Archivo de la etiqueta: London

A bear called Paddington


The author Michael Bond pass away at aged 91 last 28 June. He was the creator of the beloved children’s character Paddington Bear.

Michael Bond published his first book, A Bear Called Paddington, about the marmalade-loving bear from deepest, darkest Peru, in 1958.

The author, born in Newbury, Berkshire, in 1926, kept writing until his death. His most recent Paddington story, Paddington’s Finest Hour, was published in April.

His daughter, Karen Jankel said: “For him, writing was his life. It was wonderful he could continue writing until the end,” she said. “Because … Paddington and his other characters were so real to him, he became alive to everybody else.”

“You can tell just by reading his books what a lovely person he was. I never came across anybody who disliked my father. He was one of those people that people instinctively warmed to and he was as funny as a person and delightful as he was in his writing and as a father.”

Michael Bond created an endering and memorable character full of enthusiasm and optimism. His an icon of children’s fiction. Paddington is the Peruvian immigrant bear quirkiest but emotionally real children’s characters.

As well as Paddington, Bond created characters including Olga da Polga and A Mouse Called Thursday along with a series of novels for adults, featuring the detective Monsieur Pamplemousse.

More than 35m Paddington books have been sold worldwide, spawning toys, TV programmes and most recently the films.

Me and Paddington in London.jpg

Good memories with Paddington in London. Copyright: Pilar Gallardo

Ann-Janine Murtagh, HarperCollins’s executive publisher of children’s books, said: “I feel privileged to have been Michael Bond’s publisher – he was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers.

“He will be for ever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffel coat and wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations. My thoughts and love are with his wife, Sue, and his children, Karen and Anthony.”

A huge thank you to Michael Bond for this sweet and wonderful legacy.
Michael Bond with his most famous creation, Paddington Bear.
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Publicado por en julio 20, 2017 en Art, Books


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Friday Night Films: “Village of the dammed” by Wolf Rilla

The Last Island

village_of_damned_poster_02Village of the Damned is a 1960 British science fictionhorror film by German director Wolf Rilla. The film is adapted from the novel The Midwich Cuckoos (1957) by John Wyndham. The lead role of Professor Gordon Zellaby was played by George Sanders.

A sequel, Children of the Damned (1963), followed, as did a remake, also called Village of the Damned (1995).


80e2ebb02d93dd4867dd1c29c11402cb George Sanders, Barbara Shelley and Martin Stephens


In London, the military Alan Bernard is talking to his brother-in-law Gordon Zellaby in Midwich by telephone when there is a communication breakdown with the village. Alan heads to the British village and finds that all the inhabitants have fallen unconscious at the same time and who else crosses the borderline faints. Out of the blue, the inhabitants awake at the same time. Two months later Anthea Zellaby tells her husband Gordon that she is pregnant…

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Publicado por en noviembre 18, 2016 en Art


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“No Man’s Land” by Harold Pinter #Theatre

The Last Island


 No Man’s Land review: ‘Hilariously tragicomic’


With its all-star cast, this revival of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ is not to be missed as it opens in the West End following a triumphant UK tour.

It’s been in the offing since Sean Mathias’s acclaimed production of this Pinter classic was unveiled on Broadway in 2013. Now, as we’d hoped, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart – both at the top of their game – have finally brought it to London. After a short UK tour, their version has landed, fittingly enough, in the very theatre where, some forty years ago, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson continued to put their brilliantly eccentric stamp on the roles of Spooner and Hirst in the West End transfer of the original 1975 National Theatre production.

Mathias’s staging manages to be the funniest account of the play I have seen without underselling its scariness, mystery or…

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Publicado por en septiembre 23, 2016 en Actors, Theatre


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Kenneth Branagh dances in Olivier’s shoes in The Entertainer

It’s one of the most iconic roles in post-war theatre: Archie Rice, the clapped-out music-hall act who stands at the demoralised heart of John Osborne’s The Entertainer: the bankrupt exponent of a dying art-form in a country reeling from the Suez Crisis. Laurence Olivier created the part. Now, almost 60 years on, it’s the turn of Kenneth Branagh.



How does he fare? How does he compare? To some, that line of inquiry might sound moribund. And yet Branagh, 55, has been likened to Olivier more than any other actor of his generation. His early success, his many Shakespearean roles too, makes it hard not to detect a cry of “For God, for Larry and for England!” in this choice, concluding his year at the Garrick.

The blunt truth? Olivier’s – to judge by the 1960 film – is the superior performance, blessed with a mercurial vitality and dangerous mischief that the benign Branagh can’t match. Yet Sir Ken goes some considerable and impressive way to stamping his own authority and personality on the part.

Literally so: the opening vignette replaces Osborne’s bleak scene-setting, introducing the brawling back-streets of a northern coastal town, with the sight of Archie alone, his back to us, head lowered, towel round his neck like a boxer readying for the next round. He conducts a slow tap-dance with a series of stomps and much deliberate, fancy leg-work, joined by a quartet of show-girls in negligées, tip-tapping in the shadows.

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The action switches to the Rices’ draughty, down-at-heel digs, though designer Christopher Oram keeps everything within a decayed stage milieu: there are props and costumes ranged to one side; we’re in a replica proscenium-arch theatre, rafters poking through plasterwork. When Archie jokes “Don’t clap too hard, it’s a very old building”, the gag hits the mark.

Osborne elided the ailing world of the variety hall with microcosmic slices of troubled family life, creating a portrait of a disintegrating artist and a state-of-the-nation play at the same time. Branagh acquits himself with distinctive aplomb in each sphere but it’s his stage-business that captivates most.


L-R: Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi, Gawn Grainger CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

Putting one in mind of Eddie Izzard with his red-lipsticked lips and toady grins, he’s convincing as a resolutely smiling trouper staring down the barrel of deadly audience indifference. Whether shuffling dandily along in tuxedo, dickie-bow tie and boater, cane-a-twirl, or camply dishing out Osborne’s knowingly excruciating, innuendo-laden repartee, you grasp why he’s top of the bill, yet never truly made it.

Director Rob Ashford gives us plenty of salacious suggestions of the “nude revue” that Archie is trying to shackle to his sinking vaudevillian mast. In terms of our own historical moment – with trouble again flaring in the Middle East, and the poignant demise of the Rice’s soldier son Mick hitting home – the revival is timely. But Ashford’s production could do with a more spirited tempo to compensate for the dialogue’s dated, often schematic quality, while there’s no getting around the abundant (to many ears today offensive) prejudice.


Kenneth Branagh as Archie, with Sophie McShera as Jean CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

There’s fine support from Greta Scacchi as Archie’s care-worn, cheated-on wife Phoebe, and Gawn Grainger as his intemperate ex-showman father Billy. Jonah Hauer-King displays promise too as Archie’s conscientious-objector son Frank, as does Sophie McShera as his passionate, politicised daughter Jean.

The evening is bookended by beautiful, solitary silhouettes of Archie and, for all the shadow cast by Olivier, Branagh triumphs in style. Those seeking a night of laugh-out-loud entertainment, though, be warned: if they do, the joke’s on them. National decline and personal failure is, now as then, at root a serious business.



The Entertainer  is playing at the Garrick Theatre, London until Nov 12. 

Book now to avoid disappointment: visit  Telegraph Tickets  or call 0844 871 2118.

Live broadcast to cinemas on October 27.



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Publicado por en agosto 31, 2016 en Actors, Theatre


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Golden hour Thames


The nights in London are now long and dark with the onset of winter. Just a short while ago, summer was breathing its last gasp on the embankment of the River Thames close to the iconic and imposing Palace of Westminster. The building caught the last vestiges of sunlight, while people went about their business – tourists took photographs as joggers passed by. There was even a wedding shoot taking place. Most noticeable of all was the green leaves of the trees, lush and intact. How different things are now…

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The Photo Shop

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Publicado por en noviembre 1, 2015 en Photography


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“The Meeting Place” sculpture by Paul Day

This bronze statue named The Meeting Place is in St. Pancras International  (London. England) stands beneath the station clock. Designed by British artist Paul Day evokes the romance of travel symbolized in the passionate embrace of lovers under the watchful eye of the station clock. A beauty sculpture with gorgeous and exquisite details.

mon-The-Meeting-Place-2_2-800x553 St-Pancras-768x1024 mon-The-Meeting-Place-4-800x553

Find more in the artist website:

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Publicado por en octubre 18, 2014 en Art, Sculpture


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“This is the winter of our discontent” … and Martin Freeman was Richard III

“This is the winter of our discontent” … and Martin Freeman was Richard III

Transformed Trafalgar is located in the heart of London, five minutes from the famous Trafalgar Square in the iconic Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall. His second season started full of politically-charged, with an amazing new production of Richard III, the historical play written approximately in 1952 by William Shakespeare. Directed by James Lloyd and the wonderful actor Martin  Freeman as the undisputed star in the role of Richard III, this peculiar adaptation reached its final performance on 27 September with great public success and moderated criticism.

If who had the opportunity to see it thought at some point that they were going to find a classic and entirely conventional adaptation of Richard III by Shakespeare, I am totally convinced that changed their opinion as the play began. They have found a vibrant, innovative, interesting and exciting production. Just needed to open the mind and let in this new approach to this classic. If in addition they got a front row seat, I hope you’d be careful with blood splatter (like me) in this bloody rise to power that undertakes Richard III.

If Iago allow me, I would say that Richard III could be the biggest villain in Shakespeare highlighting among many other things, for all those amusing moments and sinister scenes adorned with comicality in a long, dark and very bloody journey to his way to the throne. A character full of much literary wealth (as everything is in Shakespeare) always carries a risk and at the same time, a challenging to interpret in any environment.


In this case, the challenge was released to splendid actor Martin Freeman who in my humble opinion of spectator has been able to give all that requires a character of these features, with the added difficulty involved in having located far from his natural period. This means that the director Jamie Lloyd decided to reinvent to Shakespeare and moving story of Richard III to Great Britain in 1970s, adapting the events at that time with the story written by Shakespeare.

Perhaps here is where it gets more risky this new production. This change was one of the most censored by critics but is just a part that I consider makes this production a referent. At first it overflows and you can feel confused by the drastic change in the environment in which the play takes place respect to the original. The setting is centered in an office and the building is located is established as the basis for the military have taken over in response to industrial and economic problems of the country, in which the characters talk, argue, give campaign speeches, fight and murder. The set design created by Soutra Gilmour is superb. It focuses on desktops, TVs, conference tables, office phones and aquariums that become an improvised battlefield, as the play progresses. Two elevators on both sides give input and output characters and situations, all in a frantic rhythm, where actors and especially Mr. Freeman interacts with the audience allowing them to share his purposes, in a tone of dark and perverse humor. A task which is particularly difficult to carry out for an actor without seeming forced, faked or lack of seriousness. Martin Freeman gets it perfectly.


26DE0F00F-A8D0-681D-C07BA6CDAF149939Complete the production a group of actors and actresses difficult to forget for their brilliant work. I love this part of the theater that in giving you the opportunity to discover new names to form as part of your emotions lived under the magic of theater. Highlight the beautiful actress Gina McKee who knows how to express the anguish, anger and pain of a totally cornered woman as Queen Elizabeth.

Finally, I would end up talking a little more about Martin Freeman. His reputation about knowing how to give perfect rhythm and interesting approaches to texts comedy is more than deserved, just like his ability to make you shudder, terrifying and thrilling at the same time. He’s perfect, immense reciting lines from Shakespeare so mythical as “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!.”

In short, a show that may have gotten closer to a new audience and excited too old. With the legendary phrase: “Now is the winter of our discontent” Richard III begins his speech. In my case I would say this was the summer of my content, my theater, in my second home: London.

Thank you all for your time reading my reflections. I hope to able to forgive if with my poor English I have offended the word of the master Shakespeare.


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Publicado por en octubre 6, 2014 en Actors, Actresses, Shakespeare, Theatre


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