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beige vol ume 2 issue 1
VOLUME 2 ISSUE 2
LONDON PRIDE PAUL BURSTON DOMINIC TIGHE ALISON JIEAR
MATTHEW FOX Property Theatre Travel Community
Front page2.indd 3
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beige vol2 iss2 contents
09 MATTHEW FOX
24 CIRCUIT FESTIVAL
14 PAUL BURSTON
16 ALISON JIEAR
50 GAY MARKETING 101
18 PRIDE GUIDE 2009
56 DOMINIC TIGHE
20 MAKE SOME NOISE
68 OUT & ABOUT
22 MOTORING HOLIDAYS
Beige talks to Matthew about Lost and his next career move.
We talk to Paul about his new book The Gay Divorcee
Aussie diva Alison Jiear just wants to dance.
Beige takes a look at some of the events planned for London Pride Festival.
We talk to Rick and Michael about Big Noise events.
Beige looks at taking a holiday in a luxury campervan.
Partying in sunny Spain has never been hotter.
Take a break in this amazing city.
A look at how marketing people often get the gay community so wrong.
Talks about his love of acting and his latest theatre role.
Photos from the Opening Night of Priscilla and Decadence.
Information on community groups and events nationwide.
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beige vol2 iss2 contents Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Sales email@example.com Magazine Design: DM Design Cover Photography: Matthew Fox Contributors Simon Button, Ian Johnson, Douglas Mayo, Darren Cooper, Sam Peter Jackson, Tony Tansley, Martin Lewis, Kevin Tewis, Mark Ludmon Beige UK ISSN 1756-7211 Published by Next Phase Media Limited Suite 404 Albany House 324- 326 Regent Street London W1B 3HH T: 0870 233 2233 www.beigeuk.com
All rights reserved throughout the world. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written consent of Beige UK. The views and opinions expressed by contributors to this magazine may not necessarily represent the views of Beige UK. Beige UK takes no responsibility for claims made in advertisements featured in this magazine. Beige UK can take no responsibility for unsolicited material. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness, and the opinions based thereon are not guaranteed. Disclaimer: Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organisation, articles or advertising in Beige UK should not be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of such person or organisation or advertiser.
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30 v 50: CREDIT CRUNCH
Whilst the world around us continues to proport the message of doom and gloom and tough economic times, the gay community goes on seemingly unaffected. But are we? Have we managed to weather the storm better than other sectors or is it all just an illusion. Beige put our two commentators to work to give us a unique perspective.
The KERMIT CRUNCH by Sam Peter Jackson
A world crisis that sounds like a sugary cereal? How could it not be fun!? At the risk of descending into stereotype hell, I won’t even attempt to speak for every homo with a chequebook here. Seriously Beigers! Yeah yeah yeah, sure, we buy a flatscreen instead of a baby buggy, live in multi-income households and can all somehow fake being middle-classed even if we’re not. I get it! Instead I speak for my posse – my early thirties artsy layabout bohemian brothers in crime. Because get this…With a big fat student loan on my back, highly skilled in the art of living decadently beyond my means and shuffling around credit card debt like a David Blaine deck of cards, I am immune to the crunch, brothers and sisters! They can’t get me! My industry is already in such a poor state that nothing could possibly make it worse! This is our renaissance! Our Age of Aquarius! All my fellow actor/writer friends are finally feeling the ecstasy. As if to say ‘welcome to our world’ to every crying banker with open arms and a smile. The markets are falling apart? Yippie! I can get a cheap lunch and - screw it, I’ll buy a house! In London! Hahaha! They can’t be that much anymore, can they? Yeah sure, I’ll still need a grandparent to die in mid-October for the deposit, but things have never looked so optimistic! Hang on, first I’ll hit the half price no-good-reason-whatsoever-sale at House of Fraser. Wow, this is like REAL orgasmic shopping, the way it feels at Abercrombie in New York, but without the cost of a plane ticket or smelling of that God-awful stench when I leave the shop. Then I’ll go to a music store and pick up the newest releases for only…oh, crap, they’ve all gone bust. And if you’re on the other side – cheer up! Book those tap lessons that Daddy never let you take, paint your walls with crayons and join the industry that has at least stayed constant. Poor is the new black, so wear it in style. Happy Recession everyone! Enjoy it while it lasts! www.sampeterjackson.com
I am immune to the crunch, brothers and sisters! They can’t get me! My industry is already in such a poor state that nothing could possibly make it worse!
ARE GAY MEN RECESSION PROOF? by Tony Tansley
Twenty years ago I predicted that the housing market, car industry and banking would collapse after a period of high living and luxury. I also stated that the gay industry would go from strength to strength with the creation of more bars, clubs and shops. It seems that most of my straight friends pay all their bills with credit cards and stash spare cash under the mattress. My gay friends just spend, spend, spend. In a recession, surely it’s more prudent to get rid of spare capital as there are hundreds of offers on everything from designer underwear to gourmet meals and we know how we gay boys like a top class bargain. Theatres, clubs and restaurants and fashion shops are as busy as ever with bookings still having to be made in advance. Asking if gay men are recession proof singles us out as though we are part of a secret society. We suffer every aspect of financial life that any heterosexual does except where style, brown nosing and climbing the social ladder is concerned. Now that’s when we would sell our dear mother to become one of the “club”. I see few gay people tightening their belts, except after a week on substances. which people always seem to afford, and most see the future as a change in the calendar dates, refusing to accept the necessity of savings or a pension. This is what makes our community so hedonistic and the crunch will rear its ugly head later rather than sooner in a climate of the very rich versus the very poor (a sad return to the Thatcher years). We tend to be optimistic about everything and if there’s no evolvement in our lifestyle we tend to just change direction. It’s a bit like the process of government!
I see few gay people tightening their belts, except after a week on substances. which people always seem to afford, and most see the future as a change in the calendar dates
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MATTHEW FOX Perched on a sofa at the Monte Carlo TV Festival, Matthew Fox is looking effortlessly sexy in tshirt and jeans. He’s also remarkably relaxed considering he could soon be out of work. The sixth and final season of mind-boggling drama Lost is about to begin shooting, then he’ll be hanging up his Dr Jack stethoscope for good. But his second stint in a long-running series (the first was Party Of Five in the 90s) has made Fox, 43 (on July 14th) into a multi-millionaire and the tall, tanned actor need never work again. As he tells Beige, he’s happy his stint in Hawaii is coming to and end, but he has no intention of taking it easy – a film career, flying jets and skinny dipping are all on the agenda… Beige: How do you feel about Lost coming to an end? MF: We only have one more year of this experience and I want to savour it. It’s been an amazing experience. This is the second time I’ll have gone six years on a television show so I know how it feels to be wrapped up in something for five years and then the last year rolls around. It will be finished and it will be gone. I’m excited about the next chapter in my life but at the same time I want to make sure I really enjoy the next 10 or 11 months. Beige: Can you tell us anything about the final season? MF: Well, I do know how the story is going to end, I know what the last images are going to be and I knew that this year was going to be a time in which we had to do a lot of the backstory of the Dharma Initiative, we had to do a lot of this split time, and I’ve always known that Jack and Locke will come head to head in the final year. Beige: How did you feel when it was decided to end the show after six seasons? We were all really happy. Unlike a doctors’ show or a lawyers’ show or a cop show where you can continually come up with new cases, Lost is a narrative. It started with a plane crash on an island in the South Pacific and it will have a very specific ending, so [creator] Damon Lindelof always has known what that ending would be. He needed to know how many chapters he would have to write that story in. It would have been very damaging to Lost and the audience would have immediately caught onto the fact if we were stalling to stretch the storyline. Beige: Do you know how Lost will finally wrap things up and what would happen if you divulged it? MF: I do know, but if I told you some guys would pull up outside the building in masks and a white van, they’d whisk me into it, take me away and I’d never be seen again. Beige: Spoilsport! Can’t you divulge anything at all about? MF: Only that it’s going to end in an incredibly powerful, sad and
beautiful way. I think it’s going to be satisfying, cathartic, redemptive and beautiful. I’ve spoken to Damon extensively about it and every time it’s surprising how moving it is to talk about. The way it’s going to end is going to be pretty awesome. Beige: Will everyone’s destinies be solved in a satisfactory way for the audience? MF: One of the things I think that has made Lost really special is that it makes people think and they end up sort of writing what future they want to see for the show. I really believe the final season is going to be amazing and I think it’s going to be an incredibly satisfactory ending. But as far as whether the audience will feel that way you’re not going to please all of those people all of the time. But as far as all the little pieces of the puzzle that Damon and [executive producer] Carlton Cuse have laid out, all those tracks that were laid storywise early, at times the audience didn’t have a lot of faith that they knew where they were heading with it, but the show will prove they did know all along. All of those pieces will come back into play, but in the way people want them to? I don’t know. Beige: What would happen if you divulged the ending? MF: I do know, but if I told you some guys would pull up outside the building in masks and a white van, they’d whisk me into it, take me away and I’d never be seen again. Beige: Will everyone’s destinies be solved in a satisfactory way for the audience? MF: One of the things I think that has made Lost really special is that it makes people think and they end up sort of writing what future they want to see for the show. I really believe the final season is going to be amazing and I think it’s going to be an incredibly satisfactory ending to this show we’ve all been a part of. But as far as whether the audience will feel that way… Again it’s a show where a lot of the people who are wrapped up in [watching] it, they write their own version of the way they want it to go so you’re not going to please all of those people all of the time. But as far as all the little pieces of the puzzle that Damon and
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beige interview Carlton have laid out, all those tracks that were laid storywise early, at times the audience didn’t have a lot of faith that they knew where they were heading with it, but the show will prove they did know all along. All of those pieces will come back into play, but in the way people want them to? I don’t know. Beige: How much will the time travel aspect of the show be explored? MF: The fifth year ends with the question of what Jack believes will happen if he sets off the hydrogen bomb, whether it will work, so the sixth season will start with that answer and I think it will be very surprising and initially very confusing for the audience. Then relatively soon into the year the two time frames are going to be solidified into one time frame and we’ll be operating in a more linear way. A third of the way in I would guess we’ll get on one time frame – no more flashbacks. Beige: On a trivial note, we understand you are a big fan of skinny dipping… MF: I am a fan of skinny dipping. If I am going to swim I prefer to do it naked. Beige: In real life are you attracted more to cool and calculated women like Juliet or more rough and ready women like Kate? MF: Well, I am married and have been for many, many years. My wife Margherita is sort of her own breed but I’m not going to get into describing what I love about her. Beige: What are you going to do once the show wraps? MF: I’m going to move. We’ve had a wonderful time in Hawaii and the kids have really enjoyed it, but we’re all excited about moving on to the next place in our lives. Being closer to family is one of the priorities. I have two brothers and they both have children, and we really want the kids to have good, solid first-cousin relationships. Then I’m going to focus on films. I’ve managed to do four films in the last couple of years that I’m really proud of and I’m excited about the next chapter, and I’m only focussing on moving in that direction because it gives me more freedom in my life. I want to do a movie or two a year and have more flexibility over when I’m working and when I’m not. Beige: How far do Lost devotees go? MF: I honestly don’t know. I never read anything on the internet so I’m not aware, although I think they’re pretty intense about it – they get together and talk about the show a lot. I know we sell a lot of that Dharma gear so maybe they’re dressing up in that stuff. Beige: You grew up on a ranch in a family that wasn’t so much anti-TV as more pro books and reading. How much of that influenced your interest in acting? MF: I grew up loving books and crawling into the worlds books had to offer, those infinite possibilities, and I did grow up in a remote part of the world. Aside from my brothers and my mum and dad, using your imagination and entertaining yourself was really important to all of us and maybe that’s fuelled my fascination with storytelling and being a part of it any way I can. We really encourage our children to read but we do let them watch a bit of television – I don’t want to be as hardcore as my old man was – but we really limit it. I’m happy my 12year-old daughter has gotten such a passion for reading. She’ll spend hours wrapped up in a story. Beige: You studied economics. Do you ever wish you’d pursued a career in, say, the stock exchange? MF: I feel so fortunate to have found the thing I’m doing now. I genuinely love it and I’m continually challenged by it – every day is a new challenge, every story and every role. I do have a lot of friends who are still in the business so I wish for them that things turn around and for the economy in general globally. Beige: Do you think you’ll suffer withdrawal symptoms from Hawaii and the cast? MF: Yes, there’s no question of that. We’ve been working intensely together in our little bubble on that island for five years so saying goodbye to some of the people is going to be very difficult and sad. This business is like that – you work together so intertwined and you think you’re going to be friends forever but the realities and complexities of life mean you don’t see those people very often. As for Hawaii, I’ve never been much of a tropical person – I was raised in the mountains and I miss the four-seasonal climate, I miss fall, winter and spring and the change of seasons.
Beige: If you were offered another long-running TV serial, would you sign up? MF: Honestly, no. I’ve done two six-year stints on shows and they’ve both been shows I’m incredibly proud of, but I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’m going to make it happen the way I want to make it happen or I’ll just do something else. There are many things I’m passionate about – I recently got my pilot’s licence and I’m going to be flying a lot, the area I’m going to be living in in the USA is a great place to fly, and I want to spend a lot of time with my family. We’re moving to Oregon. My mother and my brother live there and we’ve been talking for 10 years about getting closer and now we’re actually making it happen. Beige: What can you tell us about your forthcoming movie Billy Smoke? MF: It’s a movie I’m developing at Warner Brothers. It’s based on a comic book and the title character is an assassin and has decided the only way to redeem all the things he’s done in his life is essentially to eliminate every other assassin on the planet. It’ll be in a very connectable reality but stylised and cool. We’re working on the script right now. Beige: Will you and the rest of the Lost cast get a tattoo to mark your time on the show? MF: I love tattoos but they’re very personal to me. The idea of a group tattoo isn’t something I’d be interested in. It’s too complex to boil down to one word or symbol, plus when you have such a large cast and crew there are certain relationships that are more intense than others. That’s bound to happen. In fact there are certain people on the show who don’t get along very well and that’s understandable. Saying goodbye will be an individual experience. Beige: What’s the difference between making movies and TV? MF: With films you have a beginning, a middle and an end and you set off for three months to shoot the mosaic of all those little pieces, it’s done, you say goodbye to everyone and you know that in a year or so you’ll have a publicity responsibility to go out and sell what is hopefully a very good movie. One of the frustrations with television is that it just goes on and on, although I’m fortunate that both the things I’ve done I’ve been very proud of. A film is contained, you know what every piece of the story is, you can arc it more specifically, and you have a lot more time. On Lost we shoot sometimes seven or eight pages of material a day whereas on a film you do a page or half a page. Beige: What kind of movies would you like to make in the future? MF: I don’t have any specific genres, although I’d love to do a western one day. If I stay in this business that’s one of the things on my I’ve-gotta-do list. But it’s all about the filmmakers. I want to work with great directors and when it comes to decisions the director is the biggest piece of the pie. Obviously you want the script to be great but oftentimes you can see a script that’s not quite there but if you’re working with a filmmaker who is very talented and very specific about what the film is going to be… *Lost series 1-4 are now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Series 5 will be released later in the year
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Marriage, He Wrote... 14 | beige vol 2 iss 2
beige interview Paul Burston is an unashamed workaholic. Between his commitments at Time Out, organising the literary salon - Polari, and being a constant Facebook presence and all round blogger, he has found time to complete his fourth novel, The Gay Divorcee and is in the rigours of promoting it. He took “time out” to chat with Beige... An unashamed fan of Marian Keyes, Burston’s latest book is an entertaining read. The Gay Divorcee tells the story of Phil, who moves from Brigend to London where he becomes a successful Soho bar owner. Engaged to be married to the much younger and ever so manipulative Ashley, there’s one small problem, he needs to finally divorce his first wife. So how does Burston start the process of bringing a novel to life? “I always start a novel with a central character and a central situation. I never really know more than that. I knew I wanted to write a book about a gay man who is going to get married, but who had previously been married to a woman, because I knew someone who had been in that situation, not quite the same but similar.” “The real life person upon whom this book is based used to own a bar, so I thought I’d stick as close to the truth as possible and that led me to writing about the scene. I hadn’t planned it but it all seemed quite natural. A lot of it was then drawn from my own personal experiences. It’s a bit like method acting, you put a bit of yourself in your characters. Writing those characters is great fun. It’s great holding a mirror up to this world you inhabit and poke fun at it a bit. Hopefully people will recognise people that they know or the kind of people that they know. In my first two books I went for the laughs quite a bit, but this one was more ambitious.” Having read some of the press that has come out so far in relation to the book, I am amused at the way that press, both gay and straight seek to try to pidgeon hole Paul or impose labels upon his style of writing. The Independent recently suggested that he was the “Jane Austen of contemporary gay London”. One thing is for certain, some elements of the gay press are certainly acidic in the way they review or comment on Paul’s characterisations. “Whilst my books are all different, underneath they are all about love, I’m a romantic at heart. So when people say my books are quite bitchy I don’t really understand it, the characters may be bitchy but thats just a reflection of the scene and if people think there aren’t characters like Ashley out there, they are just fooling themselves. Just go to any bar and you’ll meet them, they’re everywhere.” Paul’s role in his various career guises ranges from writer, to reviewer to commentator. How does he see the current state of gay artistic output? “ I get sent an awful lot of stuff in my job to review and so much of it is pants. A lot of writers rely on sex and sexuality at the expense of the story and the writing. To a certain degree it has harmed the reputation of gay writing. I know to drag my husband to anything prefaced as “Gay” is really a struggle. It’s a shame because there is so much good stuff out there but the bad stuff gives us a bad reputation. If you are going to write gay fiction, you have a responsibility to your readers to write the best book possible. Try
to say something a bit more honest than just the same old coming out stories that we’ve all heard before. I thought that gay marriage was quite topical at the moment and as I was going through it myself I thought it would be natural to write about that.” This attitude to the current marketplace has led Paul to develop and promote Polari, a gay literary salon where writers can present their work in a relaxed setting to potential audiences. “I’d been writing since 1995 and I’d never been invited to speak at any event that wasn’t gay, and I sat down in 2007 feeling pissed off and depleted, so I decided to get off my arse and do something about it. I loved the House of Homesexual Culture and the way it had helped renew gay culture and I thought I’d love to do something literary. I had this idea to do a literary salon night. As I was also doing some dj’ing I also provided the music on the night. The first one was at Green Carnation and when we arrived the owner decided that if we stopped the music the people might leave, so he asked if we would cancel the readings. In the end we did them quite apologetically for stopping the music. It was great fun and by the time we go to the second one we were packed and it kind of steamrolled from there. We started getting some great figures from the straight literary world coming along. I loved that we had such a great mix of people coming to a bar for readings and they were actually prepared to shut up and listen to the authors. It amazed me how fast it grew. My big ambition with Polari is now not only to promote gay writers but to help create gay writers. I’d love to help people get published.” It was Polari, that was to open another door to Paul which was to prove too good to refuse. “ In April 2007, Rupert and I were approached by Rachel at the Southbank asking if we’d like to help with programming the literature festival. As far as I know it was the first time a major literary festival has asked gay curators to come in and programme stuff. It was just amazing. The Southbank were so great to work with.” So just how does Paul fit all this into his working day? “I have a patient and understanding husband. He is very tolerant when I spend a lot of time working. I used to spend a lot of time (rather like the queens in the book) sat in bars drinking and being quite compulsive and messy. I spent a lot of my time doing that and I wasn’t in a very happy place.”
hard. My mother never left me to rest on my laurels. I always resented that but it actually gave me the drive you need to suceed. Being a gay author is not an easy career choice. I’m lucky my publishers are very supportive, and I have a great PR working with me on this book who is dynamic and just terrific. When people accuse me of being a shameless self publicist I don’t mind, you do what you have to do to succeed.” Recently, Paul has become quite vocal about the way that generations of gay men communicate and relate to each other. “When I came out in the mid 80’s I gravitated to a group of older men because I found people my own age quite shallow and boring. Unfortunately, that group of older men got hit by the HIV crisis and I ended up burying them all. They did however, install in me a lot of things, like passing on information and keeping the culture going, which I think created a gap between the older and younger generation of guys out there now.” “The attitude towards HIV in the young now is just unbelievable with infection rates being the highest in 25 years. I recently chaired a round table and I was shocked at the amount of misinformation with young people. I feel that we aren’t educating our own community anymore. I would hate to be part of the younger generation now. Whilst they have so many freedoms we didn’t have, they have also become commodified. They are now just a market to sell designer pants to. Does anyone care about them beyond that?” Paul is already hard at work on his next offering, he’s talking about it being more challenging for him as an author. “I think what gay readers really want is books about people they connect with. They want to read about people they recognise and all too often they don’t get that. You get books about people they recognise but are American or books about pornstar confessions. I have nothing against pornstars but not everyone wants to be one. Quite ordinary people often have interesting tales to tell. Not everyone has a novel in them. If they can’t tell it, I’ll tell it for them.” The Gay Divorcee is available now from Sphere. Purchase your copy from Prowler or Prowler online and £2 will be donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust. Www.paulburston.com
“I’ve always been someone who works
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ALISON JIEAR When Alison Jiear takes to the stage, the results are often hilarious, sometimes moving, but always memorable. This has been a mad year for Alison and sheâ€™s only half way through.
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beige interview A transplant from Australia, Alison has had music in her blood since she was young. “I got to the end of school and really couldn’t do anything apart from sing, my gorgeous lesbian singing teacher set me up with an audition at the Conservatorium of Music and goddamit I got in. I started pursuing classical studies and went on a talent show where I was discovered by a performer/ producer called Simon Gallagher who took me on tour with him. So I started performing in clubs and it snowballed really.” “I came to London with the Fabulous Singlettes with a plan to be here for six months, but I’m still here.” When asked if she looks back favourably at those years with The Singlettes, she is thoughtful in response. “ In hindsight I wish I’d been more aware of just how well we were doing. I think back now and look at the fact that we had our own show in the West End three times in the space of four years and we had quite a following especially in the gay community. I still have the photo to this day of some of our huge fans who would turn up to all our shows dressed as the Supremes. We had our own show on the BBC, they were really fabulous years. When I took my beehive off I was really ready to take it off mainly because my hair was falling out. It was great to find my own voice again and come back into the nineties instead of being stuck in the sixties.” Since that time, Alison has become just a little bit iconic on the international gay landscape for her comic turns in musicals and concerts. When last year Anthony Stiles and George Drewe celebrated their writing partnership in a concert at Her Majesty’s, it was Jiears “Diva” turn that proved one of the evenings stand out moments. “My brain just goes to strange places when I’m at the treadmill at the gym, I did think If I came on with a very long train it would be fab so I dashed straight to the shop to buy twenty metres of Tuele.” she says. Perhaps though, her biggest moment was as Shawntel, the pole dancer with a heart in Jerry Springer The Opera. “I didn’t see the original but auditioned at the National thinking the show was going to be a pile of shit. I am so happy though to have been proven wrong. I loved it. Any chance to stand up and sing rude words in eight part harmony must be a good thing. I was blessed to have one of the most beautiful musical moments in the show.” I Just Wanna Dance, stopped the show and in a bizarre turn of events became a huge dance anthem with which she opened Sydney Mardi Gras this year. “Mardi Gras this year was just fab!”. But despite the success of the song, it’s a feat in itself that so many people know about it. “When I was doing the show I was asked to come in and do a demo of a dance track. Sony and the producers had come up with a deal where they were going to make a pop album of the show with people like Tom Waites playing God. So I went in to do the demo and they asked me to sign a release which I refused to do as it was only a demo. They paid me a bit of money and a few weeks later I got told the Sony boss loved it and they were going to release it. I started doing Manchester Pride and appearances for the track all over the place and it got out there. Wayne G did
a few fabulous remixes and then something happened and it all went belly up and was never officially released. In the meantime though that track took on a life of its own and has gone worldwide. It’s great, through the Singlettes, my musical theatre, cabaret and album work I’ve always had a great gay following but this track was just huge.” Alison has worked in musical theatre for many years working in musicals such as Nine in Australia. It was an experience which was to come back into her life again last year. “I worked on the film of Nine The Musical last year and it was just amazing. It was incredible to sit there and watch them rehearse the opening with Daniel Day Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Sophie Loren and Fergie – they have such amazing voices.” It’s a musical that has always been close to her heart. “ I saw the production with Antonio Banderas on Broadway” she says, “I always aspired to be hung upside down naked in a bed sheet like the woman from Ally McBeal.” Alison did a repeat stint working the pole again at the Sydney Opera House in Jerry Springer before recently heading back to London for a brief stint of cabaret. So does Alison prefer the intimacy of small venues or does she love the thrill of twenty thousand people at Mardi Gras? “Mardi Gras was a massive adrenalin rush, I just love performing as myself. It’s unforgiving. A friend of mine once said to be “Jiear you have no filter”. Sometimes if I think something it just comes straight out of my mouth. I like that about cabaret though, I can just be me.” “When I am putting together a cabaret it depends on what I am going through in my personal life. If I’m going through a crap time it tends to get reflected in the material. I did a show quite a while back and looking back it had a lot of tortured ballads, but I’m married now with two beautiful children and life is phenomenal so depressing ballads are out. It’s all a theatrical journey.” “Sometimes you see people in cabaret and its so pushed and scripted. With my cabaret show I have a map so I know where I am going but it’s never fully scripted. I love the ad libs. I am an Aussie after all and we are slightly inappropriate but you just throw yourself in the deep end and hope you don’t forget the lyrics.” She is also quick to add with a mischevious tone to her voice “It’s also a great excuse to go out and buy fab new frocks and look amazing!” It’s always great to see Alison on stage. Whether in a show or on her own in cabaret she’s full of energy and just never stops and as we finish our chat she started talking to us about her plans for the rest of the year. “I’d love to spend some time doing a new album. It would cap off a mind blowing year which has already seen me doing On The Town in Paris, Mardi Gras in Australia and revisiting Jerry Springer at The Sydney Opera House.” Alison Jiear truly is a Diva. Long may she reign!! For more information visit www.alisonjiear.com beige vol 2 iss 2 | 17
LONDON PRIDE FESTIVAL Pride London Festival Fortnight brings you Nightlife, Music, Literature, Walks, Theatre, Film, Comedy, Art, and a host of other treats. Contributions from all these events will help support Pride London in combating homophobia, transphobia, promote health and well-being, celebrate identity and fight for our human rights the world over.
Wednesday 1st July Priscilla Queen of the Desert Jason Donovan, Tony Sheldon and Oliver Thornton lead the cast in the West End production of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Based on the Oscar® award-winning film, Priscilla tells the story of Tick (Jason Donovan), Bernadette (Tony Sheldon) and Adam (Oliver Thornton) a glamorous Sydney-based performing trio that agree to take their show to the middle of the Australian outback. Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, 7.30pm, Top Price ticket (best seat) for this production at a discounted rate of £49 per person no booking fees (usually £59.25 plus booking fee) with Pride London. Use PartnerPromo Code LGPPQ on www.londongaytheatreclub.co.uk
Wednesday 1st July PRIDE SPOTLIGHTS
A comic and tragic stroll along the boards with queer, here and proud artists, actors, directors and writers. Shelley Silas, Phil Wilmott, Serge Nicholson, Laura Bridgeman and Snehal Desai. Take the floor and present live readings. Special guests to be announced. The strengths and weaknesses of the stage and it’s relationship to The LGBT community will be put in the spotlight. Unlike the theatre you will have will be plenty of time to ask your burning questions. The Drill Hall, 16 Chenies Street, London WC1E 7EX, 7.30pm, £5, Book online or on 020 7307 5060, www.drillhall.co.uk
Saturday 4th July RHONA CAMERON After her 2008 sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and her national tour, award winning comedian and critically acclaimed author Rhona Cameron is bringing her show back to London for one final night. Expect an evening of hilarious storytelling, classic sharp wit and extremely funny observational humour as Rhona takes the audience through the ridiculous situations of her darkly comical life and her struggle with the absurdities of modern times.
9pm. £15/£12.50, www.southbankcentre. co.uk/udderbelly, www.underbelly.co.uk
Monday 29th June BEFORE STONEWALL Dir. Greta Schiller, USA, 1984, 87mins Featuring: Rita Mae Brown, Allen Ginsberg, Lisa Ben, Evelyn Hooker With introduction from Ken Livingstone. On June 27, 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York. In a spontaneous show of support and frustration the city’s gay community rioted for three nights in the streets, an event that is considered the birth of the modern Gay Rights Movement. Revealing and often humorous, this award-winning documentary exposes the fascinating and unforgettable decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America, from 1920’s Harlem through to World War II; and the witch hunt trials of the McCarthy era. Essential viewing for all of those who have celebrated their sexuality, or have been persecuted because of it. 9pm, £9/12, Box Office: 0871 7033 988, Curzon Soho 99 Shaftesbury Avenue London W1D 5DY, www.curzoncinemas.com
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Monday 6th July DREAM BOY
Dir. James Bolton, USA, 2009, 90mins Starring: Max Roeg, Stephan Bender, Diana Scarwid, Thomas Jane Ryan With introduction from Kim Macsweeney, proprietor of the UK’s first ever gay book shop, Gays The Word. A page to screen adaptation of the hugely popular and award-winning novel. Dream Boy is a sensitive depiction of a love affair between two high-school boys in the rural South. Featuring music from Richard Buckner, Rickie Lee Jones and The Sweet Hereafter and starring Max Roeg in his feature debut. 6.30pm, £5, ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org
Tues 2nd July–Sun 16th Oct GAY ICONS
The first portrait exhibition to celebrate the contribution of gay people and gay icons to history and culture. 60 photographs selected by Waheed Alli, Alan Hollinghurst, Elton John, Jackie Kay, Billie Jean King, Ian McKellen, Chris Smith, Ben Summerskill, Sandi Toksvig and Sarah Waters. The choices provide a fascinating range of inspiring figures – some very famous, some heroic, others relatively unknown spanning the worlds of entertainment, art, music, literature, sport and politics. Porter Gallery, National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE. Open
daily 10am-6pm, Open until 9pm, Thursday and Friday, £5/£4.50/£4, free for Gallery Supporters, www.npg.org.uk
Sunday 5th July 2009 LONDON GAY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The LGSO finishes off its 2008/9 season in style with a fantastic concert at a great new venue and showing off their many talented performers. Including a recital of Piano Concert No 2 by Rachmaninov. Programme: Glinka – Overture to Russlan & Ludmilla, Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2, soloist Peter Austin, Rachmaninov – Symphony No. 3. St John’s, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA, Tickets are available from the venue box office in person or by phone 0207 222 1061, 7pm/£15/10 (concession) or quote “Pride 09” to receive a Pride discount price of £12.50
Saturday 4th July. LOUNGE
Teatro on Shaftesbury Avenue, which overlooks Romilly Street. 93-107 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5DY.
Thurs 25th June – 31st July COMING OUT TO PLAY 3-GAZE are three gay artists that have tackled this year’s Pride theme of Come Out To Play. Andy Younger presents ‘Getting Ready’. A selection of stunning oil paintings and pastels, focusing on the theme of getting ready, dressing up and preparing for a night of play. Boris Jean presents ‘That face in the crowd’. Mixed media portraits. Warwick Stanley presents ‘Cruisin’ around’. Watercolour landscape coloured prints. All works are for sale. Prints – signed and numbered – from just £95.00 each. All sales include 10% charitable donation towards Pride London! EdVI 25 Bromfield Street, Islington, London, N1 0PZ. PREVIEW: Thursday 25th June 2009 5.30 – 8.30pm. Open daily 12.00noon – 11.00pm, FREE Donations welcome. Tel: 020 7704 0745
A night of sophisticated tomfoolery for metrosexual women. Capacity is only 100. A great place for a few girls to carry on for the night! Visit our new site - www.londonbylounge. com for up to date information of what’s going on in London for women! Held in the private members area of beige vol 2 iss 2 | 19
MAKE SOME NOISE Ricky Rojas and Michael Quinn have set up a corporate entertainment company featuring the West End’s finest talent. Big Noise Events has been born through the collaboration of Ricky Rojas and Michael Quinn, two familiar faces in many hit West End shows. Between the two, they have notched up over 20 years combined experience around the world including Sydney, Toronto and Las Vegas. Big Noise aims to bring a quality entertainment experience to any corporate event, birthday event or civil partnership. The company offers five flagship shows: West End Boys features guys from some of the West Ends biggest shows; The Music Of the Blues Brothers - a great feather shaking fun show; Divas - the ladies shine through, bringing to life the music of the worlds foremost divas; Night Fever - For those who fancy a touch of disco; and Martini In The Morning which brings the stage to life with the music of The Rat Pack and swing standards. Each show can be tailored to each clients specific needs. Basic shows range from casts of four but can be expanded to suit any requirements. Likewise shows can be performed to backing tracks or with a band to really give your event some zing. The duo have rounded up some of the West End’s greatest talent to ensure that production shows are slick and of the highest quality. Ricky and Michael have covered all the bases even offering special classes to choreograph your first dance at your civil partnership for that added wow factor. “Mind you, if all you want is a violinist to play you down the isle, we
can do that too” said Ricky. “Our job is to take give you the best experience at your event without any stress” Michael said. Ricky and Michael are quick to point out that bringing a live entertainment element to your event needn’t break the bank. Productions can be structured around your budget from a basic package utilisng backing tracks to a bigger production show with a west end showband performing live. “The sky is the limit” says Michael, “If you want male dancers, more singers or specific songs just let us know”. Bigger shows, structured to your own specifications take about a month to prepare from scratch with the packaged shows being available at super short notice. “We are looking forward to presenting some of our production shows at civil partnerships” Ricky said. “We will be performing at The Gay Wedding Show in Brighton on November 10, so if you want a sample of what we’re offering stop by and see us”. Having seen this duo in action, we here at Beige can attest to the quality of the Big Noise experience. More information on Big Noise can be found at their wesbite: www.bignoiseevents.com or by calling 0845 257 5177.
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Come out and play in Gran Canaria 6 Gran Canaria from £19 per night 6 ATOL protected 6 Price match promise 6 Fantastic offers 6 Secure online booking
Great value. Great holidays. Established for over seven years, Amro Worldwide offers you the very best in gay travel to Gran Canaria, all fully ATOL protected and with a wide choice of flights from your local airport. New for summer 2009, we’ve introduced special deals to the famous all-gay male resorts of Beach Boys and Los Almendros as well as unbeatable prices for
the most popular self catering and gay friendly hotels including Barbados, Carmen, Neptuno, Eugenia Victoria and Don Miguel. With year round sunshine, golden beaches, warm seas and a vibrant gay scene, now’s the time to check our website and book your holiday to Gran Canaria online or call our Reservation Specialists.
BEACH BOYS RESORT EUROPE, GRAN CANARIA
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Book 11 nights at the all-male gay resort Beach Boys in Maspalomas during May/ June and pay for just 7 nights. Based on accommodation only.
Now back as an all-male gay resort, Los Almendros is just perfect for location, quality and night-life. Includes flights from Gatwick and 7 nights accommodation.
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CARMEN EUROPE, GRAN CANARIA
NEPTUNO EUROPE, GRAN CANARIA
Very popular apartments, located close to the Yumbo. Includes flights from Gatwick and 7 nights accommodation.
An all-adult 4* hotel overlooking the Yumbo. Based on Half Board, accommodation only.
FROM ONLY £299
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Call now 01462 434663 or visit www.amroworldwide.com The No1 ATOL licensed gay travel specialist Terms and conditions: All prices are per person, based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double room on selected travel dates between 16/09/09-07/10/09. Beach Boys offer based on stay 11 nights for price of 7 offer for stays in May/ June 2009. Accommodation as stated, flights are with Easyjet, subject to availability. Price match promise: If within, 24 hours of booking you find an identical holiday we will match the price - a genuine written quotation will be required. All prices quoted as correct at time of going to press and subject to booking conditions. We reserve the right to amend or withdraw this offer at any time, without prior notice. Offer expires 30/06/09.
CAMPING IN STYLE
A camping renaissance is upon us. Danbury Motorhomes has reinvented the camper van with quality and style. Darren Cooper looks at whats on offer. Any reasonable person would have been scarred for life by my family’s attempts at camping in the 70s and 80s. Camping back then was more like a feat of endurance rather than an enjoyable pastime, hours pitching tents of unbelievable complexity in adverse weather conditions; it was more like a survival course than a holiday. Never the less it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the great outdoors and camping it up, under canvas that is. Thankfully the equipment has progressed vastly since my childhood which is lucky as these days I like to enjoy the great outdoors with all mod cons and creature comforts, so I recently upped the stakes and took a touring holiday around France in a motor home. Firstly I would like to point out that this is not caravanning, for those of you who are not au fait with the subtle nuances of the camping/caravanning/motor homing fraternity. Rather than towing a unit behind you, with all of the paraphernalia that entails a motor home is one vehicle containing, well anything that you care to build into it should you go the custom built route, So think Priscilla Queen of the Desert rather than Carry on Camping. My own touring experience around France proved to me that there are several advantages to taking a holiday in a motor home, not least being able to buy a bottle of Chablis straight from the vineyard and have it chilling in the fridge in less than 30 seconds. One hour later having set up camp in a rather charming little campsite on the banks of the Rhone a perfectly chilled alfresco aperitif awaited me, surely camping isn’t supposed to be that civilised is it? It wasn’t just the fridge (although we did
get plenty of usage out of it) which made this holiday such a pleasant surprise though. Modern interiors are now full of features and gadgets which we found to greatly enhance our ‘outdoor’ holiday experience. Firstly cooking our meals became a pleasure and we were not just limited to cold cuts and baguettes and a warm cooler box smelling of over ripe Brie. Salads became extravagant and elegant affairs as we shopped with the knowledge that our fresh purchases would not expire within moments of getting them back to base and once on the plate no blades of grass lurked behind roughly hewn lumps of cucumber. The kitchen of our converted Volkswagen was even equipped with a two gas hob and a small oven, large enough though to handle a small local (and very delicious) chicken purchased from the fat and very cheerful local butcher. Our cooking became as nearly adventurous as it had at home, the chicken, just the right size for two was accompanied by a red wine reduction and seasonal vegetables no less, all served on china plates with metal cutlery and even proper glasses. My camping experience continued to evolve by Darwinian proportions come sunset, proper electric lights so no more dim glows in which to spot lurking tent pegs, in fact not a tent peg in sight I was delighted to say and no broken toes half way through the holiday, or expletives roared across a dormant campsite. Along with our electric hook the up came IPods, plug sockets so no flat batteries ever thanks to phone and camera chargers, lap tops with which to download photos instantly and batteries tucked away somewhere inside to keep us juiced up even when we were on the move. Internet access we found free of charge by
lurking surreptitiously outside hotels and internet cafes, there are websites devoted to telling you where you can piggyback on Wi-Fi hotspots, I didn’t find the need for them though, most towns obliging with at least one free connection. The most pleasant surprise though came at bed time and thanks to some intelligent seating design and ample storage space a double bed complete with duvet and proper pillows appeared in just few minutes. This is a far cry from what I would normally be used to, blow up mattresses which have a habit of deflating annoyingly during the night. It’s the little touches that make a real difference though, bedside lights that are easy to reach from under the covers, a heater installed just in case the temperature plummets, probably a good feature at more northerly latitudes such as the UK for example, handy ledges and cupboards for keys, wallets, sun glasses and other paraphernalia and curtains to shut out that early morning sunshine, an alarm clock that can’t be set for anyone under canvas. As the holiday progressed there were a couple of things which became obvious that we hadn’t thought of on departing and that’s the amount of accessibility and freedom that a motor home can give you. Firstly some of the campsites we found ourselves in had settings worthy of 5 star hotels and the best thing is that you get to choose exactly where to place your bedroom, sea view, no problem sir. Also as setting up camp was so easy, literally plugging in an electric hook up and throwing up some chairs and a table was so easy so was packing up and leaving, just for the day, to get some shopping or to move on to a new location for a change of scenery. Secondly the accessibility you gain
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beige travel by being able to park up and sleep in the same place is fantastic. You can literally stay exactly where you want to spend a day or two, a week or longer and have all of your things right at hand. There’s no annoying and stifling queue for the beach if you wake up and it’s all there right on your doorstep. Finding the right motor home for your purposes seems to be the thing that most people are concerned with when they looking to purchase or rent a motor home for a holiday. For me the choices seem to be relatively simple, with no children to consider the bedding configuration is easy, I want a double bed. In terms of size also a huge Winnebago might be tempting but it’s really only practical if you are in the US and of course I need space for 2 at most, although the VW T5 van I used on holiday can sleep up to 4. Although I am looking for practicality and comfort when I take off beyond the M25, I could also use a little bit of added cool too, because let face it I’ll take it where I can find it these days. The quintessential camper van is of course the classic 1960s VW although the last of these to leave the production line was in 1975 in Germany. There are places where this model of VW is still being manufactured however, in Brazil for example and a number of these are imported by companies such as Danbury into the UK. So for modern reliability, some classic sixties styling and some surf dude kudos this is definitely the model I’ll be taking on my next motor home holiday. www.danburymotorcaravans.com
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CIRCUIT FESTIVAL In the first week of August, thousands of guys will decend on Barcelona for the Circuit Festival. Darren Cooper looks at this event for those of you who like to party in the Spanish sun. There are few destinations that can offer great beaches, world class tourist sites, fantastic restaurants and some of the best cultural attractions in the world, but Barcelona is certainly one of worlds finest. A fantastic city destination at any time but add to this the largest gay clubbing festival in Europe when 30,000 gay and lesbian clubbers descend on this most queer friendly of cities and you might just have found the perfect gay destination that really does have something to offer everyone.
outrageous party of the summer. The Circuit Festival in Barcelona takes advantage of the fact that August is one of the quietest times to visit this wonderful city, a time of year when most people head for the crowded beaches leaving the city and the stunning attractions, sights and museums relatively free to enjoy.
Traditionally August is not the most popular time for gay and lesbian tourists to be going on holiday for some fairly obvious reasons. The peak holiday period has more than a few drawbacks, higher prices, busier resorts, restaurants and attractions and of course the spectre of millions of children running amok while you are trying to enjoy a nice quiet caipirinha at the beach bar.
Barcelona has seen a boom in new hotels over the last few years which have sprung up to accommodate the huge increase in corporate events and conventions taking place in the city, hardly surprising considering this is also one of the most beautiful and fun cities in the world. August is probably one of the quietest months for the city’s myriad of hotels and consequently rates are some of the most competitive than at any other time of the year. There’s a vast selection of top end hotels to choose from and it’s a great time spoil yourself with some luxurious accommodation.
That doesn’t mean however that there aren’t places that can be enjoyed in August, not only with lower prices on hotels where you will almost certainly be able to find rooms available but also where 30,000 of other gay men and lesbians are heading for the longest and most
The areas around Eixample and the University are closest to the gay area of the city and the city’s coolest bars and clubs are all set to be busier than ever as thousands of people intent on partying arrive during the 9 day festival from the 1-9 August 2009. Add to that a
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beige travel including all of Barcelona’s hottest clubs with the likes of Devotion, Infinitamente Gay, Beardrop, Salvation London as well as Spanish promoters DBOY, Space and Apolo producing club nights that have to be seen to be believed, these are productions, not just parties. You don’t have to party all through the night though to get that Circuit feeling though, 2 of the landmark events return again this year putting the distinctive circuit twist on daytime proceedings. The gay day at the water park is one of the steamiest events of the whole program, luckily it also provides the perfect and fun way to cool down on the refreshing water rides if anyone gets too hot under the trunks. This event has unsurprisingly proved to be one of the most popular events ever and this year once again it returns with top name DJs from Matinée setting up an outside club from 5pm and spinning tunes for scantily clad hot guys and girls. There are separate areas this year for the men and the ladies, making sure that there is a dedicated space for everyone to enjoy in their own way. The event will be held on Wednesday 5 August at Illa Fantasia, one of the largest water parks in Spain which is located just outside of Barcelona with transport to the venue laid on from the city centre. On Sunday 9 August the party appropriately moves to the coastal town of Sitges for the themed beach party from 2pm. The venue for this event is one of Sitges most recognisable and famous clubs, L’Atlàntida which is located right on the beachfront giving partiers sea views and plenty of sunshine and fresh air to enjoy too. The venue comes complete with its own section of private beach and is one of the most unique and famous clubs in Southern Europe. The beach party will close the Circuit Party proceedings for another year in spectacular style.
Where to Stay.
The official Hotel for the circuit festival is the spectacular hotel Front Maritim located right on Barcelona’s beachfront right next to the Olympic Port, however Barcelona is full of many exciting and beautifully designed properties. The Axel Hotel in Barcelona was the first full service gay hotel in Europe and continues to set the standard by which others are judged. Conveniently located in the heart of Barcelona’s gay area it remains a popular choice for gay and lesbian travellers from all over the world. The trendy chic design of the Cram Hotel is suitable for those looking for a refined and modern hotel; the central location also means everything is easily reached on foot from the hotel. More quirky but no less refined is Derby Hotel’s Hotel Claris where sleek glass elevators and authentic Egyptian artefacts set the tone. The Hotel Omm is also handily located within walking distance from gay central Barcelona and is also one of Barcelona’s most stylish properties. Book early here and ask for a room overlooking Gaudi’s famous Casa Pedrera on the famous Passeig de Gracia and get some sightseeing in from the comfort of your own peacefully decorated room. http://www.hotelfrontmaritim.com http://www.axelhotels.com http://www.hotelcram.com http://www.derbyhotels.es http://www.hotelomm.es
relaxed and tolerant atmosphere, an already fantastic gay scene, some of the world’s cleanest urban beaches and 9 days of nonstop parties, both day and night and Barcelona looks like a fun place to be heading if you have some time off this August. Of course there is so much more to enjoy in Barcelona than parties, even if there are many to choose from and they are organised by the legendary Matinée Group, one of the largest clubbing dynasties in the world. World class museums, restaurants, shopping and culture as well as 4 miles of beaches, including two of the queerest stretches of sand in Europe all wait those who are too partied out to continue or just feel like a complete change of pace for the day. One thing is for certain, the first nine days of August are likely to be the busiest time of the year in Barcelona’s gay calendar. Parties have been held throughout Europe and North America since May to promote the event from Birmingham to Bordeaux and Antwerp to Zurich and organisers are once again expecting a huge influx of visitors from all over the world to arrive for Barcelona’s landmark gay event of the year. The festival has one of the most international line ups of its kind in the world as the top promoters in Europe bring not only their expertise at organising large parties but the top DJ talent from across the world to make this the gay clubbing event go with a bang. Up to 11 different parties will be held over the nine days in venues all across the city beige vol 2 iss 2 | 25
beige travel Whilst visiting Barcelona take some time out and Don’t Miss. Book a Guided Tour Through History Most visitors will visit Barcelona’s oldest area to explore the maze of winding streets, cobbled squares, churches and medieval palaces and markets and is a must for any visitor. To get the most out of a walk through the area though why not book on to one of Turisme de Barcelona’s walking tours of the area with a qualified and knowledgeable guide. The Barri Gotic tour in English takes place daily at 10 am. It lasts 90 minutes and costs 9.50 euros. The Picasso tour is offered Tuesday-Sunday in English at 10:30 am and lasts 90 minutes; the 12-euro fee includes admission to the Museu Picasso. The Modernism tour lasts two hours and takes place Friday and Saturday at 4 pm in English (10.50 euros). The two-hour Gourmet tour is on Friday and Saturday at 11 am. It costs 14 euros and includes two tastings. Space is limited, so book in advance. Contact the Placa Catalunya tourist office or the office on Placa Sant Jaume. Placa Catalunya 17-S, Barcelona. Phone 93-285-3832. http://www.barcelonaturisme.com.
Hit The Beach. Barcelona can offer not only world class urban tourist attractions but also has miles of fantastic blue flag beaches including 2 of the busiest gay beaches in Europe. There are few cities which integrate a beach lifestyle and urban living as well as Barcelona and the gay community are no exception, having firmly stamped their mark on two sections of the city’s coastline. The first and most popular is Platja de la Mar Bella, complete with the Lorenzo gay beach bar which is full of queer urbanites especially during August when the city winds down for the month to make the most of the pristine weather. Take the Metro to Ciutadella Vila Olímpica and the beach is located right by the windsurfing and sailing school. The second, San Sebastian is right underneath the first tower of the sky lift right in front of Barcelona’s harbour and the closest to the city being easily reached on foot.
Rise Early, Beat the Crowds Two of Antonio Gaudi’s most popular creations are also unsurprisingly the most visited tourist attractions in the city and not to be missed. Unsurprisingly Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia are also on every other tourist’s itinerary and so they get extremely busy. To make the most of your time at these two iconic Barcelona landmarks make sure that you arrive early so you can not only beat the worst of the crowds but the extreme midday August heat too. Parc Guell opens daily at 10am and the Sagrada Familia opens from 9am where those with a head for heights can enjoy great crisp morning views from the top of this imposing cathedral’s towers.
Marvel at Magic Fountains The perfect way to set the tone before you head out on the town in Barcelona is to see the amazing free water, light and music show which takes place along Avenue de la Reina between Placa d’Espanya and the National Palace. This impressive spectacle takes place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night during the summer at half hourly intervals between 21.30 and 23.30 and the combination of fountains and light set to music is truly exquisite. To get to the Magic Fountains of Montjuic take the Metro to Placa d’Espanya station.
Museums for Musing Barcelona’s four largest museums offer something for everyone, even if it is just the fantastic views from the city on offer at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya housed in the National Palace, just in front of the magic fountains. Whilst you are here it would be a shame to miss though the fantastic Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque artwork and artefacts as well as the largest collection of Catalán art in Spain. The Picasso museum is the most visited in Barcelona and contains over 3,800 of the artists works in its permanent collection. Metro station Jaume I is the closest to the Picasso museum which is located on Carrer de Montcada. The Joan Miro foundation in Montjuic Park houses another impressive collection of another of Spain’s most famous artists. Take the Montjuïc Funicular train from Paral.lel metro station to reach this beautiful museum. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) is devoted to art from the second half of the twentieth century with exhibitions that change every 3 to 4 months. Access for MACBA is from Catalunya or Universitat Metro stations.
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LUCERNE Lucerne is one of those places that often gets overlooked by tourists heading to Switzerland, (although the town is a bustling tourist destination). With Zurich and Geneva gaining most of the spotlight it would be easy to bypass Lucerne but you’d be missing out on something very special indeed if you do. Beige paid a visit and was enchanted by this city’s charm. towers are open to the public. The oldest city Lucerne isn’t a big bustling city, it has very CHAPEL BRIDGE
little gay nightlife to speak of, but what it does offer is possibly one of the best luxury city break locations I’ve seen in quite a while. Lucerne is situated at the end of Lake Lucerne at 436 metres above sea level, nestled between spectacular hillsides. The city boasts a small population of almost 60,000 people most of whom are aged between 20 and 60. Whilst winter (like most of Switzerland) can be white and cold. Spring and Summer in Lucerne are delightful and a great time to visit and enjoy everything this city has to offer.
WHAT’S ON OFFER There are several options but in our opinion these should be top of your list.
WALKING TOUR There are a range of great walking tours available around the city centre. Take the time (about 2 hours) to wander around with a tour and learn some of the fascinating history of Lucerne and see some of the hidden treasures of the city.
Constructed in the first half of the 14th Century as part of the city’s fortifications and named after St Peter’s Chapel which is located nearby. This amazing wooden bridge was reconstructed after a fire which destroyed it. Looking at the history of Lucerne, Fire seems to be a recurring theme .
PICASSO MUSEUM A great collection of drawings, original graphics and ceramics from the last 20 years of Picasso’s creative life.
WATER TOWER The octagonal tower – over 34 meters high was built around 1300 as part of the city wall and used as an archive, treasury, prison and torture chamber. It is one of the most frequently photographed monuments in Switzerland. The Water Tower is one of the nine Musegg Towers that still stand today.
A part of the rampart walls built in 1386; the wall is still almost entirely intact. Three
clock (1535) is located in the Zyt Tower. This clock is allowed to chime every hour one minute before all the other city clocks. You can climb the Musegg Wall between Easter and Nov 1.
OLD CITY SQUARES Historical buildings clad in some of the most amazing frescos border the Old Town on the right bank of the River Reuss. The Weinmarkt, is particularly attractive, as is the Hirschenplayz square, named after an old inn dating back to the Middle Ages. It’s also worth wandering to the Kornmarkt Square which features the Town Hall and the beautifully painted Pfistern Guildhall.
KKL LUZERN The KKL Luzern (Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne) at Europlatz is the work of the Parisian architect Jean Nouvel. The 1800 seat Concert Hall is one of the finest concert halls in the world. The Lucerne Hall, the Convention Centre with the auditorium, and the Museum of Art are also part of this eye catching complex.
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beige travel RAILWAY STATION Following the destruction of the railway station by fire in 1971 the new station was rebuilt between 1984 and 1991. The new structure is architecturally unique and an amazing structure with an elegant curved roof designed by Santiago Calatrava. The main portal of the old station which survived the fire now stands in the the square in front of the station.
LAKE LUZERN So much of what happens in Lucerne is based around the amazing natural beauty of Lake Luzern. There are numerous opportunities available to get out onto the lake to enjoy the scenery. Take the time to get out on the lake and enjoy, you won’t regret it. Boat trips start at approx 20 Francs.
DAILY EXCURSIONS Lucerne’s central location makes it the ideal jumping off point for short trips.
The highest viewpoint in the Lake Lucerne region, access is gained by an amazing 360 degree revolving cable car that takes you into snow, ice and glacier at the peak of Mount Titlis.
Take the day trip by lake steamer from Lucerne to Alpnachstad and then with the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to Pilatus Kulm (7000ft) to enjoy the fabulous views. A spectacular ride by aerial cableway and panorama gondolas takes you down to Kriens for the bus back to Lucerne.
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This image was taken in several steps on a camera phone from the hotel balcony. You get an idea of the view.
Tandem Skydive If you are really an adventurous bod and want to witness the scenery in a unique way, organise a tandem skydive. You leap at 4000 metres, have a 50 second freefall before getting one of the most incredible views available. Of course for those of you who baulk at such frivolities, helicopter and airplane based options exist too.
The Palace Hotel is also home to restaurant Jasper. Rated with one Michelin star under chef Ulf Braunert, Jasper offers “creative but uncomplcated” cuisine where the emphasis is on taste. It’s all to easy to enjoy a leisurely
dinner and then enjoy after dinner drinks soaking in the evening view of the lake , before retiring to bed. Yes we speak from experience here!
Swiss operates daily flights from London City to Geneva, Basel and Zurich with fares starting at £69 return including taxes and charges. (www.swiss.com). Once in Basel we travelled the short distance to Lucerne by train (1st class of course). A number of different travel pass options exist that allow you direct journeys or the open option to explore more of Switzerland. More information can be found at www. swisstravelsystem.co.uk.
Whilst a number of budget accommodation options exist, be extravagant and experience Lucerne at its best by staying at one of the city’s amazing five star hotels. Our experience at The Palace Hotel really was one of the key factors in selling Lucerne to us as a destination we’d definitely return to.
For over 100 years this hotel has been one of the legendary landmarks standing on the shores of Lake Lucerne. With an over abundance of old world charm and modern comforts, this is a hotel stay you will remember. Luxury is certainly the order of the day here. The hotel boasts a state of the art spa facility which extends over two floors and 800 square metres. If you really want something exclusive you can book the 72 square meter private spa for two located in the fourth floor tower. The views here alone make this exclusive experience well worth it.
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THE LUXURY TOUR
If you want to experience Switzerland in luxury take advantage of the “Luxury” tour offered by the Victoria Jungfrau Collection of hotels (which includes the Palace in Lucerne). You can stay for up to 5 nights in one or several of their four hotels which include the Victoria Jungfrau (Interlaken), Palace (Lucerne), Eden Au Lac (Zurich) and Bellevue Palace (Berne) at 972 Euros per person in a double room. The deal allows to take one or a combination of hotels with spectacular views; delicious buffet breakfast; Free use of the Victoria-Jungfrau Spa facilities and admission to the new Palace Spa and includes service charges and VAT. Obviously conditions apply but we’re sure you’ll agree this is a knockout deal. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For more information on Lucerne check out www.luzern.com
Lucerne. Too beautiful to be true. MySwitzerland.com/gaylesbian Come to the picture-book city of Lucerne, with its beautiful lake and effervescent festivals.
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“Mr. Woilde, we’ave come for to take yew where felons and criminals dwell, We must ask yew to leave with us quietly, for this is the Cadogan Hotel.” John Betjeman - “The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel.” The Cadogan Hotel has an address in Knightsbridge that’s as prestigious as its former illustrious guests and we were lucky enough to sample some of their very finest hospitality. Located right in the centre of Sloane Street the Cadogan Hotel boasts one of the finest addresses in London and exudes a timeless style and ambience which befits the beautiful Edwardian exterior. Housed in 4 former town houses overlooking leafy Cadogan Place the hotel comprises just 65 rooms and suites and has an intimate, boutique atmosphere yet still manages to deliver on its 5 star rating in spades. A hospitable and inviting welcome is something which so often goes astray in larger hotel properties, thankfully though the personal touch was present and correct from the moment that I stepped off Sloane Street and arrived at the Cadogan. This is a hotel which has an extremely fascinating history and is one that is especially relevant for any gay guests, including of course my partner and I. Not only was this the hotel in which Oscar Wilde was arrested in before his historic incarceration in Reading Goal but our room, 118 was the very place where he calmly waited sipping hock before the arrest, which rocked polite Victorian society. The room has been renamed the ‘Oscar Wilde Suite’ and the tasteful decoration now reflects the author’s renowned colourful character with flowing silk curtains and the most enormous bed complete with velvet headboard. I particularly liked the attention to detail though, pictures of Wilde and his books are dotted about the room and even a copy
of his iconic smoking jacket in the wardrobe, it seems Oscar was about my size too. Oscar Wilde was not the only famous resident of the hotel though; one of the townhouses belonged to the his close confidante Lilly Langtry, the famous actress and mistress of the future king Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. The couple provide the inspiration for the hotel’s other signature accommodation, the Langtry and Edward VII suites which capture the romantic and regal tone set when this was the setting for their elicit though very public encounters. The former ballroom of the actress is now home to the hotel’s restaurant, Langtry’s and maintains much of the original decor of the time. The beautiful plasterwork, Carreramarble Louis XIV fireplace and ornate chandeliers recollect the days when Edwardian high society mingled at one of the prestigious and famous parties that were held here. The decor of the restaurant may have thankfully remained unchanged over the last century, the menu however has certainly moved on and offers classic British cuisine with a modern twist. The well thought out set menu is a snip at £35 for three courses which also includes unlimited wine, the sea trout was particularly delicious on my visit. Book a table at lunch on the weekends and for £45 per head you can enjoy the same excellent menu with unlimited Perrier Jouet Champagne, the favourite tipple of a Mr. Wilde himself. To find out more about the Cadogan Hotel visit http://www.cadogan.com/
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Flannel jacket: £350 Flannel trouser: £175 Textured shirt: £90 Herringbone scarf: £70 High shine formal belt: £70
JAEGER AUTUMN/WINTER 09 The clean lines of Jaeger London’s modern signature continue to evolve this season with an understated yet rich mix of textured finishes and refined details. In part, inspired by Wiliam Morris (artist, designer and writer), the collection revolves around deep muted shades of steel and navy, broken up by warm, neutrals and the autmnal flourish of rust and burnt amber.
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Trench coat: £450 Jean: £99 Pinstripe scarf: £60 Driving glove: £75 125 Laptop bag: £299
Croc Ring Belt £70
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Velvet jacket: £450 Pleated front shirt: £95 Twill trouser: £130
Driving Gloves £75
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Having heard about this product through the grapevine, we did some digging and finally discovered the Equmen Precision Undergarment. It’s an incredibly fancy title for what many are now branding “the male girdle” or “Mirdle”!. We wondered what all the fuss was about and soon realised that this item may soon become a staple of many mens wardrobes. Here’s why.. Word has been spreading for a while about a miraculous vest/tshirt that toned up those love handles and gave the male torso a lean defined look. Many thought it to be nothing more than an urban myth til Selfridges started selling the Equmen range early this year and started a run with men wanting to look fabulous whilst they finished off that ideal physique at the gym.
Getting into the vest for the first time was an experience. If you can imagine a rubberised tube made out of soft cotton you get an idea of what the garment is like. It took a few attempts to get the hang of putting the vest on but after a few minutes I was in!! It’s a very weird sensation for the first twenty minutes or so as your body gets used to the incredibly snug fit that the Equmen provides.
Ok, so here’s the sales spiel. Equmen is the ultimate high-performance undergarment. Engineered with HELIXMAPPING™technology, the CORE PRECISION™UNDERSHIRT builds-in physiotherapy taping techniques to sculpt, tone and improve body mechanics.
The change to body shape is almost instantly obvious. My immediate concerns about being too hot in the garment disappeared fairly quickly (I chose to wear it on one of the hottest days in London this year). The way that the garment is woven and fabricated seems to allow it to breathe and overheating certainly never seems to enter into the equation. I also noticed that the garment seemed to affect my posture for the better. Whether this is purely pyschosematic or not, I don’t know but I notice myself standing considerably taller.
With seamless stitching and targeted ventilation, they fit like a second skin, delivering the ultimate fusion of fashion and function. Ideal for tailoring your body under clothes to providing everyday ergonomic support to improving form during sport. An Equmen undergarment will improve posture, supports core muscles, visibly streamline and slim, controls body temperature, and promote circulation. It’s a tall order in anyone’s book, but the question I’m sure you’re asking is can it deliver? The answer is simply YES. We took one of the white Equmen vests for a test drive. A business meeting, followed by dinner and then a little clubbing. The vest was worn under a shirt and wasn’t immediately noticeable.
felt so much like a second skin. The Equmen isn’t a cheap buy coming in at approx £80 but it’s certainly an investment that I am willing to go out and committ to again (it comes in a range of styles and colours!). Best of all it washes like a rag and dries incredibly quickly making it wearable again almost instantly. Oh, and compared with putting it on, taking it off is a snap. Don’t trust me though, go see for yourself. www.equmen.com
Looking at myself in the mirror I certainly thought the garment had given the illusion that I’d been hard at work at the gym and had achieved significant weight loss but would my friends and colleagues think the same. The answer was simply - YES! During the course of the afternoon/evening, I lost count of the amount of people who asked me if I’d lost weight and who told me that I looked great having toned up a bit. This really did seem to be a wonder garment. All in all I spent about eight hours wearing the Equment garment. After an hour I really had stopped noticing that I was wearing it. It beige vol 2 iss 2 | 41
DEAD GOOD U
Gia Special Seam Comfort Brief. Price £18
Ginch Gonch Pink Piggy Low Rise Brief. Price £20
Gia Fresh Low Rise Boxer Price: £18
Clever Moda Creatures Brief Price: £22.49
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Jockey Sport Stretch M! icrofibre Mesh Sport Trunk Price: £14
Jockey Stretch Cotton Tencel Brief. Price £10
Gia Geometric Low Rise Short Boxer. Price: £17.50
Hom Ho1 Original Cotton Modal Maxi Price: £21.53
A glimpse at the latest range from our friends at www.deadgoodundies.com
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Halcyon Black ArtPro_210x297
120 Wigmore Street, London, W1U 3LS 509 Uxbridge Road, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4JS Telephone: 020 7486 3080 http://www.halcyon-interiors.co.uk ďż˝ email: info.@halcyon-interiors.co.uk
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With the heat of Summer fast approaching we thought this month would be a great opportunity to profile fabulous items that will make your cocktails just as cool as cool can be.
1.Lsa Spiro Wine Glasses Hand made glassware • Hand applied decoration • Designed by Monika LubkowskaJonas Price: £54.97. www.drinkstuff.com 2. Lsa Bar Cocktail Jug Hand made glassware • Perfect for chilled summer cocktails, or water at the dinner table • Designed by Monika Lubkowska-Jonas. Price: £22.94 www.drinkstuff.com 3.Chrome Ice Crusher All metal construction, 10 1/2’ high. Complete with ice tray and plastic scoop. Gift boxed. Price: £39.99 www.drinkstuff.com 4. Eva Trio White Wine And Champagne Glasses. Price - £19.95 each glass. www.amaroni.com
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Richard Gordon at Dalston Square.
Barratt leads the London renaissance in Dalston and Kennington. For Richard Gordon, buying a home at Barratt’s new Dalston Square development is more than just a new start – it’s a chance to get on the property ladder in an up-and-coming and fashionable area of London. He’s also convinced he’s following a trend that has long been set by the urban gay community: “Quite often, the first people to recognise and move into up-and-coming urban areas are the arts and gay movements, which often overlap anyway. It’s significant that both are already quite well-established around the Dalston area of Hackney” says Richard, 23. Dalston Square is not the only Barratt development proving popular with gay buyers. Kennington Park Square in London SE11 offers new apartments within strolling distance of the Houses of Parliament at under £420 per square foot – outstanding value on the fringes of central London’s Zone 1 where per-foot costs of £600 or more have been common in recent years. Both schemes offer new homes at firsttime buyer prices in superbly convenient locations, along with an unrivalled package of help for buyers including help with deposits, part-exchange on existing
properties, or help with Stamp Duty and legal costs. Dalston Square is one of London’s key strategic regeneration schemes, providing over 550 new homes, shops, a library and archive, plus a brand new station for the East London line extension at Dalston Junction. The square itself is a major new town centre space around which the homes, shops and restaurants are being built in a range of striking modern buildings. Richard Gordon is working for Barratt in the marketing suite at Dalston Square and has bought there because, he says: “Dalston has got everything going for it, a really bright future. The new East London tube line will make the transport links fantastic and the 2012 Olympics will give it a real lift.
“Having worked here for a while, it’s clear to me that a revitalised Dalston will lift Hackney into another league. It’s surrounded by areas that were once rundown corners of the East End but are now really fashionable, like Hoxton, Shoreditch, London Fields and Bethnal Green. It’s a really happening place” said Richard. Richard purchased a £245,000 one-bedroom apartment and will move in later this summer. He currently lives with his father in Hornchurch, Essex, but is looking forward to living closer to the London gay scene. The current phase of homes at Dalston Square offers one-bedroom apartments at prices from £249,995. Two, three and four bedroom apartments are also available, from £312,995.
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K M K C Computer generated image of Dalston Square.
Any promoted Barratt Homes offer is subject to contract, status, selected plots only, subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other Barratt Homes offer. Computer generated image, show apartment and lifestyle photography shown.Prices correct at time of going to press.
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Kennington ParkSquare London SE11
Kennington Park Square.
Kennington Park Square is a £42 million new development comprising a range of stylish buildings rising to a maximum ten storeys. The development includes some private parking, a daytime concierge plus newly-landscaped open space. Like Dalston Square, all homes at Kennington Park Square have fullyfitted designer kitchens, complete with integrated appliances and en suite bathrooms in the two-bedroom homes. All apartments have balconies or terraces from which to enjoy the views. Prices at Kennington Park Square start from £262,500 for a one bedroom apartment, two bedroom apartments from £319,995. Computer generated image of Kennington Park Square.
Dalston Square Marketing Suite and Show Apartments open daily 10am to 6pm Roseberry Place, Off Forest Road, Dalston, London E8 3DY Call 020 7241 1833 www.barratthomes-dalstonsquare.co.uk Kennington Park Square Marketing Suite & Show Apartments open daily 10am to 6pm Kennington Road, Kennington SE11 6BZ Call 020 7820 8020 www.kenningtonparksquare.co.uk
TANTRIC MASSAGE Sting certainly has a lot to answer for. His introduction of the word Tantra to the general population certainly got us all buzzing and wondering just what we were missing out on. In an effort to demystify the process Beige paid a visit to a Tantric massage professional to see what all the fuss was about. What does Tantra mean? Tantra like Yoga or Zen, is a path to enlightenment, which has its roots in India. It is nicknamed the “science of ecstasy” and focuses on heightening and prolonging the special awareness and rapport that exists between lovers during lovemaking. This view holds that the greatest source of energy in the universe is sexual, and places high value on ritualized intercourse. Sexual orgasm is seen as a cosmic and divine experience. Tantric philosophy also teaches that everything is to be experienced playfully, yet with awareness and a sense of sacredness in every gesture, every sensory perception, and every action. The path of Tantra is a spiritual one, which includes and appreciates the experience of our sexuality and sensuality as a conscious meditation, as a flowing together of the physical, erotic and cosmic energies. If you were a devoted student of tantric philosophy, you would go through an extensive program of physical, sexual and mental exercises to heighten your sensory awareness. Through slow and thoughtful practice in lovemaking techniques you would learn to comfortably extend the time of lovemaking. In this way you would train yourself to be aware of not only your own feelings but also those of your partner. The spiritual part of tantra is to use your sexual energy to merge ecstatically with your partner and through him (or her) to become one with the cosmos or god. A couple practicing tantric intercourse seeks to prolong their sexual arousal. The art of prolonging the pleasures of lovemaking without reaching orgasm is described in the Kama Sutra, the Hindu sex manual written in the 4th century. “Karezza” is the term used to define a male’s practice of pleasuring his partner and prolonging their intercourse by perpetuating his state of climax without actually ejaculating. These so called “dry orgasms”, orgasms without ejaculation, are pleasurable, and still allow the sexual act to continue. The art of Karezza incorporates breathing control, meditation, work with postures, and finger pressure into the sexual act. Though sexually biased in its description as
written (remember it was the 4th Century), the original focus of Karezza, prolonging the state of climax for a couple’s mutual enjoyment, easily translates to both partners actively participating in learning to prolong their enjoyment before reaching orgasm.
So how does this apply to massage therapy? Tantric massage takes the core elements of Tantra and applies it to a massage environment. Whilst the massage itself still remains rooted in a open sexual base (although intercourse is not on the menu), most therapists bring in other styles of massage including reiki, acupressure. Thaiyoga and aromatherapy. The therapists aim is to get the client as relaxed and open as possible.
How was the experience for you? The massage lasted just over 2 hours and was very sensual and relaxing. Time was spent discussing Tantra with the therapist who also took time to get to know me as a person and about my lifestyle. Right from the outset, defensive walls were removed and by the time the massage began I was open to the experience. Tantric massage is certainly not something for prudes or people with serious body issues. You need to be able to surrender to the experience at a base level. Breathing and release of sound, it was emphasised were an important part of the experience.
Apart from body massage, attention is paid to the sacred spot (prostate), the perineum and lingam (penis). I can honestly say that I experienced sensory feelings across my whole body that I have not experienced before. Imagine a numb version of pins and needles that encompasses every inch of your body. Tantra to the general public is connected with multiple orgasm. Having undergone the experience I can say that its certainly an experience that everyone with an interest should experience. It won’t be something that works for everyone first go. However, I can imagine that continued open minded discovery would lead to an amazing feeling of well-being. For myself, I certainly felt incredibly invigorated after the massage and very much at one with the world. That feeling did not leave me for several days. I found that I slept much more peacefully for days after the experience and that emotionally I felt much calmer in myself. Would I revisit the experience? – Most definitely and I’d certainly recommend it to friends.
A word of warning Just tacking the word “Tantric” to an ad in a magazine doesn’t automatically qualify a masseur or mean that he knows what he’s doing. Make sure you take some time to research therapists to find one you trust to be the real deal. Make the best of the experience by using an experienced therapist. Costs for a tantric massage vary depending on the elements you wish to experience. You can tailor your experience based on the time you have available and what you are looking to experience. Our tip is to make sure you have time without external pressures to really enjoy the experience. You won’t regret it. We’d like to thank Neil at www.anointing –the-gods.org for his assistance in writing this article and understanding (and enjoying) the experience.
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Anointing the gods... Sensual Intimate Mindblowing Authentic Tantric Massage for Men
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gay marketing 101
Gay and lesbian travel market branding is not something new. But it is for one place. TV’s reality show ‘The Apprentice’ where UK contestants recently tried their hand at ‘re-branding’ the faded UK seaside town of Margate as a gay destination. Ian Johnson from Out Now Consulting looks at how badly they went wrong. And why. Reality TV is a taste I rarely enjoy. One notable exception is the UK version of Donald Trump’s corporate reality program The Apprentice. This year’s offering has to me seemed weaker than any before it. Nonetheless it was interesting to watch when the hapless contestants were given a task to ‘re-brand’ a seaside UK destination the town of Margate in Kent. As someone who has spent nearly two decades helping companies and tourism destinations work out how to attract the ‘Pink Pound’ this was an episode I tuned in for avidly.
A collection of contestants vie for the ‘best’ result each week, and are rewarded. The losing team then slug it out in front of the high profile corporate celeb - which in the case of the UK program is the founder of Amstrad Computers, Sir Alan Sugar - and where one of them each week gets to hear that farewell catchphrase: “You’re fired!” When Sir Alan Sugar asked the teams to choose how to best re-brand the seaside town of Margate, one team decided they would target the gay market and attempt to turn Margate into a pink pound tourism magnet. Their idea was not entirely flawed, although their execution almost entirely was.
seaside vacation in a town like Margate. They also had a gay team member who had some say in the selection of their models for a photo shoot campaign for a resulting tourism brochure and poster. (This worked okay, but many times having a gay staff member at a company in charge of corporate gay marketing strategy can be a recipe for disaster - as the individual in question can incorrectly seek to project their own personal experiences of gay life out onto the gay market at large. Usually a costly marketing error ensues.) Having said that, little about their efforts made an impact likely to attract any kind of serious tourism success for Margate from the gay tourism market.
What went right? The results were not exactly enjoyable for me to watch. It was as if all the hard work Out Now does educating the market on what to do - and what not to do - hadn’t happened. Or at least had never been known by The Apprentice contestants. Still - they made such a botched job of their tasks most weeks, why should this week be any different? Nonetheless - I tuned in hopefully to see how the gay tourism novices might approach things. It did not turn out well. Margate and the Pink Pound The format of ‘The Apprentice’ TV show is consistent across weeks, across continents, and across versions.
What went wrong? The team that decided to pitch Margate at the gay travel market did do some things right. They travelled to the destination and did some fieldwork research. Admirable first market research step. Admittedly this appeared to consist of not too much more than quizzing some locals about the gay life of Margate, but at least they apparently recognized some kind of need to identify existing product ‘assets’ they could seek to utilize in their re-branding exercise. I would like to have seen them doing much more research asking non-Margate gay people - ie their key target audience - what things might attract them to consider a
There were so many things to fault the hapless team on that I will stick to just a couple. Time management by their team leader appeared woeful. We all know that deadlines can sharpen the mind’s focus - but cruising blithely through a deadline, without even making any serious effort to complete their brochure, was clearly a fundamental error. What was even worse though was the actual content they put into their brochure and their poster. The graphic design visuals used by the team were ‘tired’ - shall we say. The font really
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beige business looked like it would be more at home on the BBC’s retro hit Ashes to Ashes than on The Apprentice. The text on the poster was more than excessive in quantum, to say the least. The worst mistake? While it is hard to say what was the worst mistake made, it is quite likely their misguided attempt to use a rainbow flag map of the UK showcasing gay centres such as London, Manchester and Brighton and adding in ‘Margate’ as a fourth name on the map. This really is unforgiveable as a fundamental error against the most basic of ‘Gay Marketing 101’ principles. Margate is not, and likely never will be, a gay centre of the likes of those other cities.
location augment its product to better appeal to a gay audience. For example, register local hotels into the GayComfort training, accreditation and marketing program to show the target audience that the product on offer in Margate would do a good job in service delivery to their needs. Look into distribution. How should this audience best be reached? Online distribution is a key sales strategy with the gay market, and so partnering with effective and established gay travel and tourism operators could help do a lot to shore up any marketing effort applied by the team themselves. Improve their woeful marketing. The little we saw of the team’s marketing efforts really were sad - and misguided. The marketing nutshell?
So do not attempt to sell it as such. There are plenty of good reasons to give lesbians and gay men to discover the joys of a holiday to Margate. Trying to position the town as a leading UK ‘gay capital’ is definitely not one of them. What they should have done? First step - research. Find out what the target market (ie gay people not from Margate) think of the place.
In gay marketing - as with any effective form of market development strategy - the basics always apply. In a nutshell - understand the target market, and their needs, then set about meeting those needs. Pure marketing basics. It would work with Margate - or for Stockholm, or Berlin or Tel Aviv - or any of the many destinations that Out Now currently does exactly this kind of work with.
If you would like Out Now to help you take your marketing to the leading-edge of sales results, please do get in touch. The gay marketing agency Out Now has for almost two decades been relied upon by some of the world’s smartest brands including IBM, Toyota, Orange, Barclays and Citibank. The company creates awardwinning marketing campaigns for tourism clients like Lufthansa, VisitSweden, German National Tourism, South African Tourism and Berlin Tourism Marketing. Ian Johnson is the firm’s CEO - and is found in various far flung locales spreading the gay marketing mantra. When asked where he lives, he replied “usually at the baggage carousel.” In November 2009, Out Now is presenting their Gay Marketing Masterclass for the fourth year running at the world’s premier travel trade show - London’s WTM World Travel Market. The topic for this year’s presentation is “The Gay Marketing Puzzle - Solved by Out Now.” The Apprentice candidates should, but are not to expected to - attend. More information? Visit http://www.OutNowConsulting.com http://www.GayMarketNews.com http://www.GayComfort.com http://www.YouTube.com/GayMarketing
Then consider the product. How could the
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Sales & Marketing
LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT MATCH
Finance & Human Resources
Shepherds Bush Housing Group offer affordable lifestyle solutions to diverse communities in West London and surrounding areas. Weâ€™re proud of our work and weâ€™re looking for more hard working enthusiastic individuals with a range of experience. We promise respect, as well as a great team-working environment. Contact us now to see how well we can work together:
0208 996 4200 Housing Specialists
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23/02/2009 26/5/08 10:34:37 11:00:03
beige money saving expert
MONEY SAVING EXPERT Should I pay off my mortgage? “Should I pay off my mortgage if I have any spare cash?” is a question that’s always jammed my e-mail bag. In previous years, overpaying has usually won out. Yet repeated slashing of UK interest rates has left many mortgages at unthinkably cheap rates. These cuts make it less attractive to repay a mortgage rather than save, as home loans are cheaper. Martin Lewis explains. to you is £500. If you have £10,000 of savings, earning you 2.5% after tax, the interest you accumulate would be just £250. So financial logic says that if you use £10,000 of savings to pay off £10,000 of mortgage debt, you would be £250 a year better off (a calculator to help work out if it’s worth it is at www.moneysavingexpert. com/repaymortgage) Therefore the crucial rule of thumb is “if your mortgage rate is higher than the after-tax rate on your savings, don’t save, pay off the mortgage”. If it is lower, put your money in a top savings account (see www.moneysavingexpert.com/topsavings), because you’ll earn more from saving than the mortgage is costing you. Then be ready if your mortgage rate jumps above the savings rate after tax, to use the cash to instantly pay off your mortgage. Look before you leap in. While the maths makes sense, there are some times practicalities mean it isn’t worth following.
1.Are you allowed to overpay?
For most people, it’s a question of overpaying their mortgage, and putting some of their spare cash and savings towards the mortgage, rather than clearing the whole lot in one go. Yet the most important thing to understand is that your mortgage is a debt. It may have special features, but you have to think of it as a debt like any other. So before tackling overpaying, it’s crucial to ask whether you have any other debts. That’s because you should always repay the most expensive debts first; mortgages are dirt cheap compared with most credit cards or loans, so prioritise clearing them. There are three exceptions to this rule: • Struggling to get a new deal? Clearing your existing mortgage means you’re borrowing a lower proportion of your house’s value. If that puts you in a better loan to value (LTV) threshold, it could improve the rate you get on the whole of your mortgage. • Student loans beat mortgages. Official Student Loans Company loans, which are usually set at the rate of inflation will, depending when you studied, drop to 0% or MINUS 0.4 % (ie the loan shrinks) in September, so these easily undercut any mortgage. • Credit card tarts. If you’ve a good credit score, and consistently shift from one 0% deal to another, then again you’ll be undercutting your mortgage so should pay that off first. With that said, from this point on I will assume you’ve no other debts, so have nothing to repay ahead of the mortgage. It’s all about the mortgage rate. Take a typical scenario of someone on a fixed-rate mortgage deal. This means it won’t have changed since the base rate was cut to a historic low of 0.5 percent.
Some mortgages charge penalties for overpayment, most commonly if you’re on a special offer, such as a fixed or capped rate. This is because lenders want you to stick with them once their cheap rate ends, and then shoots up; it’s not in their interest to let you pay off the mortgage more quickly. So check what the rules are: if there’s a penalty, how much is it? If there is you’re generally better off saving. Yet most deals allow you to make a certain level of repayment each year without penalty, perhaps up to 10% of your outstanding mortgage. If that’s your situation, make the repayment up to the limit, then dump the rest in the highest paying savings account you can.
2. Keep a cash emergency fund.
Once you’ve used cash to pay off a mortgage, the money has gone. You can’t access it (unless you’ve a special type of flexible mortgage), so you can’t easily borrow the money back. So always keep cash aside for an emergency fund, preferably enough to meet six months worth of bills. Remember, just because you’ve overpaid, it doesn’t mean, if at a later date you can’t meet the mortgage repayments, the lender will be more forgiving. You may also have your own reasons to keep more. Ultimately, always ensure you won’t need to borrow the money back at a high rate from elsewhere. If both those are sorted, and the financial logic fits, it’s worth shoving your extra cash into overpayments. Not only will you be saving year on year, but because you owe less, your interest won’t be compounding, and you will pay off your mortgage at a much more accelerated rate. www.moneysavingexpert.com
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Wishing you all a great Gay Pride 2009 SATURDAY 4TH JULY Pride Champagne Brunch on Saturday from 11am special brUNCH menu including champagne.
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beige world wide web
WORLD WIDE WEB A LOOK AT SOME WEBSITES THAT CAUGHT OUR INTEREST! www.swoopo.co.uk We all like a good bargain and you may have seen the advertising on the Tube for auction website Swoopo.co.uk thinking that you had found just the place to head for. The adverts for this auction site are hard to miss and promise top name goods at a fraction of the price you would normally pay on the high street. Surely I thought this must be too good to be true, but in these budget busting times this is a claim is hard to ignore. Certainly we thought this was worth checking out so with much anticipation on arriving back home logged on to www.swoopo.co.uk. My first impression of the site are that it seems to be authentic enough, the site design is good and simple to understand and there are sites in Germany, the USA, Austria and Spain as well as the UK. My scam fears are put to rest somewhat and so I decide to turn my attention to the goods on offer. The choice on offer is good with the emphasis being on electrical appliances including laptops and home computers including accessories, mobile phones, video games and consoles and photography equipment. There are a range of brand names on offer, Mac Books and Acer laptops, Canon cameras, Playstations and iPods amongst other top name desirable goodies. There is a list of current, future and finished auctions displayed for each section where you can not only see what is running currently and up for grabs at a future date but also completed auctions too. These are listed complete with prices paid at the end of the auction, which it is fair to say are bargains indeed and more than a little tempting to say the least. In fact so tempting are the prices that it isn’t hard to see people getting carried away and spending far more on their bids to actually land the item than they actually pay for the item at the end of bidding. Essentially the site offers an online auction on each item where bidders increase the price they are prepared to pay which increases in increments from 1 to 10 pence. Users register and purchase a set
number of bids for 50 pence each and then can bid on anything that they like the look of. But be careful, once the time reaches the last 10 seconds, if another bid is placed by another user then another 10 seconds is added to the auction time. This means that auctions can, and do run for a long time. Caution is definitely needed so as not to get too carried away and having to spend hours and hours watching an auction that can go on for days is not appealing. Help is at hand though in the form of the Bid Butler, an automated bidding tool which sensibly allows you to set a budget and a limit the top price you will pay for an item. I don’t normally urge caution, in this respect though I most definitely do. Clicking on individual items in the list not only gives you access to the Bid Butler feature but once you set it up you are also free to leave the auction and let it do the work in the most efficient way with your bids too. Swoopo isn’t going to be everyone’s liking. The big winners here are the owners of the website themselves which comes as no surprise really. However if you are looking to pick up a bargain and acquaint yourself with the rules before you plunge right in, then you might just be on to a winner.
www.seefilmfirst.com If you’re trying to save pennies then you’ll love this site. See Film First is a great site offering advance previews to films. Best of all it’s FREE! Just register your details with the site and you’ll be invited to preview film screenings. If you register though and accept invitations please make sure you turn up. This is a great system and it can be spoilt by people not showing up when others would have liked to attend.
www.hungryhouse.co.uk Hungry House is a great site which lists restaurants that home deliver nationwide. You can see menus online, view feedback from other customers, pay and order online. No matter your tastes, you’ll find something to set your taste buds tingling. Throw away all those junk mail menus, the menus are constantly updated and some vendors deliver at obsene hours - we love it!!
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DOMINIC TIGHE “I love acting. It is so much more real than life.” Wilde
Creating the role of Algie in The Importance Of Being Earnest is keeping Dominic Tighe on his toes at the moment. The new production at Regent’s Park looks set to be a Summer hit. We took time to chat with Dom about his career choices, being part of a “boyband” and that infamous college interview. 56 | beige vol 2 iss 2
beige interview that just came to me one day all of a sudden, I always knew I’d be here.” Dom’s career choices have never been by the book. Shortly after leaving drama school he joined Edward Hall’s all male Shakespeare Company, Propeller. The company enjoyed an international sell out tour. Little did he know that performing at the Old Vic and chatting on Facebook would lead to an invitation to join the vocal group Blake. “It was an unusual time for me. The whole singing thing was something I’d never really thought about doing. I knew I could sing and thought it would be a useful tool to have as an actor.” “One of the guys saw me doing Shakespeare at The Old Vic and approached me about singing with Blake. As I had almost finished that job I went and met up with the three other guys. It was quite mad because within a few days of us meeting we ended up being signed to Universal for a five album deal. Within five months we’d recorded our first album and I found myself pushed into this world (my choice of course). It was great whilst I did it. I got to travel the world, singing and recording albums.” Dom soon went from theatres to performing in huge stadiums. Blakes’ first live gig was a baptism by fire. “Our first professional gig was in front of 80,000 people. We performed at Wembley for the Chelsea v. Manchester United match and it was a nerve racking experience.” So given the choice does he prefer smaller or larger venues? “Both can have their moments. We did some gigs to 25 people and sometimes that’s worse because you can see the whites of their eyes.”
Photo: Dan Wooller
“I always knew what I wanted to do when I left school which was acting. I joined the National Youth Music Theatre and did a couple of shows with them which was great during school holidays.” Dom said. What happened next has entered into legend. Confronted with options at University Dom took the decision to read Theology at Oxford. “I honestly didn’t know the first thing about Theology. I only applied because someone told me it was he easiest thing to get into.” His application was rejected after an interview where Dom resorted to quoting The Vicar Of Dibley. “It turned out the Oxford Don didn’t have a sense of humour so I went an auditioned for drama school and got it. I trained and here I am. It wasn’t something
Blake enjoyed phenomenal success both in the UK and abroad. Chart success, touring and even performing at Shirley Basset’s 70th birthday kept the boys occupied. “It was an amazing couple of years. I went into it knowing I was leaving something behind but it was an opportunity that I needed to explore or risk regretting it further down the line if I’d not taken the chance. In terms of personal development I grew hugely and it certainly helped with my acting. I trained vocally every week and still do now. It’s harder though when you don’t have a reason to sing every week, it’s hard to get the motivation to do it. In the back of my mind though I realised it wasn’t what I had set out to do originally and I was missing the other world.” “I felt I’d missed out on a few opportunities because my time was completely dictated by Blake’s schedule. We’d done two albums and were about to go on a headline tour. I figured it would be easy to stay comfortable, but I just didn’t want to get stuck and whilst I had no responsibilities other than myself I thought I should be out there taking risks now. It was a risk, I could leave when I had something to go onto or leave and hope for the best. I thought it was fairer on the other three guys that I move on. Luckily that risk paid off.” Diving back into acting, Dom has chosen one of Wilde’s most famous plays - The Importance Of Being Earnest. Does he fear comparison to previous productions? “There’s a lot of pressure because people know the play so well. It’s been huge fun - we’ve even had sessions on making cucumber sandwiches. The play has so
many recognisable one liners that as an actor you have to find a way of making it original without doing things that go against the grain.” “What’s brilliant is that Wilde was such an amazing writer. If you try to tamper with what is written it loses its fluidity. What we are finding in rehearsals is that you shouldn’t be afraid of doing what is obvious. It’s a shame that Wilde’s writing life and indeed his life was cut short. Who knows how his style might have developed had he continued.” So how is he finding being back on stage as an actor? “It’s great being back working with like minded people. I’ve never done open air before. We start the show when the suns up. As the sun goes down all the lights come up and by the end of the play you are in darkness.” “This is the first year that Regents Park have done a non Shakespeare piece. The play is set in July with constant weather references and with an entire act set outside it’s just perfect for the venue. The design is quite abstract and stylised but it works really well. I can’t wait to see it all coming together.” Dom’s infectious enthusiam for Earnest is incredibly charming. Sitting during a break in rehearsals it’s easy to sit and listen to him chat about his career and the show. There’s an extra sparkle in his eyes though when we start talking about Blake’s visit to Australia. “We had a mad time in Australia. The Aussies really got what we were about. The loved the Britishness of us. We got to sing at Derby Day and at The Melbourne Cup which was crazy. We had an invitation to sing at the Governor’s residence. It was a tricky situation as after we had planned to go to a Snoop Doggy concert. We were incredibly under-dressed for the Governor but extremely overdressed for Snoop Doggy. We were in the mosh pit in jeans and jackets and nobody would come anywhere near the four English guys.” So what does the future hold for Dom after his stint in Earnest? “I get a week off after Earnest before starting rehearsals for Hot Mikado at the Watermill Playhouse and then we go on tour. There are so many great parts and so many great writers, not just with the classics but with new emerging writers that I’d like to get my teeth into. I‘m a completely open book, I’d love to do TV or film. Hopefully those opportunities will come up. I’d love to learn.” What does he get up to in his spare time, we asked? “Spare time?, I do absolutely nothing (laughs). You may see me having a Sunday Roast at my local pub. I love catching up with friends. I also enjoy just escaping London.” The Importance Of Being Earnest Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre From July 8 Online www.openairtheatre.org Phone 0844 826 4242
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! - DON’T MISS IT R E B M E T P E S 6 2 BOOKING UNTIL usical.co.uk m e th q e u n e v .a w | ww 0844 482 5141 W1 Avenue, London ry u sb e ft a h S E R T GIELGUD THEA
Photo: catherine ashmore
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT Palace Theatre. Elsewhere in the West End, another form of spectacle has landed in the shape of three garish drag queens in a huge pink bus called Priscilla. Based on the 1994 Australian film, the stage show retains the core plot of the film with a few small changes. The show is an outlandish “road film” on stage as Tick and Adam (two drag queens) and Bernadette (a transexual) head across the desert for a performance season in Alice Springs. Unlike a lot of other juke box musicals, most of the songs used in the show are directly drawn from the film soundtrack. It’s unashamedly geared around pop. Kylie, Joni Mitchell, Donna Summer are just a few of the artists represented in the score. Priscilla is no Les Miserables, it aims to make you laugh and to keep an enormous smile on your face throughout as the cast charge through numbers like Go West, MacCarthur Park (a perfect excuse for dancing cupcakes if ever there was one), I Will Survive and Don’t Leave Me This Way (the kitschest funeral ballad ever).
with such frenetic energy. You can’t talk about this show without a loud hoorah for the amazing design team who make this show tick. Brian Thomson has made Priscilla, the star of this show. This huge bus moves fluidly on stage with more han a few tricks built into her bulky frame. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner have re-created the iconic looks from the film and added in quite a few more. It’s truly more spectacular that you could possibly imagine. Every penny can be seen on stage and then some. Take a group of friends and just enjoy. It doesn’t get much more outrageous than this. We’re sure we’ll be repeat offernders at this gloom buster!!
War Horse is in its simplest form the story of the boy and his horse set against the attrocities of the First World War. It’s an epic tale brilliant bought to life by a large cast of tremendously talented puppeteers and actors. The majesty of the truly beautifully crafted horses each controlled by three actors just has to be seen. Together these performers create such a range of subtlety and nuance that you can actually stop seeing the workings and see the actual horses themselves as real emotive characters.
New London Theatre
Rae Smith’s vast open stage design backed by a enlarged shred of paper torn from a soldiers sketchbook provides an animated background in pencil sketch form that takes the audience from Devon to the trenches and back again. It is beautiful, fluid and engrossing.
After a hugely successful and award winning season at the National Theatre this monumental piece of theatre comes into the West End all guns blazing.
It would be easy for the actors to be overshadowed by the spactacle of this production. It is a tribute to those actors that this is not the case. Standout
PHOTO: SIMON ANNAND
Whilst Jason Donovan and Oliver Thornton carry off their respective roles it is Tony Sheldon who shines as Bernadette. The acid one liners, feminine demeanour and brilliant comic timing make Bernadette enormously appealing as a character with huge heart. Huge praise must also go to the energetic ensemble in this show. This must be one of the hardest working casts in the West End. They take Ross Coleman’s choreography and deliver it beige vol 2 iss 2 | 59
beige theatre performances by Bronagh Gallagher (Rose), Colin Mace (Ted), and Patrick O’Kane (Muller) add a human element. The evening does really belong to KIt Harrington though, who as Albert, raises, cares for and searches for his beloved Joey, the Hunter Colt. His performance verges on the spiritual, his bond with his horse bought tears to my eyes and to many of the people who were sitting around me in the audience.
nature. The intimacy gained by the traverse setting was quite startling and used to great effect.
This tremendously filmic production is enhanced even further by Adrian Suttons stirring score. The ballads and orchestral movements drive this show.
Warhorse is a show that should be seen by everyone. Thankfully, the National Theatre seems to have now found a West End home which brilliantly emulates the stage space at the Olivier. No audience member is far from the action in this production. There’s no doubt this amazing show is here for a long stay.
BERNARDA ALBA Bridewell Theatre The London School of Musical Theatre are to be applauded for choosing to stage new work to showcase their students. Bernarda Alba is a new musical with words and music by Michael John LaChiusa whose previous credits include The Wild Party and Marie Christine. Its been widely reported that LaChiusa is no fan of current musical theatre works and with this production his alternative is on display in this one act work.
At the end of the day though, the material is unmemorable. Perhaps as with Sondheim in his early career, La Chiusa is ahead of his time. I suppose that only time will tell.
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC With so many musicals opening in the West End, many people are getting a little more picky when it comes to musical fare. So many good shows are opening that others that are not so good stand out just that little bit more. Such is the case with the revival of The Menier Chocolate Factory of A Little Night Music which has recently transferred. One of Sondheim’s early works, Night Music is written in Waltz Time and relates to relationships, love and lust. It’s incredibly adult in its themes and shows Sondheim at his witty best. I found this revival though to be sadly lacking with most of the problems coming from poor casting. Hannah
Waddingham (Desiree), Maureen Lipman (Madame Armfeldt) and Alexander Hanson (Frederik Egerman) carry off their roles with ease and good humour. The scenes between Waddingham and Hanson are pure delight. Unfortunately, the support cast struggle to keep up. The casting of reality TV actress Jessie Buckley just doesn’t cut it. Trevor Nunn’s direction shows that he is still the undisputed king of modern musical theatre. It’s just a pity on this occassion you got the impression that he was limited by budget constraints. Something that was especially obviously with the cut down orchestra which lacked some of the lovely orchestral richness of previous incarnations.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS Duchess Theatre It was great to see Jason Robert Brown back in the West End this month with a week long season of his autobiographical one act musical The Last Five Years. The Last Five Years is fast becoming a popular piece with students and amateur groups across the country and it’s easy to see why. This two hander
PHOTO: CATHERINE ASHMORE
The music in the show has elements of Sondheim and Philip Glass in its construction. It’s most certainly not melodic and I found it quite uncomfortable to listen to. It’s a tribute to the students involved that they managed to perform the score with style. The school took the admirable move of utilising West End Production staff to realise this musical and full marks must go to Matt Ryan (Director), Torquil Munro (Musical Director) and Charles Quiggin (Production Designer) for a professionally polished production which was beautifully designed and executed. This is a difficult work and it could easily be turned into a complete disaster in the wrong hands. Staged in traverse at the Bridewell, Matt Ryan showed yet again that alternative staging styles can provide an interesting and effective solution to venues than can often be difficult by 60 | beige vol 2 iss 2
beige theatre is a real showcase for performers and it is certainly in good hands with Julie Atherton and Paul Spicer. Atherton can do no wrong here. She is perfectly at home in a role which encompasses both the dramatic and comedic in equal measure. Her comedy numbers are like watching a masterclass in timing and delivery. Pure joy!! Spicer takes on the role of Jamie. It’s beautifully delivered, thoroughly honest and incredibly touching. This is a show though, that presents its characters warts and all. There are times where neither are particularly likeable as ego and jealousy destroy a relationship. Brown has devised a structure for the musical where each participant in the relationship start the show at opposite ends of the plot, he, at the beginning of the romance, and her, at the end, meeting only briefly in the middle for a moment of true happiness. Torquil Monro helms the orchestra in this production and the six piece ensemble are just sensational.
SISTER ACT London Palladium Having just played host to The Sound of Music for three years, one would be forgiven for thinking that the London Palladium has been overun by even more golden voiced nuns. Yet, takeover PHOTO: CATHERINE ASHMORE
they have as Sister Act, a musical based on the successful Whoopi Goldberg film, has opened in all its dazzling disco glory. For those of you who missed the film, Sister Act follows Vegas lounge singer Delores Van Cartier who, having witnessed a mob murder takes refuge as a protected witness in a run down convent. Though very much the fish out of water, she manages to transform the choir and the fortunes of the convent through music. With a few minor scripting changes bought about by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, the writing team behind TV sitcom Cheers, the film’s plot remains largely intact. However, it is with the shows score that most changes have been made. Academy Award Winner and Disney musical supremo Alan Menken, together with Lyricist Glenn Slater have presented an entirely new score rich in theatrical sensitivity but firmly rooted in disco. It’s great to see Alan Menken back in the theatre. His is an amazing talent that can deliver tender ballads, comic showstoppers and ensemble numbers that lift the roof off the theatre. LIke the film, the show takes a little while to warm up, but with the arrival of the nun’s choir, it changes gear, revving up into a frantic pace that continues through to a glitzy showstopping finale. Sister Act sees the UK debut (and what a debut!) of Patina Miller as Delores. Miller’s incredible range and soulful voice are a force to be reckoned
with. It is also a delight to see Sheila Hancock back on stage as Mother Superior. Her vocals are emotional and tender, her comedy timing perfect. But, in my opinion high praise must go to twenty of the hardest working actresses in the West End. The “sisters” of Sister Act bring this show to a standstill on more than one occassion as they bump, grind and raise their diva like voices to the heavens. These sisters truly sizzle!! Whilst nuns such as Mary Lazarus, Mary Robert and Mary Patrick have distinct and hugely comedic moments, each of the nuns brings gusto and character to this incredibly joyous ensemble. Director, Peter Schneider, Choreography, Anthony Van Laast and Designer Klara Zieglerova have delivered a slick, fluid production that whirls like a dervish but retains the heart of the story and the lovely quiet moments which make it irresistable. Grab your group and get your tickets now. As word of mouth gets out it sure to become one of London’s hottest tickets. You will leave your troubles at the door and leave smiling, singing and dancing your way down Argyle Street as we did.
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MUSIC FROM JONESEY Annie Lennox Annie Lennox Collection The once queen of pop enchants us with a look back to her glory days. A concise collection of her best singles, album tracks and bonus features; new material too! Annie has the voice of an angel and is a truly gifted song writer, one always hopes that she gives up the gauntlet of writing these new edgy credible tracks and transcends back to the ‘pop’ that she made so well. It’s the reason why we will always remember her. Isn’t music a simple philosophy?
James Morrison Songs For You Truths For Me The unstoppable James Morrison delivers 12 wonderful tracks from this latest offering. With his stunning voice, great songs, and a cracking album previously Morrison from Derby is absolutely the business. The man’s influences are obvious but this guy is British, so be proud, proud, proud. Go out, buy it, stick it on your player, pour your favourite drink and immerse yourself in soul. Wonder if he’ll come back to Ryan’s bar now? That would be cool, and the place would be rammed
Lady Gaga Fame Love her or hate here, she’s here and to stay. Two monster hit records that took almost everyone by surprise. Just Dance and Poker Face offer our jilted and twisted set of funky jean wearing youths an alternative to the sometimes crass image of Lily Allen-esque type of role models. She’s fun, different and on the ball. Huge criticism from most music journalists on how she’s just an out of date Madonna re-hash in the naughties! So can all of those people now quit and move into real estate, Gaga is number one in every chart for a reason! Get over it!
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DVD DVD OF THE MONTH A LOVE TO HIDE (Un Amour A Taire) (French with Subtitles) Why is it that Europe seems to beat the USA hands down when it comes to films with gay subject matter. OK, occasionally Hollywood gets it right with films like Brokeback Mountain and Philadelphia, but Europe seems to find artistic ease in putting all the components in place to produce well scripted, acted and produced films to appeal not only to the gay marketplace but to a wider audience. A Love to Hide is such a film. It is World War 2 and France has just fallen to Nazi rule. Jewish families are being removed from their homes and sent to camps outside the city. Meanwhile, eternally upbeat young Parisian Jean is doing what he can to help his family get by during difficult times. However, his greatest secret is also his biggest liability – he has a boyfriend, the faithful Phillipe, who has risky connections with the underground and gay officialdom. Despite this, the pair lead a happy life in secrecy sharing an apartment that is hidden away from the police that patrol the streets. One day, Jean’s old Jewish school friend Sarah comes begging for help. Her family murdered – Jean represents her only hope. Jean and Phillippe take her into hiding and help her establish a new life with a new identity. Trouble comes in the form of Jean’s brother Jacques, a rogue who has eyes for Sarah and will stop at nothing to get his way. It’s very Cain and Abel and as you can imagine given the historical backdrop, this is a dramatic and at time shocking film. It’s easy to see how this film picked up the award for Best Film at the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival along with a host of other festival awards. The performances of Jeremie Renier and Bruno Todeschini are nothing short of brilliant. Theirs are powerful, emotionally charged performances that really bring home the brutality and oppresion of the era. I can’t recommend this film highly enough. Truly brilliant.
THE LAST TEMPLAR
Based on the international best-seller by Raymond Khoury, this two part made for television spectacular is a must for anyone with an interest in the Templar Knights. Think Indiana Jones meets Da Vinci Code and you get the general feel for this film. This suspense, thriller, adventure, conspiracy epic features a cast that even brings Omar Sharif back to the screen. Mira Sorvino takes on the role of fearless archaeologist Tess Chaykin who is ably assisted by hunky FBI agent Sean Daley played by the gorgeous Scott Foley. This is a great nights entertainment so clear your schedule, pick out a great bottle of wine and enjoy.
This should be a must see for any gay man. It’s suprising that very few people know how the charity we identify with today came to be named. This wonderful doco tells the stories of gays and lesbians from the 1920’s through to the famous riot at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. It’s quite touching and a real eye opener as director Greta Schiller looks at gay impact in literature, entertainment and the military amongst other things. Highly recommended.
COMMON THREADS – STORIES FROM THE QUILT
Common Threads is an incredibly moving documentary that tells the story of the AIDS Memorial Quilt by focusing on the stories of some of the victims whos names appear. The film makers haven’t just focused on the gay community but tell the stories of children, drug related victims and others who’s stories make this incredibly emotional and relevant to so many people. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman this documentary won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and it’s easy to see why. A real must see for anyone who lived through the 80’s and for younger readers to be educated about this epidemic and the quite remarkable project that it inspired.
A FOUR LETTER WORD
Charlie David is a favourite here at Beige but we felt more than a bit let down by this one. Luke (Jesse Archer) is living the life of a gay party boy in New York City, when he meets the super sexy Stephen (Charlie David). At first, they clash over Stephen’s criticism’s of Luke’s lifestyle, but that’s nothing compared to the fury when Luke discovers that the reason Stephen is such a good lover is that he’s a professional! A Four Letter Word is mildly entertaining but falls into the category of average gay films that are quickly forgotten.
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PARIS IS BURNING It’s documentary month this month and Paris Is Burning is another great documentary which really captures Black American club culture in the 80’s. The film catalogues the world of “balls” - huge events which saw scores of New York drag queens parading up and down runways in flamboyant and lavish costumes. This is is bitchy gay realism at its all time best. Film maker Jennie Livingston not only shows the glamour of the events but takes a look at the lives, hopes and aspirations of many of the participants, many from unaccepting families. Set all of this against the unravelling spectre of AIDS and you get an ominous foreboding that the party was almost over. Perhaps most intriguing was that the balls were deemed the birthplace of “Vogueing” so successfully exploited in subsequent years by Madonna. If you have any interest in dance culture this is a real must see.
WERE THE WORLD MINE This is a delightful musical comedy which has been expanded from an earlier short film. We found this film delightful. After being cast as the star in his high school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Timothy discovers a magical love potion that has the power to make complete strangers fall desperately in love. All goes well until he gets the high school jock of his dreams to fall in love with him. Beautifully acted and directed, it’s hard to find anything to criticise about this coming of age drama. It’s Homo School Musical and it rocks!!
THE CURIOUS CASE BENJAMIN BUTTON
I missed this film at the cinema but have to admit that following very mixed reviews from friends it had drifted off my “Must See” list. I was therefore really pleased when I sat down to watch Benjamin Button and discovered a gently rambling tale that completely captivated me from beginning to end. Adapted from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Button is the tale of a man who ages backwards, the film is a triumph of not only CGI and effects wizzardry but of the stellar cast including Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Jason Fleming and Tilda Swinton who have been bought together for this epic tale. It’s a sprawling southern yarn with a hint of magic but real sincere heart and in my view shouldn’t be missed. If you saw it at the cinema take the time to sit down and watch it again on a lazy Sunday afternoon – you will be glad you did.
QUEER AS FOLK USA - SERIES 4 The continuation of the Americanisation of Queer As Folk continues. Series 4 sees all our favourite character returning and the departure of some favourites. Series 4 comprises 14 episodes and the DVDs have a few great extras for the fans. A dodgy storyline concerning Justin and Street Vigilanties is a bit dodgy but its soon brushed away by other better storylines. There are some knockout performances in this series from Gale Harold, Hal Sparks and Robert Gant.
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BOOKS THE GAY DIVORCEE Paul Burston The Gay Divorcee is a terrific read. Warm, funny and heartfelt, the tale is inhabited by beautifully drawn characters who will have the Soho set guessing for months to come over just who they are based on. Paul Burston has perfectly positioned himself as the Jackie Collins of the Soho scene. Compelling and hugely entertaining, we couldn’t put it down!!
HOLDING THE MAN Timothy Conigrave One of the biggest selling books from Australia. Holding The Man is actor Timothy Conigrave’s autobiography. It’s the story of teenage love, an incredibly strong and loving relationship between two guys and of huge hope. I’m not going to spoil the plot of this one other than to say it’s incredibly moving and will require even the toughest of you to grab a box of kleenex. Recently adapted into an enormously successful stage pproduction we hope to see the play here sometime soon.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HARVEY MILK Randy Shilts This is the definitive biography of Harvey Milk: an emotionally compelling story of the life and death of the first openly gay man to be elected to US political office. ‘If a bullet should enter my brain, let it destroy every closet door’. This is the definitive biography of Harvey Milk, the man whose personal life, public career, and cold-blooded assassination mirrored the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in 1970s America. It is an emotionally-charged story of personal tragedy and political intrigue, murder at City Hall and massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice and the affirmation of human rights and gay hope.
DREAM BOY Jim Grimsley In preparation for the release of the stunning film based on this novel we thought it a great time to revisit Dream Boy. Set in Louisiana this is a terrific read. Struggling with sexual abuse from his father and his mother’s denial of the situation, Nathan dreams of a life free from his family while fantasizing about a relationship with the young man next door, whose home represents a safe haven to Nathan.
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PRISCILLA OPENING NIGHT
Photos: Dan Wooler
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Photos:James Pople www.electrophoto.net
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DISTINCTIVE DINING A dining experience at Sketch is one that must be savoured. A visual and culinary feast await all those who enter their doors. Apart from being an incredible dining experience, Sketch is one of those places that needs to be savoured on many levels. Consisting of so many spaces, it offers a veritable smorgasboard of possibilities once you walk through its rather understated front door. On entering you are drawn into a world of art, visual richness and a quirky bonomie that encapsulates the Sketch experience from start to finish. The grand entrance hall leads you into The Parlour, where tea is served throughout the day. It’s a grand room that always seems to be buzzing with ladies who lunch, media and fashion types and the great and good. The main hall is full of incredible installation art that challenges the eye and draws you further and further into the building. Downstairs is a main dining room called The Gallery. A huge white themed room which is bounded by twelve large projection screens which feature installations from groundbreaking artists. These “performances” play out as you are dining and ensure that no visit to Sketch is ever boring.
Inaugurated in 2002, The Gallery was set up as a non-profit foundation. It is a public, temporary exhibition space specialing in experimental moving images with seven exhibtions per year, plus accompanying events and performances. To dine at Sketch and enjoy these exhibitions makes the experience all the more unique. It is a tribute to Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire that the menu on offer at Sketch is perfectly balanced and offers yet another rich palette to the Sketch experience. Flavour is king here. On the night we enjoyed a range of dishes including Tahiti thinly sliced greviche of Grouper, Barramundi and Red Snapper marinated in coconut milk and lime with pineapple sorbet, shaving and jelly of fresh coconut. Chantille Lace Lobster Bisque, three colour basmati rice and horseradish cream; Rib Eye - cooked to perfection with French bean tempura, peppered beef jus, pan fried shitake mushrooms with paprika and Pierre’s BBQ Sauce; and Lobster - Fricasseed in ginger butter, potato mousseline with Montgommery Cheddar, lobster bisque and Bok Choy.
combinations that I had never experienced before. The Sketch staff were fast, efficient but never overbearing. Every effort went towards giving the patron the trademark Sketch experience. A full three course meal with wine for two could cost you in the vicinity of £150 £200 but it’s definitely an investment in an experience that you’ll want to revisit. Sketch is a building where even the futuristic lavatories have not escaped the designers brief. One you cross the threshold, the outside world is put on hold. This quirky, amazing restaurant is one that deserves repeat visits. The Gallery at Sketch 9 Conduit Street London W1S 2XG www.sketch.uk.com P: 0207 659 4500
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CIDER HOUSE RULES!
Katy Perry is not the only perry who’s top of the pops this year – the sparkling pear-based drink has been reinvented and helped to make everyone love cider again, writes Mark Ludmon
Babycham was once so cool. It was the first alcoholic drinks brand to be advertised on commercial TV in the 1950s, and by the 1960s it was a global phenomenon, benefiting from the fact that it was targeting the emancipated woman who, actually, quite liked a drink too. Marketed as “champagne de poire” and served up in champagne glasses, it is easy to forget that this wasn’t related to sparkling wine at all but in fact a perry, made from fermented pears in the same style as cider. Babycham is still around and still represented by the same little be-ribbonned deer in its logo, but it has been swallowed up (and pretty much forgotten about) by the global drinks giant Constellation alongside other ciders such as Blackthorn and Gaymers as well as global “wine brands” such as Hardys. However, perry itself has been reborn as “pear cider” and has been one of the stars in the reinvention of ciders over the past few years. Since Magners came up with the innovation of serving cider in a pint glass full of ice, the category has undergone a renaissance, fuelled by the launch of new pear ciders. While other “long alcoholic drinks” such as beer have declined by about 10 per cent since the start of the economic downturn last year, cider has been holding up with only a two per cent dip over the same period. Vicky Lee, marketing manager of drinks company CWF, believes cider has finally shed
its traditional image of being a poor-quality shortcut to getting drunk. “With its lighter taste and ‘over ice’ concepts, the category has broadened its appeal to include a growing number of female drinkers and those who will perhaps drink cider with a meal as an alternative to wine,” she says. The descendants of the Showering family who created Babycham in the 1940s in Shepton Mallet in Somerset are still around and are now behind Brothers Cider, which saw its sales grow last year. “Many cider producers are too production-focused and unwilling to view the cider category from the consumer point of view,” warns its marketing manager Matthew Langley. “Both Mintel and Nielsen research shows that very few UK consumers describe themselves as cider drinkers. Cider attracts a far more ‘promiscuous’ consumer who will also drink wine, lager, beer and flavoured alcoholic beverages depending on the weather, time of year, occasion and their own mood.” The expansion of choice is attracting new customers of both genders and all ages, says Scott Fairburn, GB consumer marketing manager of Magners. After launching Magners Pear in March this year, he told me there was still considerable scope for further new product development. But it hasn’t been all about pears: apple cider has not been forgotten. Gaymer Cider Company unveiled a contemporary new look for its best-selling cider, Blackthorn, with a
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beige behind the label mellower and more refreshing taste to widen appeal. Gaymers itself has been reinvented by being positioned alongside music through festival sponsorships and listings in top music venues. But Gaymers has also been growing sales of its pear cider after launching a year ago, while pear cider now accounts for 20 per cent of the Bulmers brand’s total sales. “The demand for pear cider among both men and women is at an all-time high,” says Vicky Lee at CWF. She says her company’s pear cider, Nectar’s, is aimed at people aged 25 to 35 but that research shows pear cider is particularly popular with students. After its launch two-and-a-half years ago, St Helier pear cider has proven to be popular with men and women of all ages, defying assumptions that it is mainly for young women, says Richard Luscombe, on-trade national
sales manager of owner ICB. This also applies to flavoured pear ciders, he adds, with St Helier launching a peach variant to add to its blueberry and its raspberry and lime. Sweden’s Kopparberg, which has gone down a storm since the launch of its apple and then pear cider, has added a pear cider with mixed fruits and, most recently, one with elderflower and lime. “Widening the consumer base for cider is vital to provide for the long-term sustainability of the category,” says Davin Nugent, managing director of owner Cider of Sweden. “We know 2009 will be a much more challenging year, both economically and competitively, but nonetheless we remain confident that the premium cider category will continue to grow, just as it has done in recent years, transforming from apple and pear cider to a fully fledged fruit cider market. It is now about more than just apples and pears.”
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Community up and coming... JULY 3-5 JULY COLOGNE PRIDE - Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Cologne is the largest gay pride event in Germany. Traditionally, CSD Cologne consists of the Gala of the AIDS-Hilfe on Friday, The street festival in the Old Town for the whole weekend and the parade through the Cologne inner city on Sunday. 4 JULY PRIDE LONDON - Annual parade, festival and march throughout central London. Events in trafalgar Square, Leicester and Soho Squares. Pride festival includes comedy, theatre, arts, sports and community events. 4 JULY DERBY GOES PINK Derbyshire’s second Gay Pride Festival. Main stage, market and childrens area. Parade leaves Duke Of Yorks at 11am. 5 - 12 JULY BUDAPEST PRIDE Parade on Sunday 11 July. 10 - 12 JULY SPARKLE - THE NATIONAL TRANSGENDER CELEBRATION. One of the largest celebrations in the trans world returns to Manchester with a host of events and their usual fun and frolics in the Sackville Gardens. 10 - 12 JULY BOURNE MOUTH PRIDE FESTIVAL - A colourful weekend of circus fun with everything from clowns and jugglers to stilt walkers and fire eaters. 10 - 12 JULY HAMILTON HALL - Psychic development. Learn to tune in and switch on to your intuition and inner guides. £200 fully residential and with all food. 16 - 19 JULY PRIDE TORBAY - Inaugural gay pride festival on the English Riviera, celebrating diversity and the stunning natural environment of the UK’s premiere seaside resort. Highlights include a boat trip, themed club nights, a pool party, a beach picnic with live musical entertainment, community stalls, cinema screenings and a cabaret street party. The event will be raising money for The Eddystone Trust and Rowcroft Hospice. 17 JUL - 31 AUG UNVEILING OF BRIGHTON & HOVE AIDS MEMORIAL - Gay Pride & Summer exhibition as well as unveiling of Brighton & Hove Aids Memorial by Bruce Romany. Free Art Exhibition from 11.30am till 10pm 18 JULY THANET PRIDE - Thanet’s gay pride event to be held on the sea front in Marine Drive, Margate. Expect fun, frolics, live entertainment and all you would expect from the original sea-side town. Stage performances, fair ground attractions, markets and stalls. 12pm - FREE 18 JULY NORTHERN PRIDE - Parade and Pink Picnic, sports, marketplace, workshops, entertainment. | Newcastle upon Tyne 24 - 26 JULY POLYVERSE POETRY FESTIVAL - Massive poetry festival, includes Rosie Lugosi, Paul McDonald, Nigel McLoughlin, Radcliff Gregory, Sam Smith, Rosemary Dun, Sue Guiney, Geoff Stevens, Gill Spraggs, Mark Goodwin, Sheree Mack, Oz Hradwick, Martin Holroyd, Nick Carboo and many others.- 10:00 - 22:00 daily | Loughborough 25 JULY - 2 AUG PRIDE IN BRIGHTON & HOVE. Pride Companion Dog Show 5 July 2009, Summer Festival Week 25 July - 2 Aug 2009, Carnival Parade & Park Event Sat 1 August 2009 | Brighton 25 JULY - 2 AUG WORLD OUTGAMES 2009 - The World Outgames is an international sporting and cultural event celebrating the talents and contributions of homosexual, bi-sexual and transgender men and women from every corner of the globe. The next World Outgames will be from 25 July - 2 August, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Mark your calendar, and join us for 9 absolutely fabulous days of serious sport, serious culture and totally serious FUN. | Copenhagen
(www.gaytoz.com) - The search engine for gay Britain. Find thousands of gay and lesbian businesses, organisations, listings and events in the GAY to Z Directory
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The Albert Kennedy Trust – Supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people. The Albert Kennedy Trust are a charity that works with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered young people that are homeless or living in a hostile environment. The charity provide supported lodgings, mentoring (accredited with Mentoring and Befriending Foundation) advocacy, information and advice. For further information call the charity on 020 7831 6562020 or e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.akt.org.uk ADVICE & HELPLINES Antidote - at Hungerford Drug Project 020 7437 3523 (www.turning-point.co.uk) Bede House - Domestic abuse hate crimes 020 7232 1107 (www.bedehouse.org)
Dazz-elle - drug and alcohol support for women 020 8257 3068 (www.dazz-elle.org.uk) Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - FFLAG 0117 942 9311 (www.fflag.org.uk) Frank - information and advice on drugs and drug use. 0800 776 600 (www. talktofrank.com)
GALOP Shoutline - for victims of hate crime 020 7704 2040 (www.galop.org.uk)
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 020 7837 7324 (www.llgs.org.uk)
Mobility Advice Line 0121 486 2155
UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group 020 7620 6010 (www.uklgig.org.uk)
choirs & Music Diversity Chamber Choir 07976 896 809 www.diversitychoir.org.uk)
London Gay Men’s Chorus 08458 382 059 (www.lgmc.org.uk) London Gay Symphony Orchestra LGSO 07963 853 099 (www.lgso.org.uk) Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus 07931 703 371 (www.mlgc.org.uk) Rainbow Voices - Birmingham’s Lesbian & Gay Chorus 07841 755 379 (www.rainbowvoices.org.uk)
CLINICS Ambrose King Centre Whitechapel 020 7377 7307 Camberwell Sexual Health Centre Kings College Hospital, Camberwell 0207 346 5000 Jefferiss Wing Centre for Sexual Health Paddington 020 7886 1697 Marlborough Clinic Royal Free, Hamsptead 020 7830 2047 Mortimer Market Centre Off Tottenham Court Road 020 7530 5050 Victoria Clinic Westminster 0845 811 6699
COMMUNITY GROUPS Barnet Lesbian and Gay Group (BLaGG) 07845 055 966 (www.barnetgay.co.uk) Bearhug 07967 101 887 (www.bearhug.net)
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community Croydon Area Gay Society - CAGS 020 8686 1550 (www.cags.org.uk) Ealing Gay Group - EGG 020 8870 4549
4PLAY Squash 4Play Squash is a London based squash group for gay and lesbian squash players and their friends.
East London Out Project - ELOP 020 8509 3898 Gay Bikers Motorcycle Club
The group welcomes players of all ability levels. Our Group Sessions attract a range of players and aim to improve everyone’s game.
Gay Birders Club 01732 360 527
Gay Outdoor Club - General Enquiries 01673 861 962
We meet at several venues around London and also organise regular social events.
Gay Surrey 01932 571 286 (www.gaysurrey.co.uk)
Our annual International Gay & Lesbian Squash Tournament is one of the highlights of the year and attracts many players from other gay and lesbian squash groups across Europe.
Gay West 01225 858 528 (www.gaywest.org.uk) GUMMI – rubber club
Herts Gay Community 07071 880 103 (ww. hertsgaycommunity.org.uk)
Many of our members also participate in other European squash tournaments.
HuGG - Huddersfield Gay Group (www.hugg.org.uk)
Hull LGBT Forum 07743 520 928
Icebreakers - Manchester 0161 235 8035
(www.icebreakersmanchester.org.uk) Jewish Gay & Lesbian Group 020 8952 0137 (www.jglg.org.uk) Kairos in Soho 020 7437 6063 (www.kairosinsoho.org.uk)
LMG - London Monday Group 020 7229 8272 (www.slago.org.uk) London Gay Reading Group (www.lgrg.org.uk)
Long Yang Club - for guys and girls from
the East & West 020 8311 5835 (www.lyclondon.com) Manchester Lesbian Community Project 0161 273 7128 (www.manchesterlcp.org.uk)
Metro Centre - Greenwich 020 8305 5000 (www.metrocentreonline.org)
Midland Mavericks Line Dancing
Group Birmingham 0121 454 4245 (www. midlandmavericks.com)
MSC London – Motorcycle Club (www.msclondon.co.uk)
Out & About 020 8989 5295 (www.outandabout-london.org)
Outsiders - for people with social and physical disabilities seeking partners (www. outsiders.org.uk)
Plymouth Pride Forum 01752 265 653 (www.plymouthprideforum.co.uk)
South Asian Group - Himat 020 7791 2855 (www.positiveeast.org.uk)
South London Gays - SLG 020 8674 5191 (www.slago.org.uk/slg) Surrey and London Assocation of Gay Organisations -SLAGO 020 8660 5619
(www.slago.org.uk) TAGS - The Arun Area Gay Society 01273 204 050
(www.tagsonline.org.uk) Wandsworth LGBT Community Network 07967 101 887 (www.wandsworthlgbt.org.uk)
West London Gay Bridge Club 020 7537 2481 (www.wlgbc.co.uk)
COUNSELLING PACE - Project for Advice Counselling & Education 020 7700 1323 (www.pacehealth.org.uk)
DANCING Boot Scoot Line Dancing 07912 641 562 (www.bootscoot.co.uk)
Gay Gordons (www.thegaygordons.org)
Pink Jukebox at the Loom Bar 07774 443 627 (www.pinkjukebox.co.uk)
DINING CLUBS Gusto Dining Club 07941 045 102 (www.gusto-dining.co.uk)
FESTIVALS & EVENTS Bear Pride (www.bearpride.co.uk) Birmingham Gay Pride Festival (www.birminghampride.org)
LGBT History Month 07960 493 544 (www.lgbthistorymonth.org.uk)
London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 020 7928 3232 (www.llgff.org.uk) Manchester Pride 0161 236 7474 (www.manchesterpride.com) Pride in Brighton & Hove 01273 775 939
Pride of Leeds (www.leedspride.com) Pride London 020 7494 2225 (www.pridelondon.org)
Queerupnorth 0161 234 2942 (www.queerupnorth.com)
HIV & AIDS Crusaid 020 7539 3880 (www.crusaid.org.uk)
Elton John AIDS Foundation 020 7603 9996 (www.ejaf.org) Food Chain 020 7354 0333 (www.foodchain.org.uk)
GMFA - charity for Gay Men’s Health 020 7738 6872 (www.gmfa.org.uk) National AIDS Trust – World AIDS Day 020 7814 6767 (www.nat.org.uk) Sexual Health Information Line 0800 567 123 (www.playingsafely.co.uk) Terrence Higgins Trust THT Helpline 08451 221 200 (www.tht.org.uk)
HOUSING Albert Kennedy Trust - Housing Advice for L&G Teenagers London - 020 7831 6562 Manchester - 0161 228 3308 (www.akt.org.uk)
Lewisham Housing Support Team 020 8463 1170 (www.thamesreachbondway.com)
Stonewall Housing 020 7359 5767 (www.stonewallhousing.org)
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JEWISH GAY & LESBIAN GROUP
CAFFMOS for older, mature gay men (www. caffmoscommunity.com)
Polari 020 7255 4480
The Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, JGLG, was founded in 1972 when a small advert in “Gay News” attracted the astonishing total of 190 people to a public meeting called to set up the new organisation.
PARENTING Group For LGBT Adopted Adults 020 7284 0555
We are the longest established Jewish gay group in the world. Our membership is open to Jewish men and women who are gay, lesbian or bisexual and has a wide age range, including people from many different backgrounds. We welcome many non-Jews and non-gay guests and although our Group is based in London we have many members living across the country.
(www.postadoptioncentre.org.uk) LGB Post-Adoption Group 020 7284 0555
(www.postadoptioncentre.org.uk) Pink Parents - Bristol 08701 273 274 (www.pinkparents.org.uk) Rainbow Families - for lesbian parents (www.rainbowfamilies.co.uk)
You do not have to be religious to join the group. We are primarily a social group, not a religious one, and most of our religious events are run along Liberal lines. Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of our membership lean more towards the left in their religious outlook, than to the right and to orthodoxy. Whatever your leaning, you will be more than welcome.
POLICE LIASON Islington LGBT Forum 07989 747 824 Out in Southwark 020 7525 5659
POLITICAL Abortion Rights 020 7923 9792 (www.abortionrights.org.uk)
Birmingham Community Pride Trust 0121 236 0537 (www.trustinpride.org.uk) Broken Rainbow LGBT Domestic Violence Service 08452 604 460 (www.broken-rainbow.org.uk)
Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered Voluntary and Community Organisations 020 7064 8383
RELIGION & HUMANITY Absolute Freedom Group of SGI-UK Buddhists 07950 900 516
Brightwaves Metropolitan Community Church 01273 681 101 (www.BrightwavesMCCBrighton.co.uk)
Gay Rights 020 7227 1395 (www.delga.libdems.org) Hall-Carpenter Archives 020 7955 7223
020 7226 0847
Outrage! 020 8240 0222 (www.OutRage.org.uk)
School’s Out! 020 7635 0476 (www.schools-out.org.uk)
Stonewall 020 7593 1850 (www.stonewall.org.uk)
Stonewall - free info line 08000 50 20 20
KB Kickboxing 07881 957 977
International G & L Skiers & Snowboarders Association IGLSA
Kings Cross Steelers Rugby Football Club 07761 045 654
Irons Golf Society (www.ironsgolf.co.uk) KB Fitness 020 7681 0114
London Amateur Wrestlers 020 7388 5463
Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism LAGCAR 020 7247 9907
Iain - 07931 984 930 (www.pinkhockey.com)
G&L Humanist Association - GALHA
(www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk) DELGA - Liberal-Democrats for Lesbian &
Duns ‘n’ Roses Hockey Club
LGBT Catholics’ Mass 020 8986 0807 L&G Christian Movement LGCM 020 7739 1249 (www.lgcm.org.uk) LGCM - Roman Catholic Caucus
Metropolitian Community Church of Brixton 020 8678 0200 (www.mccsouthlondon.co.uk) Quaker Quest 020 7251 0376 (www.quakerquest.org)
QUEST - G&L Catholics 0808 808 0234 (www.questgaycatholic.org.uk)
SOCIAL GROUPS Bromley Gay and Bisexual Men’s Group 01689 866 698 London Friend - LGB Art & Social Group 020 7837 3337 (www.londonfriend.org.uk)
OUTeverywhere 08450 060 050 Circa UK 0906 716 0098 (www.circa-club.com)
Gay Business Association - GBA 0844 562 4005 (www.gba.org.uk) Gay Police Association - GPA 07092 700 000 (www.gay.police.uk)
GLADD Doctors and Dentists (www.gladd.org.uk)
Jake 020 7268 3476
LAGLA Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association 020 7940 4000 (www.lagla.org.uk)
Suit & Tie Society 020 8883 0394
village drinks (www.villagedrinks.co.uk)
SPORTS GROUPS 4Play Squash Club (www.4PlaySquash.org)
GALA Badminton Club 020 8952 8293
Gay Cycling Touring Group 020 8747 4640 (www.gaycycling.wfour.co.uk)
Gay Outdoor Club GOC 01673 861 962 (www.goc.org.uk) Gay Sailing Group - Brighton 01273 721 933 Goslings Sports Club 020 8802 9639
Grace’s Cricket Club 020 7278 3294
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London Frontrunners 07092 346 340 (www.londonfrontrunners.org)
Remnants Hockey Club 020 8850 9518
Stonewall Football Club 020 7565 4254
London Raiders Softball Club 07931 721 377 (www.rainbowraiders.com) London Spikers Volleyball Club 020 8281 6295
Village Manchester Football Club 07976 939 205 (www.vmfc.co.uk)
Fire Brigade Union L&G Support 020 8541 1765 (www.fbulgbt.org.uk) GMB LGBT 020 8947 3131
Manchester Stingers WFC (www.manchesterstingers.net)
Moseley Shoals GOC Swimmming Group Birmingham 0121 622 6589 (www.moseleyshoals.org.uk)
Out to Swim 07843 616 100 (www.outtoswim.org)
Pride Games - Manchester
Spectrum - TSSA LGBT Group 020 7249 7996 (www.tssa.org.uk) TUC 020 7636 4030 (www.tuc.org.uk) Unison National LGBT Committee 08453 550 845
(www.unison.org.uk/out) Unison - North West 0161 211 1000
YOUTH GROUPS BLAZE - Walthamstow 020 8509 3898 Allsorts - Brighton (www.allsortsyouth.org.uk)
Freestyle London 020 7064 8383 (www.freestylelondon.org.uk)
Inside Out Project at 42nd Street Manchester 0161 832 0169 (www.fortysecondstreet.org.uk) LGYM - Lesbian and Gay Youth Manchester 0161 273 7838 (www.lgym.org.uk) London LGBT Youth Council 020 7064 8383
MOSAIC LGBT Youth Project 020 7328 7172 ext 5 (www.mosaicyouth.org.uk)
Queer Youth Alliance - Manchester (www.queeryouth.net) SNAP - Greenwich 020 8265 3311 (www. themetro.dircon.co.uk/youth_snap.htm)
Step Out at Step Forward - Islington 020 7739 3082 (www.stepforward-web.org)
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