Visit London Blog » Kylie Minogue Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 13 Oct 2015 14:49:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Video of the Week: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:51:09 +0000

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier opens at Barbican Art Gallery next week. In this video, the French avant-garde designer describes why London is a special place. The much-anticipated show brings together more than 140 cutting edge garments, including the conical bra and corsets worn by Madonna, stage costumes worn by Kylie Minogue and pieces created for Luc Besson’s film The Fifth Element.

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Family Friendly Museum Award: Vote for Your Family’s Favourite London Museum Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:10:32 +0000

In the run-up to Half Term, Dea Birkett, writer and founder of the Family Friendly Museum Award, reveals her family’s favourite London museums

What’s the most family friendly museum in Britain? The 2012 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award has been launched – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families. Whether you have toddlers or teenagers, museums are great places for families. They might still have a few stuffed animals, but they’re far from stuffy.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is free – and the biggest museum ever to be shortlisted for the Family Friendly Award. It’s a treasure trove of 3000 years of beautiful artefacts, with backpacks for kids full of quizzes and jigsaws.

My 10-year-old twins love Tipu’s Tiger – an automaton showing the ferocious beast killing a man. My teenager prefers Kylie’s dressing room, transplanted with her stage costumes and even half-used lip gloss to the Theatre and Performance gallery.

The Horniman Museum in South London has been shortlisted for the Award twice. Set in wonderful gardens to play and picnic in, this museum is quite literally alive and buzzing.

In the Nature Base gallery for under eights, you can watch bees make honey in a glass-sided hive, spot beetles and harvest mice, listen to bats and learn about fox droppings. There’s a world-renowned music collection and a room where you can bang, strum and pluck unusual instruments. There’s even an aquarium in the basement.

The Geffrye Museum in East London is an 18th-century almshouse. You take a 400-year walk through a series of middle class living rooms, each decorated and furnished in a different era from 17th-century oak panelling to a late 20th-century converted warehouse living space. We always argue about which one we’d prefer to live in.

These are some of my family’s favourites. But what’s yours?

How to make a nomination for the Family Friendly Award:

Just say why your favourite museum should win.

Post: Family Friendly Museum Award, Kids in Museums, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH
Deadline for nominations: 2 December 2011

Find out more about Kids in Museums at

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Betty Blue Eyes at The Novello Theatre Sat, 23 Apr 2011 10:15:06 +0000

Betty Blue Eyes is set in a Yorkshire town and is based around a plot to “pignap” an animal illegally raised by businessmen who hope to serve her up at a special party to celebrate the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It is a witty adaptation of 1984 film A Private Function, a bizarre and unlikely subject for a musical, but one that works surprisingly well. Thanks to talented writers, Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, the original story is kept intact with some hilarious additions.

It is no secret that I appreciate an enthusiastic feel-good production, but even I am a little tired of dreamworld musicals that envelop you in absurd utopian escapism. Betty Blue Eyes delights through a more realistic narrative; an ordinary couple and the struggles of frugal 1940s Britain, amidst ration hell.

The characters are endearing and here we see an impressively strong cast. The lead couple are both naturally brilliant on stage; Sarah Lancashire as social climbing Joyce Chilvers has a superbly strong voice and charming presence; her kind-hearted husband Gilbert is played by Reece Shearsmith, who pulls at the heartstrings with his optimism and has fantastic comic timing.

The villainous meat inspector was a caricature who reminded me of dastardly baddies from children’s literature. He is a strange character who has a penchant for painting; every confiscated piece of meat is passionately brushed with bright green paint. Though Adrian Scarborough was suitably vile, I found the role a little odd in comparison with the rest of the cast, and it occasionally broke my belief in the situation.

The adorable pig, Betty, is cooed at on every entrance. Shipped from Australia specially, and with three understudies, she is quite the diva, flashing beautiful blue eyes and fluttering her eyelashes at every opportunity. Kylie Minogue‘s voice has a fleeting role at the curtain call, though apparently it is not Miss Minogue that provides the creature’s funny farting and burping noises!

It is not often a new musical succeeds; shows like Wicked are certainly in the minority… but with our own royal wedding just around the corner hopefully the British public will go and see Betty Blue Eyes even if just for the sake of a happy coincidence.

Betty Blue Eyes is on until 22 October 2011, book Betty Blue Eyes tickets here.

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