Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Celebrating Burns?

Five years after Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry. The tradition became established and now, every year on his birthday, 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper which follows a format similar to the original dinner (often with much toasting and drinking of whiskey!)

If you and your family would like to join the tradition, this website can help set you on your way:

http://www.rabbie-burns.com/ and one for the kids http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/burns_night_for_kids.htm

Sunday, 23 January 2011

No Pay, No Meridian Line!

I have friends coming over to visit good old Greenwich from Canada come this May half-term. About time too. I have been urging them to visit the town since I moved to this area (quite a long time ago) and they have finally agreed. Home to the Meridian Line and the place where all time started. A World Heritage Site and previous home to two Queens. Come come I urged where you can enter a Painted Hall and walk the grounds of where Pirates of the Carribbean was filmed. It's our little piece of Hollywood I bragged. We can walk the Thames, stroll through Greenwich Park and pose by the Meridian Line. All FREE, FREE, FREE. And that's not all I encouraged: As we get up to the Royal Observatory, we can jump over the Meridian Line and look through telescopes and enter a magnificent planetarium. Bar the planetarium shows, we can do all that for free free free. That's how it's done here in Britain. Culture for the masses.

Spurred on by my enthusiasm, they have been on to all relevant Greenwich websites pinpointing what they want to see and do during their two weeks here. Fascinated are they by the fact that the Olympics (dude the Olympics! shouted their sixteen-year-old) will be held here they can't wait to get here fast enough. Plane tickets have been booked, West-End shows have been allocated and "Can we pay by card at the door to the Observatory or do they only take cash?"

"Must be some mistake," I cockily and knowingly chipped in, the Royal Observatory is free for all. "Not on their website it isn't. For someone with an online blog about Greenwich, you're not up-to-date are you? Check their website".

And I did. And I am sad to announce that come March, Flamsteed House and Meridian Line Courtyard will be charging £10 for each adult but children under 16 still get to go in for free. Entry tickets are annual passes (visitors are able to return as many times as they like within 12 months for no additional charge).

When did that happen? How come I never heard of it? And to be honest had my Canadian friends not been so (and I mean this in the kindest way) thorough and a pain-in-the-ass, need-to-book-everything-in-advance sort of people I would never have found out until the next time I attempted a jump over the Meridian Line maybe? Sorry mate, that jump will now cost you £10. I am sure there is more to this story but right now I am too distraught to find out and am already planning the number of jumps I can get in before March. Watch this space.

To check out the Royal Observatory's times and admissions section, click here.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Constructs, Spectacle and Self Exhibition

Kelly Brown

Exhibition dates: 13 January to 13 February 2011
Opening reception: 20 January, 6-8pm
Exhibiting photographers: Kelly Brown, Catlin Harrison and Kerry Clark

The Viewfinder Photography Gallery is pleased to present “Constructs, Spectacle and Self”, a group exhibition of photographic projects by Kerry Clark, Kelly Brown and Catlin Harrison. The work featured in this exhibition explores identity and gender roles, with a gaze on historic and contemporary references to women.

Viewfinder curator Kathleen Brey says, "Kelly Brown, Kerry Clark and Catlin Harrison are photographers working with the most personal of subjects - themselves, and how they see themselves in the world. Emphasising the spectacle of self, Harrison, Clark and Brown place distance between the subject and the viewer. The artists looked at historical sources (ancestors, old masters, 19th century photographic processes) in the hopes of finding themselves in the present. The resulting photographs by each artist have a performative quality. Clark, Harrison and Brown use photography to portray one’s ongoing soul-search, playing with how we construct our own identities.”

Viewfinder Photography Gallery: 52 Brixton Village (formerly Granville Arcade), London SW9 8PS.
Follow the Viewfinder @ www.viewfinder.org.uk

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Join Trinity Laban’s World Choir and Perform at the Roundhouse!

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is inviting adults of all musical abilities to take part in a unique singing project starting in February. Over six weeks participants will work with acclaimed vocalist Kerry Andrew to form a new World Choir before showcasing their talents at one of London’s most popular venues, the Roundhouse, in March. Whether you are budding amateur or a seasoned professional it’s always a thrill to sing in a choir so become part of this amazing experience and join in the fun!

The newly formed World Choir will work closely with multitalented vocalist and composer Kerry Andrew for six weeks learning English, Scottish and American folk songs by ear. Singers will learn how to use layers, looped vocal riffs and experiment with unusual vocal techniques. Drawing on her expertise in contemporary vocal music and musical theatre, as well as pop, jazz and folk, Kerry will lead the singers in performing innovative vocal pieces for all to enjoy.

The World Choir project will culminate in a performance on 27 March 2011 in the foyer of the Roundhouse as part of the Voices Now festival. This performance will precede a live edition of BBC Radio 3’s popular programme The Choir which will feature performances by the BBC Singers and the Latvian Radio Choir.

The project is open to anyone with a passion for singing regardless of previous experience. This is a great opportunity to try something different, meet new people and perform at a top London arts venue which has seen the likes of Bob Dylan and The Doors grace its stage.

Rehearsals begin on Wednesday 9 February, 7.30pm – 9.30pm at Trinity Laban’s Theatre Studio in the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London. Following rehearsals take place on Wednesdays 16 February and 2, 9, 16, 23 March.

The full course fee is £50 which includes six rehearsals, the Roundhouse performance and a ticket to see BBC Radio 3’s The Choir on 27 March at 18.30h. Optionally, the course costs £45 excluding The Choir ticket. To book your place or to find out more please call Katie Winsor on 020 8305 4378 or email ed.comm@trinitylaban.ac.uk

Kerry Andrew says, “Learning songs by ear is the most inclusive form of musical education there is. This course welcomes everyone with a passion for singing and presents a brilliant opportunity for those who want to build their confidence, develop their singing skills or just love performing in public!”

For more information on the festival please visit www.voicesnow.co.uk or http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/