"What fun. The programming was creative: the perfect match to the on-screen shenanigans. Littered with bad puns, the overall story remained true to Wallace and Gromit’s trademark haphazard approach and good-natured humour. The Aurora Orchestra was stupendously good. Nicholas Collon’s enthusiasm as conductor-compère was obvious. A technical hitch (unplanned, I’m sure) near the start was humorously dismissed as “what happens when you leave things to Wallace and Gromit”; that made it entirely forgivable. The final animation showed the weary pair relieved that they had pulled it off. To Gromit’s horror, though, Wallace exhaustedly flopped onto the chair on which Gromit’s Strad was resting; you can imagine what resulted. I suspect it may be some time before the duo make another musical appearance…"
#wallace and gromit
"I have never seen so many empty seats in the Royal Albert Hall. Empty, because it took all of three minutes for the audience to descend en masse to the standing arena, transforming it into a dance floor. Children and grandmothers alike got up, unable to resist the heady pull of the music. When the dance floor was full, the audience simply danced in the stalls. The simple fact is that it is impossible not to be moved to dance by the infectious sound of Vallenato – now recognised as Colombia’s national folk music."
#royal albert hall
This is not your average zoological museum: there appears to be far more material to display than there is room in the Grant Museum of Zoology, so that you are met with unnerving specimens from every angle and from every cabinet. Inviting in its modesty, this collection has an extremely high concentration of interesting specimens per square meter.
Phoebe Crompton reviews.
Image © UCL Grant Museum / Matt Clayton
#the awesome show
I know that sometimes experiments simply can go wrong and that audiences may remain unresponsive. I am more than ready to see past those weaknesses if there is a brave idea at the heart of the performance. But Wish Experience’s The Awesome Show, however, had a disconcertingly lewd and witless vacuum in the place where its heart should have been. At the Tristan Bates Theatre.
Annegret Maerten reviews.
Image © The Awesome Show
Korean Eye is the exhibition of the summer. Playful, witty, solemn and astute - it presents Korean cultural identity as shifting, dynamic and globally interconnected. The range of media, its scale and originality make this exhibition a fantastic visual experience. Once you’ve visited the gallery, you’ll want to go back again.
Jessica Shepherd reviews.
Image: Sungsoo koo, From series Magical reality comics, 2005 © Courtesy of the Artist
"It was perhaps inevitable that much of the audience should leap to its feet immediately, as much in recognition of the work of the man and his orchestra in the Middle East as in praise of the Beethoven. It was a well constructed performance with some excellent individual playing in the woodwind and timpani, some fine solo singing and a few magical moments. It fell just short of superb, but will linger long in the memory largely for Daniel Barenboim, who made this Beethoven (and perhaps even the first half of the Proms season) his own. Though founded on the shoulders of an earlier generation of broad, bold Beethoven conductors, he continually adds subtleties of phrasing and tempo which give even as popular a work as the ninth a feeling of freshness. He spoke compellingly after much applause, saying “We cannot change the Middle East, but I assure you, we will not let the people in power in the Middle East change us”. Bravo, Barenboim, and bravo Beethoven and Boulez."
Parading pandas vie with birds and bears on jam-packed walls this summer as the Cartoon Museum examines the fascination with using animals for social and politcal satire in their latest exhibition.
Claire Daly reviews.
Image: Spectator, 29 June 2005 © Martin Honeysett
"I wasn’t convinced by the inclusion of a John Cage radio work, Excerpts 7pm to 8pm, played after the Harvey. While generally I’m all for programming as much Cage as possible (especially in his anniversary year), this recital’s carefully cultivated calm ambience suffered a little on forcing the crowd to listen to some randomly assembled passages of noise culled from several radios. Joely Cragg’s brilliant, vehement performance of Iannis Xenakis’ Psappha also suffered a little from its context: when so much calm music had come before, this ludicrously loud rhythmic percussion study seemed out of place. It’s an enormously exciting piece and was certainly performed with vigour, but relaxing into one’s comfy chair during it was not a possibility."
#london contemporary orchestra
#royal albert hall
In this series on London’s art districts, Jessica Shepherd takes us on a tour of the Art Spots you need to know about. Each article examines a different area, from Vyner Street to Bermondsey. Read on to find out what makes them worth a trip…