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Thursday, October 08, 2009


ModFab Invades Europe!

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That's right, Euro-fabbers....I'm a-comin' to your continent! Actually, It's a trip for my day job, and most of it will be spent in beautiful Bulgaria and Romania. (Apparently, Eastern Europe is the hotbed of forward-thinking theatre in the world right now, so I'm being wined, dined, and shmoozed...and yes, I've got my very own Bulgarian translator to help me during performances!)

BUT...and this is important...I will be in LONDON as well, for a whirlwind 24 hours on Tuesday, 17 November. I haven't been to the UK since I was a teenager, and I'd love to see any of you who'd like to meet up. (That means you Raj, Fizzy, Cal and anyone else I'm forgetting!) I know I'm going to see Priscilla, Queen of the Desert that night in the West End, but otherwise I'm totally free. (Cue Mr. Humphries joke here!) Email me (link in the sidebar) and let me know.

And for those of you who DON'T live in London (or Bulgaria), but have visited before...let me know your favorite spots! I'm not much for tourist stuff (I'll happily skip Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in favor of a great music shop or a restaurant). I'm staying near Russell Square, if that helps.

And Australia...you're next!
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Blogger Vance said...

If you want traditional English Pot Pie, there's a semi-famous but hidden pub called the Newman Arms off of Newman Passage off of Newman Street, just north of Oxford, (I believe west of Russell Sq area) that is really "British" and quaint. Used to go there for lunch from work (worked on Newman St). http://www.newmanarms.co.uk/newman.html/ (Official address is 23 Rathbone St but warning. hours for pie are only 12-3 and 6-9pm and only served in the upstairs pie shop.).

10/9/09, 2:11 AM  
Blogger ladydisdain said...

You trust me, right?

GO HERE: http://www.soane.org/

It's half a mile from Russell Square. It is fucking fantastic. It is the former art collection of a total lunatic. Okay, not really, but sort of. Art is EVERYWHERE in this house. He has the freaking sarcophagus of Seti I. It is crammed into nooks and crannies that you cannot imagine. He was like a hoarder of art. It is one of my favorite things that I have ever seen, ever. The 360 degree video thingie gives you a fraction of a taste of it, and that's actually one of the less crowded areas.

It's not gigantic; we lingered and I can't imagine we were there longer than maybe an hour and a half. When you go (WHEN! not IF!), make sure that they open up all the walls of paintings in the Picture Gallery to get to the diorama in the back of them. (See the end of this post for more on that.)

I honestly think that you would dig this place the most. It was my favorite thing in all of London. Greg's, too. We still talk about it all the time. We were there five years ago!

More pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/archimap/sets/72157604530635054/

The Yelp page: http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/sir-john-soanes-museum-society-london

And a quote from a London Yelp review: "His oil painting collection is stunning too and has to be held in a wicked good Transformers-style room where the walls open away to reveal more walls with paintings behind - including many Turners, of whom he was an early patron. Don't forget to ask to see this. If you don't ask... you won't see.

Also ask about the bullet hole in the corridor. There's a good story behind that (although it didn't turn out so good for the art thief who went home in a body bag)."

10/9/09, 10:42 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Cologne and Berlin I could help you with, but not this. PLEASE try to find some time to have some fun while you're there. Business trips suck, but being able to see places you wouldn't see otherwise helps.

10/10/09, 9:45 PM  
Blogger Barry Rowell said...

My first suggestion: Shunt. We saw the piece they did in the London Bridge Vaults in '04 and it was amazing. Their new piece is not in the bridge (although they still have events there) but it's a Time Out London (which you MUST get: between that and What's On the best ways to get good info on non-West End theater in London) Critic's Pick: http://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/event/156607/money

Catherine said the Tate Modern and I agree: it's not tourist-y (or it wasn't then) but the collection is amazing and the space itself is incredible.

One of the few plays I've walked out on in recent years was at Camden People's Theatre but it was a rental, not the company. The piece now won a Total Theatre Award at Edinburgh this year and looks interesting: http://www.cptheatre.co.uk/

The ICA was where Catherine and I first saw the incredible work by Sheffield's Forced Entertainment in '93; in '04, we saw another very good piece called "Jeff Koons" (not about the artist but about an artist that is a sort of response to Koons and his work). It appears that the ICA is not doing any performance right now: music, art and film are the only things I saw on their website (http://www.ica.org.uk/?lid=46) but if you're over on The Mall headed toward Buckingham Palace, the cafe is nice and maybe there'll be something there.

It's hard to be certain (I didn't write it down at the time) but I'm pretty sure we went to the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street for a pint and bite after we walked across the Millennium Bridge from the Tate Modern (http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/62/6269/Punch_Tavern/Fleet_Street); it was warm and toasty on a rainy day and the food was good. Regardless, this site has a great list of pubs all over the U.K. Just click on the top 40 list and I'm sure you'll find something in a neighborhood near you.

If you like beer at all, I recommend Abbott Ale: Catherine's brother was living in Cornwall at the time and turned us on to it. It should be available at pubs: tasty stuff.

More to come but maybe I'll e-mail it to you. Or post it to my own damned blog instead wasting space on yours!

10/12/09, 10:48 AM  
Blogger Raj said...

Yay! Gabriel, send me a message closer to the day so we can hang out on the 17th! Yay a day with ModFab in Londontown!

10/18/09, 12:11 PM  

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