Exeunt

It slipped my mind to mention this, but over the last year or so I have written a number of reviews for the excellent online theatre magazine Exeunt.

So far I have covered classical experiments, perambulatory music, spoken word and poetry-inspired theatre…

Click here to read the latest, my take on a Spitalfields Festival walking tour, Flow Forms, or check all my reviews here.

Underneath the shimmering steel and glass of Spitalfields Market, East London, two metres below surface level, a small group of urban explorers is gathered in the ruins of a medieval charnel house: a repository for bones that was once attached to the great Priory of St Mary Spital. This subterranean space – intimate enough to be a shrine – is surrounded by thick sandstone walls and the stumps of decorated columns. There is a strong smell of smoke or, maybe, of incense. Fine pebbles underfoot give it the impression of a beach, somewhere that might just vanish on the next tide. You could squeeze a volleyball court in here, I think.

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Desert Island Discs: No.6 ‘Magnum Mysterium’

Continuing with my obsession with choral music, though this extraordinary piece of contemplative liturgical music is by a modern composer – Danish-American Morten Lauridsen. It helps that this recording is from Westminster Cathedral and is high quality (for Youtube).

One to play with the lights off, and no interruptions.

Indy, cover your heart!

Yes, I am involved in co-organising this brilliant and brilliantly silly homage to Indiana Jones – celebrating this year its/his 30th birthday.

It’s Saturday 22 October, from 7pm.

Jazz star Gwyneth Herbert will open the show with a rendition of “Anything Goes” from Temple of Doom, poets including Jack Underwood and Kirsty Irving will perform new Indy-themed work, Richard Sandling will give us some historical VHS context, Siddhartha Bose will do something very dark in the basement, we will restage the giant boulder scene from the start of Raiders and much, much more.

Tickets are a fiver if bought online in advance.

My own contribution is a particularly florid poem which I will perform accompanied by music by Youth Lagoon (thanks Spotify!) and some mashed up clips of Temple of Doom. Fun!

Hope you can be there, dear reader(s).

Desert Island Discs: No.5 ‘Crucifixus’

To celebrate the Pope’s visit to Britain, and to offer some counterbalance to my resolutely anti-Catholic (and sometimes quite offensive) Facebook news-stream, here’s my favourite piece of music of all time: ‘Crucifixus’ by Antonio Lotti (1667-1740). This is a short, seeringly beautiful part of Lotti’s setting of the Catholic Mass. My version of choice is by The Sixteen, and it’s hard to find anything good on YouTube. The clip below is a poor quality recording, but the voices are exceptional and the setting breathtaking.