Archive | October, 2009

Performing Arts: not as exclusive as you might think

30 Oct

I didn’t really know what to expect when I agreed to this review.  Partly because it was my first ever review, but also due to the mysteriously vague flyer which simply promised the ‘creation and presentation of a new performance called It Happened Here.’

I’m not going to lie – I was actually a little bit nervous.  My experiences in journalism before now have been a bit more behind the scenes than this.  But with precisely zero previous reviews under my belt and only limited interviewing experience, it was off to Hoxton Hall to shed some light on proceedings…

Hoxton Hall stage

My first impressions of the place were good – grand old buildings like Hoxton Hall are usually a bit daunting, but it felt very welcoming.  Inside, I was shown the Hall’s impressive looking main performance and rehearsal areas, before being introduced to the group of 12 young participants and director I had come to see.

I grabbed an interview with the director, Conan, and my first question was pretty simple: So what’s this all about exactly?

He told me he works with the participants to create a completely new production from scratch.  The production is site-specific – so the storyline created involves elements of history, legends, and heritage specific to Hoxton Hall.  The script writing, acting, music, and dancing are all done by the participants themselves – with a helping hand from experts such as Conan.  The show is rehearsed every day in preparation for the final performance at the end of the week. 

The participants themselves were great: ranging from 12-19 years old, they were the most eager, enthusiastic, passionate, and above all friendly bunch of people I have met in a long time.  And that’s not because I hang around with miserable people – these kids were a seriously inspiring group whose love for what they were involved in was clear.  They didn’t have a single bad word to say about the project; it was as if they had found they’re true calling in life despite their young age. 

With the interviews over, I took some pictures of the performers in the Victorian outfits they will wear for the final performance.  The costumes were just like the real thing, and added an authentic, professional feel to the whole production.

I noticed how well the artists – I think I can call them that – got on with each other, giving the place a really inclusive, friendly vibe.  Conan was keen to point out that no-one is excluded – you don’t need any qualifications in drama or any experience doing this kind of thing to be welcomed here. 

This was reflected in what the participants said – they told me how they felt like a real part of the group and had all made new friends since the start of the week.

I came away from the place feeling genuinely pleased that places like this exist.  It’s great fun for the people involved, it’s something to do during half term, and is the kind of place where you can find a new interest or develop a new one in a friendly atmosphere.

Chris Warburton

Advertisements

The Bitter End

26 Oct

This is dedicated to anyone who has ever loved someone only for them to inexplicably shut the door on what you thought was paradise.

So how to describe this? I don’t even want to describe it as a feeling…it’s very nearly as bad as the unrequited love…except less positive…and not to mention everything hurts. The five stages of acceptance become the five stages of hell…

The first and most powerful emotion is the disbelief…this manifests as tears for some…others, immediate anger or a combination of the two.” why?” is all you keep thinking and no matter how hard you try to shut that voice up it just won’t. It gets louder and louder…and so you cry…louder and louder to block it out…but still nothing but “why?” you can hear.

You foolishly try calling them only to hear the same voice message play over again. You drop the phone in despair and stare into space for a while because your mind has given you a reprieve, allowing you to maintain a light form of consciousness yet leaving you unable to move from the fetal position you’ve acquired in the bed.

You hear their voice instead of the “ why? “ playing in your head as you stare into space – a mixture of the last argument…the best times and the very last conversation you had with them plays…and slowly you curl tighter and start to close your eyes as your heart, feeling as broken as it is, pumps hard but slow – aching for that one person to make it alright…but they won’t. You shut your eyes tight hoping it was just a dream…

But as the tears start streaming down your face again…your heart is telling you to fix this pain… all you can do is cry it out….hoping the pain will end…even as you face the world with the bravest face you can muster people still see the scars inside…they want to help you but you’re not sure how they can.

All the while you’re now thinking “how can someone do that?”

But to all you ‘book worms and especially my friends who have felt this pain…

It may sound clichéd…but one day…you’ll wake up…and the pain will be almost gone. You will wake up and you will be that little bit harder and darker inside for what that person did to you. But don’t let the hatred (which will come as the stages of acceptance take hold) consume you.

Use it.

You’ll know how. The time will come when you can use it and you will. And it will be in the right way.

When you do…it will be rewarded with the love that you disbelieve in now. Tenfold.

Fear.Pain.Hurt.Hate.Love.24.

You’ll make it back. When you do…we’ll be here to celebrate you.

Lucid Lem

Top 5 Halloween Fashion

26 Oct

Hey Guys,

are you all ready for those  Halloween parties this weekend? if not we got some costume ideas for you. This seasons Halloween trend has been made also stylish but yet they still have that scare factor to them.

The Top 5 Costumes for Females:

  1. Witch
  2. Pirate
  3. Fairy
  4. Vampire
  5. Bumble bee

Top 5 costumes for Males:

  1. Devil
  2. Ghost
  3. Pirate
  4. vampire
  5. Hannibal Lector

I hope that our Top 5 costumes that we have put together on your behalf  helped fix that crisis you may have had or at least inspired you all with costume ideas the costumes only costing  £19.99-£29.99 and you can also check out the website for alternative costumes. Don’t forget tell friends to check our top five too!!

 

The nearest fancy dress shops in London:

Central London:- Angels Fancy Dress Shop
                                    119 Shaftesbury Avenue
                           London WC2H 8AE 
                          Tel: +44 [0]207 836 5678
 South London:- Party Super Store
                                  286 Lavender Hill,
                                  London SW11 1LJ
 
East London:- 57 Brushfield St
                             Old Spitalfields Market
                             London E1 6AA
North London:- 101 Events
                                  101 Dudden Hill Lane
                                  Willesden
                                 London NW10 1BH

Written By Deborah Ayoade

An Open Letter to My Long Term Love

19 Oct

Blimey, Lem’s in love…..

It’s been hard for me to come to terms with my feelings for you but now, I feel is the time to come clean.

roses

roses

We’ve had this open relationship for years now, feigning interest in other partners and sometimes spending days, weeks and even months at a time apart because of work commitments.

It’s not like I don’t care, you know I do – I buy you new clothes whenever I see something I think would look great on you and I even talk about you all the time to my friends.

The reason you have only met a few is because I know what they’re like…they’ll only judge and want to share and I don’t want to share you – not like that with them.

I remember when we first met – I was out shopping and there you were, stood there looking so pretty and inviting the way you do. I had to come over for a closer look and eventually a cheeky cuddle! It was love at first sight and after a couple of weeks, you moved in to my house.

It’s so nice when we’re together and we have those sweet talks that we do…conversation is key in any good relationship. I think about you all the time at work and hate it when I have to leave you in the morning all alone. But this is why i’m writing this letter to tell you how much I love you…and i’m ready to commit to you and only you. After a night out with the boys I only want to come home and cuddle up to you. In fact even as I sit here writing this letter I’m thinking about throwing myself on you… Baby, you’re the best…I love you and we’ll be together forever. Can’t wait to see you tonight… My big, soft and cuddly bed.

“Mission Fish” (Field Operative Report)

14 Oct

Ever wondered how Captain Birdseye  gets your battered Cod into the shops? Nick Adams went to Grimsby Fish Market so you don’t have to!

birdseye

birdseye

Before the sun had finished rising, I was given a tour of Grimsby Fish Market by it’s Chief Executive, Martin Boyers. Although I’m not used to waking up anywhere near approaching 5am, Boyers’ enthusiasm for his work was genuinely infectious.

He managed to perk me up as he tells me about the morning’s catch. “You can tell these are good quality fish because they’re bright, they’re clean and they shows no signs of drying out yet” he excitedly explains as he holds up two typical samples of the fish traded daily on his market. A loud chime echoes around the entire building, signalling that it’s 7am and time for the frantic fish auctioning.

In Grimsby Fish Market, the catches are divided up into three different types: “flat fish” like plaice, “round fish” like haddock, and “other” which could mean anything from squid to monkfish. For each of these sub-markets, men with clipboards are surrounded by prospective buyers as they go about trading.

Each week see’s over one million pounds of sales here and the transactions are finalised very swiftly. Once the auctions have ended, a small fleet of forklift drivers begin loading the crates of fish onto their clients vehicles.The fresh fish will soon be on it’s way to a variety of places such as fishmongers, supermarkets, and even factories where it will be manufactured into frozen products.

One of these companies who will be creating these said frozen products, Five Star Fish, have agreed to let me see their manufacturing process. After donning a mandatory hair net, plastic jacket and shoe protectors I’m allowed inside.

The first thing that immediately strikes me about the manufacturing process is the interesting mixture of machinery and human skills involved. Some processes such as filleting the fish are completely devoid of any automated machinery, save for the conveyor belt to move stock around. It’s hard to imagine a task such as this being done by machines, as the workers effortlessly fillet fish of all shapes and sizes with nothing short of grace, speed and efficiency.

After this comes the integral part of manufacturing a frozen product: freezing. “We use liquid nitrogen to freeze the fish, as it creates much smaller ice crystals to preserve the freshness” I’m informed by Danny Burton, Managing Director of Five Star Fish.

Now that the fish have been filleted and frozen, a long production line can now begin.

The fish are now placed on a huge series of conveyor belts as they are processed. The conveyor belt leads them to be coated by a waterfall of batter, shortly followed by going through the “Crumbmaster” where the fish become breaded. It’s a very industrialised process. A variety of machines of varying designs handle the tasks of packaging their products.

One of these machines has a very complex system of weighing fish and grouping them together in order of weight by using several containers. Although it seems to be as if the entire factory’s manufacturing process could quite easily be fully automated, almost every machine is individually maintained by a factory worker.

Although the fish are no longer touched by human hands at this point, there is definitely a high level of care and attention. Factory workers constantly audit their stock using portable computers and overall the efforts are very diligent from the 294 workers at this factory.

From a health perspective, frozen fish products are actually far fresher than any of the other food alternatives on the market. This is because when the fish are caught, they are actually frozen on the ship itself within 4 hours of catch using frozen plate freezers. Freezing itself is a natural process that doesn’t require any preservatives, so by the time the products reach the consumers (which is usually well within 14 days of catch) they will be clean, fresh, healthy and – importantly – delicious!

The Lord Of The Things: The Fellowship Of The Supermarket…

12 Oct

In the beginning of time…when markets were normal and mere mortals could run them day to day with the occasional intervention from thy neighbour would suffice and solve any problem that should arise within your shop regarding anything from stock to store cleanliness… Then along came the winds of change and the supermarket universe was born…

In this universe, new creatures were born and whole factions created…

Night Worker

Night Worker

The Shopfloor colleague... …Born to distribute the goods brought to the hellgate, these creatures dwell in daylight and prefer to work alone although will accept group tasks on the premise to receive individual praise and rewards. Will converse with travellers (better know as customers) only when approached.

The Warehouse Colleague… …Born to attend the hellgate and sort the incoming goods delivered from the humans, they are quiet and not much is know about them. They have been seen at all hours of any day as the hellgate never shuts permanently. They work alone and try to avoid travellers at all costs.

The Cleaning Colleague… …Born to keep the aisles of the supermarket clean, these creatures dwell in the daylight but work in packs as they prefer their own company. They are the only creatures that traverse through each domain in the supermarket universe. Although they do not fear travellers, they are seldom understood because of their often riddle ridden answers.

The Checkout Colleague… …Born to serve the travellers, these are the most social of all the creatures in the universe. They can dwell in both the day and night but thrive in the light in an almost photosynthetic manner. Enjoy working together, and cannot work efficiently alone – they are paramount to the peace being kept between the travellers and the rest of the universe.

The Night Colleague… …Born in the darkness, they thrive in the darkness. These creatures are simple in design, they are given instructions and work similarly to a shopfloor colleague except the travellers must be weary of these creatures as they do not offer any direction if they get lost. They are also easily traceable due to their distinct odour.

The Powers That Be… …Simply known as that, they give the orders and see to it that all sell within the universe that they live in. Seldom seen by the travellers unless there is some unrest upon their travels, the powers that be…simply…be.

Lucid has spoken

We get a new journalist – YAY!

9 Oct

We get a new Journalist. YAY! Chris joins us from Poached Creative. So keep an eye out for his blogs and get a good idea of what it’s like to work here!

Armed with skills, experience, and the feeling I was almost certainly doing the right thing, I began my post-Poached journalism internship this week.

What’s Up Information is a website dedicated to raising young people’s awareness of what’s happening in their area: be it a gig, show, exhibition, or training opportunity. Following on from my time with Poached, I have started an eight week internship in their office in Hackney.

I have been pleasantly surprised at the level of trust and confidence shown in me – and the considerable responsibility I have. On my first day, I found myself adding text and media content to the website and being asked my opinion on wording and layout. This, and possibly the large desk and impressive leather swivel-chair I had been given, made me feel like a valued team-member. I am heartened by the feeling my opinion is both welcomed and valued – it makes me feel positive and confident and gives me genuine faith in my ability. When this happens I tend to relax more, allowing more space in my brain for creative thoughts.

Self-doubt

My creative streak was certainly required for my task on Thursday. To improve the ‘My Borough’ segment of the site, I had found five little-known facts about the local area, and each one required a snappy headline. Good headline writing is a skill I have always appreciated, but maybe not quite as much as I do now. With more than a bit of assistance from project director Lucy, I managed to conjure up the five headlines needed, but only after some serious doubts over my creative capacity.

Getting to know the place

Delving into vast quantities of information about the surrounding area was of some personal benefit to me. As far as I can remember, I had never even been to Hackney before last week. Being a football fan, I knew all about Hackney Marshes and their continued significance in the development of future professionals, but that was about it. So I was surprised to learn Hackney is twinned with Bridgetown in Barbados, and is the only place in the UK where you can qualify as a professional clown.

New skills

With the possible exception of circus-related facts, I am already finding the knowledge and skills I learn here to be transferrable. I now know exactly how to embed pictures and videos into text, and even understand the most basic of HTML basics. This, along with headline writing, provides assistance in my monthly quest to make the Camden Calling newsletter a more attention-grabbing, professional looking piece of work. One day, eh?

Different, but similar

Like Camden Calling, What’s Up benefits communities and encourages expansion of the mind through new experiences. I have no doubt that making young people aware of the low-cost activities available to them locally is of benefit to society. Organisations like What’s Up mean a significant number of people will find new talents and interests – or find opportunities to pursue and develop existing ones.

Good choice!

With What’s Up, I seem to have found exactly what I was looking for: challenging, beneficial, thought provoking work in a creatively-stimulating environment. I certainly feel I made the correct decision – I just hope my stay here will be as productive as my time at Poached Creative.