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April 2011


Est. 1976





Stewart Copeland on The Police, film soundtracks and opera Win tickets to see USA rugby at the London Sevens The best places to see the Royal Wedding

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EXPAT NEED? CHECK ASSIGNEE SELECTED? CHECK TAX ADVISER? CHECK One of the less appealing things about sending your people overseas is that you, or they, suddenly have to become experts on the local tax system or risk falling foul of the law, incurring extra costs - or both. With BDO however, you and your people can benefit from coordinated tax advice. Advance planning will save you time and money and our specialist tax advisers are well equipped to ease the burden. Through BDO, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, our Expatriate teams can provide you with assistance all over the world. To find out more about the tax service that travels with you, please contact Andrew Bailey on +44 (0)20 7893 2946 or BDO’s Expatriate Tax service is run by our Human Capital team, which also provides a full range of expertise in employment tax, reward planning and pensions. BDO LLP and BDO Northern Ireland are both separately authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct investment business.

The American ®

Issue 696 – April 2011 PUBLISHED BY SP MEDIA FOR

Blue Edge Publishing Ltd.

Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Publisher: Michael Burland +44 (0)1747 830328 Please contact us with your news or article ideas Advertising & Promotions: Sabrina Sully, Commercial Director +44 (0)1747 830520 Subscriptions enquiries: Phone +44 (0)1747 830328, email Correspondents: Mary Bailey, Social Richard Gale, Sports Editor Alison Holmes, Politics Riki Evans Johnson, European Jeremy Lanaway, Hockey Estelle Lovatt, Arts Dom Mills, Motorsports Jarlath O’Connell, Theater Virginia E. Schultz, Food & Drink

©2011 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., 19 East Portway Industrial Estate, Andover, SP10 3LU ISSN 2045-5968 Cover: Stewart Copeland Inset: Prince William and Kate Middleton

Welcome I

t’s a big month in the UK. You might have heard, there’s a Royal Wedding. In fact it seems to be more exciting for Americans over here than for the natives. Is it just the traditional British stiff upper lip? Whatever, we’ll enjoy ourselves! Actually, the Brits will have a ball when April 29th comes around, so look out for street parties, barbeques and other celebrations in your local area. Join in – it’s a great way to meet new friends. And they don’t hold a grudge about 1776!

In case you’re wondering what to give the couple that have most everything, Prince William and Kate Middleton have asked that anyone thinking of giving them a wedding gift consider giving to a charitable fund instead. They’ve personally chosen a list of charities, and donations can be made at Enjoy your magazine,

Michael Burland, Editor


Anne Taylor is a UK-based Canadian Life Coach assisting individuals to triumph in change, like living in a new country, undertaking a new job, or a change from within of wanting more out of life.

Andy Sundberg, who lives in Geneva, is an activist on behalf of American expats. He founded American Citizens Abroad in 1978 and it now has members in more than 90 countries.

Alan Miller is Director of The New York Salon, co-founder of London’s Truman Brewery and The Vibe Bar and sits on England’s Arts Council. He is, in these difficult days, that rare thing – an optimist.

Don’t forget to check out The American online at The entire contents of The American and are protected by copyright and no part of it may be reproduced without written permission of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information in The American is accurate, the editor and publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or any loss arising from reliance on it. The views and comments of contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers.


The American

In This Issue... The American • Issue 696 • April 2011

4 News Obamas to make a State Visit


5 Competition – Lucky Sevens WIN tickets to see the USA play in the fast moving Emirates Airline London Sevens rugby tournament 7 Promotion American diner furniture – furnish your house with a touch of home 8 Comment Andy Sundberg thinks we may be having a Hallelujah Moment

4 48

10 Diary Dates Events and activities selected for you. Highlights in April include the World Coal Carrying Contest, World Marble Championships and the Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble! 13 Being Better Wickedly The wicked way to self-improvement 14 The Royal Wedding The history of ‘commoner princesses’, Kate Middleton’s American relations, and the best places to see the wedding procession - enjoy the big day with The American


42 2

18 Arts Choice Optical Art, Video Art, gutteral screams and Lee Miller’s home all have a part to play in April’s arts scene 22 Wining and Dining Have Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, just one of the top restaurants reviewed. And try top chefs’ fabulous recipes


The American

28 Coffee Break Exercise those synapses!

36 7


30 Music Meet Stewart Copeland – opera composer and ultimate expat 36 Reviews Read all about the hottest shows in town

46 Democracy: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Democracy, some say, comes in waves. Can we influence the tide of history sweeping the Middle East? 48 Drive Time British Touring Cars – Support your successful American team!


44 The Middle East Is western intervention justified – or even a good idea?

14 46



42 Carol Kane Interview The star of Taxi! and Wicked comes to the London stage in The Children’s Hour

49 Sports MLB and Formula One previews, NBA and BBL London game reports, the NHL, and a chat with TNA’s Velvet Sky 57 American Organizations Useful and fun societies for you to join 3

Limited Passport Appointments This Spring Every year in late spring the Passport & Citizenship Unit of the U.S. Embassy in London is flooded with applications in anticipation of the summer holidays. As appointment availability will be reduced considerably during April and May 2011, the Embassy recommends you apply early to avoid disappointment. l  Some countries require a U.S. passport to be valid for at least six months beyond the holder’s length of stay. Check the validity period of your passport now as you may need to renew your passport before your trip. l  Due to the increase in demand for passports at this time of year, processing times cannot be guaranteed and may extend beyond 15 working days. If you are eligible to apply for a visa by mail or courier, consider applying now – http://london. passports/renindex.html l  If you are required to renew your passport in person you will require an appointment. As appointment availability will be limited, book early to avoid disappointment. For further information – http://london. passports/fta.html With limited spring appointments for passport service, don’t delay. Beat the spring rush and apply to renew your passport now!


The Obamas are welcomed by Queen Elizabeth II to Buckingham Palace, April 1, 2009 PHOTO: WHITE HOUSE PHOTO/PETE SOUZA

State Visit In May


resident Barack Obama will pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Tuesday 24th May to Thursday 26th May 2011. The President and the First Lady will stay at Buckingham Palace. Previous visits by American Presidents include President Eisenhower, who visited The Queen at Balmoral Castle in 1959. President and Mrs Kennedy dined with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in June 1961. President Nixon lunched with the Queen and the Duke at Buckingham Palace in February 1969 and again visited in 1970. President Carter was received by the Queen in London in 1977. President and Mrs Reagan made an official visit to the UK in June 1982, staying at Windsor Castle. President and Mrs Bush lunched with the Queen and the Duke in June 1989. President and Mrs Clinton visited the Queen in December 2000. President George W Bush and Mrs Bush lunched with the Queen in July 2001 then made a State Visit to the UK in November 2003. They also visited the Queen at Windsor Castle in June 2008. President and Mrs Obama met the Queen and Duke at Buckingham Palace during the G20 meeting in London in April 2009, when Michelle and the Queen got along famously.

FVAP News New York Special Election For Congress On May 24, New York will hold a special election for the 26th Congressional District (Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties), to fill the seat vacated by Representative Christopher J. Lee. To vote, you must register by submitting a post-marked Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) by April 29, 2011. New York also allows you to email or fax the FPCA, but you still

must mail it as well to ensure you meet the signature requirements. It must be received by your local New York Board of Elections Office by May 4, 2011. For details go to Voting Abroad Forms Redesign The Federal Post Card Application and Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot forms are being updated to increase their ease-of-use and effectiveness. If you have suggestions about their design or wording, go to


The American

USA’s 7s team in action as the world’s biggest rugby party returns to London S

un, sand and Sevens will be the name of the game when Twickenham Stadium opens its doors to the world’s finest rugby talent on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May, as the Emirates Airline London Sevens returns for 2011. Last year’s superhero-themed event saw almost 80,000 fans flood through the gates over a sun-drenched two days, and organisers are aiming to break the 100,000 barrier for the beach-themed 2011 event. Fans are urged to dig out the flip-flops and sombreros and enjoy the weekend in style. On the pitch, the USA 7s team will take on 15 other international teams including the likes of England, New Zealand, France, Australia, Argentina and Fiji as they fight for points in the HSBC Sevens World Series, a competition that pits the finest national sevens sides on the planet against each other across eight different tournaments.


You can watch the USA 7s in action on May 21 and 22 at Twickenham Stadium in the Emirates Airline London Sevens, with tickets starting at £15 for adults and £5 for U16s, book now at

See a weekend’s worth of rugby action courtesy of the Rugby Football Union and The American. Just answer the following question: Which famous fictional schoolboy went to Rugby School ANSWER A Tom Brown B ‘Just William’ Brown C Harry Potter HOW TO ENTER: Email your answer and your contact details (name, address and daytime telephone number) to Put SEVENS COMPETITION in the subject line. Or send a postcard to: SEVENS COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK. To arrive by mid-day April 30, 2011. You must be 18 years old or over to enter this competition. Only one entry per person per draw. The editor’s decision is final. No cash alternative. Tickets are not transferable. You are responsible for any travel, accommodation and other expenses.


The American

Terrorism Still Top U.S. Threat

John Adams, 2nd President of the U.S. and Minister to England

John Adams Society

A new alumni association has been formed for people who have participated in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Programme, the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Programme, and the British-American Parliamentary Group Exchange, all U.S. government exchange programmes run via the U.S. Embassy, London. The society is named for the second President who also served as the American Minister to England from 1785. It aims to foster mutual understanding between the British and American governments and to allow individual members who are invested in cross-Atlantic cooperation and development to network. U.S. Ambassador Louis Susman, in a congratulatory message, said, “This U.S. exchange program alumni association brings together for the first time a truly diverse collection of influential citizens as one distinct voice – a voice with the stated mission of bringing ‘the United Kingdom and the United States of America closer’ through cultural, scientific, educational, and economic activities… I am sure that the John Adams Society will act also as a critical friend to the U.S. President Obama said that the relationship between our two countries ‘is a kinship of ideals.’”


The top U.S. intelligence officer says that terrorism remains the greatest threat to the nation, although the primary threat from the al-Qaida terrorist group has been weakened. “We’ve apprehended numerous dangerous actors throughout the world and weakened much of al-Qaida’s core capabilities, including its operations, training and its propaganda,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a congressional hearing. But he added that despite this, al-Qaida’s main objective of attacking the West has not changed. “Counterterrorism is central to our overseas operations, notably in Afghanistan,” Clapper testified. “And while progress in our efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida is often hard won, we have seen and we will continue to see success in governance, security and economic development that will erode the willingness of the Afghan people to support the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies.” In addition to threats posed by terrorism in the United States and

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, pictured with President Obama in the Oval Office WHITE HOUSE/PETE SOUZA

across the world, another major concern is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Clapper said, adding that Iran is a key challenge because of what he described as an unusual confluence of events — an increasingly rigid, autocratic, coercive government that is defiant toward the West while it continues to pursue development of a nuclear weapons capability. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs also pose a serious threat, both regionally and beyond.  – Merle David Kellerhals Jr.

Frank Buckles, Last WWI Veteran, Dies


orn in Missouri February 1, 1901, raised in Oklahoma, Frank Woodruff Buckles exemplified the brave young Americans who volunteered to serve in “the war to end all wars”. Aged 16, he was rejected by a series of army recruiters before finally convincing an officer he was 18. Buckles served in England and France, as a driver and clerk. He never fought on the front line, but as he later said, “Didn’t I make every effort?” After the war, Buckles’ adventurous spirit took him around the world, working for the White Star Line Steamship Co. and the chemicals firm W R Grace & Co. When the U.S. entered World War II he was in the Philippines. He was captured and spent more than three years in Japanese prison camps. When Mr. Buckles died on February 27, 2011, aged 110, he was the oldest authenticated World War I veteran in the world. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery March 15.


Fulbright Awards Competition


pplications for UK Fulbright Awards for study, research and/or lecturing in the United States in 2012-13 are now available. This year’s Fulbright Awards Programme includes a further 28 new scholarships and 3 new Special Programmes for US and UK citizens – more than £355,000 in additional funding plus a further £300,000+ in university cost-share. New Awards for UK Citizens include: l  Fulbright-Deafness Research UK Scholar Award l  Fulbright-Fight for Sight Research Award l  Fulbright-Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Scholar Award l  Fulbright-Royal College of Surgeons of England Research Award The US Fulbright Awards Programme also offers a wide range of study abroad opportunities to US citizens in five main categories: l  Postgraduate Student Awards for students wishing to pursue a postgraduate degree in the UK in any subject, l  Scholars and Fellows Awards for academics and professionals to lecture, study and/or conduct research in the UK, l  Scotland Visiting Professorships for academics to lecture and contribute to the intellectual life of a Scottish University, l  Distinguished Chairs Awards, the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Programme, for lecturing, research and/or curriculum development and l  Special Programmes for students to experience the UK in a unique setting on a four or five week summer programme. Full details on each of the various award categories, and step-by-step instructions on how to apply, can be found on the Fulbright website at www.

The American

Home from Home Furnishings


ou have flown in from America, set up home, organised your business and made new friends … but something is missing. Other than family, there are many home comforts that you may long for, such as the food, the weather … how about when you are not at the office and are relaxing or entertaining at home? Why not show off to your friends a bit of the cool real American in you and at the same time bring a ‘little bit of home’ into your life in the UK? Cola Red®, the specialists in American ‘50s Diner Style furniture, based in Buckinghamshire, can help you bring your living space in Britain to life. Their factory in North America has been making this style of furniture since 1946 and their award winning products are custom made and delivered, with extreme care, direct to you here in Europe. Funky retro to cool contemporary – whatever your style, Cola Red’s furniture will work in your kitchen or dining room, pool or games room, study or bedroom. Iconic designs of tables, chairs, stools, booths and more recently the beginnings of their accessories range – quality authentic retro products that you can’t find elsewhere. They have sizes to accommodate any Cola Red’s classic Lexington Booth, Liberty Stool and Manhattan stool with backrest. All shown in American Beauty Red.

Cola Red’s West Side Set. Chairs shown in Ocean Aqua, table in Cola Red’s Exclusive Black & White Checkers.

living space. Take a look at their Classic Lexington range, neat miniSets for two including the Soho and Brooklyn Sets, or the Iconic Route 66 and brand new ‘Jet’ chairs! All this furniture and more are on display at their Contract Showroom, which you can visit by appointment. It is well worth a visit to check out the quality, authenticity and pure American style. Cola Red® prides itself on its customer service from initial enquiry right down to the delivery and after service. They can help you with the design of your space if you are starting from scratch, advise on which colours work well together and discuss current trends. Their knowledge and experience is invaluable which is why they are the recognised specialists in American diner style furniture. For further information, call the team on 01753 88 9000 and mention you read about Cola Red in The American, or visit the website at


The American


Hallelujah moment We may be about to experience our long awaited “Hallelujah moment”, writes Andy Sundberg of American Citizens Abroad “A More Perfect Union”


ndy Sundberg, of American Citizens Abroad, is working on a draft document, which you are invited to contribute to, entitled: “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union: a Synoptic History of America’s Liberal Democratic Republican Experiment”. This ambitious project aims to become a standard historical frame of reference for those who wish to comprehend, as Andy puts it, “what our country’s founders really were trying to do, and why they believed that what they were doing was justified by their iconic legal history and via their traditional ties with their countries of origin.” Mr Sundberg has prepared an introduction and eight other divisions. The project has been broken down into these separate parts “to encourage and facilitate a continuing process of new additions without having to reprint the entire work each time something new is added”. If you would like to participate in this project, email and ask for a copy of the documents. “This project is meant to be an on-going work in progress, so please feel free to add whatever you like to your own copy, and also to share whatever additions or corrections you think are appropriate to enhance the utility of this opus for all of us,” says Andy Sundberg.



n an open letter to President Obama, sent on March 2, 2011, all 25 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Florida (19 Republicans and 6 Democrats) have denounced the recent proposal by the IRS to require the reporting of bank deposit interest paid to foreign account holders so that this information can be made available to the countries of origin of the nonresident alien account holders. The Florida delegation says that the result would be devastating to the economy of the United States and that this new regulation should be withdrawn as soon as possible. Their reasoning is very, very interesting and oh so totally congruent with the arguments that we have been making for many years now from overseas that such cross border tax support practices can cause catastrophic damage to the country imposing such regulations. Both the GAO and the President’s Export Council warned against the

severe damage that citizenship based taxation of Americans living overseas would cause the U.S. economy, but nobody from Florida or anywhere else has ever paid much attention to this. But these chickens have morphed now into another viral incarnation of this same insidious practice that is very visible to those in Florida and elsewhere back home in the United States, especially also in Delaware (homestate of VP Joe Biden) and Nevada (homestate of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid). It will be very interesting to watch how this plays out. Given that one of the senior Florida delegation members is now the incredibly powerful Chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the President is going to have to be very careful about how he responds to this request. Let’s hope that this not only gets resolved in a manner that is to the best interest of the domestic inhabitants of Florida, and every other state in the United States, but also becomes a precedent that we can use to finally get rid of the wantonly sadistic and highly selfdestructive citizenship-based double taxation of Americans living overseas that has been destroying our U.S. economy, and shoving us off of a level playing field in world markets for the last fifty years. Could a Hallelujah moment replace the ‘fiscal tsunami’ facing overseas Americans

The American

Diary Dates

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

Get your event listed free in The American – call the editor on +44 (0)1747 830520, or email details to Mikhael Gorbachev 80th Birthday Celebration Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP MARCH 30

Civil War 150th Anniversary Conference

Artists including Bryan Ferry, Scorpions and Katherine Jenkins come together for a charity gala to celebrate the 80th birthday of the former Soviet Union leader.

Holiday Inn, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 8JD

April 1st fun



Opening Gambits of the Civil War, the 2011 conference of leading British historical society the American Civil War Round Table (UK), explores the origins of America’s most divisive and destructive conflict. Speakers include Frank O’Reilly (Historian, Fredericksburg National Battlefield Park) on ‘The Liberty Hall Volunteers – Stonewall Jackson’s College Boys’; Lt. Col Joe Whitehorne US Army (rtd) on ‘Raising an Army – Manpower policy of the Federal Government’; Dr. George Sanborn on ‘Military operations in the Western part of Virginia in 1861 that decided the fate of the mountain counties’; Jeremy Mindell on ‘European Reactions’; and Steve Wise (Curator, US Marine Corps Museum Parris Island, South Carolina) on ‘US & Confederate Naval forces in 1861’’.

April 1st as a day of fun and trickery probably dates from 16th century France. A classic practical joke in the UK was in 1957 when the BBC’s serious political TV program Panorama reported on the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. Narrated by distinguished broadcaster Richard Dimbleby, the item showed the women of a Swiss village picking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry. In the U.S. in 1985 Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. Sidd Finch could throw a baseball at 168 mph, 65 mph faster than the previous record. Sidd had never played baseball before, but had mastered the art of the pitch in a Tibetan monastery. Mets fans reportedly believed the story and inundated Sports Illustrated with requests for more information. Unfortunately for the Mets


all around the country

Sidd Finch only existed in the mind of writer George Plimpton, who invented him for the hoax. Have a go at kidding someone on April 1st, before midday.

Piccard in Space Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 APRIL 1

World premiere of Will Gregory’s debut opera, Piccard in Space – a spectacular operatic balloon adventure, with Charles Hazlewood conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra .

Bath Comedy Festival various, Bath APRIL 1 TO 10

Bath’s third annual celebration of the art of making people laugh features sensational American comedian Doug Stanhope (at Bath Pavilion for one night only, April 3rd). Brutal, shambolic, savage and unpredictable, Stanhope is widely regarded as carrying the torch for American stand-up that was once held by Lenny Bruce and Bill Hicks.

Silent Film Festival Barbican Centre, London APRIL 07 TO APRIL 10

The UK’s premiere festival of silent film and live music returns to the Barbican.

2001: A Space Odyssey Live Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 APRIL 07

Conducted by André de Ridder, the enormous forces of Philharmonia Orchestra and Philharmonia Voices join together to perform the film’s

extraordinary soundtrack, as live accompaniment to a screening in Royal Festival Hall.

Bach Choir – St Matthew Passion Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 APRIL 10

David Hill, conductor, with James Gilchrist, Evangelist; Jeremy White, Christus; Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Iestyn Davies, counter-tenor; Benjamin Hulett, tenor; Roderick Williams, baritone. 11am start. Please note, there is a long lunch interval between Parts I and II. Part II begins at 2.15pm.

Step into Easter at Hever Castle Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever, Nr Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG APRIL 16-25

Celebrate spring at Hever Castle in Kent, the double-moated 13th century castle that was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Easter Egg trail (April 22 – 25) Mazes, floral gardens, exhibitions, children’s brass rubbing workshops.

Beaulieu BoatJumble Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7ZN APRIL 17

The largest outdoor sale of boating bits in Europe. Thousands of new and used marine and boating bargains, over 1,000 stands. Boats, accessories, and clothing. Fun for all the family includes Bubble of Fun - an opportunity to walk on water in giant transparent balls - and nautical themed bouncy slides. Visitors can enjoy all the Beaulieu attractions including the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. £9.20/ £7 (less if booked in advance).

London Marathon APRIL 17

The London Marathon is one of the greatest sporting events in the world, with nearly 50,000 runners, some wearing crazy costumes, some worldclass athletes, competing in this year’s race. Over 75 per cent of participants will be running in aid of a good cause. Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the 26.2-mile course to cheer on the runners and enjoy the festival atmosphere. Why not be one of them?

An Englishman in New York: Photographs by Jason Bell Room 38A, National Portrait Gallery, London W1 APRIL 17

Inspired by the 120,000 British men and women living in New York City, Bell has identified and photographed a cross–section of the leading British born figures living in the city. The twenty portraits on display will include the Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas P Campbell, writer Zoë Heller, artist Cecily Brown, Nicola Perry, owner of Tea and Sympathy, musician Sting, geneticist Sir Paul Nurse and historian Simon Schama.

NGS Fritillary day Waterperry House, Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1JZ APRIL 17

Waterperry’s gardens are open in aid of the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) which means you can enjoy the beautiful fritillaries in the wildflower meadow, knowing that all entrance money will be donated to nursing, caring and gardening charities chosen by the NGS.

American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD APRIL 01 TO APRIL 30

The only museum of Americana outside the US, in a breathtaking setting. There are permanent exhibitions including Marilyn: Hollywood Icon (an exhibition of the star’s dresses) and a new Folk Art gallery, Quilting Bees every Tuesday, and special events in APRIL: a 10 week course on Marilyn; an excursion to Compton Verney, home of the largest collection of British Folk Art in the country, and lots of kids’ activities at Easter. And don’t miss the glorious new weathervane, created in the style of American folk art.

Greenwich International String Quartet Festival Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London SE10 020 8463 0100 APRIL 17 TO 19

Trinity College of Music presents some of the world’s leading string quartets celebrating iconic works of the genre.


In one weekend experience the Endellion, Brodsky, Smith, Wihan, Carducci and Allegri String Quartets performing Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Bartok, Shostakovich, Tippett, Reich and more.

London Original Print Fair

Monster Jam Pride Park Stadium, Derby 0871 472 1884 MAY 28 AND 29

The American motor sensation comes to Derby in May 2011. Putting the demolition into Derby, Monster Jam, the original, biggest and baddest monster truck show in the world, is set to make its debut at Pride Park stadium. Monster Jam is one of the biggest and most popular entertainment events in the US running around 250 shows and selling 2.3 million tickets annually. It’s a stunning family show with the coolest monster trucks and Freestyle Motocross, some of the world’s best drivers, sickest tricks and craziest stunts. Come and see the iconic Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction and Madusa, plus crowd favorites Monster Mutt and El Toro. MONSTER JAM is a one-ofa-kind experience. It is here for these shows only - don’t miss out! Pre-Event Monster Jam Pit Party (meet the drivers of the trucks and see the trucks up close) 11.30am to 1pm. Monster Jam starts at 3pm. Tickets £15.50, £20.50 and £24.50. Early bird deal: free pit party pass to buyers who purchase by 28 February (limited to the first 2,000 buyers per show). Pit Party ticket £5 (can only be purchased with a show ticket).


Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London W1 0844 209 0051 APRIL 19 TO 21

The longest-running art Fair in London, covering all periods of printmaking from the early woodcuts of Durer and his contemporaries to the graphic work of contemporary masters such as Hockney and Hirst.

Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble Hallaton, Leicestershire APRIL 25

In 1770 the Rector of Hallaton was allotted a piece of land on condition that he provided two hare pies, two dozen loaves of bread and a quantity of ale, which had to be scrambled for in public. The custom still survives today. On Easter Monday, a large hare pie is baked and paraded through Hallaton. Slices are cut, blessed and distributed at St Michael’s Church. The parade moves to the top of Hare Pie bank where the Bottle Kicking match takes place. Two teams kick and manhandle three bottles (actually wooden barrels) trying to get them across goals, two streams a mile apart. Rough and tumble stuff.

World Coal Carrying Contest Gawthorpe, Ossett, West Yorkshire APRIL 25

Held every Easter Monday this race involves men carrying (110lb of coal

over an uphill course a mile long Ladies race over the same route as the men, but carry 44 lb. Dates back to 1963 when a local coal merchant and the president of the Maypole Committee were enjoying a pint together. A friend burst into the pub and bet that he could race them with a bag of coal on their backs.

The Passion of Joan of Arc Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 APRIL 28

One of the early cinema classics, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928) has been hailed a towering masterpiece of silent film and inspired countless generations of filmmakers including Sergio Leone. Now Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Will Gregory of Goldfrapp have created a new score, soundtracking the powerful and moving story of Joan’s trial, imprisonment, torture and execution. Here they perform it live alongside a screening of the film, joined by conductor Charles Hazlewood and members of the Monteverdi Choir.

World Marble Championships Greyhound Pub, Tinsley Green, Crawley, West Sussex APRIL 21 TO 22

Marbles have been played on Tinsley Green for hundreds of years. The tradition is said to date back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I when two men from Surrey and Sussex competed for the hand of a maiden. After being judged equal in archery and wrestling, the fate of the lady was decided by a game of marbles. The World Marble Championships date back to the 1930s. Teams from around world including the US take part.

The American

Being Better ...Wickedly Even the Wicked Witch of the West changed someone’s life for the better, finds Anne Taylor


saw the play Wicked last month at the Victoria Apollo theatre in London. I love musicals and it’s the 17th longest-running Broadway show in history and is in its sixth year in London so I thought it must be worth seeing. It’s the story of what happens before Dorothy shows up in The Wizard of Oz from the witches’ point of view based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. It was beautifully staged, powerful lead singers, entertaining and full of inspiring lessons (hey, I’m a coach; I can see growth lessons everywhere, try me). The story starts off with the birth of Elphaba, who will later become the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. She is born different. Aren’t we all really? Hers just happens to be externally visible; she is born green. Her young life is spent as an outcast, being stared at and feeling ostracized. She meets Glinda, who later becomes The Good Witch, at university and they become deep friends after overcoming initial preconceived notions of each other – one as the misunderstood green outsider and the other, the blonde popular flighty bombshell. The obvious growth lessons from the play are: l Don’t judge a book by its cover, get

curious to find out more l Things may not be what they


You reap what you sow

l Trust yourself, listen to your heart,

have faith and courage to leap – “Defying Gravity” as Elphaba sings in Stephen Schwartz’s lyrics. A little spoiler alert – the finale, and morale of the story, is brilliantly sung by the two lead witches in which (pun intended) they lovingly and powerfully tell each other “I’ve changed for the better because I know you”. What a beautiful sentiment for both parties! To acknowledge how someone has touched your life and to be the one positively impacting another person. Who do you know that has made your life better? Who do you know that has changed your life in some way? Tell them, drop them an email, send them a letter and acknowledge the gift they are in your life. Be specific; tell them that you appreciate them and tell them how they have made your life better. For me there are so many people who make my life better across the world and to them I say THANK YOU. Specifically, in London I am grateful for Leigh listening to my joys and sorrows and acknowledging my feelings and experiences. She shares her time, her feelings, her listening ability and her left-side driving skills.

Whose life are YOU making better? I hope this list is equally exhaustive – it could be family, coworkers and friends. It could be people you don’t know whose lives are better by your volunteering or charitable donation or welcoming a newcomer to London who may be feeling lonely and isolated. What could you do to make their lives even better? Who else could you touch? “I’ve changed for the better because I know you” that’s Wicked! H Anne Taylor is a Certified Executive and Life Coach with DIRECTions – Coaching for Results ( Contact or +44 (0) 755 442 1768 for a complimentary session.

appear so don’t assume anything, or instead look for the differing perspective l We all have gifts and we choose how to use them


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The Commoner Princess Mary Bailey traces the history of ‘ordinary’ women who became queens


commoner is, simply, anyone who has not royal blood and, in Britain at least, commoner Queens are rare things indeed. There was certainly a Maud, also known as Matilda, in 800 and something, but few since then. It rather depends on how you define ‘common’ – Catherine Parr, Catherine Howard, Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn, wives of Henry VIII, were all from aristocratic families but did not hold noble titles. The first since the 1600s was the present queen’s mother, the former Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who became the much-loved ‘Queen Mum’ after her daughter’s accession, although one near miss came when the American divorcée Wallace Simpson married the man who

would become Edward VIII – then abdicated. American readers may like to know that British schoolchildren danced in their schoolyards singing “Hark the herald angels sing… Mrs Simpson’s nicked our King!” Even ‘Lady Di’ was technically a commoner. Another that we may add to the list in years to come will be the current Duchess of Cornwall. Prince Charles’ second wife Camilla, who comes from common (although upmarket) stock. There have been some very good female monarchs in Britain – the first Elizabeth, Anne, Victoria and of course the present sovereign. But British queens have mostly been consorts, taking their rank from their husband and the importance of The happy couple – marrying for love, not politics


consort queens could depend greatly on the number of healthy heirs they produced (the birth had to be witnessed by the Lord Chamberlain). In olden days queen consorts were political pawns. If a sovereign wanted to make friends with, say, Spain he looked down the list of Spanish Royal princesses and married one, to himself or to a son. Unfortunately there were no photographs back then – no googling or wiki-ing - and portraits could be unreliable. Henry VIII, going down to the coast to meet his fourth bride Anne of Cleves, was so horrified by her ugliness that he could hardly speak and is said to have tried to run away. Prince William has no problems of this kind. Neither can one imagine Kate Middleton allowing herself to be bought or sold for a convenient Belgian port or a Norwegian fleet. The whole system is very odd: if the Kings’ wives were queen consort why was not Queen Victoria’s beloved Albert King consort or come to that, the present Queen’s husband king. Perhaps we just did not like the idea; at least we are advanced enough to allow female sovereigns. Catherine Middleton – commoner, soon to become a princess, possibly duchess and (hopefully in a very long time) queen - has several positive attributes already. First, she is strong. She will have to be. The present queen has at least 300 official appointments a year as well as her overseas visits. Kate is hopefully able to have a few sturdy babies. She is beautiful, she has good dress sense

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Kate’s cousin, Meriwether Lewis

Kate’s American Connections

Kate’s graduation from St Andrew’s University, Scotland – where she met her husband to be © THE MIDDLETON FAMILY

and she is also modern. Several of her local villagers, the butcher for one, have invitations to the wedding alongside all the foreign royals and diplomats. And there is a deep suspicion going around that this couple actually have love for each other. She will do the job well. Kate’s mother, whose family stems from working class miners, was a British Airlines air hostess who married an airline officer. Together they started a mail order firm called Party Pieces and became rich and successful, producing three children along the way – Kate is the eldest. It has been a long cold winter in the UK and after the recent tragedies in New Zealand, Australia and Japan, the marriage of the second in line to the throne, a good rescue helicopter pilot to the girl he met at university will cheer us up. And we are going to have a public holiday! William and Catherine represent stability and hope and they will work very hard for their privileges. It can all seem very petty but lets enjoy it and on more serious note, friends here and in the US, please wish them well and remember when Princess

Catherine gives a deep curtsey to the Queen she is not just observing a resolute older lady she is giving respect to the millions Elisabeth II represents, including the forlorn of Christchurch and Queensland – and Kate’s village butcher. Finally, mothers everywhere, remember: we still have one unmarried prince!

The young Kate – the soon-to-be Princess Catherine had a normal childhood © THE MIDDLETON FAMILY

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Kate Middleton is an eighth cousin eight times removed of the United States’ first President, George Washington. They share a common ancestor, Sir William Gascoigne, who died in 1487. Prince William’s late mother, Princess Diana, and great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, were also cousins of Washington. Kate has other American relatives. How about explorer Meriwether Lewis, who, with William Clark, led the first U.S. expedition to the Pacific Coast? Lewis is a ninth cousin seven times removed to Kate. And coming more up to date, General George S. Patton is a 13th cousin three times removed. In fact, Prince William and Kate Middleton are related through Sir Thomas Fairfax (ca. 1475-1520), who died during the reign of Henry VIII. Fairfax had six daughters and six sons, including twins William and Nicholas. Prince William is descended from Nicholas, Kate from William, making them 15th cousins – nothing to worry about! The Fairfax connection has thrown up another fascinating link. Kate is also (very) distantly related to comedian and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres who has revealed that she is another 15th cousin!


The American

The Royal Wedding Procession Route The best places to spot the royals

Westminster Abbey PHOTO: TELEMAQUE


he Royal Wedding procession will travel through two of London’s best-loved royal parks, St. James’s Park and Green Park and pass by some of London’s most well-known landmarks. 1 Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. The Palace’s east front will be a fantastic location to witness the beginning and end of the wedding procession. The Queen will host the wedding’s reception celebration within its walls. 2 Clarence House, designed by John Nash, is the Royal residence home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry. Formerly the home of the Queen and the Queen Mother it features prominently on the Mall. 3 The Mall is the main route of the procession. Leading from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square, it will be closed to traffic during the Royal Wedding. The centre of celebrations, it will be decorated to mark the occasion. More than a million people packed the Mall to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. 4 Horse Guards Parade backs onto St. James’s Park. The parade ground hosts the world famous military


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4 6




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Route from buckingham Palace to Westminster abbey Route from buckingham Palace to Westminster abbey from Westminster to buckingham Palace Route backRoute fromback Westminster abbeyabbey to buckingham Palace Official Merchandise Official Merchandise

displays, Trooping of the Colour and Beating Retreat, and it will host the volleyball competition in the London 2012 Olympics. 5 The Women of World War II

Monument commemorates the role of women in the war effort during World War II. Completed in 2005 and dedicated by The Queen, the monument’s lettering reflects the typeface used on ration books during the war. Featuring the uniforms of women workers this monument has come to represent a testament to equal rights in modern Britain. 6 Downing Street is probably the most famous address in Britain, in which you’ll find the official residences of the most senior British cabinet ministers. 7 The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Britain’s equivalent of the U.S.

Department of State, is housed in an Italianate classical building designed by George Gilbert Scott. 8 The Cenotaph. Originally intended as a temporary tribute to commemorate the victims of World War I and later adopted as a permanent memorial for all fallen British servicemen, the Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and features the dedication “The Glorious Dead”, chosen by Rudyard Kipling. 9 HM Treasury, originally functioning as a personal vault for crown wealth, the treasury was later transformed into the holding pin of the British economy. the building, completed in 1917, was designed by John Brydon and was adopted by the Treasury as a base of operations in 1940. A stunning piece of architecture overlooking St. James’s Park, it will be passed during the procession.

10 Originally a royal residence, and still regarded at one for ceremonial purposes, the Palace of Westminster is now also known as the Houses of Parliament, the home of British politics. The east face overlooks the London Eye and the River Thames, the west features Big Ben and a wonderful view of Westminster Abbey, the heart of the Royal Wedding celebration. 11 Westminster Abbey is the traditional ceremonial site for the coronation of British monarchs. A beautiful historical site, the church – more accurately known as the collegiate church of St. Peter at Westminster – will be host to the Royal wedding.

There’s an interactive map of the Royal Wedding procession route at the Royal Parks website royalweddingmap. The site also has information to help plan your Royal Wedding day. H


The American

Arts Choice

By Estelle Lovatt and Michael Burland Cory Arcangel - Beat the Champ

The Curve, The Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work National Gallery, London

Bridget Riley, Arcadia 1 (Wall Painting 1), 2007, Graphite and acrylic on wall, 266.5 x 498.5 cm © BRIDGET RILEY, 2010. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COURTESY KARSTEN SCHUBERT, LONDON.



Brooklyn-based media artist Cory Arcangel appropriates, manipulates and subverts new media, including video games, computer software and the internet. Arcangel’s project for The Curve, a co-commission with Whitney Museum of American Art, is an installation featuring 14 bowling video games from the 1970s to the 2000s. Looped to play scoreless games, they create an immersive sound collage from the abstract static Atari, to Nintendo’s bleeps and bloops, to the more realistic electronic simulation of bowling sounds of recent PlayStation consoles. Arcangel also displays the video-game consoles themselves, flickering at one end of the darkened gallery. – MB

In 1965, Bridget Riley, the British queen of Optical Art, was included in The Responsive Eye exhibition, MOMA, New York. The fashion shops were full of Op Art imitations of her artwork. Riley took legal action against this commercial plagiarism, discovering that in America there is no copyright protection for artists (as a result, in 1967 the first US copyright legislation was passed). To all those I’ve heard muttering, “Riley hasn’t done anything decent since the 1970s!” look again. Aged eighty, Riley now connects art of the past to the present. Her latest art is inspired by Old Masters, challenging the illusions of Renaissance art, against the minimalistic spatial depth of abstract Op art. Cory Arcangel, Beat the Champ

From the NG Collection, Mantegna’s shallow, relief-like canvas, ‘The Introduction of the Cult of Cybele to Rome’, (1505-06), hangs nearby Riley’s ‘Arrest 3’, 1965, both a dynamic procession of rhythms, embracing horizontals and verticals, forcing the third dimension. Riley’s says, her wall painting ‘Arcadia’, “Goes towards developing a technique that allows forms and colours to weave together in a supple plastic space.” She recognizes Raphael’s ‘St Catherine of Alexandria’, as a spiraling coil. Never mind that he breathes life into his painting! Riley says, you must let, “other artists teach you. Look at the great painters; they have seen clearly, experienced more deeply and are more explicit than weaker artists who are confused. Look at the best. Don’t rely on your contemporaries, look at the past.” – EL

Farley Farm House - Lee Miller’s Home

Muddles Green, Chiddingly, Near Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6HW OPENS APRIL 1 TO OCTOBER 30

Farley Farm House, the former Sussex home of American photographer Lee Miller and her artist husband Roland Penrose, is situated in the heart of the Sussex countryside. A unique testament to the Surrealists, the house has lost


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Joe Tilson’s take on Shakespeares Sonnet XV, 1964, Lithograph

Folio - Royal College of Art Celebrates Royal Shakespeare Company’s Half Century

Lee Miller, Self Portrait with Headband, New York Studio, USA 1932 © LEE MILLER ARCHIVES, ENGLAND 2010. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WWW.LEEMILLER.CO.UK

none of the atmosphere from the time of its famous occupants and visitors, who included Picasso, Man Ray, Max Ernst, Paul Éluard, Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Eileen Agar, Kenneth Armitage, William Turnbull, John Craxton and Richard Hamilton. Penrose and Miller filled the house with works of art, which hung on walls that were painted bright blue, yellow or a rich earthy red. In 1950, Penrose decorated the inglenook fireplace in the dining room with a mural. Over the years, he landscaped and designed the garden and filled it with sculptures. Farley Farm House retains the feel of this home, and many of Miller’s and Penrose’s personal collections and famous works are still in situ. The house is still run by the Penrose family and all the intimate tours are guided. Individual visitors can just drop in, with no need to book, or you can pre-book a group tour. You can also visit Farleys Barn Gallery, a magnificent old Sussex barn in the grounds, which has temporary exhibitions of contemporary craft and art, by international artists standing and talented newcomers. – MB

21st Century Furniture III – The Arts & Crafts Legacy The Millinery Works, 87 Southgate Road, Islington, London N1 3JS TO MAY 1

This selling exhibition seems to have taken up the mantle of contemporary design begun at Norman Adams by Stewart Whittington and Christopher Claxton Stevens (who is involved in this exhibition). The UK’s leading furniture designer makers have teamed up with The Society of Designer Craftsmen (founded by William Morris) to offer the best contemporary design available in London. It will feature seventy pieces created by 40 of the UK’s leading designer makers, together with decorative works of art. – MB

Kinsley Byrne’s console with a scrubbed bleached oak top and cast bronze legs. 90cms wide, 48 cms deep, 85cms high. Price £10,500.

PACCAR Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6BB (April 15 - October 1) then Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU from (October 20-26) This exhibition of prints from the RCA features original work from 1964 when the RCA Printmaking Department made a series of lithographs to mark Shakespeare’s quarto-centenary. Prints include work from acclaimed artists and printmakers including Joe Tilson, Elizabeth Frink, Sandra Blow and Norman Ackroyd.To celebrate the RSC’s 50th birthday, they will be exhibited alongside a new body of work created by RCA printmaking students and staff as well as invited artists. The exhibition explores how artistic responses to Shakespeare and the medium of printmaking itself have changed and evolved over the past 50 years. Joe Tilson, whose original 1964 print was inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnet XV said, “Shakespeare’s sonnets are just as important now as they were then. The imagery and technique I chose to use was very different to the other artists and was technically quite difficult to produce in 1964. I used found images from magazines and newspapers, including astronauts and stars, which may have been influenced by my travels to the USA around the same time. It’s fascinating to see the print again 47 years later.”


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Schrei 27 - World Premiere The Curve, The Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS APRIL 22 TO 23

Also at the Barbican is this controversial piece. Piercing, guttural screams, crescendos of raw human sound, visceral primeval calls and silence form this ‘extended aria of pain’, a film by Diamanda Galás and Davide Pepe. Comprising several short performances or ‘chapters’ of a confession that might have been induced through a chemical or mechanical manipulation of the brain, Schrei 27 follows a person – played by both Galás and a male actor - who is taken into a mental hospital after arrest for treason only to be tortured, in order to extract a confession, which is not given. Instead of the confession comes a ‘holy’ recrimination. – MB



CRW Nevinson, On the way to the Trenches, ink and watercolour THE FINE ART SOCIETY

CRW Nevinson War Drawing found in Arkansas

The Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street, London W1S 2JT An illustration by CRW Nevinson (18891946) from around 1914 depicting events from World War I has been found in a thrift store in Arkansas. The little (5 x 7 ¼ inches, about the size of a post card), black and white, semi-abstract drawing in ink and watercolour, was sent to an art dealer in New York, and then was went up for sale, at £100,000, at the London Art Fair in January. You can ask to see it at The Fine Art Society. Nearly one hundred years old, this image of extremely stylised French soldiers march with their guns, forming a design of man as a fast-moving, powerful, machine. Painted on japan paper, On the Way to the Trenches was the original version of an illustration that decorated the second issue of Blast, Percy Wyndham Lewis’s Vorticist magazine, a special issue given over to the war - Blast: War Number, July 1915. This maybe Nevinson’s first war picture, possibly used as a preparatory

study for his painting, Returning to the Trenches – first exhibited in the second London Group exhibition at the Goupil Gallery in March 1915, now in the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, considered one of the most notable images from World War I. Nevinson calmed his Futurist technique letting the subject matter and mood take prominence. P.G. Konody, art critic and author of the essay in Modern War Paintings, wrote in The Observer on March 14, 1915, that Nevinson ‘has found an extremely expressive formula for the rhythmic marching of a body of French infantrymen fully armed and laden with all the paraphernalia for a prolonged stay in the trenches. While avoiding anything like literal representation of objects, he leaves the spectator in no manner of doubt concerning the meaning of every touch of the brush.’ The technique and composition he uses becomes just as important as the theme; of environment and articulation, its narrative is most triumphant in terms of artistic experiment, as Robert Upstone, Head of Modern British Art, The Fine Art Society, London, told me, “it is such a rare and important thing which ought really to be in a museum.” – EL

The American

Arts Books Reviewed by Estelle Lovatt Irving Penn: Small Trades

by Virginia A Heckert and Anne Lacoste J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM PUBLICATIONS, HARDCOVER, 272 PAGES, £39.95

Irving Penn was one of America’s greatest portrait and fashion photographers. His seven-decade career ranged from fashion portraits for Vogue in 1944, to his still life and late studies of portraits under his trademark close-up or half shot shadow. He captured generations of famous faces, from Truman Capote to Duke Ellington and Tennessee Williams. His Small Trades series has Penn capturing full-length studies of individuals, posed in their work clothes, carrying the tools of their trades, modelled by natural light. He started this particular portfolio of images in Paris, 1950, continuing it in London and then New York. By exploring workers in three different countries, Penn created

An image from Irving Penn: Small Trades J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM PUBLICATIONS

a masterpiece that transcends the mere symbolic representation of the camera’s printing technique, to become intense images of visual perfection. Comprising over two hundred photographic plates, this extraordinary book captures, describes and contexts the importance of both Penn’s career, and his influence on the history of photography.

My Passion for Design Barbra Streisand


Barbra’s first book focuses on her beautiful home. It contains her photographs. She says, “It’s hard to say how one acquires an eye for design. I love decorating. From Jacobean, English chintz, Louis XV and Americana. I have intense relationships with furniture, because we had none growing up! We didn’t have a couch. “I discovered the thrift shops. With the money I made on Broadway, I began to buy Art Nouveau furniture. Tiffany lamps. Art Nouveau bronzes, Vienna Secession pewter. “Eye candy. Their beauty seemed to nourish my soul. The skill and creativity beguiled me. Finding them became a challenge. I loved the hunt. “I couldn’t afford art; I found old frames and hung them on the walls, just framing space. I though that was beautiful.” (Being an art critic, I’m most interested in her art collection, where portraits by John Singer Sargent hang with American folk art.) “[In] the basement a street of shops like I had seen at Winterthur [museum of decorative arts in Delaware]? All

these stores, the way they would have looked in the 1800s. The doors, posts and corbels were originally part of the ‘Meet the Fockers’ [film] set. I bought a rug with a picture of a mill house and a water wheel. ‘That’s it! A water wheel! We’ll build a house with a pond.” And she did, building her dream.

Forbidden Fruit: A History of Women & Books in Art Christine Inmann PRESTEL - £19.99

It’s no secret that the former first lady, Laura Bush, is a literacy advocate. As a former librarian, her passion is for books and reading. I’m sure she would enjoy this book that depicts women reading from ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and China to modern America; from John Singer Sargent to Lichtenstein. In the chapter The Wholesome American Girl, Tarbell paints his two eldest daughters doing what every cultivated girl is expected to; reading. As natural, innocent, ideal young American women they are captured as unaffected, civilized, intelligent and studious – of conservative New England traditions and values. The Boston Sunday Herald, 1908, hailed Tarbell’s portrait of sisters ‘Josephine and Mercie’ as …”the best picture of the year…” reflecting American family values. A great book. H


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Dinner by Heston Blumenthal A

funny thing happened to me after eating the historic recipes at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, I went home and dug out my old Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe book. The recipes in it go back at least a century and I found “G’shtuptsful Lew’r” (stuffed liver), Ponhaws (Scrapple), Chow Chow (pickled vegetables) and, of course, the one I recall best as I had a considerable number of ancient relatives was Raisen Pie, or Funeral Pie as it was usually called. I’m not saying there was any resemblance in Heston’s dishes to my Quaker great-grandmother’s Philadelphia Pepper Pot or the Welshkorn Eishtar-Puffers (Oyster Corn fritters) my father made, but his historic British cooking did bring back memories of the old fashioned kind of cooking that was part of my childhood. There was only one starter dish I was glad I didn’t order, Roast Marrowbone (c. 1720), with anchovy mace and pickled vegetables (£14.00), but the Meat Fruit (c.1500), Mandarin, chicken liver parfait with perhaps a touch of foie gras and shaped like an orange (£12.50) won hands down at my table. So too did Salamugundy (c.1720), chicken oysters (this is the nugget at the top of the thigh bone), bone marrow and horseradish cream (£15.00).


Having been impressed by two of the three starters, I didn’t hesitate to try the Beef Royal (c.1720), short rib of Angus roasted for 72 hours with smoked anchovy, onion puree, ox tongue (£28.00) and it was even better than I expected. It would be difficult to bypass the Powdered Duck (c. 1670), marinated in salt and spices (£24.00) accompanied by the most delicious potato puree and smoked fennel or the Turkey Pudding (c.1780) which resembled a log rolled in fine crumbs (£22.00) and as someone remarked, brought new meaning to that usually dull bird (his comment, not mine). Now, I’m not a dessert lover, especially after a huge meal. However, I changed my mind after tasting Pastry Chef ‘Jockey’ Petrie’s brilliant and delicious concoctions. Tipsy Cake (c.1810), a cinnamon cream infused pineapple brioche basted with syrup for two hours (£10.00) still lingers on my tongue. Pineapple is one of my favourite fruits and I will, undoubtedly, try to copy this recipe in my kitchen - and, undoubtedly, fail. The Poached Rhubarb (c.1590) was also delicious (£8.00) as was the Taffety Tart (c.1660) with its hint of rose and fennel (£8.50), but it is the Tipsy Cake I shall have again. Heavenly!

Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz

The design of the dining room is whimsical with its glass fronted kitchen, logs piled next to a wood fired oven beside which pineapples are slowly turned on spits. Inside, some 35 chefs work diligently (there are four other kitchens as well) which explains why it’s not exactly cheap to eat at Dinner. The dining room has a wonderful view of Hyde Park from its picture windows and having rode horseback along those ancient trails for more years than I want to admit to, it wasn’t hard to imagine eating the same food I was enjoying that evening two hundred years before. Heston is one of the most talented and innovative chefs in the world and it scares many a diner when he says he prefers to study food to opening restaurants. Heston and Dinner’s head chef and long time collaborator Ashley Palmer Watts, may have gone back to the past for their dishes, but the flavours and tastes are made for modern day palates. If I was granted one wish, it would be Heston inviting me as a guest on his next TV program no matter what century he might be exploring. One warning: If you’re interested in dining at Dinner at Heston Blumenthal, make your reservations immediately because there is a long long waiting period as I learned when I tried and failed to make reservations for friends visiting London late in June.

Mandarin Hyde Park Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA. Tel. 020 7201 3833,

The American


ocochan describes itself as serving Pan-Asian cuisine which means it borrows from a number of cultures including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Laotia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. That means a lot of different taste sensations as I learned when I travelled in that part of the world twenty years ago. The modern interior, by designers L’Autre Monde, is in bright white or sleek black bamboo with mirrored latticework on the walls and offers three types of seating; booths, banquettes

Cocochan Restaurant and Lounge Bar or round tables. Like many restaurants that have opened recently, there is an attractive lounge bar in the basement with a six foot long sofa and what our waiter described as “comfortable areas” to relax with friends. Close to Selfridges on Oxford Street, the bar opens at five o’clock - a DJ plays popular music from 8pm – and it was crowded when Maxine and I arrived at 7.30. One can share “family style” as Maxine and I did or order dishes separately. The menu is divided into sections including soups, dim sum, sushi/ sashimi and salads. Maxine decided to have sake, Azure, (£7.50/78.00) with her meal while I selected one of the exotic cocktails, Seasonal Fizz (Beefeater gin, Aperol, Merlet crème de cassis with lemon sherbet, topped with Champagne and decorated with seasonal fruits, £9.00). It was a bit like having an alcoholic fruit cocktail and delicious. In the Far East, dim sum is eaten at lunch, but this is the West and we couldn’t resist the roasted sesame

tiger prawns toast (£4.25), monks’ vegetables dumplings (£4.25), brown crab & prawn slu mai (£5.00) and Chilean seabass & chilli bean dumplings (£5.50), all excellent. As I was driving, I changed from my cocktail to a Jasmine organic dragon herbal tea (£3.00), but Max continued to enjoy the sumptuous sake. Having enjoyed the dim sum, we went to the starters. The tiger prawns tempura (£8.50)and the miso cured salmon (£6.25) were excellent, but it was the soft shell crab futo maki (£8.25) which had the wow factor. Having overindulged, it was difficult to consider the larger dishes yet to taste. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the wok tossed chicken with Szechuan spices (£13.00) or maybe it was because the chicken wasn’t prepared in our presence but in the kitchen. But, then came the ‘bulgogi’ ribeye with wasabi jus, a Korean

Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz dish (£18.50) and the intense flavour and tenderness of the beef changed my mind because it was exceptional. At the recommendation of our waiter, we had side dishes of sambal prawns fried rice (£5.25) and tenderstem broccoli (£5.75). Dessert was almost an afterthought, but we did enjoy the Pomegranate crème brûlée (£5.75) and Yin/Yang green tea and mango parfait (£6.25). I continued to drink my Spring Jasmine tea, while Maxine enjoyed Chamomile Citrus Herbal tea made with chamomile flowers.

28 James Street, Portman Village, Marylebone, London W1U 1EU, 020 7486 1000


The American

CARAVAGGIO Reviewed by Virginia E Schultz


he City is still in the evenings and cars travelling along the quiet streets are few and far between. One could not imagine Caravaggio, the notorious sixteenth century Italian painter, strolling between the huge modern buildings fortressing the roads, cape thrown over his shoulder, paint-stained hand clutched tightly to his dagger. Caravaggio, the restaurant, located in a former 1920s bank building, retains much of its art deco features, although it could do with paint and varnish and she’d clean up some of the sixties style froufrou, designer Jennifer Atterbury commented as she studied the high ceiling room. Within minutes of our arrival, a lovely glass of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Gorio (£6.50 a glass, £28.50 a bottle) was brought to us by sommelier Luigi Buonanno, followed by a basket of delicious warm bread, the first sign of a good restaurant. Chef Faliero Lenta changes the menu regularly, but retains favourites such as Prosciutto de Parma with white wine poached pear (£10.80) which was the perfect combination. Equally delicious was Jennifer’s Fondina di Calamari in a cherry, tomato and chilli sauce (£9.80). We had to have pasta and the Penne con Ragu Toscano with spicy sausage (£13.00) we shared satisfied the two of us. Chef Lenta cooks in the traditional Italian way, his menu built on recipes that are true to the origins of the cuisine. I debated between free range chicken wrapped in Parma ham and stuffed with fontina cheese (£16.80) and Tagliata di Manzo Alla Griglia,


28 day mature Scotch rib eye (£20.00) and decided on the beef - the only mistake of the evening. I envied Jennifer’s choice of Nodino di Vitello al Burro, sautéed veal chop with butter and sage (£22.50), which evoked memories of my favourite restaurant in Verona. Fortunately, the side dishes of Zucchini fritte (£3.80), Patate (£3.30), crushed potatoes with basil and the crisp rocket salad with shaved parmesan (£5.00) made up for my only nibbling on the beef. Italian restaurant desserts can be disappointing but not at Caravaggio. The homemade Tiramisu (£6.50) was exquisite, but the dessert not to miss is the lime cheesecake with a strawberry compote* (£6.50). There is an excellent selection of wines from all over Italy, but I especially enjoyed the Pinot Bianco ’09 Alois Lageder (Alto Adige (£31.00 a bottle) and Centine ’08 Castillo Banfi from Tuscany (£28.00). If you’re only having a glass, try the Barbera D’Alba Ciabot Contess ’06 Umberto Fracassi (£8.25). As Jennifer remarked, it’s a pity they haven’t freshened the decor or changed the furniture since Luciano Pavarotti opened it in 1996, but service was perfect, wine matched each dish, and the food wonderfully prepared by a talented chef.

107-112 Leadenhall Street, Bank, London EC3A 4DP 0871 971 6491


Lime Cheesecake with a Strawberry Compote By Faliero Lenta of Caravaggio Preparation time 20 minutes. Cooking time 10 to 12 minutes. Waiting time 6 hours Ingredients for 6 people 250g double cream 100g caster sugar 500g cream cheese 3 limes – zest and juice 250g digestive biscuits 100g butter 250g fresh strawberries 150g sugar Start by semi-whisking the double cream and caster sugar together. They should form a light fluffy mixture. Fold in the cream cheese gently and add the juice and zest of your limes. For the biscuit base melt your butter in a hot pan. Crush your biscuits to a fine mixture and add to the butter. Spoon the mixture into a cake tin or dish of your choice. Add the cheese mixture to the base and set aside to rest for 6 hours. Before serving your cheesecake boil the strawberries in a pan over a high heat for 5 minutes. Fold the sugar in as you stir. Once the strawberries have reduced pour the mixture into a blender and pulse for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately over your cheesecake slices.

The American


HOME BAKE By Eric Lanlard • Mitchell Beazley, Hardcover • 224 pages • £20


fter his two Channel 4 series, Glamour Pud, in which Eric Lanlard took the viewer to his favourite cafés and patisseries (starting with his own patisserie Cake Boy) and appearing on several cooking programs, he has become a familiar face in the UK. Home Bake is not a beginner’s book on baking, but anyone with a basic knowledge will not find the recipes in Home Bake difficult. I especially loved his rhubarb and apple Tarte Normandy. And with so many of my friends unable to tolerate gluten, I’ve used this South of France-inspired recipe of Eric’s with great success.

Flour-Free Orange and Lavender Cake Serves 6 Cooking Time: 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4. For the sponge: 400 ml (14fl. oz) sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing 350g (12oz) ground almonds 300g (11oz) caster sugar 3 tsp baking powder 8 eggs Finely grated zest of lemon Finely grated zest of two oranges, ideally Seville 2 tsp dried lavender

Method Grease a 20cm (8 in) cake tin with extra oil, then base-line pan with baking paper. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder, mixing together well. Break in the eggs and add oil, mixing gently together. Using a fine grater, grate the zest from the lemon and oranges into the

mixture and then add the dried lavender and mix together. Turn the cake mixture into the prepared tin, and bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Cover the top of the cake with a piece of foil after twenty minutes. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Squeeze the juice from the zested lemon and oranges into a small pan. Add the sugar and spices and mix well together. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Leave to cook in the tin for ten to 15 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate and remove the paper. Pierce the top of the cake several times with a skewer or small sharp knife. Using a tablespoon, spoon the syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in.

For the Syrup: Juice of the zested lemon and oranges above 100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar A few cloves 2 tsp ground cinnamon If you prefer a cake with a slightly less dense texture, substitute 50 per cent of the ground almonds for finely ground polenta or semolina. You can also change the lavender to dried cranberry to make it more Christmassy.


Cellar Talk By Virginia E. Schultz

How to Make the Perfect Cocktail 1. It’s important to use chilled glasses. 2. Always measure your drinks as most of the world’s top bartenders do. 3. When filling an ice cube tray, use bottled or filtered water to avoid off flavours in the tap. 4. Unless a recipe calls for crushed ice, use cubes of ice. Crushed ice melts quickly and your drink, especially in warm weather, will end up more water than cocktail. 5. Never use the same ice in a cocktail shaker even when mixing the same recipe. Empty it again and begin with fresh ice. 6. Fill the glass with ice and add the heaviest spirit first followed by the lighter, preferably doing it over a spoon so the liquid pours down the side of the glass and then finishing with a straw or swizzle so it can be given a quick stir before drunk. 7. Never, ever shake fizzy ingredients. 8. To shake a cocktail, use metal cocktail shaker or glass jar with lid and shake vertically. Do not use crushed ice as it can dilute the cocktail, but if you do remember less is more. A good way to tell if the cocktail is ready to pour is when the water


starts condensing on the outside of the shaker. Then strain into your glass. 9. Use a electric blender when you have ingredients mixing fruit juices or making fresh cocktails such as Strawberry Daiquiris or Pina Coladas. Usually you don’t need more than 20 to 30 seconds. 10. A twist not only makes a cocktail look good, but it is often essential to the drink. To make the perfect twist, simply cut a quarter size of lime or lemon peel, then squeeze the disc into the drink. Finish by dropping the peel into the glass.

DRINK OF THE MONTH St. Germain (liqueur)

St. Germain is a sweet liqueur made from freshly picked elderberry flowers that are, supposedly, biked down from the Alps because the handpicked flowers are so delicate they must be processed immediately. The first time I tasted this French liqueur was in a champagne cocktail, but the flavour was so distinctive I asked to taste it on its own and loved it - chill it first. St. Germain is difficult to find in London and I was fortunate Elizabeth Sykes of The Oxford Wine Company was able to obtain a


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bottle for me. However, you don’t have to go to their shop in Tetbury, Gloucestershire if you want to buy this lovely liqueur it as I’ve learned a number of Waitrose Stores in London also sell it. Alone or in a cocktail, St. Germain has a permanent spot in my drinks cabinet. About £20. PS Prince Charles’ private residence Highgrove House is near Tetbury and the gardens are well worth a visit. There is a long waiting list, however, and anyone interested should write to: The Prince of Wales Office, St. James’ Place, London SW1A 1AA.

COCKTAILS WITH ST. GERMAIN The St. Rita 1 ½ shots tequila blanco 1 ½ St. Germain ¼ - ½ shot freshly squeezed lime juice or ¾ wedges Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into an ice filled glass. Garnish with a lime wedge. You can salt the glass rim if you want, although I prefer not to. St. Germain & Champagne or Sparkling Wine ¾ or 1 shot St. Germain Top with Champagne or Sparkling Wine Pour into chilled glass and stir. Float a half strawberry or few raspberries or garnish with a lemon twist. H

La Capanna For the finest Italian dining experience in the most picturesque of settings, perfect for that romantic dinner for two, a family celebration or business entertainment.

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Easter Sunday 24th April By popular request the lovely soprano Miss Kirsty Michele Anderson returns on Friday 10th June.


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The American

Coffee Break COFFEE BREAK QUIZ 1 E aster Island is a special territory of which Country?

6 W  hat is the native American Indian name for Bigfoot?

2 W  ho co-starred with Judy Garland in ‘Easter Parade’?

7 W  here are the International Monetary Fund headquarters?

3 P  retzels were made by monks at The Vatican to give to the poor at Lent because they looked like someone praying. True or False?

8 H  ow many Fabergé eggs were made? a) 132 b) 93 c) 57?

4 T he word ‘Lent’ means a) lengthening of days b) lean times c) live again? 5 W  hat does ‘virus’ mean in Latin? a) contagious b) very small/invisible c) slimy liquid/poison

9 W  here in the human body is the Lunula? 10 I n order, which three wars were responsible for the most battle deaths amongst American soldiers? 11 W  hat street do they walk down in the song ‘Easter Parade’?

12 W  hich two British aviators were the first to be in the Americas one day, in Europe the next? 13 W  hich genteel family owns the ‘Twelve Oaks’ plantation (in both the book and film of the book? 14 W  hich US President started the tradition of opening the White House grounds to children for egg rolling on Easter Monday? 15 W  hich is the largest Spanishspeaking country (in population terms)? 16 T he majority of immigrants to the USA between 1820 and 1900 came from which two countries? 17 W  hat does “Mardi Gras” mean? 18 H  ow many stars are there in the European Union Flag? a) 7 b) 12 c) 14 19 W  hat is the flower of Easter? 20 T he Easter Bunny has its origins in which country? 21 W  hat links Elvis Presley, Bruce Willis and Richard Gere?

Answers below Competition Winners Competition Winners Stephanie Helminger of Beaconsfield, Bucks won our online NBA competition and received a pair of game tickets to see Toronto Raptors play the New Jersey Nets at the O2 Arena in London.

President Obama encourages a young participant at the White House Easter Egg Roll April 13, 2009. But which President started the tradition? WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY PETE SOUZA

Tickets to see Neil LaBute’s play In a Forest, Dark and Deep were won by Eileen Perkins of Wimbledon, London, Anna-Louise Pickering of Matlock, Derbyshire and Gillian Tembo of Coventry.

Coffee Break Quiz Answers: 1 Chile; 2 Fred Astaire; 3 True; 4 a) lengthening of days; 5 c) slimy liquid/poison; 6 Sasquatch; 7 Washington D.C.; 8 c) 57; 9 The fingernail (the white crescent looks like the crescent moon); 10 World War II (292,131), Civil War (214,939), World War I (53,513) Source: U.S. Dept. of Defence; 11 5th Avenue; 12 Alcock and Brown; 13 The Wilkes family (Gone With the Wind); 14 President Hayes (1878); 15 Mexico; 16 Ireland and Germany; 17 Fat Tuesday (in French); 18 b) 12; 19 Lily; 23 Germany; 24 They all married in Las Vegas.


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It happened one... April 1st: 1976 – Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. 2nd: 1902 – The first full-time movie theater in the US, opens, the Electric Theatre, in Los Angeles, California. 3rd: 1973 – The first portable cell phone call is made in New York City. 4th: 1964 – The Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart. 5th: 1621 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain. 6th: 1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Germany. 7th: 1949 – The hit musical South Pacific, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, debuts on Broadway. 8th: 1904 – Long Acre Square in Manhattan, New York, is renamed Times Square. 9th: 1963 - Winston Churchill becomes the first honorary U.S. citizen. 10th: 1790 – The U.S. patent system is established. 11th: 1945 – U.S. Troops liberate Buchenwald Concentration Camp, Germany. 12th: 1945 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies from a massive cerebral hemorrhage and Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President. 13th: 1902 – James Cash Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming, The JCP Store, a partnership with Guy Johnson and Thomas Callahan. 14th: 1775 – Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush start the first US slavery abolition society – The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage.

15th: 1912 – The RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic 2½ hours after hitting an iceberg, killing 1,517 people. 16th: 2003 - Michael Jordan plays his last NBA game, for the Washington Wizards. 17th: 1961 – Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands double with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro. 18th: 1958 – A United States federal court rules that poet Ezra Pound is to be released from an insane asylum. 19th: 1892 – Charles Duryea claims to have driven the first automobile in the United States, in Springfield, Massachusetts. 20th: 1939 – Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song Strange Fruit. 21st: 1926 - Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is born at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair, later to become Queen Elizabeth II. 22nd: 1964 : The 3rd World’s Fair, and the largest to be held in New York City opens. Over fifty million people attend. 23rd: 1984 - Marvin Gaye, whose hits included I Heard It Through the Grapevine is shot to death by his father at age 45.

In with the new: seated from left British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Harry S. Truman, who became U.S. President this month in 1945, and – er – Stalin. Two out of three ain’t bad.

24th: 1980 - The mission to rescue the 52 hostages from the US embassy in Iran (Operation Eagle Claw) was aborted due to equipment failure. Eight US Servicemen died. 25th: 1953 - James D Watson and Francis Crick, two Cambridge University scientists, publish an article in Nature Magazine explaining the purpose and double helical structure of DNA. 26th: 1954 - The New Polio Vaccine is given for the first time in a nation-wide US polio vaccine test. 27th: 1840 – The foundation stone for the new Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament), London, is laid by Sir Charles Barry’s wife (the architect). 28th: 1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift by the rebel crew. 29th: 2004 – Oldsmobile builds its final car ending 107 years of production. 30th: 1945 – Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun commit suicide one day after they marry, just before Russian troops enter his Berlin bunker. H


The American


Opera’s a Blast

Stewart Copeland, opera composer, film score writer, jazz rock improviser and, oh yes, the drummer from The Police, talks to The American’s Michael Burland


tewart, our readers are mostly American expats, and they don’t come much more ex-pat than you. I was born in America, in Alexandria, Virginia, travelled age 2 months to Cairo, Egypt then Beirut, Lebanon, then Somerset, England and London. So you wouldn’t have known much about the States until you went back there to college? That’s true, but even in British boarding school I always held on to my American accent. I’m Amer’cin, Goddammit! On your website it says your father was “a jazz trumpeter in an big band”. Surely he was a CIA officer? He was in the jazz band until war broke out, then he had to go and fight for his country. He was doing that in London when he met my mother, who is very British. He was in the OSS, then the CIA. Is that what brought your family to London? Actually what took us to London was that damned Harry Philby – or Kim Philby [Harold “Kim” Philby was a British intelligence officer, part of the


spy ring known as the Cambridge Five who passed secrets to the Soviet Union - ed]. He screwed the pooch for a lot of operatives in Beirut. It got hot for my father in Beirut so he had to move his family out and we ended up in London – suddenly. I must have been fourteen. St Edmund’s Terrace, just off Primrose Hill, then boarding school in Somerset, then St John’s Wood back in London – that’s my hood. Fourteen is an impressionable age, especially musically. Well, I was playing in a band before we left Beirut. We played The Animals, Stones, James Brown, Kinks, Yardbirds. For a lot of people music is a form of rebellion, but with your dad being a musician, was it for you? Not at all – music was a form of getting laid. It was a celebration. I was never going to make it in football or sports, but bangin’ on drums, I discovered at a very early age, changes everything. You joined Curved Air in London. How did that happen? I came straight out of the University of California at Berkeley back to London, to my old haunts, and immediately got involved with Curved Air. I was their tour manager. They reunited to pay off some VAT. At the end of that tour they were just about to dissolve again when a couple of them said

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‘Hey, let’s carry on going, this works’. The drummer (Florian PilkingtonMiksa) headed back to his wife, so I slotted myself in as the drummer. In Britain, most audiences like to compartmentalise bands and musicians. When punk happened, ‘prog’ bands, with real musicianship, were supposed to be dead, ‘dinosaurs of rock’. But you disappeared from Curved Air and turned up in The Police… If you wanted to change teams you had to cut your hair. Curved Air was very much Old World, and they were all fussing and fretting about this invasion of this heinous crime against music, known as Punk. I snuck down to check some of this stuff out, and I said, the music sucks, that’s the good news, but the atmosphere is raging, I can blow everybody away with this, so I thought! That’s because I was two or three years older than them and I could actually play my instrument. The whole nihilistic attitude – I got that! Cut your hair to look like the opposite of a hippy – I was totally into that. The hippy thing was way past its prime by the time I busted out. The Police was your project, you founded it? Yeah, I thought of the name, and I had the idea of what kind of band we should be. I got real lucky and I found this bass player up in Newcastle who could sing. It turned out he could write songs too. Ah, Sting! Was it a problem for you when he started writing the songs? Not at all, each song that came along, it was ‘Oh cool, let’s play that!’. Sting also came from a non-punk background, didn’t he? Yeah, he was from a Jazz background.

At Berkeley I was the boss of European sounds! ...they saw me as a Londoner, even though I was from America. They spotted my “fake American accent”! But you did have a fairly punky guitarist to start with, Henry Padovani? Yeah, he was the real thing. But it didn’t kind of gel between the four of you, when Andy came in as well? Well it sorta did, when Andy discovered Sting and I, he decided that we needed his help and not “that other guitarist”. He was in pretty soon after that – Henry was out. Was the musical sound and direction of The Police in your head to start with? Not really, no. The Police as the world knows it really began when Andy joined, bringing in a whole new vocabulary that Sting could write for. Before that it was my two-chord tricks, which weren’t even that tricky! Unusually, you were all equally important. Most bands have one leader. Leadership is all about who thinks fastest, and in The Police everybody thinks pretty fast. But you’ve got to get up real early in the morning to be there with an idea before Sting. Listening to your drumming style in Curved Air, you had the speed, you had the aggression, but your reggae style wasn’t there then. Where did that come from?

Stewart in Curved Air days (far right)

The reggae thing I discovered along with everybody else with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and all that stuff. Before that Desmond Dekker and so on was in the charts, but as a serious form of music it wasn’t until Bob Marley. Were the students at Berkeley into it? No, it was actually my connections with London. At Berkeley I was the boss of European sounds! Because they saw me as a Londoner, even though I was from America. They spotted my “fake American accent”! You did that Klark Kent project, and had a hit before The Police. Was that a means of letting off musical steam? There were songs that didn’t suit Sting. Because they were stupid! (laughs), but kinda catchy. So I went off and played them by myself and played all the instruments. By some amazing fluke, Auntie BBC picked it up


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and started playing it and I had a micro hit. At the time for me it felt like a huge hit, because it tickled the top twenty... I was just nuts about the music, but I was still very much into The Police and I knew The Police’s day was coming. Everybody knows the great career The Police had, but you stopped touring in 1984, whose idea was that? We all, in our arrogance, had had enough. We all were fed up, we were driving each other nuts. And its not because the other two guys were such assholes. It’s a pressure cooker, and we were a product, and there was a whole industry built up around us. So many people’s livelihood depended on us. It’s a weird place to be, and after years of this kinda corporate identity, we needed to get off the merry-go-round and see what actual life is like. It drove us all a little crazy and so we, right at the height of it all, before we ever got to see the other side of the parabola, parted company. We actually sat at the top for, not a really long time, but three or four years. There was nowhere to go but down. But we’d come up with another album which would do even better, so we’d do another stadium tour. It was a very small organisation. When we did the reunion, it was a really huge army, but back in the day, we were playing


The Police, on their reunion tour in 2007 JUSTIN BLACKBURN

the same stadiums with less than a quarter of the staff. We had three stage crew, one manager, one tour manager you know. On the reunion tour we had a ‘dressing room ambience co-ordinator’. And that’s a department! The reunion got a huge amount of coverage, ticket sales went through the roof, would you do it again? Not immediately, in fact I can’t foresee ever doing that again. Are the three of you friendly, do you see each other? Absolutely, very very much so. By the time the tour ended, we really were having a great time. We went around the world, and then we kept extending the tour. It was supposed to be originally about 50 dates, but by the time we finished we were having a really great time. But my thumbs were breaking off! It was time to get off that particular ride. But we very much appreciate what we’ve done for each other in our lives, and we get along together really well. We still fight cat and dog when it comes to the music – too fast, too slow, shall we take a left, shall we take a right, but since we’re not doing any of that, we get along great.

After The Police, you turned into a musical polymath: you did solo albums, you played with people like Stanley Clarke – you have Oysterhead now? Oysterhead is kind of the antiPolice! It’s three guys who have other lives, we come together every now and then. Every five years we’ll come down from the mountain, and rock up with no hits, no material even, because the audience for this ‘jam band’ don’t want you to have ever played it before. They’re on a unique journey, it didn’t happen last night, it won’t happen tomorrow night, it’s here and now, the real thing. The proof is that you spend some of the time on stage staring at each other with a blank look, saying ‘Errr, this sucks, and it’s dead in the water’, and its noodling, and it’s crap, and everybody knows it. And then you come up with a good idea, and you surge, and you catch hold of it and the fire lights, and then we put more fuel in, and we turn it up and we rock out. It’s a whole different kind of frenzy from the ritual of a classic band experience when you know where the big chorus is coming. It’s shamanic, kinetic ritual, but just operates with pulling different levers. How about the film music? I’m not doing any more of that. Now I can afford to write music for arts sake. Last month at The Dallas Symphony I had the Concerto for Gamelan, Orchestra and symphonic orchestra, a gigantic orchestra with these gamelan bells, I had a fantastic time composing for that, and then next I’ll be going down to the Sydney Conservatory, and writing a piece for them. I’ve got this show coming up in London. None of that is any way to earn a living and get my seven children through expensive colleges, but I don’t have to worry about that. The important detail is that

The American

When I mixed with roadies in rock’n’roll, and Polo types in boarding school, all the different areas of British society that I’ve walked in, being American was great cover. I live very simply, I live in one house, I drive a Jeep Cherokee. I live very simply which means I do not have to take calls from Hollywood anymore. By the way, I enjoyed the music work, and it was a great creative exercise with the directors. It’s the business that’s harsh.

the libretto, the words. It’s actually the second of his stories that I’ve turned into an opera, I did also The Cask of Amontillado. This one though, it involves throbbing, I’m good at that. I’ll be back in London early April for the last rehearsals before it opens.

Do you think of yourself as a rock star or a composer? Well I tell my children that I’m a rock star, Goddammit! But in my heart I’m writing tunes.

It’s a two part thing, you’ve got a piece by Terry Jones and Anne Dudley to go with it? Have you met the two of them? We’re using the same resources so we’ve crossed paths. It’s very cheerful, very mutually supportive. Theirs is a comedy, Terry says it’s an extremely silly piece, and ours is a very dark, twisted, fucked up, mean-spirited piece of blackness! We’ll go first, because once they’ve done their comedy nobody will be able to take our murder and mayhem seriously, so we’ll get the murder and blood out of the way and then have a bit of a laugh… It’s gonna to be a blast.

Your new opera in London, at The Royal Opera House, is based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. Yeah, gonna ram some American down ‘em! If Mark Twain is The Beatles of American Literature then Edgar Allan Poe would be The Rolling Stones. He has that fucked up aspect of the mind. Such a strange icon for such a positive, cheerful nation. And commissioned by a very English outfit. Did The Royal Opera House come up with the idea? No, they came up with the idea of hiring me, of commissioning a piece. They pretty much left the rest up to me. Right there, I don’t get that kind of treatment from Paramount, Warner Brothers, nope, they don’t call me up and say ‘just tell us what you want to do’! That’s why I live in one house and drive a Jeep. Did you choose Poe because of the darkness, the deepness of it? His language is very strong, which makes it much easier for me to create

areas of British society that I’ve walked in, being American was great cover. And is there anything that you miss about Britain? Actually things have changed. America is actually a little backward right now, and Europe has the feel of shiny new efficiency that you used to get when you crossed the Atlantic to the States. In olden times it used to be that my first two days back in London used to be screaming at people down the phone saying ‘What do you mean you can’t sell me a …’, but after two days a funny thing happens, the beauty of the architecture, the wit of the natives, the general atmosphere of the place begins to work it’s magic and within three days I’m right in the groove. I think that’s a perfect place to leave it.

Have you found it difficult going back to the States, is it like a foreign country? Very much so, even though, just through force of habit and a lifetime, I still identify myself as American and I got beat up and took my blows for it at school. Of course I appreciate, with one leg on either side of the Atlantic, the dichotomy between two countries ‘separated by a common language’. In England the hierarchy, the ceilings have been shattered a lot, but when I was growing up in England it was very stratified. When I mixed with roadies in rock’n’roll, and Polo types, when I was in boarding school, all the different


The American

ALBUMS THEOF MONTH Emmylou Harris Hard Bargain Nonesuch Records

Emmylou’s first album since 2008’s All I Intended to Be is more Americana than straight country, with a rich, roomy sound that belies the fact that there were only three musicians involved with the whole album: Jay Joyce, who also produced the shimmering sound, multi-instrumentalist Giles Reeves and Emmylou herself. Eleven of the thirteen songs were written by Emmylou before the recording sessions started. Jay Joyce’s Cross Yourself is one cover, the other is a great version of Hard Bargain, written by the songwriters’ songwriter Ron Sexsmith. I challenge you to listen to Darlin’ Kate, a fond goodbye to her friend Kate McGarrigle who died this year, without a tear. Terms like ‘Queen of Country’ are bandied about too much, but Emmylou isn’t the Queen, she is the wise woman who lives on the mountain, telling us about ourselves through the magic of her songs. 

Emmylou Harris

growling, sleazy blues of Meet Me in the Alleyway. Alison Moorer, Earle’s wife, duets with him on Heaven or Hell. The closer, This City, was written for the HBO TV series Treme, which Earle acts in. Illuminated by horns arranged by Allen Toussaint it highlights the troubles of New Orleans and the Gulf with a celebratory refrain, “This city won’t wash away, this city won’t ever drown”. The album does not, contrary to expectations, feature a cover of Hank Williams’ song I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive – too obvious? – but Earle publishes a novel with the same name, encompassing San Antonio, drug abuse, music and the ghost of Hank Williams, on May 12 in the U.S. 

I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Buddy Miller’s The Majestic Silver Strings

Like Emmylou Harris’ and Buddy Miller’s records reviewed here, the sound of Steve Earle’s first original material since 2007 owes much to the man who produced this album. T-Bone Burnett, who lends his trademark warm, muscular tone suffused with (natural?) reverb to this collection of tunes. I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive is at the quiet, introspective end of Earle’s, mostly acoustic, with judicious touches of electric guitar and organ, with the exception of the

Buddy Miller has been most widely and recently seen as Robert Plant’s bandleader in Band of Joy, but he has some impressive chops of his own. Miller’s the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the year and you can hear why here. His phone book is stuffed with top players, but not just technical whizz-kids, people who ooze American roots music like guitarists Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz. Here they mesh seamlessly to create a swampy,

Steve Earle


New West Records

echoey, live-sounding country-blues hinterland in which guest singers Lee Ann Womack, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Ann McCrary, Julie Miller and Chocolate Genius sound right at home. Similarly, original songs nestle comfortably up to traditional songs (Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie) and numbers by Tex Owens (Cattle Call), Lefty Frizzell and even Roger Miller, whose Dang Me never sounded this brooding. Includes a bonus DVD. 

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears Scandalous Wrasse Records

It’s rough-edged, the voice is raw, the guitars scratch an itch, the horns echo from the corners, it sounds like you’ve walked into a tequila and beer soaked blues club in Austin circa 1969. In other words it’s everything you’d expect from Austin-based R&B (in the original sense) band Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Lyrically Black Joe explores some deeper areas this time round with songs about being poor in today’s America alongside the regular good-time dance tunes. If you liked their debut album Tell ’Em What Your Name Is!, you’ll love this too. Musically Scandalous doesn’t invent any new genres, but then what’s wrong with just enjoying explosive funky blues? 

BRAD PAISLEY LONDON O2 ARENA WEDNESDAY 17TH AUGUST 0844 856 0202 BUY ONLINE AT LIVENATION.CO.UK WWW.BRADPAISLEY.COM MYSPACE.COM/BRADPAISLEY A Live Nation presentation in association with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment


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OperaShots is a double bill of new short operas from Anne Dudley and Terry Jones and Stewart Copeland, commissioned by the Royal Opera House for its ROH2 program. You’ll know Terry Jones as a luminary of the Monty Python team. He has teamed up with composer Anne Dudley, founder member of Art of Noise and an Oscar winning (for The Full Monty) film score composer. Their opera, The Doctor’s Tale, is a tale of a devoted doctor, whose patients love him and who has a wonderful cure rate, but the General Medical Council say he has to stop practising because he’s a dog. The patients protest and eventually rescue the doctor from the Dog Pound, where he was due to be put down. Terry has written the libretto and also directs. Stewart Copeland, drummer and founder of The Police, has worked in

Lincoln Center Theater’s South Pacific at the Barbican

The lavish Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific won seven Tony Awards in 2008, played to sold-out houses on Broadway for two years and is currently selling out across North America. Now it’s making its way over the pond for its European premiere at London’s Barbican Centre, a strictly limited sevenweek London season from August 15 to October 1. It features a cast of 40 and an orchestra of 25. Set on a tropical island during World War II, it is the story of two couples, threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an unfamiliar culture in wartime remains as relevant today as when it was written. One of the finest musicals ever written, the score includes Some Enchanted Evening, I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair and There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.

film He has composed a number of ballets and was asked by Cleveland Opera to compose a new work Holy Blood and Crescent Moon. He has also created the chamber opera The Cask of Amontillado and Horse Opera for Channel 4. He is both composer and librettist for his new work, based on The Tell-Tale Heart, perhaps Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short story. It is the story of a man overtaken by guilt and madness after committing a murder. Read more about it in our interview with Stewart Copeland in this issue.

Breakin’ Convention

Below: From top left, Terry Jones, Anne Dudley and Stewart Copeland, opera creators PHOTO: PEROU


Sadler’s Wells, better known for ballet, forsakes tutus and points to host the eighth running of its annual international festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre over the royal wedding weekend, April 30 to Bank Holiday Monday

May 2. You can see some of the world’s best poppers, lockers, house dancers, b-boys and b-girls competing and there will be dozens of extra events including workshops, film screenings, DJ demos, impromptu foyer freestyle sessions and live aerosol art.

2001: A Space Odyssey Live

Conducted by André de Ridder, the enormous forces of Philharmonia Orchestra and Philharmonia Voices join together to perform the film’s extraordinary soundtrack, as live accompaniment to a screening in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 on April 7.

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American Ballet Theatre Sadlers Wells, London • Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


merican Ballet Theatre has come full circle. It was an exiled Bolshoi dancer Mikhail Mordkin, who effectively created the company, and 71 years later it is a another émigré Bolshoi Director, Alexei Ratmansky, who has put the company back in the spotlight as their new Artist in Residence. We are blessed that the company now visits every two years or so and on this occasion it was Ratmansky’s 2009 piece Seven Sonatas which really stood out. It singles him out as one of the most exciting choreographers in the world today and in terms of style represents the peak of neo-classicism. Danced by three white-clad couples to the gloriously languid piano sonatas of Scarlatti (with the grand piano on stage), it marries the constraints of classical technique with the liberating force of modern dance. The detailing of the various shapes react totally to the music and combine to make it utterly compelling. Here, the company’s stars David Hallberg, Julie Kent and Xiomara Reyes shone out and indeed Reyes was the stand out of this tour. She brings an expressiveness to her dancing which is totally captivating. ABT’s commitment to new work was also represented by another piece from 2009, Benjamin Millepied’s PHOTO: GENE SCHIAVONE

Everything Doesn’t Happen At Once. Millepied, ex Paris Opera Ballet and now with New York City Ballet, is now of course famous for being Mr Natalie Portman and indeed also make a fleeting appearance in that lurid farrago Black Swan. As a dance maker he is certainly one to watch. Set to a modern percussive score by David Lang, Everything includes some dazzling ensemble work and vertiginous solos by the sprightly young Danil Simkin. Beautifully costumed by Karen Young it’s great to see a new ballet of such huge scale, with 24 dancers on stage. At its heart was an exquisite duo for one of the company’s big hitters, Marcelo Gomes, partnered with Isabella Boylston. Sudden, violent thuds intermittently and quite brutally interrupt some exquisitely romantic music here. Was this a post-modern trick to frame the ‘romance’ of the piece or perhaps a devilish attempt to send the older audience members fleeing the auditorium, covering their ears and kvetching. I hope it was the latter. The more devout balletomanes did seem less responsive to Programme 1, which was my favourite, and were soothed instead by the old reliables in Programme 2 such as Balanchine’s austere Theme and Variations and a rare outing on this side of the


pond for Antony Tudor’s 1936 piece Jardin Aux Lilas. Julie Kent and Cory Stearns shone out in the latter, which is a rather antique narrative ballet, which reminds one of Rattigan on an off day. It recounts the story of Caroline, who about to enter a marriage of convenience, has to endure a party where the other guests include not only the man she really loves but also the woman who was her fiancé’s mistress. Margaret Lockwood would have been in the movie. On the purely classical side Balanchine was also out in force with Duo Concertant (featuring the amazing Cory Stearns) in Prog 1 and a highlight in Prog 2 with the short but sizzling Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux. Danced to a bit of left over music from Swan Lake, and what a left over, it was simply a chance for pure virtuoso flashiness by Xiomara Reyes and Herman Cornejo. Fearless, gravity defying, leaps to make the heart soar were delivered in spades. On the modern end Twyla Tharp’s Known By Heart, set to Donald Knaack’s Junk Music (think cats clanking dustbin lids in an alley); sent the oldies running for cover again, hands to their ears. For me however its knowing sassiness and

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easy wit provided a welcome respite from Balanchine. Sentiment and joy were to the fore in Paul Taylor’s great Company B, normally a fixture in his company’s programmes, but brilliantly rendered here. Set to the songs of the Andrews Sisters it’s a joyful wallow in Americana. The energy and optimism of 1940s American youth captured in essence. Pity however that the big stars seemed to be absent from it. Do they shun the Pennsylvania Polka I wondered? In any case, dancers like Misty Copeland, as the glorious Trinidadian tease in Rum and Coca Cola or Craig Salstein as the bespectacled object of the girls ardour in Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! were a joy to watch. Company B is truly an American treasure.


The Wizard of Oz Reviewed by James Carroll Jordan and Jan Hartley


e’re stepping outside our usual brief here at “Actors Corner”, and putting on our critics’ hats. I say hats because I am reviewing this big time musical, The Wizard of Oz, alongside my wife Jan Hartley. I asked her to join me for the simple fact that she is the one in the family who has starred in many West End Musicals, including “The Phantom Of The Opera”, and I have only done a couple, and those were mainly as an actor. I went not knowing what to expect from the Lloyd-Webber camp on their take on Oz. It could have been as far away from the original movie as the Michael Jackson/Diana Ross Black Oz to a power-shock full-blown Webber-Rice Phantom look. Instead I found to my gratification that it brought me right back to my early youth, to when I first saw the movie in 1955 at the local Texas cinema in San Antonio. Of course having the great Michael Crawford playing the Wizard, the part had to be beefed up a bit to go with his stature as an icon of the English Musical Theatre World. This, the Webber-Rice team have done with Wonders of the World, a cute song Professor Marvel sings to the runaway Dorothy. However the surprising driving force of the whole musical is the Wicked Witch of the West, played as deliciously evil, with just the right amount of menace and high camp to thrill children and adults alike, by Hannah Waddingham. She is magnificent. The hands-on production team is stellar; from the deft and subtle direction of Jeremy Sams to the spectacular lighting of my old friend Hugh Vanstone. Hugh and I worked together

with another Bill Kenwright show, Only the Lonely, nineteen years ago. But the real star of the show from the technical viewpoint is the special effects, which I can only assume come from a unique collaboration of Mick Potter the sound designer, Robert Jones the production designer, Jon Driscoll the projection designer and Matt Towell the production manager with, I am sure, a hand in here and there from Bill Kenwright. Graham Hurman does a delightful job as musical director. The Twister scene alone is worth the price of the ticket. It actually seems like a three dimensional movie when the twister hits the set and drags the farm along with cows and chairs into the nether world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz. Jan and I were kindly invited to the press party after the show, and so didn’t really have a chance to get down to what we really thought about the show until morning when I brought in her usual tea and crumpets to her bed-side (yes I am a well trained husband): James: What a night, honey… What did you think about it all? Jan: Give me a second; I need my tea…… I was very pleasantly surprised because I was imagining it would be mainly geared to a younger audience. I was also relieved that it was very loyal to the film. Okay, let’s get specific. Who in the cast did you especially like? Oh definitely the Wicked Witch of the West. Yeah, she was my favorite as well. What did you think of her songs? Loved her songs. Her big number in act two for some reason reminded me

Above: The Wizard’s Chamber, Michael Crawford on right Right: The magical Emerald City PHOTOS: KEITH PATTISON

of Jeremy Irons song in The Lion King in that it was gritty, funny and a good belter. Who else did you like? The girl who played Dorothy, Danielle Hope was just perfect. I was delighted to see that they hadn’t tried to make her sexy or brash in any way. She had a lovely tone to her voice, although I could have done with a little bit more welly in parts of Over the Rainbow. What did you think of Michael Crawford? I thought Michael Crawford hit the nail on the head with his characterization, but I was a little disappointed that, as we couldn’t see him properly, I couldn’t tell whether he was singing live or not at the end of act one. Fair enough. [Jan seemed to be waking up now and hitting her stride.] Fabulous costumes and scenery. What did you think of the visual effects? I thought they were fantastic. Especially the Twister scene. So generally we loved the old songs from the movie, except the munchkin one, but what is your verdict on the additional songs that Webber and Rice put in? Wait, let me look at the program

again….. Have to confess I wasn’t mad about the opening number, Nobody Understands Me, I felt it was a little too modern. But I really loved Wonders of the World, Michael Crawford’s song in act one. Hmmm. I wasn’t so mad about that one. Why particularly did you like it? One, it was memorable and two, I thought it had a really charming melody with some great lyrics. Yeah, I did like it when the naughty pictures came up by accident. Very funny. Now what did you think of the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow? I really enjoyed Edward Baker-Duly’s performance as the Tin Man. Lovely strong voice and some perfect dry delivery. David Ganly’s Cowardly Lion was cuddly and loveable… What was your take on the Scarecrow? Paul Keating’s Scarecrow was good, but I think could have been a little more bendy. Bendy…? Yeah, you know, physically looser. By the way Jim, I noticed you couldn’t take your eyes off Glinda. Glinda? Oh yeah, the good Witch. Yeah, Emily Tierney, you know the young, sexy, glamorous one? With the big.. Yeah?

Dress. Oh, yes, that one! I didn’t notice that she was overly sexy though?!!! Yeah right… [I decided to move on quickly again. Maybe I should get her another cup of tea.] Another cup of tea? Good idea. What about the choreography? Again I think it was very true to the film, and Arlene Phillips very cleverly kept it simple which kept it within the context of the piece. Nice little bit of tap from the Tin Man though. Yeah, I could have done with more of that. I liked it when he joined in with the chorus at the finale. That brings us to the ensemble. What about them? Very slick, and they handled their bits of dialogue well too. Costumes? Costumes and wigs were lovely, although if I were a little girl seeing the show, I would have liked to have seen long flowing princess locks on Glinda rather than the very tight, set, blue bun she wore. So we agree that it is a hit and a show that will leave the sleeping L. Frank Baum resting quietly and contentedly in his grave? Definitely. I think I deserve another crumpet. You got it, sugar pie.



Million Dollar Quartet Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux • Noel Coward Theatre, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell • Photos: Christopher Draghi

ome on over Baby, whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on” kinda sums up Million Dollar Quartet, which has arrived from Broadway garlanded with Tony awards. Based on the true story of an amazing get – together of four great stars, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, with their ex manager Sam Phillips, which took place on 4 December 1956 at Sun Records studio in Memphis. This was a pivotal meeting where the Svengali-like Phillips had to watch his protégés fly the nest and embark on careers which were to transform popular music. Yes, it’s yet another jukebox show (I can hear you groan) but this one reveals just how potent that rockabilly sound was and it is a joy to hear it played live here with such vivacity by an incredibly talented group of performers, all ably assisted by Kai Harada’s great sound design. Director Eric Schaeffer (of Signature Theatre in Washington DC) has crafted a great piece of entertainment here and while the historic meeting (and the famous photo of it) is a neat hook for a show, it is sadly insufficient to flesh out a full musical. Of course the trick here is to balance the exposition (most of it targeted at an audience expected to be unfamiliar with the music) with some kind of dramatic arc for the characters and in this regard the book fails dismally. The dialogue creaks, dramatic


points are crudely signposted and one wonders if they’d have been better off to just hiring a narrator and letting the kids get on with the singing. Presley and Cash’s careers were on a fast upward trajectory by this date while Perkins, still smarting over Elvis “stealing” Blue Suede Shoes from him, was also building a solid career for himself. Lewis, the baby of the quartet at only 21, already had two wives behind him and was this most amazing life force who single-handedly set fire to the music scene and to prevailing morality. It’s amazing to think that Lewis is still going strong and that he delighted the Broadway audience for this show recently by turning up and performing an impromptu jam. Ben Goddard nails the cockiness of Lewis and the spirit of youthful rebellion, which he personified. Michael Malarkey is the perfect romantic movie idol Elvis. He has the looks, the voice, the moves and most importantly, the quiff. Here he has a love interest in tow, Dyanne (Francesca Jackson), who appears for no discernible reason other than to put a twinkle in the eye of the older male members of the audience. She does a few numbers including, it must be said, a stonking I Hear You Knockin. Derek Hagen perfectly captures that combination of preacher and little devil, which summed up Cash. He despaired of Sun Records and quipped “If they wanted to stop the spread of communism let

Sun distribute it”. Robert Britton Lyons (interviewed in The American last month) plays a mean gee-tar as Perkins and is the sole import from Broadway. Perkins’ understandable resentment of the upstart Elvis has to be countered by acknowledging his own obvious lack of charisma compared with The King. Pedants might quibble that they play fast and loose here with the chronology of the songs but audiences won’t really care. It is also sobering to consider that the teens who rocked to this great music the first time round are now in their seventies. My advice to them is, take the grandchildren and show them some real rock ‘n roll. PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER DRAGHI


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The Centaur and The Animal Bartabas and Ko Murobushi • Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London • Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


ondon’s leading dance house Sadler’s Wells brings us all sorts of wonders from the international world of dance, from cutting edge contemporary work by the world’s greatest choreographers to festivals of flamenco, tango and breakdance. Not until now however have we witnessed on its famous stage a curious fusion of equestrian theatre with the Japanese art of Butoh. Bartabas, a French performance artist, has effectively invented a new form of performing arts: equestrian theatre. In his purpose built Theatre Zingaro on the outskirts of Paris he usually stages large elaborate spectaculars combining circus, classical dressage which feature exotic costumes and video effects. For his first visit to Sadler’s Wells however he has gone for a smaller scale and presented this stark and minimalist piece, where he works with just four of his special horses and most significantly has collaborated with a great Japanese artist Ko Murobushi, a leading exponent of Butoh. This is a challenging contemporary dance form, which only emerged in Japan in the late 50s. The result is a performance inspired by the classical legend of the ‘Centaur’, half man half horse, and while it doesn’t totally succeed, it is certainly memorable. Bartabas personally works with each horse for 6 to 10 years and it shows. These aren’t tortured circus ponies doing tricks nor are they the highly drilled and sharply coiffed specimens of competitive Dressage. What he’s done so painstakingly is developed his connection with these animals over the years such that they go beyond mere repetitive tricks and as the show progresses they perform to him and

sometimes separate from him. The effect is quite entrancing. The piece has three elements a series of tableau where Bartabas completely shrouded in flowing robes (part bird, part man) performs in turn with each of the horses while simultaneously downstage we witness a highly stylised but riveting performance by Murobushi. Then on a soundtrack we also hear a dense poetic text by Lautréamont. Having this in French with surtitles might have made it more decipherable than from a heavily accented actor. In all, it’s the least effective element. But did it all add up to anything? Butoh apparently requires Zen-like concentration from its audience and it certainly repays one’s attention. Murobushi who is painted silver and clad in a loincloth enacts a tortuous crawl out of a sort of primordial sludge. His coiled spine painfully unfurling, like a mollusc emerging from a shell, is a visceral and totally compelling sight. He eventually progresses to an upright figure standing under a luminous and seemingly never-ending shower of fine sand. These scenes deliver a sculptural poetry greater than any text could, but the lack of connection between the elements of the piece is a weakness.

A highlight is when one of the horses mimics the playful racing back and forth of a third character while another beautiful white specimen tumbles to the ground and rolls over in slow motion, rather like a Victorian lady experiencing a dizzy spell. Despite the repetition these movements aren’t formulaic and there is a communication between rider, horse and protagonist, which is captivating. With our appetite now whetted it is hoped we can see more of his larger scale work, perhaps somewhere like the Roundhouse? It’s certainly not a typical night at the ballet. H



The American

The American Interview

Carol Kane

One of the most recognisable faces and voices in American acting, Carol Kane is appearing on the London stage in an all star cast in The Children’s Hour


ou started acting very young. Was it something you always wanted to do? I started acting professionally when I was about 14. My first job was an East Coast tour of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with Tammy Grimes. My parents were divorced when I was about 12 and I came to live with my mother in New York, I went to a school called the Professional Children’s School, auditioned for this play and got it, and that was a beginning. When your parents divorced, you went into psychotherapy for 15 years. Did

therapy affect the way you approach acting? Oh yes, anything that you do or is part of you affects the way that you act, as you use, hopefully, your whole self. Definitely therapy offers a lot of insight into what makes people behave the way they do, so of course it was helpful. Was acting in your blood, or in your family? None of my family, although my parents are both artistic. My father was an architect and my mother a musician. But typically of many people who become actors, I went to see a play in Children’s Theater when I was seven or something and it just struck a chord with me, I wanted to be a part of that. People know you from different angles. Some from TV – people still remember you as Simka in Taxi, for which you won two Emmy awards. Did you enjoy playing her? It was a dream, it was fantastic. What was it like working with Andy Kaufman? It was very challenging for both of us, ultimately in a good way, but we had very different processes, different approaches to work. Andy came from

Carol Kane in rehearsals for The Childrens Hour JOHAN PERSSON


a stand-up comedy background, so he didn’t like to rehearse, he liked to be spontaneous. I came from the opposite, I liked to rehearse and rehearse. We had to reach a common ground, which I think we did. It was exciting. Did you invent Simka’s foreign language with Andy? Oh no, he invented the language! Latka, the character he played in Taxi, came from a character that he did in stand-up called Foreign Man, and he invented that language. I learned it from him! Your have a very distinctive voice. Has it become a kind of trademark for you? I don’t know, my voice can change with different characters. For instance in The Children’s Hour it’s very different than my voice in Taxi, different depths. But I guess it’s very recognizable, which has its goods and its negatives! More recently, you’ve played Madam Morrible in Wicked several times (on Broadway, on tour in the US and in Los Angeles, and San Francisco). I did Madam Morrible on and off for a period of four years. You’ve made Madam Morrible your own, you’ve become the definitive version of her… Well, I don’t know, but I do love playing her.

The American

Right: Carol Kane as Mrs Lily Mortar with pupils in The Childrens Hour JOHAN PERSSON

…is there a chance you will go back into Wicked? I’d love to! You’ve had a distinguished career in TV, stage, and film. Do you enjoy all of them equally? I enjoy them all, for me the important element is the writing, I don’t really care whether it’s on stage, or in a movie or television. The theater is my roots, I’ll always be most comfortable on stage, but there are different challenges in the different areas. You’re in The Children’s Hour with Keira Knightley, Elisabeth Moss and Ellen Burstyn, as well as Nancy Crane and Bryony Hannah. That’s quite a line-up of female actors – almost an all-woman cast. Have you ever worked in an ensemble like that? Yes, there are only two men, and that’s very unusual because it’s usually only two women! Have you ever worked with any of the cast before? Ellen Burstyn is the President of the Board of Directors at the Actor’s Studio, and I’m on the Board, so I’ve worked with Ellen, but not as an actor. It’s a completely different relationship on stage, but it’s been a joy, I think, for both of us. Have you acted in any other Lillian Hellman plays before? No, but I hope I get to do more. The writing is the most important thing, and in the case of The Children’s Hour,

it’s really an embarrassment of riches. And then we have this director, Ian Rickson, who is an extraordinary artist, so helpful.

Have you worked in the UK before? I’ve done a couple of movies here, which is really fun, I did Valentino for Ken Russell, and The Princess Bride.

The Children’s Hour hasn’t been revived for 50 years. Social mores have changed a lot since it was written in 1934. It revolves around an accusation of a lesbian affair between the headmistresses of a girls’ school – how is it going down with a modern audience? Amazingly enough I think we’re somewhat in the same place. There’s a case, I believe in New York, with two female teachers accused of having an affair. In fact one of the teachers was having a heart attack or something and the other one was helping her. Someone saw them and said that they were kissing and touching, and there’s a lawsuit because they lost their jobs over it, and that’s today.

Have you explored the country as well while you’ve been over here? I must confess that we hit the ground running, we just flew over and went straight into rehearsal, then previews. then straight into performance, so my exploration is ahead of me! I’m really enjoying my time in London though, for sure.

Maybe things haven’t changed all that much? I don’t think they have. Then there’s all the young people who commit suicide because they’ve been ostracised because they’re gay. Being different is still frightening and threatening to other people, and lying is powerful and dangerous. Rumor is everything, with the internet and chat, on the internet in seconds it becomes an internationally well known fact.

Do you find British audiences react differently to audiences in, say, New York? There’s one difference I enjoy. The celebrity element on stage is not as disruptive, people do not applaud on entrances here, which means that the play can evolve uninterrupted. In American when a ‘star’ comes out for their entrance, the audience applaud, which is very gratifying to the ‘star’ but does interrupt the fourth wall of the play. I think it’s wonderful that they don’t do that here, I like it a lot. Is there anything that you’d like to say to our readers, Americans living over here in Britain? I think it’s really interesting we have several cast members who are Americans living in London and I think that’s a really fascinating life. And I’d like to thank your readers for their support. H


Middle East – Why Now? Recent events across the Middle East have left the West somewhat confused, says Alan Miller


n January we saw the fleeing of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years of rule after tens of thousands challenged him. Then the world watched captivated as the once iron grip of President Mubarak in Egypt was loosened and cast aside after 30 years rule. Mubarak took over after Anwar Sadat was assassinated by members of Islamic Jihad, which was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood – a bitter ironic twist after Mubarak freed many of them with the intention of smashing any left wing opposition to his regime, the joyous dancing in the streets by so many ordinary Egyptians was moving for all but the most cynical. These events shed light on a number of critical issues. While the United States has spent much of the post war period arguing that democracy is vital and should be encouraged, in reality (both historically, supporting regimes that suppress their citizens in order to maintain geo-political domi-


Above: Time to go? President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (third from right) presciently checks his watch, accompanied by (from left) President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Obama in the Blue Room of the White House last September.  WHITE HOUSE/PETE SOUZA

nation, and recently) it has consistently aimed at limiting any major changes. So, when it was clear that Mubarak was on the ropes, the US and other western nations backed the newly elected vice president Omar Suleiman – in reality maintaining the existing power structure opposed to the democratic challengers. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged caution and promoted the idea that “reform takes time” – slow down, effectively as “we” are not comfortable with the pace of change. Suleiman was the CIA point man in Egypt and a vocal advocate of the former regime. The vacillating response of President Obama sums up the anxiety and fear of the western leadership as well as concern about popular challenges to autocratic rulers. This

rudderless non-strategy epitomizes the crisis at the heart of the west. Before we consider the increasingly shrill cries for US and European intervention in Libya, it is worth taking a walk down memory lane to answer the question many are posing: why now? In the carve-up of Africa between the major industrial nations artificial borders were imposed upon local peoples. From the bloody suppressions of Cecil Rhodes and supremacist outlook of Baden Powell to the first ever use of aircraft to drop bombs (1911, in Libya, by the Italians) the landscape was one of domination. The post-war period saw a spike in national liberation struggles around the world, but also, in this region, the ascendancy of an officerclass of military rulers who stepped in.

The American

Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt epitomized the idea of “pan-Arabism” alongside Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana’s “pan-Africanism”. These movements can only be understood in the context of the Cold War, where there still existed some sense of an alternative to capitalism and the market, where the Socialist project still captivated millions around the world. (It is worth noting that Nasser led the overthrow of the royal family in Egypt, long a stooge of the west). With Imperialism being seen as entirely compromised, from two world wars and a major recession, the aspirations of autonomy and freedom for the populations of the developing world had significant moral authority – yet that did not prevent western governments, led by the newly ascendant United States – from attempting to shape outcomes (as the ousting of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran by the CIA). The United States and western nations were obsessed with the ‘Red Threat’ and the notion of the ‘domino effect’ with nations going over to communism across the globe. It is in this context that the arrangements and partnerships that were struck must be understood, often with strong men in the middle east (and more broadly) who violently maintained control and stamped out secular and left wing challenges of any kind. Alongside this, the changing nature of Israel and the Palestine question has had tremendous impact on the situation, in Egypt in particular. The 1950s in Egypt, Syria and Iraq saw an officer class sweep away the old order, largely as a response to the formation of Israel in 1948. This often allowed tough regimes to focus the attention of their citizens on ‘the Zionist state’ as a way of offsetting criticisms of their rule. The end of Palestinian nationalism has meant this has little purchase today.

What is new is the exhaustion of these old regimes, alongside the crisis of imperialism. A large part of the Egyptian question, and that of Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen as well as Libya, was the issue of succession. Who was to replace the long term leaders? Unlike Turkey, there was often little development and modernization, rather a fierce control of the oil reserves, repression, militarism, smashing of political opposition and hence no civic society, leaving a vacuum of anyone able to replace them. This is less true in Egypt, although the rigged elections in December 2010 ironically led to the January reaction when people really said enough is enough. The meandering response of the Obama regime is part of a lack of clear strategic thinking by world leaders since 1945. While many have been using the “r” word, what has been happening in these states is not a revolution, rather a flushing out of old regimes. When a push was made – and it took enormous courage by ordinary people to put themselves on the line and be counted

– it was immediately apparent that the leadership lacked the will to regain control, which invited further challenge and ultimately the end of Mubarak and Ben Ali. However, a revolution is the transformation of one kind of society to another and this has not happened. Sadly, the lack of any coherent ideas or ideology and any real leadership has meant that all is still up for grabs in Egypt. The military are currently the chief winners. This is the danger of a lack of politics. It also spells the lie that Islamic extremism is strong in Egypt: the Muslim Brotherhood have not dominated events at all. The continual obsession in western press of “another Iranian revolution” simply demonstrates how little pundits and politicians understand what is happening there. At The American goes to print, Muammar Gaddafi, who came to power in Libya in 1969 after overthrowing King Idris in a bloodless coup, reclaimed some of the territory lost to the rebels. Having taken back Zawiyah, there is speculation that he could win back

Muammar Gaddafi photographed at the African Union Summit in 2009


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eastern Libya due to his air superiority. Meanwhile, France has unilaterally moved ahead and recognized the Benghazi-based Libyan National Council while numerous commentators, from Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times to Leon Wiesletier of The New Republic, argue for western intervention. While some of those challenging Gaddafi have loudly denounced the idea of foreign intervention, the turning of the tide has seen some have a change of heart. Many who sympathize with the rebels but were opposed to the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan are advocating stepping in somehow to “aid” the challengers. As Robert Gates made the point however, a no-fly zone would certainly mean a bombing campaign. The key point about western intervention is that it never makes the situation better for democracy or for ordinary people in the region. It exacerbates tensions, amplifies and prolongs the situation and ends up imposing objectives crafted in Washington, Paris and London rather than representing the democratic needs of the local population. As we all witnessed viscerally in Iraq, one cannot “impose” democracy from outside. It has to be done by the people, for the people. The Egyptians, and others, have shown that they are entirely capable of taking matters into their own hands. While their struggles have inspired others (as far as Wisconsin, with the battle over unions) the best thing we can do for our fellow international citizens is argue vehemently against intervention of any kind. After all, citizens internationally have far more in common with one another than the military and political planners who are motivated by geopolitical interests. H


Democracy: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye Our transatlantic political columnist Alison Holmes looks at what the wave theory of democracy may mean for the Middle East


e welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace”. A sentiment shared with a massive crowd in Berlin on the 12th June 1987. Two years later the most famous section of that speech by President Reagan, “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”– looked more like prophecy than proclamation. 1989 was a big year for democracy. The Solidarity movement in Poland, the fall of that same Wall, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and not so velvet change in Romania. Something like two million people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands along the Baltic Way to demand freedom – even though they were still occupied by the Soviet Union – and Europe was not alone. There were free elections in Chile for the first time in 16 years, and in Brazil for the first time in 29 years, and who could forget the Goddess of Democracy in Tiananmen Square? But 1989 was also a big year for violence. Trouble in Libya as the cause of the crash of PanAm Flight 103 was found to have been a bomb, a fatwa issued by Iran against Salman Rushdie and, though the Soviets marched out of Afghanistan, the Red Army remained busy by killing demonstrators in Georgia in Tbilisi’s central square. The ending was no less tragic in China.

Today, democracy seems to be on the march again and in places that, only a relatively short time ago, were largely closed to the outside world. Where the enemy was communism the new enemy is tyranny and corruption. Where Berliners relied on twenty-four hour news channels and the beginning of computer technology the movements in the Middle East have been using Facebook and Twitter. Across Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco and Iraq people are demanding more from their leaders, and each other, as the twin ideas of freedom and democracy find outlets in voice – and in violence. The people of Middle East have embarked on an exciting and dangerous journey and these developments remind us of two things. First, democracy has never been easy. Second, it is not a linear process and, in light of recent events, we need to shift our thinking about places we have called ‘transitional’. Through the work of Samuel Huntington and others, we have generally come to think of the development of democracy as happening in ‘waves’. This approach has become so pervasive it is not only the language of arcane academic debate, but the language of CNN and Fox News. However, in the rush to comment on ‘what it all means’ many do not really know what this idea is all about. According to the ‘waves’ approach, the ‘first wave’ of democracy was from 1828 to 1926, and

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very slow. By about 1920 there were approximately 30 countries that could be called democracies and then, following this wave idea, it went into reverse. This retreat lasted until the end of WWII when the world was reduced to no more than about a dozen democracies. The ‘second wave’ lasted from about 1943 to 1964. In many cases it was the result of a return to normalcy after the war, but for many, it was the product of the dismantling of empires. Whatever the catalyst, a large number of countries began this same journey now moving across the Middle East towards a more democratic state. Unfortunately, the tide turned again and throughout the 1960s and 1970s many countries began to stumble in the throes of economic, political and ideological turmoil. The ‘third wave’, the era of Reagan and the ‘end of history’, began in the mid 1970s reaching its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the mid-1980s about every two in five states were democratic – a decade later that ratio reached every three in five with nearly 90 democracies coming into being. Since 1974 the number of democracies in the world quadrupled and for the first time in history, the majority form of government was no longer dictatorship, but democracy. Yet through the late 1990s and early 21st century, the concern has been that democracy was again in retreat. States that had made huge progress in developing not only electoral systems, but civic institutions and the real pillars of a democratic society, were slipping. It is early days yet, but it would appear this latest, or ‘fourth wave’, is another moment of fundamental shift – the crest of something that has been going on for some time. As we look over the past decade, the number of democracies doubled again and not only in ‘wealthy’ or ‘stable’ states, but across the board. Places that were once

thought of as ‘inhospitable’ or somehow ‘not ready’ for democracy were transformed and now that that process of change has reached places we all recognize, we have been transfixed. Thinking about these latest developments there are three observations that we, the voyeurs of democracy, might ponder as citizens and as nations: First, the self-nominated, antiglobalization spokespeople, those with such a sensitivity to imperialism they are opposed to ‘spreading democracy’, have been notably quiet over these past few months – with reason. An overly ‘go local’ view of the world would condemn millions to a life of oppression. That said, before we rush out to give Google the Nobel Peace Prize, perhaps we should try to work out a more consistent view of the benefits and perils of globalization. The approach of ‘the west’ to date has been a jagged stop/ start series of policies. They have done some good and some serious damage, but we need more consistency. Second, in a similar vein, perhaps we should return to the question of whether it is possible to ‘promote’ democracy. Once such an aim was considered noble, part of the American mission, even worth going to war and dying for. That idea has been sullied over recent years, but the irony may

The people take power – a government tank is seized by protestors in Benghazi, Libya PHOTO: MAHER

be that, whatever President Bush’s flaws in implementation or misguided application, his strategy of consistent support for internal political movements and economic opportunity has paid dividends – at least in some parts of the region. Finally, if we agree with the notion that democracy develops in waves, what should we anticipate in the nature of this wave’s flow – and its inevitable ebb? How can we help instil the principles of democracy in a system so foreign to our own cultural identity? What can we do to correct our failings in the past - and here some anti-globalization protestors have a very valid point - to recognize and respect the very different cultural manifestations the basic drive to freedom can take? Democracy is again in full flood as the people of the Middle East attempt to change their world forever. As the leaders of that region continue to struggle with the decision of whether to attempt to stop this wave of change or ‘go with the flow’, we will need to plan how best to help this latest democratic wave get as far up the beach as possible before it inevitably turns back. H


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arley ain’t the only classic V-Twin motorcycle, nosiree Bob. In jolly old England there was a remarkable marque called Vincent. No cruiser, the Vincent. For years they lived on a different plane than the rest of motorcycling, the fastest production bikes in the world. Auctioneers Bonhams are set to sell one Vincent which has covered a staggering 721,703 miles – over 1million kilometres – ridden by the proverbial ‘one careful owner’. “Vinnylonglegs” will be auctioned at the International Motorcycle Show in Staffordshire on April 24th, with an estimate of £35,000 to £40,000. Stuart Jenkinson, born in Northumbria in the north-east of England, is a Vincent enthusiast. That’s understating the case. Stuart bought the brand new 998cc Black Prince in 1955. Since then he is the only person who has ridden it, and he has modified it to suit his riding style. Concourse it ain’t. Real it is. For 25 years Stuart used Vinnylonglegs for commuting and Continental touring holidays. He enjoyed the long distance trips so much he started a motorcycle tours business, guiding groups across most countries of Europe, including 40 tours to Greece. Vinnylonglegs could cruise all day at 100mph with a top speed in excess of 120mph. This is a unique chance to acquire a unique motorcycle and a part of biking histroy.


Conquering Cruze Returns


he Silverline Chevrolet BTCC team stunned the British Touring Car Championship last season when lead driver Jason Plato (pictured above) won the drivers’ championship in the Cruze’s first full season. Now the team is back to defend its title. Plato will again be lead driver, ably supported once more by 20 year old Alex MacDowall, the youngest driver in the series, who was voted Rookie of the Year by BTCC fans last year. MacDowall achieved a pole position and a podium finish in his first year in BTCC. The team is run by Wellingboroughbased RML Group, which also campaigns Chevrolet’s World Touring Car Team which took both drivers and manufacturers’ titles in the global series. Plato said: “I’m delighted to once again be working with Silverline Chevrolet and RML. The team proved last year that it could provide the hardware to win the championship, and with a newer and more advanced development of the already incredible Chevrolet Cruze to campaign with, I expect we’ll be in for a dramatic and exciting season.” Asked about his title hopes for 2011, Jason added, “Will I win the championship again? I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible – but there are some other good teams out there who have come on leaps and bounds since last year, meaning we’re in for one of the most competitive seasons ever – great news for fans of the best racing series in the UK, and for the drivers who compete in it. It’s going to be a thriller.” Chevrolet UK Managing Director, Mark Terry, commented: “In 2011, Chevrolet celebrates its centenary year, and right from the start, racing has been part of the brand’s DNA. Having won the driver’s championship in our first full year – a truly remarkable achievement – we’re back for more in 2011.” For 2011, the BTCC gets extra TV footage courtesy of ITV Sport, which will be broadcasting live from all ten rounds of the series on ITV4 and ITV4 HD as well as highlights programmes on ITV1 and ITV4, and online via ITV Player. The first round of the series takes place on Sunday April 3 at Brands Hatch, Kent – the venue of Jason Plato’s 2010 title victory. Ticket prices are £25 for adults, but free for children under the age of 12.


ith Indy a formula too far for most British motorsport coverage, you may have to make do with Formula One for your open-wheeled fix. But that’s not a bad thing: with five different champions in five years and none of them decided earlier than the penultimate race of the season, another high-octane tussle seems assured in 2011. The constructors’ championship will again heavily feature Red Bull, who return World Champion Sebastian Vettel and last year’s thirdplaced driver Mark Webber. Already, Vettel has been startlingly fast in preseason testing, and it’s a brave pundit who picks anyone outside of the Red Bull garage to be champion ...unless you go for Fernando Alonso, the last F1 racer to win consecutive titles (in 2005-6). Now acclimated to his Ferrari, Alonso challanged Vettel down to the very last race last season; they won three races apiece over the final six events. While Red Bull have been innovating over the Winter months, Ferrari looked to have played a little

safe with their set-up in testing, and it will again be down to Alonso’s Schumacher-esque talent to put his Ferrari ahead of the Red Bulls. The real Michael Schumacher is around for another season, and had some blistering moments in testing, suggesting he is finally ready to get the best out of his Mercedes after a lacklustre 2010 campaign in which he was upstaged by more consistent team-mate Nico Rosberg. One of the biggest unknowns going into the season is how quickly McLaren will put contending cars around Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (another couple of recent champions). Testing brought out some concerned faces and ‘workto-be-done’ comments, but the talent throughout the organisation assures some race victories along the way. A couple more points of note this season: (1) the return of Lotus to Formula One, again. Last year the badge returned with a Cosworth engine; this season, 2010’s Team Lotus has Renault engines, while a


...but red’s still the color to be seen in this Formula One season, writes Richard L Gale


Back in Black...


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different Lotus-Renault team has also entered. A little confusing, but nice work for lawyers. For the rest of us, the latest Lotus-Renault team brandishes a gold-and-black livery reminiscent of the Mario Andrettiera Lotus teams of late ’70s and early ’80s ...which is nice, but misleading, as this team isn’t that team. This team was then called Toleman. This team is merely emblazoned with the name Lotus. Then again, it’s also bearing the name Lada on the side. Let ’em fight it out on the track, I say. And (2) Pirelli Tires. Pirelli are tasked with supplying tires that will wear down quickly during races to provide more pit lane excitement. This may favor canny old drivers like Webber, Button and Schumacher over their young gun teammates, (though it’s hard to see how quicklydeteriorating tires necessarily benefits Pirelli’s marketing), but Alonso’s mid-point on the scale between youth and experience could finally deliver him his third World Championship, and his first with Ferrari.


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MLB Preview

As the San Francisco Giants prepare to defend their title, Bruce Dullea sizes up the opposition


he last time the Giants were defending world champions, Dwight Eisenhower was President, the price of gas was 29c./gallon, and the average annual salary was $5,000. Things have changed considerably since then, but in the world of baseball, many things remain the same. 2011 should be an entertaining season. In the American League, all the media attention and spotlight will again be placed primarily in New York and Boston. These two clubs are the favourites for the American League East title. With the acquisition of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox have bolstered their lineup substantially. Crawford will bring speed, and Gonzalez will add power to an already formidable offense. The pitching is solid with Jon Lester and Clay Bukholz, but both Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon had down years, so they are the big question marks. Despite a rash of injuries, the club won 89 games, so if they can stay healthy, they should improve upon that. C.C. Sabathia will anchor the Yankees staff, but there are vacancies for both the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Robinson Cano had a breakout season, and the offense will make up for any deficiencies in the pitching staff. Mark Texeira, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez will anchor the infield. Mariano Rivera is still one of the dominant closers in baseball, but look for 20 year old lefty Manny Bauelos to eventually assume this role. The AL Central looks to be a dogfight primarily between the Tigers, White Sox, and Twins. The Twins will


contend if Justin Morneau remains healthy, and they will be aided by the bat of Jim Thome. The pitching is strong, with Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano, and Scott Baker. The White Sox’ main offseason acquisition was Adam Dunn, who gives them a legitimate left handed power hitter. They lost Bobby Jenks, and Jake Peavy won’t return from shoulder surgery until the All Star break, but Mark Buehrle and Gavin Floyd will anchor the rotation. The Tigers’ big question mark is the offseason troubles of Miguel Cabrera. If he can return to the lineup, his bat will help immensely, and he will be aided primarily by Austin Jackson and Victor Martinez. Justin Verlander is the ace, but will need help from the rest of the rotation for the club to contend. The AL West will probably be led once again by the Rangers. Even though they lost Cliff Lee, they are hoping to resurrect the career of Brandon Webb, and signed him to a one year contract. The offense will be strong, and will be led by Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Michael Young. The A’s rotation is young but solid, with Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzales. DH Hideki Matsui was the main offseason acquisition, and look for primary offensive contributions from David DeJesus and Kevin Kouzmanoff, while closer Brian Fuentes will anchor the bullpen. The Angels really expected to sign Carl Crawford, and it was a big blow when they lost him. They took a chance on Vernon Wells, whose best years may be behind him. Look

for solid starting pitching, with Jared Weaver, Joel Pineiro, and Dan Haren. Torii Hunter is the heart and soul of the club, and will continue to lead the team offensively and defensively. The favourite for the NL East title and the World Championship is the Phillies. With Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt they have the most dominant rotation in baseball. They will be hurt by the departure of Jayson Werth, and Chase Utley’s knee is a concern, but Ryan Howard will provide power and Brad Lidge will again anchor the bullpen. The Braves have undergone a transformation with Bobby Cox’s retirement. They will contend due to the pitching of Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe, the catching of Brian McCann, the acquisition of Dan Uggla, and the contributions of Jason Heyward. The Mets have serious problems, both on and off the field. Their starting pitching is suspect, and ace Johann Santana has been plagued with injury woes. The only consistent everyday player has been David Wright, but Carlos Beltran and Jason Bay will need to make more consistent contributions for the club to contend. The primary contenders in the NL Central will be the Reds and Cardinals. The Reds will be led by Joey Votto, coming off of a 37HR and 113RBI season. They are also bolstered by Scott Rolen and Brandon Phillips, and Bronson Arroyo will lead the rotation with Francisco Cordero serving as the closer. Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman will lead the Cardinals offense. As far as the pitching goes, with Adam

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Wainwright’s season ending elbow injury, there will be a lot of pressure on Chris Carpenter to carry the staff. The rest of the clubs in the NL Central will probably fight for third place. The Giants will be a factor, primarily due to their excellent pitching and defense. World Series MVP Edgar Renteria was not re-signed, but will be replaced at shortstop by Miguel Tejada. Tim Lincecum anchors a very solid rotation, and Brian Wilson is one of the most effective closers in baseball. The no name Giants are no longer in that position, and should have a strong season defending their title. The Padres will again contend. They will miss the bat of Adrian Gonzalez, but Ryan Ludwick will bring power, and Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett will provide good defense up the middle. The rotation is led by Mat Latos, coming off a 14 win season. The Rockies have a solid pitching staff, but will need more offense in hitter friendly Coors field. Look for Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez to lead them offensively. The Dodgers finished two games below 500, and are headed for a rebuilding year. The one bright spot is lefthander Clayton Kershaw. They lost Manny Ramirez, but look for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to produce the runs. They will probably finish ahead of the Diamondbacks, who once again face a rebuilding season. MLB faces causes for concern. Whether or not the economic considerations are a factor or not, attendance dropped for the second straight season. 22 of the 30 franchises have seen a drop. Let’s hope there is a turnaround in 2011, because the season should indeed be very interesting.

Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay (pictured) is now joined by ex-Ranger Cliff Lee in the rotation. The Phillies are a hot pick for World Series glory, but there’s no shortage of recent champions expecting to go deep into the playoffs in 2011. MILES KENNEDY/THE PHILLIES

Bruce Dullea is a former manager and player with Herts Baseball (


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NBA in London:

Nets and Raptors Rain Down the Points in 2-game Series T

he NBA bandwagon had truly arrived in London by the time the tip-off of the first regular season game in Europe was under way between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors. Before the games in London much of the talk was about a future London or European NBA franchise and if it could ever work. Many of the players and the coaches believed it could work including Nets captain Brook Lopez. “We are all very excited to be here in London for a regular season game and hopefully this is the first of many to come,” said Lopez. “I know there have been talks of bringing a franchise over to Europe. “For supporters of that, these two games is a massive step in the right direction. Would I sign for a club in Europe? I’ll sign anywhere as long as there is a chance of winning.” Below: Sasha Vujacic answers questions on a weekend when his 3-point shooting proved crucial


Game One

The 18,000 strong crowd at the sold out O2 Arena were in full swing, with foam hands waving in the air and the chants of Nets and Raptors echoing throughout the arena and all of the razzmatazz with cheerleaders and mascots leading the proceedings. The stars also turned out in force to witness this historic sporting event – with football players, television presenters and musicians in attendance. Spain’s Jose Calderon of the Raptors and the Nets’ new All-Star signing Daron William welcomed the capacity crowd to the history making game. Speaking during the game. former England and Tottenham striker Les Ferdinand said of the spectacle: “I’m thoroughly enjoying it, I have come to see the NBA pre-season games on a couple of occasions before. It is much more enjoyable seeing it being played for like this with points up for grabs.” With the game underway, there was a sense that this was for real, with a lot more intensity than the pre-season games seen here before – and no shortage of points. The Nets trailed the Raptors 51-47 at half time, and heading into the fourth quarter, it was the Canadian side that had the lead. That all changed with an impressive last quarter from the Nets’ star players, Lopez, Williams and Kris Humphries all contributing to the New Jersey comeback. The Nets opened up the first 10 point lead of the game, the Raptors responded, but with a late rally, the

Words and photos by Josh Modaberi Nets put the game to bed, 116-103 and in the process securing Williams his first win in four for his new side. Humphries, who scored 18 points and took 17 rebounds for the Nets, praised the team’s bench players. “We just had contributions from our bench and we need that if we’re going to take the team to another level.” Although the Nets were nominally the home team, Humphries noticed that the majority of the crowd seemed to be shouting for Toronto. “I thought we were supposed to be the home team so I had some mixed feelings out there about that,” he said. “Hopefully in the next game we’ll get some more love. It’s great playing over here and being one of the few teams to experience this.”

Game Two (...and more)

Nothing could have prepared another sell-out crowd for what was to happen in game two of the London series. The atmosphere seemed to shift up a gear from Saturday night with the teams providing a high tempo start, and the Raptors again getting more cheers than the ‘home team’ New Jersey Nets. By the end of the fourth quarter there was nothing to split the two, 110-apiece after Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan shot went in with seconds left on the clock. Toronto looked as though they were going to seal victory as the first five minutes of overtime neared an end, the

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BBL Trophy Final

Mersey beats the Heat in London Words by Richard L Gale • Photos by Gary Baker Canadian side with a three-point lead with 30 seconds remaining. However Sasha Vujacic threw an impressive three pointer for the Nets to take the game into the second period of overtime. The crowd were buzzing, with Mexican waves going around the whole arena, and it seemed we were might be in for a long night as the MC for the night reminded us the record amount of overtime periods is six. This time New Jersey were leading 124-123 with less than a minute to go. Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani hit a threepointer only for Williams to score two points with just a matter of seconds on the clock. The crowd were now on their feet and everyone in the building knew they were witnessing something special as we entered the third period of OT. However, with both sides getting tired, it was to be a clean sweep for the Nets as two great games of basketball came to an end in London with the Nets winning 137-136 after an enthralling seven periods of action. The crowd, players, coaches, and owners alike were left wanting more regular season NBA games in London. Italian Bargnani said: “The crowd was unbelievable. It’s great the Olympics are going to be here.” Lopez from the Nets added: “It was fantastic for the city of London to experience it and see two really fantastic NBA games. It gave them great exposure to the game of basketball and hopefully they want to see more.”


he NBA wasn’t the only league at the O2 Arena, as the Mersey Tigers and Guildford Heat contested the BBL Trophy Final March 5. The Heat had booked their tickets back in late 2010, since which they had changed two key US players and their ownership. The Tigers had been gaining momentum as the new year rolled around, and despite the Heat coming off a three-game winning streak in league play entering the Trophy Final there was to be no fairytale ending for Guildford. In the first half, there were signs of Mersey’s superior quality, yet the Heat were able to scrap and scramble, fighting back from 18-12 down to lead at the half, 37-36. The second half was a different story, however, as the Tigers went on a 22-point run, and the Heat appeared to lose both focus and their sense of the NBA-regulation 3-point range. By the end of the third quarter, the Tigers had established

an unassailable 20-point lead, 65-45, and would go on to win 84-66. Andrew Thompson was the Tigers’ leading scorer with 21, Andrew Sullivan (16 points) the game MVP, while Mersey’s Tafari Tony and Nate Reinking had provided many of their opponents’ more demoralizing moments. Recent signee Carlos Medlock was Guildford’s leading performer with 18 points.

Right: Tafari Tony of the Mersey Tigers victimizes the Heat defense Below: Tigers forward Andrew Sullivan receives the BBL Trophy


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Resurging Blackhawks have their Eyes on the Prize Don’t count out the Jonathan Toews and Chicago just yet, writes Jeremy Lanaway


n NHL team hasn’t won backto-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings pulled off the rare feat way back in 1997 and 1998. Since then, the notion of a hockey dynasty has become the stuff of dreams. Each succeeding team to win hockey’s top prize has failed to repeat the accomplishment in the follow-up season, their aspirations dashed by what has become known as the ‘Cup Hangover’. Some hangovers have been epic – recall the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, when they couldn’t even make it out of the first round of the playoffs – while others have been minor enough to allow for a return to the Cup finals – remember the Red Wings in 2009. No matter how severe the headache, though, each team’s hopes were ultimately quashed by the reality of the NHL’s new era of parity. The reigning Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks, might seem to be no exception to the rule. At press time, the club is sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference, with only fourteen games left on the schedule, but their eighty-one points isn’t enough to give them any distance from the sixth-, seventh- and eighthplace teams: the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes and the Calgary Flames. After unloading nine regulars from their roster during last summer’s salary cap dumping, the Blackhawks


Toews has been playing with the same competitive drive that helped him to win an Olympic Gold medal and the Stanley Cup have had a season of ups and downs, which explains their precarious spot in the standings. But upon closer scrutiny of the Blackhawks’ situation, the team’s chances of keeping the Cup in the Windy City become less and less farflung. Their 8-1-1 record over the last ten games, making them the hottest club in the NHL since the All-Star break, is the most obvious evidence that the hangover has begun to wear off. Their goals-for total of 223, second only to the league’s top team, the Vancouver Canucks, is another indicator that the Blackhawks have managed to shake off the post-celebration haze. The Blackhawks’ current resurgence is thanks in a large part to team captain Jonathan Toews. His seven points in the last five puck-drops, bringing his total to 68, has promoted him to ninth place in the NHL points race. More importantly, he has been playing

with the same competitive drive that helped him to win an Olympic Gold medal and the Stanley Cup a year ago. For Toews, actions speak louder than words, so he’s let his on-ice performance of the last six weeks do all the talking. Like any captain worth his salt, he leads by example, which speaks to a maturity well beyond his twenty-two years. If the Blackhawks have any hope of accomplishing where the Ducks, Red Wings and Penguins failed, it starts and ends with Toews. The Blackhawks are also getting regular offensive output from veteran winger Patrick Sharp, whose 63 points in 67 games are enough to earn him the fourteenth rung on the NHL scoring ladder. The 29-year-old is having a career season, only three points shy of his previous high, which he amassed in 82 games last season. If Sharp can continue to find the back of the net in the post-season, the Blackhawks’ offense is sure to maintain its top-two position in the goals-for category. 22-year-old right-winger Patrick Kane represents the third tip of the Blackhawks’ offensive trident. Sitting in the twentieth position in the NHL scoring race with sixty points in just 59 games, the mullet-wearing forward leads the Blackhawks with four threepoint games on the season. More impressive was Kane’s output in the team’s run-up to the Cup last spring,

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when he totalled 28 points in 22 playoff games, including scoring the overtime goal against the Philadelphia Flyers in game six of the Cup finals, officially returning the Mug to Chicago for the first time since 1961. The Blackhawks will need Kane to step up again this post-season if the team is to have any chance of extending the Cup’s stay in Chi-Town. The Blackhawks have begun to shake away the cobwebs and reestablish themselves as bona fide Cup contenders, but they were anything but clear-headed two months ago, when they could barely manage a .500 record. Their mid-season slump spurred many pundits to write them out of the post-season equation, but during even the darkest hours of their fall from grace, the team never seemed to give up on themselves. It’s rare for a team to keep the faith and

stay the course when it seems like even the hockey gods have forsaken them, but the best teams find a way to get it done. In fact, history shows us that adversity in the regular season is a requisite for a long run in the post-season, as evidenced by the midseason slumps of the last three Stanley Cup champions, the Penguins, the Red Wings and the Ducks. The Blackhawks’ return to winning form couldn’t have come at a better time. In early March, during their three-day stay in the nation’s capital, they visited the White House, where they met with President Barack Obama for twenty minutes in private, and then spent another half-hour with him on the South Lawn. President Obama honoured their Cup run of last season with a seven-minute speech, and then mingled with Blackhawks players and their families, as well as seventy local

Jonathan Toews – not just team captain, but one of the NFL’s top scorers PHOTO: CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

kids on hand to participate in First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ street hockey clinic. The visit crystallised the team’s aspirations to become the NHL’s first dynasty in recent memory. ‘We’re hoping to come back,’ said Toews. ‘There have been lots of great moments [since winning the Cup last June]. This visit tops it off. Now it’s time to win another one.’ Coach Joel Quenneville, wearing a perma-grin throughout the ceremony and subsequent mingling, couldn’t agree more with his young captain: ‘This was the culmination of the celebration. We should all feel fortunate to be here, but at the same time, once you win it, you can’t wait to do it again.’


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Velvet Sky packs a Knockout punch

By Josh Modaberi


t’s not just well toned men with big muscles that wrestle, but some of the most beautiful women in the world step into the squared circle to sort out their feuds. In TNA (Total Nonstop Action) wrestling, there is no exception with the ‘Knockouts’ and one such lady that can pack a punch is Velvet Sky. Sky has been wrestling since 2003, starting out on the Independent scene before making her big break in TNA in 2007. “After I had graduated from high school, I found out there was a wrestling school in my home town, about 10 minutes down the road from where I live. I knew from watching the girls on television – Amy Dumas (Lita), was one of my favourites to watch and was one of my biggest inspirations – that I wanted to attend the wrestling school. “I started on the independent circuit. Then in 2007 got the phone call saying TNA were starting a women’s division and was asked if I wanted to be part of the first ever ‘Knockouts’ match at the Bound for Glory Pay Per View.” Ever since 2007


neither TNA nor Sky has looked back. The 29-year-old grappler has held gold in TNA, holding TNA Knockouts Tag titles along with her partner Madison Rayne. However Sky has yet to taste individual success. “2011 could be my year – but I am really happy with my spot in TNA and what I am doing,” Sky said. “I don’t need a belt to get myself over with the fans. “A belt is just a prop – I am happy with what I have been doing and if I have a run with the Knockouts Championship that will be cool but if not it really isn’t a big deal for me. The belt doesn’t make the character, it is the person that makes the character.” There are currently a number of British wrestlers plying their trade in TNA, including Winter (Katarina Waters) – will we see more British females take to the ring? “I hope we see more Brits in the female division,” says Sky. “I will like to see our Knockouts division just grow and grow in variety. “Here in TNA we have girls of all different shapes and sizes, heights, ethnicities and different hair colours, unlike some other companies where all their girls look the same.

TNA currently film their flagship programme IMPACT! and most of their PPV’s from the IMPACT! Zone at Universal Studios, but are taking episodes of IMPACT! on the road in the States. “I am really excited that we are branching out of the IMPACT! Zone,” Sky says. “When we go and do nontelevised house shows and events around the USA the crowds are so hot. They are a lot hotter than they are at the IMPACT! Zone. I think that the crowd in Orlando are a little bit spoilt as they get to see us week-in and week-out.” TNA currently has a new home on British television, Challenge TV, and Sky tells us what we can expect to see. “For people that haven’t seen us before, they can expect exactly what TNA stands for and that is total nonstop action,” says the 29-year-old. “Every single wrestler and knockout in this company that goes out and performs, they do a heck of a job. “Every person in the TNA lockerroom does a great job entertaining the crowd and getting the crowd behind them in their matches, getting the crowd to boo them and getting the crowd to cheer them. “The high flying moves that they do, and the knockouts with their sexy antics and their cat fighting – there is something in our shows for everyone and they will not be disappointed.” Challenge TV, available on Freeview on Channel 46, on Sky Channel 125 and Virgin Media Channel 139.

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The American April 2011  

The American has been published in Britain since 1976. It is the only monthly magazine / website / community for Americans visiting and livi...

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