It is half a century since the Beatles sailed off in their yellow submarine to save Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. Today there was a one-off screening of the remastered film in Picturehouse cinemas, and I went along to my local (happily air-conditioned) sold out screening.
I wouldn’t normally go to the cinema on a Sunday, still less on a Sunday morning, but this was a special occasion.
The music wasn’t the best of the Beatles songbook, but there were one or two goodies – Nowhere Man and Hey Bulldog are particular favourites of mine, and of course, the wonderful Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was in there too.
The film showed its age, and the age of most of its audience, but there were a fair number of young couples with children at the screening I went to, and they seemed to enjoy it.
It is rare for an audience to applaud a film, but that happened today. I’m very glad I was there to join in.
Samuel Becket: Waiting for Godot
This is a play I have waited for a long time to see. I dearly wished to see Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan as Vladimir and Estragon, but that was not to be. This version was Irish through and through, and had some moments of comedy breaking up the bleakness. I found Pozzo and Lucky very irritating, but Didi and Gogo were excellent.
Once again, I found that I had been moved to a stalls seat (always a problem for me in these little theatres, as it usually involves negotiating a LOT of steps) because of a small audience. I really wish that theatres wouldn’t do this. And this time they were very high-handed about it -as if they are granting you the great privilege of paying £50 for a cold, noisy seat in a half-empty theatre.
The play itself was good, but the cast must have been as fed up as the audience with the noise leaking in from the basement bar next door. I can’t recommend this as a venue, sadly.
Illustration Cupboard Gallery
David McKee: 50 Years of Mr Benn
I like Mr Benn, and was pleased to see this exhibition.
The pictures were mostly straight from the books, with some animation cels. The gallery is very small and tightly packed. There were three other people in the main room when I was there, and it felt like a crowd.
My favourite item was a design especially commissioned by Turnbull and Asser (the tailor next door to the gallery). It is Mr Benn as James Bond, and is going to be a silk pocket square that is sadly just too small to be used as a neck scarf. (I popped next door to enquire, just to be sure).
This week’s culture is of the armchair variety. I came across an interesting item (probably via twitter, although I can’t swear to it). Apparently, the only Soviet animation that was banned was the “Glass Harmonica”, which was itself sort-of about censorship. I watched the video, and some others, via the Open Culture website. Catch it yourself here:
I succumbed to the sales, and bought myself a pair of cherry-red Doc Martins (an iconic colour and an iconic brand). I was also drawn (heh) to a Crayola collaboration with a cosmetic brand – set of chubby lip crayons that would sit happily in any geek girl’s satchel.
To round off the week, I watched what I think is likely to be the last ever episode of BBC “Sherlock”, a programme that has spawned such a huge and varied fandom that it deserves to be on my list of pop culture icons.
I did a fair bit of reading this week, but most of it was mediocre stuff. One stand-out was “Yellow Blue Tibia”, a strange Sci-Fi tale with a lot of humour, a clever play on pronunciation, but sadly, some aliens. It was particularly interesting for its take on Chernobyl, which was itself featured in a documentary on TV this week. I always like coincidences.
This overlaps with books this week. I finally finished reading the Venice cookbook, and was happily reminded how much I like Guido Brunetti. And I found the best paella recipe in the “Pig” book. And yes, it has chorizo in it.