Sunday 17 October 2010

Enlightenment: Hampstead Theatre

I hesitated before I wrote my review of Enlightenment.

It's consumable, not over intellectual but actually pretty provocative and thoughful - combining shocking with watchable.

The staging is very sharp and clever - minimal, clean, simple and yet feel innovative and modern.

Crucially the play is set in a landscape that feels believable and I found myself reflecting on people I knew who could be in similar situations, as parents, as travellers, as troubled young people drifting in a wider world.

Should you go and see it: the answer has to be yes, as Edward Hall's first outing it works, but also the acting from Tom Weston-Jones and Julie Graham is incredibly compelling. Emotional. Intimate. The way in which you are drawn into the story is very compelling and the cold clarity of the set provides a great back-drop.

For my own part I found the extent to which the end was unknown pretty strong - the imagery was very clever (a simple bed sheet for goodness sakes), but it took a series of difficult family realities and brought them home... I suspect some real recognitions are laced throughout for most individuals, couples and families who go and see it.

Monday 11 October 2010

There's no good excuse really... Enlightenment

The West End is dead expensive in relative terms
There's no parking in the west end
The Northern Line is pretty grim

In contrast fans and officianado's of Hampstead Theatre will tell you about the great value, the ease of access and the Met and Jubilee Lines... and that's before you have seen any performance.

Enlightenment has had great reviews and being directed by Edward Hall that's not really a huge surprise.

I for one will be there tonight, a good and trusted friend was there last week and raved on the phone about it over the weekend - it's the place to be it would seem.

Now I may be a bit slow but I cannna deny I'm a touch impressed with having Youtube previews and clips of the show - I'd not noticed it before but it works for me...

Friday 8 October 2010

Born in KILBURN, NW6

Yeay, after months and years of working for Kilburn here is a tangible expression of how special the local area is...

It's happening on Monday in Kilburn Priory and Mortimer Place.

I'm delighted and proud to confirm that we have Clare Milne, Alan Alexander Milne's grand-daughter coming back to help unveil the plaque.

The plaque is the best expression I can think of that is accessible and achievable about what a special place it is. For too long we were in the Borough of Hampstead and currently in the Borough of Camden and yet in fact we are our own place and identify. I'm not advocating the Borough of Kilburn (yet!) but I am championing some pride in NW6 and Kilburn...

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Sunday 3 October 2010

King Midas NW3?

Without a doubt it's one of the nicest and most hidden treasures of Hampstead and all the better for not being the focus of historic pilgrimage...

It's Golden Yard - sadly not named after some Midas element but after the Goulding family who lives here from about 1580 until Sarah Brown (nee Goulding) sold the last property in 1779.

In some document's the yard features as Goulding's Yard and clearly just changed over time and useage. As I have blogged previously The Mount Square was previously known as Golden Square and probably had the same family name origin.

For those that haven't found this little gem before it's nestled between the Heath Street and the Holly Bush Pub and the street name sign had been charmingly adorned to reflect the name in what is one of the nicest little touches in street architecture.

The houses are classic Georgian style Hampstead cottages - brick built, almost plain, but with a cool charm that is immeasurable.

Friday 1 October 2010

13 Mallord Street, SW3 - surely it was NW6?

Few people can be as famous as AA Milne and yet no-one actually knows his names... Alan Alexander...

Alan was the son of John Vine Milne and Sarah Maria (née Heginbotham) and grew up at Henley House School, 6/7 Mortimer Road (now Crescent), Kilburn, NW6.

Henley House was a small private school run by his father. One of the school teachers was Herbert George Wells who taught there from 1889-1890.

So the time has come for Kilburn to assert it's historical pedigree and reclaim the fame that should be it's own.

The critical bit was that Kilburn (on the Camden side) was in the London Borough of Hampstead and all too often the history books therefore record 'born in Kilburn'...

13 Mallord Street is the address where there is currently an English Heritage plaque.