West End Extra
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 28 August 2009
The road beyond snapshots

THINK of Westminster and you think of Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.
It’s fair to say the blighted shop fronts of the Harrow Road don’t figure on any top 10 in London list.
But that could all be set to change after a series of photographs of the area went on display in Westminster City Hall. The exhibition, a street portrait featuring shops, staff and shop fronts, organised by London Print Studio, will make the illustrations in a new book called Picturing Harrow Road by the studio’s director John Phillips. He said: “Photos usually capture a split second of time and a fraction of what’s in front of us.
Picturing Harrow Road tried to do a little more than that. Hundreds of photos, taken over a period of weeks, were used to create a composite picture of the Harrow Road and the people who work there.”
The exhibition runs until mid-September.

Brian Haw and the art of torment

SHOULD have seen the link before but it wasn’t until Saturday that it fell into place.
It was while watching a play at the Edinburgh Festival on the life of a lone anti-war protester outside Parliament that it dawned on Diary that he had so much in common with Goya and Picasso.
Both artists were tormented by the cruelty of war, expressing their horror in great works of art. But then so was Brian Haw whose lonely anti-war vigil in Parliament Square enters its eighth year this week.
The play at the festival, The State We’re In by TV writer Zia Trench is about such a man, played so magnificently and so eerily close to the character of Haw himself, by Hampstead actor Michael Byrne. The character, like Haw, is pained by the horrors inflicted on women and children in Iraq. But in his search for grace, like so many seekers, the protester, paradoxically, casts off from his wife and children leaving them fatherless.
Another absorbing outcry against the stench of war is an exhibition including Goya and Picasso paintings at the National Gallery of Scotland.
There is Picasso’s the Weeping Woman and Goya, striding ahead of his time, with drawings that do not shirk from showing the savagery of war – images that if they were photographs today would be kept off the pages of family newspapers.
If Haw is our conscience today, his hoardings bloody testament of political decisions by purblind MPs in the Commons, where are canvases by today’s artists?
Where today another Guernica painted by Picasso of a “Spain sunk in an ocean of pain and death”?
This painting, still so powerful, had to be covered up in the United nations headquarters in case it offended US diplomats.
Is the silence of our canvases today a reflection of consumerist Britain?

Underground it’s so easy to lose your cool

PHEW! We all suspected the Tube was Earth’s core hot, but now scientists at Transport for London have given sweaty commuters something more substantial than the sticky shirt/non-sticky shirt distinction.
The warmest parts of the Underground network have been revealed in a new map, with the Central line hitting a sweltering 32°C between Holland Park and Mile End.
For those wanting to get to ground without mammoth sweat globules the Jubilee line should be option number one.
The line is significantly cooler, with most stations recording temperatures of 24°C.
With cooling the Tube apparently beyond the engineers at TfL, perhaps the map will provide the impetus needed.
A TfL spokesman said: “It is a programme that will take years, not months to deliver results.”

Final chance to get into the flip flops?

SUMMER holiday over, the beach a distant memory?
Have no fear, there’s still a chance to slip into your flip flops and make sandcastles at a special bank holiday beach party this weekend.
Five tonnes of white sand is being shipped into Zebrano in Ganton Street (pictured) ahead of the party, which will fittingly have an Ibiza theme.
Kick back to sundowner anthems, enjoy a cocktail and feast on the barbecue from 11am.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions