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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 12 June 2009
Floodlit Lord'sFloodlit Lord's

And Lord’s said, ‘Let there be some light relief!’

WHAT better way to spend a summer’s evening then snoozing under your panama hat, listening to the gentle thwack of leather against willow and occasionaly popping up for a glass of Pimm’s at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
An idyllic image, but not the reality if you’ve been a neighbour of the world-famous home of cricket for the past few years.
Ground staff have been struggling to find a way of hosting floodlit matches without blinding passers-by, dazzling motorists and shining into bedrooms.
But now there appears to be a chink of light in the saga because long-suffering residents say they are finally pleased with the latest floodlights.
Andrew Mainz, chairman of the St John’s Wood Society, said that Lord’s had finally “cracked it”, following the first test run of their new lights last week.
“Now the lights are good,” he told Diary. “There’s been no dazzling in the windows or blinding by lights. I’m pleased to say Lord’s have got it right, and we have no longer got anything to complain about.”
Just in time, too. The ground is ­playing a central role in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, which started last Friday, and is scheduled to host at least one day-night game.

Not sticking to script in library

THERE was no shhhhushing or tutting when the silence was broken at Westminster Reference Library this week. The usual pin-drop-clear hush was suspended for a performance of six new bite-size sitcoms at the Leicester Square library.
RealDeal Theatres, a group formed to help writers develop their work, selected the sitcoms after a call for scripts earlier this year and then brought actors, directors and scribes together in the theatrical equivalent of speed dating.
Among the snappy performances were Very Good Annick by Richard Fitchett, Coffin Dodgers by Rupert Haigh, Mr Praze and Mr Beeble by Phillip Whitmore, Armanie Briefs by John Hill, Tradesman’s Entrance by Michael Ayers and Powers ­Flowers by Andy ­Pandini.

Top table... Outdoor eating boost for Soho

IN these times of TV meals, getting the whole family around the dinner table can be quite a challenge.
But they’re doing their best to put table talk back on the menu in St Anne’s churchyard in Soho, after a new 24-seater “big picnic table” was unveiled on Friday.
There was no shortage of diners at the opening banquet, with dozens of children eager to get an eyeful and mouthful of the scrumptious cakes and puddings made especially for the opening.
The £23,000 table, hand made by award-winning furniture designer David Colwell, was funded by the West End Children’s Centre, West End ward funding, the Hyde Parks estates charity, Ken and Barbara Follett, the Mackintosh Foundation and local donations.

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