L’écrit du Cri, Ensemble Clément Janequin, Wigmore Hall, 24 July 2010

I’m pretty sure we’d seen Ensemble Clément Janequin before and liked them so much we fancied another go for this concert of secular Renaissance music and modern music in that “Renaissance Cri” style.  They were promoting their album L’écrit du Cri at that time; the concert was basically a performance of the album.

Here is a link for the album L’écrit du Cri: it includes several cris by modern composers as well as Renaissance pieces.

Here is a vid recording of the Ensemble singing Janequin’s hit cri, Les Cris de Paris:

This is not easy listening Renaissance (nor easy listening modern) music. I recall Janie being a little disappointed, awarding a low relaxation score despite the high fascination score and very high “talent” score for this ensemble, always excellent.

But I’m sticking to booking mostly sacred music from this Renaissance period (early 16th century) for Janie from now on. Ensemble Clément Janequin do plenty of that too.

etiquette by Ant Hampton & Silvia Mercurliali, Gate Theatre @ Gails Portobello, 19 July 2010

This seemed like a really fun idea.


A short two-handed piece set in a cafe, pairs of people go to a cafe to perform the piece themselves, through the use of headphones and props provided.

The Gate Theatre picked up on this piece and arranged for “performances” at Gails in Portobello – click here for Gate resource on this.

Janie and I loved the idea of this. As we had arranged a Z/Yen cricket evening in a North Kensington Park on the Monday evening, it seemed a good idea to have a go that afternoon.

Here’s the “programme”:

We enjoyed the piece.

Here is a search term that digs out more on this piece and on Rotozaza, the production company that does this autoteatro things.

Il Siglo D’Oro, The Cardinall’s Musick, Wigmore Hall, 12 July 2010

Wigmore Hall on-line rubric doesn’t go back quite this far, but I have lifted the following text, which is also in the programme, from www.concert-diary.com – click here:

Il siglo d’oro – the Golden Age – was the name that Spaniards gave to their great flowering of music in the 16th century. Spain brought forth some of the finest writers of the age and the Virgin Mary was a popular subject with all of them. Francisco Guerrero was known as el cantor de Maria. Much of his highly characterful music was dedicated to the Virgin, from well-crafted four-part pieces to the more splendid double-choir numbers.

This fascinating exploration of music from 16th-century Spain sets Guerrero alongside his contemporaries and colleagues Morales, Esquivel, Vivanco, Alonso Lobo and the brightest star of all, Tomas Luis da Victoria.

The idea of this concert sounded great to me but not so great to Janie (or at least not for a Monday night in those days), so I made a rare trip to the Wig on my own that Monday night.

I was glad I did. This was a lovely concert.

Here is the programme:

The Cardinall’s Musick have preserved a review of the concert – click here.


Through A Glass Darkly by Ingmar Bergman, Almeida Theatre, 10 July 2010

I am a huge fan of Ingmar Bergman films, not least Through A Glass Darkly – click here for IMdB link – so we were very excited about this stage adaptation at the Almeida.

BTW, I reviewed the movie on IMdB down the page here – way back in 2002 (when I saw value in reviewing such movies as so few people did!).

Anyway, we went to the opening Saturday night at the Almeida.

I’m not normally one for stage adaptations, but Bergman himself had granted stage adaptation rights for this film alone, so it is fair to assume that the great man himself could visualise a suitable staging.

Here is a link to the Almeida resource on this production.

This little video about the production is really interesting:

This stage adaptation worked really well at the Almeida. Superb cast, brilliantly staged and directed.

Here is a search term that will find reviews and stuff – click here.

We really enjoyed this production. I can’t honestly say that you get much from the text that goes beyond the movie script, but seeing this chamber piece close up, live, was an unforgettable experience and did add to this great work.

Middlesex Till We Chai, MTWD Match Report, Middlesex v Bangladeshis, 5 July 2010

While thinking through what to do with my old MTWD match reports on Ogblog, I stumbled across this one – I think one of the last (or should I say most recent) reports for MTWD. I thought I’d retroblog it right now.

Here’s a link to the article on MTWD, in all its glory with pictures and everything.

Given SportNetwork’s track record, I have uploaded the text of my MTWD pieces into Ogblog, so if the above “proper” link doesn’t work, you can at least read the text here.

Finally, if you are the sort of person who cannot bear to read a match report without a scorecard, here’s a link to the scorecard.




Z/Yen Tennis Evening At Boston Manor, 1 July 2010

Z/Yen’s mighty gladiators prepare for battle

Z/Yen works outings and events tend to work out successfully – not much can go wrong if you organise a jolly with activities, libations and grub.

But just occasionally, such a jolly turns out to be very special indeed; exceptionally enjoyable at the time and exceptionally memorable long after the event.

Such was, in my opinion, the Z/Yen tennis event at Boston Manor Tennis Club (BMTC); especially the first time we did it, in July 2010.

Janie and I play tennis at BMTC every weekend, unless absence or extremely foul weather prevents. We knew it would be a friendly, informal venue for a bit of sport and a barbecue…

…and an opportunity for BMTC to make a little bit of money towards its floodlight project – which met its objectives within three years of Z/Yen’s visit.

Anyway, this idea seemed to catch the collective Z/Yen imagination, as we ended up a group of 30 or so for the event; 16 playing, 14 trying to put the players off and all 30 of us eating and drinking.

Maury Shenk “cannot be serious”, foreground, with Ben Morris at the base line

I wrote the event up at the time on Now And Z/Yen – click here for link.

Actually the unsung hero (or should I say heroine) of the evening was undoubtedly Monique Gore, who organised pretty much everything (apart from the tennis itself, which was organised by Jez “Games Teacher” Horne) and also took over 100 photographs. You can click here or click through the photograph below to see all of the pictures:

TenniZ 075

Monique is an excellent photographer. Observe, in the picture above, she has managed to produce the visual illusion that I know what I am doing playing doubles up at the net. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I do look the part in that picture – as does Chiara hitting the ball in the background – thanks Monique.

The above picture does remind me of one early memory of the evening, which found its way into the Now and Z/Yen report:

It was Chiara von Gunten’s first working day, so we hope she doesn’t get into the habit of knocking off work every day at 15:30 and spending the rest of the afternoon enjoying sport and revelry. Within about 15 seconds of starting practice with her randomly-picked doubles partner, Ian Harris, she had “caught him amidships” from behind. Not a good career move on your first day, Chiara.

Strangely, the above incident didn’t adversely affect Chiara’s career in the end…probably because she was so good at her job.

Leo demonstrates a textbook shot…unfortunately it is from the economics text book, not the tennis text book

You could be forgiven for assuming, if you only saw the above picture of Leo Fishman swatting a fly…I mean trying to hit a tennis ball…that Leo wasn’t too sure what she was doing…

…but I knew that Leo comes from good tennis stock – I spent many hours on the tennis courts at Keele in my student days while her grandfather, Professor Les Fishman, was playing with his entourage on one of the other courts.

So it wasn’t a complete surprise when Leo and Joey took the coveted trophy that year; presented by Jez.

But it wasn’t all fierce battle

To quote from the Now and Z/Yen write up:

With the barbeque sizzling and the refreshments flowing, the tennis competition soon became secondary, although plenty of people enjoyed some makeshift tennis after the tournament ended. The revelry went on long after dark, which takes some late-night stamina at this time of year.

The above memory is my most abiding one – a surprisingly large group of people lingering on, enjoying the glorious long summer evening and each other’s company until very late.

It wasn’t all about tennis

One memory absent from the Now and Z/Yen report was the appearance of Angela Broad with her friend Doreen, who was briefly in the country at that time. Doreen’s chauffeur parked the ginormous Mercedes “inconspicuously” on the far side of the car park. This worked in a way, because if you weren’t looking out for it, you probably wouldn’t have noticed it from the courts or associated that vehicle with our event. It must have caused a bit of a stir amongst the regular park users, though. Janie and I thought it was very funny at the time.

I’d love to know if other people remember this particular event as fondly as I do…

…and do people have some other/alternative memories of that evening they would care to share?