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AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
12 August 2004, Issue 161

LondonNet Homepage
LondonNet Homepage:

AHOY! Contents:
1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Offers, Attractions
2. LONDON DIARY: Dungeons and Dragons of the auction world
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema, Art
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide hotel deals
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: - Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy Competition
7. TALKBACK: Ashford Eurostar blues, Dazzling Diana
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Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.


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

- Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy Competition

This week we have a pair of tickets for the National Gallery's Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy exhibition.
- Click here for competition details.




- The Gore: Summer special: UKP139 double rooms (save UKP85.25)

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 regularly updated London Attractions page.
Top Sellers (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1) London Eye
2) Summer Opening of the Houses of Parliament Tour
3) Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
4) Royal Day Out: Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery & State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
5) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium


- Dungeons and Dragons of the auction world


A lot of middle-aged men in golf t-shirts like swords. Very expensive, very old swords, to be exact, and at Bonhams Antique Arms and Armour auction, this is what they come for.

An elaborate catalogue provides the strict history of some 542 lots of guns, swords, daggers, shields, and many other tools that can be used in inflicting injury, and buyers from all over the world come to admire and scrutinize them. Then, they pull out their trusty numbers and begin nodding at lump sums ranging from a few hundred quid, to some hundred thousand.

Buyers twitch and bite their lips as the numbers go up and up and up, and agents speaking with phone bidders read back the higher bids, listing the greater want of a couple Bronze Age swords. Yes, this is Dungeons and Dragons of the auction world, and the players are desperately accumulating their arsenal.

For those of us not weaponry-inclined, Bonhams also offers a number of public, fiscally reasonable and relatively interesting auctions, including rock and roll memorabilia, clocks and watches, and stamps. So if your collection needs a little support, London auctions are a niche-market way to bargain for antiquated things.
(Megan Retka)


David Clee is away




Theatre Review:

A Period Play for the Over Zealous
- Hampton Court Palace’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers hope for all the people who are way too involved in antiquity. No, really.

Afternoons at Hampton Court Palace are a time of slinging a parasol over your bustier, tucking up your knickers from your ankles, and glorying in the heat. Couple this with Shakespeare and a small herd of eager actors, and you have A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Directors/Producers Lara Muth & Jessica Bruster helped open the palace doors this summer to the unconventional Barn Unbound, a theatre partnership designed to plop viewers right inside the action. The string of watchers following the characters around the palace between scenes is license enough to show the idea as appealing, not to mention the sturdy, balanced cast.

Laura Martin-Simpson gives a sparkling performance of the impetuous Helena; Lysander quivers properly under the guide of Michael Castleton, and rows of perfectly manicured foliage blush in all the attention.

The Hampton Court Palace presentation is a must-see on a lazy summer afternoon, between getting lost in the maze and imagining yourself crowned and imperialised, with sunglasses and a large bottle of water, of course.
(Megan Retka)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hampton Court Palace
August weekends, 2004
1:00pm – 4:00

N.B. General Admission to Hampton Court Palace is all you need to view the performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (August 2004 weekends only, see above).

For Hampton Court Info and Tickets see:


Theatre Picks:

- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, London Palladium
Run: Bookings to March 2005
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you - and somebody up there must love us too, because now that magical car is on the London stage - sailing through seas, flying through the air at the London Palladium. Truly scrumptious, grandpa Potts, the dastardly Baron and the evil child catcher are out in full force for this extravaganza of wacky inventions. The Sherman brothers' songs made the film famous - now this high flying musical sets out for new heights.

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1) Phantom of the Opera
2) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
3) Les Miserables
4) The Lion King
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

- Gig Highlights:

Franz Ferdinand, Brixton Academy, London
Thu, 28th and Fri 29th October 2004, 7.00 PM, UKP15.00 + fees
Current darlings of the UK rock scene, and bloody good to boot, Franz Ferdinand are taking their catchy art-rock out to Brixton for these Autumn shows. Expect some fine renditions of tunes from their eponymously titled, Mercury Prize nominated debut album, plus some fantastic asymmetrical haircuts. In fact, super fantastische, as they might well say themselves.

Amy Winehouse, Brixton Academy, London
Fri, 19th Nov 2004, UKP17.50 + fees
One of the hottest new artists in Britain today, at only 19 years old with a timeless, emoting voice Amy is a vocal prodigy and already a great jazz-soul singer. Nominated for two Brit Awards for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best British Urban Act, she already has a sizable fan base won over by her sultry tones, which have been caressing the air waves for months. Her debut album Frank has had the critics falling over themselves to praise her as a new British vocal great.

Our Picks:

Lou Reed, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Tue, 17th August 2004, 7.00 PM, UKP30.00 + fees
The legendary NY art rocker formerly of Velvet Underground returns to London. With a solo repertoire including Walk On The Wild Side, Perfect Day, Satellite of Love and Sweet Jane this is set to be an aural treat. The tour follows the release of a new live album, Animal Serenade.

P.J.Harvey, Hammersmith Apollo
Wed, 15th September 2004, UKP25.00 + fees


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

Top Sellers (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1. Amy Winehouse, Brixton Academy
2. Razorlight, Brixton Academy
3. Snow Patrol, Brixton Academy
4. Avenged Sevenfold, The Mean Fiddler
5. Status Quo, Audley End House



Opera, Classical and Dance Tickets

- Andrea Bocelli, Wembley Arena, 7th Nov 2004
Andrea Bocelli's concerts are always the classical music events of any year. Seven UK hit albums (three certified platinum) in five years have confirmed Andrea Bocelli as not just the British public's favourite classical artist, but simply one of the British public's best loved vocalists. This concert is a rare opportunity for British music lovers to experience Bocelli's voice, in a programme that will feature the greatest Italian arias.

- Classic FM Live, Music from The Movies, Kenwood House
Sat, 21st August , UKP17.00 + fees
Classic FM has selected a stunning programme celebrating great movie themes. Presented by Classic FM DJ Simon Bates, highlights will include themes from classics such as Star Wars and Goldfinger and the latest blockbusters including Titanic, Lord of the Rings and Gladiator.


Top Sellers (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1. Classic FM Live – Music from The Movies, Kenwood House
2. Andrea Bocelli, London, Wembley Arena
3. Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Sadler's Wells
4. Cinderella, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House
5. La Boheme, Glyndebourne Touring [email protected] Wimbledon Theatre
- Tickets:



- Film Of The Week
The Bourne Supremacy (12A)

Thriller (2004) 108mins US
Director: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Matt Damon, Brian Cox, Joan Allen
Matt Damon carries on his stern amnesiac-face and international hero functions as Jason Bourne, who is back for revenge after being ousted from hiding after someone shows up in his quiet tropical village. Bourne is then thrown back into a global conspiracy with numerous killings, double agents and lots of exotic European locations, but finishing a life-long career of secret missions is a sticky, memory-inducing task.

- Other New Films This Week
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na (Look What's Happened Now!)
The Magic Gloves (Los Guantes Magicos) (NC)
Memories Of Murder (15)
Mirror (U)
My Architect (PG)
A Tale Of Two Sisters (15)
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (PG)

Special Previews (Limited screenings - check carefully)
Love Me If You Dare (Jeux D'Enfants) (15)
Merci Docteur Rey (15)
The Village (12A)

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



House to Home: LondonNet's Megan Retka looks at an exhibition in Westminster Hall, (Houses of Parliament) aimed at bringing Parliament and people together.

A Brush with Brent: Megan Retka reviews a new Art education programme aimed at young talent.

Royal Academy of Arts: Ancient art to post-impressionism, Fifa 100 Exhibition, Summer Exhibition, Tamara de Lempika, William Nicholson


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



- Buy your London Club tickets online
To purchase tickets for a selection of leading London Club venues try our new online service. You'll have the peace of mind of knowing you've got your tickets and at most venues you'll be able to jump the ticket queue. Venues featured include:
- Fabric
- The End
- Borderline
- The Cross

- London Clubs Chart: Most Popular Venues
Based on Page Visits on LondonNet (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1) Fabric
2) Metro Club
3) Neighbourhood
4) The End
5) Vibe Bar

- Club Venues and Listings
- Club Tickets:




Melia White House
**** (Regents Park)
- Special Offer: Double rooms from 99 UKP

High levels of facilities, including a health and fitness centre, and service coupled with a fine restaurant and handy central location make for an excellent choice of London hotel.

Set next to Regent's Park (the one that contains London Zoo), the White House is within walking distance of Oxford Street and the British Museum. Via the nearby Great Portland Street underground station, the rest of London's attractions are within easy reach.

Rooms feature a long list of facilities including satellite TV, radio, voice-mail, hair-dryer, tea/coffee making equipment, mini-bar and trouser press. No smoking rooms are available on a special floor and the outstanding Royal Service Floor at the top of the hotel provides penthouse accommodation plus a host of executive add-ons.

- 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)
- The Gore: Summer special: UKP139 double rooms (save UKP85.25)

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 (30 July - 12 August 2004)
1) Columbia
2) Hazlitts
3) Coltsfoot


Best Value Accommodation for 2004:

Bed and Breakfasts:
Budget Hostels:


New additions and highlights from our sister site

The Burj Al Arab, Dubai:
Burj Al Arab is the world's only seven-star hotel and any reservations you
may have about such a title will be quickly dispelled by the sheer
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attentive levels of customer care and experience. has secured exclusive discounts to bring this incredible
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5. NEWS: Latest news from London

Ken Goes West With C-Charge
- Survey findings over-ridden by Mayor (more...)
The Big Tent is Born Again
- Friday’s big-tent calypso revival sanctifies Notting Hill Carnival with
rhythm and rhyme



- Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy Competition
This week we have a pair of tickets for the National Gallery's Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy exhibition.
- Scroll down for competition details.


- Russian Landscape in the Age of Tolstoy Info:

During the course of the 19th century, landscape came to play a unique role
in Russian folk consciousness, featuring heavily in the country’s
literature, mythology and visual art. The emptiness of the vast reaches, the
rigours of its climate, the difficulties of transportation, and the intense
isolation of the long winter months, contributed to a specifically Russian
sense of nature, different from - perhaps more fatalistic than - that found
in the west.

At this time most Russians, including landowners, peasants and serfs, lived
on the land. Even aristocrats returned to their country estates for part of
the year, to reconnect with the land and its people. By the 1860s landscape
came to be imbued with political, moral and social meanings. The exhibition
features work by Venetsianov, Shishkin, Levitan and Kuindzhi, showing
lakeside and forest vistas, awe-inspiring depictions of the endless Russian
horizon, and the hard struggle of peasant life in both summer and winter.
The exhibition is organised in collaboration with the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands.
More info and Tickets:

Question: Name the Dutch museum that has collaborated with this National Gallery exhibition.?

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to enter is send an email with the correct
answer and subject header "Russian Landscape Competition" 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 answers out of the Editor's hat win the prizes,
details will be sent to the winner. The Editor's decision is final.
Closing Date: 17 August 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 160, 30 July 2004
Open Air Theatre Competition
Question: Who direct's this production of Henry IV Part I?
Answer: Alan Strachan
Winners: David Mills (London, SE1)


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,

Hello. I am a very regular Eurostar traveller/commuter between Ashford and Paris. I agree that Eurostar's prices are really expensive, especially so when you travel often like me because there is no discount, no travel card or anything for the 'budget' commuter which I am. I have often written to Eurostar about this, saying that their fares offered no flexibility to regular budget users, even though we are their 'bread and butter' customers in the winter months... Their answers have all been elusive and useless. I have just noticed something else: it seems that a train (14.59 from Ashford to Paris) no longer stops at Ashford from September onward, even though it always used to. I used that train quite often. So now there is no train stopping at Ashford between 12.59 and 17.59, except on Fridays. The reason? no idea. Perhaps they consider it is not worth stopping to take 30 or 40 passengers... But what about the notion of service? and why have so few trains stop at Ashford, which takes all of five minutes? It also seems like a real waste of resources, considering the investment of public money at Ashford international terminal. Is it to turn into a ghost station? If you can get any info on this, I'd be interested.

Many thanks

Anemone Kober-Smith.

REPLY: So it's not just London customers who have the hump. (Ed).
Eurostar feature from our archive:


Dear LondonNet,

I think that the Queen of UK was behind the murder of Diana. Perhaps it is a
taboo to say so. I think that a story would have been like this:

Diana and her 'new husband (Dodi)' would be a threat for UK and for the
royal house, because Dodi was a Muslim. It wasn't a good idea that Di's husband
was a Muslim. It wasn't suitable for UK and the royal house!

So the Queen decided to give an order to security service to murder Diana.
But MI6 didn't murder Diana, it was the special forces of France, who murdered
Diana. I think that MI6 was only a messenger, who took this message for the
special force of France!

The evidence:

One big evidence from television document: The driver of car, who drove in
the front of Di's and Dodi's car said that he saw a big flash behind him before
the crash. When this was examined, the makers of document got to know that
it was bigger flash that any camera could have. When they done researches they
got to know that for example the special forces of France use a dazzling
light. That kind of flash-light is not available on the free market, so
Paparazzis couldn't have it. That kind of light have been used in this case
to dazzle the driver of the crash-car!

Best wishes

Sam, Finland

REPLY: Dazzling insight Sam, thanks. (Ed).
Diana - The Conspiracy Theories, from our archive:



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