Bright Young Things

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"You sure put on a show" One of the joys of cabaret concerts is the sheer range and diversity of material that they can pick from to best reflect the personalities and voices of performers, or to suit an overarching theme for th...
"You sure put on a show" One of the joys of cabaret concerts is the sheer range and diversity of material that they can pick from to best reflect the personalities and voices of performers, or to suit an overarching theme for their programme. Divas Unsung managed to work both these aspects into their Sunday evening gig at the Leicester Square Theatre, shining a light on some lesser known comedy numbers, empowerment anthems and showstoppers from musical theatre shows that have mostly slipped under the radar in the West End or on Broadway. Of course, aficionados of the genre may score higher recognition points than your regular punter and the active fringe musical scene means some are less obscure than they might have been: Stephen Schwartz’s The Baker’s Wife, Jonathan Larson’s tick…tick…BOOM! and Kander and Ebb’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman have all been seen in London relatively recently, though one would hard-pressed to find noted flops like Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s Lestat or Michael Gore’s Carrie anywhere. Linked together by compere James Barron, a team of six Divas worked their way through a varied selection of songs, teaming up occasionally and backed where necessary by a chorus of bright young things from the MTA. And under James Doughty’s musical direction, it proved a successful enterprise. Ashleigh Gray’s consummate stage presence made her contributions a highlight of the evening – the stirring ‘One of those Nights’ from Metropolis soared through the auditorium and Betty Blue Eyes’ Nobody, a rare moment of wide recognition, brimmed with vivacious energy. But sharing the honours was Rebecca Trehearn, currently touring the country in Ghost the musical. Opting for a more character-driven approach, her rich voice layered in the emotion to make ‘Come To Your Senses’ (from tick…tick…BOOM!) utterly breath-taking and finding great pathos in ‘I Never Told Him I Love Him’ from an otherwise trashy Prisoner Cell Block H. Elsewhere, Ambra Caserotti and Kirby Lunn had fun on the duet ‘Ready To Be Loved’ from Edges, the former also engaging well with ‘Fly Fly Away’ from Catch Me If You Can. The format of largely obscure songs combined with Barron’s patter did mean that there was precious little opportunity for the performers to express their own connections to the song choices and that was something that was missed. This kind of show catches fire when one feels the genuine love for the material not just through the singing but anecdotally as well, the opportunity to see well-loved performers singing off-duty not fully taken here. But that shouldn’t take away from a fascinating evening, extremely well performed, that could well provide inspiration for aspiring producers of the next big fringe musical revival. Originally written for The Public Reviews
about 2 hours ago
Could the news of their Target collaboration have overshadowed Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos's Spring 2014 collection? Not likely. The designing duo trotted out a bevy of newsworthy dresses in London on Monday, starting with ...
Could the news of their Target collaboration have overshadowed Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos's Spring 2014 collection? Not likely. The designing duo trotted out a bevy of newsworthy dresses in London on Monday, starting with pieces that blended fabrics in sky blue, mint, and bright green with lace and tweed. Floral and graphic prints also figured in this irrepressibly bright collection, mixed to perfection with one another. Certainly everyone is excited to see what these two do for Target, but what's even more exciting is the way they continue to bring new heights to the modern more-is-more aesthetic of London's bright young things.
13 days ago
For almost two years now, we have been profiling young antiquarian booksellers in our "Bright Young Things" series here on the blog. Today, we launch an expanded definition of "Bright Young Things"... [[ This is just a content summary...
For almost two years now, we have been profiling young antiquarian booksellers in our "Bright Young Things" series here on the blog. Today, we launch an expanded definition of "Bright Young Things"... [[ This is just a content summary - Please visit the link above to read more ]]
20 days ago
Influenced by Francis Bacon, part of Selfridges Bright Young Things project, Irish designer Alan Taylor and Dazed present this short film capturing Spring Summer 2014. A talent we’ve been keeping a keen eye on, Taylor created and d...
Influenced by Francis Bacon, part of Selfridges Bright Young Things project, Irish designer Alan Taylor and Dazed present this short film capturing Spring Summer 2014. A talent we’ve been keeping a keen eye on, Taylor created and directed the film featuring painted models and his unique take on contemporary tailoring. Styled by Harry Lambert, Alan Taylor’s surreal short looks to, in his own words, “…fuck with peoples heads a little.” Press play. ‘A Medium for Accident and Change” – Alan Taylor Spring Summer 2014 is a post by Lena Dystant on Selectism.
20 days ago
There is a line in John Webster’s play, The Duchess of Malfi, which rings true for the duration of Eyestrings Theatre Company’s production. “I account this world a tedious theatre” says the Duchess, played by Beat...
There is a line in John Webster’s play, The Duchess of Malfi, which rings true for the duration of Eyestrings Theatre Company’s production. “I account this world a tedious theatre” says the Duchess, played by Beatrice Walker, and it is from this line that it appears director Owen Horsley and production designer Simon Anthony Wells have drawn the bulk of their inspiration.  A fiercely grimacing cast open the show, setting the scene for the cruel and dark world we are about to enter. Lighting, designed by Daniel Street, and sound, by Helen Atkinson, play a key role in realising this darkness. A small number of glowing bulbs hang from the ceiling, and the climax of the play is enhanced by a sudden blackout. Subtle drawn out notes create an eery ambience and the minimalist set, comprised of merely a few wooden chairs and hooks hanging along the back wall offer up a bleak world. The cast also rarely leave the stage, which infects the production with a sense of claustrophobia; their continual presence intensifies the paranoia that is already rife. The design is indicative of a spectacle, a game, and with all of the elements combined there lingers a pervading sense that the courts are the theatre. Webster’s play centres on the widowed Duchess who, having been forbidden to remarry by her brothers, Ferdinand (Vincent Enderby) and the Cardinal (Nicholas Figgis) secretly weds and bears a child with the lowly steward Antonio. Once discovered, her brothers turn to the assassin Bosola (Phil Cairns) to realise the vengeance they seek, and carnage ensues. This production is slick; the play has been cut so that it runs at a sharp 100 minutes, yet as a consequence the smaller subplots have been erased leaving a fairly basic story which the cast don’t quite make up for in performance. Perhaps it has been lost through too much focus on playing around with the aesthetic, but the drama lacks height and leaves a lot to be desired if it is to have any strong emotional impact on the audience. This is particularly relevant both when the Duchess gives up her baby, and when she is strangled. This is not a comment on the actors as they are all clearly capable of strong performances, with Enderby and Figgis in particular standing out as the callous brothers; Enderby’s orders through a handheld microphone are suitably chilling as they echo around the theatre and Ferdinand’s character almost takes on a director role, watching the action from on high. However, on the whole the production is fairly understated. Whilst the simplicity of the set, lighting and sound design is rather sophisticated, there is a failure to fully commit to a time period, as the 1920s dress, the reason for which is not made evident, and the use of a credit card as a prop for ‘gold’ jar, make the production as a whole impossible to place. It appears to be sitting on the fence in many ways, unable to commit to a fully realised time period or motivation; if the 1920s dress is perhaps supposed to be a nod towards the self-inflicted tragedy of the superficial Bright Young Things, then this isn’t fully explained. Despite this, Eyestring’s Theatre Company offer up a bold production and a strong cast who handle Webster’s text superbly. The post Review: The Duchess of Malfi appeared first on A Younger Theatre.
21 days ago
The young designer pays homage to Francis Bacon and "fucks with people's heads"As part of the Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’ launch yesterday evening we bring you, exclusively on Dazed, the gentle disorder of Alan Taylor's SS14. He pre...
The young designer pays homage to Francis Bacon and "fucks with people's heads"As part of the Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’ launch yesterday evening we bring you, exclusively on Dazed, the gentle disorder of Alan Taylor's SS14. He prevailed with tweed last season and this threads through into his most recent collection along with transparent elements and considered collage. The subtle juxtapositions within his tailoring are offset in this short film, conceptualized and directed by the designer himself and styled by Harry Lambert.  You know that feeling you sometimes get in a gallery: “Did those eyes in that... read more »
23 days ago
Mega round-up of @Selfridges #BYT2013 project feat. @SadieWilliamsUK @iamalantaylor @KeelyHunter @WBHandmade & more!
Mega round-up of @Selfridges #BYT2013 project feat. @SadieWilliamsUK @iamalantaylor @KeelyHunter @WBHandmade & more!
27 days ago
Style Bubble Post Bright Young Things 2013: If you've walked by Selfridges over the last few days, you will ha...
Style Bubble Post Bright Young Things 2013: If you've walked by Selfridges over the last few days, you will ha...
27 days ago
>> When I first received the line-up for Selfridges' 2013 Bright Young Things project, one word sprung to mind - tasty.  I've been covering this young talent initiative since Selfridges first started it back in 2011 and this year, it's b...
>> When I first received the line-up for Selfridges' 2013 Bright Young Things project, one word sprung to mind - tasty.  I've been covering this young talent initiative since Selfridges first started it back in 2011 and this year, it's bigger and better, stuffed with concept, creativity and more importantly physical product to get your teeth into.  With fifteen Bright Young Things - a mix of womenswear, menswear and accessories designers, set designers and one lone food pioneer - the number has clearly been edited down to concentrate on developing and buying in product for the department store.  That's the true sign of a retail powerhouse getting behind young talent.   I'll be doing a detailed run down of the designers, the windows, the in-store events which Selfridges have got lined up and all the products tomorrow but for now, I thought I'd give a sneak taster, not least because I'm ever so excited at the prospect of Sadie Williams' "Disco Dalek" (© Alex Fury) dresses roaming around town.  Williams was one of the top stand-out graduates from this year's Central Saint Martins MA crop, with her collection of floor length lurex bonded dresses inspired by Japanese biker gangs.  That collection has been simplified into shorter dresses and lurex front sweatshirts.  I got to try on the printed dress this weekend to see how it would feel to wear what is essentially a fancy Quality Street wrapper with brilliantly rigid proportions.  It was glorious.  Like an United Visual Artists light installation in dress form.  Despite having to sit down ever so gingerly and nearly wacking over a cup of tea with its sticky-outy shape, I didn't want to take it off.  I have no choice but to ponder whether I could do without a new bathroom and spank a grand instead on what I consider to be a collectible masterpiece.   I also copped a feel of other BYT products, a lot of which are online already (with more still to come) such as miliner Keely Hunter's simple but effective perspex headbands, jewellery designer Grace Hamilton's knotted necklaces and LCF graduate Yeashin's fusion of 60s swinging London and traditional Korean costume.  The upshot is that Selfridges have one upped on their previous BYT efforts with a product range that gives them the edge in British talent scouting in amongst the London department stores.  Check back for the bumper BYT post tomorrow night.       Keely Hunter headbands, Grace Hamilton necklace, Sadie Williams dress worn with Uniqlo poloneck and Raf Simons x adidas trainers Yeashin blouse worn with Merchant Archive trousers
28 days ago
“Bradley Manning is just a boy” Tim Price’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning premiered for the National Theatre of Wales last year and with a remarkable sense of timing, after the trial that resulted in a 35 year prison...
“Bradley Manning is just a boy” Tim Price’s The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning premiered for the National Theatre of Wales last year and with a remarkable sense of timing, after the trial that resulted in a 35 year prison sentence and the subsequent revelation that the soldier identifies as a woman, returned this summer to the Edinburgh Festival. But with a view to vastly expanding its potential audience, each performance was live-streamed on t’internet and so I was able to catch it from the comfort of my very own home. And this seems the point about the capturing of theatre on film – no one is pretending that it matches the live experience but the very uniqueness of it necessarily imposes an exclusivity and so innovations such as these should be recognised for the opportunities they bring to people who otherwise would never have seen such shows, rather than focusing on what might or might not be lost in the transfer. But back to the play. Tim Price’s starting point is that Manning is half-Welsh on her mother’s side and spent around four years living in Wales as a teenager – the playwright posits that studies of politics and sociology of a particularly Welsh radical bent could well have shaped the mind of the person who caused one of the greatest leaks of classified material in history when releasing documents about the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Wikileaks. There’s a convincing, if fictionalised, account of how this education gave him the inner courage to follow his convictions but also suggesting some of the demons that plagued her psyche. Price intercuts this story with a fast-moving whip around other key moments in Manning’s life - college years spent exploring sexuality, the reluctant fall into the army’s ranks, the troubled family life she runs from, the hellish reality of internment by her very own military. It is breathtakingly exhilaratingly done as John E McGrath’s assured direction sees a cast of six bright young things whirling around the frequent scene changes and huge roll-call of characters and vibrant usage of physical theatre to tell this disarming story. The role of Manning is fluidly passed from actor to actor by the donning of a pair of spectacles and so we get to see a multi-faceted interpretation of this figure but also, retrospectively, a powerful reminder that issues of identity and gender are not so easily nailed down and represented facilely. It is an excellent piece of theatre and a brilliant showcase for a creative team who achieve much. It will be interesting to see what future the play will have now that sentence has been passed and Bradley has revealed herself to be Chelsea – should there be rewrites, retitling, or no changes at all – but I very much hope this isn’t the last we see of it. Running time: 90 minutes (without interval) Share Tweet Get this
28 days ago