Review: An Enquiring Mind, Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection

An Enquiring Mind, Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection

As in all the arts, whether paintings, literature and theatre, one of the delights of fashion design is the historical references. A NEW exhibition An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection opened this week and explores the inspiration behind the genius in ‘art’ shoe design and production. Blahnik takes his love of art, interior design and fashion of the 17th and 18th centuries and creates the most exquisite footwear, literally works of art. This is an exhibition to make Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw swoon. I certainly did.

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Review: Lights, Camera Action: Hever Castle on Stage and Screen

Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) filmed in part at Hever Castle

Hever Castle is the former home of Anne Boleyn, otherwise known as Anne of the Thousand Days for the short time she was married to Henry VIII as his Queen. Anne bore Henry one child, a daughter, Elizabeth I. Boleyn was famously later beheaded at the Tower of London. Many films have been made of her tragic story including the 1969 version, with Richard Burton in excellent form as Henry VIII and Geneviève Bujold as the luckless Queen, filmed in part at Hever Castle. A current exhibition Lights, Camera, Action Hever Castle on Stage and Screen includes two costumes, dresses worn by Geneviève in the film.

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Review: Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation

Winchester Cathedral, Kings and Scribes: The Birth of a Nation

Historically the medieval Winchester Cathedral is one of the most significant buildings in the UK. It is also one of the most beautiful with soaring butresses, stunning decorated ceilings and floors and a magnificent 15th century Great Screen. It is one of the largest in Europe with the greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral. It is a place where history has been made by Kings and Queens throughout the centuries. The NEW Kings & Scribes: The Birth of a Nation exhibition offers a rare chance to explore this ancient monument and some of the nation’s greatest treasures.

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Review: All My Sons

Sally Field and Jenna Coleman in rehearsals All My Sons, The Old Vic

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons was his second play, his first having bombed, and was written in 1947, just two years after the end of World War Two. The plot and the questions it poses about the economic circumstances of the individual in a consumer society, the morality of the individual in the community, and grief and family relationships, are all very relevant today. All of the performances in the current production at The Old Vic, London are energetic, intense and emotional, and set against a backdrop of just one stage set up of a traditional American family home, which the audience never actually see inside.

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Leonardo 500th anniversary exhibition preview

A film crew at the press preview. Leonardo da Vinci: A life in Drawing, The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace

At the press preview today of a NEW blockbuster exhibition marking the 500th Anniversary of the death of Renaissance Master, Leonardo da Vinci. The largest UK exhibition of drawings in 65 years opens tomorrow at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace. I was privileged to be invited to take a sneek peak, and thrilled to get up close and personal with these beautiful, intricate drawings.

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The Odyssey – restaurant opening

The Holiday Inn at Winchester has been undergoing a front of house transformation. The previously vast open space has been transformed into an ‘Open Lobby’, a vibrant mix of cosy sofas, an e-bar with WiFi, a Media Space with comfy seating, games and TV, and a swish new bar and elegant restaurant.

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All About Eve

Gillian Anderson and Lily James, All About Eve.Credit C Perou.

This week I saw All About Eve now showing at the Noel Coward Theatre, London. The live performance is also showing at regional cinemas, on screen.

We’re very fortunate in the UK in that live theatre is so prolific, whether a top London show, a regional theatre, or a local am-dram. When I read English Literature at Reading University I went to the theatre every week, sometimes twice a week. I wasn’t so sure, however, about watching a live performance filmed for the cinema. How immediate would the experience be? Where would the atmosphere come from? Would I miss the little touches that make up a live performance; the tuning of instruments in the orchestra pit, the possibility of actors emerging on cue from amongst the audience, something Chichester Festival Theatre, laid out in the round, does well.

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