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Posts Tagged ‘Architecture’

This has been an action-packed month, and I’ve done a lot in the 19 days I wasn’t in Edinburgh & Orkney!

The exhibition highlight was Hadrian at the British Museum; the second use of the magnificent Reading Room space. Though it was a bit crowded (even first thing on a Monday), I rather liked the way it told the story of his life, loves and adventures.

Street Art was a recurring theme as I caught up with Cans, an anarchic selection in a tunnel near Waterloo where even the street art had graffitti on top, and Tate’s Street Art on the building’s outer walls and elsewhere around Southwark (though I only found two-thirds of it, even with a gallery map!). Inside Tate Modern, both Cy Twombly‘s paintings and the photographs in Street & Studio were disappointing – the annual Press Photographers exhibition at the RNT was far more satisfying.

Architect Richard Rogers exhibition at the Design Museum was a great retrospective and it was particularly interesting to see the unbuilt designs; it must be very disheartening to spend ages on a design which is rejected. The Serpentine’s pavilion this year was designed by architectural genius Frank Gehry (Guggenheim Bilbao and many more) and proved a bit of a disappointment, as did the Richard Prince exhibition inside the gallery.

August is musical theatre compilation month. The Cole Porter one at Cadogan Hall was good but not up to last year’s Sondheim collection. Though I enjoyed the smaller scale Kander & Ebb compilation at Jermyn Street Theatre, not knowing which shows some of them were from was rather frustrating. A freebie in the RFH foyer saw X-Factor’s Brenda Edwards give a gorgeous 45 mins of songs connected in some way to The Wizard of Oz. I didn’t see the show, but I really enjoyed this.

The new Batman movie, the Dark Knight, is a great piece of film-maikng but boy is it dark. I missed the tongue-in-cheek campness that was an integral part of the brand. The 12A rating is completely wrong.

Confession time! I went to see Kylie at the O2 and even though after a while the music becomes techno-mush, the staging was spectacular and probably the most visually stunning pop concert in 40 years of concert-going….and she’s an honorary national treasure!

Our annual outing to Holland Park was disappointing this year; La Giaconda with some ropey singing. This was compensated for by a terrific one-act Puccini opera Il Tabarro at the proms (in an odd pairing with Rachmaninov’s 1st symphony). The month ended at the Proms for Verdi’s Requium, back where it had it’s world premiere well over 100 years ago. This piece is more reliant on good soloists than most choral works, and we were lucky with our quartet from Italy, Malta, Lithuania and the US. The Royal Albert Hall is made for pieces on this scale – 250 voices + 150 players – and this was a great performance and a terrific end to a culture-packed month.

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