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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 3 July 2009
A gig? What a drag! Film and show from Bi, 99

IF you’re going to bill yourself as the oldest singer on the planet you better have your birth certificate within easy reach.
No doubt some eager reader is already on the Guinness Book of Records website trying to disprove Bi Kidude’s USP.
Nevertheless, at 99 years of age, the Zanzibar national is certainly a sight to behold. A film telling her story, As Old As My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude, featuring much of her beloved Swahili music, will be shown at the British Film Institute on the South Bank next week. And you can see her perform in person the following day on Wednesday July 8 at the Southbank Centre. For more information visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Regent’s Park branches out into treehouses

REGENT'S Park is set to go all Swiss Family Robinson after planners gave the green light to a new treehouse development.
The striking treehouses, which will sit to the north of the boating lake, will be the setting for an eco-friendly art project.
Three galleries comprising a hub, a box gallery and a round reading gallery will be linked by a treetop timber walkway and will open to the public from July 12 until September 6.
Over the summer the treehouses will host a programme of exhibitions, performances, workshops, spoken word events and debates.
Councillor Steve Summers, chairman of Westminster Council’s planning applications sub-committee, said: “We are pleased to be able to bring this piece of contemporary and sustainable design to the centre of London. We welcome artists, designers and the general public working together in Westminster so that more people learn about the importance of the environment and conservation issues.
“This is a fun way for people to easily learn how they can make a difference to the world around them. It should delight children and hopefully get people to take an interest in this important subject in Westminster where we are looking at ways we can help to preserve our heritage for everyone to enjoy for generations to come.”
For more information visit www.thetreehousegallery.org

Colourful career of Pink Floyd artist

PINK Floyd, Led Zepplin, Muse, the Cranberries – illustrious names that share one thing in common: they have all trusted their album artwork (almost as important as what’s on wax) to the acclaimed graphic designer Storm Thorgerson.
His glass prism on black background design for the Floyd’s 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon, became an instant classic, capturing the imagination of the music and art worlds alike.
An exhibition of his work will go on display at the Black and Blue restaurant in Wigmore Street from today. For more information visit www.blackandbluerestaurants.com

Throw some money his way?

BORIS Johnson busking for his dinner. Such a spectacle is likely to draw a crowd of gloaters from street sleepers to policy makers.
But before you rush for the rotten tomatoes or your stash of pennies, be warned, the mayor isn’t making a career change.
The session is part of a scheme to get more youngsters taking up musical instruments. Next Saturday, Mr Johnson will be joined by 200 youngsters across the Tube network, including Westminster, Victoria and Embankment stations, to take part in the live busking event. The top 10 performances, as voted for by the public, will compete for prizes which include a highly lucrative year’s licence to perform as part of the London Underground Busking Scheme.

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