Archive for July, 2011


London Awards for Art and Performance 2011

Friday, 29 July, 2011

Brent Crude glides among the canapés at the Waldorf

Ken McClymont. the call from the National Theatre should be on its way any day now

Ask Ken McClymont about the quality of University education these days, and you will likely get a frosty response. Ken, an artist and probably unreformable fringe theatre director, was among the guests at the London Festival Fringe awards, nominated (though not winning) anything for The White Whore and the Bit Player, a production which, earlier this year, ran at the Rosemary Branch theatre (a venue which was a winner of a Fringe Report Award in 2010). His ‘unreconstructed’ view of university or college education is that it’s where you go to grow up, not to take vocational training in PR or ‘business’. The fact that students emerge with the kind of debt that would have bought a house back in the day leaves him more than a little upset too, and I have to say that I agree with him.

We have gathered (some 100 or so guests) in the slightly incongruous surroundings of the marble ballroom at London’s Waldorf Hotel, to witness the second London Awards ceremony, an event umbilically linked to the London Festival Fringe, in which Greg Tallent plays a leading role.

It’s incongruous because this is a fringe night (or used to be – the event seems to have moved on!) and the guests wouldn’t be out of place at Glastonbury, while the surroundings here are rather more like the Royal Opera. It’s incongrous too, because there is some lovely entertainment – cabaret with Lily Lowe Myers and Robyn Cooper, followed by music with Millie Moonstone, as well as a finale of operatic splendour from Stephen A Brown and Ezra Williams – and the acoustics here (as one might expect from a room lined with marble and mirrors) are such that it really is difficult to hear. But then maybe that’s just me being an old git.

The awards are introduced by Derval Mellett and they are a mixed bag too.

The poetry award for example, goes to Michael Longley. Not that it isn’t well deserved – Michael Longley has been writing and winning awards throughout the decades (and I suppose I have to own too, that his wife, the redoubtable Edna, used to try to teach me English somewhere around the time of the Flood). It’s the fact that he could hardly be called ‘fringe’ that is a little strange. (You could argue the same about BalletBoyz, who won the Dance award, but there…) But see the comment from Greg, which is attached – its wider than ‘fringe’ these days.

For the record, the full list of winners is as follows:-

London Art Award 2011 Winner
Douglas Gordon

London Best Play Award 2011 Winner
Precious Little Talent

London Book Award 2011 Winner
Stuart Evers “Ten Stories About Smoking”

London Comedy Award 2011 Winner
Zoe Lyons

London Dance Award 2011 Winner

London Film Award 2011 Winner
Submarine Dir: Richard Ayoade

London Jazz Award 2011 Winner
Julian Siegel

London Music Award 2011 Winner
Wild Beasts

London Photography Award 2011 Winner
Nadav Kander

London Poetry Award 2011 Winner
Michael Longley

I have to report too, that the lovely Alwyn Marriage (poet, lecturer, writer and judge on the poetry award, as well as the driving force behind Oversteps Books) is of the view that there has never been a better time to be a poet in the UK, such is its growing popularity. So there. And you’ll probably be wanting to buy a volume or two from Oversteps to see just what you’re missing. If you do, just click here:

Finally, a note to the National Theatre (the great and good of which usually hang on my every word): Ken is ready whenever the offer comes, though he plans to shake up any potential audience more than a little. Be warned.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

(c) Brent Crude 2011


10 Aug to 3 Sept – Ferenc Molnár’s “The Wolf”

Thursday, 28 July, 2011

Sturdy Beggars at the Network Theatre

Ferenc Molnar

The Network Theatre certainly vies for the title of London’s most elusive venue, but it might well be worth seeking out the entrance to this theatre that lurks underneath Waterloo train station for the next instalment in Sturdy Beggars’ Brain Drain season. Their last production, “Ivona, Princess of Burgundia” was a spectacular success, and if  “The Wolf” has even half as much attitude about it, it would be a shame to miss it.

I can’t tell you much about the playwright or the play, but here’s what it says on the Sturdy Beggars’ website:-

Molnar is one if Hungary’s most beloved writers, whose plays & novels have found success around the globe. His works have inspired a host of other writers, with adaptations of his plays including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical play Carousel, P. G. Wodehouse’s The Play’s the Thing and Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing. Although published in four languages simultaneously in 1912 and last performed professionally in the UK in the early 1970s, the play’s exploration of the nature of success and obsession with money still finds resonance in society today.

More information and tickets at:


Rehearsal Space for Hire

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Exchange Theatre now has permanent premises in London Bridge.

We’re happy to hire it for cheap to fellow theatre companies or anyone else who needs it It is suitable for auditions, workshops, rehearsals, meetings, even freelance practitionners of all sorts. It’s cheap because we know how it is to look for a rehearsal space, we’ve been there not long ago at all !

It is just opposite MORE LONDON, so only few minutes walk from London Bridge Station. It’s very clean and bright. It is about 50 square metres. It has chairs and tables for meetings and also has its own private toilets. For more details, contact for more details.


Opera at the Arcola. Grimeborn 2011, August

Friday, 22 July, 2011

Affordable Opera

Grimeborn 2011 - Affordable Opera

Arcola’s Grimeborn opera festival, curated by Mehmet Ergen, starts mid-August. Some rarely heard gems in the list of titles, and all tickets are £15.00, apart from the Youth Opera Cabaret, which is FREE.

15th and 16th August

17 and 18 August

18, 19, 20 August (6.30pm)

19 and 20 August

21 August

22 and 23 August
Handel – ALCINA

24 August
Birch – HERVE

25 August

26 August

27 August


PBH Free Fringe at Edinburgh

Tuesday, 19 July, 2011

John Otway, bringing his unique music to the PBH Free Fringe

PBH’s Free Fringe returns to Edinburgh from the 6th to 27th August 2011 bringing an eclectic and diverse programme of 321 shows across 37 stages.

All venues are located within a 10 minute walk of the Fringe Office on the Royal Mile.

This year’s stand-up comedy offering brings the exquisite and much-loved comic Norman Lovett into the Free Fringe fold, with his one man show at the Canons’ Gait on the Royal Mile.

Veteran musician John Otway returns with Otway on Otway at the Voodoo Rooms.

Improvised comedy returns with force to the Free Fringe with A Good Improv Show (Sin Club) with its revolving cast of renowned ‘impro’ players,

The Cabaret offering includes Kabarett: Alternative Variety and Midnight Kabarett (both Voodoo Rooms), which include cabaret, comedy and burlesque performance from a plethora of the Fringe’s finest talent.

In Theatre Glasgow’s surreal satirists The Creative Martyrs present Tales from a Cabaret (Fingers Piano Bar), also among the new dedicated theatre spaces at Princes Mall are original productions Proper Night (Space L8) – a tale of fear and youthful excess and Lovers Walk “Poetry infused with music and dance”.

The Free Fringe began in 1995 and was the first of its kind at the Fringe. Run by performers and overseen and managed by founder and award winning comedian Peter Buckley Hill, it seeks to return the Fringe spirit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by keeping performances free, not charging performers to hire venue space and building strong relationships with the venues with whom it works.


Solo Festival at the Lord Stanley pub in Camden

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Festival of One-Man shows is on now till 2 August

Luca Pusceddu - playing Beckett this week in Solo Festival

The Lord Stanley pub at 51, Camden Park Rd, London, NW1 is home to Solo Festival, London’s showcase event for one-man shows, and it’s on now, until 2 August 2011.

Over 40 actors will be performing, and hoping to carry off one of the Festival’s five awards. Solo Festival is the largest showcase for one-man (or one-person) shows in Europe. Among those taking part are Chris Batten, Caroline Bragg, Yael Gezentsvy and David Mansel.

Writers featured include Samuel Beckett, Dario Fo and Felix Mitterrer. Performances will illustrate the lives of, among others, AE Housman, Eddie Ramone and John Clare.


Henley Fringe – This week. 18 – 23 July.

Monday, 18 July, 2011

Henley Fringe shows there’s more to this pretty riverside Thames Valley town than messing about in boats.

Featuring drama, comedy, stand-up and music Henley Fringe provides a mid-summer burst of culture and enjoyment. Highlights include: comedian Helen Keen on The Robot Woman of the Future, John Godber’s ‘Lucky Sods’ at a rugby club, and Hancock’s Last Half-Hour at the Hotel du Vin.

Tickets are £6.00 up to around £13.00 and you can get more information at their website: