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17 February 2005, Issue 172

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Excerpts from the Hero Photography Exhibit, at the NFT from 22nd - 23rd February

What's Up
London for Free, Offers, Attractions
London Diary: Frankie, Me and the London Olympic Bid
Entertainment: Know where to go and what to do
London Hotels: London and Worldwide hotel deals
News: Latest news from London
Competition: Happy Anniversary & a pretty Hero
Talkback: New Camden clubs, springing up from the past

What's Up


Heroes Are Looking Good - win tickets to the prestigious launch party of the Hero Photography Exhibit, which marks the DVD release of the stunning Zhang Yimou epic. Details, below...

Happy Anniversary
- Win tickets to see Anniversary, at the Garrick Theatre. Details in the Theatre section...


La Reserve - (1 Jan - 31 Mar 2005) Singles UKP59; Double UKP69; Twin UKP79; Triple UKP89; Superior Double UKP89; Family UKP120

Bed and Breakfasts:
Hyde - Save up to 65% on the hotel's published price when you book online!

Lincoln House - Singles UKP69; Double UKP85; Twin UKP95; Triple UKP115; Family UKP119


Free updates of available rooms/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.

2005 London Eye Flights: No booking fee for all London Eye tickets sold on LondonNet!
Order Tickets

Medieval Banquet
Ivory House
Booking until 31 March 2005; UKP39.50

Join King Henry VIII for a lavish feast in the vaulted cellars of Ivory House, lined with flickering torches. Minstrels, troupers and strolling players will entertain while you enjoy a four-course meal, unlimited wine and beer, and later, a full-on disco.
Order Tickets


Top Attraction Sellers
(4 Feb - 17 Feb 2005)
1) London Eye
2) Madame Tussaud's
3) Dali Universe
4) London Dungeon
5) Tower of London

London Diary

Frankie, Me and the London Olympic Bid
by David Clee

A big welcome to the members of the International Olympic Committee team that is in town this week to assess London's bid to host the 2012 games.

I'm particularly pleased to revive my close personal friendship with one of the team's members, Frankie Fredericks, who is here representing athletes. Fredericks was different to the vast majority of modern sprinters in that his speed was based on gazelle-like grace rather than sheer muscle power. He was a joy to watch; the kind of athlete that makes you strangely proud to be homo sapien.

One night at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre too many years ago, I'm pretty sure I caught the eye of the Namibian sprinter as he did his stretchy stuff before a race. To be fair, I wasn't the primary factor in his phenomenal career, but let's just say his fleeting glance in my general direction suggested he drew great strength from my support.

I'm not saying he owes me one, exactly, but, as the song goes: Frankie, Do You Remember Me?... and, if you do, stick your vote London's way.



Theatre Gift Vouchers - Give the clever gift of tickets, and entertain yourself, too. Click here for more information...


A Life In The TheatreA Life In The Theatre - Joshua Jackson and Patrick Stewart use A Life In The Theatre to throw back at the silly posturing of actors, and end up making themselves more respected ones, in the process...
Click here for full review...
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Acorn Antiques
Based on a soap opera from the TV series As Seen on TV, the Acorn Antiques musical chronicles the goings-on in an antiques shop in Manchesterford. Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, and Duncan Preston star. - Ashley Brown
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Billy Elliot
Victoria Palace Theatre
24 March 2005 - 24 Sept 2005
Tickets are one sale for the long-awaited musical from the Golden Globe Winner Billy Elliot. Incorporating the film's writer Lee Hall and choreographer Peter Darling, the show's music was composed by Elton John and stars three new theatrical hopefuls. With a production budget topping around UKP5 million, Billy Elliot is not one to miss. Not suitable for small children.
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Cheap Theatre Tickets - Pick up a bargain with Mayor Livingstone's latest theatre sell-off: Get Into London Theatre 2005, with some ticket prices dropping to even the UKP10 mark.

Get tickets quickly, because the promotion is ending, soon!

Offer Includes:

Photo:  John RogersChitty Chitty Bang Bang
London Palladium
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you - the new mantra of cast, kids, critics and theatre producers. The West End has long been wooing a crowd puller to seduce its dwindling audience, and it seems the long awaited new kid on the block has finally arrived.
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Blithe Spirit
Savoy Theatre
FRESH from its run as part of the 2004 Peter Hall Season, this new production of Coward's own favourite play follows author Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth as they hold a seance as part of research for Charles' new novel. Expecting little more than after-dinner entertainment, their lives are turned upside down when eccentric medium Madam Arcati inadvertantly conjures up the ghost of Charles' first wife. Click for full review...

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Click here for more productions on offer...


Top Theatre Sellers
(4 Feb - 17 Feb 2005)
1) The Producers
2) Phantom of the Opera
3) Chicago
4) Jerry Springer
Les Miserables

London Theatre A - Z Guide
London Theatre Reviews

The Guardian called it a 'wickedly funny comedy,' and now's your chance to go and see Anniversary, for free!

Sheila Hancock stars in this black comedy nearly 30 years after appearing in the original production. Having played Karen in 1966, she returns in this production as Mum, the part made famous by Bette Davis in the hit film based on the play (in which Davis also starred).

Set in South London, this perfectly crafted and shockingly funny play centres around a formidable and domineering woman who delights in getting the better of her family. On the anniversary of her husband's death, her beloved sons and bedevilled daughters-in-law gather for a party that quickly turns into an hilarious battle of wits as Mum schemes, plots and uses any means necessary to keep her chicks in the nest.
(-Keith Prowse)

Win one pair of tickets to see it, on any day you choose (except Saturdays), until April 16th.

Question: In what year did Sheila Hancock first play Karen, in the original production? Hint: see above.

How to Enter: Send an email with the correct answer to "Anniversary [email protected]", with the subject header "Anniversary Competition".

More Necessary Info: 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!

Even More 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, Friday February 18, 2005



New Gig Highlights:

James Brown
The Forum
26 & 27 June 2005
The hardest working man in show business and self-styled sex machine is returning to London for a two-night engagement at the Forum. The indefatigable Brown has had a career spanning six decades, laying down heavy, honey-dipped funk with his trademark howl. He's launched the careers of a number of successful funk vocalists and instrumentalists, scored numerous films, and toured almost incessantly. Do the popcorn with the Godfather of Soul on June 26-27. -Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Van Morrison
Shepard's Bush Empire
19 &20 May 2005
The gypsy soul might not be singing about drag queens and absinthe anymore, but he's just as vital and magnetic as he ever was. His seminal album Astral Weeks, a thing of transcendent beauty, was fiercely original - a poetic and melancholy hybrid of R&B, blues and folk released during a time when jangly pop ruled. Lester Bangs's favourite Irishman reclaims his soulfully sublime rock on May 19 and 20 at Shepherd's Bush Empire.
-Ashley Brown

Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Carling Academy Brixton
21 March 2005

NYC native and hip-hop veteran Nas has achieved the unlikely feat of being simultaneously adored by critics and the mainstream. He derides the selling-out of his contemporaries, though, and remains fiercely independent while sketching complex hip-hop narratives that refuse to yield to the presiding trend of gangsta bling. Self-proclaimed street's disciple, he'll be rhyming at Carling Academy Brixton on March 21st.

-Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
9 July 2004
The inimitable Pavarotti, the world's most famous tenor, is embarking on an international farewell tour that will undoubtedly be bittersweet for fans of his thunderingly beautiful voice. For this tour, he'll be accompanied by conductor Leone Magiera, and he'll play an array of his personal choices from a vast classical repetoire. -Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Tears for Fears
UK Tour
This intelligent synth-pop duo, who so perfectly maligned the excess of the eighties with their number one hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", have experienced an underground resurgence in popularity since Gary Jules covered their morose lament "Mad World". After a decade-long hiatus, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith are touring their homeland yet again.
-Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Our Picks:

Mos Def
Carling Academy Brixton
17 March 2005
Despite acclaimed acting turns in Spike Lee's Bamboozled and the Oscar-winning Monster's Ball and an original career in television, politically-minded Mos Def has been a mainstay in the realm of rock-infused hip-hop with a conscience for over a decade. His music, though, is a world away from the so-called rap-rock polluting radiowaves, combining lyrical substance rapped over bass-laden alterno-rock. -Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

Mika Bomb

The Garage
4 March 2005
These black leather and stud-clad Japanese all-girl rockers churn out a brand of riff-filled guitar akin to fellow natives Guitar Wolf, Angel'in Heavy Syrup, or legendary female supergroup the Runaways. No bubblegum pop here - just pure, adrenalised rock'n'roll. They've already racked up an impressive list of tourmates, having opened for The Datsuns, the Donnas, and the Hard-ons, and now Mika Bomb headline at the Garage in London on 4 March. -Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketswitch

48 Hour Party People - Feat. the Farm & Happy Mondays
Brixton Academy
25 & 26 March 2005

The Manchester pop band immortalised in Michael Winterbottom's fictionalised film chronicle of Factory Records as debauched ravers - truly, twenty-four hour party people - return with new songs and conquered addictions. Although the film portrayed the Mondays as a band whose hedonistic pursuits surpass their artistic influence in contemporary musical folklore, the band in fact was seminal in certain circles, creating a compulsively dance-happy fusion of pop, rave and hip-hop that prefigured bands like the Chemical Brothers. Frontman Shaun Ryder, who infamously and unceremoniously ditched the band in 1993, has re-joined for a two-night engagement at Brixton Academy. -Ashley Brown

Order Tickets -  Ticketmaster

Elton John
May 26, Reading; June 6 Bolton; June 10, Nottingham; June 11, Coventry; June 25, Edinburgh; June 26, Kilmarnock
It seems, initially, an injustice that Elton John - flamboyant showman, musical genius, and prince of pomp - is now playing a series of engagements as a Caesar's Palace regular in Las Vegas, Nevada, but it's also oddly befitting. John hasn't become any less ostentatiously flashy over the years, and the U.S. capital of sequined, twinkling excess is undoubtedly thrilled to accommodate the pop legend, who's never been one to take himself too seriously. Fortunately, John will leave Caesar's to embark on a worldwide tour performing the sort of safe but affable fare he's made for the last two decades. He may have hung up his Bennie and the Jets alter-ego a long time ago, but he's still more than capable of crafting the perfect melody. -Ashley Brown
Order Tickets -  Ticketmaster

Neil Diamond
Earls Court

31 May & 1 June 2005

Known for his large ensemble and tear-jerking wonders, Neil Diamond is it again, with an omnibus UK tour that not only includes London, but Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol.

Rod Stewart
Earls Court
9, 11 & 12 May 2005

Find out if Rod did, indeed, write the book of love as he makes Earls Court swoon not once, not twice, but three times in the month of May. Not only have shows been known to refresh the heartstrings of many women, but rumour is they might also include tight leather trousers.

For Your Info:

Royal Trux
24 February 2005
When seminal trash-glam acid rock purveyors Royal Trux disbanded after 2000's excellent LP Pound for Pound, guitarist Neil Michael Hagerty quickly moved on to an ever-growing body of solo work. Jennifer Herrema, the other half of Royal Trux and supplier of the nicotine-cured rasp that came to epitomise Trux's sexily trashy sound, was virtually unheard of for the next few years. She finally makes her valiant return with new outfit RTX, for which she recruited guitarist Jaimo Welch and Nadav Eisenmann. On the new album Transmaniacon, named for the Blue Oyster Cult riff-filled song, Herrema's 70s-throwback, swampy rock vision is as lucid as ever, and it's a behemoth of an album, thundering with eviscerating guitar licks, unabashed power chords, and Herrema's signature howl. -Ashley Brown

Jayne County + The Electric Chairs
March 25

As a first-generation New York CBGB rocker, a presumably pre-operative Wayne County challenged Deborah Harry for the title of NYC's punk queen, and once famously tussled with alpha-male Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators. County has since christened herself Jayne and reunited with the Electric Chairs, coupling the tarted-up retro-greaser sleaze with the lyrical irreverence that made her so legendary the first time around. -Ashley Brown

Gig Tickets:

Top Rock & Pop Sellers
(4 Feb - 17 Feb 2005)
1) The Four Tops & The Temptations
2) Nas
3) Van Morrison
4) Tony Hadley vs Martin Fry & ABC
5) Mos Def


Classical Picks:

Die Zauberflote, The Royal Opera House 2005.  Photo:  Catherine Ashmore.Die Zauberflote
14 Feb - 4 March 2005
Mozart's mystical and most popular opera takes on the talents of Simon Keenlyside (Papageno), Will Hartmann (Tamino) and Rebecca Evans (Pamina), who makes her first ROH appearance. Director David McVicar has gained plaudits for his playful interpretation - a must see for this spring's classical catologue.
Click here for full review...
Order Tickets - Ticketswitch

Classical Tickets:

Top Classical Sellers
(4 Feb - 17 Feb 2005)
1) La Clemenenza di Tito, ENO
2) The Barber of Seville, ENO
3) Peter Pan, Northern Ballet



LondonNet Blockbuster of the Week
In LondonNet's cinema wisdom, we guess that this film will run up this week's blockbuster charts...

In Good Company (PG)
Carter Duryea (TOPHER GRACE) finds himself falling for his employee's daughter, Alex (SCARLETT JOHANSSON), in In Good Company, the insightful comedy from writer/director Paul Weitz (About a Boy). Photographer: Glen Wilson.  (c) 2004 Universal StudiosComedy (2004) 109mins US
Director: Paul Weitz
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace, Scarlett Johansson, Marg Helgenberger
Middle-aged executive Dan Foreman is unceremoniously replaced by 26-year-old whiz-kid Carter Duryea, who keeps Dan as his assistant to ensure a smooth transition of power. The veteran is understandably threatened by the newcomer - he has a mortgage to pay and vastly more experience than the fresh-faced upstart - but this is only the beginning of Dan's woes because when his daughter Alex meets Carter, the attraction is instant.
Showing at these cinemas...

LondonNet Critic's Choice of the Week
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou's reveals the more tender heart of Director Wes Anderson....

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (15)
Pictured: Bill Murray in a scene from LIFE AQUATIC, directed by Wes Anderson.  © Touchstone Pictures. Distributed by Buena Vista International. Photo: Philippe Antonello Comedy (2004) 118mins US
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston
Steve Zissou is one of the world's most important underwater explorers, known for his eccentric team and over-dramatised documentaries about the underwater world. With the release of his latest film, Zissou has hit a creative and emotional wall: his best friend Esteban was eaten by a jaguar shark, his wife despises him, and the film world is starting to become bored and frugal with Zissou's antics. A late night introduction to Ned Plimpton, a young southerner who claims to be Zissou's forgotten son, threatens to push Zissou off the brink - but not before he embarks on his last and most dramatic of filming adventures - to kill the jaguar shark and redeem himself to his son and the world.
Click for full review...
Showing at these cinemas...

LondonNet Turkey of the Week
An unhappy Japanese accountant-turned-Richard Gere and J-Lo? We're not sure this remake of a 1996 Japanese comedy will be worth the dance lessons...

Shall We Dance? (12A)
Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez star in SHALL WE DANCE, directed by Peter Chelsom from a screenplay by Audrey Wells based on the runaway Japanese hit that won fans around the world. © MIRAMAX FILMS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Distributed by Buena Vista International. Photo: David James Drama (2004) 106mins US
Director: Peter Chelsom
Starring: Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci
American businessman John Clark seems to have it all: a great job, beautiful wife, impeccably tailored suits. Yet, he feels like there is something amiss. One night, on the train commute home, John nervously signs up for dance classes with teacher Paulina at Miss Mitzi's Studio. He gets far more than he bargained for; so too do John's fellow classmates: gentle giant Vern and swaggering ladies man Chic.
Showing at these cinemas...


Are We There Yet?(PG)
Criminal (15)
Head-On (Gegen Die Wand) (18)
Moog (NC)
Solaris (1972 Version) (PG)
The Yes Men (15)
Spanglish (12A)
Hide And Seek (15)
The Woodsman (15)


A to Z of London Cinemas
A to Z of Films showing in London this week


The Comedy Store
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.
Click here for info...



Photo: Hadiye CangokceTurks - A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600
Royal Academy of Arts
22 Jan - 12 April 2005

Covering the wide span of a thousand years, the RAA explores the highly spiritual and spirited culture of the Turks.
Click for booking and full review...





To purchase tickets for a selection of leading London Club venues try our 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


Based on Page Visits on LondonNet (16 February)
1) Fabric
2) The Cross
3) Cargo
Click for Club Venues and Listings
Club Tickets

London Hotels

Exclusive Deal >>

The Columbia - (Hyde Park) Overlooking Hyde Park, an affordable and historic hotel ideal for the independent traveller, families and those on business. Great location for sights, food and shopping. Singles from UKP70!


Royal Garden Hotel*****(Kensington High Street)
A modern hotel of unusually individual character, complete with stunning location and up to the minute facilities.
Single - UKP185 (Inclusive of VAT)
Superior Double - UKP205
(Inclusive of VAT)
Deluxe Double - UKP245 (Inclusive of VAT)

The Rookery****(Farringdon)
Beautifully restored and perfectly poised for the City of London, also within walking distance of the West End. A genteel and welcome entry to the elite band of hotels serving the City. A haven of calm in the heart of Europe's busiest financial centre.
Single - UKP188 (Inclusive of VAT)
Double - UKP205.63
(Inclusive of VAT)

The Willett
***(Sloane Square)
A dignified Victorian hotel with the ornate carvings, mosaics and chandeliers to prove it. It has also moved fast enough with the times to have attracted a long list of regulars.
Double - UKP90
Deluxe Double - UKP110


Top Sellers
(4 Feb - 17 Feb 2005)
1) Columbia
2) The Ritz
3) Gainsborough

Best Value Accommodation for 2005:
Bed and Breakfasts
Budget Hostels

New additions and highlights from our sister site Hotelgenie.

Lapa Palace Hotel*****
Lisbon, Portugal
Once the home of a count and decorated in traditional Portuguese style, the Lapa Palace was built in 1870 as a stately home. You can't help but relax beside the pool.
Set in the garden overlooking the Tagus River and close to the centre of town, the Lapa lets you explore the cultural and commercial side of Lisbon. Dedicated tourists can pop along to the Embassy buildings. Others may prefer to while away the hours on one of the nearby golf courses. As for bedrooms, from 18th century classical to art deco, the Lapa's architecture spans the decades. Pick a suite with a balcony for a view of the city.


Chelsea Top the London Money League
- Blues move above Arsenal off the pitch as well as on
Laser Technology Helps Diana Detectives
- Video-game style computer model to be used in investigation



The critically acclaimed epic Hero, produced by Quentin Tarantino and starring Jet Li and Ziyi Zhang, is released on DVD on the 21st of February. This visually captivating film is a tale of ancient China, its heart-wrenching conflicts, and the uniting of a nation.

To celebrate the DVD release of what the Daily Telegraph called "the most visually ravishing movie of the year," Buena Vista Home Entertainment is holding a three day photography exhibition at The National Film Theatre, showcasing some of the stunning images from the film.

The exhibition is to be launched with a prestigious event on Monday 21st February, and will include a champagne reception, refreshments and a chance to see the Exhibition before it is open to the public.

The deadline for this competitions is soon, so enter quickly!

LondonNet has 3 pairs of tickets to give away to this exclusive launch event, at The National Film Theatre, South Bank, London, on Monday 21st February 2005. The event starts at 7pm and finishes at 10pm.

The exhibition is open to the public from 22nd - 23rd February, 10am to 10pm, and is free. Hero is out to own on DVD from 21st February.

Question: Who produced Hero? Hint: see above.

How to Enter: Send an email with the correct answer to "[email protected]", with the subject header "Hero Competition".

More Necessary Info: 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! 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, Thurs Feb 17, 2005. Enter ASAP!

Readers say their piece
Send mail to: [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.


Have heard about a new club in Camden called "KOKO" - which used to be the old Palais - looks great - they've got an NME night on Friday's & Queens of the Stone Age booked for next month - why can't I find any reviews on this venue - as it sounds awesome.
- Julian


We've heard it's a great venue, as well, and have looked into reviewing it for our audiences, as the Palais has a well-known history. Until then, check out the Camden New Journal for more information...
- LondonNet

That's All,Folks...


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