AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
19 December 2002, Issue 122

LondonNet Homepage
LondonNet Homepage: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/

AHOY! Contents:

1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Holiday Hours, Boat Show, London Deals
2. LONDON DIARY: New Year Resolutions
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: Sleeping Beauty
7. TALKBACK: Unfair Eurostar, Diana Untold

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1. WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet

- Sleeping Beauty Compie
The compie for this week is for a family ticket (for 4 people and must
include at least 1 child and 1 adult) for the 2pm performance on Tuesday 31
- Scroll down for competition details.


- Xmas and New Year Hours
Our site will be accessible throughout the seasonal holidays and readers
will be able to make hotel and ticket bookings as normal. If you need to
contact us regarding a reservation please note our office hours during the

Mon 23 Dec: 9.00-5.30
Tues 24 Dec: 9.00-5.00
Weds 25 Dec: Closed
Thurs 26 Dec: Closed
Fri 27 Dec: 9.00-5.00
Sat 28 Dec: Closed
Sun 29 Dec: Closed
Mon 30 Dec: 9.00-5.00
Tues 31 Dec: 9.00-5.00
Weds 01 Jan: Closed
Thurs 02 Jan onwards:
9.00-5.30 (Mon-Fri), Closed (Sat-Sun)
(All times are London GMT)



London Boat Show: Earls Court
- Save UKP2 a ticket and gain fast track entry by booking in advance! The
magic returns to this year's London Boat Show, with exciting new features as
well as fabulous boats, shopping and holidays from 3 to 12 Jan 2003. (
and Tickets click here

- Mamma Mia and My Fair Lady
Treat yourself for Christmas: Excellent availability for December

- The Amber Hotel, Earls Court
From UKP19.00 per person per night including breakfast.


- New Year Resolutions


Post men and women are under a lot of pressure at this time of year, so you
can't blame them for making the odd mistake. Luckily for us, one such mail
error resulted in the New Year resolutions of several famous people landing
on our newsdesk...

Cherie Blair, PM wife and legal guru - In a bid to help with my busy life, I
aim to employ a Guru-Czar, to report direct to a Guru Ombudsman and Guru
Committee, to oversee my lifestyle guru, fashion guru, property guru and
wonky smile guru.

Eddie Foster, architect brother and window cleaner - I promise to stop
getting Sir Norman to design all his buildings with loads of glass - I've
made enough to retire on now.

Sven Goran Eriksson, England manager and philosophy author - I think
resolutions are very nice things that all do a good job. They are very
important as ways of resolving other things, which is good.

Ben Elton, writer and finger-on-the-pulse merchant - I agree to stop jumping
on every topical media bandwagon for ideas, which fits into my next project,
a play about the power of the press.

Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins, wide-eyed fantasy heroes - We both promise
to stop doing that annoying shocked-innocence routine in every scene of our

Ken Livingstone, London Mayor and animal lover - I promise to make peace
with pigeon kind, as long as the flying-rats agree to clean the mess off my

The Amalgated Union of Royal Butlers and General Obsequious Serving Staff,
- Our members shall continue to strive with every
unflinching facial muscle to provide personal service of the utmost
confidentiality and to write interesting books.

Santa Claus, semi-retired purveyor of throwaway novelty items - I promise
not to shove another headache-inducing shoot 'em up PlayStation game down
the chimney of the editor of LondonNet, no matter how many times requested
to do so by his son.
David Clee (mailto:[email protected])



- Thanks to a recent increase in our allocation we have tickets for almost
all upcoming performances. To enjoy big savings today, see:




In The Spotlight

- Christmas Shows - New shows for the season:
Animals may be curling up for hibernation, but in theatreland Christmas is a
time for revivals. The Young Vic for one is breathing new life into the
drowsiest of well-known stories as Rufus Norris reworks Perrault's Sleeping

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is also lively as ever after a year
away from town. Just in time for the festive season, CS Lewis's much-loved
version of the Christian myth returns complete with magical wardrobes and
talking animals.

Other well known books flexing their stage muscles include the Snowman and
the BFG. Back at the Playhouse theatre, orphan Sophie continues to battle
with fleshlumpeaters and bonecrunchers under the protection of the Big
Friendly Giant. Mean time Raymond Brigg's much loved Snowman returns larger
than life with tunes to enliven the most tired of Christmas shoppers. It
could be time to start walking on the air.
- Helena Thompson, mailto:[email protected]

Up and Coming
Eastwood Ho! Gielgud Theatre, Piccadilly Circus tube.
Fun and fippery from Ben Jonson.

- My Fair Lady, Drury Lane Theatre, Covent Garden tube.
Theatreland says 'ello to 'enry 'iggins.

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (28 November - 18 December 02)
1) My Fair Lady
2) The Play What I Wrote
3) We Will Rock You

- Theatre: A to Z of Shows
Our guide to all the leading musicals and dramas running or soon to open in
the West End. With quick links to previews, reviews and ticket pages.



Rock and Pop

Gig Previews
, Wembley Arena 25 Jan 2003
Tickets: UKP 18.50 plus booking fee
Always so much more than just hair and teeth, Supergrass return with a
stonking new album, Life on Other Planets (no Charlton Heston jokes please),
and some more opportunities for fans to partake of the happy-go-lucky fun
time that is Supergrass live.
- For Supergrass info and More Previews see:

Gig Listings
Our list of forthcoming London gigs. Plan your gigging and book your tickets
at: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/rockpoptickets.html

Top Sellers (28 November - 18 December 02)
1) Supergrass
2) Robbie Williams, Knebworth
3) Blue
Tickets: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/ln/out/music/rockpoptickets.html



The Nutcracker, English National Ballet
@ The London Coliseum
Until Sat, 4th January 2003

Yesterday I took my daughter along to see the ENB's production of The
Nutcracker. It was her first ballet or West End outing for that matter and
she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

The performance is introduced by kids' favourite Angelina Ballerina, a dance
loving mouse. That sets the scene for a thoroughly enjoyable two hour
indulgence in fairytale ballet. The classic story follows a young girl named
Clara, whose dream-world adventures include fantastical battles with a Mouse
King and the transformation of her Nutcracker Doll into a handsome prince
who whisks her away to the magical Land of Snow and to the extraordinary
Land of Sweets.

Designed by celebrated caricaturist and designer Gerald Scarfe (creator of
Walt Disney's 'Hercules'), choreographed by the acclaimed British
choreographer Christopher Hampson, and set to the ever popular Tchaikovsky
score (including the 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'), this production is
performed by the 64 dancers and full orchestra of English National Ballet.
Peter D. Clee (mailto:[email protected])

English National Opera: Autumn and Winter Season
Where: The Coliseum:
Runs through a selection of fine operas through to Spring next year. Full
programme of events and booking information at:

Top Sellers (28 November - 18 December 02)
1) The Nutcracker, ENB
2) Tosca, ENO
3) Carmina Burana Monumental Orchestra, London
- Tickets:



- Film Of The Week
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (12A)
Director: Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler
The battle for Middle-Earth gathers momentum in the second part of JRR
Tolkein's fantasy trilogy. Frodo and Sam continue their march towards
Mordor, unprotected by the rest of the Fellowship. Meanwhile, evil wizard
Saruman marshals his fearsome army of Uruk Hai, in preparation for an attack
on the kingdom of Rohan. (2002)

- Other New Films This Week
Blood Work (15)
Chicago (12A)
Hey Arnold! The Movie (U)
Sweet Home Alabama (12A)
Take Care Of My Cat (PG)

- Listings
By Cinema: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/cinema/index.html
By Film: http://www.londonnet.co.uk/films/index.html



- Club Venues and Listings



- Thanks to a recent increase in our allocation we have tickets for almost
all upcoming performances. To enjoy big savings today, see:




London hotels have been a lot busier of late. The budget end particularly
seems to have recovered to occupancy levels not enjoyed since before
September 11th 2001. This means that the best bargains are still to be had
at the upper level.

Take our offer at the Lowndes Hotel, Knightsbridge. It's one of the best of
London's new breed of boutique hotels and with our exclusive offer of UKP120
for Deluxe Double Rooms it's now within the reach of many. The Lowndes
makes a great base for shopping trips as Harvey Nichols, Harrods and the
boutiques of Sloane Street are all close at hand.

Three of The Best
- Top three offers currently available to LondonNet readers:

The Ritz***** (Piccadilly)
- Even bigger savings on your favourite deluxe 5 star London hotel. More
than 40 per cent off selected rooms/dates exclusively for LondonNet readers.

Carlton Tower***** (Knightsbridge)
- Fantastic location and an intriguing variety of design and dining
facilities give this top London hotel something of an edge over many of its
rivals. Exclusive Harvey Nichols shopping offer.

The Hyde Hotel *** (Paddington)
- Comfortable three star hotel offering the best value ever on LondonNet:
Just 53UKP for a double room!

- London Hotel Chart
Top Sellers (28 November - 18 December 02)
1) Columbia hotel
2) Rubens
3) The Ritz


Travelling on a shoestring? We have got together with some of London's best
value accommodation providers to bring you a fine selection of Hostels, Bed
and Breakfasts and Student Halls. Prices start from around UKP10 per person
per night. Reservations can be made instantly using our secure booking

Budget Hostels:
Bed and Breakfasts:


New additions and highlights from our sister site Hotelgenie.com.


5. NEWS: Latest news from London

Stadium the Centrepiece of New Dome Plan
- UKP4 billion plan for entertainment venue, houses and shops
Historical Future For National Theatre
- Hytner directs Henry V



Sleeping Beauty Compie
- The compie for this week is for a family ticket (for 4 people and must
include at least 1 child and 1 adult) for the 2pm performance on Tuesday 31
December (see below for full programme details).

Programme Details:
- Sleeping Beauty @ The Young Vic, Waterloo tube
Rufus Norris' reworking of Perrault's 17th century classic marks the venue's
determination to program theatre for kids. The new director has laid
emphasis on unconscious fears and desires in his reworking of the well-loved
fairy tale. The story of a young girl doomed to sleep by a wicked fairy
until a handsome prince wakes her up appeals to adults and children alike.

More Info on Sleeping Beuaty and other Xmas shows:


Question: In which century did Perrault pen Sleeping Beauty?
Tip: Read the programme details above.

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to enter is send an email with the correct
answer and subject header "Sleeping Beauty Compie" to:
mailto:[email protected]

NB Include email, telephone number and postal address (which will only be
used for this compie-guaranteed). If you don't include your details we can't
send you info about the prize!

RULES and INFO: First correct answer out of the Editor's hat wins the prize,
details will be sent to the winner. The Editor's decision is final.
Closing Date: 23 December 2002


NEW! Competitions Page
- Details of some of the best free competition sites on the web. Register
today for your chance to win cash, cars and lots, lots more.


Issue 121, 28 November 2002
- English National Ballet - Mixed Bill - 9 - 11 Dec:
Winners: Gabby Stankoea, Tony Lee, Lorna Meakin, Julie Watson, Christie
Richardson, Michela Ramos, Kathryn Hughes, Elspeth Leach

Question: Who composed the music for the The Rite of Spring?
Answer: Stravinsky


7. AHOY! TALKBACK: Readers say their piece

Send mail to mailto:[email protected]
- The Editor reserves the right to amend your contributions for reasons
of elegance, space, legality and plain sheer bloodymindedness.
- We welcome your views on any subject, questions about your visit and of
course feedback about the newsletter or website.


Dear LondonNet,


My family lives in Paris and everytime I try to book cheap tickets, it
seems that they are not available. The cheapest tickets you book at least 14
days in advance are not available even if I book them a month in advance and
the same is valid for junior fares for my two sons aged 13 and 16. Now I
wonder, are they junior or not? How is it that you can't get the fare
whenever you book?

I forgot to mention that I work in a secondary school and like all people
working in education, I can only take my holidays during the school holidays
..... i.e. the most expensive fares.

The other thing I am very angry with: why do French people always pay at
least UKP20 cheaper for the same return ticket, (the same seat on the same
train) and why is it that they often have special offers ... much more often
than here.

I would love to get to the bottom of these questions and would appreciate it
if you could answer them.

Many thanks
Mrs Corinne Mulkis

Ed: Connie you've hit the nail on the head. Two sets of taxpayers get to
fund the project. One then gets to ride cheaper than the other. Smartest of
all are those non-French and British passengers who paid nothing to build
the thing (why should they) and now get the best deals. Wunderbar.
Bueno. Magnifico. Awesome.
LondonNet's Eurostar Campaign Page:


Dear LondonNet,

The classic assassination scenario: the innocent, maybe mind-controlled
patsy; real assassination team; tampering with the intended victim's
security; groundless, almost immediate blame (and if still alive, quick
arrest and dispatch) of said patsy; cover-up; and finally the massive
disinformation to the public via the clueless, controlled media.

An apparently sober Henri Paul got into the Mercedes S280; security had been
changed - one different unchecked car instead of the heavier 600-series
tinted glass Merc and the Range-Rover support vehicle they had been using
all day. Two days earlier Henri had had rigorous medical clearance for his
pilot license renewal - no alcohol or anti-depressants here. It was
12:20am. The journey should have been straight-forward: from the Ritz Hotel
to the Place de la Concorde junction with the Champs Elysees; turn right
into the latter and then simply straight on to Fayed's appartement near
L'Arc de Triomphe. Simple; he'd done it before: 10 minutes max, with
or without paparazzi.

Instead of turning right, Henri gunned the car straight across Place de la
Concorde and, jumping a red traffic-light, into the Cours de la Seine dual
carriageway, heading in exactly the opposite direction - away from - the
Fayed residence. Less than one minute later, the Mercedes braked hard,
scraped concrete on its right-hand side, veered sharply left and slammed
into the 13th pillar of the Pont d'Alma tunnel - built on an ancient site of
human sacrifice to the goddess Diana. It was 12:25am.

A French doctor and his "American buddy", who had been travelling in the
opposite direction in the tunnel, called the emergency services. It was
12:26am - 1 minute after the crash. Doctor and buddy attended to the two
still-live victims - Diana and bodyguard - with an oxygen cylinder and
mask - allegedly - while paparazzi took photographs. An ambulance crew
arrived. It was 12.45am - 20 minutes after the crash. As usual, Paris had
air-ambulances on stand-by but none was summoned. All police radio
communications were down from 12:20am to 12:45am. All seventeen (17) CCTV
cameras along the fateful route and in the tunnel were inoperational. The
crash site was not sealed.

Diana was moved by road-ambulance from the tunnel. It was 01:30am - 65
minutes after the crash. The ambulance under police escort headed for La
Pitie-Saltpetriere, 6km away, the 5th nearest hospital - capable of dealing
with such emergencies - to the crash scene. It took 40 minutes to arrive at
the hospital - that's an average speed of 4km/hour. It was 2:10am - one hour
and 45 minutes after the crash. Diana was not put on a life support system
but two surgeons - so they say - opened up her chest and massaged her heart.
She was officially pronounced dead at 4:38am - 4 hours and 13 minutes after
the crash.

Diana's autopsy showed death occurred at 12:45am - she had been killed in
the tunnel. Fayed had no post-mortem; the patsy did - his autopsy showed a
blood-alcohol level 2.5 times over the French drink-drive limit,
anti-depressant traces, and a level of carbon monoxide that would have
felled an ox; the bodyguard has no memory of the fateful journey and can not
explain how or why only his seat-belt had been on.

Diana was a loose cannon who could, quite easily, have brought down the
House of Windsor. She had to be killed.

Dave Bunford

Ed: Good attention to detail. Although my maths is a bit rusty Dave, I make
that speed to the hospital 9 km/h (approx 6 mph). That's the kind of urban
velocity London would die for right now. So maybe it's not so improbable
after all. More convincingly you draw attention to the medically
'interesting' autopsy of driver Henri Paul. The carbon monoxide level in
Paul's blood has always stood out as the biggest unanswered issue for me.

More theories:



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all upcoming performances. To enjoy big savings today, see:


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