Journal

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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England’s Ancient Capital

Tudor House, Winchester, Hampshire

Every time I visit Winchester I am in awe of its beauty. It’s a city to mooch around at leisure and admire the 12th century Cathedral, the Castle ruins and the Tudor Houses in the back streets.

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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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