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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20 Years of Mary Quant

10th November 1964: Clothes designer Mary Quant, one of the leading lights of the British fashion scene in the 1960’s, having her hair cut by another fashion icon, hairdresser Vidal Sassoon. (Photo by Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I popped into the V&A yesterday in eager anticipation of the groovy, fab and far out fashion at the new Mary Quant exhibition which opened in London last week. Okay, I’m done with the hip vocabulary now.Mary Quant traces the personal and social history of the iconic designer from 1955 to 1975. Set over two floors, make sure you allow a couple of hours browsing if you want to immerse yourself.

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Surviving or Thriving

A new exhibition on ‘Plants and Us’

Four eyes, a rare photo of me wearing my specs!

All life depends on plants. I’ll say that again. All of life, and that means human life, depends on the survival of plants, and 25% are currently under threat, according to the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst at a preview of a new exhibition.

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Exhibition review

The Many Faces of Tudor England, Mary Rose, Portsmouth

The Many Faces of Tudor England at the Mary Rose museum, Portsmouth opened today. The preview was 8am this morning and followed the Channel 4 documentary Skeletons of the Mary Rose: New Evidence part of the award-winning Secret Histories series, which aired last evening. 10 months in the making, it reveals new information, the result of unique, cutting-edge scientific DNA and genealogical investigation. It turns out the crew of Henry VIII’s favourite warship, Mary Rose, was multi-cultural which the programme makers claim ‘redefines what we thought we knew about Tudor England’.

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