Mondays can be a bit meh. It's the start of the week and for some reason you feel like your bed has some kind of human capturing magnet attached to its underside. Why. Can't. You. Get. Up? After drudging through the day there's not much more to look forward to than laptop catch up TV in that very same-pillowed prison. Well not this Monday night! I was off to see Alice Through the Looking Glass at St. Paul's Church in Covent Garden. And it was a sunny summer's night too. The Iris Theatre production was back at this holy house and its green gardens for their 6th year. I had never been before and having the chance to wander into this grand old building was a treat in itself.
I first encountered New York comedian Abigoliah Schamaun last year, hosting a competition for new female comedy talent. It's a tough gig, hosting. It's an especially tough gig hosting a night in which none of those taking part has more than 5 years experience, and are feeling the pressure. As it happened the night was only mildly patchy but you got the feeling that even if it had been dire Schamaun would have risen to the occasion. She commented positively on the comic material and encouraged warm applause without seeming patronising or insincere. So I was interested to see her new show Abigoliah Schamaun is Working on it at the Brighton Fringe and this yoga teaching New Yorker did not disappoint.
Because we are greedy for Twitter followers (follow us! @SqueamishBikini) we spend far too much time on our Twitter notifications page, just in case we miss something, y'know? We think it makes us appreciate a good Twitter handle all the more, so when @LadyParts_ started following us we were tickled. Because we can be base like that. But when we found out Lady Parts Theatre was interested in providing, well, more lady parts we were interested. The company is based in Liverpool and specialises creating and promoting more roles for women. The company states that: "Women have stories as rich and varied as the stories of men, the only difference - they are not being heard. This is not about sexism - this is about trying to create an even playing field for all theatre professionals to compete on. We work with both women and men at all stages of the process from writers to actors to stage crew."
Last week I was bummed out because the opportunity to see the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. The play was being performed at the School of Oriental and African Studies and was kicking off and ending the Ain't I a Woman? What's Race Got to Do with It? event, hosted by the SOAS Women Society. Instead of going to the play I went to the panel discussion Black (Mis)Representation in which we were immersed in a many number of topics: Mainstream feminism and Black Feminism; mainstream representations of Black mehiwomen; shadism; Black masculinity.
The subject of miscarriage is not one to be taken lightly. According to the charity Tommy's while it is hard to ascertain an accurate figure, out 1 in 7 recognised pregnancies end in miscarriage, while the incidence of spontaneous (unrecognised) miscarriage is estimated to be 50% of all pregnancies. Paying homage to the old 'if you don't laugh, you'll cry' writer and actress Emma Deakin has written a play on the subject of miscarriage, Expectations directed by Stella Duffy. Expectations deals with the subjects of miscarriage, unplanned pregnancy, IVF, bodies and gay best friends (yes a bit in the style of a Madonna film with Rupert Everett) that allows for both laughter and tears.
Home is where the art is. This weekend saw the city of London open its front door(s) and hopefully a few more minds. There was not one but two major arts and culture events on the go. Open House London and London Design Festival both vied for my attention. One won out, satisfying my ‘nosy neighbour disorder’ as well as my imagination. I found myself at the latter but still at an open house, a South Kensington bedsit. Bare concrete stairs that back on to a pristine white façade lead down into something a little darker and a lot more interesting…
Last August Squeamish Louise was looking for an Edinburgh Festival style comedy action in London as an escape from the Olympics. She found it with Rosie Wilby and the show How (Not) to Make it in Britpop. I like to think the show contributed to the explosion in 1990s revival fashion - it was a real slow burner to begin with to convince people to wear backwards baseball caps and tiny round sunglasses but itâs finally happened.
It certainly inspired Squeamish Louise to dig out some old Britpop albums and gear (of the fashion variety), How (Not) to Make it in Britpop made her: "pine for 90s fashions of jeans, t-shirts, feather boas and stripey shirts. Damn." I, however, never got to see the show in spite of the sage and specific advice from Squeamish Louise "Just go and see her. Seriously."
Isadora Duncan had a penchant for floaty scarves. Back in the late 19th Century the American dancer had made quite the name for herself in Europe, as she reclaimed dance and movement as high art. She was exiled from America due to her Soviet Union sympathies and resided in Europe until her dramatic and tragic death. In September 1927 Isadora was holidaying in Nice, France. In the seat of a convertible next to her lover who could have known her long and delicate accessory (scarf, not man) would be the cause of her demise?
I'm a sucker for a bad pun, so Tits 'n' Giggles started off on a positive note with me. A night of comedy to raise money for breast cancer awareness - really, what's not to like in that sentence?
Well, when I first heard about CoppaFeel! the charity - the gig was raising money for - last year, I wasn't so sure. I've known people who have had breast cancer, and my day job occasionally involves working with people who have or had cancer, and the advertising campaign I saw didn't sit well with me. It used young women, in what seemed like sexualised poses. Is that really relevant to the average person with breast cancer when the usual age of diagnosis is over 50?
The great thing about David Bowie is he is a lot of things to a lot of people. He has appeal that transcends decades and encompasses more than his music. Bowie's chameleon-like nature and infinite creativity has given us characters, costumes, lyrics and iconic images that have become works of art in their own right. No wonder one of Britain's most acclaimed musicians has his own retrospective and he doesn't even have to be dead to make it the most popular exhibition in town.
The Victoria & Albert Museum poster for David Bowie is dons a world famous image of the man as his most well know creation. Lightening bolt make-up splits the porcelain face of a flame haired Ziggy Stardust. Immortalised by photographer Brian Duffy, Ziggy stares back at you from the Â£4 print. I wanted one of these posters more than anything on Earth, but as always you exit though the shop and I had a whole exhibition to take in.