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AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
10 September 2004, Issue 163

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LondonNet Homepage:

AHOY! Contents:
1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Offers, Attractions
2. LONDON DIARY: Gravity is Green
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema, Art
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide hotel deals
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: - Lisa Torun Dance Competition
7. TALKBACK: Stuck Inside of Ashford with the Eurostar Blues Again
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1. WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet

- Lisa Torun Dance Competition

2 pairs of tickets to see Synchrona by Lisa Torun Dance Company at the Linbury Studio Theatre on Saturday 11 September.
- 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 (26 August - 9 September 2004)
1) London Eye
2) Summer Opening of the Houses of Parliament Tour
3) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium
4) Royal Day Out: Royal Mews, Queen's Gallery & State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
5) Summer Opening of the State Rooms, Buckingham Palace


2. LONDON DIARY by David Clee
- Gravity is Green


Like so many of you, I’ve spent a lot of my recent time exploring the idea of taking up flat green bowls.

There has always been something about it that has attracted me, but a shameless ageism has so far prevented me from following through with my interest.

That hasn’t stopped me wandering around plenty of London’s lawns, trying to work out what it is that makes the game so fascinating. I’m here to tell you that, finally, I think I’ve got it: weight.

Most sports reward attributes like lightning-speed, supple-strength and the ability to take cold showers alongside lots of other people. In all those things, heaviness, solid mass and big bellies are an anathema.

Not so in bowls, where the idea is slowly to roll a ball as near as possible to another ball in as elegant an arc as the laws of physics allow. Rather than defy gravity in the futile, teen-show-off manner of players of other sports, bowls practitioners revel in gravity and become its loyal friend. “Not such a bad idea when they’ll find themselves six feet under soon enough,” say the cruel of heart, but you’ll all be as old as me one day. (David Clee)
Bowls Info:




- Theatre Picks:
Bat Boy the Musical, Shaftesbury Theatre
- The New Blood-Drinking Teenage Hearthrob

With his beady eyes, elfish ears and extended canines, this could be the
next cult craze of West End theatre.

Bat Boy the Musical, recently transferred from Yorkshire, will do a temporary season at the Shaftesbury Theatre until October 30th, with the possibility of an extension if it's

A mid-90s Weekly World News article claiming a boy who looked like a bat had been found in a West Virginia cave inspired authors Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming to write, of all things, a musical. Nearly a decade later, with its haunting glam-rock ballads and grisly charm, it somehow worked. The piece has a winning ability to make one laugh and wince
at the same time and there's flashy multi-media footage projected across the set throughout.

The story takes us from Bat Boy's discovery to his subsequent adoption into an honest, hard-working West Virginian family, his strange appetite for dead animals and his tendency to erupt in little fits of rage. As the local cattle begin to die off, the town gathers together to pour the blame on the guy who drinks blood.

Aside from the fact that much of the cast stretches and wobbles to pull-off a West Virginian accent, the production is surprisingly believable: Laurence O'Keefe's music is annoyingly hummable, the set design is refreshingly modern and minimal for its backwater-America setting, and Bat Boy (Deven May) flails, squeaks and wins the hearts of ugly duckling teenage girls everywhere. (Megan Retka).

A must-see for those terrorised by their awkward youth.

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (26 August - 9 September 2004)

1) Phantom of the Opera
2) Chicago
3) Les Miserables
4) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
5) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

- 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:

The Pogues, Brixton Academy, London
Mon 20th and Tues 21st December 2004, 7:30pm, UKP26.50 + fees
This tour is billed as the last opportunity to see the original line-up live. If so, it's a gig you really shouldn't want to miss. The Pogues, formed in 1982, mixed a combustable blend of punk and folk and became one of the biggest bands of the decade. And they've always been at their best live, be it an outdoor festival or an indoor pogo-ing palace such as the Academy. The sheer energy of Fiesta and Sally MacLennane lift the crowd up, ready to be spat out in time for a fit of despair as manic switches to maudlin and the band play The Old Main Drag and Auld Triangle.

This rollercoaster ride is but a taste of the of ups and downs of troubled songwriter and frontman Shane MacGowan's life. But in battling his own personal demons, MacGowan has crafted a weighty and lasting body of work in a career that spans The Pogues, The Popes and solo spells. He's even managed to excel in the one arena where most other songwriter greats fail. Yes, Shane was behind one of the few truly great Christmas records, his duet with Kirsty MacColl, Fairy Tale of New York, which will no doubt get an airing at this festively timed Brixton bash. It is hard to think of a band more associated with London than the Pogues this side of The Clash. Rainy Night In Soho comes close to being my top capital song, while I happen to know my brother David rates Lullaby of London as his. And what London lad hasn't courted with a bounce in his step thanks to The Pogue's London Girl?

So treat yourself to a great pre-Christmas cracker and come join me and some other punk pogo-ing Pogue nutters down at the Academy, this December. (Peter D. Clee)

Our Picks:
P.J.Harvey, Hammersmith Apollo

Wed, 15th September 2004, 7pm, UKP25.00 + fees
Polly Jean tries to win back a slew of faltering Gen X fans with the tour of her May 2004 release, Uh Huh Her. Her London shows in July proved a pleasing example of Polly’s ever-changing musical edifice, with her famous waiflike appearance now mirroring the darker tint of the new album. Fans, who waded through the proper Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, are lapping up the return of her gloomy charm.

The Yardbirds
Rose Room, Twickenham Stadium
Friday, November 5th
UKP17.50 + fees
The 2003 release of Birdland resurrected The Yardbird’s from their frozen-coffin of sixties rock. The 35 year gap in albums created a rash of media hype, and still-living fans have given their album and the tour loads of attention, if not just to say, “They’re still alive?” The golden age of rock is back.


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

Top Sellers (26 August - 9 September 2004)
1. Zero 7, Hammersmith Apollo
2. PJ Harvey, Hammersmith Apollo
3. The Pogues, Brixton Academy
4. Razorlight, Brixton Academy
5. The Wonderstuff, The Astoria



Opera, Classical and Dance Tickets

Review: Prom 68
Monday 6th September, 2004
Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmoniker made their second appearance at this year's Proms with a program full of contrast. Opening with Debussy’s “La Mer”, the orchestra lulled the audience into an impressionistic state, with swirls of harp and strings snuck in between leaping cellos and brassy rasps depicting the ever-changing mood of the sea. In tune with Debussy’s love of echoing nature through his musical creations, Messiaen’s Éclairs sur l'Au-delà followed suit, focusing on his love of birdsong. Paired with strong references to his Catholic faith, this stark work ensued with the orchestra splintering into sections, mimicking blackbirds, lyrebirds and larks. The audience packed into the Royal Albert Hall spilling all the way into the gallery in what will be the final week of the festival. The Proms culminates on Saturday 11th September with the usual last night celebrations and outdoor concerts throughout the UK. (Helenka Bednar).

- Cinderella, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House
2nd Dec 2004 - 14th Jan 2005
If you're planning a Christmas treat you could do far worse than witness the return of Cinderella, in this lavish new production from last Season. A downtrodden young girl, a glass slipper and a handsome prince combine to make the perfect piece of story-telling, and with a fairy godmother around, anything can happen: pumpkins become coaches, rags turn to ball gowns and there's bound to be a happy ending. Ashton's first full-length ballet, given its premiere in 1948 to great acclaim, draws together a wealth of 39 beautifully drawn characters, portrayed against the wonderfully evocative themes and colours of Prokofiev's great score.

- Andrea Bocelli, Wembley Arena, 7th Nov 2004


Top Sellers (26 August - 9 September 2004)
1. Andrea Bocelli, London, Wembley Arena
2. The Nutcracker, ENB, The Coliseum
3. Requiem - Requiem - A Wedding Bouquet - Les Noces, Royal Ballet
4. Cinderella, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House
5. Matthew Bourne's Swan [email protected]'s Wells
- Tickets:



- Film Of The Week
Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (12A)

Comedy (2004) 94mins US
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd
Anchorman Ron Burgundy(Will Ferrell) is a legend in himself: San Diego's most beloved newsman, respected by his news team and wanted by all women. Yet, when determined newswoman Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is hired to diversify the newsroom, Burgundy and his news team begin a battle not only for the news desk, but for the future of San Diego's news.
Full review:

- Other New Films This Week
Carmen (15)
Dil Ne Jise Apna Kahaa
Envy (12A)
The Isle (18)
Open Water (15)
Super Size Me (12A)
Wicker Park (12A)

Special Previews (Limited screenings - check carefully)
Collateral (15)
Ae Fond Kiss... (15)

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



- Al Murray - Hammersmith Apollo
20th Sep 2004, UKP15.00-25.00 + fees
Fresh out of ITV1’s prime-time reality TV show Hell’s Kitchen, award-winning comedian Al Murray returns to London for a one-off night at the Carling Apollo, Hammersmith, with Giving It Both Barrels, his most successful show to date. Giving It Both Barrels follows Al's acclaimed sell-out first national tour, Who Dares Wines? The tour builds on the success of this and other previous live shows, My Gaff, My Rules and …And A Glass Of White Wine For The Lady! which picked up a prestigious double Olivier Award nomination and a Perrier Award.

- The Comedy Store, London
London's most popular comedy club has been splitting sides for twenty two years now. The likes of Paul Merton, Jack Dee and Jo Brand have all taken to the stage here. For info and tickets see:



Driven - Photography by Jason Taylor
3 – 19 September, 2004
Spitz Gallery, 109 Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6BG
020 7247 9747, Free
Documenting India’s AIDs epidemic through the transient lives of Northern Indian truck drivers, this exhibit wields a moody and vibrant vision of men working to carve out their lives on the road. Taylor’s ruddy portraits are bolstered by a multimedia presentation, which overlays images with inventive Shiva-Soundsystem beats.

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 (26 August - 9 September 2004)
1) Fabric
2) The End
3) Metro Club
4) The Cross
5) Bar Rumba

- 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 (26 August - 9 September 2004)
1) Columbia
2) Melia White House
3) The Ritz


Best Value Accommodation for 2004:

Bed and Breakfasts:
Budget Hostels:


New additions and highlights from our sister site

The Burj Al Arab, Dubai:
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5. NEWS: Latest news from London

London to Get Love Hotels
- Shoreditch the first site for Yo! group experiment
Ready, Steady, Eat
- Celebrity cooks join top restaurants for Taste of London festival



- Lisa Torun Dance Competition
2 pairs of tickets to see Synchrona by Lisa Torun Dance Company at the Linbury Studio Theatre at 8pm on Saturday 11 September. Tickets must be collected by 7.30pm from the Royal Opera House Box office. No refunds or exchanges. Tickets for 11 September only.
Please note as we have to allocate the tickets asap the deadline for entries is 3pm today (10 Sep 2004).
- Scroll down for competition details.


- Synchrona and Lisa Torun Dance Company Info:
Lisa Torun Dance Company is performing Synchrona at the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House on 10 and 11 September. The performance starts at 8.00pm. Box Office 020 7304 4000.

Synchrona is a full-length work for four dancers, Lisa and three male dancers. They all lack the means to express themselves without the use and abuse of another body, a tale of pride and emotional manipulation. By flirting and playing, sometimes violently, sometimes sensually, they take turns in manoeuvring and being manoeuvred in a synchronised struggle. Synchrona starts with a 5-minute film made by acclaimed video artist Derek Nisbet, who specialises in creating audio-visual works for unusual spaces and situations.
More info and Tickets:

Question: Name the video artist responsible for the 5-minute film that opens this production of Synchrona (Tip: see above)?

HOW TO ENTER: Send an email with the correct answer and subject header "Lisa Torun Dance 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: 3pm: 10 September 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 162, 26 August 2004
Bat Boy The Musical Competition
Question: From which northern theatre has Bat Boy just transferred (Tip: see above)?
Answer: West Yorkshire Playhouse
Winner: Trevor Smith (London)


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 am a regular user of Eurostar services (actually, a weekly commuter during most of the year!) but there are no special prices or yearly travel ticket or anything like this for people like me which I find really bad, and expensive...

Also, I have just found out that Eurostar are no longer stopping certain trains at Ashford (the station I use). I have in mind the 14.59 which used to be a daily service and now only stops at Ashford on Fridays! Great, this was a service i often used. I don't believe this decision... Now I have to travel much earlier or later... I think Eurostar is only targetting the business traveller between London and Paris/Brussels, to the detriment of anyone else. I have written many times to Eurostar to complain about their pricing policy and lack of a travel card, to no avail. Can you put pressure on them re. trains no longer stopping at Ashford? Many thanks.

A. Kober-Smith.

REPLY: We're still trying "A". (Ed).
Eurostar Campaign:



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