyes
Leicester Square Theatre, London
Previews - 30 Jul–2 Aug | Run - 4 Aug-6 Sep 2014
 
Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles - the long-awaited play about the legendary music manager Brian Epstein – officially opens at London’s Leicester Square Theatre in a ‘Fab Four’ weeks on Mon 4th August (previews from Wed 30 July) and will continue throughout the summer until Sat 6 September.
The show opens hot off the heels of The Beatles 50th Anniversary celebrations happening around the world, Brian Epstein posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after a campaign from fans and also the unveiling of a commemorative blue plaque at the London offices of Epstein’s company NEMS on 29th June. Brian would have celebrated his 80th birthday this September.
Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is the untold story and window into the private world of the gay, Jewish, music entrepreneur whose stellar career as Beatles Manager made him a household name yet whose controversial personal life remained very much in the closet. Brian died in 1967 of a concluded accidental overdose at the age of 32.
Acclaimed stage and TV star Andrew Lancel (Coronation Street, The Bill) and actor Will Finlason will return to the roles of Brian Epstein and the fictional character ‘This Boy’ respectively, for which they each received rave reviews during the initial run in Liverpool, where the show premiered in November 2012 as part of the city’s official Beatles 50th Anniversary celebrations at the Epstein Theatre.
Andrew Lancel said: “This is a window into the life of one of the most important men in pop history, a gay man who had a hand in changing the world, he was unique. Opening in the West End is a thrill in this year full of fitting, timely and wonderful honours to Brian, the man who made the Beatles.
“Andrew Lancel as Epstein is terrific...
As the boy, Will Finlason gracefully mingles brashness and compassion.”
The Times
 
“A show of thought-provoking insight and raw emotion…
The Beatles Manager superbly portrayed by Andrew Lancel.
An experience not to be missed!”
The Stage
 
This two-hander play imagines this brilliant but troubled man’s drug-fuelled final days whilst looking back upon his illustrious adult life and meteoric career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group - a must-see opportunity to discover a previously unexplored story and celebrate a true icon of 1960’s popular culture – a man who shaped music and style across the world.
Jen Heyes, Director and Co-Producer of the play said “Rehearsals have now begun and I am so looking forward to bringing the play to London, since running in Liverpool, we have had time to revisit the story, the multi-media pieces and create an even more powerful piece of theatre which I think audiences, whether seen the show before or not, are going to love.”
Martin Witts, Artistic Director at the Leicester Square Theatre said: “We are very much looking
forward to having this exciting new play in residence at the Leicester Square Theatre throughout the Summer period, it is a perfect fit for our diverse audience and a great attraction for international visitors. It’s very fitting that the show is coming to London during what is going to be a Rock and Roll year celebration of Brian Epstein’s life and the instrumental impact he had on popular music, we hope it will run and run."
Running from 30 July – 6 September 2014 at London’s Leicester Square Theatre, Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is brought to you by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd, written by Andrew Sherlock and directed by Jen Heyes.
“At times comic, at times intensely moving... Epstein is not merely an exercise in nostalgia, it also finds the real man lurking inside an enigma.”
The Arts Desk
 
“An evocative and moving history lesson, enlivened with wit - enthralling for those who were there (and still remember it) and for a new generation discovering their musical roots.”
Whatsonstage.com
 
More information on Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles can be found at www.epsteintheplay.com.

LISTING INFORMATION:

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles
Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, Greater London WC2H 7BX
30 July – 6 September 2014
Preview Performances: 30 July – 2 August
Mon – Sat Evenings: 7.30pm I Thurs mats 3.00pm I Sat early shows 4.00pm
Ticket Prices: £30-£42.50
 
HOW TO BOOK:
Book in person at the venue, online at www.leicestersquaretheatre.com or via telephone on 08448 733433. Booking fees may apply
Writing co-commissioned by Homotopia. 
Supported by Arts Council England, Orange Amplification, Liverpool Vision and Liverpool Echo.
Production partners: The Beatles Story (Liverpool), Hard Day’s Night Hotel (Liverpool), Hard Rock Cafe (London), The Beatles Coffee Shop/Beatles Walks (London).
The official hotel partner is Radisson Blu Edwardian, London.
The official production charity partner is CALM www.thecalmzone.net.
Running Time 2hrs approx
Suitable for age 14+

Monday, 7 July 2014

A ‘FAB FOUR’ WEEKS UNTIL EPSTEIN OFFICIAL OPENING IN LONDON



Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd present




A ‘FAB FOUR’ WEEKS UNTIL EPSTEIN OFFICIAL OPENING IN LONDON
Starring Andrew Lancel as Brian Epstein, with Will Finlason as ‘This Boy’
Written by Andrew Sherlock | Directed by Jen Heyes
Leicester Square Theatre, London
Previews - 30 Jul–2 Aug | Run - 4 Aug-6 Sep 2014

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles - the long-awaited play about the legendary music manager Brian Epstein – officially opens at London’s Leicester Square Theatre in a ‘Fab Four’ weeks on Mon 4th August (previews from Wed 30 July) and will continue throughout the summer until Sat 6 September.

The show opens hot off the heels of The Beatles 50th Anniversary celebrations happening around the world, Brian Epstein posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after a campaign from fans and also the unveiling of a commemorative blue plaque at the London offices of Epstein’s company NEMS on 29th June. Brian would have celebrated his 80th birthday this September.

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is the untold story and window into the private world of the gay, Jewish, music entrepreneur whose stellar career as Beatles Manager made him a household name yet whose controversial personal life remained very much in the closet. Brian died in 1967 of a concluded accidental overdose at the age of 32.

c. Rhian Askins
Acclaimed stage and TV star Andrew Lancel (Coronation Street, The Bill) and actor Will Finlason will return to the roles of Brian Epstein and the fictional character ‘This Boy’ respectively, for which they each received rave reviews during the initial run in Liverpool, where the show premiered in November 2012 as part of the city’s official Beatles 50th Anniversary celebrations at the Epstein Theatre.

Andrew Lancel said: “This is a window into the life of one of the most important men in pop history, a gay man who had a hand in changing the world, he was unique. Opening in the West End is a thrill in this year full of fitting, timely and wonderful honours to Brian, the man who made the Beatles.

“Andrew Lancel as Epstein is terrific...
As the boy, Will Finlason gracefully mingles brashness and compassion.”
The Times


c. Rhian Askins

“A show of thought-provoking insight and raw emotion…
The Beatles Manager superbly portrayed by Andrew Lancel.
An experience not to be missed!”
The Stage

This two-hander play imagines this brilliant but troubled man’s drug-fuelled final days whilst looking back upon his illustrious adult life and meteoric career from his drama school days to managing the world’s biggest pop group - a must-see opportunity to discover a previously unexplored story and celebrate a true icon of 1960’s popular culture – a man who shaped music and style across the world.

c. Rhian Askins

Jen Heyes, Director and Co-Producer of the play said “Rehearsals have now begun and I am so looking forward to bringing the play to London, since running in Liverpool, we have had time to revisit the story, the multi-media pieces and create an even more powerful piece of theatre which I think audiences, whether seen the show before or not, are going to love.”

Martin Witts, Artistic Director at the Leicester Square Theatre said: “We are very much looking forward to having this exciting new play in residence at the Leicester Square Theatre throughout the Summer period, it is a perfect fit for our diverse audience and a great attraction for international visitors. It’s very fitting that the show is coming to London during what is going to be a Rock and Roll year celebration of Brian Epstein’s life and the instrumental impact he had on popular music, we hope it will run and run."

Running from 30 July – 6 September 2014 at London’s Leicester Square Theatre, Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles is brought to you by Bill Elms & Jen Heyes Productions Ltd, written by Andrew Sherlock and directed by Jen Heyes.

“At times comic, at times intensely moving... Epstein is not merely an exercise in nostalgia, it also finds the real man lurking inside an enigma.”
The Arts Desk

“An evocative and moving history lesson, enlivened with wit - enthralling for those who were there (and still remember it) and for a new generation discovering their musical roots.”
Whatsonstage.com

More information on Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles can be found at www.epsteintheplay.com.

LISTING INFORMATION:

Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles
Leicester Square Theatre
6 Leicester Place, London, Greater London WC2H 7BX
30 July – 6 September 2014
Preview Performances: 30 July – 2 August
Mon – Sat Evenings: 7.30pm I Thurs mats 3.00pm I Sat early shows 4.00pm
Ticket Prices: £30-£42.50

HOW TO BOOK:
Book in person at the venue, online at www.leicestersquaretheatre.com or via telephone on 08448 733433. Booking fees may apply

Writing co-commissioned by Homotopia. 
Supported by Arts Council England, Orange Amplification, Liverpool Vision and Liverpool Echo.
Production partners: The Beatles Story (Liverpool), Hard Day’s Night Hotel (Liverpool), Hard Rock Cafe (London), The Beatles Coffee Shop/Beatles Walks (London).
The official hotel partner is Radisson Blu Edwardian, London.
The official production charity partner is CALM www.thecalmzone.net.
Running Time 2hrs approx
Suitable for age 14+
-

Happy Birthday Ringo from the BBFC

Happy Birthday Ringo from the British Beatles Fan Club.  We are all wishing you lots of Peace and Love today and everyday!