Wednesday, 29 September 2010
A small but perfectly formed post about a small but perfectly formed piece of design that was one of our favourite pieces from London Design Festival. Okay Studio, showed an exhibition called "The Visitor" which explored the concept of transient living. Within this show was a tiny stool designed by Mathias Hahn. Oh how we loved it's chunky joinery and standout simplicity.
We like the incredible Faust production currently playing at WLTT's favourite theatre The Young Vic. Vesturport Theatre Company from Iceland tackle the universal Goethe classic about a man's dance with the devil. Director Gisli Gardarsson rigorously explores the possibilities of his space in this wildly visceral show. The show begins in the conventional manner with the actors on the stage, soon however as our protagonist enters his own netherworld, the supernatural characters of limbo begin to crawl out of the ceiling. Much of the action unfolds above the audiences head as the characters snarl and grapple atop a vast net which spans the length and breadth of the theatre ceiling. Gardarsson doesn't use trained gymnasts, so the aerial action is far from polished choreography. Instead the result is a show with a startlingly physicality, with actors almost free running around the interior space with a gait that is more grotesque than graceful. The Young Vic typically operates on a free seating basis but for this show seats can be booked in advance. Our tip would be to sit in the stalls not the dress circle, you'll see much more of the action close up. Did we mention that the score has been composed by the dark lord himself Nick Cave? We left boiling over with renewed intellectual vigour. The combination of a theatrical classic with a charged physical performance (and of course several plastic cups of good red wine!) is a heady mix. We'd advise you fortify yourself with a smoked oyster and beef burger from the buzzy restaurant pre show. Our most valuable tip is to have a post show nightcap (may be recommend a peaty 10 year Talisker, straight up) at The Pit Bar, a little known late night opener under The Old Vic (just across the street). Theatre director Kevin Spacey is there propping up the bar every time we visit, as are most of the actors from the evening performances, groupie heaven! Why it's enough to make us want to move Southside!
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
One of our favourite things during the London Design Festival this year was this small but exquisitely formed show at the V&A. Conceived by Onkar Kular and Noam Toran, the work is a response to a brief requiring them to create a site specific installation. In a beautiful dimly lit (and seldom visited one suspects) room at the end of the V&A's European galleries, the pair, in collaboration with Keith R Jones have 'collected' a variety of objects and anecdotes, some fictional, some from the artists' own pasts, to tell the story of a family who may or may not be real.
The objects have been beautifully recreated in white resin which practically glows against the dark bottle green silk of the museum showcases. The stories themselves are a mixture of funny and poignant, which is I guess the essence of a certain kind of family life - where seemingly bad luck can result in a total transformation of someone's fortunes a couple of generations down the line. The accompanying booklet designed by Abake is beautiful in itself, and contains all the stories from the exhibition within should you want to read at your leisure.
A lovely surprise from the V&A, and on until October 10.
Monday, 27 September 2010
We like a bit of experimental theatre so we hot footed it to the smorgasbord of eclectic theatrical happenings that comprises "Theatre Souk" on Picton place. The evening bore similarities to the one on one event at the BAC. The space is an abandoned office building tucked behind the main drag of Oxford St that the Theatre Souk folks themselves describes as "theatre squat". The action happens at locations throughout the building, from the boisterous cabaret space to a winding iron stairwell. Actors tempt the unsuspecting crowd through doorways into darkened nooks and crannies all over the buildings, arms are grabbed with incitements to join the next performance with haste. We donned white lab coats to watch a curious autopsy , "soft armour" unfold. We bought a few quids worth of poker chips at Chaika Casino where the winning chip dictates the performance. Our favourite line from the version we saw was "she moved through the room with ease, like a rumour". Our favourite performance of the evening was Flabbergast Puppet Poker, which featured two gravelly voiced, foul mouthed, Eastern European puppets called Boris and Sergey. Each puppet was animated and voiced by three people. The prose was hilariously filthy but strangely full of pathos. Unadulterated genius. The show runs through til the 16th of October, we'll be going back to check out all the doorways we missed!
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
We like the London Design Festival. The Pound Shop on Roman road is easily our favourite stop off so far. A wickedly feel good little pop up shop featuring a medley of bright young things selling their wares for just a pound a piece. The brainchild of HOUSEHOLD and Sara Melin the pocket friendly shop makes new design friendly and affordable. Among the treasures we acquired for the princely sum of £1 a piece were an exquisite cup of freshly brewed coffee, a marvellous cake poster, a set of pin badges, some east end illustrated post cards and a trio of brilliantly funny bookmarks. We suggest you get down there with an empty shopping bag and a purse full of coins at your earliest convenience!
Friday, 17 September 2010
Is it wrong to want to wear all, or any, of these? Two series of windows with different takes on the ubiquitious women's shoe - first, a selection of kitchen and domestic items refashioned into glamorous footwear. And second, shoes as slices of cake - a kind of literal celebration.
At Selfridges by Lernert and Sander from the Netherlands.
A pair of Mulberry shoes
The same shoes in cake form
We had our tickets through for a talk by performance artist Marina Abramovic today (see rather immature photo below), in which she will be discussing her lengthy career and most recent work. It still hasn't sold out, though these things can do... on at the Tate Modern October 16.