Category Archives: Exhibitions

Films, music, plays and exhibitions 2016

I saw 12 films in 2016 (1 less than in 2015):

The 5th Way (30/01)

Dad’s Army (17/02)

London Has Fallen (7/03)

Eye in the Sky (21/04)

Florence Foster Jenkins (12/05)

Independence Day Resurgence (29/05)

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (20/07)

The Girl on the Train (15/10)

Inferno (18/10)

Arrival (20/11)

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (11/12)

I saw 6 exhibitions:

Painting the Modern Garden (RA, 12/02)

Fashion through the times (V&A, 13/02)

Other Worlds: Visions of the Universe (NHM, 30/03)

Georgia O’Keefe (TM, 10/08)

Sicily: Culture & Conquest (BM, 12/08)

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds (BM, 24/08)

I saw the following Plays, Music and Musicals:

Bend it Like Beckham (Phoenix, 13/02)

Rehearsal for Murder (Regent, 20/02)

The Three Degrees (Crewe Lyceum, 09/03)

War of the Worlds (Dominion, 31/03)

The Simon & Garfunkel Story (Crewe Lyceum, 23/04)

That’s Entertainment (Regent, 23/06)

The Go between (Apollo, 8/08)

Joan Collins Unscripted (Crewe Lyceum, 27/09)

David Essex (Regent, 24/11)

August 2016: Culture, Beer and Pokémon Go

As we come to the end of August, and I suppose (sadly), the end of the summer, I thought it would be good to reflect on my activities over the last month.

June and July were characteristically busy, with an EPSRC Panel Meeting, exam boards and External Examining at NTU in June, and a conference in Lyon (see previous post) in July. I also spent some of July starting preparation of a new module I’ll be teaching in the Spring Semester 2017, on Digital Forensics. When August arrived I was ready for a break, and I was in London (with Angela) for most of the week of 8-12 August. The main event of the week was my annual visit to the Great British Beer Festival, but it was not only a week of imbibing (!), as I will describe. On 8 August we travelled to London, and booked into the Tavistock Hotel, which has become our main ‘base’ in London (although the County Hotel is still good for overnight visits, as mentioned later). We had tickets to see ‘The Go-Between’ at the Apollo Theatre, and when we got there we were upgraded to better seats, which was an unexpected bonus. Michael Crawford, who was due to play the main role, was indisposed, but the understudy did a great job. It was a musical version of the book, and very effective too. The GBBF took centre stage for me on Tuesday (although Angela went to the Sicily exhibition at the British Museum, followed by a musical based on the Titanic story at the Charing Cross Theatre, before joining me at the GBBF in the evening). On Wednesday morning we went to the Tate Modern to see an exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. I was glad to see it, but found that I liked some of her work more than others. After the exhibition, I headed to Olympia for the GBBF, and Angela went to see the Sunken Cities exhibition at the British Museum. It was very nice that Angela was able to join me at the GBBF on both Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Regarding the GBBF, it was as good as ever, with an interesting beer selection, and good food provision. I won’t put my list of beers tried here, but they have been recorded, and are also on my Untappd account, for any fellow beer connoisseurs reading this! My only disappointment was that the Champion Beer of Britain (CBOB) announcement wasn’t made at the opening ceremony on the Tuesday afternoon. Instead we just got the list of finalists, and the results were relayed to us in the evening after they had been announced at the awards dinner. This was a great disappointment, because the Tuesday afternoon session is the Trade session, attended by many from the brewery and pub trade. They don’t all stay for the evening session, and so won’t have been present for the announcement, which when it came was a bit of a non-event. I hope very much that CAMRA return to the previous tradition, as it was a great start to the festival, and something that made the Trade session special.

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Going back to our week, Angela returned to Keele on Thursday, taking our suitcase (for which I was very grateful). I attended the Thursday afternoon/evening session at the GBBF and stayed at the County Hotel on Thursday evening. On Friday morning I went to the British Museum to see the Sicily exhibition, as this was due to finish on the coming Sunday. It was very good, and I learned some new things, including the fact that the Normans ruled Sicily for a while! It was then time to return to Keele.

I then had a week of catching up on administrative tasks, but on the following week, on 23 August I was back in London for a meeting with my old postdoc supervisor, Richard Catlow, about a 70th birthday meeting I am organising for him next year, followed by another night in the County Hotel. The following day I managed a bonus trip to see the Sunken Cities exhibition at the British Museum, a couple of weeks after Angela. It was simply amazing, and runs until the autumn, so I recommend it if you have a chance to go!

Finally, in the title of the post I mention Pokémon Go. Having heard a lot about it since it was launched in July, I thought about giving it a try, with encouragement from Angela. So I installed it on my phone on 7 August, and have been playing it ever since. It fits in with my enjoyment of travel to different places, and is actually quite educational, since many of the Pokéstops are at places of interest! Angela then joined on 21 August, so we are both dedicated ‘Pokémoners’ now! I suspect I will be writing a further post on the specific subject of Pokémon Go before long.

Films, music, plays and exhibitions 2015

I saw 12 films in 2015, 2 more than in 2014:

The theory of everything (6/01)
Testament of Youth (20/02)
Kingsman (12/02)
Project Almanac (23/02)
Second Exotic Marigold Hotel (3/03)
Spooks: the greater good (12/05)
San Andreas (28/05)
Mr Holmes (23/06)
Man from Uncle (29/08)
No Escape (8/09)
Spectre (26/10)
Bridge of Spies (10/12)

The plays, music and musicals I saw were:

And then there were none (26/02)
Calamity Jane (12/03)
Take That (at Vue cinema) (19/06)
Bend it Like Beckham (27/06)
Glenn Miller Story (30/09)
An Inspector Calls (15/10)
It’s a wonderful life (1/12)
Handel’s Messiah (4/12)
Ukulele Orchestra of GB (8/12)

The exhibitions I saw were:

Sculpture Victorious (15/04) (Tate Britain)
Salt and Silver (15/04) (Tate Britain)
Defining Beauty – The Body in Ancient Greece (16/04) (British Museum)
Barbara Hepworth (12/08) (Tate Britain)
Audrey Hepburn (1/09) (NPG)

Overall a good year, in which we’ve managed several short visits to London, which seems to work well, and which I hope we’ll repeat in 2016.