A Play to Make You think – The Mother extended to March 12

The Mother at The Tricycle Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. C31B3974

Gina McKee is brilliant as The Mother in Florian Zeller’s play at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Translated from the original by Christopher Hampton, the Mother follows on from the successful production of The Father, also written by Zeller. The run has been extended to March 12 although a West End transfer has yet to be announced.

Most of us fear the onset of dementia, the loss of faculties either in ourselves or in those close to us. Zeller enjoys unsettling his audience. By repeating the same scenes, which are revealed to have slight variations between them, he aims to undermine our assumption that we fully comprehend what is happening before our eyes.

There is an element of dreams, the sense of games being played, the vague feeling of unease, the sudden gear-change to atmospheres of menace, the idea that one can no longer trust the evidence of one’s eyes or the words of our supposed loved ones.

Brilliantly acted by the entire cast of four, at the end of the play I was not entirely sure what was real and what had been imagined. Unsettling, it leaves open lots of questions for debate.

Tricycle Theatre Box Office 020 7328 1000    http://www.tricycle.co.uk

The Mother at The Tricycle Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet. C31B3898

 

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100 years of Vogue Magazine opens at National Portrait Gallery

Alexander McQueen by Tim Walker 2009

Alexander McQueen by Tim Walker 2009

Vogue 100: A Century of Style

Vogue is something of an institution, representing everything that is glamour and style. The magazine is one that many of us, I included, like to look at even if we would never be able to buy, afford or even want to wear the clothes that are modelled within it. 100 years of British Vogue opens at the National Portrait Gallery by London’s Trafalgar Square tomorrow, 11 February. Over 280 prints from the Conde Nast archives are on display and showcase some of the world’s greatest twentieth century fashion photographers. The photographic prints, mounted to look like full size paintings, include many of the world’s most beautiful or iconic people.

Send in the Gowns Linda Evangelista by Demarchelier 1991

Send in the Gowns
Linda Evangelista
by Demarchelier 1991

Vogue was born during the chaos of the First World War when transatlantic shipments of American Vogue were made impossible, and the exhibition is a journey through these 100 years showcasing a panoramic view of a century of style.

Rarely seen photographs include those of the Beatles and Jude Law. Other highlights include a set of prints from Kate Moss’s controversial underwear shoot, a series of Second World War photographs by Vogue’s official war correspondent, and vintage prints by the first professional fashion photographer Baron de Meyer. An original copy of Vogue, from every year of its existence, is also on display.

A series of events under the banner of Late Shift, as after hours, is being held throughout the exhibition which includes a series of talks and Friday night films. Weekend workshops, half-term activities, and workshops geared to young people 14 to 21 have also been organised.

The exhibition opens from 10.00 to 18.00. Late opening Thursday and Friday to 21.00. npg.org.uk/vogue100 runs to 22 May 2016 T. 0303 123 7344
Tickets £17.00/Concessions £15.50 (add £2.00 for a donation)

The exhibition moves to Manchester Art Gallery from 24 June to 30 October, 2016.

Gold Kate - Kate Moss by Nick Knight

Gold Kate – Kate Moss
by Nick Knight

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Free Theatre Exhibition at London’s V&A

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The original mask worn by Michael Crawford
in the Phantom of the Opera

A free exhibition Curtain Up opens tomorrow 9 February at the Victoria & Albert Museum celebrating 40 years of the Olivier Theatre Awards. Encompassing the world’s leading theatrical centres of both London’s West End and New York’s Broadway, the Awards which recognise excellence in the professional theatre take place on April 3, 2016.

Hidden away on the third floor of the museum by the Learning Centre Curtain Up includes film clips, posters, photographs, costumes, stage set models, film and much more. Interviews with stars who have won Awards can be listened to on earphones, and buttons can be pushed to explore ways lighting can be used.

One of the aims of the exhibition is to encourage young people to consider the theatre as a profession, and demonstrates the many facets that go into putting on a play. Involved in the process are, amongst others, set designers, lighting electricians, computer specialists, costumiers, and make-up artists as well as the actors, producers and directors.

The exhibition incorporates part of an already existing exhibition of posters and costumes, and demonstrates how the theatre has changed. The use of technology is demonstrated with clips from The Curious incident of the Dog in the Night time. Many of the items on display have been provided by the celebrities who wore them including the original mask worn by Michael Crawford in the Phantom of the Opera.

The display runs until 31 August when it moves to America opening at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Centre on 19th October, and running until June 2017.

Alongside the exhibition SOLT (Society of London Theatre) is running an event and education programme with activities taking place at the V&A and throughout the West End.
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/display-curtain-up/events/

V&A open 10.00 – 17.45 and until 22.00 on Fridays. T. 020 7942 2000

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Dame Helen Mirren’s costume for Elizabeth II
in the Audience

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Latest Must See Exhibition – Painting the Modern Garden Monet to Matisse

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Nymphéas (Waterlilies), 1914-1915, oil on canvas, Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund, © artist or other rights holder, 59.16

Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Nymphéas (Waterlilies), 1914-1915, oil on canvas, Museum Purchase: Helen Thurston Ayer Fund, © artist or other rights holder, 59.16

2016 Must see Exhibition – Painting the Modern garden: Monet to Matisse

For anyone who loves any aspect of a garden and Impressionist paintings Painting the Modern garden: Monet to Matisse, which opens at the Royal Academy on 30 January is a must-see. The exhibition explores the theme of the garden. Starting with the earliest works of Monet and Renoir, paintings also include Impressionist visions of light and atmosphere, Symbolist evocations of imagined realities, and avant-garde experimentation including sanctuaries of healing.
A quarter of the 120 exhibits are by Monet but there are also paintings by another 50 world famous artists among them Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Munch, and Matisse.
Covering the early 1860s through to the 1920s, the theme of the exhibition deals with the artists’ fascination with the ever-changing horticultural world, which inspired innovation. From the latter part of the nineteenth century, artists began to treat their gardens as outdoor studios, with the paintings showing a wide variety of gardens.
Throughout his life Monet cultivated gardens with several inspired by the Mediterranean. Looking at the colours in these paintings reminded me of my recent visit to Tenerife. The garden at Giverny in France, however was Monet’s greatest creation in both the garden and the paintings that were inspired by it. The final room brings together his triptych of Water Lilies (Agapanthus) for the first time in Europe, the paintings having been sold individually.
As part of the ‘Exhibition on Screen’ series, a film examining the role of the garden in art history will be in cinemas from April 12. Viewers will be able to see some of the gardens together with the artwork they inspired. Interviews with modern artists reveal how the relationship between the artist and the natural world continues to flourish.
Events are being held throughout the exhibition including free lunchtime talks. (Seats need to be reserved.)

The exhibition runs from 30 January – 20 April, 2016 10am – 6pm Fridays to 10pm
£17.60. Children under 16 free.
http://www.royalacademy.org.uk T. 020 7300 8090
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J OBD.

Joaquin Sorolla, Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1911 Oil on canvas, 150 x 225.5 cm On loan from the Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY Photo (c) Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York

Joaquin Sorolla, Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1911

Oil on canvas, 150 x 225.5 cm

On loan from the Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY

Photo (c) Courtesy of The Hispanic Society of America, New York

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David Bowie at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

barkbitetravel

Duffy Archive Duffy Archive David Bowie, this year’s ‘must see’ exhibition has opened at the Victoria and Albert museum and runs until July 28, 2012. It coincides with the release earlier this month of a new album ‘The Next Day’, his first for ten years, which has already made number one in the charts.
According to the exhibition’s curator, his influence on contemporary culture is arguably greater than any other musician of his generation. One could argue that John Lennon and Paul McCartney might also be considered in this league. However, Bowie’s contribution to music, performance, fashion and design are certainly milestones of our era.
The exhibition, give yourself a minimum of at least two hours, tells his story through costume, film, photography and set designs as well as more personal items such as musical scores, storyboards, lyrics and diary entries. It shows how Bowie had the knack of capturing and…

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Hangmen at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre

Hangmen

Photo – Helen Maybanks

Seeing someone being hanged in the opening scene of a play isn’t what I would call a positive start to an entertaining evening. While the performances by the cast of Hangmen cannot be faulted the play puts into question the inevitable question ‘Were those hanged guilty’?

This quasi-comedy takes a serious subject and interjects comical overtones. The opening scene shocks and whether anyone can laugh at such a serious and questionable subject must depend on your sense of humour. For me, it shocked.

The play, directed by Matthew Dunster, touches on several different issues but also brought into question the morality of the police force, and whether they are above justice.
An intense and macabre evening that highlights a lot of questions on a variety of subjects. Thought provoking and because of the subject matter a play I would hesitate to recommend, it is certainly one that encourages further discussion.

Running for a limited season to 5 March 2016
Tel. 0844 482 5120 www.hangmentheplay.com
Mon – Sat 7.30pm Wed and Sat. 2.30pm
Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DA.

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India Festival at the V@A

Paris Fashion Week October 2007 Manish Arora_ Ready to wear Spring Summer 2008

PARIS Fashion Week October 2007
Manish Arora
Ready to wear Spring Summer 2008

The Fabric of India, part of the V&A’s India Festival is currently on at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington.

Over 200 objects are on display at The Fabric of India at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the first exhibition to explore the rich world of handmade Indian textiles. The history of fabric in India is one of the most ancient in the world with the oldest surviving cotton threads dating from around 4000 BC.

On display are examples of everyday fabrics as well as previously unseen treasures from ancient banners to contemporary saris. The exhibition offers an introduction to the raw materials and processes of making cloth by hand with displays of basic fibres of silk, cotton and wool. It shows how fabrics were used in courtly and spiritual life covering the range, opulence, scale, and splendour of objects handmade for the rich and powerful courts of the 17th to 19th centuries.

The changing world is examined too as European industrialisation threatened to eradicate Indian handmaking skills in the 19th century. A range of pieces designed for foreign export showcase the ability of Indian artisans to adapt designs and techniques for a wide variety of markets. Different regions developed specialities based on local resources such as natural dyes, and printing patterns with wooden blocks. A film shows how it is done. Each part of India has its own weaving tradition, and embroidery with regional styles. The exhibition examines how fabrics were used in courtly and spiritual life with an area where haunting music is played showcases articles, including a sultan’s tent, that was saved from the Indian royal courts.

Textiles are also shown when modernisation became a priority after Indian gained its independence in 1947. A range of pieces for foreign export showcases the ability of Indian artisans to adapt designs and techniques for a wide variety of different markets, and highlights how their designers rework traditional techniques into extravagant clothes.

20th century wall hanging, cotton appliqué, Gujarat,

20th century wall hanging, cotton appliqué, Gujarat

The India Festival includes
Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection which opens on 21 November and runs until 28 March 2016 while Musical Wonders of India in the Nehru Gallery runs until 3 July 2016.
On 8 December, Michael Palin is giving a talk on his visits to India.

The exhibition runs until 10 January, 2016.
Tickets £14. Open daily from 10.00 – 17.45 (Friday 22.00)
http://www.vam.ac.uk/fabricofindia

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