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AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
27 February 2004, Issue 149

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LondonNet Homepage:

AHOY! Contents:
1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Offers, Attractions
2. LONDON DIARY: Sing Up for Britain
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide hotel deals
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: - Laughing Horse Comedy Club Compie
7. TALKBACK: Wilshire Comes to London
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1. WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet

- Laughing Horse Comedy Club Compie
Today's giveaway is for the Laughing Horse Comedy Club at The Watershed,
Wimbledon. The winner gets a VIP table for themselves and up to nine mates,
plus two cocktail pitchers and free entry into the nightclub. 5 runners-up
prizes of a pair of tickets each.
- Scroll down for competition details.




- The Gore (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 (12 - 25 February 04)
1) London Eye
2) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium
3) Tower Of London
4) The London Dungeon
5) Dali Universe



HOTELGENIE: Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.


- Sing Up for Britain


Welcome to the sixteen newcomers to Britain who passed the new citizenship
ceremony on Thursday.

They were an assortment of ex-Afghans, Poles and Somalis who drew a crowd
including Home Secretary David Blunkett and Prince Charles to the event.

Among the fairly simple tasks they had to complete, including promising to
uphold the British way of doing things, such as making tea with lots of
milk, was a rendition of our national anthem, God Save the Queen.

Early reports of the occasion are unclear as to whether they sang the
dirge-like song in an embarrassed mumble, schoolboy-style, or whether they
belted it out like the proud yeoman-types of the English Rugby team.

Given the momentousness of the event and the presence of the Queen’s son, I
would guess they did their best, but what of future ceremonies when Prince
Charles won’t be there to check?

One idea is to employ Pop Idol panellist Simon Cowell as Immigrant
Worthiness Judge in Chief. Those who fail his stringent standards would be
packed off to their countries of origin to assail the ears of their former
brethren, while those who pass would be welcomed onto Britain’s variety
circuit so they could sing for their supper as well as for their
David Clee (mailto:[email protected])




Theatre Review:
- Dinner, Wyndhams Theatre

Starring: Harriet Walter, Nicholas Farrell, Paul Kaye, Pennie Downie, Flora
Montgomery, Paul Sirr, Adrian Lukis

Moira Buffini’s Dinner has recently transferred from the Royal National
Theatre, giving Londoners a second chance to witness this wickedly vicious

Harriet Walter plays Paige, a hostess who has gone out of her way to prepare
a dinner party with a difference, in honour of her husband Lars’ book
release. Ever the perfect host, Paige has ensured that her mix of guests and
thoughtful menu will make for an evening to remember. With a microbiologist
at the table along with an artist and a ‘TV news babe’ the conversation
promises to be diverse, especially with the random addition of Mick, a
delivery guy who has crashed his van into the front gate. While Lars’
self-help book prompts lively debate amongst their guests, tension builds
between Paige and hubby helped along the way by the strange behaviour of a
silent waiter whose services have been hired for the evening.

As the courses become more bizarre with each serving, the tone of the play
adopts an increasingly sinister feel. The guests, who are all on the
receiving end of Paige’s acid-sharp tongue, are faced with the unpalatable
prospect of eating what sits before them and invariably temperatures begin
to rise. By the time dessert comes around, food has slipped off the agenda
and the last course becomes surprisingly indigestible.

An hour and half of devilish humour with Harriet Walter stealing the show as
she should. Penny Downie provides hilarious support, with Paul Kaye adding
another string to his comedic bow with his first venture onto the stage.
With three courses of bad language, dry humour and social taboos, Dinner may
well leave you feeling hungry for more.

Special Deals:
Jerry Springer - The Opera @ Cambridge Theatre

Jerry Springer recently joined other smash hit shows: 42nd Street, Miss
Saigon, Oklahoma!, CATS and The Phantom of the Opera when it won Best
Musical 2003. Come and see America's favourite talk show host suffer the
worst day of his career.
The Deal: UKP25 tickets for theatregoers aged 25 and under! Valid on tickets in the
Upper Circle (usually UKP35) for all performances to 8 January 2005.
Tickets must be purchased at least 7 days before the performance date. Proof
of age may be required.

- More offers:
Jumpers @ Piccadilly Theatre - All seats only UKP20
Secret Rapture @ Lyric Theatre - Best seats only UKP12.50

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (12 - 25 February 04)

1) The Lion King
2) Pirates of Penzance
3) Les Miserables
4) Bombay Dreams
5) Jerry Springer, The Opera

- 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 Review:
The Sugarhill Gang @ Ocean
Monday, 16 February 2004

I don't know if there will be a sadder show in London in 2004 than the
Sugarhill Gang's show at Ocean on Monday, 16 February.

The once-great rap act now lacks the vitality and charisma that had made
them interesting in the first place. They seemed tired as soon as they got
onstage, which is fair enough; it's been 25 years since their heyday, and it
shows. They only have two of the original three, and those two have had to
deal with gravity and hair loss. Their rhymes are marked by slow choppiness,
but then again, they never criss-crossed across beats like Nelly, Andre 3000
or Big Boi.

But that's one of the key things about the Sugarhill Gang: they aren't
nearly as good as the acts that came after them. Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Will
Smith and N.W.A. were all much more talented and were able to innovate rap
in ways that the monotonous Sugarhill Gang could never reach. And yet those
artists would never have been able to do it if not for the Sugarhill Gang.
Some say they put rap on the map; others will say that they made the map for
rap to be put on in the first place.

Thus, imagine the embarrassment at seeing them shout "Somebody scream!
Scream, London! London... England!" I'm glad they knew to address us as
London, England. I was almost afraid they'd think we were London, Kentucky.

Watching them huff and clap their way through Queen's We Will Rock You was
as painful as watching a former football legend not being able to walk.
These guys that had pioneered what now is the driving force of pop radio are
now caricatures of their former selves, having about as much beat as the
gangly white kids that come to see them. Their renditions of P-Diddy and DMX
are embarrassing to watch. They are in a bit of a Catch-22 in that they have
to acknowledge where hip-hop has gone and thus recognize that theirs is a
phase long gone, and yet they have nothing else to do. If not for Rapper's
Delight, why are you going to see Sugarhill Gang? The vocals are stiff and
rusty, the rhymes fall flat and the stage presence is nothing like the
passionate newcomers or the other acts of the early '80s. The godfathers of
rap are supposed to be tough dudes, not fat old guys reviving a
hit-and-a-half so they can make a buck. (Patrick Garvin)


- Gig Highlight:
The Streets, Brixton Academy

Fri 21st May 2004, UKP17.50


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

Top Sellers (12 - 25 February 04)
1. Jamie Cullum - Hammersmith Apollo
2. The Streets - Brixton Academy
3. Placebo, Brixton Academy
4. Powderfinger, Hammersmith Apollo
5. Pink, Wembley Arena



Classical and Dance

- Carmen, Savoy Theatre (3 July - 11 September 2004)
Bizet's great masterpiece bursts from start to finish with a score that is
amongst the best known in opera. Gypsies, soldiers, smugglers and toreadors
add colour and excitement to the story of the doomed love of Don Jose and
the fickle gypsy-girl, Carmen. The final juxtapostion of roaring crowds and
violent death is horrifyingly breathtaking.
Conducted by Stuart Stratford. Directed by Gale Edwards.

Top Sellers (12 - 25 February 04)
1. Carmen, ENO
2. Tosca, ENO
3. The Tempest, Royal Opera
4. Royal New Zealand Ballet
5. Arabella, Royal Opera
- Tickets:



- Special Feature
Starstruck in London:
- An American film fan goes to the BAFTAs

When you get down to it, I'm a simple person with simple delights. I like
London for all its history and culture and opportunities, but really, it's
the famous people that make me swoon. Bearing that in mind, London will give
you more opportunities to spot the rich and famous than, say, the Midwest,
which is where I'm from in the states, and the best chance you'll get to see
celebrities is the BAFTAs. It's an A-list buffet...(click below for Patrick
Garvin's full article)

Film Of The Week
- Along Came Polly (12A)

Comedy (2004) 90mins US
Director: John Hamburg
Starring: Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Debra
Along Came Polly stars Ben Stiller as Reuben Feffer, an anal retentive risk
analyst who lives his life according to careful plans. The film opens on his
honeymoon, when he catches his wife (Debra Messing of Will and Grace) having
sex with a scuba instructor. Returning to New York, he runs into Polly
(Jennifer Aniston), an acquaintance from childhood whose
fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants approach attracts and appals him. Their
strikingly different temperaments make for quirky exchanges and
disagreements, all witnessed by the aforementioned blind ferret. Maybe it's
that Stiller has rarely made a bad comedy, or maybe it's because he hasn't
gone the Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler silly face/stupid voice route, but
Stiller's characters are always, in some odd way, smart, albeit always
neurotic and quirky, too. He's the American darling of comedy, of a calibre
not seen for quite a while. (Patrick Garvin)

- Other New Films This Week
House Of Sand And Fog (15)
Infernal Affairs (15)
The Last Kiss (L'Ultimo Bacio) (15)
The Missing (15)
The Statement (12A)
Valentin (PG)

- 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...



Don't You Want Me Baby @ The Office
Review Date: 21 February 2004

Saturday's the night to really let loose. You've had Friday night to unwind
and all of Saturday to rest and catch your breath. Now, it's time to dress
up a little and rock out until Sunday morning.

Located in Soho, The Office is a perfect place for those who want to go to a
nice club and still hear some of the campier, kitschier songs from the past.
In other words, you can go to an 80s night without having to wear the
acid-washed jeans, the hairbands, legwarmers or denim jacket with your name
spelled out in crystals. Soho's sense of style and fashion is there, which
is why you can hear Kylie and Madonna at least twice per night.

While The Office attracts a hipper, better-dressed crowd than a lot of the
other '80s nights in London, the playlist is not as formal. It's
unapologetically all over the place, not sticking strictly to new wave and
post-punk. Mary J. Blige, The Happy Mondays, Soup Dragons, Madonna's Like A
Prayer and The Offspring were all played in the same half-hour span one
night. The randomness of song selection is key to any DJ's success and this
DJ's surprises were a hit among the clubbers. Furthermore, the night's
namesake (Don't You Want Me) was played and every single person knew
the words. The DJ played all the aforementioned necessities, and went above
and beyond with a-Ha, INXS, Depeche Mode and Bananarama. In fact, this DJ's
playlist redefines the essentials for an '80s night. You can't get enough,
just can't get enough.

- London Clubs Chart: Most Popular Venues
(Based on Page Visits on LondonNet, Top Sellers 12 - 25 February 04)
1) The Metro Club
2) Fabric
3) The End
4) Turnmills
5) The Cross

- 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. New even better exclusive
rates for 2004, with half price deals on selected suites.

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 (12 - 25 February 04)
1) Columbia
2) Commodore
3) The Ritz


Best Value Accommodation for 2004:

Bed and Breakfasts:
Budget Hostels:


New additions and highlights from our sister site


5. NEWS: Latest news from London

Chelsea Owner is the Richest Londoner
- Oil boss scores higher than property stalwart on Forbes' list
New Immigrants Made to Sing God Save the Queen
- First citizenship ceremony a 'memorable day' says Blunkett



- Laughing Horse Comedy Club Compie
Today's giveaway is for the Laughing Horse Comedy Club on 12th March 2004 at
The Watershed, Wimbledon. The winner gets a VIP table for themselves and up
to nine mates, plus two cocktail pitchers and free entry into the nightclub.
5 runners-up prizes of a pair of tickets each. The show runs every Friday
from 8pm to 10.30pm and features the best comedians on the London Circuit.

Venue and club info:


Question: What's the name of the horse named after our website?
Tip: See

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to enter is send an email with the correct
answer and subject header "Laughing Horse 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: 3 March 2004


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 148, 13 February 2004
Singapore Sling Compie
Helena Engstrand (London, NW2)


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,

I manage a Los Angeles-based pop-rock duo, Wilshire, whose album is out on
Columbia in the U.S. They will be supporting Seal on his European/U.K. tour
next month; dates detailed below, but London show is Apollo Hammersmith on
22 March.

Because the album is not yet available in the U.K. and this is the band's
first set of performances abroad, I'm reaching out to a handful of media
people who might be interested in reviewing the CD or seeing and/or
interviewing the band during the tour.

I'll happily send you (or anyone else) a package if you're interested; you
can also click the band's name above for more info.

Thanks very much for your time.

Simon Glickman (HITS/Our Thing Mgmt, Los Angeles)

REPLY: Thank you for your e-mail. We have an intern here from L.A., in fact,
and she's a fan. We'd be happy to receive a copy of Wilshire's CD and review
it in time for the London show, perhaps in connection with an interview with
the band. Let me know what you think. (Ed)
For more music details see:



HOTELGENIE: Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.

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