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13 December 2001
Issue 94
AHOY! It's the LondonNet Newsletter...

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- Email Problems
- London for free
- Shopping
- Tis the Season to be Jolly and Go Goo-Goo Over Child Actors

- Hotels
- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema
- Latest news from London
- "Must-see" pages on LondonNet

- Home Entertainment System
- Readers say their piece
- Help us to help you
- Linking to LondonNet
- Sponsoring AHOY
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LONDON DIARY by David Clee

Tis the Season to be Jolly and Go Goo-Goo Over Child Actors

IT'S been a feast of theatre for me this week. Though I've only managed to see one play, I've seen it in three different versions, from the traditional linear narrative approach to one dominated by an imposing Greek-style chorus and another where the two main characters remained mute throughout. Kids, huh?

Nativity plays work for two reasons. First, everyone knows the story, so the artistic director is free to loosen the reins of the plot and let everyone have a good time and, second, because the performers have one of the sappiest audiences known to dramatic history, excluding, of course, the people who clap along at ice-skating extravaganzas.

Unusually for drama, the audience's eyes are not settled on the centre stage area. Instead, each parent stares with loyal determination at his or her offspring, even if only the merest square inch of a dish-clothed head can be seen. ("Quick, roll the video, that's Johnny's square inch, that is.)

Such viewing habits are, you would think, confined to kids' plays, but not so fast. The two biggest films of recent times are Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Both are seen by thousands of fans who already know the books inside out. Under such circumstances, the viewing pleasures involved are likely to be similar to those of a nativity play. Some doting fans have Gandalf as their favourite, some like the elves, others cheer when Hagrid is on screen, a few have a worrying yen for the three-headed dog.

I'm not sure if this means we get something for everyone, or nothing of note for anyone, but it does mean I don't feel quite as daft for not having an answer when a teacher asked me what part of her production I enjoyed the most.
David Clee ([email protected])

News Headlines

- Music
- Theatre
- Clubs
- Cinema

HOTEL NEWS by Peter D. Clee

5 of the Best London Hotels this Christmas
(1) Best Hotel within walking distance of shops in Knightsbridge and Kensington High Street: The Gore

(2) Best Hotel for crashing out after a heavy night in Soho attending Xmas parties: Hazlitt's

(3) Best Hotel for shopping on Oxford Street: The Berkshire

(4) Best Hotel for coming back to a 24 hour bar just when you knew you should be going to bed: The Columbia

(5) Best Hotel for taking the kids to see Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings while never leaving Leicester Square: The Hampshire

This week's hit-parade of the most popular hotels featured in our secure-booking site:

LondonNet's Top Five Hotels*:
1 (3) La Reserve
2 (4) Chelsea Lodge
3 (-) The Gore
2 (-) Hazlitts
5 (-) Rubens
(*based on bookings between 28 November - 13 December 2001. Previous issue's figures in brackets)

Related links
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LONDON MUSIC by Catherine Chambers

Music For Free!
The Best Things in Life Are Free….or so Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross reckoned in their 1992 hit. For those whose pockets have taken a battering as a result of Christmas shopping, this week we've come up with a few free gigs so you can still get your fill of quality music without having a shell out a fortune. First up is the RoTa Christmas Special.

On Saturday December 15 at the Notting Hill Arts Club. Established by the Rough Trade Shop (incidentally one of the must-have music releases of the year was the RT Anniversary Box Set), RoTa has earned its place as one of London's regular music events. The Christmas shindig gets cracking at 3.30 pm this Saturday and features and assortment of music from the likes of Sourvaris (post-rock), The Lollies (pop), Southern Star (new country) and Chris T-T (lo-fi indie) and the chance to tuck into some mince pies. Yum.

Forget The White Stripes or this year's over-hyped band The Strokes, If you wanna know where the future of rock 'n' roll lies then make sure you stop by the Oxford St Virgin Megastore on Monday - because The Hives are in town! The Swedish smart-suited punk-infested rock 'n' rollers will be causing all manner of havoc and signing copies of their somewhat ambitiously titled compilation album, Your New Favourite Band. Give it one listen though, and they will be.
RoTa Christmas Special, Notting Hill Arts Club, Saturday, December 15 3.30pm
The Hives, Virgin Megastore W1 Monday December 17 8.00pm

Related Links:
Music Tickets:
You can book tickets for many of the top gigs in London through our online ticket shop:
Music Listings:
For our music guide see:

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LONDON THEATRE by Helena 'Spid' Thompson

In the spotlight

Christmas is upon us, but who's really in the mood for a festive show? What with September 11, Afghanistan and a dwindling economy, even the London stage looks loath to suspend disbelief.

Cue the likes of Lisa Goldman, the driving force behind the Artists Against the War movement. Harnessing the forces of Kay 'The Bogus Woman' Adhead and funnymen Ridiculusmus with their all too serious satire on the Northern Ireland peace process, Goldman's push towards political drama should woo the trainer- wearing brigade.

Mean time the current People's Show in Bethnal Green doubles as installation by day and performance by evening. This disturbing look at domesticity quite literally cracks open the house on stage, revealing the building's inner workings complete with a live sound track and CCTV.

And the collaboration craze has spread to the National. Newly appointed associate director Mick Gordon has just programmed 'Transformations,' a season set to have circus and mask performers rubbing shoulders. Matthew Bourne's new dance company, physical performer Kathryn Hunter, and a stage version of Jeanette Winterson's novel all promise new takes on old classics.

It seem musicians, performers and multimedia whizzkids are not the only ones to start stretching stage boundaries. Santa's season may be a less than jolly affair, but theatreland is pulling together and looking to the future.

Up and Coming
Return To The Forbidden Planet, The Savoy Theatre, Embankment tube

Shakespeare's The Tempest gets all shook up in a musical mission to find mad scientist Dr Prospero. Great balls of fire, this is rock and roll!

Aladdin, The Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith tube
The Told By An Idiot crew offer their own inimitable spin on that Arabian night out. Expect more than the usual magic from this Christmas show.

Theatre Choice
Best Musical: Cats -
Lloyd Webber tames Eliot's feline poems
Best Play: Art - The value of modern art throws relationships into jepardy.
- For details, tickets and reviews see:

LondonNet's Top Five Shows*:

1 (-) The Nutcracker, English National Ballet
2 (1) My Fair Lady
3 (5) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
4 (2) The Lion King
5 (-) Les Miserables
(*based on bookings between 28 November - 13 December 2001. Previous issue's figures in brackets)

Related Links:
London Theatre Menu
London Theatre Tickets

THEATRE: Group Bookings
Group bookings normally require a minimum of between 10-15 in the party (depending on show) and usually attract handsome discounts. If you are planning a works party, school trip, birthday treat or laying on corporate hospitality please get in touch.

Email: [email protected]

LONDON CLUBS by Catherine Chambers

Party for Christmas. And A Good Cause.

This week sees the Crisis in Afghanistan Benefit event at Fabric, established by Massive Attack's 3D, MoWax boss and Fabric resident James Lavelle and Blur's Damon Albarn. The event promises to be a top night out with DJ sets from Massive Attack, UNKLE, Stereo MCs, Daft Punk (making their first appearance in two years) and a live set from Gorillaz.Like the recently held Aftershock Benefit that took place at 333, all money raised will go to the Red Cross and civilians in Afghanistan.

Also on the same night is THIS (That's How It Is) Christmas Party at Bar Rumba. A Free dink plus Gilles Peterson, Ben Wilcox and Raw Deal spinning everything from drum 'n' bass to Latin House - What more could you ask for. If guitar-based tunes are your thing then why not head down to the Trash Christmas Party at The End, also on Monday.

80s electronica is on rotation with a melange of punk, pop, glam and underground tunes. For a paltry three pounds. And the beer, the beer - it's only £1.50 a bottle before 11.30 and a mere £2.00 after that while £2.40 for spirits. Talking of which, such a cheap night out there's no excuse for not getting into the Christmas spirit!

Red Cross Crisis In Afghanistan Benefit, Fabric EC1 Monday December 17 9pm-3am UKP17.50
THIS! That's How It Is ) Christmas Party, Bar Rumba, W1 Monday December 17 10.30pm-3.30am UKP5
Trash Christmas Party The End WC1, Monday December 17 10pm-3am UKP3

Are Yule Ready To Party?
- Check out LondonNet's guide to clubbing over Christmas and New Year

Related Links:
Club Menu
Club Tickets - You can now book tickets for many of the top clubs in London through our online ticket shop:
Club Previews

LONDON CINEMA by Catherine Chambers

Film of the Week:

The Deep End ***
Directors Scott McGehee, David Siegal

Mom picks up the pieces when her son's lover is murdered.
...more (PG)

Other top films out this week:
The Lord of the Rings ****
Blue Velvet **
American Outlaws ***

For reviews and details see:

Cinema Menu
Film Listings - Full London listings with our easy to use guide


News from London

News Headlines
London Towers Over Security Fears
- New building schemes revealed for Oxford Street and Vauxhall
Artist Chucks Eggs at Turner Winner
- 'It's not art,' says protester after Tate Britain attack
News Talkback


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SONY COMPIE - Win a Home Entertainment System
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Last Issue's Competition Winner:
(28 November 2001, Ahoy)

Ministry's New Year
Leah Fitzsimmons (Brixton, London)


AHOY! Readers say their piece: Send mail to [email protected]
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Don't know why they can't offer last minute deals..are the trains full??
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