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May 2014


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Robert Cray


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Allen Toussaint - Mr Mardi Gras

Black Rod, the man who keeps Parliament safe Good People WIN the hottest West End tickets





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Time for life—with two limited edition timepieces in support of Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières. Each watch raises 100 US Dollars for the Nobel Peace Prize winning humanitarian organization. And still these handcrafted mechanical watches with the red 12 cost the same as the classic Tangente models from NOMOS Glashütte. Help now, wear forever. NOMOS retailers in the US include BluePointe, Brinker's, Fox’s, Jack Ryan, Meierotto’s, Timeless, Tourneau, and Wempe. Find these and other NOMOS retailers at, or order online at

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Departments: News, Article ideas, Press releases: Advertising & Promotions: Subscriptions: The team: Michael Burland, Content Director + Motors & Music Sabrina Sully, Content Director & Community Contact Daniel Byway, Content Executive VirginiaESchultz,Food&Drink(USA) MichaelMSandwick,Food&Drink(UK) Mary Bailey, Social Alison Holmes, Politics Jarlath O’Connell, Theater Richard L Gale, Sports

©2014 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Advent Colour Ltd., ISSN 2045-5968 MainCover:RobertCray,Image:©JKatz Circular Inset: Imelda Staunton in Good People; Square Inset: Image Roger Harris © House of Lords, 2013



here’s a theme running through this edition of The American - amazing things from history that are going forward into exciting new times. Take, for example, the latest in our series of articles about how the British constitution works: Black Rod is the brilliantly-named person whose job goes back to the fourteenth century and who wears Georgian court dress, yet uses modern skills and technology to keep the Houses of Parliament safe. And there’s a look at Berkeley Castle’s connections with the United States. We talk with Allen Toussaint, the legendary New Orleans music man who is taking his home town’s culture on the road post-Katrina, Robert Cray who’s driving the Blues forward, and Melanie von Trapp (yes, of the Sound of Music family) who’s pushing their famous sound in a new 21st century direction. Our reviews include new takes on Fatal Attraction, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Blithe Spirit and Margaret Thatcher (Handbagged!) among more contemporary works. And when you’re deciding what to see and do this month, take advantage of exclusive special offers from Santa Pod Raceway (page 3) and Benjamin Franklin House (page 15). As promised, exciting and historic! Enjoy your magazine, Michael Burland, Content Director

Among this month’s contributors

Pete Lawler The NJ-born Pennsylvanian lives in London with his Irish wife and London-born son. London suits him, and he has no plans to leave.

Miss Patricia The American’s new columnist starts this month with a sharp but humorous look at British Customer Service - just why do the Brits put up with it?

Joshua Modaberi is a freelance sports journalist writing on all major American sports including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and wrestling, with star interviews.

Read 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.

May 2014 1

The American • Issue 732 • May 2014


In This Issue... Regulars 4 6 11 22 23 24 34 36 39 50 57 65

News Diary Dates Features Wining & Dining Cellar Talk Music Coffee Break Arts Choice Theater Sports American Organizations The A-List

Features 11 Peggy Lee Loves London

T he pooch goes antiques-crazy in Portobello Road

12 Black Rod

He’s known for having the House of Commons’ door slammed in his face, but he does so much more

17 US Undergrads Choose UK Why American students are favoring

British Universities

The UK is alive with the sound of new music, says one of the legendary family. Their new album is reviewed too.

32 Robert Cray

The smooth bluesman talks about his career, his new record... and his indispensible iPhone

34 Coffee Break

Put your feet up and enjoy our quizzes and The Johnsons cartoon

18 Berkeley Castle

36 Arts Choice

This haven of British history has some surprising links with the early days of America

20 Miss Patricia Introducing Miss Patricia, our new ‘ex-Pat’

columnist, who shares her experiences of hopping the pond

24 Allen Toussaint


28 Melanie von Trapp

Mr Mardi Gras chats to The American

26 Allen Toussaint Live

A rare treat: the maestro at Ronnie Scott’s

The British arts scene is vibrant - here are the best exhibitions to go to

39 Theater

What’s worth your ticket dollar on the British stage this month?


Good People is getting rave reviews. Win tickets and find out why

50 Sports

A new American F1 team, NFL Free Agency drags on, post-Masters golf and wrestler Samoa Joe interviewed



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The American

NEWS Barzun and Boris visit new US Embassy site


n Thursday, April 3, Ambassador Barzun and London Mayor Boris Johnson attended a reception hosted by Ballymore, the developers behind Embassy Gardens. This reception was to welcome the US Embassy to its soon-to-be-new neighborhood in Nine Elms. While construction is still ongoing for the new Embassy, excitement for the Embassy’s new home is increasing. As Ambassador Barzun said in his remarks: “We are so excited to be joining this up-and-coming neighborhood and to be a part of this area’s comeback story. While we imagine the finished building gleaming away, teeming with activity, what I think about now is what we see at the site today: A foundation. And this foundation reminds us of the special relationship itself, and all those who undertook the original groundwork of making it what it is today. Our move south is an opportunity to lay new foundations of respect and understanding in a new neighborhood. It is joy to be with so many new friends today as we lay the foundation for a prosperous relationship between the Embassy and Wandsworth.” PHOTO JOHN-PAUL EVANS, US EMBASSY LONDON

4 May 2014


Richard Wilson’s Slipstream dominates Heathrow’s new Queen’s Terminal.

Heathrow T2 Opens With United Airlines


he long-awaited new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, opens at Heathrow Airport June 4. A major feature of the new building is Slipstream, a massive sculpture by British artist Richard Wilson that dominates the entrance court. At 77 tonnes and 253 feet long, its twisting aluminum form was inspired by the world of aviation and, says a spokesman, “captures the imagined flight path of a small stunt plane” and is reminiscent of a racing seaplane like the pre-war Supermarine S.6B, precursor to the Spitfire fighter. Slipstream will be seen by 20 million passengers a year. The new terminal sits on the footprint of a smaller block, the Queen’s Building, and the original Terminal 2. Opened by The Queen in 1955, it was designed to deal with 1.2 million passengers a year. Before it closed in 2009 it was coping with 8 million. The new £2.5 billion development, by luis vidal + architects, has taken five years to complete. The American was invited to the first preview of the terminal. Despite its size, the building is light and airy, a function of the undulating roof which floods the building with natural light.

United Airlines are the first carrier into the new building. Passengers will find it quicker and easier to check in due to a new ‘three wave’ self-service procedure at check-in, bag-drop and boarding gates. Staff will be on hand to help anyone unfamiliar with the process. Over the summer, the other 22 members of Star Alliamce will move into the new terminal, along with their 22 Star Alliance partners and Aer Lingus. A new multi-story car park sits right next door. United Global First and United Club passengers will enjoy two departure lounges, totaling 22,000 square feet. Both have floor-toceiling windows with views of the airfield and luxurious décor, by SCB, including a ‘Big Ben’ clock, large photos of vintage United planes, private telephone booths and showers that emulate top class hotel bathrooms. There are valet services with garment pressing and steaming, and good buffet and à-la-carte food. A tea lounge sits alongside buffet areas, a wine room, a bar, a TV lounge and a quiet zone with couches and privacy drapes. An Arrivals Lounge offers complimentary shower and refreshments. Queen Elizabeth II will officially open the new facility June 23.

The American

Want to vote? Get your FPCA in now


f you haven’t sent in your Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) yet, get your skates on. Without this you’ll be ineligible to vote in the upcoming elections. (It’s best to send one of these every year in January with your current address.). Full details, downloadable forms and State-by-State information are available online at the easy to use website, which can walk you through it. Fill out the online form, print, sign and send. If posting, mail it from the UK, not from within the US, as it won’t count, despite the ‘US Postage Paid’ on the front of the envelope! If you haven’t received your ballot by September 29th, mail in a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB).

You can fax it in but you’ll need a separate official Fax Cover sheet (waiving confidentiality) for each voter. If your copy of the State ballot does arrive, send it in too, and it will override the FWAB. Do remember to put your overseas address and the election date on the outside of your envelope, and don’t use domestic US post, or yet again, it won’t count. You can email them in, but do remember to sign and witness if necessary. Only vote in the federal election, not the State elections unless you pay State taxes. A copy of your Passport is only required for Puerto Rico (even though a few others request it). The Voting Assistance Guide 2014/15 is also online at, or call FVAP from the UK on 0800 0288056.

Ellis Island needs urgent donations


he Ellis Island Foundation are appealing for funds. They’re trying to raise over $50,000 to close their fundraising gap. Without it they’ll not be able to continue to keep the Ellis Island immigration records free to explore online and at the Family History Center at Ellis Island. is not a commercial site and doesn’t charge membership fees. It is non-profit,

receives no government funding and is dependent on charitable, tax-deductible contributions from the public. The money is needed to maintain and improve the websites. You may recall Ellis Island was badly hit by floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy, causing $77 million of damage, and took a year to re-open. For more details about how you can help, go to EllisI

Memorials planned for Brits who fought in American Civil War


t is known that many thousands of men from Great Britain took part in the American Civil War War. Some were already in the USA when the war started while others crossed the Atlantic with the specific purpose of taking part. Sadly there is no monument or memorial to them as a group though there are a few memorials to some of the participants. Two years ago Basil Larkins and others set up the American Civil War British Memorial Association (ACWBMA) with the aim of erecting two plaques to commemorate the sacrifice of those people. The Association is a non-profit organization, not a Charity. They have designed the memorials, agreed sites in the UK (Rumford Place, Liverpoool) and the US (Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg, VA) and are now embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise £2500 ($4000). All donors will be invited to one or other of the unveiling ceremonies which are planned for April 2015 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. You can find full details at the website

May 2014 5

The American

Your Guide To The Month Ahead

See our full events listings online at List your event in The American – email or call us on+44(0)1747830520

Sundance London The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX to May 27 As well as the best US independent cinema, Sundance London hosts a unique array of panel discussions and live music. An Evening with Two Travellers The Eccles Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB April 30 Michael Palin and Michael Katakis, no strangers to travelling, discuss their worldly experiences. Katakis also introduces his new book about America, A Thousand Shards of Glass.

Meow Meow in Feline Intimate London Wonderground, Southbank Centre,LondonSE18XX May 20 to June 7 The postmodern showgirl is back in London for 3 weeks only, with her unique brandofkamikazecabaret.Sexy,funny and hilarious, a purr-fect triple threat. 9.15pm(noperformanceson26thMay and2ndJune).

6 May 2014

US vs UK: The Jazz Debate English Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles St, London W1J 5ED April 30 A unique debate on the influence of both nationsonthejazzsongwritingcanon. Cheltenham Jazz Festival April 30 to May 5 Curtis Stigers, Jamie Cullum, Gregory Porter, Roberta Flack amid a host of stars. The Stuart Cameron Smith American Song Prize Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3HG May 1 AnewprizeforConservatoirestudents, singers and pianists showcasing American music rarely performed in the UK.

St Michael The Archangel Choir The Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, London W1K 2PA May 2 The choir from Sharonville, Ohio performs a sacred repertoire from Renaissance motets and contemporary choral anthems to pop and gospel influenced works. Ely Eel Festival Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 May 2 to 5 Events from artisan markets offering specialist foods to the now traditional ‘World Eel Throwing Competition’! Nicole Atkins Tour various, UK May 2 to 7 Preceding the releases of her single ‘Girl YouLookAmazing’andalbum,Slow Phaser and a US tour supporting Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Atkins plays select shows with Bad Seeds’ Jim Sclavunos. A limited edition, white vinyl version of Slow Phaser(notavailableanywhereelse) is available on sale at the shows. May 2nd Manchester, Night & Day; 5th London, Rough Trade shop, 1pm; 6th Bristol, Louisiana;7thLondon,BushHall;8th Nottingham, Red Room. Ruby Wax: Sane New World Various,UK to May 22 US comedian Ruby Wax shares extracts from her new book Sane New World, about her experiences of depression.

The American

Well Dressing Various,UK May 2 to September 27 The ancient religious custom - possibly from pagan roots - remains a traditional feature of many a town calendar. Rochester Sweeps Festival 2014 Rochester, Kent May 3 to 5 Medway recreates the chimney sweep’s traditional annual holiday of May 1st. Dorset Knob Throwing Cattistock, Dorset May 4 Dorset Knob biscuits are the focus of this festival with a difference. Events include Knob eating, Knob painting, a Knob and Spoon race, guess the weight of the Knob, Knob darts and even a Knob pyramid. Part oftheFromeValleyFoodfestival. Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming Blackawton, Devon TQ9 7BG May 4 To mark the centenary of World War I, this year’s festival has the theme of the “First Worm War” - dig out your combat gear and compete to be the best at luring worms from the ground. Pucklechurch Scarecrow Trail Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire May 4 to 5 How many ways can you dress a scarecrow? Quite a few, as it turns out. The Newbury Crafty Craft Race Kennet & Avon Canal, Newbury May 5

The innovative race sees home-made boats race from Kintbury to Newbury along the Kennet & Avon Canal. To make things even tougher, competitors have to carry their boats around the locks!

John Witherspoon Live & Uncut Indig02, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX May 5 Detroit’s own John Witherspoon has earnt himself the reputation of one of America’s funniest Dads. See his legendary comic stylings in a Live & Uncut show supported by Slim and Richard Blackwood. Katrina (ex- The Waves) Charity Concerts Guildford, Surrey & Launceston, Cornwall May 5 & 17 Bank Holiday May 5th, Wildlife Rocks at Guildford Cathedral celebrates wildlife: performancesfromKatrina(Katrina&The Waves),BrianMay(Queen),Hawkwind, KerryEllis,TheTroggs&VirginiaMcKenna. Tickets£11,BoxOffice01483547881. May 17th Katrina and her band play a special 30ish Anniversary Gig at The White Horse Inn, Launceston, Cornwall to celebrate the first Katrina and The Wavesgiginthe‘80s.Limitedtickets, £15, proceeds to the St Austell Brewery CharitableTrust,01566772084. Meet NASA Astronaut Michael Foale Durham University Business School, Millhill Lane, Durham DH1 3LB May 7 The British-American astrophysicist was the first Briton to perform a space walk, and also held the record for the most timespentinspacebyaUScitizen.With his feet well and truly back on earth, the veteran of six Space Shuttle missions discusses his career and inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Dillington House Dillington House, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 9DT +44(0)1460258613 Somerset boasts some of the finest manor houses in the West Country and Dillington House in deepest Somerset is one of the most beautiful. Former residents have included George III’s Prime Minister, Lord North and the 101st US Parachute Regiment. For over sixty years Dillington House has been offering a very special combination of first-class facilities and an excellent programme of courses and events in a variety of subjects. During the summer Dillington runs a Classical Guitar Festival and a Summer School offering three weeks of a veritable pick and mix of courses. Dillington dates back to the 16th century, although there has been a house on the site since before Domesday. The building was re-modelled in the nineteenth century intheJacobethanstyleandin1875 the magnificent stables and coach house were constructed. In 2009, The Hyde, a spectacular contemporary building, was built adding to the historical narrative. Excellent courses, fabulous accommodation and delicious homemade food make Dillington a perfect place to stay in a beautiful part of the West Country. May 2014 7 7

The American

Helston Flora Day 2014 Helston, Cornwall TR13 May 8 For hundreds of years Helston has celebrated this festival celebrating the beginning of Spring. The colorful pageant known as Hal an Tow tells the history of the town, as buildings along the parade route are adorned with flowers. American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD Telephone: 01225 460503 From March 22 The only museum outside the US to showcase the nation’s decorative arts. Exhibitions, craft workshops, Quilting Bees every Tuesday, kids’ activities and special events. Permanent exhibitions (to Nov 2): Kaffe 2014, the colourful world of American knitwear and textile designer Kaffe Fassett, with drawings and samples by the master. New World, Old Maps, historic maps from the Museum’s collection, highlighting the changing New World as depicted by European cartographers. Special events in May include: May 3rd and 10th Learn dry stone walling; 8th The darker side of William Penn; 11th Music, Harpeth Rising, a group of classically trained musicians with a passion for folk, Americana, blues & bluegrass, 2pm; 12th Explore the use of color in American literature and cinema; 22nd Andrea Wolf, How the founding fathers’ approach to plants, gardens and agriculture shaped America; 29th Family fun day looking at maps, taking advantage of the current exhibition.

8 May 2014

Events at the Eccles Centre The Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB May 9th Devon Sproule in a rare solo appearance, performing and discussing her work and life; 23rd In the Land of the Head Hunters, the first feature-length film to star an indigenous cast, produced by American photographer Edward E. Curtis 100 years ago and recently restored; 29th the Benjamin Franklin House lecture, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, former UK Ambassador to the USA discusses the changing roles of the USA and the UK on the world stage; 30th Ellin Stein looks at the contribution of National Lampoon, a ‘70s satirical magazine,toAmericancomedy. Joe the Turk: The Salvation Army 7 Anglesey Street, Hednesford, Cannock WS12 1AB May 10 A unique opportunity to learn more about one of the Salvation Army’s most colorful pioneer American officers. FA Cup Final: Arsenal v Hull Wembley Stadium, London HA9 0WS May 17 The finale to the English Soccer Season sees Arsenal and Hull City soccer clubs compete for ‘England’s Super Bowl’.

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale various, London and Dublin, Ireland May 23 to 28 One of the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a capella groups, founded in 1909 in New Haven, Connecticut, now one of Yale’s most celebrated traditions. Tours of Parliament Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA +441614258677 May 23 to August 29 No trip to London is complete without a tour of one of Britain’s most iconic buildings - the Houses of Parliament. Guided tours offer the chance to walk the historic corridors and pass through the famous Houses of Lords and Commons. Optional English language audio tours are an alternative choice. Afternoon Teas, with idyllic views of the River Thames and delicious food, are also now available. See website for available dates. Rural Ulster & American Weddings Ulster American Folk Park, Castletown, Omagh,Co.TyroneBT785QU May 24 to 26 Joinan1800sruralUlsterweddingbefore pulling on your dancing shoes for a 1700s styled party in pioneer America. Maldon Mud Race Promenade Park, Maldon, Essex May 25 The charity event includes the Maldon Duck Race and Fancy Dress Mud races see website to participate! Operation Tutbury Castle 1940s Tutbury Castle, Castle Street, Tutbury, Staffordshire, DE13 9JF.

The American May 25 to 26 Hundreds of military re-enactors create American, British, Russian and German displays and re-enact battles.

annual memorial service commemorates the sacrifices made during World War I. The ceremony takes place at The Call monument, which was funded by Americans, many with Scottish ancestry.

American Civil War at the Old Hall Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6SG May 25 to 26 The American Civil War Society provides an invaluable insight into the myth, romance and reality of the years between 1861and1865inAmerica,withrealistic encampments, battles and skirmishes, bugles and drums, and spectacular, noisy re-enactments taking place each day.

Demo, Talk and Tastings with Nathan Outlaw Toppings Bookshop, Bath BA1 5LS May 28 Super-chefNathanOutlaw(interviewed in The American,September2013),uses recipes from his new book, Fish Kitchen.

The Tetbury Woolsack Races Tetbury,GloucestershireGL8 May 26 Locals and visitors demonstrate their strength and fitness racing through the Cotswolds town carrying sacks of wool in this in this historic event. Street fairs, entertainers, amusements and stalls. Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Coopers Hill, Gloucester, Gloucestershire May 26 Last year’s winner was America’s own KennyRackers(seeThe American July 2013forinterview).Acourageouscrew of racers sprint down a hill chasing a Double Gloucester Cheese. Can Kenny or another American make it back-to-back US victories? 80th Scottish American Memorial Day Service ‘The Call’, West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2HG May 26 The English Speaking Union Scotland’s

Cotswolds Olimpick Games Dovers Hill, Aston Subedge, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6UW May 30 Over 400 years ago Robert Dover’s Olimpik games were the forerunner of the modern Olympic movement. Each year, the Cotswolds Olympick Games revives original sports including Tug of Wars, distance running - and even Shin Kicking! World Custard Pie Championship Maidstone, Kent May 31 Inspired by the legendary Charlie Chaplin, this is a beacon in the calendar for anyone who loves a good custard pie fight. Trebah for Victory Trebah Gardens, Mawnan Smith, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 5JZ May 31 Over 7,500 soldiers from the 29th US infantry division embarked from Trebah Gardens for the D-Day landings in 1944. Commemorating the 70th anniversary, Trebah pays tribute to American troops with air and water displays, the laying of wreaths, a short service and other events.

Broadway Arts Fair Broadway, Worcestershire May 30 to June 15

Sincethe1880s,thebeautifulCotswold village of Broadway has long been associated with the arts and a colony of artists living and working here. With the theme of ‘Changing Times’ this year’s festival looks back 100 years to the era before the Great War – a Golden Age, but also a time of social, political and industrial upheaval. The programme includes: Art – a tantalising programme of masterclasses, workshops and demonstrations (thenewAshmoleanMuseum Broadway will also host a special exhibition of John Singer Sargent’s work, never before shown as a public collection);Gardens – A privileged peek into three artists’ private outdoor spaces; Music – A delightful variety of concerts and recitals; and Speakers – Distinguished authorities on the pre and First World War period will speak on the social, military, political, artistic and literary influences of the era. May 2014 9

The American

The American’s expatriate canine UK correspondent gets colorful

You’re looking at the New Face of Dulux. No one wants that old sheepdog anymore

Portobello Road Notting Hill London W11 O Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill Gate Buses: 23, 7, 70, 52, 452, 228

10 May 2014



ortobello Road is about two miles long and lined with a mix of antique, record, book and clothes shops and cafes and on Saturdays the World’s most famous, if not largest, antiques market starts trading around 7am. If you make it to the end of the market where it’s less crowded, there are bargains to be had in the second hand clothing section between Cambridge Gardens and Golborne Road.

BUY THE BOOK: Extract from the book Peggy Lee Loves London, available on Amazon. Signed copies can be ordered from Katrina’s website

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM IN BRITAIN Housed in Georgian splendor, co-founded by an American, the museum showcases America’s decorative arts. Exhibitions, workshps, Quilt collection. 01225 460503

GARY POWELL’S LONDON WALKS American Walk - London’s US connections new for 2014 John Wesley’s London - Methodist Movement Founder +44 (0)7738 426017

UNIQUE BRITISH TOURS Specialises in 17 Unusual Theme Tours such as The American Connection, Crimes, Curiosities & Eccentrics and Ghosts, Witches and Legends. +44 (0)1293 823566

GREENWICH ROYAL TOURS Fun and informative walking tours of historic Greenwich, London’s secret gardens, Law in London, and new for 2014, Shakespeare tours. UK: 0800 542 1200

BERKELEY CASTLE (Gloucestershire) Visit the oldest castle lived in by the original family. American, Royalty and Shakespeare connections. Special events throughout the year. +44 (0)1453 810 303

OLD COUNTRY MILITARY & HISTORY TOURS INC. UK, Europe, USA : Military, Kings & Queens, homes & gardens, art & architecture, genealogy. Relaxing, informative personalised tours.

THE MAYFLOWER (Rotherhithe) The co-owner of this stunning ancient pub captained The Mayflower, which set off from here in 1620. Decked jetty & upstairs candle-lit restaurant. Open 11am - 11pm Mon-Sun. Booking advisable.

SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL A priory established in 1106, parish church from 1540, now a South London cathedral, with strong American connections. +44 (0) 20 7367 6734

0207 237 4088

+44 (0) 1747 828719

The American

Our series on how the British constitution works continues with a figure famous for having a door publicly slammed in his face, but who makes sure the House of Lords runs smoothly Black Rod at The Sovereign’s Entrance ahead of the Queen’s arrival PHOTO ROGER HARRIS ©HOUSE OF LORDS 2013

12 May 2014

The American

Black Rod D

avid Leakey has been ‘Black Rod’ for three years. For the past 150 years the position has been held by a ‘distinguished serviceman.’ It was not always so, but certainly is in his case, as he explains: “I read Law at Cambridge for three years but couldn’t choose which part of Law to go into. Instead I decided to spend three years in the Army, doing something practical and having a different start to my working life. Thirty-nine and a half years later I left the Army and I’m still not a lawyer! “I loved most of what I did in the Army, and I had a very fortunate career with lots of interesting jobs, roles, appointments, commands. I retired as a General and set myself up as a consultant in security and defence policy and wider issues like commercial matters, EU contracts and so on, which I did for nine months. I worked for China Television, lectured in universities, a portfolio of jobs. It was very successful, even lucrative, but it all involved travelling to Germany, Central Europe, Romania and so on and I found myself living out of a suitcase and a hotel room. I’d done that for the past 20 years. When I retired my ambition was to live and work in the UK. My wife saw the Black Rod position advertised in the newspaper. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to a) be in uniform or b) work for an institution again but I thought I’d better fill in a CV and get some interview practice... and here I am.” Did the military skill set transfer over to Parliament? “Yes, a lot of the job involves the

security of the Houses of Parliament. It’s an iconic building and institution, and therefore an iconic target for any organisation, whether they’re protest groups or terrorists. It’s not just the physical security, there are other aspects, so a security/military background is a help - though there’s a lot of expertise to back me up. Also, having a lot of experience in Whitehall, the international community and multinational operations, and having worked in the European Union when I was seconded as a Director General in the EU Council Secretariat, I am pretty accustomed to the political complex, an important consideration in the House of Lords. The first big event I had to organise was the State Visit of President Obama when he addressed both Houses of Parliament, a massive operation in terms of protocol and security. “There are many people who could have done the job, but they must have thought my face fitted. Or perhaps it was my legs - if you haven’t got the legs, you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing these stockings! Every day that the House of Lords is sitting I wear the Georgian court uniform, the stockings, patent leather buckled slippers, breeches and a stiff white collar and white tie. You don’t notice them when you’re wearing them, like any uniform. I travel on the tube wearing it! And nobody pays a blind bit of notice - except the Americans, who say ‘Gee, are you an actor? Which production are you in?’ I tell them there’s a very good production at the Palace of Westminster and they should come and see it.”

Black Rod is best known for having the door of the House of Commons slammed in his face during the State Opening each year, and banging on the door with his rod. Does he enjoy the ceremonial? “It’s really only a nano part of the job, but there’s a lot of co-ordination and organisation of big events like the State Opening of Parliament, an iconic moment in the British constitution when The Queen comes to Parliament. There are three elements to our constitutional legislature: the House of Commons, the elected representatives; the House of Lords which is, if you like, the advisory body; and the Sovereign. At the State Opening they all come together in the same building. The Queen sits in the House of Lords with the Peers around her and she sends Black Rod to summon the Members of Parliament to come to hear the Queen’s speech which sets out the government’s legislative programme for the next session. “The Commons closes the door both to the Sovereign and the Sovereign’s messenger as a manifestation of their political independence from the Crown. I think my part which the public sees is like motor racing - everyone watching on TV hopes there will be an accident and it will go wrong. It has happened in the past - in 1614 the Black Rod went to the Commons without his Rod, and moreover arrived early. They sent him away. In 1628 the Black Rod of the day sent someone else in his place - the anecdote is that he was too drunk - and the Commons refused to be summoned by a stand-in.“

May 2014 13

The American The State Opening of Parliament 2013 PHOTO ROGER HARRIS, © HOUSE OF LORDS

Americans who visit Britain are always struck by the sheer amount of history that surrounds them, and there are few jobs as historic as Black Rod. “In 1348 AD Edward III set up the Order of the Garter with 25 knights. Black Rod was appointed as the ‘Ussarius’, a medieval Latin word that meant ‘doorkeeper’ - the modern translation would be ‘usher’. He had to be a gentleman, so I’m known as the Gentleman Usher. He operated with the king’s authority, and the king gave him a black rod as a symbol of that authority. “He was very powerful, he had the king’s ear, and with the monarch’s approval could disqualify, or degrade or demote knights from the Order. It was in his interest to do so because Black Rod charged a fee when new knights were introduced to the Order, so by creating a vacancy he created a fee for himself, which was very substantial in those days. In 1361 it was 1 guinea and 15 shillings (£1.80 in today’s money). If you multiply up by the Retail Price Indicator that must be several thousand pounds by now. They also charged a fee to the knight who was being ‘degraded’. “That’s not how it works today - I am paid a very meagre salary for

14 May 2014

this full-time and demanding job!” Other historic perks of the job have also disappeared over the centuries. Black Rod used to have a house at Windsor Castle and an apartment within the Palace of Westminster. The latter is now used as office space - no great loss, says David, as the Victorian plumbing and heating and today’s strong security measures became uncomfortable to live with. Nowadays Black Rod has an apartment outside the Palace. “It’s an inconvenient commute,” laughs David. “If I walk slowly I can get from my flat to the office in just under three minutes - and I do have to cross a busy road.” The earliest reference to Black Rod’s role as ‘keeping the doors of the High Court called Parliament’ was in the Garter Statute of 1552, around the time when King Henry VIII (of six wives fame) moved home from the Palace of Westminster along the road to the Palace of Whitehall. Was there any thought of Black Rod being the ‘king’s man’ in Parliament? “In a way there was. The roles of Black Rod and the Lord Great Chamberlain, who was also responsible for the Royal Palace of Westminster have contracted, expanded, elided

and changed to suit the circumstances, the political inclinations of the day, the personal wishes of the king, and to an extent the competences and sometimes corruptibility of the people holding the positions. “The Lord Great Chamberlain is the Sovereign’s representative in the Palace of Westminster. He is still the custodian of parts of the Palace on behalf of the Queen. It’s now a titular appointment. It’s hereditary, he really only comes to Parliament to attend the Queen on ceremonial occasions. He has a secretary who runs the functional aspects for him. Since 1971 that role and that of Serjeant-at-Arms of the Lords have been merged with Black Rod’s. “All three elements of the constitution own parts of the Palace of Westminster. The Commons owns their premises, the Lords owns theirs, and the Sovereign retains ownership of the Sovereign’s Entrance, the Robing Room and the Royal Gallery. The carpets are different colours in different parts of the building. What’s green is Commons territory, red is Lords territory, and the blue carpet in the Lords Chamber, the Princes Chamber and the Robing Room denotes where the Crown walks.” Being Black Rod is not a job for clock-watchers. David starts work at 8.30am and often works late into the night. “My deputy or I have to be there when the House is sitting. Quite often I’m called back if I have gone to the flat. Peers expect you to be available and raise all sorts of issues and problems, they don’t do office hours and they’re usually pressed for time. There are lots of little problems to resolve. Often Peers bring ‘unusual people’ to the House, everything from kings to criminals.”

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The American

The Chamber packed before The Queen’s Speach, 2013

Sometimes both? “Your words, not mine!” David achieves all this with a very small team: “The Black Rod’s deputy, known as the Yeoman Usher, has for decades also traditionally been a retired military officer. There are three ladies who work in the outer office, who are the power behind the throne, to use an inappropriate metaphor. And that’s it - a team of five. When there are large events like the State Opening, we matrix manage the staff. I am responsible, for example, for business continuity, business resilience, disaster recovery, incident management and emergency response, and co-ordinating them across both Houses of Parliament. I don’t have a staff for that but I draw upon people with those responsibilities elsewhere in the staff like human resources,

16 May 2014

facilities and the police. “ ‘Hard security’ including the airport search-style security is run by the Metropolitan Police, with whom we have a contract of around £30 million a year. A Parliamentary Security Director sets the strategy in conjunction with me and the House of Commons’ Serjeant at Arms. “Black Rod has the right to detain people, including Peers and Members. Under Parliamentary Privilege, the police cannot arrest or search any miscreant Members without my authorisation. It is done rarely. One apocryphal story, which may not be true, says that one protestor made a nuisance of himself in the Chamber and was detained by Black Rod. Black Rod said he should be treated decently, and sent him a decent dinner and bottle of wine, but told the Principal Doorkeeper only to give him his freedom well


after the tube and most taxis had stopped for the night - and it was raining hard. “Overall, Black Rod’s powers are not mine, they are the powers of the House. I am a servant of the House as well as a Steward of the House. ” During the English Civil War, the Gentleman Usher went with Parliament and Black Rod with King Charles I. If there was a division between the Monarch and Parliament today, on which side would the modern Black Rod’s loyalties lie? “It’s an amusing question, but entirely hypothetical, so I’ll answer it in a hypothetical and amusing way. The House of Lords pays me my salary, so I’d be very loyal to them. But I’m appointed by the Sovereign so I would of course be utterly loyal to the Queen.”

US Undergrads Choose UK T

here has been an amazing 28% increase in the number of American students pursuing full undergraduate degrees at British universities over the past 4 years, says the US-UK Fulbright Commission. And the trend is accelerating, with an 8% increase in US applicants for courses starting 2014-15. Undergraduate study has become increasingly popular amongst US students. New data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) shows a record 4,346 US students studying at British universities at undergraduate level in 2012-13, a 4% increase over the previous year. UCAS reports that a further 2,933 applicants have applied to UK universities for the coming year. The number of postgraduate students has levelled off after years of dramatic growth. The increase of students of all levels of study, from across the Atlantic has especially benefited English and Scottish institutions. The top five institutions being St Andrews, Oxford, Edinburgh, University of College London and University of Westminster. What’s fueling this trend? UK universities have stepped up their recruitment of US students in recent years. Eight institutions are now members of the Common Application, a US university application system, making it even easier for

Americans to submit applications for undergraduate study. Three of these universities are Scottish, including St Andrews which hosted the most number of Americans in 2012-13. In addition, some UK universities have opened recruitment offices in the States or increased their recruitment activities. International students collectively paid an estimated £10.2bn in tuition fees and living expenses in 2011-12 (BIS). US students constitute approximately 5% of the international student body (non-EU students) in the UK – bringing their knowledge and experiences to UK institutions and enriching the profile of British campuses. Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission, said: “Despite the fact that the UK has seen its first decline in non-EU students in 20 years, it’s not all doom and gloom. This newly released data shows that the worldclass education available in the UK is still a huge draw to international students, in particular Americans.” What attracts US students to the UK? Key factors are the strong reputation of the British higher education system, the shorter length of the degrees and increased competitiveness on the job market. Additionally, unlike their British peers, American students are able to use their US government loans to complete full degrees abroad, when

American students check out a British icon PHOTO COURTESY THE US-UK FULBRIGHT COMMISSION

scholarships are not available. Paul Smith, Director of the British Council in USA, said: “It’s great to see more American students choosing to study in the UK every year. The challenges of the 21st century are global in nature and scope. US students choosing a British undergraduate degree have the benefit not only of an excellent education but also an international experience that will serve as a valuable asset to their future careers. The more young people who take the opportunity to study overseas, the more future leaders we will have who can view the world with a responsible international perspective” Miko Brown, American Undergraduate Student at University of St Andrews, said: “I thought a UK university would be the best fit for me, since I would be able to focus from the beginning on the subjects I am passionate about. In addition, St Andrews’ unique international community appealed to me because I desired to engage with a variety of perspectives in the classroom. Overall, my St Andrews experience has been incredible and I will cherish my memories of St Andrews forever.”

May 2014 17

The American

Berkeley Castle B

erkeley Castle is a haven of history. It has all you’d expect from a classic English castle; picturesque gardens, vast sprawling grounds, and turreted buildings nestled in fine countryside scenes. Home of the Berkeley family for 850 years, it’s said to be the oldest castle in England to be inhabited by the family which originally built it, and its timeline encounters historic events including the demise of King Edward II, the English Civil War, and perhaps most interestingly, the origin of Thanksgiving. In 1619, the Virginia Company of London granted over 8,000 acres of land in the American colony of Virginia to four Gloucestershire men; William Throckmorton, George

18 May 2014

Thorpe, John Smyth, and Richard Berkeley. The quartet developed the land into Berkeley Hundred, and later the Berkeley Plantation. Richard Berkeley was a member of the family, whilst John Smyth was the family’s and Berkeley Castle’s historian. Smyth’s records, known as the Nibley Papers, documented the history of the Virginia settlement, and makes one of the first known references to a celebration of Thanksgiving. It was in the early 1600s that the Berkeley family and its partners commissioned John Woodlief of Buckingham, England, to captain the ship Margaret to provide passage across the Atlantic for new inhabitants to settle in Berkeley

Hundred, Virginia. Upon arrival, the settlers were informed that “the day of our ships arrival . . . shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of Thanksgiving.” That day was December 4th, 1619. The Berkeley Plantation has also been credited as the site where America’s first bourbon whiskey was distilled. Its later acquisition by the Harrison Family gives the plantation ancestral connections to two American Presidents, William Henry Harrison (9th President) and Benjamin Harrison (23rd President). The Berkeley’s connection with the region continued when Sir William Berkeley (1605 to 1677) became Governor of the Colony of Virginia in 1641. His first adminis-

The American

Left: Berkeley Castle from the west side, from second terrace PHOTO ©DAVID BOWD-EXWORTH

The oldest original family-owned castle in England has surprising links with Berkeley U... and bourbon whiskey. The American’s Daniel Byway investigates.

The inscription reads ‘Sir William Berkeley, brother to John, the first Lord Berkeley of Stratton’. IMAGES COURTESY OF BERKELEY CASTLE

tration lasted until 1652, whilst his second tenure took place between 1660 and 1677. Sir William returned to London in 1677, and passed away soon after. He was buried in Twickenham near London, where the local church has a memorial window dedicated to him. Among Berkeley Castle’s impressive collection of paintings are portraits of Sir William and also of Bishop George Berkeley (1685-1753), who has his own unique American connection: the city of Berkeley, California and its University were named after him, and his donation of books and materials to the University of Yale were among the biggest of the era. The history of Berkeley Castle is

vast and eclectic, not least due to the Berkeley family’s connections to countries around the world, particularly the United States. The castle’s Archives reportedly host around 20,000 documents, 6,000 of which are linked to the medieval period, so the estate’s history holds centuries of stories. Berkeley Castle was where the notorious murder of King Edward II took place in 1327. It was a disputed building during the English Civil War (being held by both the Royalists and Parliamentarians at different times), Shakespeare’s play A Midnight Summer’s Dream is theorised to have been written for a Berkeley wedding, and a

regular visitor to the castle was Sir Francis Drake, famous as one of Queen Elizabeth’s most notable sea captains. As well as a perfect example of an English castle (it’s no surprise it’s a popular venue for weddings), Berkeley Estate has a world of history that’s waiting to be uncovered. The estate holds special events during the year, and is open between Sundays and Wednesdays for guided tours and visits. Through the Berkeley family, the Castle is a source of many American connections, and is well worth a visit to discover more untold facts about Gloucestershire’s importance to the New World.

May 2014 19

The American

Miss Patricia Battles England Introducing Miss Patricia, known to her first husband as ‘ex-Pat’, who shares her experiences with The American in hopping the pond.


t’s a common complaint amongst Americans that customer service is non-existent in England. At home, Americans are used to hearing that “the customer is king”, but around here, they don’t need any more kings. Recently a friend returned to town, and I suggested St Paul’s Cathedral’s ‘Oculus’ exhibit. Off we trotted into the depths of The City, where she hastily paid for both our tickets to prevent me from doing so, skipping over the senior discount I could have requested. But alas, it turned out that “Oculus” was closed that day. We didn’t want to be complaining foreigners, and the glory of being inside what must be the most beautiful structure in the world was so satisfying in its way that we were speechless. That is, we were speechless at the time, basking in the privilege of sitting beneath those very grand and shiny ceilings. But it still bothered me later: the fact was that

20 May 2014

she’d bought me a gift, and I never got it. So I emailed St Paul’s a few days later to ask if I could go back to see “Oculus”. They demanded my receipt. I explained that my entry had been a gift, but knowing about the closed exhibit proved I had been there. St Pee loftily replied that “policy” required that I complain to my friend, (now returned to the U.S.), that her gift to me was unsatisfactory, and that I should contact her with instructions to dig out and mail me her proof of purchase, and then perhaps St Pee might consider allowing me to walk through their doors again to gaze upon their selfpromotion. Of course, I didn’t do that, so in the end my friend paid them for something we never received. But this experience in the House of God, or whoever lives there at the moment, prepped me for my next uphill challenge: purchasing a ticket to The Edible Garden Show.

Tickets for seniors like me, and presumably for Charles and Camilla, attending in my age group, were £10. But that was for buying in advance. If one purchased at the event, the same ticket was £14. So I went online, only to find that just like me, the tickets had put on some pounds. I poked grumpily at my mobile. I said, “Your advert says a senior over 60 can buy a ticket for £10. But the web site is charging me £11.75.”  “The ticket IS £10”, explained Ticket Pimp. “The extra £1.75 is a ‘fulfilment fee’”. This sounded to me like a dangerous precedent. What if my husband started charging me for that! Could he bill me retroactively? For how many years? I made mental plans to try to leverage my senior status to contest the fulfilling part…and I could also factor into my defence all the many months we had had to live separately through all the job and ex-pat life changes. I

The American

Don’t be afraid to complain, although it might not get you anywhere!


felt sure I was back on safe ground. It was my opinion that I had already been abused by God’s tenants that week, so this chap was unknowingly entering a live combat zone. Which is more fun: a garden show? Or a nice fight? I asked, “So, where DO I get a £10 ticket, then?” “Are you looking at our web site? If you scroll down further, you’ll see that if you buy in person, the ticket will cost £14. So it’s cheaper to submit to extortion.” Actually, he said: “pay the fulfilment fee.” I sighed. This was getting less fun. “If you buy a jumper at a store for £10, you don’t pay the store £1.75 extra for selling you the jumper.” I argued. Actually, I said “sweater”. “You might pay extra for something optional, but you would

him to avoid. When did salespeople become scolding traffic wardens? Twice recently I have had clerks direct me to go search for my item on Google, so they wouldn’t have to find it in their shop. Finally, I said I didn’t need to see vegetables that badly, and tapped a tiny picture of a phone hanging up. My mobile has images of playing cards slamming down in a cloud of dust, but not a phone doing the same. App opp here! What is needed is a button that causes your listener’s phone to explode. The only person who lost anything was me…my temper. I’m thinking that if I’d paid for that damn garden show, I’d now have a nice bag of tomatoes to throw at St Paul’s.

pay the actual price at the store. Where do I pay the actual price? If I bicycle up to the window, is it then £10?” “No. And this isn’t a jumper. If you scroll down and read the smaller print, it says right on our web site that you have to pay the fulfilment fee.” I tried again to speak the same language. “At the top of your page it says £10. But later, your real price is actually £11.75.  There are no tickets being sold for £10, anywhere, at any time.” I may even have used the word ‘fraud’. “Madam, the fee is fixed.” Well, he had me there. Truer words were never spoken. “If you’ll just look at our web site...” he repeated, assigning me homework I had just called

May 2014 21

The American

40-42 Baker Street, London W1U 7AJ 020 7486 3898 Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick


will never say “Chinese food” again! It’s like saying “Oh you Americans” as if all 300 million of us are the same. China is a country of 1.3 billion people, yet we say “Chinese food” as if they all eat the same thing. In London, it is obvious that China boasts an enormous cuisine that varies just as much as all the countries of Europe put together. Too, the quality spans from the most simple, humble food, to the utmost in high end luxury. Enter Royal China Club. From their first restaurant in 1986, they have now grown to five Royal China restaurants in London, plus the original Royal China Club in Baker Street. Everything about the place is smooth as silk. The décor, the service and the food all seem to follow the same simple rule: quality ingredients, beautifully presented and never overdone. The menu is a bit daunting. There is so much choice and all of it sounds heavenly. The maître d’ must have read our faces and offered to put us in the hands of head chef Man Tin Cheung. This is always a

22 May 2014

good idea if you’re not worried about the budget and I would have taken an hour to decide myself, so we happily accepted. We started with some of the assorted dim sum for which the restaurant is known. Pork and crab Shu Mei and prawn dumplings served with soy and chili sauce (£16). Delicate and flavorful, these were as good as I have ever had. A glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (£7.50) was a crisp, tasty compliment. Next up was Canadian lobster in the traditional Cantonese style. Sweet succulent lobster, perfectly enhanced with ginger and spring onions on a bed of noodles (£26). The highlight of the evening. The lobster can also be served crispy salt and pepper or spicy chilli style. Mr Cheung, a bit overzealous, sent us four more dishes. Braised tofu hot pot with mushrooms (£16.50), grilled mini fillet steaks with aubergine (£18.50), steamed fillet of Chilean cod with chilli and pickled cabbage (£28) and lotus leaf rice with duck and prawns (£12).

It was all delicious but far more than we could manage though we gave it our best shot. The cod was my favorite. The fish was cooked to perfection and the chilli had a good kick. The fillet steaks, served in a pot with lots of soy based sauce were also good, but it was the aubergine on the bottom of the pot that really won me over. The flavor was somehow condensed so that each mouthful was like essence of aubergine. Wonderful. For dessert we took our lovely waitress’s recommendation. Glutinous rice with mango. Normally I enjoy glutinous rice pudding. These however were rice balls wrapped in a mango sugar paste. Far too sweet for me I’m afraid and perhaps not to many westerners’ taste. I was about to order a jasmine tea when the maître d’ offered to choose something else for me. Royal China Club has a stunning tea menu. We had an Osmanthus Swatow Oolong tea. (£4) This was the second highlight of the evening. When tea becomes art.

By Virginia E Schultz


ery often New World wines have been given names that make me hesitate before I purchase. Recently I bought one called (Oops) made by a Chilean winery for one simple reason: if someone hadn’t run into me with their trolley and said “Oops, I’m sorry” as I was looking at this bottle in the supermarket, I doubt if I would have purchased it. This 2012 wine from Valle Central, Chile is 84 percent Cabernet Franc and 16 percent Carménère and turned out to be delightful. So much so, I went back to the supermarket to buy a case but only found two bottles left. Someone else obviously felt the same way. Years ago when I lived in Argentina, I usually bought a Chilean wine blended with Merlot. Imported wines, perhaps because of shipping and storing on arrival, often didn’t taste the way they should and a good many Argentine reds were far too tannic. Even when visiting other South American countries such as Ecuador, Brazil or Venezuela I preferred a Chilean wine to one from the States or Europe. It wasn’t until I visited Chile before I learned that Chilean Merlot didn’t taste like other Merlots because it was in fact the Carménère grape often known as the lost grape of Bordeaux. The Carménère grape arrived in Chile from France before the root louse phylloxera wiped out the

Cellar Talk

Oops! It’s not Merlot, it’s Carménère

Brothers Cristobal, Max and Alfonso Mackenna are the fifth generation of the Undurraga family to make fine wines among the foothills of the Andes Mountain, in Colchagua Valley, Chile. They make Vina Koyle Carménère.

majority of vineyards throughout Europe and it wasn’t until JeanMichael Boursiquot discovered the mistake that anyone realized it wasn’t the same. Or ‘oops!’ as it might have been said. Carménère, unlike the other six noble grapes of Bordeaux, had been too difficult to re-grow and as a result was mainly ignored by wine growers in France. Admittedly, the two grapes look very much alike and could easily be mistaken, except by an expert. To me, however, it may be similar to Merlot in its purple color but I also find it more complex. In fact, I now look for wines blended with this grape. I served (Oops) twice, once with chicken and once with lamb, which I preferred. A few days ago, I enjoyed a Thai curry with a bottle of ‘Vina Koyle’ Carménère Colchagua Valley Royale 2010 from Chile that proved such a perfect match the friend I was with, who

prides himself on his knowledge of matching wine and food, ordered a bottle for us to enjoy.

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exciting new distillery in the world. It is making a number of whisky styles, including peat and unpeated, in casks used for bourbon and sherry. I haven’t tasted it yet, but it has been recommended by a very knowledgeable whisky drinking friend as the “best of the best”. Look out for it. May 2014 23

The American

Mr Music Saying hello to Allen Toussaint, one of the most influential figures inside and outside of New Orleans R&B, seemed like a simple task. Until it was time to ‘phone Amsterdam, where he was prior to a rare two-night residency at premier London venue Ronnie Scott’s.


t wasn’t so much the phone line to Holland which cut us off. Nor the buzz on the line. It was the greeting. Somehow ‘Allen’ seemed overly familiar to this always impeccablydressed Southern gentleman. But how to pronounce his surname? I’ve heard it said so many ways over the years, even by R&B aficionados and people who know the man. I grasped the nettle and asked him. Should I say ‘Two-Saint’? Or ‘Two-Sann’ or ‘Two-Sonn’? Rich, honeyed tones came back quick: “Well, I answer to any one of those.” Courteous - if not overly helpful! The man nicknamed Mr Music may not be a household name, but his music has become familiar to millions through the songs he’s written for others. Check out the live review that follows to get a Creole taste of their variety, but how about these for starters:? ‘Working in the Coal Mine’, ‘Ride Your Pony’, ‘Fortune Teller’ and ‘Southern Nights’. And they’ve been recorded and performed by artists as varied as Warren Zevon, Boz Scaggs, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Paul Butterfield, Spirit, Iron Butterfly, Jerry Garcia, The Doors, Gerry Rafferty, Derek Trucks, The Pointer Sisters, LaBelle, Bo Diddley,

24 May 2014

The Band, Van Dyke Parks, Ringo Starr, Little Feat, Trombone Shorty, Maria Muldaur, Irma Thomas, The Rolling Stones and Glen Campbell. Many musicians claim allegiance to New Orleans but Allen Toussaint is a genuine son of The Big Easy, born in Gert Town in 1938. “I grew up in Gert Town and lived there for the first 24 years of my life. We lived in shotgun houses, but the area was rich in spirit. In the evening someone would get out of work and sit out on the porch and play the guitar, another guy would be going home after a night out in the bar and join in. “Music was all around us. I listened to the radio too, and heard a lot of hillbilly music, which I loved. Even as a very young child there was never anything I thought I would do except music. My family got a piano for my sister and she began taking lessons, which did not last very long, but it was good for me. I was picking up music by ear, and she would show me where the notes I was playing on the piano were on the sheet music. “She got me thinking the piano was more than a toy. That’s what started me writing, arranging and producing - that’s my forte and it’s

been my life ever since.” Lacking traditional lessons, where did Allen get his prodigious piano skills, and who were his early influences? “Professor Longhair, of course. He was an original - I played with him later on. And before him there was an old man called Ernest Pinn who played stride piano. He also played the banjo and anything with strings, but when I knew him he no longer even had the banjo. When he heard I had a piano in my house he used to come on over and showed me how he played. I wanted all that he had, and I learned patiently.” Toussaint could have had a successful career as a performing musician, but preferred to stay behind the scenes. “I never thought of myself like that. I really only started playing front and center of the stage after Katrina, when I did the album The River in Reverse with Elvis Costello [2006], it did a lot of good and it has been extremely rewarding. Everything I had done was in the studio, but it’s so good getting the reaction of the audiences. Elvis is a powerhouse at getting people to do things.” It could be said that Toussaint’s career has been a powerhouse at

The American

getting people to do things with his songs too. He was responsible for the sounds of Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, the Neville Brothers, Dr John, The Meters and the whole New Orleans funk scene among many more. Did he invent those kinds of music? “That’s not for me to say!” he demurs modestly. After early success in the 1960s many American musicians suffered a career setback when the British invasion happened, when groups like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles brought their version of American music back to its source. Not so for Toussaint. As a writer, the new bands loved his songs and kept recording them. Oftentimes, the American audience didn’t realize that the British bands were selling American music back to them, for example ‘Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)’ which Allen wrote for Scottish singer Frankie Miller. Post-Hurricane Katrina, living in New York was a culture shock, not least because Toussaint lost his beloved Steinway in the floods - he still expresses gratitude to Steinway in New York, who helped find him the perfect piano to replace it. “I didn’t know what it was like to miss New Orleans. I missed the food, and

the culture, and the people - and the pace of living, it’s much slower than most other places. But I had to be somewhere and I was glad to be somewhere like New York, with so much going on. I never had a 9-to-5 job, so if it got too cold, I could always stay inside with my piano.” Toussaint moved back to the Crescent City as soon as he could and acts - as its people so often do - as an unofficial ambassador: “New Orleans is a great city. It’s been

rebuilt beautifully. It’s even better than before.” With all the styles that he is a master of - R&B, soul, jazz, blues, funk - how does Allen define himself musically? “If I had to, I’d define myself as a pianist”. One final question: what is the best thing about being Allen Toussaint? You can hear the smile over the ‘phone line. “The best thing about being me? It’s being part of New Orleans.”

May 2014 25


The American

Reviewed by Michael Burland

Allen Toussaint at Ronnie Scott’s T

he red table-lights, black ceiling and photo-clad walls of London jazz Mecca Ronnie Scott’s have seen performances by American greats from Stan Getz to Buddy Rich, but even by these standards this is special. A rare chance to see one of the greatest songwriters in popular music singing and playing his own compositions, solo. Dressed in a fancy-Dan Mardi Gras-style black, red, gold and green jacket, Allen Toussaint starts in self-deprecating style with a gag, a thank-you to “the courageous people who will be spending the evening staring at the back of my head.” (Ronnie’s’ audience wraps around the stage.) Then it’s straight into the music, kicking off with his early hit ‘There’s A Party Going On,’ Toussaint’s piano tone is immediately recognizable: dry, intricate but never flashy and always spiced with New Orleans rolling rhythm. Toussaint’s home town flows

26 May October 2014 2013

through his songs like the Mississippi flows through Nawlins itself - “Anywhere I am, there’s a bit of Tipitina” he sings and a medley of ‘Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley’, ‘Yes We Can Can’, ‘A Certain Girl’, ‘Mother In Law’ is swiftly followed by ‘Fortune Teller’ and ‘Working in the Coal Mine’. Toussaint explains that it’ll be a busy night, so he won’t be taking much. A shame for a natural raconteur. Luckily he’s lying. Anecdotes about the stars he’s worked with intermingle, with perfect comic timing, with the tunes - “Ernie K-Doe was cocky. Cocky people get rich or go to jail ...Either way I’d visit him.” Song after song roll along ( ‘Oh yeah, he wrote that one too...’ ) and he toys with us. ‘St James Infirmary’ blends into ‘Summertime’ via the Dead March, and ‘Chopsticks’ and silent film accompaniment make brief appearances amid the rest. It’s the sound of a master having fun

with his music. During ‘Brickyard Blues’ he forgets his own lyrics and is helped out by an audience member (with a fine blues voice - well done, sir!) but it adds to the fun, and during ‘Mr Mardi Gras’ he distributes paraphernalia from that greatest of New Orleans occasions to the crowd. The evening’s masterpiece is ‘Southern Nights’, Toussaint’s own favorite song, which becomes a quarter-hour long meditation on his childhood, his family’s long drives into the Louisiana countryside to visit relatives who never ventured into the big city. After dinner they would all sit on the porch. “The dark was the perfect definition of dark,” he remembers. As moonlight started to flicker through the leaves the adults would play their music. From busy Soho we’re transported to another time and place. A beautiful coda to a fabulous evening. Come back soon, Mr Toussaint.


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(DO IT AGAIN 2014)




































October 2013 27

The American

Melanie von Trapp The UK is alive with the sound of new music, as one of the current generation of the legendary von Trapp family tells The American


t’s impossible to talk to a member of the von Trapp family about their new album, Dream A Little Dream (reviewed below) without visions of the movie that immortalised their ancestors, The Sound of Music. But please don’t confuse fact with fiction - unlike the people who have asked the present-day von Trapps ‘Where are the other three, I thought there were seven of you?’, or ‘I thought you’d be much older!’. The four young people now performing under their famous name are Americans, born in the mountains of Montana, rather than Austria. Their forbears did not actually sing ‘Edelweiss’ or ‘Lonely Goatherd,’ nor are they related to Julie Andrews! In fact they are not even directly related to the real-life Maria. They are the great-grandchildren of Captain Georg von Trapp and his British first wife, Agathe. Incidentally, Agathe’s father, Robert Whitehead, invented the torpedo. Ironically, Captain von Trapp used torpedoes on ‘the other side’ in World War I as a U-boat captain. Now named simply ‘The von Trapps’, rather than ‘...Singers’ or ‘... Children’, Melanie, Amanda, Sofi and August have performed professionally together for over twelve years. Could they have been computer programmers, teachers, or astronauts, or were they always destined

28 May 2014

to be singers? “Growing up, music was something we did to pass the time, it was a fun hobby for us together and with Grandfather,” says Melanie. “Our parents can’t sing a note, and my father is so shy. It was a shock to everybody when we started doing this. August is the youngest, he was about seven when we started. Our mom is adventurous, and a big supporter of having big experiences and seeing the world, so she saw it as an opportunity for a different education. It was never a grand goal to become famous, or have a glamorous career. It was just a bunch of fun. The four of us got along so well and we’ve had so many interesting experiences on the road.” They have, at least temporarily, forsaken their Montanan peaks to head west, to a place that has become a catalyst for creativity. Melanie explains: “When we met Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, he lured us to Portland, Oregon, and we’ve never left. We’ve been there a year and a half now - we live together. It’s hipster central, for one thing, the food is amazing, and the coffee dominates the scene. And it’s also extremely wet there, which I think is a step up from the freezing cold of Montana. It’s a lot of fun, the people are different and crazy, and it makes us feel more comfort-

able about creating our own music. Thomas is the unofficial mayor of Portland, and he’s introduced us to so many different kinds of people. Being under his mentorship has been the wildest ride.” Although a mentor, Lauderdale is not a Svengali molding the foursome. “We were already looking for a new direction for our music, to grow out of being The von Trapp Children,” Melanie says. “We had been working on that for two or three years, and when we met Thomas he saw that. It would have taken much less time if he’d just told us what to sing and how to perform, but it was more like a friendship. He drew out of us what we liked, and made it happen. Of course we want to pay homage to the family history and the legacy of The Sound of Music, but it’s time to come out with our own personalities. We never knew if we could do that until meeting Thomas.” As well as debuting a new von Trapp sound - and trademark Pink Martini treatments of songs in languages from Japanese to Hebrew there are also new von Trapp songs on Dream A Little Dream. “My brother August disappeared for three days and came out with the song ‘Storm,’” says Melanie. “He’d written all four vocal parts. All of a sudden he’d found this songwriting

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talent. He also wrote ‘Friend’ and ‘Thunder’ on the album.” These three numbers bode well for the von Trapps’ future in making their own kind of music, not just relying on past glories. ‘Storm’ in particular is a triumph that starts with some (non-ironic) yodels and has echoes of Fleet Foxes and a capella medievalists The Sixteen, while ‘Thunder’ involves members of Celtic music superstars The Chieftains. Perhaps the next step will be to record an album of new material that would attract a different audience while running a parallel career for Sound of Music traditionalists? “Once we’re beyond this album that would be a fun project to do,” agrees Melanie. The quartet are looking forward to visiting Britain in May. “We have visited Britain a couple of times before,” says Melanie. “We don’t get much time off, but I visited a lot of museums, and Amanda loves fashion and she went to some interesting fashion events. And of course we went to Stonehenge! Our dad’s a stonemason, and he was just beside himself excited to be there.” Finally, what’s the best thing about being a von Trapp? “Gosh, I’ve never been asked that before! I guess the best thing is that when people find out, it makes them happy. Although you do get a lot of ‘funny’ jokes!” You can see the von Trapps at these UK dates: May 8th Nottingham, Glee Club; 9th Birmingham Town Hall; 10th London, Barbican; 11th Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music. And keep an eye out for a rumored longer tour in September.


Right: The von Trapps (l to r) Sofia, August, Melanie and Amanda Below: The von Trapps from a photoshoot for their latest album with Pink Martini

The American

ALBUM REVIEW Pink Martini and The Von Trapps Dream A Little Dream Heinz records


hat singles out Pink Martini, the self styled “house band of the United Nations c. 1964”, as leader Thomas Lauderdale once put it, is their impish delight in breaking down barriers, be they musical, linguistic, cultural or just ‘good taste’. For who else would pair Wayne Newton and Charmian Carr (the original Liesl in The Sound of Music) for a cover of ‘The Lonely Goatherd’? Similarly, who would ever have thought of pairing Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains with The Von Trapps for a stirring Celtic anthem penned by August von Trapp entitled ‘Thunder’. Yes, these are the step-great-grandchildren of Maria and the song would be a

30 May 2014

Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

shoo-in for the Irish at Eurovision, if only they’d have the nerve. Pink Martini’s regular lead vocalists sit this one out to make room for Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August and the latter has also composed three of the songs. As you might expect, the results are clean, tender, melodies and interpretations, which manage to be sweet without being sickly. Their close harmonies on ‘Storm’, or ‘In Stiller Nacht’ (Brahms no less) or on ‘Edelweiss’, where they provide buttress to Charmian Carr’s faltering notes (the woman who played Melanie’s great aunt in the movie is now 71!) are exquisite. One wonders if three numbers from The Sound of Music

are really necessary, but I suspect they’d be lynched if not. As for the rest, it’s the polyglot melange we come to know and love from this great band. There’s a jaunty tango in Japanese, some rustic Austrian yodelling, a song from Rwanda resembling a Gregorian chant, a Hebrew lullaby, some Chinese slush, ABBA’s ‘Fernando’ in Swedish and a cover of Françoise Hardy’s ‘Le Premier Bonheur du Jour’, which is as close to carnal as you’re going to get with this lot. Amanda von Trapp performs the title track with such exquisite simplicity you will forget Mama Cass. Put away your smirk and check this lot out. You’ll be surprised.

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Robert Cray

– On the Road with In My Soul

The American’s Darren Weale interviewed Robert Cray about his career, his new record, In My Soul, a new tour, and, it turns out, his love of his iPhone. Read on.


e caught Robert Cray as he was starting the Stateside leg of his tour and looking forward to playing some of his new tunes in Britain in May. As a frequent visitor to the UK, we asked him what stood out from past tours here? There’s been a lot of great highlights. The most important thing is just being able to come over. We first came over in ‘84-’85 and did the Bad Influence record, and to have people like Eric Clapton or Ian Stuart coming in to record with us, and to get the appreciation we received, and for that record to get to the top of the Indies charts (we actually did a lot better in the UK than we did in the States) - that’s something that we’ll never forget. What do you miss most when you leave the United States? My family, when they’re not with me. That’s it. My wife, Sue, is from the UK. We met quite a while ago, in Japan actually, and we’ve been married for twenty-four years. What item is indispensable when you’re on tour? My iPhone! It’s great, especially the microphone thing. You can just push that button and record your ideas. I remember the days when I had to carry a cassette player round all the time. You’d have to set it up and get it going and by the time you did that you lost your momen-

32 May 2014

tum and some of your ideas. These days, you have a computer in your pocket. I was stood outside waiting for the tour bus after a gig and I had an idea for a song - I just pulled the iPhone out and now ‘You Move Me’ is on the new record. Do you spend most of your time thinking about new songs? I write when the ideas come. I spend most of my time thinking about food! When I’m on the road, it’s like, ‘I can’t eat this garbage all the time’, and that’s another way the iPhone comes in handy. You can look at menus and you can see how far something is away from you and you can try to stay healthy. Tell us about some of the songs on the new album. ‘What Would You Say’ sounds like there’s mandolin on the intro? There’s two or three guitars jangling on that intro and one of the guitars is using an old Vibratone amplifier. The lead guitar solo has vibrato on it, too. It has that mandolin kind of sound, almost a country kind of sound to it. ‘Deep In My Soul’ lives up to it’s name as one of the most soulful records of recent times. What have you learned in your life and career to produce songs like that? The reality is, it’s about the song, having the music to back the story and get the story across to people. Most guitar players want to be out

in the front, but first and foremost I think the song is the most important thing. What does your producer, Steve Jordan, bring to the record? Steve is all about sound and the instruments that we use, a bunch of classic and vintage instruments, the microphones we use. Steve was in the Blues Brothers Band and you’ve played with ‘original Blues Brother’ Curtis Salgado as well? That link up is pretty wild. Steve was on the Saturday Night Live Band for a while. He and I go back first met when we did Hail Hail! Rock and Roll, the Chuck Berry film, and we’ve remained friends since. He produced two albums of mine back in the late nineties, Take Your Shoes Off and Should Have Been Home, so I asked him to produce this record. We just had a blast! It’s a lot of fun. It’s the first album we’ve recorded with our current drummer and new keyboard player. Did you get together with John Belushi back when the Blues Brothers were starting out? He sang with your band from time to time along with Curtis. We called that band a splinter group. It was actually called The Cray Hawks. We played shows on Monday nights and Belushi would come in. The first night he was there, people told us ‘John Belushi

is in the audience’. We asked, ‘Who is John Belushi?’ They explained he was this guy on on Saturday Night Live, but we always worked Saturday night and we didn’t know who he was. Eventually, we let him on stage to do his Joe Cocker impression. Curtis schooled Belushi. I was on the stage and in the film National Lampoon’s Animal House, but Curtis was his friend and hanging with him quite a bit. When we were starting out there were few bands our age. We were meeting people like Curtis’s band, the Nighthawks, in DC, and hearing about The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray’s band down in Texas, Hollywood Fats, James Harman, the guys down in LA, Duke Robillard and Roomful Of Blues. There weren’t many of us so there was a lot of camaraderie, we were all friends and still are. There’s a lot of new bands coming into it now, keeping the Blues going. We’re kind of like the old-timers now. What inspires you to keep performing? It’s always been fun. It’s the best time of the day, that time before getting on stage and playing, because we always try to do something different with what we know. I like interplaying and being loosely structured. Who do you enjoy seeing live? I love Taj Mahal, for all the dif-


ferent types of things that he does. He’s really, really good, whether he’s got his trio or his full band - I’ve been particularly digging the trio. What’s your involvement in the National Blues Museum project (www.nationalbluesmuseum. org) in St Louis? They’re putting things together

and there’s things I need to do. It’s a work in progress. That’s going to be a nice thing when it finally comes together. As a musician who has appeared in movies, do you think one will be made about you? That’s the furthest thing from my mind!

October May 2014 2013 33

The American


But from which platform did it leave? - see question 2

➊ Which US state is closest to Africa? ➋ From which track does the Chattanooga Choo Choo

⓬ Which US city is the home of the Liberty Bell?

➌ What was put on sale for the first time in the US in

⓭ Who played Louis Armstrong in the 1954 film

➍ In which US city did the Haymarket Square Riot take

⓮ What was the name of the Good Witch of the North in

leave Pennsylvania Station, according to the song?

The Glen Miller Story?

May 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia?

place on May 4, 1886?

➎ Which US State was admitted to the Union in May 1858?

The Wizard of Oz?

⓯ In Gone with the Wind, when Atlanta burned, what film set was it they burned?

➏ Which US State is named on the label of a Jack Daniels bottle?

⓰ The word ‘bank’ comes from the Italian ‘banco’, but what does ‘banco’ mean?

➐ Who was the eldest of the Marx Brothers? ➑ What is a hallux in the human body? ➒ What is the name of Moe’s pet cat in The Simpsons?

Which American city used to be called Yerba Buena?

Kodiak Island is in which US State?

➓ Who said “the meek shall inherit the Earth but not its

In which musical is the song ‘Luck be a Lady’?

⓫ Which is the only Shakespeare play that mentions

What do we now call the game patented under the name Sphairistike?

Who was The Good Witch of the North? - see question 14

A rare photo of all the Marx brothers with their parents, circa 1915 (from the Marx Family Scrapbook) - see question 7

mineral rights”?


34 May 2014

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6 3 9

It happened 25 years ago...

 ay 13, 1989: Approximately 2,000 students begin M a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, China. What West End play of last year was inspired by this event?

It happened 50 years ago...

➋ May 2, 1964: Students march through Times Square,

New York, San Francisco, Boston, Madison, Wisconsin and Seattle in the first major student demonstration against what?

6 9 4 8

2 9 7


Detective Comics #27? (That issue is now one of the most valuable comic books in existence, with copies selling for over $1 million.)

2 4

It happened 100 years ago...

➍ May 21, 1914: The Greyhound Bus Company was

founded in Minnesota, USA. Which British company bought it in 2007?




It happened 75 years ago...  ay 1, 1939: Which superhero first appeared, in ➌M

2 5

9 1 6 8

6 7

It happened 200 years ago...

➎ May 17, 1814: The occupation of Monaco changes

from French to Austrian hands, but which family first ruled it in 1297, and purchased it from Aragon in 1419? Quiz answers and Sudoku solution on page 65.

May 2014 35

The American

Julian Schnabel: Every Angel has a Dark Side Dairy Art Centre, 7a Wakefield Street Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1PG April 25th to July 27th

New Ian Rankin Portrait

Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1A 2BJ May 8th to May 23rd A portrait of acclaimed crime writer Ian Rankin was unveiled at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery earlier this year on March 25th. The portrait, painted by Edinburghbased artist Guy Kinder, was commissioned by Alexander McCall Smith – the writer behind the No 1. Ladies’ Detective Agency series – who gifted the painting to the gallery for its national collection. Both Rankin and McCall Smith appeared at the unveiling of the painting, which was described as a ‘powerful portrait of one of Scotland’s greatest contemporary writers’ by the gallery’s director, Christopher Baker. If you can’t get to Edinburgh, the painting, which depicts the writer in a contemplative mood at the Oxford

36 May 2014

Ian Rankin, 2013, Guy Kinder b.1960, Oil on canvas, 80 x 110 cm Scottish National Portrait Gallery © GUY KINDER

Bar, is among a range of portraits which will be displayed at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition in London, before returning to permanent exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Speaking about the portrait, Rankin exclaimed ‘I’ve only been painted a few times in my life, usually as a caricature to accompany a newspaper review of one of my books, so it was slightly unnerving to see how well Guy Kinder had captured me. Of course, he found me in my natural habitat - the Oxford Bar - so I’m more at ease than in some situations. I like the painting a lot, but I do wonder what I was thinking at the time. Maybe my drink is just out of view...’

Brooklyn born Julian Schnabel’s acclaimed career has spanned both art and film. This major solo exhibition of his paintings, the first in the UK for nearly 15 years, aspires to re-evaluate and celebrate Schnabel’s primary occupation as an artist. Bringing together new as well as rarely seen works created in the past two decades, his works explore a range of subject matters and motifs, with this exhibition following the themes of ‘The Painter and the Painting’, and ‘Spirituality and the Sublime’. Although his works have courted equal amounts of controversy and acclaim, it is his creative presence and expressive style which established his contribution to the arts, and paved the way for a new wave of painting that began in the 1980s. Untitled (BEZ), 2011, Julian Schnabel Oil, ink, gesso, and resin on polyester 106 x 75 inches (269.2 x 190.5 cm)

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Summer in my Garden: Ernesto Villanueva Gallery DIFFERENT, 14 Percy Street London W1T 1DR April 24th to May 17th

North East England’s Rock Art Celebrated Seventeen examples of prehistoric rock art located in the North East of England have been scheduled as ‘Ancient Monuments’ by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The recognition follows advice from the English Heritage organization, on the basis of information gathered by volunteer researchers from the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Project. The term ‘prehistoric rock art’ describes a particular type of carving created around the Neolithic and early Bronze age, between the years of 3800 and 1500 BC. Over 5000 separate rock sites are known in Britain, many of which are in the North of England. The seventeen newly designated sites include examples of prehistoric rock art at Ketley Crag near Chatton, in Northumberland, where extensive carvings feature a complex and fluid series of motifs, and other examples can be found at Doddington Moor, Heddon Hill and Weetwood Moor. The exact meanings behind such carvings remain unknown, but it has been speculated that some may have sacred meanings for their creators. The seventeen new examples are considered to be well preserved, and to display a range of motifs which enhance knowledge of prehistoric society.

Renowned Cuban painter Ernesto Villanueva’s first solo London exhibition takes place this month, celebrating his delightful series of works inspired by the garden. Villanueva’s work has been exhibited in Cuba and internationally, and is strongly influenced by the New York School and Cuba’s avant-garde movement in the 1950s. His paintings speak for themselves, blending color and motif to produce effects which are evocative, memorable – and yet serene, and calming, almost like summer captured in art form. This rare opportunity to view and purchase his works in London is a must visit, especially if promises of splendid summer weather inspire you to bring the sunshine to your art interests. Serie Summer in my Garden -La Tarde, Ernesto Villaneuva, 2013 Acrylic on paper, 100 x 70 cm.

Old Game New: Artists Anonymous

JonathanLeVineGallery,557CWest23rd Street, New York, NY 10011 to May 3rd

Old Game New, Artists Anonymous afterimage, 150 cm x 100 cm

For those in New York for the beginning of May - it closes May 3rd - this is your last chance to see the Old Game New exhibition from Artists Anonymous, a London and Berlin based art group. The exhibition, at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, transforms the gallery’s second space into an immersive environment resembling a life-sized pop up book, with the walls and floors covered in the collective’s inverted imagery expanding beyond the surface into the space with two-dimensional cut out structures inspired by classic novels Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. See or for more details.

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The American USA, Helen Kirwan-Taylor, 2014 PHOTO © HELEN KIRWAN-TAYLOR

Words: A Solo Exhibition by Helen Kirwan-Taylor

Themes and Variations Design Gallery 231 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SE May 22nd to June 23rd Connecticut born American expat journalist Helen Kirwan-Taylor has spent a lifetime thinking about words. In this solo exhibition of 30 three-dimensional word sculptures and limited edition prints, KirwanTaylor utilises a variety of artistic techniques to explore the etymology and meaning of everyday, often overused words. The sculptures, made from cardboard, wood, glass, leather and fabric, also use a range of materials including photographs, postcards, stickers, toys, souvenirs, jewellery, sand, and even cut up credit cards, keyrings and icing sugar. The thought provoking pieces drill down into our preconceptions of words, and ask fundamental questions on how language relates to the visual. KirwanTaylor herself says that “I often ask friends and colleagues: What’s your word? It gets even more interesting when I ask, ‘what does your word look like? Describe it.’” Having studied art history writing and music at Sarah Lawrence College in America and Sorbonne in Paris, and having been involved in television and print media, Kirwan-Taylor has a unique

38 May 2014

and informed perspective on the subject she reviews. Look out for our interview with the artist in the next issue of The American (June 2014). Although she has been producing mixed media and work sculptures for private and corporate clients for over twenty years, this is her first gallery show, and will be well worth a visit.

on publications including Vanity Fair and Vogue, and photographed vaunted figures from Churchill and de Gaulle during the Second World War to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly during the 1960s. Beaton’s connection to Wiltshire stretches back to the 1930s and ‘40s, where he entertained a number of notable figures at Ashcombe House, (now owned by Guy Ritchie) and later Reddish House, where the likes of Greta Garbo were among his visitors. He later designed sets, costumes and

Cecil Beaton at Wilton

Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury SP2 0BJ May 3rd to September 14th In a new exhibition curated by fashion designer Jasper Conran, photographs taken by Beaton throughout his life will form a fitting overview of his artistic genius and his esteemed career, one in which he worked for Condé Nast Cecil Beaton on the Palladian Bridge at Wilton House, September 1968

Countess of Pembroke acting in Beaton’s musical ‘Heil Cinderella’, 1939

lighting for Broadway, winning four Tony awards. This exhibition, which features items from Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, is being accompanied by an exhibition at nearby Salisbury Museum (May 23rd to September 19th) that explores Beaton’s connection to the local area. Offering a biographical view of Beaton’s life, the Salisbury Museum exhibition reviews Beaton’s time at both Ashcombe and Reddish House, including the company he kept, the visitors he entertained, and the effect this part of the country had on his works.


The American


just sat around feeling sorry for myself,’ says Mark Bazeley as Dan Gallagher, midway through the second half of Fatal Attraction. I could not help thinking that Gallagher had already been feeling sorry for himself for an hour and a half. I found myself struggling to light on a reason why we should continue to indulge him just because he was acting completely self-indulgent. That led me to wonder why we should continue to indulge James Dearden in his desperate thirst for attention with this charmless, cheesy, unsubtle adaptation of his infamous 1987 film that seemed to launch the stalker genre, in the process igniting the careers of Rebecca De Mornay (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Single White Female) and possibly burying Michael Keaton’s (Pacific Heights). Having not seen the film, and yet been aware of the way Fatal Attraction has permeated the popular consciousness since its release,

I was prepared for something with the potential for intense pathos. That potential never activates, it seems to dissipate like a cloud of smoke from the first moments when we find Gallagher complaining to his friend Jimmy, in a loud New York bar, about the lengths of neurosis and insanity to which his stalker, Alex Forrest (played with admirable depth and passion by Natasha McElhone), is driving him. Alas, Bazeley is no young Michael Douglas. We yearn for a swaggering, bullish man who we can dislike, but Bazeley looks more like a lithe dancer than an arrogant lawyer. He is far too prone to sniveling. This is 2014, not 1987. We want a flawed, unregenerated alpha male, and what we get is a hard done by, feckless weakling who looks ready to be blown over by life’s slings and arrows at any moment. Despite the intention to redress the balance of the unfair way in which the mentally damaged Forrest is depicted in the film, McElhone rarely gets a chance to shine. Her

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HT 020 7930 8890 Reviewed by Peter Lawler character is hardly developed enough for us to care about her. She sits around in a series of kimono dresses as though standing in as one big sacrificial Puccini reference on the altar of pretension. Sadly, Sex and The City’s Kristin Davis doesn’t fare much better. You get the sense that expletives don’t come naturally to her, but rather stick too long in her mouth, which is an awful pity as I was looking forward to an intense transformation from bubbly housewife to enraged and anguished victim. The switch does happen, but not quickly enough, and the rage doesn’t get guttural enough for pathos. The actors push these roles to the utmost, but there is only so much you can do in this busy, busy piece of theater that feels far too distracting and too much like it’s trying to retain its moment in 1987 while claiming a new one here and now. If you want to recapture the intensity of the film, I would save shelling out for this one and… watch the movie.

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Book by Jeffrey Lane Music and lyrics by David Yazbek Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, London WC2R 0ET 0844 871 7687 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


musical version of the 1988 hit Riviera caper movie which starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels marks the welcome return to the London stage of Tony winner Robert Lindsay as Lawrence, a part which could have been tailor made to exploit his easy, urbane charm. He rises to the occasion and gives a stellar performance here but he and his partner in crime, the successful TV comic Rufus Hound, as the brash Yank Freddy, are let down by this forgettable crowd pleaser. This tale of confidence tricksters preying on dim witted dowagers and heiresses on the French Riviera is set in an indeterminate era, with an indeterminate look, a sort of Riviera neverland which partly existed in To Catch a Thief. Peter McKintosh’s sets have an art deco theme complementing this theater’s own gorgeous interiors but they are clunky when it comes to accommodating all this frenetic activity. In this world women have long blonde tresses and are simple minded but kindly, the fantasy of ageing roués in blazers everywhere. One would think a show about conmen should start from credible

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scams, so the protagonists get us on their side. Here, the set ups are so hoary and labored and the women so dim we quickly lose interest. It’s a show that wants to have its cake and eat it. You can’t set up our heroes to be convincingly charming, then fail, then throw your up your hands and say, oh well it’s ironic. This hasn’t got the wit to be ironic and lacks the charm to be persuasive. The problems lie totally with the material rather then this polished production. The book resembles a ‘Rat Pack’ concert, wallowing in self-congratulation. It constantly undermines its own weak premise, defying logic and killing character motivations for any cheap laugh. Farce is only funny because the protagonists are deadly serious and the madness has to have its internal logic. Like the Rat Pack (and Lindsay keeps a shtick going with the conductor) this never lets you in. The blandness of the middleof-the-road tunes is astonishing. At times it resembles the background music from ‘70s American sitcoms and the lyrics never rise above moon-in-June literalness and often just settle for plain crudity – “I’m going to get some classy shit” is the

height of Freddy’s wit. He says it with a wink so we know to laugh. To describe the characters as cardboard is akin to describing the Himalayas as hilly. Two of our best comic musical theater actors Katherine Kingsley and John Marquez are actually under-used. She’s the foil for the guys’ second scam, which crumbles of course, when they fall in love. He is Lawrence’s (Lindsay) French sidekick André. He in turn ends up romancing Lawrence’s previous conquest, prim Muriel from Surrey, played by Samantha Bond. It’s a classic pairing to provide comic relief and curtain numbers and they do their best with gratuitous vaudeville routines. Bond’s evident joy at being in her first big musical is palpable but she should stick with Wildean Grande Dames. In a scene-stealing role newcomer Lizzy Connolly provides solid support as Jolene Oakes, an heiress from Oklahoma. It’s an Ado Annie rip-off, complete with thigh slappin’ cowboy dancing. The choreography (also by director Jerry Mitchell) is pedestrian throughout. Some will hail this as a delicious trifle or an escapist fantasy. This writer just wanted to escape.


The American

Urinetown – the musical D

on’t be put off by the name, Urinetown is an audacious new musical which was a hit on Broadway 2001-2004, won three Tonys and has found a great berth in the new St James Theatre, where Jamie Lloyd has given it a pitch perfect production, bursting with wit, style and effervescence. “Worldwide ecological devastation has a way of changing a man” says the villainous fat cat Caldwell B Cladwell (Simon Paisley Day) dolefully. Urinetown is set in a dystopian future when, following a prolonged drought, all public conveniences have been privatised. “You got to pay to pee” and sneaking off behind the bushes to relieve yourself is a capital offence. Our young hero Bobby Strong (Richard Fleeshman), the deputy lavatory attendant, has had enough and after the death of his father, at the hands of the evil water corporation, he leads a motley collection of underclass types to rebel against their oppressors. This fusing of anti-capitalist text with classic Hollywood musical would have Senator Joe McCarthy spinning in his grave. Mark Hollmann’s score delights in pastiching established musical genres. Hollywood musical, jazz,

soul, gospel and Les Mis are thrown in for good measure. Complementing this is a book by Greg Kotis, which is a knowing, self referential, affair. Our narrator is a crooked cop, Officer Lockstock, (Jonathan Slinger), who is constantly breaking off to remind us of the rules of the genre. He banters with another fourth wall breaker, the irreverent street urchin Little Sally, who concludes that “This isn’t a happy musical but the music is so happy”. Karis Jack in her professional London debut here is a joy. So it’s Brechtian but with a wink. Jamie Lloyd’s brilliance as a director is to the fore again here. He details and polishes every moment like a great mosaic and the whole gleeful production has a pizzazz and comic brio that is infectious. Jenna Russell, the West End’s premier leading lady, is a delight as Chief Lavatory Attendant, Miss Pennywise. One minute, she recalls Cloris Leachman in old hag mode, the next she’s vamping like a Film Noir dame, or wittily dwelling for too long on Richard Fleeshman’s manly chest. He proves, by the way, that Ghost wasn’t a fluke. He’s got the looks, the voice, the moves, and

Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann; book & lyrics by Greg Kotis St James Theatre, 12 Palace St, London SW1E 5JA 0844 264 2140 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell manages to bring a boyish charm to a character which could easily have been just a cardboard hero. Key to the shows success is how it manages to fuse broad comedy with having a heart, not an easy feat. The undergraduate precocity of it all could easily have sunk it but it is redeemed by never taking its angst about environmental doom too seriously. On that score, one wonders whether they got the ecocycle exactly right, because surely in a drought you’d pee less and so the clever capitalist would pay people for theirs and then exploit its recyclable value? But, anyway, let’s not talk economics when there is great theater craft here from Ann Yee’s parody choreography, to Kate Waters' bone crunching fight direction and especially Soutra Gilmour’s astonishing production design. Her subterranean set is an imposing Expressionist sewer. It is actually rather cramped here and one wonders whether it is actually intended for a bigger theater. One certainly hopes so, as this deserves a life beyond this limited run. It is great to see the St James Theatre too gradually emerging as a theatrical force to be reckoned with in London theater.

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The American


ike buses, biopics come in pairs and now it seems plays do too as we have two plays that focus on the weekly ‘audience’ between the Queen and Mrs Thatcher. Last year Helen Mirren won an Olivier award for The Audience and at that time Indhu Rubasingham, director of the resurgent Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, was prepping this play by Moira Buffini on the same subject. Here the focus is on one Prime Ministerial relationship, the one with Thatcher, and the result is a much richer experience than Peter Morgan’s play, which settled for received notions about the personalities of the PMs involved. This is also a speculation of course but Buffini’s play is imbued with a nimble wit and gives you a pretty good history lesson along the way. It is staged with a simple inventiveness, with characters frequently breaking the fourth wall. A proscenium arch could never contain Mrs T – “We don’t need an interval” she barks.

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Richard Kent’s clever set is simply a white box contrasted with the vibrant colors of the carefully chosen iconic costumes for the two ladies. This simple approach pays dividends for a text that has to move along at a cracking pace. Four actresses play the leads and are equally splendid. As in Philadelphia Here I Come, we have two Maggie’s, the younger Mags (Fenella Woolgar) contrasted with an older alter ego ‘T’ (Stella Gonet), and two Queens, the younger Liz (Lucy Robinson) and her alter ego ‘Q’ (Marion Bailey). Woolgar is simply sublime capturing not just the physical aspects with laser-like precision but inhabiting the part so totally as to be frightening. Bailey too delivers some priceless facial expressions to match the Queen’s dry understatement. But it is not a strictly public vs. private separation. The four frequently interrupt each other and bicker about the veracity of narrative and often hector the two

By Moira Buffini Vaudeville Theatre, The Strand, London WC2R 0NH 0844 412 4663 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell actors engaged to play all the male roles. The cheekily insistent Neet Mohan is a delight in roles ranging from Kenneth Kaunda to Nancy Reagan and Jeff Rawle gives us nine characters including a spot-on Denis Thatcher. But this is no series of comedy sketches based on tittle-tattle, Buffini has obviously done extensive research and we know where her politics lie, but in the end she has to take dramatic licence and speculate how those encounters played out. Along the way though she delivers some great insights into these two great women. It’s a relationship that nearly fractured of course when Palace officials clumsily leaked to The Sunday Times that the Queen was worried about the harshness of Thatcher’s domestic policies. Both denounced the story as inaccurate but the damage was done and it was clear that Thatcher’s trust in the Queen went downhill from there. Mrs T was also furious with


Diva Power

- Ann Hampton Callaway Salutes Great Ladies of Song a Christmas Message which diverged too far from government policy but she herself badly misjudged when she took the salute at the Falklands Victory Parade, a role reserved for a Head of State. The play speculates that Thatcher’s humorlessness, stern refusal to gossip and her lack of emotional intelligence grated with the Queen, who felt that Maggie often lacked basic Christian charity, despite her admiration for her courage. Buffini has HRH totally puzzled at Mrs T’s forced jollity when she phoned her to comfort her in the aftermath of the horrific Brighton bombing. She never could make that human connection. Thatcher, being a man’s woman, didn’t find the relationship easy at all and after recovering from the initial feeling of awe, quickly treated her no differently from everyone else: she either stopped listening or just patronised her and often cancelled the meetings. Another mistake. For anyone who lived through the '80s it is a shocking reminder of just how turbulent that decade was but this is no dry history lesson. There is another Buckingham Palace drama already out of the stocks as the Almeida has a huge hit with Mike Bartlett’s speculation about the reign of King Charles III.

Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zédel, Sherwood St, London


he fascination continues, but few will be as intelligent or polished as this. Crazy Coqs at Brasserie Zédel just goes from strength to strength and a particular highlight this month has been the long overdue return of American cabaret star Ann Hampton Callaway to the London stage, after an absence of 13 years. Her sister Liz performed on this stage just recently and both brought their sparkling double-act Sibling Revelry to the Donmar in 1998. While younger sister Liz is very much a theater animal, Ann is the jazz diva. A successful composer in her own right she is a gifted jazz pianist and accompanies herself with such effortless ease you forget who is playing. Like a great wine, her voice has got richer with age. A gorgeously extravagant instrument, her voice has astonishing range, masterful control and glorious colors. She has a true jazz artist’s ability to swing or scat and her interpretations of lyrics are always thoughtful, inventive and disciplined. She can swing with confidence yet she never allows the musicality of the jazz to crowd out the lyrics. On paper this evening’s song list might appear unadventurous, until you hear what she can do with the standards made famous by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Cleo

Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

Laine, Édith Piaf and Etta James right up to Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Barbra Streisand. Her talent is such that King has collaborated with her and she has also written a number of songs for the incredibly picky Ms Streisand. She gave us two devilish imitations of Holiday’s ‘God Bless The Child’ and Vaughan’s ‘Misty’ which few could match, but then moved on to give us her own personal take on various standards. ‘All of Me’ and ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ had a curiously funky '70s vibe which worked beautifully and led us neatly to King’s ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ and a rendition of Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’ which could have drawn tears from a stone. Ever inventive in her breezy wish to cheer us she took a break to improvise a whole new song, using fragments of ideas from an audience member and she even stooped to an audience singalong, but thankfully, not for too long. Her vast experience as an entertainer is obvious and audiences warm to her, not just for the great sound she can make but because she is erudite and witty and her devotion to the material shines through. An unaccompanied encore of ‘Over the Rainbow’ was simply heart stopping and revealed the endearingly romantic sensibility beneath the polished Manhattan exterior.

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The American

other desert cities

By Jon Robin Baitz Old Vic Theatre, The Cut, London SE1 8NB 0844 871 7628 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


oan Didion once said that “writers are always betraying somebody” and this gets to the nub of this brilliant new American play by Jon Robin Baitz. Best known for creating (and being ejected from) the hit ABC drama series Brothers and Sisters, he’s a well-established writer who had a much-deserved hit with this on Broadway in 2011. Here, this refreshingly oldfashioned play, is given a beautifully judged production by Lindsay Posner. It explores the undercurrents and eddies which exist within families and how our lives are all shaped by the responsibility we take, or do not, as the case may be. It’s Ibsen with palm trees. It succeeds because Baitz has a thriller writer’s grasp of narrative and it contains a stunning plot twist, which I won’t spoil, but which makes the audience come out questioning all the assumptions they might have held about the characters. Baitz is a moralist and this is a play brimming with ideas and politics but it is never dull. The fictional Wyeths are a sort of Ronnie and Nancy Reagan manqué; with the real Reagans referred to as family friends. Lyman, played with great sensitivity by Peter Egan, is an ex movie star turned Republican party grandee and former Ambassador. His wife, Polly, the magisterial Sinéad Cusack, is a former screen-

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writer whose studied formality is combined with a steeliness which would make Barbara Bush look like a flibbertigibbet. They are enjoying a cosseted country club retirement in Palm Springs. In echoes of Albee’s A Delicate Balance, there’s also a drunken aunt seeking refuge under their roof. Silda, played with great brio by Clare Higgins, (relishing a rare supporting role), is being helped back on her feet and so has the resentfulness of the dependent. It’s Christmas Eve and in come son Trip (Daniel Lapaine) who, the parents argue, is wasting his Stanford and Berkeley education producing schlock reality TV and older sister Brooke, played by Martha Plimpton in her London debut. Brooke lives in New York and is a rather fragile soul. She has had success as a writer but is recovering from serious bouts of depression and her East Coast liberal elite views grate with those of mother. Brooke has arrived with a manuscript of her memoir which is about to get published and serialised in The New Yorker and which digs up the family’s big skeleton, namely that a few years previously her brother, Henry, who was a radical and a drop-out, committed suicide after being involved in a terrorist bombing of an army recruitment


center, during which an innocent janitor was burned to death. She blames her parents ideology and cruelty for Henry’s plight, but as we find out there are two sides to every story. The play carefully unpacks the ethics of a writer exploiting for profit or notoriety a personal family tragedy. It also deals with a contemporary generation of young people who, as Polly puts it, expect a “free pass”. What does she want from them by doing this and what can they give her? Baitz is writing here about a literate and intelligent group so one can forgive dialogue this crisp and polished, but it does at times recall The West Wing, on which he worked, where you often wondered how people could be that articulate in the middle of a heated row. Sinéad Cusack is simply a wonder. The hub of the piece, her great achievement is to make us root for a character who at first sight seems totally unsympathetic. “Families get terrorised by their weakest member” she quips, believing the world is made up of those who make a mess and those who are left to clean it up. It’s a performance that will linger in the mind and make you think twice about the next well coiffed Republican matron you meet.

WIN a pair of tickets! Following a critically acclaimed sell-out run at The Hampstead Theatre, the smashhit Broadway sensation GOOD PEOPLE comes to the Noël Coward Theatre for a strictly limited 10-week run. What role did Imelda Staunton play in the Harry Potter films? A Dolores Umbridge B Petunia Dursley C Minerva McGonagall HOW TO ENTER: Email your answer with your name, address & daytime telephone number to theamerican@ with GOOD PEOPLE COMPETITION in the subject line; or send a postcard to: GOOD PEOPLE COMPETITION, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK; to arrive by mid-day May 15th. You must be 18 years old or over to enter. You are responsible for any travel, accommodation or other expenses. Tickets valid for Monday-Thursday performances, subject to availability. No cash alternative to the prizes, they are non-refundable and non-transferable and not for resale. Pair of tickets valid Mon-Thurs performances until 29 May, subject to availability.

If you were born in South Boston you’ve started life on the wrong side of the tracks, so just making ends meet will need all the energy you can muster. Olivier Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton delivers a ‘blisteringly funny’ (***** EVENING STANDARD) tour-de-force performance in the leading role as Margie, a sharp-tongued singlemother on the edge. Hearing that an old boyfriend who has made good is in town, she decides to corner him but when Margie’s plan brings unexpected consequences for her and the unsuspecting Mike (Lloyd Owen), both must look to the past to re-examine the choices and secrets that brought them back together. Pulitzer prize winner and Boston born David Lindsay-Abaire’s ‘sharp, funny and touching’ (**** DAILY TELEGRAPH) exploration of fate, class and the surprising effects of circumstance is brought to vivid life by Jonathan Kent’s five star hit production that’s not to be missed. Booking til June 14th.


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Nöel Coward’s


ngela Lansbury (newly Dame’d) manages to be a national treasure both here and in the US, rather like her friend Elizabeth Taylor. Both of them emigrated to Hollywood in the early '40s but what makes Lansbury so unique is how she has developed her career, focusing on Broadway theater, (especially musicals) from the early '60s and in the '80s conquering television with Murder She Wrote, which ran for 12 seasons and was syndicated all over the world, bringing her millions of new devoted followers. It’s testament to her intelligence in how she manages both her talent and career. After all, she was never blessed with conventional leading lady good looks, yet she has outperformed all her contemporaries and really deserved that career Oscar she received last October. She gained her fifth Tony Award for this production of Blithe Spirit on Broadway in 2009 and it is remarkable that 34 years after her last appearance on the West End, she has returned in triumph to Shaftesbury Avenue. What is particularly satisfying is that this production is not a tired star vehicle but rather a crisp rendering of a Coward classic. Directed by the veteran, Michael Blakemore, also in his eighties, it’s as well polished as a diamond. And it’s a diamond wrapped in silk, as

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the production values here are very ‘Broadway’, with Simon Higlett’s expansive, luxurious set and the attention given to the visual effects for this ghostly tale. Coward’s ravishingly witty play debuted in 1941 and became famous through David Lean’s 1945 film adaptation staring Rex Harrison as Charles and Margaret Rutherford as the dippy medium Madame Arcati. Here, Lansbury takes a different approach. The steely glare she casts at Dr and Mrs Bradman, who dare to be flippant about her world of the paranormal, shows Arcati believing herself to be a thorough professional. Lansbury doesn’t stint on the physical comedy either and her funky contortions as she goes into a trance (all to the music of Irving Berlin’s “Always”), show just how nimble this 88 year old really is. She perfectly captures too Arcati’s girl-like enthusiasms and her “school girl phraseology”. As Ruth tartly retorts: “If we’re not careful, she’ll materialise a hockey team”. Charles Edwards (such a hit in Strange Interlude) couldn’t be more perfect for the conventionally suburban Charles Condomine. A man who is comfortable, if not ecstatic, in his second marriage to Ruth (the great Janie Dee), until Arcati’s séance brings forth the ghost of his first wife Elvira, and havoc ensues. The part of Elvira is scene steal-

Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6AR 0844 482 5130 Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

ing gold for any actress and here Jemima Rooper brings an impish almost punk-like quality to her, reveling in her invisibility and ability to cause mischief. Simon Jones (forever ‘Bridey’ from Brideshead Revisited) returns to the West End as the wonderfully dry neighbour, Dr Bradman, with Serena Evans delightful as his dutiful wife. All these veterans though have the rug pulled from under them by the West End debut of young Patsy Ferran, who is just out of RADA. She is side-splittingly funny as Edith, the gawky, uncouth maid, whose eagerness to please render her as fleet of foot as a greyhound. She’ll be one to watch. But this production’s appeal is not just stars and glamour. We are reminded that this play has such perfect symmetry and its lightness of touch merely hides just how brilliantly crafted it is. Who else could set up a killer line like “My husband has driven her into Folkstone” (Ruth on the ghostly Elvira) and bring the house down with it. Charles’ plea to Ruth that she should just adapt to their situation is equally priceless “If you could make more of an effort dear, we’d have quite a jolly time”. Anyway this is a sparkling production, which serves a great play really well.


The American

The American



ed Hook is a section of Brooklyn that sits on the waterfront right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Today it’s expensive due to its location, but in the 1950’s, when A View From The Bridge takes place, it was a run-down, smelly, poor, dangerous, derelict area which people passed over while going to other, nicer neighborhoods. As Red Hook is right on the water, it attracted lots of immigrants bound for America, legal or not, and the opportunities and work the country had to offer them. Hence A View From The Bridge takes its story. Eddie Carbone (an incredible Mark Strong) is a proud man. He works on the docks, lives in a simple house with his wife Beatrice (an amazing Nicola Walker) and their niece Catherine (a brilliant Phoebe Fox). Eddie and Catherine are too close and affectionate with each other, enough to ring alarm bells in Beatrice’s head. To complicate matters, they house two of Beatrice’s cousins from Italy, Marco (Emun Elliott) and Rodolpho (a handsome and sexy Luke Norris), illegally, as the

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men don’t have the proper papers to work in the US. The five of them are cramped together in Eddie and Beatrice’s house. Rodolpho and Catherine take an interest in each other. Catherine is a young woman at 18 and, according to Beatrice, able to make her own decisions about her life. Eddie sees it differently. He wants Catherine to stay his little girl at home and take a secretarial job. And the love that Eddie has for Catherine is not normal. Things come to a head when Catherine tells Eddie that she and Rodolpho plan to marry. As jealousy overcomes him, Eddie turns the cousins in to the immigration authorities. Their lives will never be the same. I was simply blown away by how strong and real the story was, but also by some of the best acting I have ever seen. Strong’s Eddie is a man’s man with a soft spot for Catherine - an award-winning, mesmerizing performance. Fox, as Catherine, is a revelation, playing a young woman about to blossom while maintaining a daddy’s

By Arthur Miller YoungVic,66TheCut,Waterloo,London SE18LZ 020 7922 2922 Reviewed by Tim Baros little girl image. It looks like she is putting in very little effort to play the role, she’s that good. Walker is perfectly cast as Beatrice, not having been touched by Eddie yet still very much in love with him. Elliott and Norris play the cousins very well, Norris bringing a bit of innocence and sexiness and making Catherine’s love for him and Eddie’s jealousy believable. Michael Gould narrates, providing clarity on the action and creating suspense throughout the show. The set is also part of the cast. It is a very shallow shell of a swimming pool, designed to capture what’s going to happen at the end. A View From The Bridge is a devastating theater experience. It is playing at the Young Vic until June 7th.

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Jim Gaffigan Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BX Reviewed by Peter Lawler April 5, 2014 PHOTO ALEX WROBLEWSKI


im Gaffigan is a bit like The Bible or Shakespeare. There aren’t many situations in life, dramatic or banal (but mostly, banal), on which he has not contributed his surprisingly incisive brand of lethargically delivered pith from which we can take guidance, solace, or at least some darkly mirthful moments of stifled chortles. From his contemptuous attitude towards fish on a plate (‘the best thing people generally say about fish is that it’s “not that fishy”’) to the kinds of inanely obvious nonsense people generally say to a man with five kids (‘Isn’t saying “That’s a lot of kids” like saying to someone bound to a wheelchair, “Bet you don’t do much dancing!”?’), Gaffigan’s slackerly, seemingly random ramble through the everyday for an hour does not fail to surprise, sometimes challenge, sometimes shock, and constantly induce belly aching amusement. His formula is not complex. We’ve seen our fair share of observational humorists take to the stage - on these shores Michael McIntyre

and Peter Kay are massive - but Gaffigan adds some new, distinctly sharp features to a genre that can feel like it’s well and truly run its course. For instance, his willingness to shock, balanced finely on an underlying and ever present current of self-deprecation, referring to his complexion as “Hitler’s wet dream” in order to set up a joke about the translucence of his skin, or elaborating on steak eating as the only ‘manly’ activity in which he regularly takes part, or choosing a carcinogenic sugar substitute over the real thing in order to stay skinny. Or perhaps it is his willingness to dupe the audience into colluding with him at times in their laughter and challenging them to guffaw heartily at themselves, as he does in first poking fun at the French and then drawing attention to how much joy can be drawn from a a good old bit of hatred, the irony of which was not lost on an audience in the Leicester Square Theatre on a Saturday night in cosmopolitan London.

It could be the meta postmodern knack he has of including the generic voice of the audience threaded throughout his act in order to comment on the joke he has just made before the respondent laughter has even died away, often giving voice to the kind of objections he anticipates they might have to his gags: ‘I didn’t think that Hitler joke was very funny!’ Is it perhaps that way he has of making a structured comedy routine sound like the wittiest guy in the party holding court on random topics of rant (we come back to his disgust for seafood a few times)? Whatever it is Gaffigan does, he does it intelligently, adeptly, and in a way that feels fresh, deftly weaving diarrhoea jokes with clever challenges to pretension, yet never straying into anything truly foul or offensive. Disarmingly hilarious, it is a pity that he only graced England with one night of standup on this tour. Not to worry. He has a new special on Comedy Central, and a DVD, Obsessed, coming up very soon.

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The American

Samoa Joe In an exclusive interview with The American’s Josh Modaberi, Samoa Joe says it’s time for the new boys of TNA to step up to the plate... but they’d better watch out for him!


efore signing with TNA in 2005 Samoa Joe competed for Ring of Honor (ROH) where he was World Champion for 21 months. During his career the 35–year–old from Orange County, California, has had many outstanding matches against the likes of John Cena, CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle. “Early on in my career I was fortunate enough to work with William Regal,” Joe told me. “It really helped getting to speak to him and learning from him, he was just so knowledgable about pro wrestling and he is a major influence both stylistically and with his wrestling philosophy. “My matches with John Cena, they were in California where I’m from and he was getting into the business, the matches were very physical. John is an athlete and

50 May 2014

he would go at it 100%. We had some great matches and he always worked hard, 365 days a year. “Working with Punk was always great, he is such a good competitor and always pushes his opponents to get the very best out of them. It was a great experience working with Punk during our time with ROH. I don’t know what his current situation is with the WWE but I’m sure he will handle it in what ever way he sees fit.” Over the past year there have been some major changes within TNA with a number of key people leaving the company including the likes of Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett, Sting and AJ Styles. Joe believes it is now time for the current roster to step up to the plate. “Every time you lose talent of

that calibre is a tremendous blow to the company,” he continued. “We have a lot of young guys in the locker–room now that are going to be given an opportunity and they are going to need to grab it with both hands. “It’s a pity those guys aren’t here anymore but the young guys seem to be ready to step into their shoes.” During his tenure in TNA Joe has held every title at least once and he is delighted to be back in the World Title picture. “In all honestly it’s great being back in the World Title picture,” Joe added. “It’s been a long time since I last held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and I feel I should have been champion again in that time but things happen for a reason and my time will come.”

The American

Steelers fans at Super Bowl XLIII PHOTO © ROMERICAN

Fans can be Free Agents too, given certain guidelines. Kids’ crayon and beer mat in hand, Richard L Gale formulates a few...


as a Texans fan. Recently - perhaps spurred by habitual 8-8 seasons from the Pokes, and Houston’s crash after the glacially slow but steady rise - he has been thinking about changing teams. Now I can hear a couple of you taking a deep intake of breath at the mere suggestion: a fan is a fan through thick and thin, and so on. But in the spirit of free agency, I began pondering some ground rules for fans switching teams. I guess you can’t change just because a team doesn’t seem to be trying. Some just go through a few years - okay, more than a few years - of ineptness, and as the Bucs

UK fan club members could tell you, even after years of supporting the underdog (if not reveling in the epic futility of it all) the stars can align, and glory may fall your way. So following a bad team isn’t an excuse, even if having a terminally underachieving or mediocre one may be.

Rules of Disengagement


n any other year, the sonic boom of NFL free agency has rumbled around by now, quickly drowned out by the deafening shock waves of the NFL Draft. Instead, we’re still here in Free Agency mode. A delay long enough that I got to thinking about those poor souls on the wrong end of things, optimistically waiting for their teams to make the big move, only to see everybody they didn’t have to Google slip off the board. It can test the patience. Take a friend of mine. Born in Virginia, and having spent a while in Texas, he has dual nationality, but is to the naked eye a Brit. He is also a Cowboys fan, but moonlights

But I was talking about ground rules’ rather than the level to which a given fan can cope with the dull thud of annual 8-8 records. The timing of this article is rule no.1: 1. An NFL fan may only switch teams between the start of Free Agency and the start of rookie mini-camps. If veteran players are shopping themselves around, why not fans? However, if homeless fan isn’t inspired by the new dawn of the NFL draft and its bounty, they may need a new sport rather than a fresh team. Next up, some mitigating circumstances: 2. If your team (a) moves cities, (b) changes name, or (c) adopts a color scheme that offends your eyes, you are certainly allowed to consider a switch. 2(a) is obviously of great benefit to Raiders fans, 2(b) is available for affronted Redskins fans should the day come, while 2(c)... well, yes, Tampa Bay, we’re looking at you.

The author followed The Bus to Pittsburgh after Jerome Bettis (left) transferred

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You’re sneaking that Culverhouse orange back into the palette? Really? Then there’s the dual citizenship rule: 3. You’re allowed two teams, as long as they’re not from the same conference. That way, you at least double your chances of enjoying the Super Bowl. Cheating? Nope. Oh, did I forget to mention that you, dear reader, probably don’t qualify. You see in the fine print of this one, I reckon that if you had an American education, you had the benefit of that world-beating high school and college sports environment, and you knew what you were getting into when you chose that team, and you have layers of state-based affiliations on tap. Overseas fans have far more arbitrary associations (e.g. ‘Miami, because I went there on holiday), they’re allowed to pivot their main team and shrug off the second one (though maybe just the once), if only to keep ‘em watching. Here I’ve got to admit I’m making the rules to suit myself just a little.

I’m proud of the fact that in the early '80s, when the sport found its way to British television, I adopted the Rams and Steelers, Rams as my main team, and then straight after the Rams won the millennial Super Bowl, pivoted to the Steelers as my main team (it was partly a Jerome Bettis thing). Oh, speaking of which: 4. Nobody is allowed to switch to a team that won a Super Bowl in the last two years; and 5. If your favorite player switches, and you have his jersey, you absolutely have the right to switch with him - it’s a compensation for having to buy another jersey already.

Auld Enemy

This instalment of Sidelines is actually being composed (It’s composed? Who knew?) after an evening spent among Partick Thistleloving Scottish relatives for whom the idea of switching allegiances is anathema. Of course, the real hot potato of conversation was Scottish Independence. As if. But as a footnote on

adopting a team, there’s something to be said for rivalry. Being Cornish by birth, and with the above mentioned connections, I’ve often appreciated Scottish mirth at English implosions on the world soccer stage, even when their own national team is nowhere to be seen. There’s something to be said for having an Auld Enemy. Leading to a controversial proposal: 6. Anybody switching teams is not allowed to switch to a divisional rival. ...or should switching to a third party divisional rival be just fine; for example if you really hate the Steelers and the Browns can’t give you satisfaction, can you switch to the Bengals? I’d be interested to hear suggestions from readers for any other rules, exceptions or loopholes for fans who want to switch teams. I’d also welcome any suggestions I can give my wavering Cowboys/Texans-fan friend for a more life-fulfilling experience, email richard@theamerican.

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Eagle Eyed Crossing Jordan A golfing J.S. Bach for the 21st Century? Darren Kilfara hears beautiful music at the Masters


ordan Spieth didn’t win the 2014 Masters Tournament. He didn’t win because no debutant has won the Masters since the greens at Augusta National were made of Bermuda grass. He didn’t win because he’s only 20 years old, and because 20-year-olds don’t have the temperament to win major championships. He didn’t win because his swing literally and quite visibly fell apart over the weekend; it’s tough to hit the ball straight and hard with a one-handed follow-through. Most of all, he didn’t win because Bubba Watson is a force of nature whose talents couldn’t be more suited to Augusta National if Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie had hired him as a consulting architect. But Jordan Spieth could, and arguably should, have won the Masters. Watson may possess a wickedly sweet combination of John Daly’s power and Lee Trevino’s shotmaking skills, but Spieth’s youth, consistency and relentlessness mark him out as a logical American successor to Tiger Woods. Not bad for a kid ranked no. 809 in the world as recently as the start of 2013. If you’re not familiar with Spieth’s rise to near-stardom, his progression to the PGA Tour was far from

54 May 2014

traditional. He was an accomplished junior golfer – only he and Woods have ever won the US Junior Amateur twice – and he was on the final-round leaderboard at the Byron Nelson in 2010 as a 16-yearold before finishing tied for 16th. After winning an NCAA championship and first-team All-American honors at Texas, and starring in the 2011 Walker Cup, he turned professional in December 2012... after failing to reach the final stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School. With no official Tour status, and therefore reliant upon a maximum of seven sponsor exemptions for the 2013 season, Spieth quickly notched three Top 10 finishes to gain temporary playing privileges and then won the John Deere Classic in July by finishing with three straight 65s, holing a bunker shot at the 72nd hole and defeating Zach Johnson in a playoff. By the end of the year he had nine Top 10s, finished eighth in the FedEx Cup and was picked as a wild card for the US Presidents Cup team. And by all accounts he remains incredibly down-to-earth, pleasant to be around and aware of his surroundings – Tom Kite apparently emailed him recently to say, “Jordan, I’m going to come out

on the PGA Tour and kick your ass if you keep calling me ‘mister’.” I watched Spieth a lot last year and was constantly impressed by his composure and his presence – as in, he seemed to be present on my television pretty much every weekend. Some Tour stars are like the little girl with the curl: when they’re good, they’re very good indeed, but when they’re bad they miss cuts. Spieth isn’t one of them. Since turning professional, Spieth has finished 25th or better in a staggering 63% of the PGA Tour events he’s entered. By comparison, Woods’ Top 25 rate in his first yearand-a-half as a pro (1996-97) was 72%, whereas McIlroy’s (2009-10) was 48% and Mickelson’s (1992-93) only 31% – and all three of them were older then than Spieth is now. (Watson’s rate? 28%.) Spieth’s record isn’t bottom-heavy, either: so far he’s finished first or second six times, comparable with Woods’ equivalent mark of seven and well ahead of Mickelson’s three and McIlroy’s one. All he needs to do is start winning more often, and that will surely come. The comparison between McIlroy and Spieth seems particularly apt. In the 2011 Masters, McIlroy

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Looking good: Jordan Spieth hits a tee shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 26, 2014 in La Jolla, California.  PHOTO ©STAN BADZ/PGA TOUR

led by four shots at the start of the final round, still led by one at the turn, then promptly imploded with 7-5-5 on holes 10-11-12 and shrank into a tie for 15th. This year Spieth, despite struggling for much of the front nine on Sunday, holed a bunker shot and made three other birdies in his first seven holes to take a two-stroke lead. He was right there, ready to kick the field in the teeth and make history as the youngest ever major champion. Then he missed short putts on eight and nine to suddenly fall two back after a pair of Bubba birdies, and his composure buckled at the 10th after a pushed iron shot led to a Tiger-esque club-pound into the fairway turf (and presumably a handwritten apology to ANGC Chairman Billy Payne). But he immediately hunkered down with an exquisite bunker shot and parred every hole on the back nine save

the 12th, where he made one final rookie mistake – challenging the flag and finding Rae’s Creek – yet salvaged bogey with a wonderful wedge and putt. He couldn’t pressure Watson into making mistakes, but his game never disappeared, and unlike several other famous names that day he never wilted. And remember: McIlroy followed his Augusta collapse in 2011 with an eight-shot victory at the US Open two months later. The one potential knock on Spieth is that at only 107th on the Tour in driving distance, he’s not a big hitter, and with the sole recent exception of Luke Donald, only big hitters have ascended to the top of the World Golf Rankings. But I’d really like to see him try. I like Bubba Watson a lot – his home-cooked brand of brilliance is very easy to root for, and he’s begun 2014 like someone trying to prove that his

first Masters triumph was no fluke. But if Watson is an eccentric and gregarious genius like Mozart, Spieth seems more akin to J.S. Bach: reliable, grounded and methodical, yet still capable of great beauty and sustained excellence over a period of decades. Particularly with the Ryder Cup on the horizon, I hope he starts winning big and winning soon, and if the 2014 Masters marked the beginning of a proper rivalry, the next several decades may be full of beautiful music. Darren Kilfara formerly worked for Golf Digest magazine and is the author of A Golfer’s Education, a memoir of his junior year abroad as a student-golfer at the University of St. Andrews. His new book, a novel called Do You Want Total War?, is also now available online at Amazon and elsewhere.

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Can Haas Racing succeed in F1? Daniel Byway ponders ....


he relationship between America and Formula One has always been less than straight-forward, and the news that Gene Haas has been given the green light to start a new American-based Formula One team has seen forums fill with discussions on the viability of F1’s latest effort to link up with the United States. These were the same discussions that took place when F1 conducted a PR-nightmare 6-car race at the 2005 Indianapolis Grand Prix; the same discussions that also dominated airwaves when the USF1 team led by Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor rose and fell within the space of a few months in 2009/2010. What these discussions boil down to is a doubt that America – where NASCAR is by far the most popular motorsport – can be accessed by an entity like Formula One, which has a largely European heritage (in 2014, eight F1 races are scheduled to take place in Europe,

56 May 2014

compared to just two in North America). Although the US is seen as an important market to crack in Formula One circles, not least due to the size of its automotive economy, efforts to do so haven’t historically been successful. USF1 and Indy 2005 aside, the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas had a difficult preparation for its first race, and the proposed street circuit in New Jersey is being delayed by the ominous excuse of ‘funding issues’. But should these examples really cause us to doubt Haas’ new team? I don’t think so. Haas’ motorsport pedigree is impressive. He founded his NASCAR team in 2002, and despite not setting the track ablaze to begin with, built the team and developed it – later teaming up with Tony Stewart in a move which created StewartHaas Racing, now a title winning, front running squad. Haas knows the business of a racing team, and


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although Formula One is a different beast, it shouldn’t take too much to put similar ingredients together. The concern of some is that being based in California will give Haas’ new team a logistics problem, given the number of F1 races which take place across the pond – but is this much different to a gruelling NASCAR season with 36 races across the United States? Logistics will be tricky, but the world is much smaller these days, and the US is well connected to it. It’s important to be aware that attempts to develop links between the US and Formula One haven’t always gone to plan, but Haas’ entry shouldn’t be judged on that basis just yet. We should let Haas develop his team and see how he goes, and rather than query America’s turbulent relationship with Formula One, let’s simply be proud that a stalwart of American motorsport has chosen F1 as his next sporting challenge.


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Western UK Retiree Association President: R. Jim Barber, MSgt (USAF), Ret 01280 708182

Society of American Military Engineers (UK) UK address: Box 763, USAFE Construction Directorate. 86 Blenheim Crescent, West Ruislip, Middlesex HA4 7HL

Retired Affairs Office, RAF Alconbury Serving Central England POC: Rex Keegan Alt. POC: Mike Depasquale UK Postal Address: 423 SVS/RAO, Unit 5585, Box 100, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4DA Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday, 10:30am–2:30pm 01480 84 3364/3557 Emergency Contact: 07986 887 905

USAF Retiree Activities Office Director: Paul G Gumbert, CMSgt (USAF), Ret 422 ABG/CVR, Unit 5855, PSC 50, Box 3 RAF Croughton, Northants NN13 5XP 01280 708182

American School of Aberdeen Craigton Road, Cults, Aberdeen. 01224 861068 / 868927. Benjamin Franklin House 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF. Tel 020 7839 2006 Fax 020 7930 9124

Boston University – London Graduate Programs Office 43 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7244 6255 British American Educational Foundation Mrs. Carlton Colcord, 1 More’s Garden, 90 Cheyne Walk, London SW3. 020 7352 8288

Central Bureau for Educational Visits Director: Peter Upton, The British Council , 10 Spring Gardens, London SW1A 2BN 020 7389 4004 Wales 029 2039 7346 Scotland 0131 447 8024 Council on International Educational Exchange Dr. Michael Woolf, 52 Portland Street, London WIV 1JQ Tel 020 7478 2000 Fax 020 7734 7322 Ditchley Foundation Ditchley Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 4ER Tel 01608 677346 Dwight School London Formerly North London International School Viviene Rose, Admissions Director 6 Friem Barnet Lane, London N11 3LX 020 8920 0600 European Council of International Schools Executive Director: Jean K Vahey Fourth Floor, 146 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR Tel 020 7824 7040 European-Atlantic Group PO Box 37431, London N3 2XP 020 8632 9253 Florida State University London Study Centre Administrative Director: Kathleen Paul 99 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LH. Tel 020 7813 3233 Fax 020 7813 3270

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The American

Fordham University London Centre Academic Coordinator: Sabina Antal 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HQ 020 7937 5023 Fulbright Commission (US-UK Educational Commission) Dir. of Advisory Service: Lauren Welch Battersea Power Station, 188 Kirtling Street, London SW8 5BN 020 7498 4010 Halcyon London International School Co-educational International Baccalaureate (IB). 33 Seymour Place, London W1H 5AU +44 (0)20 7258 1169 , Harlaxton College UK Campus, University of Evansville Harlaxton Manor, Grantham, Lincolnshire NG32 1AG. Grantham 4541 4761 01476 403000 Huron University USA in London 46-47 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4JP Tel +44 (0) 20 7636 5667 Fax+44 (0) 20 7299 3297 Institute for the Study of the Americas Director: Professor James Dunkerley. Tel 020 7862 8879 Fax 020 7862 8886 International School of Aberdeen 296 North Deeside Rd, Milltimber, Aberdeen, AB13 0AB 01224 732267 International School of London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG. 020 8992 5823 International School of London in Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking GU22 8HY Tel +44 (0)1483 750409 Ithaca College London Centre 35 Harrington Gardens, London SW7. Tel. 020 7370 1166 Marymount International School, London Headmistress: Ms Sarah Gallagher George Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7PE 020 8949 0571 Missouri London Study Abroad Program 32 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7373 7953. molondon.html

62 May 2014

Regent’s University London Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NS. 020 7486 9605.

Richmond, The American International University in London Richmond Hill Campus,Queen’s Road Richmond-upon Thames TW10 6JP Tel: +44 20 8332 9000 Fax: +44 20 8332 1596 Schiller International University Royal Waterloo House, 51-55 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8TX. Tel. 020 7928 1372 Schiller International, Wickham Court School Layhams Road, West Wickham, Kent BR4 9HW. Tel 0208 777 2942 Fax 0208 777 4276 Sotheby’s Institute of Art Postgraduate Art studies, plus day /evening courses 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EE Tel: 0207 462 3232 Southbank International Schools Kensington and Hampstead campuses for 3-11 year olds; Westminster campuses for 11-18 year olds. Director of Admissions: MargaretAnne Khoury Tel: 020 7243 3803 Syracuse University London Program Faraday House, 48-51 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AE TASIS England, American School Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Nr. Egham, Surrey TW20 8TE. Tel: 01932 565252 Fax: 01932 564644 UKCISA - Council for International Education 9-17 St. Albans Place, London N1 0NX 020 7354 5210 University of Notre Dame London Program 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG 020 7484 7811 introduction.htm Warnborough University International Office, Friars House, London SE1 8HB. Tel 020 7922 1200

Webster Graduate Studies Center Regent’s College, Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, London NW1 4NS, UK. Tel: 020 7487 7505 Wroxton College Study Abroad with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Wroxton, Nr. Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 6PX 01295 730551,

ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS Alliant International University (formerly United States International University) England Chapter Alumni Association Chapter President: Eric CK Chan c/o Regents College London, Inner Circle, Regents Park, London, UK, Amherst College Bob Reichert Andover/Abbot Association of London Jeffrey Hedges ‘71, President 07968 513 631 Association of MBAs Leo Stemp, Events Administrator Tel 020 7837 3375 (ext. 223), Babson College Frank de Jongh Swemer, Correspondence W 020 7932 7514 Barnard College Club Hiromi Stone, President. Tel. 0207 935 3981 Berkeley Club of London Geoff Kertesz Facebook: groups/223876564344656/ Linkedin: Boston College Alumni Club UK Craig Zematis, President +44 7717 878968 chapters/home.jsp?chapter=41&org=BTN Boston University Alumni Association of the UK Will Straughn, Snr International Development Officer, University Development and Alumni Relations, 43 Harrington Gardens, Kensington, London SW7 4JU 020 7244 2908 020 7373 7411

The American

Brandeis Alumni Club of Great Britain Joan Bovarnick, President

Georgetown Alumni Club AlexaFernandez,President

Brown University Club of the United Kingdom President: Tugba Erem. Communication: Patrick Attie AlumniClub&Liaison:VanessaVanHoof Brown Club UK, Box 57100, London, EC1P 1RB

Harvard Business School Club of London

Bryn Mawr Club Lady Quinton, President. Wendy Tiffin, Secretary/Treasurer, 52 Lansdowne Gardens, Claremont Colleges Alumni in London Hadley Beeman Colgate Club of London Stephen W Solomon ‘76, President Columbia Business School Alumni Club of London 6 Petersham Mews, London SW7 5NR Columbia University Club of London Stephen Jansen, President Cornell Club of London Natalie Teich, President Dartmouth College Club of London Sanjay Gupta, Andrew Rotenberg sanjay.gupta.96@ Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (LinkstoalltheUSAandinternationalmembers’sites) Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity London Alumni Chapter. Ashok Arora, POBox1110,LondonW37ZB.Tel:02084238231 Duke University Club of England Ms Robin Buck Tim Warmath Kate Bennett Emory University Alumni Chapter of the UK Matthew Williams, Chapter Leader 07984514119 chapters/international.html

Gettysburg College Britt-Karin Oliver

Harvard Club of the United Kingdom Brandon Bradkin, President VerityLangley,Membership Indiana University Alumni club of England Anastasia Tonello, President KKG London Alumnae Association

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email LMU Alumni Club London (LoyolaMarymountUniversity) Kent Jancarik Marymount University Alumni UK Chapter President:MrsSuzanneTapley,35ParkMansions, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7QT. 02075813742 MIT Club of Great Britain Yiting Shen, Flat8a,36BuckinghamGate,LondonSW1E6PB 07891793823 Mount Holyoke Club of Britain Rachel L. Elwes, President KarenK.BullivantVice-President Notre Dame Club of London Hannah Gornik, Secretary: NYU Alumni Club in London Jodi Ekelchik, President NYU STERN UK Alumni Club Matthieu Gervis, President

Ohio University UK & Ireland Frank Madden, 1 Riverway, Barry Avenue, Windsor, Berks. SL4 5JA. Tel01753855360 Penn Alumni Club of the UK David Lapter Tel. 07957 146 470 Penn State Alumni Association Penn State Alumni Association RonNowicki-02072267681 Princeton Association (UK) Carol Rahn, President Jon Reades, Young Alumni Rice Alumni of London Kathy Wang 07912 560 177 Skidmore College Alumni Club, London PeggyHoldenBriggs‘84,co-ordinator 07817203611 Smith College Club of London Kathleen Merrill, President Stanford Business School Alumni Association (UK Chapter) Robby Arnold, President, Lesley Anne Hunt, Events, Syracuse University Alumni UK FaradayHouse,48-51OldGloucesterStreet, London WC1N 3AE Texas Tech Alumni Association - London Chapter David Mirmelli, Ferhat Guven, Bobby Brents Texas Exes UK (UKTE) President: Carra Kane 7EdithRoad,Wimbledon,LondonSW198TW 07786607534 Texas A&M Club London Co-Presidents Ashley Lilly, Devin Howard

May 2014 63

The American

The John Adams Society Contact: Muddassar Ahmed c/o Unitas Communications, Palmerston House, 80-86OldStreet,LondonEC1V9AZ 02033082358 Tufts - London Tufts Alliance UK Dawgs of the University of Georgia Rangana Abdulla UConn Alumni Association UMass Alumni Club UK Julie Encarnacao, President (0) University of California MatthewDaines(ProgramDirector) 17 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3JA 020 7079 0567 University of Chicago UK Alumni Association c/o Alumni Affairs and Development – Europe, University of Chicago Booth School of Business Woolgate Exchange, 25 Basinghall Street, LondonEC2V5HA Tel+44(0)2070702245Fax+44(0)2070702250 University of Illinois Alumni Club of the UK Amy Barklam, President

Details changed? Let us know email

University of Virginia Alumni Club of London Kirsten Jellard 02073688473 US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) UK Chapter President: Allison Bennett Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter President:LCDRGretaDensham‘00( VicePresident:TimFox‘97( Secretary:MikeSmith‘84( Facebook Group - USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter Vassar College Club Sara Hebblethwaite, President 18RedgraveRoad,London,SW151PX +4402087886910 Warnborough Worldwide Alumni Association c/oInternationalOffice,FriarsHouse,LondonSE18HB Tel. 020 7922 1200 Fax. 020 7922 1201 Wellesley College Club FaridaEl-Gammal‘98,President wellesley_uk_club Wharton Business School Club of the UK YoavKurtzbard,Pres., Claire Watkins, Admin.

07796 193 466

Williams Club of Great Britain Ethan Kline:

University of North Carolina Alumni Club Brad Matthews, Club Leader 2TheOrchards,HillViewRoad,WokingGU227LS

Yale Club of London JoeVittoria,President, Scott Fletcher, Events, Nick Baskey, Secretary

University of Michigan Alumni Association Regional Contact: Jessica Cobb, BA ’97 +44(0)788-784-0941

Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae KristinMorgan.Tel:07812580949

University of Rochester/Simon School UK Alumni Association Ms. Julie Bonne, Co-President 0118-956-5052 University of Southern California, Alumni Club of London Jennifer Ladwig, President, Chuck Cramer, Treasurer

64 May 2014

CIVIL WAR SOCIETIES American Civil War Round Table (UK) Sandra Bishop, 5 Southdale, Chigwell, Essex IG7 5NN Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkan) Membership Secretary, Bob Isaac, 3 Hilliards Road, Uxbridge,Middlesex,UB83TA

ARTS American Actors UK Administrator:KellyHarris,07873371891

SPORTS English Lacrosse POBox116,ManchesterM110AX08436585006 British Baseball Federation/ BaseballSoftballUK 5th Floor, Ariel House, 74a Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QJ. 020 7453 7055 British Morgan Horse Society Ice Hockey UK 19 Heather Avenue, Rise Park, Romford RM1 4SL Tel.07917194264Fax.01708725241 Infinity Elite Cheerleading (founded by C.A.C) Mondays4.30-8.30–MaidenLaneComm.Centre, 156 St. Paul’s Crescent, London NW1 9XZ. Tumble: Thursdays6-8–PagetCentre,18-28RandellsRd, Islington, London N1 0DH. Tel. 077 9132 0115 Herts Baseball Club Adult & Little League Baseball Lakenheath Barracudas Swim Club Open to all military affiliated families. Charlie Midthun, Pres.,; Head Coach, Dean Reed, LondonSports Instruction & competitive play in American flag football, baseball, basketball and soccer, boys/girls aged 4-15, newcomers or experienced players. Sports in a safe, fun environment for children of all nationalities. London Warriors American Football Club Kevin LoPrimo

We rely on you to keep us informed. Every effort is made to ensure that these listings are correct but if your entry requires amendments please tell us. Send profiles, news or articles about your organization for possible publication in The American. email, tel +44(0)1747 830520, fax +44(0)1747 830691

The American

Suppliers of quality products and services hand-picked for you To find out whether you’re eligible to advertise your products and services here, and for rates, call Sabrina Sully on +44 (0)1747 830520. You’ll reach Americans living in and visiting the UK as well as Britons who like American culture and products.

Transitions Therapy Psychotherapy & Counselling for Expatriate Individuals, Couples, Families & Adolescents. London, or via Skype. 07557 261432

ACCOUNTANCY & TAX BDO LLP The UK member firm of the world’s fifth largest accountancy organisation. 55 Baker Street, London W1U 7EU 02074865888 Jaffe & Co., incorp. American Tax International Comprehensive tax preparation and compliance service for US expatriates in the UK and Europe. America House, 54 Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT 02083465237 Tax & Accounting Hub Professional service at affordable prices. Fixed fee U.S. Expatriate tax preparation service in London. Federal/ State, Foreign bank account/IRS audits response +44(0)2032866445.M:+44(0)7914393183 152 Burford Wharf, 3 Cam Road, London, E15 2SS Hayden T Joseph CPA, PA Honest fixed fee tax compliance for individuals and small businesses. US Expat Returns from £200. UKTel:+447554905143USTel:+3056515580

ANTIQUES & COLLECTABLES Stephen T Taylor Your American stamp dealer in Britain since 1995. 5 Glenbuck Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS 02083909357



EDUCATION Florida State University in UK 50+ years experience in international education. 99 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LA 02078133223

FINANCIAL ADVICE Tanager Wealth Management LLP Integrated financial and investment advice for US expats living in the UK provided by US expats. Global account consolidation, UK/US savings and retirement planning together with investment advice. Contact us for a no obligation meeting or telephone conversation. @tanagerwealth

Rolando Luci Luxury lighting, including American brands, some unique to the UK. 01778218121

LEGAL Chambers of Miss Kristin Heimark Legal services direct to my neighbors, fellow American ex-pats and US Forces personnel stationed in England. 143 Stoke Newington Church Street, LondonN16OU+44(0)7811264290 @stokenewington LinkedIn KristinHeimark Setfords Solicitors Family lawyers and mediators with particular experience in expatriate cases. 01483408780

REAL ESTATE RE/MAX Property Group Notting Hill Gate Branch: 49 Cottesmore Court, StanfordRoad,LondonW85QW

Coffee Break Answers


1. Maine; 2. Track 29; 3. Coca Cola, by its inventor, pharmacist Dr John Pemberton; 4. Chicago, Illinois; 5. 7 4 8 5 3 9 6 2 1 Minnesota;6.Tennessee;7.Chico(realnameLeonard); 8.Thebigtoe;9.MrSnookums;10.JPaulGetty;11.The 6 3 2 1 8 4 7 5 9 ComedyofErrors(ActIIISceneii)AntipholusofSyracuse: 4 8 5 6 9 2 1 7 3 ‘Where America, the Indies?’; 12. Philadelphia; 13. Louis 1 2 6 4 7 3 8 9 5 Armstrong – he played himself; 14. Glinda; 15. The King 9 7 3 8 1 5 2 6 4 Kong set; 16. Bench, desk, counter, stall – where you’d 3 5 7 2 4 8 9 1 6 find the moneylenders; 17. San Francisco – so named in1846afteroccupationbyUStroopsintheMexican2 6 9 3 5 1 4 8 7 American war. Yerba Buena had been founded in 1776; 8 1 4 9 6 7 5 3 2 18.Alaska;19.Guys and Dolls; 20. Lawn Tennis. A1. Chimerica;A2.TheVietnamWar;A3.Batman;A4.FirstGroupplc;A5.TheGrimaldis,ofItalianorigin,who still rule it today. 5









May 2014 65

Swiss movement, English heart

Swiss made / Self-winding automatic movement / 38 hr power reserve / Marine grade stainless steel case / Uni-directional bezel / 300m (1000ft) water resistance / 4.0mm Anti-reflective sapphire crystal / SuperLuminovaTM indexes, bezel marker and hands / High density rubber strap / Bracelet, NATO and leather versions also available / Diameter: 42mm / Calibre: Sellita SW200-1 / 5 year movement guarantee

Showroom at No.1 Park Street, Maidenhead. To arrange a personal appointment, call +44 (0)1628 763040

The American May 2014  

The American has been published for Americans in Britain since 1976. It's also for Brits who like American culture.

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