Visit London Blog » John Whiddett Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 James Thiérrée: Raoul at the Barbican Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:01:51 +0000 James Thiérrée: Raoul. Photo by Richard Haughton

Tuesday night saw the premiere at the Barbican Theatre of James Thiérrée’s new work, Raoul. I should really have blogged about this yesterday but I’ve only just picked my jaw off of the floor!

The virtuosity of this one man (or is it?) show has to be seen to be believed. He has been variously described as an acrobat, a clown, a poet and a magician. Raoul showcases all these aspects to Thiérrée’s performance and his skill blends them into a dystopian narrative where Raoul confronts his many demons. His world is wonderfully realised on stage and the set and lighting all have their part to play in the performance.

Thiérrée’s physical theatre may draw many references to his familial connections. His grandfather was Charlie Chaplin and his parents work as Le Cirque Invisible, who performed earlier this year at the Southbank Centre. In Raoul, he mixes his own miming and comic performing with spectacular puppets. A ghostly elephant, a metallic crayfish and a huge jellyfish all pass through Raoul imaginings. There is also a textile fish which was reminiscent of the fish from The Singing Ringing Tree, but that only added to the other-worldly atmosphere.

The work is virtually silent but the accompanying music interprets the movement and moods perfectly. I loved the Tarif de Haidouks interpretation. When the performance finished with some stunning acrobatic wire work it received a hugely deserved standing ovation.

The show continues at the Barbican until October 24 and is suitable for older children as well as adults. At the time of writing, tickets are still available.

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Summer Football Fix in London – Take a Stadium Tour Mon, 29 Jun 2009 16:47:26 +0000 West Stand Stamford Bridge

When did you last get the chance to tick off one of those lifetime ‘must-dos’?

London’s full of once in a lifetime experiences. And just right now, it’s got one more as far as I’m concerned.

What am I on about? Of course, lifting the FA Cup! Admittedly I wasn’t captaining my side to glory on a sun drenched afternoon in May at Wembley but it was the real FA Cup and I did lift it up. You can too!

We, my seven year old son and I, went to Stamford Bridge for a stadium tour. I should nail my colours firmly to the mast and say that I’ve been a Chelsea fan for nearly forty years and my son wasn’t really allowed much choice.

The tours are very popular with fans of all clubs and from all over the world. The group we went on the tour with were probably 50/50 UK based versus overseas visitors. The tour starts by 2 models of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Stamford Bridge. In the same room is the FA Cup. It costs £12 to have your photograph taken with it and you need to queue back at the ticket desk to pay for the photograph. For me the memory is enough.

On our hour long tour of the ‘new’ Stamford Bridge there is much for the fan in me to cherish and plenty for the rest of the group to enjoy. The press room, the tiny little (not much bigger than a broom cupboard) corridor where post match interviews take place and the dressing rooms all feature on the tour.
CFC home dressing room

We walk out to pitchside (but not onto the pitch) through the tunnel. I catch myself pointing out to my son whereabouts I stood the first time I visited and overhear others doing the same. “Of course, it’s all changed now”, we silently mutter. The tour finishes in the upper tier of the ‘Shed’ stand and then we are free to wander around the Chelsea Megastore and the Chelsea Museum.

The Museum’s fantastic! But then seeing Micky Droy’s shirt or Jose Mourinho’s Armani coat has a bit more meaning for me than it would for many people. My seven year old just about got the coat but Micky Droy was lost on him. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so did my son and we got to tick the life experience box marked, ‘Lift the FA Cup’. Now, what’s next on that list?

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