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AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
25 September 2003, Issue 139

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LondonNet Homepage:

AHOY! Contents:
1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Offers, Attractions
2. LONDON DIARY: Blaine versus McGowan
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide hotel deals
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: Pair of tickets for RV2 restaurant launch and celebrity charity night
7. TALKBACK: Tower Bridge Weddings
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1. WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet

- RV2 restaurant launch Compie
We're giving away a pair of tickets for the RV2 restaurant launch and celebrity charity auction night on behalf of MediCinema.
- Scroll down for competition details.



COMEDY: Uncanned Carrott @ Millennium Mayfair Hotel
- An Audience with Jasper Carrott, 18th Dec 2003
Package includes:
• Champagne Reception
• 3 Course Dinner
• Bottle of wine per person
• Coffee and Chocolates
• After dinner entertainment from Jasper Carrott
• UKP139 per person

THEATRE: Special Deals
Wait Until Dark @ The Garrick Theatre, Best available seats only UKP17.50
Betrayal @ The Duchess Theatre, Best available seats only UKP22.50
Cyberjam @ The Queens Theatre, £10 off Top Price tickets

MUSIC: PAVAROTTI RETURNS, Last few tickets available
Date: October 7th 2003, Royal Albert Hall, London
The big man of opera returns to London to play the Royal Albert Hall for what could be the final time before his rumoured retirement.For more info and to book tickets for Pavarotti, click below:


- The Gore (Luxury, Hotel of the Year 2001) UKP129 double rooms (save UKP61)

Bed and Breakfast:
- Hyde from only UKP17 per person per night

- Generator from UKP9 per person per night

- Free updates of all available rooms or tenants in your area


- For the latest information and tickets for a wide range of London's premier attractions see our reqularly updated London Attractions page.
Top Sellers (11-24 September 03)
1) London Eye
2) Coronation Package: Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery & State Rooms
3) Summer Opening of the Houses of Parliament Tour
4) Tower Of London
5) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium

BUCKINGHAM PALACE TOURS (last tour 28 September 2003)
Coronation Package: Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery & State Rooms



HOTELGENIE: Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.


- Blaine versus McGowan


Who’d win a performance/endurance face off between David Blaine and Mark McGowan, do you think?

For those of you as yet unacquainted with McGowan’s work, let me offer a quick resume. In the last year or so he has walked backwards for 11 miles with a 27 pound turkey stuck on his head (to highlight the problem of obesity), rolled on a pavement for four miles (to highlight impoliteness towards cleaners) and pushed a peanut seven miles to Downing Street (to highlight the cuts in students’ finances, including his own). For his next trick, McGowan is to bathe for two weeks in baked beans with chips placed in each nostril and sausages on his head. This time the object of his artistic charity is the traditional English cafe.

Blaine, meanwhile, is currently ensconsed in a Perspex box hanging from a crane near Tower Bridge. Before that he was to be found standing on a pole in New York City for umpteen days and before that sitting in a block of ice for umpteen more.

Them’s the bare facts, to which we can attach a basic scoring system. Something like this (all marks out of ten):

- Endurance
Blaine 5. Arrived at as the midpoint between 10 or 0, depending on whether you believe there is or is not cheating involved.
McGowan: 10. Baked beans smell bad after a while.

- Exercise quotient
Blaine 0. All his stunts seem to involve as little movement as possible.
McGowan 10. Crawling on the ground is probably good for your back.

- Value for Money
Blaine 0. He’s going to pull in millions for the Perspex effort.
McGowan 10. Tin of beans - approximately 29p if the supermarket is running a special offer, one peanut - probably less than 1p.

- Cult Status
Blaine 0. His thing is shown live on Sky, for goodness sake.
McGowan 10. Based in down at heel, though coolly artistic, Camberwell.

This totals out with McGowan on a healthy 40 points and Blaine on a miserable five. Pretty conclusive, it has to be said. What that scientific investigation shows in stark figures, we already sense through intuition, of course. Blaine is like the kid at school who would eat insects to get attention while McGowan was the one at the back making the sarcastic comments you wished you’d thought up. Put it this way – if Blaine had half the wit of McGowan, you can bet no-one would want to chuck eggs at him.

David Clee (mailto:[email protected])

Further info on Mark McGowan:
His Art School Homepage:
McGowan Sends Pensioner into Space:





Up and Coming
Anything Goes with lyrics by Cole Porter (opens 7/10/03)
Trevor Nunn's Olivier award-winning production of PG Wodehouse's Anything Goes comes to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane from October.

Wait Until Dark @ The Garrick Theatre, Best available seats only UKP17.50!
In a basement flat in Notting Hill, Susy (Saskia Wickham), who is blind, is alone while her husband is away on business. Three con-men led by the mysterious Roat (Peter Bowles) break in to retrieve a doll containing heroin which her husband (Robert Fitch) has unwittingly brought through customs. A classic thriller with a nail-biting climax...
- Best available tickets for only UKP17.50 (+ NO payment processing fee)! Offer valid on all performances to 25 October 2003, excluding Saturday evenings.

THEATRE: Special Deals
Betrayal @ The Duchess Theatre, Best available seats only UKP22.50!
Emma has had a 7 year affair with Jerry, her husband's best friend and best man. But it's over now. Beginning at the end of the affair, each scene of Harold Pinter's compelling masterpiece moves back in time to the fateful moment when the infidelity begins...
- Best available tickets for only UKP22.50 (+ NO payment processing fee)! Offer valid on Monday-Thursday evening performances and both matinees to 18 October 2003.
Cyberjam @ The Queens Theatre, £10 off Top Price tickets!

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (11-24 September 03)
1) Phantom of the Opera
2) Les Miserables
3) Fame
4) Mamma Mia!
5) Chicago

- 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

- Johnny R. Cash, 1932 - 2003

As you will no doubt be aware by now, the Man In Black died on Friday 12 September.

Although I had been aware of Johnny Cash's music since hearing A Boy Named Sue as a kid, my Cash conversion really began with a road trip to Texas back in 1994. Armed with a very basic country compilation album my companion and I pretty much wore out the two Johnny Cash songs on the tape (I Walk The Line and Ring Of Fire).

On returning to the U.K. I set about acquiring just about any Cash music I could get my hands on. 10 years and 30 or so albums later I'm still collecting. From the early Sun days under the watchful eye of Sam Phillips through the pill-fuelled stardom of the 60s, prison recordings of the 70s and finally onto the glory-recaptured era of the Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series, Johnny's music never failed to move my soul. I was lucky enough to see the wily old goat's last London gig at the Royal Albert Hall on 25 April 1997. Front row seats for my hero. Few moments in my life eclipse that.

I spent the summer of '97 scouting the Johnny Cash trail. From the dirtlands of Johnny's birthplace in Kingsland, Arkansas through to Sun Records in Memphis and on to Nashville sniffing out the man's life and heritage. Ending up in Hendersonville, Tennessee just outside of Nashville we came to the end of the line. We had heard about a museum devoted to all things Johnny, The House of Cash, but all we found was a wooden chapel-like building, boarded up and all closed down. A victim to Johnny's dip in fortunes in the 80s no doubt.

Asking around we finally got some directions to his house - a beautiful villa overlooking a gorgeous forest lined lake. Any thoughts we had of meeting the man were quickly disposed of though thanks to a helpful sign advising that 'Trespassers Will Be Shot'. Nevertheless we had reached our journey's end and I find it heart warming to know that Johnny (and his adored wife June Carter Cash who died in May) ended his days in such a fine place, surrounded by the glory and peace of Tennessee's stunning natural backdrop.

That's my personal Johnny Cash story. Reading the many obituaries written over the past fortnight I see that many others have their's too. Johnny leaves a rich catalogue filled to the brim with gritty tales of pain, suffering and hope. No other artist has had such a profound effect on my life. Adios.

Peter D. Clee (mailto:[email protected])
(P.S. Joe Strummer, Nina Simone, Sam Phillips and now Johnny Cash. The past year has sure taken its toll on musical legends, let's hope that's it for now).
From Our Archive: Johnny Cash @ the Royal Albert Hall, 25 April 1997

- The Strokes
Tickets on sale from 9.15am Friday 26 September. Check our tickets page for details (from 9.15am, 26/9/03).

- Suede, Brixton Academy
Fri, 12th December 2003, 7.00 PM , Tickets UKP18.50 + Fees
The return of a British institution as the ever interesting Brett Anderson and Suede head out into the live arena once more for a mini-tour in support of their new greatest hits package.

- DMX, Stratford Rex
Fri, 3rd October 2003
Hardcore rap from the master...

Gig Listings
Our list of forthcoming London gigs. Plan your gigging and book your tickets

Top Sellers (11-24 September 03)
1) DMX, London
2) Bob Dylan, London (sold out)
3) Suede, London
4) Iron Maiden, London
5) Quannum Projects, London



- The Nutcracker
This year London sees two productions of the classic fairytale take place over the Christmas season. Matthew Bourne's interpretation will be showing at Sadlers Wells entitled Nutcracker! Meanwhile the English National Ballet will be performing a more traditional version of the classic at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith.

Top Sellers (11-24 September 03)
1. Nutcracker!
2. Madama Butterfly
3. Pavarotti, London
4. Don Giovanni
5. La Bayadere, Royal Ballet
- Tickets:



- Film Of The Week
Matchstick Men (12A)
Thriller (2003) 116mins US
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman
Con artist Roy and his protege and right-hand man Frank are poised to pull off the biggest and most lucrative heist of their careers when Roy's teenage daughter Angela arrives, throwing their carefully ordered plans into chaos. As their intended target, Frechette, begins to slip through their fingers, Roy and Frank battle against the odds to complete the swindle, while Roy seeks counselling for his multitude of phobias from friendly psychiatrist Dr Klein.

- Other New Films This Week
Bad Boys II (15)
Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary (PG)
Gigli (15)
Ned Kelly (15)
Once Upon A Time In Mexico (15)
Young Adam (18)

- Listings
A to Z of London Cinemas:
A to Z of Films showing in London this week:


Best way to soak up the sights of the city as you wine and dine
- Cruises on the Thames...



- Club Venues and Listings




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

The Ritz***** (Piccadilly)
- Style, sophistication and old-fashioned levels of genuine service come together at one of the world's legendary hotels. Great rates currently available.

The Gore**** (Knightsbridge)
- Doubles now from only UKP 129 incl. VAT.

The Hyde Hotel *** (Paddington)
- Comfortable three star hotel offering the best value ever on LondonNet:
Just 55UKP for a double room!

- London Hotel Chart
Top Sellers (11-24 September 03)
1) Columbia
2) Swissotel London The Howard
3) Carlton Towers
4) La Reserve
5) The Gore


Best Value Accommodation for 2003:

Bed and Breakfasts:
Budget Hostels:


New additions and highlights from our sister site


5. NEWS: Latest news from London

Boob Aerobics Bounce Into London
- 'Must improve my bust' for the work-out age
New York Action for London Cabs
- Bronxville follows Chicago by importing famous taxis



- A pair of tickets for RV2 restaurant launch and celebrity charity night

RV2 situated on the corner of Shaftsbury Avenue and Dean Street opens its doors on the 21st October 2003 to support MediCinema – a charity that builds cinemas in hospitals – with a celebrity charity auction.

RV2 offers a completely new perspective on dining – the restaurant is a sophisticated and stylish twist on traditional South Indian food delivering authentic flavours fused with modern European ingredients.

Invited celebrity patrons include Ben Elton, Cathy Tyson, Heather Mills, Helen Mirren, Mariella Frostrup, Patsy Kensit, Jeremy Irons and celebrity guests include Graham Norton, Jimmi Mistry, Holly Valance, Davina McCall, Denise Van Outen and Meera Syal.

The event commences at 7:30pm with a champagne and cocktail reception where guests can sample RV2’s contemporary food. At 8:30pm the auction will be commence, hosted by the glamorous face of Auction World TV, Liz Fuller. With the bidding fast and furious, guests will be given the opportunity to bid for fantastic film related lots.

Guests will then have a chance to explore and discover some amazing features of this minimalist and stylish restaurant, featuring natural dark timbers, fibre optic lighting and the “Bubble Tank” bar which floats in the middle of the room with a huge water-wall cascading down the upstairs dining area.

The party wraps at 11:30pm with an exclusive goody-bag for the winners.


Question: Meera Syal plays the grandmother in which BBC2 chat show comedy?
Tip: They live at Number 42.

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to enter is send an email with the correct answer and subject header "RV2 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: 2 October 2003


LondonNet 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 138, 11 September 2003
Watershed Competition:
Question: What is the capital of South Africa?
Answer: Pretoria
1st Prize: Elke Starr (London, NW3)
Runners-up: Athina Papachrysostomou (London W2 ), Mike Stephen (London E3), Cassie Fitzsimmons (London SW9), Jags Virdi (Middx UB7), Neil Clarke (Sussex RH12)


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,

Subject: Tower Bridge Weddings

I have heard and I understand you did an article on this not long ago, that
Tower Bridge has recently been given licence as a wedding venue. Do you know
where I can find out more information?

Many thanks

Glenys Harral

REPLY:I've pasted the article you refer to below. I guess you'll have to contact
Tower Bridge itself for more details. Good luck with the arrangements. By
the way, I make a good wedding guest. (Ed)

Tower Bridge to Host Weddings
- Newly weds can hold reception on famous walkway

TOWER BRIDGE is to become a wedding venue after the management of the famous
London landmark received permission to conduct marriage ceremonies.

"Getting a wedding licence is one way in which we can increase our revenue,"
said a spokesperson for London Bridge, clearly taken with the romance of the

For upwards of UKP3,200 couples will be able to hold their receptions on the
walkway between the bridge's two towers after exchanging vows and tying the
legal knot in the Bridge Master's Dining Room.

On a clear day Bridge newly weds will be able to wave to London Eye newly
weds down the river, should they choose to do so.



HOTELGENIE: Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.

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