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September-October 2015


Est. 1976



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INTERVIEW: Harvey Fierstein


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The American ®

Issue 747 September - October 2015 PUBLISHED BY SP MEDIA FOR

Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Old Byre House, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK Tel: +44 (0)1747 830520

Departments: News, Article ideas, Press releases: Advertising & Promotions: Subscriptions: The Team: Michael Burland, Content Director Sabrina Sully, Content Director & Community Contact Daniel Byway, Content Executive Virginia E Schultz, Food & Drink (USA) Michael M Sandwick, Food & Drink (UK) Mary Bailey, Social Alison Holmes, Politics Jarlath O’Connell, Theater

©2015 Blue Edge Publishing Ltd. Printed by Thames Print Ltd., ISSN 2045-5968 Main Cover: Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Mitchell, Cindy Lauper. Photo: Gavin Bond; Circular Inset: Derrick Henry, Photo: Crimson Tide/UA Athletics; Square Inset: Wheelchair Rugby. Photo: Kevin Bogetti-Smith



n a bumper issue we’ve brought together the useful/essential and the entertaining/exciting. Something for everyone? We hope so. Our readers frequently ask us for more. More ‘what’s on’ listings selected for American visitors to Britain. More expat news. More features on finance, education and health matters in the UK - yes, they’re all different (very different!) from the States - written for Americans by experts who understand your needs. More travel guides and ideas of places to go, eat and stay in Britain. More arts. Even more in our American Sports section - already the best in Britain. That’s what we’ve tried to bring you. Have we succeeded? Only you can say. So let us know by email, Twitter, Facebook or Royal Mail if there’s anything more that you’d like us to include. We’d love to hear from you. Enjoy your magazine,  ichael Burland, Content Director M

Among this month’s contributors

Michael M Sandwick The American expat with the golden tastebuds seeks out the best places to eat out in Britain for your delectation. This time he finds eels!

David Costello A Bostonian financial planner and former ‘trailing spouse’, David writes for us on the financial issues that fellow expats in the UK face

Richard Gale Brits think that College sports is watching your local high school sports day. Richard knows better - read his NCAA Football season preview

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.

September - October 2015 1

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The American

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To find out whether you’re eligible to advertise your products and services here, and for rates, call Dan +44 (0)1747 830520, or email dan@theamerican. You’ll reach Americans living in and visiting the UK as well as Britons who like American culture and products.

September - October 2015 3

The American





in this issue...

6 11 14 16 18 20 23 24 26

News: American Heroes Stop Train Terror COMPETITION: Be the US Flag Bearer Finance: Bi-national couples Finance: US Social Security for expats Early Schooling: Options for US families Early Schooling: The right foundation Health: Breast Screening - Why? Profile: Alex Goldberg, a US voice on UK TV Travel: A North Wales Retreat

1 2 6

Welcome A-List: Products & Services News

4 September - October 2015

36 37 44 46 57 58 62 66 70


Food, Drink & Music: Dr BBQ at Grillstock Recipe: BBQ Apricot Baby Back Ribs Interview: Janet Johnson, American artist Interview: Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots US Wheelchair Rugby NFL International: Wembley Calling NFL Season Preview NCAA Football Preview Golf

10 Diary Dates 30 Food & Drink Reviews 40 Arts Choice

50 Theater Reviews 73 US Social Groups 80 Coffee Break

If you need immediate medical attention, touchdown at the Urgent Care Centre. We are proud to support the NFL during the 2015 international series.

Go where the pros go.

The American


From left: Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler enjoy the train trip before the inclident PHOTO: FACEBOOK

American Heroes Foil Train Terrorist


came to see my friends on my first trip in Europe and we stopped a terrorist. It’s kind of crazy,” said Anthony Sadler, one of three young Americans who stopped a terrorist August 21 on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris. Sadler’s friends Spencer Stone serves with the US Air Force and Alek Skarlatos is a member of the National Guard. Emanuel Skarlatos, Alek’s father, told CNN: “A guy with an AK-47 came from one car to his car. They heard the sound of a magazine either being unjammed or changing out a magazine on the assault rifle ... Alek said, ‘Let’s rush him’, and they did. Spencer went first … He tackled the guy and put a choke hold on him. Alek took the pistol and Kalashnikov away. At that point the guy took out a box cutter or some sort of utility knife and started slashing at Spencer’s head and neck and that’s how he got injured. He’s in the hospital. [Stone was later discharged from hospital.] At that point Alek took the butt end

of the Kalashnikov and bashed the guy in the head several times and put him unconscious. Then they hog tied him and at that point Alek took the Kalashnikov and went down the aisles to make sure there was no other terrorist.” A 26-year-old Moroccan, Ayoub El-Khazzani, was arrested. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said it was believed that Khazzani had radical Islamist beliefs, had trained with ISIS and possibly fought in Syria. He had lived in Spain until 2014, then in Belgium. Spanish intelligence passed information about Khazzani to France in February 2014, said M. Cazeneuve, and the Spanish newspaper El Pais said that Khazzani was placed on the Schengen register, on which 27 European countries share information about ‘persons of interest’ in 2012. He is classed as a Grade 3 security threat by French intelligence services. Despite this, a lawyer assigned to Khazzani’s case when he was arrested

told BFM-TV that he is “dumbfounded that his act is being linked to terrorism… He says that by chance he found a suitcase with a weapon, with a telephone, hidden away.” A 28-year-old French banker, who wishes to remain anonymous, was the first to tackle the gunman but lost his balance and fell to the floor. A French-American academic in his 50s then grabbed the gun but Khazzani shot him through the lung with a pistol, the bullet exiting near his collarbone. The Americans then attacked Khazzani. Chris Norman, a British man living in France, was also hurt while trying to subdue the attacker. Spencer Stone then helped the academic. “I’m really proud of my friend that he just reacted so quickly and so bravely,” Anthony Sadler said. ”He was really the first one over there. Even after being injured himself, he went to go help the other man who was bleeding also. Without his help, he would have died.” Actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, the star of Betty Blue and Nikita, told Paris Match magazine that train staff ran into a private cabin and locked it, leaving the passengers alone. France‘s President Francois Hollande presented the heroes with France’s highest award, the Légion d’honneur. They were also given medals by the Mayor of Arras. President Barack Obama praised the men: “It is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy,” the White House said. Spencer Stone recovering at the US Embassy, Paris PHOTO: SGT. RYAN CRANE/USAF

6 September - October 2015


UK vs US Press Corps Cricket


ricket on the lawn on a summer’s day. How very English ...except this was the lawn of Winfield House, the US Ambassador’s residence, and the teams were members of the US and UK media. Rain stopped play halfway through, however everyone enjoyed the day and the US team (mainly non-Americans, but employees of

Ambassador Matthew Barzun gets tips on the finer points of cricket from the team captains. “Hold the other end”?

US firm Bloomberg) were given the victory, and trophies of special Winfield House branded bottles of New Orleans-originated Tabasco Sauce! Ambassador Barzun told the players and spectators that the inspiration for the game (which he hopes will become an annual tradition) came from baseball’s most famous quote, “Whoever wants to know

the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game – and do it by watching first some high school or small town teams,” which was said by his ancestor, Jacques Barzun. He hopes that the new ‘small town’ cricket match will enable Britain and America to extend their knowledge of each others’ hearts and minds.

Fulbright Transatlantic Scholar Programs


he US-UK Fulbright Commission arranges cross-Atlantic student placements in both directions. Recently it teamed up with the Sutton Trust, a British educational charity, to help bright British students from low-income families gain access to undergraduate study in the US. The programme is now in its fourth year and 58 British state [public in US English] school students have won places at prestigious US universities. On July 9 Ambassador Mat-

thew Barzun held a reception at his London residence, Winfield House, to celebrate the students’ achievements and the success of the Sutton Trust’s US Programme. Traveling the other way, The US Consulate General in Edinburgh hosted a reception July 15 to celebrate the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute, a five-week cultural and academic program for US students held at the University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde.

Worldwide Caution Alert for American Expats The Department of State has updated the Worldwide Caution on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against US citizens and interests. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators,

serve as a reminder that US citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. Read the full text at alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html

September - October 2015 7

The American

‘Catch 22’ Bomber Unveiled


he Imperial War Museum’s North American B-25J Mitchell, newly-repainted to represent a bomber flown in by Catch 22 author Joseph Heller as a bombardier during World War II, was unveiled August 6. The aircraft now represents Mitchell no. 43-4064, which served with the 488th Bomb Squadron of the 340th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force, United States Army Air Forces, in the latter stages of the war. The 340th was the inspiration for the Bomb Group represented in Heller’s satirical novel. Crews were not allocated a specific aircraft in the 340th Bomb Group and personnel were interchanged between crews and aircraft. As a result, Joseph Heller flew in almost all of the aircraft operated by the 340th Bomb Group. Missions he flew in B-25J Mitchell 43-4064 formed the inspiration for some of the events in his classic book. Chris Knapp, Section Head, Industrial and Large Object Conservation, IWM Duxford, said: “The Conservation Team carried out a structural survey and then a team of three Conservation staff repainted the aircraft within a six week period. I’m really pleased with the work they have done. We have carried out painstaking research to ensure that the aircraft matches the original 43-4064.” Mitchell 43-4064 can currently be seen at IWM Duxford in the Conservation in Action hangar and will be displayed in the newly-transformed American Air Museum at IWM Duxford when it reopens in spring 2016.

Save Gypsy Jazz Gypsy Jazz club Le QuecumBar is facing difficult times following large increases in rent and rates. It is near the new US Embassy site in Battersea so if you want to help save a good music venue nearby you may be interested in the club’s crowd-funding initiative (, search for QuecumBar). It is the only

8 September - October 2015

club in the world dedicated to guitar maestro Django Reinhardt and some of the finest musicians perform there. The initiative is not to fund the rent, says club manager Steve Tennison, but to move forward, “refocusing and reenergising not only the Gypsy jazz scene but other forms of jazz, including vintage swing, 30s/40s Anglo/American swing and New Orleans jazz too.”

UK AMERICAN Buying & Selling USA Stamps, Covers SPORTS STORE & Postal History

Buying & Selling USA Stamps, Covers & Postal History

YO23 1EX July 17 – 18

STAMPEX Stamp Show Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 0QH Sept 16 – 19

Stephen T. Taylor 5 Glenbuck Road Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS Phone: 020 8390 9357 Fax: 020 8390 2235

Stephen T. Taylor 5 Glenbuck Road Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS Phone: 020 8390 9357 Fax: 020 8390 2235

Your American Dealer in Britain

Your American Dealer in Britain

The UK’s number one store for NFL, YORK STAMP & COIN FAIR MLB, NHL &Grandstand, NBA merchandise Racecourse York

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Buying & Selling USA Stamps, Covers & Postal History YORK STAMP & COIN FAIR Grandstand, YorkisRacecourse, Yorkworld Our mission to educate the YO23 1EX January 16-17

about American cultural history. We need Friends to help. Stephen T. Taylor

Buying & Selling USA Stamps, Covers & Postal History EUROPHILEX STAMP SHOW BDC, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH May 13 - 16

5 Glenbuck Road Surbiton, Surrey KT6 6BS Phone: 020 8390 9357 Fax: 020 8390 2235

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Join us tel: 01225 823010 Registered Charity Number 1106989

12 October 2013

The American

Selected for you

More events in more detail online at NFL London Tailgate Parties Various, including River Thames, London Thru NFL season The fun of an NFL tailgate party with the excitement of seeing the sights of London from a boat fit for royalty. With American food, drink, and music.

American Museum in Britain Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD The only museum outside the USA to showcase America’s arts. This year’s exhibitions are Spirit Hawk Eye (portraits of present-day Native Americans) and Hatched, Matched, Dispatched & Patched!, objects commemorating family milestones inc. quilts and costumes. Events include Churchill Lecture, Professor Sarah Churchwell explores the topic of Dreaming American Literature in Europe (Sep 25); music with American singersongwriter Greg Trooper (Sep 27); American Civil War weekend with the Southern Skirmish Association (Oct 3 - 4); Magna Carta Embroidery Panels exhibition (Oct 13-25); talk by Loyd Grossman on Benjamin West’s painting, The Death of General Wolfe (Oct 16); Falconry Demonstration (Oct 27); and ghost tours and Halloween events (Oct 28-30).

10 September - October 2015

BT World Wheelchair Rugby Champ’s Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3HB October 12 to 16 SEE COMPETITION OPPOSITE >>> The Paralympic sport returns to the Copperbox with teams from the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, Japan and South Africa. The opening match on October 12 is a must see revenge bout between USA and Canada, a re-match of the Paralympic semi-final which Canada won by a single point. British Library Eccles Centre Events 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB Regular talks and events with a Transatlantic flavor. Highlights include: Britain and the American Constitution (Sep 8); Let’s All Move to Detroit (Benjamin Markovits on his new novel, about race, justice and the American way, Sep 14); Books Talk Back, Tracy Chevalier’s ideas for aspiring authors (Sep 21); Making Room: The Housing Crisis in New York and London (Sep 28); Last Days in Vietnam, documentary on the chaotic final days of America’s involvement

in the Vietnam War (Oct 19); The Secret History of Wonder Woman, the pop culture icon and her creator (Oct 21); Shoulder to Shoulder: Americans in Britain during WW2, former Whitehouse Correspondent Lynne Olson, explores how the US forged its alliance with the UK, and the US servicemen who came to Britain during the war effort (Nov 4).

Arthur Miller Season Various, Scotland September 1 to November 7 At the centenary of Miller’s Birth, a special season includes two Miller plays, All My Sons and The Last Yankee. The Great Dorset Steam Fair Tarrant Hinton, Dorset DT11 8HX September 2 to 6 The National Heritage Show is the leading steam engine and agricultural pursuits show in the world: 600 acres of showman’s and working steam engines, horses, classic cars & ‘bikes, funfairs and music. Blackpool Illuminations Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 September 4 to November 8 A major annual attraction of lights that has been around since 1879. Jerry Lee Lewis: 80th Birthday Farewell Tour London Palladium, Glasgow Clyde Auditorium September 6 & 10 The Killer celebrates his 80th birthday with his last ever UK concerts in London (Sep 6) and Glasgow (Sep 10). Shuttleworth Airshows The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden Aerodrome, Nr Biggleswade, Bedfordshire SG18 9EP

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The Great American Songbook Pt 3 English-Speaking Union, Dartmouth House, 37 Charles Street, London W1J 5ED September 9 This ESU concert takes audiences back to the Golden age of Jazz.

Carriage Driving Championships Cirencester Park, Gloucestershire GL7 2BP September 18 to 20 A frantic, fast paced sport in which 2 or 4 wheel carriages, pulled by horses, are placed in competitive action.

         

The American has teamed up with the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the flag bearer for the Stars and Stripes in their opening match of the 2015 Challenge against Canada. Just answer this simple question for an exclusive, money-can’t-buy opportunity to support Team USA, win a signed match ball and watch the USA vs Canada and GB vs France matches live and in person with a friend.

What was Wheelchair Rugby originally called? a) Murderball b) Wheelieball c) Rollerball

The Great American Short Story Charleston, Firle, Lewes, E. Sussex BN8 6LL September 24 Professor of American Literature Sarah Churchwell and Vendela Vida, editor of The Believer magazine, discuss the history and legacy of the American Short Story.

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USA College Day ILEC Conference Centre, 47 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UD September 25 & 26 The Fulbright Commission’s 38th USA College Day offers Americans or Brits considering undergraduate study in

Dublin Festival of Theatre Dublin, Ireland September 24 to October 11 An 18-day celebration of theater from Ireland and around the world, including the Irish premiere of The Night Alive,Conor McPherson’s award-winning play and a new production of Arthur Miller’s captivating A View from the Bridge.

Last Night of the Proms Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP September 12 Like Wimbledon and the Grand National this is one event in the year when regular members of the public get excited by a

Liza Minnelli Live & In Conversation London Palladium, Argyll Street, London W1F 7TF September 20 Bruce Forsyth interviews the American showbiz legend, who will also sing.

How to Enter: Email your answer and contact details to theamerican@blueedge. with WHEELCHAIR RUGBY in the subject line; or post to: WHEELCHAIR RUGBY, The American, Old Byre House, Millbrook Lane, East Knoyle, Salisbury SP3 6AW, UK; to arrive by mid-day October 2. Only one entry per person per draw. The editor’s decision is final. No cash alternative. You are responsible for any travel, accomodation or other expenses. Winner must be available to arrive at the Copperbox Arena by 4pm on Monday October 12 to be given instructions and enable rehearsal for flag bearing activity. If winner is under 18, an adult needs to attend as chaperone.

Agatha Christie Festival Various, Torquay, Devon September 11 to 20 ‘The English Riviera’ holds its annual festival dedicated to the work the Queen of Crime. 2015 is the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth in Torquay.


Jane Austen Festival Various, Bath, BA1 September 11 to 20 The Pride and Prejudice author is celebrated with events including the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, workshops, walkabouts, recitals and readings.


Goodwood Revival Goodwood, Chichester, West Sussex September 11 to 13 Among American highlights this year, motorcycle champs Kevin Schwantz and Freddie Spencer compete for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy, and a celebration of 50 years of the Shelby Daytona Coupe. And don’t miss a last chance to see a flypast of the Vulcan Bomber.

particular activity, in this case classical music. It has its own rituals and regular items, it’s patriotic (‘Rule, Britannia!’, ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, ‘Jerusalem’), and a must watch in person or on TV.


September 6 & October 4 Shuttleworth’s annual pageant takes place on Sep 6, and its final show, ‘Uncovered’ on Oct 4. Get up close to historic aircraft and speak to their pilots.

September - October 2015 11

The American

the US a fantastic opportunity to speak with over 150 exhibitors representing US universities and educational service providers. Not to be missed by parents, students and advisers.

Harvest Fayre at Sulgrave Sulgrave Manor, Manor Road, Sulgrave, Nr Banbury, Oxfordshire OX17 2SD 01295 760205 September 27 Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington, celebrates the

harvest with a special day including fresh food stalls, live music and lots of activities.

Horse of the Year Show NEC, Birmingham B40 1NT October 7 to 11 The annual event celebrates all things equestrian with top quality competitions and events for visitors and competitors. An Evening with Judy Collins various, UK & Ireland October 7 to 26 Perhaps most famous for her cover of Sondheim’s ‘Send in the Clowns’, American Judy Collins is on tour. BFI London Film Festival Various, London October 7 to 18 Highlights are the European premiere of Steve Jobs, the Danny Boyle directed bio-pic on the co-founder of Apple computers, and the UK premiere of Carol, Todd Haynes’ 1950s set drama starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Check website for updates.

Chopin Marathon Series St John’s Smith Sq., London SW1P 3HA

September 4, 2015 to July 2016 Pianist Warren Mailley-Smith is undertaking the marathon of playing all of Chopin’s solo piano music at St John’s Smith Square. Warren toured the US with his Young Chopin series, including a recital in the Weill Hall at the Carnegie Hall. He has performed over 30 times for the Royal Family including at Buckingham Palace and Sandringham (but is resolutely discreet about these performances) and also performed several times at the American School in London.

12 September - October 2015

Brighton Comedy Festival Various, Brighton BN1 / BN2 October 9 to 24 Stars of the UK comedy circuit are joined by American Sean Kelly, host of US auction show Storage Hunters and now Storage Hunters UK, who brings his stand up wit to the Corn Exchange on Oct 17.

Family Arts Festival

Various, UK October 9 to November 1 2,000+ events across the UK, a huge variety of innovative and interactive events for all including Bedtime Stories at The Albany in London, and a Hollywood Special Effects Show in Wycombe.

World Porridge Making Champ’s Carrbridge, Scotland PH23 October 10 Entrants from around the globe compete for the title and ‘Golden Spurtle’ trophy. World Conker Championships Shuckburgh Arms, Main Street, Southwick, Nr Oundle, Peterborough PE8 5BL October 11 Competitors find out whose conkers (seeds of horse chestnut trees) are strongest, by threading them onto string and bashing each other’s conker until one breaks! Ely Apple Festival The Parish Green, Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire CB7 4DL October 17 Cooking, storytelling, folk music and Morris dancing are all part of Ely’s apple fest. Battle of Ideas Various, UK October 17 to 18 Thought-provoking ideas and debates, asking challenging questions on issues as varied as the Labour Party’s electoral wipeout in Scotland to the meaning of Shakespeare in a modern context. Regent Street Motor Show Regent Street, London W1B 5TD October 31 The free event turns London’s Regent Street into a showcase of over 300 cars. Halloween Various, UK October 31 Ghouls, goblins and ghosts roam the street as Britain embraces the annual holiday of Halloween - but don’t worry, they’re just costumes. Events take place around the country - many aimed at families and children, although watch out for those designed to spook even the most staunch of adults.

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The American


Love and Marriage go together like considerations for a bi-national couple


s an American living in the UK, almost nothing related to your financial affairs is easy. The consequences of seemingly simple decisions - such as how to pay for a new home or purchase a mutual fund - may create unnecessary tax charges and complexities. There are a number of key milestones that occur, from the time you arrive in the UK to the time you potentially approach and eventually reach retirement. Many of these changes will impact the appropriate wealth management strategies for American expats. Understanding how rules will change for you over time will allow you to plan ahead and make prudent financial decisions. In this edition we will address some of the important financial considerations that a US person should be aware of when their spouse is a non-US citizen.

14 September - October 2015

There can be some great planning advantages in the case of a bi-national couple. Opportunities often abound for example in choosing to own certain assets in either spouse name to optimise the tax implications for either US or UK purposes. For instance, the non-US spouse could take advantage of some of the UK tax-advantaged accounts and asset ownership structures in the UK that are generally not beneficial for a US person, whilst the US spouse could focus on utilising US tax-efficient vehicles. In order to take advantage of some of those planning opportunities, one must also be aware of how the US gift and estate tax rules work. The US imposes a tax on transfers of property both during a person’s life and at death. A US person has a current lifetime allowance of $5.43 million before being

By Andrea Solana subject to estate or gift tax. Gifts given during one’s lifetime above the annual allowance will reduce an individual’s lifetime allowance. Where a married couple are both US citizens they have the ability to pass assets freely between them without any implications. This is called the unlimited marital deduction. However when one spouse is not a US citizen, the unlimited marital deduction does not apply. During one’s lifetime, gifts to a nonUS citizen spouse carries a current annual exclusion of $147,000 before reducing the lifetime allowance. By taking advantage of the annual exclusion, one could gradually transfer wealth out of the US and, given a particular set of facts and circumstances, look at ways to optimise the structure of the family

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wealth without incurring gift tax and at the same time reduce the eventual taxable estate from a US perspective. If proper planning is not put in place, any amount of an estate that is above the allowable lifetime exemption, will likely be subject to federal estate tax. Other than a surviving spouse making the decision to become a US citizen (which has other implications that must be considered), one could consider the option to set up a qualified domestic trust (also known as a QDOT). The QDOT could be created as part of a will and if the assets inherited by the non-US citizen spouse go into the QDOT any federal estate tax payable is deferred until the money is either distributed from the QDOT

or the second spouse passes away. At that point, the deferred estate tax will be paid. While being a bi-national couple can present some challenges, through advance planning, one could avoid paying unnecessary costs and understand how to take advantage of some of the valuable opportunities that often present themselves. Andrea Solana is Head of Advanced Planning at MASECO Private Wealth. Andrea graduated from University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a degree in Finance and Management, completed her MBA at Imperial College London and holds her US Series 65 license.

If you would like a full copy of MASECO’s 39 Steps to Smart Living in the UK please visit MASECO Private Wealth is not a qualified tax adviser and you should seek separate advice on your tax position with a suitably qualified tax adviser. MASECO LLP trading as MASECO Private Wealth is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

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Social Security

Survivor and Spousal benefits for UK resident Americans and NRAs. Essential advice from David Costello


n August 14, 2015, US Social Security turned 80. If you did not receive your invitation to the party or bought a present - don’t worry. The presents are for you! As we put together financial plans for Americans living in the UK, we often coach our clients on how to get the most up to date Social Security benefit statement. These benefits can be significant and play a major role in helping to provide for your retirement lifestyle expenses. Currently, the maximum monthly benefit at full retirement is $2,663 pm or $31,956 pa. Using a 4% withdrawal rate, you would need almost $800,000 in savings to provide an equivalent income stream. You can see why this benefit should not be forgotten. Plus, you paid into it! There is a totalization agreement between the United States and 24 other countries, of which the United Kingdom is one. The aim of

all US totalization agreements is to eliminate dual Social Security coverage and taxation while maintaining the coverage of as many workers as possible under the system of the country where they are likely to have the greatest attachment, both while working and after retirement. Each agreement seeks to achieve this goal through a set of objective rules. This agreement is a topic for another article altogether. Two questions that we are often asked have to do with Survivor and Spousal benefits. First a definition, Non-Resident Alien (NRA) is someone not living in the US and is not a US citizen. Recently one of our clients, who is a UK citizen and recently lost her US citizen husband, was pleased to learn that she would continue to receive 100% of his social security benefit for the rest of her life in the form of a survivor benefit. She gets this benefit having never lived

or worked in the US. Because the UK has an agreement with the US regarding each other’s social security programs, she did not have to fulfill the additional residency requirement of 5 years normally in place for dependents and survivors. If an NRA spouse is a citizen OR resident of the UK or the other 23 countries with totalization agreements with the US, he or she is eligible for spousal benefits. There are some restrictions on where the US will send the payments. For further information, go to and search for ‘Your payments while outside the US’. David Costello is a Partner at Tanager Wealth Management LLP which is is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Tanager Wealth Management LLP does not provide tax advice. You should seek specialist tax advice from a suitably qualified tax professional.

IMAGE ©401(K) 2014

16 September - October 2015

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Early Days Schooling In part 1 of our Early Years special Paul Kelly, Head of School and University Placement at Gabbitas Educational Consultants, discusses early learning options for Americans in the UK


or many overseas nationals considering giving their children a British independent education with all its benefits of teaching excellence, expert university preparation, international friendships, traditional values, sporting opportunities and superb facilities the entry procedures can seem daunting and complex. The nomenclature itself, with preps and prepreps, housemasters, exeats, and, above all, a public school in fact meaning an elite fee-paying institution, can provoke bemusement. These issues are magnified in metropolitan areas, especially in London with tales of coaching for nursery children to gain entry to a crucial “feeder”, suppressed alarm at the rejection of a six year old from a favoured prep school and disquieting stories of early registration to top schools pressurising parents on the dinner party circuit.

Planning ahead ...well ahead

It is certainly true that a degree of planning in a child’s education is helpful and that advice from experts can ease the process considerably. The ideal point to start this is at the birth of the child and the consideration of a suitable nursery – though

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don’t assume that the most popular is necessarily the best. The decision is rightly governed by location, although there should also be an eye to the first school- the pre-prep at 4+. Here again location is an important factor and a five mile radius is a sensible one, though other criteria will start to play a part such as the entry procedure. Bute House, a leading girls’ prep school from 4-11, holds a ballot for the twenty-two places available at 4+ entry, with a registration deadline two years before entry and a sibling policy automatically offering places to those with sisters at the school. Over 400 girls usually enter the ballot for the remaining places. Your child should be registered as soon as possible, though certainly at least two years prior to entry and then probably to four or five schools. Once your son/daughter is about two, visits should be made to the potential schools to try to form a feel for the places. The rest of your child’s year group will be an important element here and particularly in London consideration should be given to the number of ex-patriate families who might move on after only a short stay and possibly, also, to the number of nannies dropping

children off at the school gates as the percentage of parents who both work is something for a non-working parent to be mindful of. Pre-preps can be single sex or coeducational and the age range can vary from 4 to 8, 4 to 11 or 13 and some schools are 4 to 18. The entry section will generally be based on the child’s ability to join in and ‘have a go’ during an assessment day of broad activities as well as taking standard written and computer tests in English and Maths. Parents are not usually expected to be present during these sessions and the school is looking for social maturity and readiness to learn in a group situation. Numeracy skills, letter recognition and basic ability to follow instructions are also important. It should be borne in mind that some schools are only looking for a particular type of child and any rejection should be seen in that light. There are others, such as the co-educational Hill House, which are non-selective and the main intake of pupils into Sarum Hall is in fact the Nursery class in the September after a child’s third birthday.

Right for your child - not for you

When choosing a pre-prep parents should certainly look at the

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Girls’ Under 11 Prep School Tournament

common prep school destinations on departure, assuming the school does not go on to 11 or 13, as that will be the next common point of change when the child is 7 or 8. At this stage the individual child’s qualities, character, attributes and ambitions will be decisive in the choice of prep school as it is the last stage before entry to a senior school at 11 or 13 where academic level, specialisms, size, pupil body, sports prowess, day or boarding , co-educational or not are going to dictate choice. The entry procedures for prep schools reflect the characteristics of the senior school they aim to “feed”, for example, Westminster Under is an extremely academic boys’ school which aims to place pupils in the most academic of Britain’s public schools. Successful applicants should be in the top percentage of ability in their current school, reg-

istration is two years prior to entry and typically out of the 250 boys who take the test only 25 will gain places. Other schools, such as Caldicott, will insist on its pupils boarding in the last couple of years in order to prepare for the boarding schools it aims to feed to. In addition to entry exams the pupil interview will also be a significant part of the application process. Pupils should also be well settled in a prep school for at least two years before exit as this is when the Common Entrance exam syllabus is taught. Performance in these exams across a range of subjects will be the key to securing entry to public school. Parents should be aware that some of the most selective public schools carry out a policy of pretesting potential entrants two years prior to Common Entrance and that


registration for such schools should be completed by the child’s tenth birthday. The Head is one of the most important figures in your child’s education in a typical prep school and you will want to be able to trust their judgment on recommending the most suitable public school for your child. They are the experts and should be treated as such. The system is complex and surrounded by many alarming urban myths. However, it is important to be flexible in approach, there are many examples of children who failed to enter the most desirable pre-preps, yet later gain Ivy League or Oxbridge degrees. Be prepared to talk to someone who has knowledge of the range of routes available to counter those conversations on the dinner party circuit in order to find the right school for your child, not for you.

September - October 2015 19

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The Right Foundation

Early Years part 2: Finding the right early years environment for your child, by Sarah Partridge, Early Childhood Leader for Learning at the International School of London (ISL) Surrey arents relocating to the UK seeking education for their young children will quickly learn about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the UK curriculum framework for children from birth to age 5. Introduced in 2008 to recognise the importance of this stage of life, the programme provides a researchbased framework to guide early childhood professionals in the delivery of consistent and high quality environments for all children in preschool settings. It is required in all UK pre- schools and registered early years providers, such as playgroups and childminders. As one of the few frameworks worldwide for children under the age of 3, it has also been adopted by many international schools abroad. EYFS is developmental in


approach, built around the natural way children grow and learn, commonly referred to as the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. The framework starts with the notion that the most effective learning takes place when children are engaged in authentic play and real activities through which they can make sense of the world around them by engaging, talking, thinking and interacting with other children and adults. It acknowledges and values the individuality of each child, while recognising that children need to feel safe, secure and happy in order to make friends, learn and understand the world around them. In practical terms, this means that children will learn through play and active explorations in indoor and outdoor settings. In following



their interests and feeling free to build on their natural curiosity, they will feel happy, safe and secure at school and have ‘ownership’ of their classroom. Working individually and with others, they will develop teamwork and creative and critical thinking skills. As opposed to traditional teacher-directed activities, children will be consulted about what they are doing and interested in, which guides the adults in planning activities and themes which are motivating for them. With guided play, students will develop independence, curiosity, resilience and the ability to think and reflect on what they are doing. But what about literacy and numeracy? When will my child start reading? She can already count to 100! All parents are concerned that their children will enjoy school, but they also want them to progress to the next stages of learning. The flexibility of the EYFS framework allows for all children to have their unique needs supported and to be challenged appropriately. The framework is structured to allow them to move through different stages at their own rate. This framework also allows for the following of individual interests and learning styles, so that differentiated pathways of progress can be planned for. For instance, in one of our classrooms, we noticed there were a few reluctant boy writ-

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ers – they were more interested in other types of play. But we also observed they were interested in Minecraft. We produced a variety of photos and materials on Minecraft to entice them. Very quickly, the boys relocated these materials to an area on the floor and began cutting them out and making books to take home, adding their own letters and words for the text. This proved tremendously successful in developing their skills and interest in literacy, because the available materials were built around their interest and they were able to control the activity, on their own terms. How should parents go about finding an early childhood provider for their children? All EYFS settings – nursery, childminder, playgroup, preschool or early childhood schools – are inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) or by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) which is also monitored by OFSTED according to the guidelines set out by the EYFS. The most current reports for each setting can be found at It should be borne in mind, however, that an OFSTED report is a ‘snapshot’ and cannot give a full picture of an EYFS setting. Parents should visit the provider to see it in operation. When doing so, the following are some useful questions to ask yourself in

22 September - October 2015


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assessing whether this is the right environment for your child: How do the adults engage with the children? How do the adults follow and build on the children’s interests? Are the children active and busy or rigidly controlled and directed? Is there a range of varied and stimulating resources readily accessible to the children? Does it feel like a safe and secure environment? What should parents look for? A nurturing early years environment will have a good ratio of adults to children. The classroom itself should have different interest areas with a wide variety of activities for exploration and with the outdoors play area readily accessible. There should be a continuous happy burble of activity. Watch how the adults engage. They should stand back and allow the children time to explore, knowing when to intervene, yet remain in the background to provide support and scaffolding for developing the child’s ideas. Internationally mobile families should also consider the issue of transition. A new home and country can be stressful, not just for the parents. Children may be missing grandparents or familiar caregivers. Additionally, food, sleeping patterns and a new home can have a particu-

larly profound effect on young children. The Early Years Departments of many international schools recognize this and work closely with families and their children to provide a ‘soft landing’, offering pro-active orientation and ongoing support during the process of settling in and transition. Families for whom English is not the first language will also need additional settling-in support around language issues. A young child immersed in a new language environment can find this a very daunting period. For these families, will the Early Childhood program value, support and encourage continued development in a child’s first language? Whilst young children pick up languages quickly, research over the past 40 shows that the best way to learn a new language is on the strong foundation of the mother tongue. There are many factors to consider in finding the right setting for your child and at times the decision making process may seem overwhelming. Given this, possibly the most important piece of advice to bear in mind is: if in doubt, ask. You can never have too much information and, moreover, a friendly, informative and enthusiastic answer from an Early Years practitioner will tell you a lot about the people working in that setting and bodes well for any future partnership with them. ISL Surrey is an IB World school offering mother tongue learning integrated into the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the IB Middle Years and Diploma programs.

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Breast Screening Why?

Consultant Breast Surgeon Mr Simon Marsh explains, ahead of Breast Awareness Month in October


reast cancer remains the most common cancer of women and for reasons that are not entirely clear the incidence is increasing. Not only is it becoming more common in general but we are seeing it more often in younger women. Despite that the number of women dying from breast cancer is falling. Whilst improvements in surgical technique, drug treatment (including chemotherapy) and radiotherapy have all helped, one of the biggest factors is likely to be early detection. Being aware of what is normal is very important and many women (or men for that matter) will spot changes in the breast themselves. These may include changes in size or shape, nipple changes or discharge, and of course, lumps. Whilst many such changes represent benign (noncancerous) conditions or normal age related changes about half of breast cancers are found by women themselves (these are termed “symptomatic cancers”). The rest are picked up in ladies who have no symptoms at all and are usually found by women coming for routine mammograms. Mammograms are breast x-rays and two views are taken on each side. The x-rays are as low dose as possible and these days full field digital mammography is used. In advanced centres (such as The London Breast Clinic) tomosynthesis is also used and this produces a three dimensional mammogram that can make very

small cancers easier to spot. There is much debate about how often mammograms should be performed and at what age they should start. In general the age of 40 is considered appropriate to begin mammograms. In younger ladies ultrasound scans are used first and mammograms only added if needed. The interval is more difficult. Many ladies like to come every year, whilst some prefer every 18 months or so. There is no right answer and the interval will usually be agreed between the woman and their consultant. Ladies who have a family history of breast cancer, or are on HRT or have other risk factors will often choose to come every year. Whilst mammograms are important in detecting breast cancer early, remember that a mammogram on its own will miss up to 15% of cancers. In particular there is a type of breast cancer called “lobular cancer” that can be almost invisible on mammograms. For this reason many women will not simply have a mammogram but will chose to have a full annual assessment that includes ultrasound scans and clinical examination as well. Actress Elizabeth Hurley is just one of the millions of women - and men - who suppport breast cancer charities . She is seen here at last year’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation Hot Pink Party in Boston, Mass.

September - October 2015 23

The American

Profile: Alex Goldberg


es, that voice you’re hearing as ‘Continuity Announcer’ on Channel 4 TV is American! Alex, how did you come to be living and working in the UK? I fell in love with London on a family vacation in the early 2000s. It felt important, historic, and buzzing with people from all around the world. I started University the next year and I studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where I now teach part-time. I moved to London indefinitely in 2007. What it’s like to be an American living in Britain? It’s great, for the most part! When I arrived it was easy to get a UK visa. It’s disheartening how anti-immigration rhetoric has negatively impacted some of my non-British friends who want to work here. Many have had to go home. Brits sometimes say: “We don’t want to get rid of Americans, just the ‘wrong’ kind of immigrants.” But the vast majority of Brits are really welcoming to Americans, if you’re polite, you queue, and you enjoy alcohol! How did you become a continuity announcer? I auditioned for Channel 4 in 2012, which consisted of several interviews, a scripting exercise and a recording. I started on youth channel E4, and now I can be heard on Channel 4 itself, More4, and the newer channel 4Seven. I’m a freelancer. I got a mixed reaction! People don’t like change and a continuity

24 September - October 2015


announcer is like a friendly background presence. A foreign accent was too big a change for some people. E4’s viewership is very active on Twitter and some of those tweets were pretty intense. But I now feel part of the furniture. Channel 4 is always taking risks, like the man with cerebral palsy who is now announcing, as well as a woman with Tourette’s. So just being a Yank on-air isn’t really all that unique anymore. What differences do you see between UK and US media? Commercials! American TV has far too many, I can’t watch live TV over there anymore, it has to be recorded. British TV is more varied. Yes, you’ve got reality trash like TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, and Big Brother (which I LOVE, full disclosure), but you’ve also got serious documentaries airing in prime time on major networks, like the one Channel 4 just aired about Prince Philip. American TV is 99% entertainment because of the cash-driven model so one could argue that it’s pretty dumbed down. Showtime/BBC2’s show Episodes is a brilliant skewering of how American TV gets made. It’s pretty upsetting what the Government wants to do to the BBC. The Beeb is the strong core of UK television (and British culture to a large extent) and it would be a shame to lose any of it. Re: continuity announcing, there aren’t really announcers on US TV, which makes explaining my job to American family and friends a little difficult. I usually say that continuity announcers are in

place of the little box in the upper left hand corner of American TV’s with the symbols (ie. TV-MA, TV-PG, etc). What are your favorite (and least favorite) shows to introduce? I love introducing the Channel 4 News. Though the name of the presenter is given to the announcer about 30 seconds before we’re meant to say it, and I am always nervous that I’ll be given a name I can’t pronounce perfectly. My least favorite? Embarrassing Bodies. It is COMPLETELY disgusting, and the Puritanical American inside of me just can’t believe gratuitous body part images are being shown at 8pm. I’ve also recorded various commercials and presented on the radio. I did broadcast celebrity journalism for a while and had a blast interviewing celebs. What is your dream job? I’m obsessed with the Eurovision Song Contest, and know WAY more than an American should. My dream job would be Graham Norton’s commentary gig, or to bring Eurovision to US television. If you’re an American TV producer, get in touch. Let’s bring the camp and kitsch to unsuspecting Americans. Finally, what’s the best thing about being Alex Goldberg? I watch TV and get paid for it! Enough said. Contact Alex:


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A North Wales Retreat Daniel M Byway takes to the hills of North Wales


friend and I recently hired a car and set off to see more of Wales; it’s a bit of a drive, but going by car is worth it for the freedom of exploring off the beaten track at your leisure. En route we took a detour via a winding track to Nant-y-Moch reservoir in the Cambrian mountains, an absurdly serene place which feels a million miles from modern life, with incredible views. Although you can take the train from London to Bangor and go from there, I’d highly recommend going by car so you can seek out these little corners of Wales which feel uncharted and untouched by the world. For our break, we chose a hotel nestled on the edge of Snowdonia, which is part of the RSPB Ynyshir Nature reserve. Ynyshir Hall typifies everything which is magical about North Wales – although it’s easily accessible by road, it feels as though it’s one of those uncharted phenomena, totally quiet and calm. Joan

26 September - October 2015

Reen, one of the Hall’s owners, later explained that this tranquility has helped them to expand a spa facilty at the hotel, with therapy rooms and treatment options designed to relax the mind and the body. Just being in the grounds was enough to relax me – guests are also able to walk straight into the RSPB Nature reserve next to the hotel, which makes this a perfect venue for those looking to get away from the urban life and experience nature first hand. Not far from Ynyshir Hall is a stretch of coastline which is among the most beautiful in the UK. Between Barmouth and Porthmadog (don’t worry too much about the pronunciations – the locals are happy to explain!), there are sandy beaches, quaint villages and historic sights, including the impressive Harlech Castle. With views along the coast and across the Snowdonian mountains, and a fascinating history dating back to the 1200s to boot, Harlech is well worth visiting. One

particularly enjoyable way to see this coastline is by train; the track runs through from Porthmadog to Dovey Junction, which is a short walk from the hotel, and takes in lots of the local sights. Ynyshir Hall is one of those sights in itself. It has its own fascinating heritage; parts of it date back to the 15th century, and its previous owners include Queen Victoria, who played a big part in the developments of the gardens. She may not have been amused about much, but it’s clear to see why Queen Vic loved Ynyshir as her holiday retreat. We stayed in one of the Garden Suites, which are situated in a renovated outbuilding. All of the rooms are beautifully decorated; Joan’s husband Rob is a very accomplished artist – his paintings, which are mostly oil on canvas, liven the décor with colorful tributes to the local area, including one of the nation’s traditional sights, sheep. Our room was especially comfortable, and

The American Top right: Plynlimon, Ceredigion : Pen Pumlumon Fawr, looking out over Nanty-moch reservoir IMAGE ©CROWN COPYRIGHT 2014, VISIT WALES

Middle right: New Season Carrots baked in Hay & Salt, Ynyshir Hall restaurant IMAGE COURTESY YNYSHIR HALL

Bottom right: the garden suite we stayed in at Ynyshir Hall IMAGE ©ROB AYRES, COURTESY YNYSHIR HALL

had all the amenities we could have asked for, including freshly brewed tea every morning, delivered by a delightful team – Joan and Rob have good reason to be proud of the hotel’s overall service, everyone we met was amazingly friendly, polite and enthusiastic about both Ynyshir and the surrounding area. It’s a real tribute to top quality hospitality. This ethos spreads to the Hotel’s restaurant, which offers one of the most incredible dining experiences. Having enjoyed the 8-course tasting menu (£80pp) on our first night, we could have easily gone to any number of local pubs on our second, but our taste buds compelled us to go back to see what the next night’s menu would be. Head Chef Gareth Ward varies the menu to suit that day’s produce, and his concoctions are true Welsh taste sensations. Ward combines top quality local and national ingredients to create very imaginitive dishes. With the tasting menu we enjoyed an

September - October 2015 27

The American

The stunning Harlech Castle

ecletic range of flavors, with courses including Asparagus, Beef Wagyu (which finished with an innovative Beef Fudge, a particular favorite of my guest), Mackerel and more. On our second night, we tried the Market Menu, which again was a delight – and included a delicious, gourmet version of a Cheese Toastie. Who knew the humble Toastie could get Michelin Star treatment? The restaurant also stocks a great range of wines, I’d recommend the wine pairing option (£60pp) which nicely complements each course. To finish each dinner, Ynyshir Hall offers something a little bit special involving Liquid Nitrogen, I shan’t spoil the surprise but it’s a real treat. For those who also want to see behind the scenes of a Michelin Star kitchen – there’s also a Chef’s Table option, which allows you to interact with Chef Ward and his team, watch

28 September - October 2015


them at work and enjoy a uniquely designed menu. As if to underline the peacefulness of its location, Ynyshir Hall is part of the Dyfi UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which means a lack of light polution makes it ideal for stargazing. The hotel has recently procured two telescopes, and their stargazing packages make for a romantic addition to a Welsh retreat. With the fresh air, the peacefulness and calm aura of Ynyshir, it’s no surprise that it’s so highly regarded by many. For me, meeting Joan explained the success of the hotel, her attention to detail and commitment is unparalleled – her husband Rob, Chef Ward and her whole team are major contributing factors that make Ynyshir Hall such a joy to stay at. North Wales is another major contributor that makes Ynyshir a great vacation destination. A little

further afield is the imposing Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, which the hardy can walk up, or for a more leisurely option, there’s a railway right to the summit with stunning views over the region. For those who have watched the TV Series The Prisoner, nearby Portmeirion village is where the show was set – famous for its Italian style and pottery, it’s a great day trip. For fans of steam railways, there are also countless trips available around the area. We came to see North Wales, and it feels like we discovered Ynyshir Hall. It’s like a secret paradise in an already heavenly part of the UK. Words don’t really do it justice – you have to see North Wales and Ynyshir for your own eyes, breathe the fresh air with your own lungs, feel yourself relaxing away from the bustle of life to experience the true charms of this Welsh gem.

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Those Crisp Onion Rings

The American

Sashimi selection

79 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HN


bit off the beaten track, Maze Grill Chelsea has the feel of a local hangout. Though in this neighborhood, that doesn’t mean peri-peri chicken! The laid back daughter of Ramsay’s Michelinstarred Maze continues the French/ Asian concept with rare breed steak in the spotlight. Aged on site, the steaks are good, but it is the sushi and sashimi that win the day. This is the second Maze Grill for Head Chef Owen Sullivan. His food is greatly influenced by his apprenticeship at the Mandarin Oriental and his time spent in the South Pacific. The restaurant is inspired by the grill rooms of Manhattan, but I found far more personality in the Asian offerings than the steak or indeed, the place itself. There is limited seating on street level, so we were taken downstairs. Dining in a basement has never been my favorite, and this was no exception. No natural light or fresh air. A bit claustrophobic. There are 3 cosy snugs for semi-private parties

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of 6 which would be lovely on a cold winter’s night. Otherwise, book upstairs. California roll (£9), snow crab, avocado, tobiko and tempura crunch and tuna tartare roll (£8), chilli, garlic, avocado, sesame oil and crispy rice were both excellent. Served ‘inside out’ with the tuna and snow crab mounded on top was a nice touch. Time tested, well rounded flavors served with flare. Portions were four pieces as opposed to the usual six or eight. Quality over quantity. The highlight of the evening was the scallop yuzu. Thinly sliced sashimi with salmon caviare and shiso ponzu. Frozen yuzu grated on top at the table made the dish exceptional. A real inspiration. Two rare breed steaks, a 6 oz. fillet (£21) and a 10 oz. rib-eye (£30) were both good quality and served as we ordered. Both had good char and the fillet was tender and juicy, the rib-eye filled with fatty flavor. A side of crisp onion rings (£5) were

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick served on a hangar with two dips: barbecue which was ordinary and a spicy buttermilk which I intend to copy. If I can! Sautéed spring greens (£4) and grilled Portobello mushrooms (£5) were simple and straight forward. A glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir 2013 (£9) was very disappointing. So bland, it tasted as though it had been watered down. Very surprising, considering the quality of the wine list. For dessert, we shared the monkey bread with pecans and vanilla ice cream (£12 for 2). When I was a child, we called this a sticky bun and ate it for breakfast. Who knew it would make such a fabulous dessert? A beautiful, light yeast dough, baked in an iron skillet with caramelized sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Comfort food par excellence! It would seem Chef Sullivan’s taste is as eclectic as my own. Scallop yuzu and sticky buns on the same menu. At times like this, I really love London!

The American Vongole

Tower Bridge, 31 Shad Thames, London SE1 2YR

Vegetable Antipasti


f this were New York, the story of Valentina would be The American Dream. In 1958, a young Italian couple immigrated to London in search of a better life. After years of working in restaurants, they opened a small deli of their own. Now, the third generation of the Zoccola/Arcari family run 8 shops throughout London. There’s no question it’s still a family business. You can taste the pride. Valentina is an Italian deli, a grocer and a restaurant. Their brand is fine foods, and fine it is. First rate charcuterie, cheese, antipasti, pasta, canned goods and an amazing selection of Italian wines are available for purchase or, with the exception of the canned goods, in the restaurant. I wasn’t expecting much from the restaurant. It is somewhat unassuming and at a glance, the menu seems simple and without innovation. What I hadn’t anticipated, was the quality. It is buonissimo! Giant green Puglia olives (£3.25) were a great start, followed by anti-

pasto della casa (£9.95). Quality prosciutto, salami and mortadella, provolone dolce and an excellent primavera salad of perfectly pickled artichokes, mushrooms, olives and sundried tomatoes. More than enough for two, and accompanied by a glass of La Fortezza Aglianico Campania (£5.95). Full and spicy, with hints of prune, dark berry and a dry finish. For our ‘primo’ course we shared the pasta of the day (£12.95). This was hands down the highlight of the meal and should be upgraded to one of the piatti permanenti! Egg fettucine, al dente and perfect in texture; noodles you can sink your teeth into. Served with porcini mushrooms, cream and great shavings of parmesan. Pasta that can stop your heart! Sharing is so trendy at the mo, so we kept on with our secondo, also a special of the day. Pesce spada (£15.95): swordfish and king prawns with cherry tomatoes, roasted potatoes and grilled veg. Another winner, notable for its quality, simplicity

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick

and execution. By now we were most grateful that we were keeping up with the times and doing halvsies. So, since IT’S MY JOB, we loosened our belts and ordered dessert. Panettone (£5.75) warm bread and butter pudding glazed with orange marmalade and vanilla ice cream put us over the edge. Panettone, Italian Christmas bread, is so light, I had imagined the dessert would be the same. Instead, it was a very heavy pudding, dense with egg. I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but I imagine that had I grown up in Puglia, it would have sent me straight back to my childhood and granny’s kitchen. Yankee that I am, it only made me loosen my belt one more notch and pray I wouldn’t find stretch marks in the morning! On the way out, we perused the shelves of wine, pasta and goodies of all sorts. Such bounty. I thought again of the American dream. It doesn’t exist outside the U.S. Luckily, Italians have dreams too.

September - October 2015 31

Tira de Ancho

The American The American

St Katharine Docks, 1 Commodity Quay, London E1W 1AZ




t Katharine Docks on the hottest day of the year was a great surprise. Two minutes from the Tower of London, and I felt like I was on holiday in Puerto Banus. Sun, water, yachts and wall to wall restaurants. Ay, caramba! Something for every appetite, from £ to £££ and every cuisine imaginable. Happily, my destination was CAU, the popular Argentine chain. I say chain beCAUse there are now twelve in England, one in Amsterdam. There is nothing remotely chain-like about the food, however. It is excellent. The interior is a strange mix of corrugated plastic, blue skies, clouds and grass. Inspired either by the world according to cow (CAU) or perhaps the paintings of Magritte. Either way, it was very cool and completely open to the harbor, enhancing our holiday humor. I hope they have simulated sunshine in winter! Our smiling host and vivacious waiter brought us even further from the London grind. Friendly and full of energy. More sunshine. Viva las vaca-

32 September - October 2015

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick ciones! The menu is filled with delights. We decided to share three starters and one big steak. Swordfish Carpaccio with capers, chilli, parsley and lemon oil (£6.25) was spot on; light and tasting of summer. Belly of Pork Tempura (£7.95) with CAUchup (sic), a CAUndiment I don’t usually CAUntenance, was wonderful. I couldn’t find any resemblance to tempura, but the batter was crisp and the pork tender. A cold beer would be the perfect pairing. Antichos (skewers) of grilled gambas with chipotle mayo (£6.50) were another taste of July. Cooked in the shells as they should be but not, however, de-veined as they should. The mayo was exceptional. I would have bought a jar of it. The main event: Tira de Ancho, a 500g spiral cut of rib-eye, marinated in chimichurri (£33.50) and chunky chips (£2.95). CAU promises top quality Argentine beef, and they deliver. Ours was tender, juicy, wellseasoned and absolutely enough for

two. Of course this called for a glass of Malbec, and here we were a bit disappointed. We tried two by the glass, a Zuccardi Animado 2013 (£6.55) and a Lorca ‘Grafitti’ 2013 (£7.75). The first was fruity and straightforward, but without the richness we had anticipated. The second was much spicier which I enjoyed, but had a flat finish. I expect one could do better ordering by the bottle and upping the ante. Dulce de leche pancakes with ice cream (£5.50) were a treat. Great caramel, but I would prefer a lighter pancake. Pina-CAU-la da pudding (£5.25), grilled pineapple with rum, caramel, coconut sorbet and lime had me screaming for sun cream and a hammock! If you are coming from Tower Hill tube station, don’t take the street. The traffic is awful and crossing the interchange is a horror. Instead use the pedestrian passage, past the historic Tower of London and directly on to St Katherine Docks, where you will find CAUse for celebration.

Deep Fried Egg in Moroccan dukkah with yoghurt dressing

The American

Eel Brook Common, New King’s Road, London SW6 4SE

Lincolnshire smoked eel


here is always a new neighborhood to be discovered in London. The residents of Eel Brook Common in Fulham are lucky indeed: lovely houses around a good sized park and the food of Chef Brett Barnes. Barnes has had a fantastically varied career, training with Anthony Demetre of Greek origin, British celeb Chef Mark Hix and lastly, Magnus Nilsson from Sweden. Clearly he has taken something from each master and created a style of his own. In Sweden, Barnes worked at Fäviken where they hunt, fish and forage on the restaurant’s 20,000 acres. Eel Brook Common doesn’t offer quite the same bounty but it does provide a lovely backdrop. Designer Haruo Morishima has melded indoors and outdoors into one. Open, light and airy, the beech wood and beamed ceiling give it a distinct Scandinavian feel. It has the quality of a local restaurant. Casual and friendly, with sofas for lounging and yards of terrace, heated for year round al fresco

dining, and with efficient waiters, serving with flair and fun. The menu is divided into small plates, starters, mains and desserts. Because we thought the small plates really were small, we ordered three of them to share, one starter and two mains. (In truth we did this because we are pigs!) Grilled Squid with coriander mojo (£6), courgette flowers with Portland crab and mayo (£7) and pork rillettes with cornichons and toast (£6) were all reasonable in size and perfect for sharing. The mojo, a pesto-like sauce originally from the Canary Islands was fabulous and the squid, tender as can be. The rillettes were light and juicy. Less fat than usual, they were more like pulled pork. The zucchini flowers, crab and mayo were all very light, offering little contrast. Either the stuffing or the mayo needed a bit more kick. Our appetizer, Lincolnshire smoked eel, beetroot, sorrel, apple and horseradish (£9) was the high-

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick light of the evening. Eel is something I first learned to appreciate in sushi and later, in Danish cuisine. This was as good as I’ve had. Beautifully cured and the sweet, sour, acid punch of the salad cut the fatty eel perfectly. Maple cured pork ribeye (£18) is a glorified name for back bacon, albeit thick and top quality. The juices from borlotti beans, baby gem and romesco made a wonderful broth. Elwy Valley lamb tenderloin (£18) was slightly overcooked but the caponata, rich with olive, was scrumptious and crispy sage made the dish sing. The wine list is small but interesting. I particularly enjoyed a glass of Falanghina 2013 (£8.25), dry and fruity with just a hint of resin. Mango mousse was sadly off, so we ended up with a gorgeous caramel panna cotta and a rich dark chocolate delice (£7). By now our three small plates were coming back to haunt us. We really thought they were small!

September - October 2015 33

Namaaste Lamb

The The American American

64 Parkway, London NW1 7AH



very two months, Namaaste Kitchen in Camden Town and its sister restaurant, Salaam Namaste in Bloomsbury, feature the cuisine of a different region of India. August/ September highlights the gastronomy of Goa and Kerala takes over in October. Last week I had the luck of sampling the food of Rajasthan, Land of Kings. Back in the days when the region was still forested, the Rajput royals had a penchant for game. Patron-chef Sabbir Karim’s tribute to this bygone era is quite a departure from his usual modern style of Indian food. Even the venue is new age, with splashes of red and blue adding a ‘60s retro look. But the festival offered food fit for the princes of Rajasthan and I must say, I felt like a Raj myself. The regular à la carte menu is regal enough. There is plenty of innovation from Chef Karim but a good deal of traditional comfort curry as well. He knows where his paratha is gheed! As usual, I sampled as much as my personal trained

34 September - October 2015


stomach would allow. From the permanent menu, the spicy soft shell crab, marinated in green peppercorn and lemon, batter fried and served with spicy fig and prune sauce (£6.75) wasn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. The spicing didn’t make it through the deep fryer and the semolina batter wasn’t crisp enough. I don’t think semolina is the best choice here, but it might work with the addition of corn, potato or rice starch. The sauce, like an Indian ketchup also lacked zing. The only dish that didn’t rock the Raj. Tandoori quail (£7.50) was worlds better. Tender and moist, spiced with a black sesame seed masala that tasted like barbecue, Indian style. I could easily have eaten two! We decided to sample a few white wines. Two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, a Tariquet from France (£6.95) and a Soul Tree (£7) from India! My first glass of Indian wine was a pleasant surprise. Not huge in

Reviewed by Michael M Sandwick character, but very drinkable. Lots of mineral and a touch of citrus. Well suited to the spicy food. The French was, as expected, softer and rounder. Our two main courses were another level of cooking entirely. Wild rabbit leg Achari (£15.95) cooked in pickling spices with missi roti was absolutely gorgeous. Exquisite spicing and big chunks of meat without the usual bones. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Our waiter recommended his favorite dish, Rajasthan Laal Maas, spicy lamb with roasted red chillies (£13.50). I am forever in his debt! This was as close to the perfect curry as I have had. Tender, succulent lamb in a savory red masala, with just a hint of sweetness and chilli that gave fire without overpowering the other spices. Sag paneer (spinach and curd) and lemon rice rounded out the meal. A light, flavorful ginger sponge made a fab finish to our game festival feast. Game? Set and match!


r BBQ, the uber-man-cook Ray Lampe, is coming across the Atlantic for Grillstock, the London festival of Bar-B-Q and music. (Grillstock also run festivals in Bristol and Manchester and have six smokehouse restaurants around the country – He tells The American about a life in grilling, and shares with us one of his favorite recipes. Where are you from in the US? I was born in Chicago and grew up in the near suburbs. In 2000 at age 43 I moved to Florida. These days I live in Saint Petersburg, Florida with my fiancé Sandi. How did you get into BBQ? I began cooking in the 10th grade but didn’t discover BBQ until I was 25 and a friend signed us up for a BBQ Rib Cooking contest in Chicago. I was the best cook so I did a little research and cooked the ribs. We didn’t win anything that day but the concept of cooking big pieces of meat over fire while drinking beer just worked for me and I’ve been doing it ever since. How did you come to be known as Dr BBQ? Sadly this isn’t a great story. As BBQ became my obsession I was cooking in a lot of competitions so

36 September - October 2015

I bought a van to haul my things. When Illinois allowed vanity named license plates I applied for one that said Dr BBQ and they sent it. It was never really meant to be my name/ brand but it stuck. What are the biggest mistakes people make when BBQing? They are in a hurry. Cooking good BBQ takes time and patience. Allow the time to do it right. The other big mistake that is common is to use the sweet BBQ sauce as a seasoning early in the cooking. It will burn if you do this so save it for a last minute glaze or even served on the side as a condiment like I do. What tips do you have for making the perfect BBQed food? It’s like any cooking in that you need to start with good quality ingredients and tools. A good smoker, good charcoal, quality meat and spices. Then it becomes all about balance. The right degree of doneness, not under or over and the flavors all just right with the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and salty. What is the best kind of BBQ grill for home use? Any grill that uses charcoal with wood for added flavor is my preference. Never a gas grill. I do work for

the Big Green Egg grill company so I am partial to them. How did you get involved in Grillstock? I saw someone talking about it online and it sounded interesting to me that there would be a real BBQ event in the UK. So I called Jon Finch and offered to help. We are now great friends and I have become a member of the Grillstock Family. I think the relationship has really been important because I am able to bring years of experience and credibility to a team with lots of energy and creativity. It’s been a great match. How do you enjoy the BBQ scene in London? I like that there are traditional American BBQ places along with restaurants with great chefs putting a British spin on it. I think BBQ will be a popular cuisine in all of England for a long time to come. What’s the best thing about being Ray Lampe - Dr BBQ? I have a great life! I get to travel, explore, and experience the growth and popularity of BBQ all over. I’m proud to have played a small part in the BBQ movement over the past 20 years and I’m lucky to see it continue.

The American


Dr. BBQ’s Apricot Glazed Baby Back Ribs (An original recipe by Ray Lampe, Dr. BBQ) Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS 2 full slabs of baby back ribs, about 2 pounds each 1 + ½ cups apricot preserves divided and at room temperature ¼ cup brown sugar ½ cup apricot nectar Two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, double thick, each big enough to wrap a whole slab of ribs Rub 1/4 cup raw sugar 3 tablespoons salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp chili powder 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp granulated garlic (or powder) 1 tsp granulated onion (or powder) ½ tsp cayenne (optional)

METHOD Peel membrane from ribs and trim any excess fat. Wash in cold water to remove any bone dust and dry well. In a small bowl combine all the rub ingredients and mix well. Season the ribs liberally with the rub using about 2/3 on the meaty side and 1/3 on the bone side. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to two hours. Prepare the outdoor grill to cook indirect at 300° adding apricot (or apple) wood for flavor. Place ribs on the grill meaty side up, cook for one hour. Flip ribs and cook for 30 minutes. Flip again and cook until ribs are golden brown, (c. another 30 minutes - time may vary depending on your grill) Remove ribs to a platter or sheet pan. Lay out the aluminum foil. Transfer each slab of ribs to one of the sheets of foil meaty side up. Top each slab with ½ cup of the preserves spreading evenly. Sprinkle half of brown sugar over each

slab. Now begin to bring sides of the foil up to wrap the ribs. As you fold each foil into a packet pour ¼ cup of the apricot nectar under the ribs. Seal the packets snugly being careful not to puncture the foil with the rib bones. Return to the grill for 45 minutes. Open one of the packets and test the ribs by inserting a toothpick into meat. When ribs are done the toothpick will slide in and out with very little resistance. If the ribs aren’t done yet just close the foil back up and cook a little longer. To finish, prepare the grill to cook direct over medium high heat. Remove ribs from foil and transfer them to the grill meaty side down. Cook for a just a few minutes until golden brown. Flip ribs and spread remaining apricot preserves over the top. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and the preserves are warm. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each slab into three pieces to serve.

September - October 2015 37

The American

Pairing Drinks With Bagels

By Virginia E Schultz


Cellar Talk

Home made Bagels

Bagels and a Bloody Mary, the perfect pairing



he first bagel I tasted was in San Francisco. My husband described it as the Jewish version of a doughnut. To be honest, I was not impressed and his explanation was the bagel hadn’t been made in New York. I had mentioned this to Maxine and on her return from a holiday in the States invited several of us to breakfast of lox, bagels and scrambled eggs. I was to bring the wine. The origin of bagels comes from the Yiddish word “beugel” meaning ring or bracelet and they were brought to the States by immigrant Jews. Bagels had been consumed in Jewish communities in Eastern Europe since the 17th century. Supposedly, they were given to Jewish women during childbirth. The first published mention was in 1610 in Krakow, Poland, and coming more up to date Canadian astronaut Gregory Chamitoff took bagels with him on the 2008 Space Shuttle. I have no doubt those first bagels were not served with wine. However, as this is a different day and age and

38 September - October 2015


Maxine was serving lox and scrambled eggs, I decided only white wine would be appropriate. A Brennan Viognier 2011 made from Viognier and Chenin Blanc grapes grown in the high plains of Texas was a close winner. The Chardonnay I brought did not go over as well. But as a last minute thought, I had decided that because bagels had an Eastern Europe heritage and it was a Slavic drink, I should include a pitcher of Bloody Marys.

The Bloody Marys ended up as the favorite over any of the wines. Whether it was the laughter around the table, or the second pitcher of Bloody Marys, I don’t know, but I must admit for the first time in my life I ate a second bagel. Are bagels made in New York different because of the water, as one New Yorker told me? I can’t answer. However the Bloody Mary I make is classic. Adding pickles or olives ruins the taste as far as I’m concerned.

DRINK OF THE MONTH BLOODY MARY 8 oz chilled tomato juice 1 1/2 oz Vodka 1/4 oz of fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp Tabasco Salt & freshly ground pepper 1 celery rib for garnish In a chilled Collins glass (a tall cylindrical tumbler, narrower than a highball glass), combine the first five ingredients. Fill the glass with ice and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and add celery rib as garnish.

Redhill & Gatwick

The American

Gathered Leaves: Photographs by Alec Soth Media Space, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD October 6 to March 28 then National Media Museum, Bradford April 22 to June 26

Alexei Leonov, Over the Black Sea, 1973, Oil on canvas © THE MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF COSMONAUTICS

Alexei Leonov painted this self-portrait after his 1965 spacewalk. It shows him orbiting above the Black Sea and is his most famous artwork, a statement of the complex relationship between a man and his planet.

Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2DD September 18 to March 13

This long-awaited exhibition of art and artefacts from the Russian space project has finally arrived. It tells the remarkable story of the scientific and technological ingenuity that kick-started the space age with a record number of firsts for the Soviet Union and includes an original model of Sputnik from 1957. Rocket engineer and designer Sergei Korolev is said to have insisted on its shiny appearance because he believed that one day replicas would be displayed in

40 September - October 2015

the world’s museums. The Soviet Union followed the great success of Sputnik 1 by launching the first animal, man and woman into orbit in just six years. Amongst the star objects on display in the exhibition are real cosmonaut-flown spacecraft, including Vostok-6, the actual capsule that carried Valentina Tereshkova, the first spacewoman, back to earth in 1963 and a dog ejector seat. From the work of late 19th century Cosmist thinkers who first proposed that humanity’s destiny lay in space, to the reality of living in space on board Mir and the International Space Station, the exhibition includes posters, drawings and ingenious solutions to adapting man to space.

The first major UK exhibition of American documentary photographer Soth (b. 1969), notable for his large-scale American projects featuring the MidWest. Hailing from Minnesota, he’s considered one of the world’s top working photographers. He says “I’m particularly thrilled to be doing this in London; a place where I’ve had an enthusiastic readership but have barely ever exhibited. I feel like I’m making up for lost time by finally presenting my four major projects at once: Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006), Broken Manual (2010) and Songbook (2015).” Roth will be delivering a special lecture on October 6, at 7pm, exploring the journey that his photographs make from the page to the wall… and back again. Alec Soth, Misty, from Niagara, 2005 © ALEC SOTH

The American Francisco de Goya, Charles III in Hunting Dress, 1786-8 Oil on canvas 210 x 127 cm LOANED BY AND IMAGE ©DUQUESA DEL ARCO (Spanish King Charles III supported the American Revolutionaries and helped secure the 13 Colonies.)

Giovanni da Rimini

National Gallery , London and possibly Neue Galerie in New York

Goya: The Portraits

Sainsbury Wing, National Portrait Gallery, London N1 2AN October 6 to January 10 This exhibition of one of Spain’s most celebrated artists, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828), brings together pictures never or rarely exhibited, from collections around the world. Surprisingly his portraits, (over a third of his output, of which 150 still survive), have not been the focus of an exhibition before. Born before Mozart and Casanova, and surviving Napoleon, he is considered (even in his own lifetime) as a supremely gifted painter who took the genre of portraiture to new heights, and revealed his sitters’ character in their portraits. Focussing on his innovative and unconventional approach to portraiture, which often broke traditional boundaries, providing insight into both the public and private aspects of his life, it will also screen in UK cinemas from December 1, as part of the third season of EXHIBITION ON SCREEN and then globally in around 40 countries at a later date.

American businessman and art collector & Neue Galerie owner, Ronald S Lauder, has helped the National Gallery to save a rare medieval panel by Italian artist Giovanni da Rimini (active 1292 - 1336) for the nation. Scenes From the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints, was in the Duke of Northumberland’s Alnwick Castle from 1853 but after it was auctioned in 2014, a temporary export bar was put in place. Lauder contributed c. £5 million to enable the National Gallery to buy the work, which will be loaned to Mr Lauder for his lifetime, although loaned back to the NG in 2017 and up to every three years after that. Surviving paintings by Giovanni are extremely rare. Giovanni da Rimini, Scenes From the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints, 1300-1305 Oil, tempera and gilding on wood 54.4 x 36.5 cm ©THE NATIONAL GALLERY, LONDON. ACQUIRED WITH A GENEROUS DONATION FROM RONALD S. LAUDER, 2015.

From the Royal Collection: Scottish Artists 1750 - 1900: From Caledonia to the Continent The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8DX to February 7


This is the first ever exhibition devoted to Scottish art in the Royal Collection and brings together paintings, drawings and miniatures collected by monarchs from George III to Queen Victoria. It includes the work of painters who were born in Scotland and travelled abroad, such as Allan Ramsay and Sir David Wilkie, and of those whose inspiration remained firmly rooted in their native land, such as Alexander Nasmyth and James Giles. In particular, the exhibition highlights the importance and influence of artists whose work was shaped by the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment.

September - October 2015 41

The American

An exceptionally rare set of four silver William IV figural salt cellars by Paul Storr - London,1832 Height 6 1/4in (15.75cm); diameter :4 1/2in (11.5cm) IMAGE COURTESY KOOPMAN RARE ART

Art in Industry: The Work of Paul Storr (1792-1838)

Koopman Rare Art, The London Silver Vaults, 53-64 Chancery Ln, London WC2A 1QS October 13 to October 31 The first exhibition devoted to the most famous Regency silvesmith, Paul Storr (1771-1844). More than 200 examples of his craftsmanship in silver and gold, the largest grouping of Storr silver ever shown, go on display in this leading silver gallery, some loaned from private collections, and some for sale. A master of the neo-Classical style, his work ranged from simple tableware to magnificent, sculptural pieces for Royalty. But they all share an intricacy of fine detail and balance. His work is collected worldwide. There are several examples of his work in The White House, the British Embassy in Washington and the silver collections of many American museums. Storr is sought after with American collectors.

42 September - October 2015

Pegasus: Angel

Hawkins & Blue, 1 Delancey Street, Camden Town, NW1 7NL on sale now Pegasus, Amy, 2015 75cm x 80cm, seven color silkscreen print on 300gsm 100% cotton velvet archival paper. £300, supplied with Certificate of Authenticity IMAGE COURTESY HAWKINS & BLUE

The Amy Winehouse Foundation has joined up with the American street artist Pegasus to celebrate Amy’s life with this artwork titled Amy. They hope to raise awareness and support for the Foundation that continues to keep Amy’s memory alive through supporting, informing and inspiring vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. 5% from each sale of the limited (150) edition silkscreen prints go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Pegasus is the name and signature of an anonymous North London street artist. Originally from Chicago, his stencilled pieces play with popular culture’s most recognisable icons, such as Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Lucille Ball, Amy Winehouse, Catherine Middleton, JFK, Elvis Presley and Queen Elizabeth. He is perhaps most famous for his street art Fallen Angel of Amy, on the side of a Camden information center (Starbucks), which became a focal point for expressions of grief at her death. His work is collected by Simon Cowell, Adele, Johnny Depp and Kim Kardashian amongst others. Hawkins & Blue are one of London’s leading independent art dealerships, specialising in contemporary, urban & pop art.

The American

DON’T MISS ... Anj Smith: Phosphor on the Palms Hauser & Wirth London, 23 Savile Row, London, W1S 2ET September 22 to November 21

Mike McCartney, Selfie, 1960s IMAGE ©MIKE MCCARTNEY

Mike McCartney Luvs St George’s Hall

St George’s Hall, St George’s Place, Liverpool, L1 1JJ (North Entrance via Heritage Centre) September 5 to October 18 Celebrated photographer Mike McCartney’s (b. 1944) new exhibition features 60 fascinating images depicting the Liverpool landmark St George’s Hall, and spans the 1960s through to the present day. All of the images have been taken by selftaught photographer Mike, alongside a small selection of his favorite shots of the stunning Grade I Listed building. Photographer, musician and author, McCartney, who is the younger brother of Paul McCartney, says “I’ve been snapping her from the 60’s, right up to now. Including Scaffold’s first Black & White press photo in Codman’s Punch & Judy Show frame... St George’s ace organ and magnificent Minton tiles... Marilyn Monroe in the Great Hall… The launch of our European Capital of Culture, with Ringo on the roof. I was amazed at how long I had loved and photographed this magnificent building.”

The exhibition’s title alludes to the poem Fabliau of Florida by American poet Wallace Stevens (1879 -1955), in which natural elements morph into new configurations. Smith (b. 1978) has devoted three years to producing this body of work, unveiled here for the first time. Rich in detail, color and texture, the paintings draw on a diverse range of sources. Psychological states, nature, fashion subcultures and the history of painting are just a few of the layered references operating in these works. Her paintings are often executed on a small scale and highly detailed. Her works often incorporate references to the realms of fashion, nature and popular culture. Born in Kent in the UK, Smith studied in England at Slade School of Fine Art and Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London. Anj Smith, Elimination of a Picture, 2015 Oil on linen, 15 x 11 3/4 x 1 in ©ANJ SMITH

Brion Gysin: Unseen Collaborator October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester St, London WC1N 3AL September 8 to October 3

Brion Gysin, Night in Marrakesh, 1968 work on paper,19 x 22 cm PHOTO ©JONATHAN GREET, COURTESY OCTOBER GALLERY, LONDON

Like the fifth Beatle, Brion Gysin (1916 -1986), is the lost member of the Surrealists. Born in the UK to Canadian parents, he moved back to Canada as a baby when his father was killed in action. Studying at The Sorbonne in Paris, he joined the Surrealists, and at 19 his first exhibition in Paris with Ernst, Picasso, Hans Arp, Hans Bellmer, Victor Brauner, Giorgio de Chirico, Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Man Ray and Yves Tanguy, met a sticky end when his work was removed by André Breton the day before it opened as he expelled him from the Group. Best known for his discovery of the cut-up technique, used by his friend, the novelist William S. Burroughs, and calligraphic works inspired by the cursive Japanese “grass” script and Arabic script, Gysin was also an inventive writer, sound poet, and performance artist.

September - October 2015 43

The American

Encounters with Rock, Snow and Ice (and Rain)

The American talks to US expat and artist Janet Johnson, who lives and paints in London, about her love of mountains and her upcoming exhibition at The Alpine Club


here are you from in the US? I grew up in the countryside near Hershey Pennsylvania, in Middletown which is near Three Mile Island. We lived on a farm that had wide open spaces and woods filled with deer for us to explore. I am the youngest of three sisters. My mother was an artist and I was encouraged to draw with her while she got on with more serious pastel landscapes. She studied art and knew the famous horse illustrator Wesley Dennis - the children’s book illustrator of The King of Wind, and Misty of Chincoteague fame. I visited his studio with her. In the winter we used to ski down the small hill in our backyard, and go to our local slope Ski Roundtop topping out around 500 feet. My father was a very keen skier taking us with him as we grew up, last time we went out together was when he was 82, to Elk Mountain in northern Pennsylvania. He took us to Zermatt, Switzerland when I was 14, and I vowed to return . And I have returned to Zermatt over 20 times now. What brought you to the UK? My husband, David Sorrell, is English. We met while I was on a family ski trip to St Anton, Austria. I was studying painting at graduate

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school in Florence, Italy at the time, and David was working on the oil rigs in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. So it was a very unlikely meeting. Our love of skiing brought us together and has lasted all these years… What it’s like to be an American living in Britain? I am still asked how long am I staying - I’ve been here 30 years! I love the different turn of phrase for ordinary things. The humorous banter and wit is fun to join in with if you know the rules. The queuing is something I do naturally now. The main thing I have grown to love recently about Britain is that I can walk out into the countryside, across fields and through woods on national pathways and rights of way which one can never do in the USA. Having recently had to sell the family farm in Pennsylvania it eases the loss of having a familiar stomping ground to wander across and contemplate the universe. I recommend it to visitors to the UK to get out of London and walk about and stop at a local pub along the way. The South Downs Way is where we go for two day linear walks for fitness training and just because it’s so beautiful with views to the sea to the south and the North Downs to the

north. Snowdonia and the Lake district mountains keep us going when we can’t go to the Alps. Why is your art so heavily focused on alpine scenes? In 2008 I went on a week long trek across the alps on glaciated terrain, called the Haute Route - this was a life changing moment. I realised how inspiring it was to achieve what for me at the time was quite a physical challenge, never having done any alpine walking. Since then I have focussed on the views which can be sublime at every turn of the path in the mountains. Before that I was doing paintings of the rain and stormy weather in Britain. Alternatively I also like the quiet of walking or skiing through the woods when snow is lightly falling. I’ve painted a few scenes based on Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. One of the images was used to promote a concert of Randall Thompson’s Frostiana by the Hudson Chorale in New York. Do you take part in any winter sports yourself? I like ski mountaineering, or ski touring where we walk out into more isolated mountainous terrain and stay in huts overnight. Skiing in powder is something all skiers love.

The American Left: Janet with her husband David on the Pollux, a mountain between Valais, Switzerland, and the Aosta Valley, Italy

Ski touring is a big enthusiasm at the moment in Europe, and what is called backcountry in the USA. How has being an associate member of the Alpine Club helped? I have climbed up a few 4,000 meter peaks to see what all the climbing was about - like the Weissmies or the Pollux in Switzerland. The club has regular free lectures for members on climbing and ski mountaineering every month. These are an inspiration for me to try more difficult routes and adventures in the Alps. The club also promotes writing, photography and art produced by its members. The first climbers like Edward Whymper, of Matterhorn fame, were artists and printmakers recording what they saw on their trip up unclimbed mountains. There is an extensive library of books based on mountain themes, and climbing guidebooks. I was made an associate member of the club on the strength of my exhibition of watercolors and oils based on the Haute Route back in 2010. How do you choose which materials to use? I use watercolors initially as they allow me to capture the scene fairly quickly when I am working outside in situ, in what is called 'plein air'. I mostly do sketches, then work from memory and photos back in my studio in London. I have a wide range of blues, on a color swatch, that I use for different types of snow, clouds and sky. The sky is key to establishing the mood of a scene, as in the mountains they tell us what type of weather is coming or going. Oils are very good for capturing starry skies. Does art help you to embrace the alpine experience? I paint the scenes that stay with me, for either the external beauty or how I was feeling at the time. There

Janet Johnson, Skinning up Cevedale from the Casati Hut, early morning light, Ortles, Italy watercolor, 55 x75cm IMAGE © JANET JOHNSON

is nothing like looking up at an inky black sky filled with more stars than one can count. One of the routes you’ve painted is the Haute Route, does it have a personal significance for you? The group of paintings started as a record from memory as I lost my camera on the second morning of the walking Haute Route, at the very first hut in France. On my return to the UK my mind’s eye was filled to the brim with all this beautiful scenery so I put it all down as quick as I could by watercolor. The journey helped me realise I could do more than I thought. By just putting one foot after another I got there to the end of the Haute Route. What are you hoping visitors take away from your upcoming exhibition at the Alpine Club Encounters with Rock, Snow and Ice? What a wonderful place the Alps is to explore at any level of fitness. The paintings are all based on something I have experienced or seen there myself, walking across a snow ridge or skiing down the steep slopes. What’s the best thing about

being Janet Johnson? That I know there is more to do and explore up in the mountains, and how that it makes me feel inspired each day to get up and get on my bike to keep fit! We are doing the Italian Haute Route, or Spaghetti Tour, taking in a string of 4,000 meter peaks in late August, so there should be a few sublime views to distill onto paper with watercolor or oil. To see more of Janet’s work go to Janet’s exhibition is at The Alpine Club from September 22 to October 14 and at the Grand Hôtel Kurhaus, Arolla, Switzerland to August 2016. Alpine Club 55/56 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3QF (just off of Great Eastern Street A1202) O Shoreditch High St Overground, Old Street 020 7613 0755 Mon: 10 - 12am, Tues - Fri: 10 to 5pm, late til 7pm on lecture nights. Or by appointment 10 to 5pm with the club, or the artist (mobile 07984287 611). The club has regular free lectures for members, non-members welcome, i.e. the exhibition opening night - September 22, and on October 13.

September - October 2015 45

Harvey Fierstein The American

A life in Kinky Boots ...and other great shows. The American author, actor and singer says life is as exciting as the number of times you say yes!


e settled down over a coffee to chat. Well, The American did – Harvey Fierstein hasn’t touched caffeine for years. “I just find it easier. It’s one of those drugs that does affect me – some people it does, some it doesn’t!” Life is buzzing enough for the 61 year old actor and playwright not to need a cup of joe. This Fall, in London alone, his musical Kinky Boots debuts on the West End stage while his new play Casa Valentina coincidentally has its European premiere off-West End. Harvey loves visiting England, but then, as he says. “They say Brooklyn is like living in the UK! I’ve had lovely, charming, fun times in both places.” Harvey, you’re a third generation Brooklynite, from a Conservative Jewish family. Not the usual backround for a flamboyant actor? My father’s was the more Conservative side of the family. He was brought up in an orphanage in a small town in the Catskill Mountains. I think he clung to religion more than the rest of the family for structure, to belong. Religion has a wonderful way of making you feel like you belong to a community and I think he needed that. So we belonged to a Conservative Temple. But I’m an atheist. I also understand that being Jewish means you’re dif-

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ferent – it is a race of people, which a lot of people forget. It’s not just something you choose. Was that a problem when you became an actor, then one of the first openly gay celebrities? No, we were all very cosmopolitan in Brooklyn! I grew up near Coney Island and there was never any of that. Even as a young openly gay person – and there weren’t a lot when I started out - I found that success is the key that opens all doors. Nobody puts you down if you’re making more money than them! I grew up in a small, insular neighborhood – there were people there who hadn’t been out of the place since they were born – but thankfully not my friends. I still have friends from kindergarten, from five years old on, and they also went out into the world to become painters and artists. We were poor, for sure, but there was a real love of culture and of self expression, a real appreciation of the arts. I realize that they don’t have quite as bad a problem with theater ticket prices in London as in New York now, but when I was a kid you could buy the first row of the family circle for 3 dollars. My mom had a great appreciation of living in New York and she would send out for tickets as soon as a show was announced. I can’t say my father loved it quite as much [laughs] but he was a good

A multiple Tony-winning powerhouse: Harvey Fierstein (center), writer of Kinky Boots, with Jerry Mitchell (direction and choreography) and Cyndi Lauper (music and lyrics) PHOTO: GAVIN BOND

sport. The four of us – mom, dad, my brother and I - saw everything. Is that what started you acting? Not really, I was going to art school and a friend of mine’s mother was starting a community theater group so she asked us arts students if we would come and make posters in the basement of a church. We went along, and there were these nice people, adults who didn’t treat us as kids, and they asked if we would help with the settings and pulling the curtains. Slowly I got more involved. I was on the board of directors of this community theater by the age of sixteen. I’m happy to say I was there on the day it was born and it’s still producing today. Until my mom passed she was a member and went to every single production of theirs. It was kind of wonderful for people whose dreams had been crushed or been put on the side in order to make a living ...there was Leonard the dentist who always wanted to be a singing star, or Tara the housewife who always thought she could someday be an actress. I loved it. It taught me life skills and I grew up from being a very immature kid. I never expected to have a life in the theater. But I have a philosophy that I’ve developed over the years – it’s not very wise, but it works: life is as exciting as the number of times you say yes!

The American


The American American The

Left: The Broadway cast of Kinky Boots

All day long we’re asked questions – should we try this other restaurant instead, let’s try this or that – and the majority of us say no most of the time. If you say no, life does not change. Had I said no to that girl whose mother was making posters in the church, I would probably be a New York City schoolteacher now, getting ready for retirement. What was the ‘yes’ moment that took you from the amateur stage into a professional career? A stupid ad in the newspaper. Andy Warhol wasn’t really ‘Andy Warhol’ yet, but as an art student I really admired him, and there was an ad saying that he was putting on a play. I got on the subway to Manhattan and went down to East 4th Street for the auditions. I was walking up and down the block trying to find this theater called La MaMa but I couldn’t find – there was the Truck & Warehouse Theater, the New York Theater Ensemble, but no La MaMa. There was an older black woman sweeping the sidewalk, and she said ‘You lookin’ for something baby?’. I said I was trying to find La MaMa and she said ‘You’ve found it – come on in.’ There was this little building with almost no sign on the front. I went inside and stayed the next nine years. That woman was La MaMa - Ellen Stewart.

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I did Warhol’s play which then went to London but I was underage, still at school, so they wouldn’t let me go. I stayed behind and met people from the The Play-House of the Ridiculous, who became very close friends of mine, and a bunch of other playwrights. One of them said, ‘You’re acting in everybody else’s plays, why don’t you write a play yourself?’ I said I couldn’t spell. They said ‘There are people who get $2 an hour to spell – you go ahead and write!’ Like I said, it was just a series of ‘yeses’. It was a good decision, as proved by four Tony Awards [Best Play + Best Actor in a Play for Harvey’s own play Torch Song Trilogy, Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, Best Book of a Musical, for La Cage aux Folles, an American Theater Hall of Fame induction, three Drama Desk Awards, an Obie and a Dramatist Guild Award.] Which is more fun – acting, singing, writing? The most fun thing is working with people you enjoy working with. There are lots of jobs to do in the theater – you certainly learn that in community theater. Sometimes being the stage manager is as creative as the other jobs. I enjoy it all. It just depends on the project. What I love about theater is that it’s alive.

[Sighs] Most people I know would rather make movies or TV because they love the money. And they love the ‘finiteness’ of it... ‘Look at me, I’ve done it!!!’ I’ve studied painting all my life, and I had a teacher who, when you had finished a painting, you knew that he liked it or at least accepted it as being done when he took a razor blade and slit it end to end. As he said, ‘It’s called painting, not painted!’ Our job was to paint, not to have finished work. And there’s something about the theater that you’re never quite done, so it’s always alive. Standing out on your resume by its absence is directing. I have never directed, no. Why not? … A director needs to eventually make finished choices and I don’t necessarily want to do that. I like asking questions, over and over and over again. I’m in love with the process, and that blank canvas at the beginning of every evening. I love standing on the wire – and being responsible for it. I have lots of good friends who are directors and I appreciate what they do. But what I really enjoy is getting inside each

The American

Center: The London cast rehearsing, Matt Henry (Lola) and the Angels

particular mind and you can do that better when you’re writing or acting. Are you involved with the London production of Kinky Boots? You wrote it, of course! That happens to be true! And I’ve done some adjusting to make sure its homecoming is correct. We share a language that we don’t share really, and I wanted to make sure the story is told in the best words possible. It’s always a little bit of a struggle – there’s a difference between what ‘everyone’ says and what this character may say. What I love most about the English folk is the way they use language. They use it in the most individual manner – Americans are not so big on that, not so creative - and I tried to capture that. Sometimes the actors will turn around and say ‘We wouldn’t say this’, and I’ll say ‘We wouldn’t, or no-one would ever say this?’ I gave the script to Geoff Deane, who co-wrote the original movie, ‘cause I wanted his OK, and he was just so lovely. I made the story my own, obviously there were things I wanted to say that were different to the movie and to the real story, but at the same time you have a respon-

sibility - you’re bringing it home. Have you met any of the people that the story’s about? [Kinky Boots is based on a real shoe factory that was saved when the young owner teamed up with a drag queen to make the eponymous boots for transvestites.] I met a couple of people that worked in the factory when they came to New York. The entire company has been up to the factory. I also met the young lady who played Lauren in the movie, Sarah-Jane Potts. But I’m not so much telling the story of a boot factory as the story of what it is to be a human being. The story is all there, but the show is really about fathers and sons. A young man is a fifth generation shoe maker, his father wants him to do that, he doesn’t want to, he rejects it but finds himself at odds in the world. When his father dies he feels he’s a failure. At the end of Act 1 he finds that the father had moved on – he’d sold the factory. It takes all of Act 2 for the son to heal that hurt. Then you have Lola, the transvestite, whose father was a prize fighter who trained Lola to fight. The audience can tell that the father didn’t expect Lola to be a prize fighter, showing up in a cocktail dress [laughs], he just thought being who you are, you’d better know how to take care


of yourself. He taught him to fight because he loved him, but Lola can’t see that. So you’ve got these two young men, both greatly loved by their parents, who can’t see it. It’s heartbreaking. And I see it every day in real life. We all get stuck wanting our parent’s approval, having their approval, but not understanding that we do. That’s what I saw in Kinky Boots. There’s lots of little messages like, you change the world when you change your mind, or learn to accept other people for what they are. But the big, deeper message is, you need to forgive yourself for being yourself. I’ve been watching it for three years and I never get tired of watching the audience get to that point. Finally, what’s the best thing about being Harvey Fierstein? The best thing about being Harvey Fierstein? Well ...this month my bills are paid!

Kinky Boots is at the Adelphi Theatre, booking into 2016. Casa Valentina is at Southwark Playhouse, September 10 to October 10. Set in 1962, in the Catskills, a group of heterosexual men escape from the City to spend their weekend dressed as women, leaving their families, friends and city jobs behind to seek happiness in a high heel.

September - October 2015 49

The American

Hamlet By Austin Pendleton Southwark Playhouse, London Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell

By William Shakespeare Barbican Theatre, Silk St London EC2Y 8DS #hamletbarbican Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet PHOTOS:JOHAN PERSSON


he curtain goes up and there HE is, alone and palely loitering, listening to Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’ on a small record player. The Cumberfans have made it this far and applaud gently, probably for themselves as much as for him. This could be Broadway, and not in a good way. No, he doesn’t launch into “To be or not to be”. They moved that back to Act III, but boyhood is a central motif of Lyndsey Turner’s epic new production for Sonia Friedman Productions. This is a Hamlet who still clings to childish things, dressing up as a Toy Soldier and ever keen to tease the doddery old Polonius with word play. Jim Norton is in excellent form as the “foolish, prating knave”. There seems to be two broad approaches to The Dane. There’s the hot-headed youth who, whilst banished to England, rediscovers his inner Prince and darts back to Elsinore with the swagger of an Errol Flynn. Then there is the Madman interpretation. The former is preferred of movie stars (all that swashbuckling) while the latter is for the Method boys, who choose their particular mental disorder and take it from there. Benedict Cumberbatch aims for a Third Way and tries a bit of both. Sadly it doesn’t add up.

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The American

Everything that is notable about Cumberbatch the actor is all in evidence: the keen intelligence, the beautiful voice, the physical grace, the utter mastery of the verse speaking (his soliloquies are exquisite) but his Hamlet is too steady and too selfaware to be believable as the quixotic procrastinator. The supporting performances are all solid. Ciaran Hinds perfectly captures the dark, wily Claudius and Anastasia Hille gives us a Gertrude who is almost an innocent, bewildered by the dark forces she’s unwittingly unleashed. Sian Brooke too finds a center to the ever-thankless part of Ophelia. The upside of all the media brouhaha and the money cascading in, is that they gave lots of it to Es Devlin to spend on a fantastic set. It’s a gloomy

Edwardian country mansion, a vast hall with a grand staircase fit for Lucia di Lammermoor and it fills the huge expanse of the Barbican stage. It all has a whiff of Balmoral about it. Katrina Lindsay’s costumes are a melange of periods but the young ones are of course dressed modern and casual, in short, cool. God forbid they mightn’t be ‘relevant’ for the fans. This is a flaw. Hamlet was never cool was he? During a party he’d be outside the window peering in? Thus star power trumps the text. Devlin is probably the hottest stage designer in the world right now, with Kanye West and Lady Gaga tours and the Olympics under her belt and she does deliver the wow factor here. Sadly however she then ruins it in the second half by flooding her set with dirt. Having the cast hob-

ble across mounds of muck and rocks is a mistake, like trying to put stillies on in a coal shed and it unsteadies both the actors’ footing and our engagement with the play. Design burdens apart, Turner’s staging is crisp, the ghost scenes, for example, handled with an adroit simplicity. She cuts an hour from the text and, blessed with actors who are pros at The Bard, can focus instead on giving the piece momentum. This makes it an admirable introduction for the neophytes but the downside is that it often appears rushed and so loses emotional nuance. Cumberbatch could just recite the phone book and gals from Tacoma to Yokohama would still be camping outside overnight. He probably isn’t the best casting for the Dane but you do have to admire his gumption.

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Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street London SW1E 5JA

songs for a new world Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


omeone once said the problem with William Hague was that he started acting like an elder statesman before he’d even been a statesman. Similarly, Jason Robert Brown appears to have been crowned a Great American Songwriter before he had any hits. He has a cult following and I now fear for my life It was of course not his fault to be acclaimed as the New Sondheim at the tender age of 25, gifted and all as he is, but very soon he was the subject of tribute concerts and compilation albums, when the pickings were still slim. Stylistically his work fuses AOR stylings with theatrical lyrics, sort of Billy Joel crossed with Sondheim, but while his songs can often display great verve and are rhythmically complex, they rarely deliver the hook of a pop hit and at their weakest the more theatrical numbers can be deadeningly prosaic. This song cycle (it doesn’t have a book) is the “20th anniversary production” but it was at the time essentially just an audition piece – a calling card to produc-

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ers saying “look what I can do”. In the interim Brown has established himself although he’s had a strained relationship with Broadway. The four performers do not play the same characters throughout the show (and are named Man 1 & 2 and Woman 1 & 2) but they do each have consistently developing character arcs nonetheless and the songs focus on a “moment of decision” for each individual. The reason for seeing this show however is the astonishing cast. Jenna Russell and Damian Humbley have form as two of the best talents in the West End and they are joined by Cynthia Erivo, who only graduated from RADA in 2010 then burst onto the scene in The Color Purple (which transfers to Broadway this fall). She is simply radiant. A natural singing and acting talent who is going places. Her rendition of ‘I’m Not Afraid of Anything’ has a soaring beauty which will stay with you. We probably won’t see her for a while, so this was a great chance to catch her in London. Russell’s seductive voice and

intelligent styling can handle any song but here she also brings her impeccable comic timing to numbers like ‘Surabaya Santa’. This is a Marlene Dietrich-like concoction about a very needy and neglected Mrs Santa. The quartet is completed by the athletic young Dean JohnWilson who not only has to hold his own among this lot but also has to deliver the more high- powered gospel-infused numbers, which push him beyond his limits. It being a song cycle it would have benefited from some minimalism, so we could focus on the singers, but for some unfathomable reason, the director Adam Lenson stages it as if it were a book musical and with a full set. This decision puts more strain on the actors, because while trying to interpret often challenging material, they are required to pace around in odd patterns adopting meaningful poses while moving furniture and props. To what end? To quote the old gag about Phantom of the Opera, “I guess if you can’t move the audience, move the scenery”.



The American

Grand Hotel •

Book by Luther Davis Music & Lyrics by George Forrest, Robert Wright and Maury Yeston Southwark Playhouse, Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD uk

Reviewed by Jarlath O’Connell


ased on the portmanteau novel by Vicki Baum and the Garbo movie of 1932, this has had more luck Stateside than in the West End. Its success on Broadway in 1989, where it won five Tonys, was down to the creative vision of dance legend Tommy Tune, who fashioned an opulent and high kicking spectacle from this juicy material. Here, in the less glamorous environs of South London’s Elephant and Castle, director Thom Southerland proves yet again that he is unmatched in bringing his Midas touch to off-West End musicals. The small spaces and tiny budgets he works on are no rein on his theatrical imagination and just as with Titanic (which transferred to Toronto), Victor/Victoria, Mack and Mabel, and Parade he again delivers an extraordinarily polished and classy production using a large, well-drilled cast. The opening number goes “you’re in the Grand Hotel” and you certainly are if you sit in the front row onto this traverse stage. This show’s opulence was a perfect fit for Broadway’s gigantism but here, designer Lee Newby achieves just as much with just a pristine tiled floor, a single crystal chandelier and some very well chosen costumes. One wonders how Southerland and Newby would fare let PHOTO ©TRISTRAM KENTON

loose with Broadway sized budgets. Over the course of a weekend in 1928 Berlin we see the intersecting stories of a group of guests at this deluxe establishment: a faded Russian prima ballerina on yet another farewell tour; her devoted female ‘companion’; a fatally ill Jewish bookkeeper who wants to spend his final days in the lap of luxury; a young, handsome but destitute Baron; a hard-bitten old doctor who mainlines morphine; a businessman corrupted by the stock market boom and a typist dreaming of escape to Hollywood. Southerland’s challenge, particularly in the many ensemble numbers, is to keep the overlapping vocals clear and to keep them all moving. He succeeds brilliantly. The traverse staging too, helps up the pace as we’re saved clunky scene changes and Davis’ book is an object lesson in concision. Wright and Forrest’s music is a nostalgic wallow in the dance band styles of the era

National Theatre, Lyttleton, London and foxtrots, tangos, waltzes and, Reviewed by Charlestons, Jarlath O’Connellabound. All of course,

are beautifully orchestrated here by Simon Lee. ‘Artistic differences’ with Tune meant Wright & Forrest were sent on their way and Tune then hired Maury Yeston, fresh from the hit Nine, to add new songs. The piece zips along at 2 hours without an interval and Tune’s influence is clear in the centrality of the dance numbers, with ‘Girl in a Mirror’ a stand-out. Among a uniformly sharp cast of seventeen, Christine Grimandi is suitably haughty as the prima ballerina and Valerie Cutko is a towering and tailored Sapphic fantasy as the devoted/enslaved Raffaela. Scott Garnham’s powerful vocals help to perfectly land the big love duet ‘Love Can’t Happen’ and George Rae is delightful as the sickly, anxious, Otto who reveals an altogether more zippy side to his personality when finally unleashed on the dance floor. Like an Agatha Christie adaptation this overflows with opportunities for clever character actors to commit grand larceny. The only bum note is an unnecessary directorial flourish at the end presaging the rise of Nazism. If I was a Noo Yorka I might exclaim: “Like enough already with the Nazis”.

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The American

SPORTS NEWS Basketball Returns to London in 2016

The NBA has announced that the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic will be the two teams to compete at next year’s annual NBA Global Games event on January 14th 2016 at London’s O2 Arena. The sixth regular season game in London sees the return of The Raptors, who last played at the O2 in 2011, whilst The Magic will hope to make a spellbinding debut in next year’s contest. Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, underlined the game’s importance to “growing basketball in the region and bringing more regular-season basketball to our fans in the UK”.

USA prepare for Walker Cup at Royal Lytham and St Annes Team USA is taking shape for 2015’s Walker Cup, a biennial amateur golfing contest between the US and Great Britain & Ireland, which this year is taking place in the UK at the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club on September 12 and 13. John ‘Spider’ Miller, from Bloomington, Indiana, a two-time US MidAmateur Champion, and a member

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of the 1999 US Walker Cup team, is the team’s captain, whilst exciting amateur talents representing the US this year include Jordan Niebrugge, Hunter Stewart and US Amateur and NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau.

US Sports get the Video Game treatment With the growing popularity of US Sports in Britain, it’s no surprise to see that this year many American Sports are getting video game treatment, and are available to buy in the UK for PAL Region game consoles. NFL, NBA and NHL are all in line for games, whilst with the growing success of Women’s Soccer, for the first time Women’s National Teams – including World Champions USA (sometimes called The Stars and Stripes) – will be available to play in the latest iteration of EA’s Fifa Series, Fifa 16.

USA Eagles Kick off their PreRugby World Cup Tour The USA Eagles Rugby team began their Pre-Rugby World Cup Tour with a 41-23 victory over North American

USA Women’s Soccer Team get mapped for video games at the EA MOCAP facility at EA Canada in Burnaby

rivals Canada. Cam Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, and Andrew Suniula were among the scorers, as the Eagles prepare for matches against Harlequins FC in Chester, Pennsylvania on August 30th and against Australia on September 5th in Chicago before they begin their World Cup campaign in England on September 20th against Samoa. Their base for the Rugby World Cup is Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, with the Scottish team.

Touchdown on Regent Street, London Regent Street’s annual celebration of all things NFL returns this year on October 24th, the day before the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium. The fan-event offers visitors the chance to experience the excitement of American Football, with interactive games, historical displays, musical performances, a special appearence by the NFL Cheerleaders, as well as the chance to see and hear from the players and the coaches as both teams prepare for the second game of this year’s NFL International Series in London.


Opening match:

USA v CANADA Monday Oct 12

BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 12-16 October 2015 Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Tickets On Sale Now!

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World Wheelchair Rugby 2015 A

fter wowing audiences at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Rugby is returning to the capital for a mammoth tournament this October. The World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge pits some of the biggest national teams against each other in a sport which is feisty, full of adrenaline, and exceptionally tough. But it isn’t just power – although Wheelchair Rugby evolved from the aptly named ‘Murderball’, it’s all about skill and tactics too – a perfect combination of energy, excitement and technique. The USA Eagles team have plenty to fight for in this year’s games, including an opening match against big rivals Canada on October 12th. The US squad will no doubt want to erase the memory of their recent loss in the Toronto Parapan Am games to Canada, which saw them surrender a first and second period lead to miss out on the Gold Medal by just 3 points.

Their previous Paralympic encounter with Canada, in the Semi-Final of the London 2012 games, saw USA lose by just a point, so this close rivalry will be the talk of the tournament when both squads arrive on the court of the Copperbox Arena. American sensation Chuck Aoki will be one of those Eagles taking to the court. Having transferred from Wheelchair Basketball in High School, Aoki quickly established himself as a top US player, being named the US Quad Rugby Association’s Athlete of the Year in 2011, and helping USA to the Bronze medal of the London 2012 Paralympics. Aoki and the whole US team will be looking to avenge those recent losses against a strong Canadian team, which features stars of the sport including Zak Madell and Patrice Dagenais, but they’ll need to be on their guard for other tough opponents in their group, which sees them facing New Zealand

Team USA Preview

and South Africa on October 13th. Should USA get to the knock out rounds, teams including the World Number Ones, and reigning Paralympic Gold Medalists Australia, as well as the home team of the UK, could face them for those lucrative medal slots. This year’s Challenge is a great chance to see this amazing sport in person, and to celebrate the growth of the sport, as well as cheer on the Stars and Stripes. Also, on page 11 of this issue of The American, there is a real once in a lifetime opportunity to be the flag bearer for the US Eagles team in their opening match against Canada – don’t forget to check it out. For more details on the teams, athletes, schedules and for tickets and hospitality for this year’s Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, which kicks off on October 12th at the Copperbox Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, go to

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The London Games Gary Jordan looks at the upcoming London games this Autumn


he continued success of the International Series games that the NFL provides for the ever growing number of fans in the UK has been further rewarded. Not just with another three games this year, but at the very least another trio of games in 2016. Then we can look further into the future and the deal, announced early in the summer, that will see a new home for fans to visit - although the venue was used before during the time of the London Monarchs in the ill-fated NFL Europe. Tottenham Hotspur FC will host at least 2 games per year from 2018 in a ten year deal. Their new north London stadium is due for completion in the summer of 2018, and will have a purpose built retractable pitch which will ease any concerns of wear and tear, which Wembley has had criticism of in the past. Even though the capacity will be considerably lower than that of Wembley, at 61,000 it is still more than adequate. Bear in mind that this deal doesn’t interfere with games being played elsewhere, so we could still see games at the National Stadium, and perhaps more new locations will be visited. Back to the present though and the games this season. We have the

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first divisional game when the Dolphins ‘host’ the Jets in Week 4. Then in a test of the stadium and fans resilience we have another first with back-to-back weekends of football. The Week 7 matchup between the Bills and the Jaguars, is quickly followed by the Lions facing the Chiefs in their Week 8 game. So we have three teams that have been here before as recently as last year, and three teams that are visiting these shores for the first time. All will be playing in front of the now customary sold out Wembley Stadium crowd, and here is a look at who could be an influence in each game.

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins Sunday October 4th, 2.30pm BST This will be the Dolphins’ third International Series game having played in the first, back in 2007. Last year they took apart Oakland, but they have a stiffer test this time as they face AFC East rival New York Jets. Miami made a big splash in the off season by making Ndamukong Suh the highest paid defensive lineman in League history. They will rely on him and their Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to be leaders as the

Dolphins go in search of their first playoff berth since 2008. They have exciting receivers in Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker, but they will have to work hard for their yards as they’re up against a returning high profile shutdown cornerback for the Jets in Darrelle Revis. After a poor 2014 with only 4 wins Revis is one of many new pieces that will try and cause a stir. New Head Coach Todd Bowles is putting his unique stamp on the team and they could be turning a corner. Brash receiver Brandon Marshall will be one to watch but there is concern at QB after a locker room incident left Geno Smith out for a few weeks with a broken jaw, and new recruit Ryan Fitzpatrick should get the start.

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday October 25th, 1.30pm BST The team that London has taken in, and tried to urge to a win on these shores, may well have its best shot at just that in late October. Jacksonville have the experience of coming over here to fall back on but more importantly a growing belief that the team is heading in the right direction under Head Coach

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Artist’s impression of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, being built to accommodate NFL

Gus Bradley. QB Blake Bortles will be better for his troubled rookie season, and Denard Robinson will be eager to improve on an indifferent 2014 running the ball. On defense Sen’Derrick Marks will be a threat again to opposing QBs and new safety Sergio Brown will slot in nicely. The Bills are coming into the new season with renewed optimism that they could be about to make a serious assault on the AFC East. New man in charge Rex Ryan brings playoff experience with him and even though he has a conundrum at QB with EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel going for the start, he has a settled and trusted running back in LeSean McCoy. The defense was already one that could hold its own

and last year’s team leader in sacks Mario Williams could make it a long day for Bortles.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday November 1st, 2.30pm BST Last year the Lions provided the Wembley fans with the best comeback win they’d seen so far, coming from 20 points down to beat Atlanta on a last second field goal. They will be hoping this game will be less tense. QB Matthew Stafford is still firing passes to Calvin Johnson, the receiver still the number one pick for all fantasy team owners. Eyes will be


on Ameer Abdullah, the rookie back out of Nebraska has explosive big play ability and could be a fine compliment to Joique Bell. The loss of Suh has been compensated somewhat by the arrival of Haloti Ngata at DT. Kansas City will hope to close the deal they started last year. A team that offered so much early on finished flat and missed the playoffs which was a shame for Coach Andy Reid as he was getting the most out of QB Alex Smith. This year Smith has a new target in Jeremy Maclin, but the Chiefs will be hoping that the D will be as good if not better than last year. Led by Justin Houston – 22 sacks, and safety Tyvon Branch this is a fast, hungry group.

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Gary Jordan prepares for another seismic NFL Season... even if the tremors of last season haven’t quite subsided

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Tom Brady eyes another opportunity to extend his legacy and New England’s 21st century dynasty PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS/DAVID SILVERMAN

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n many ways, it was a year to forget, with more drama off the field than the NFL would care to imagine. Once again though, the product on the gridiron was one of high standard and excitement, right down to the final drive and a Seahawks’ decision not to run that could haunt them if they don’t win another title for a while. New England passer Tom Brady has taken most of the headlines this offseason and the DeflateGate saga rumbled on into the preseason. The Patriots will have more fire than most champions as they set out to show that their championship was deserved, and Brady will be ready to punish the world whenever he starts his season. Is there a team that can knock New England off their lofty perch? There’s a few lining up to take the crown. The Colts are most likely to emerge as the team in the AFC in the coming years, and the Packers and Seahawks will be knocking on the door again. Outside of that we could see Peyton Manning in last chance saloon, and time is also against Tony Romo in his quest to bring a title back to Dallas. It’s a landmark season for the NFL as it heads towards its 50th Super Bowl. Which two teams will be in Santa Clara in early February next year?

NFC EAST DALLAS: After getting so close last season, the Cowboys will feel this could be their year. Most of the prime time players are back. Replacing DeMarco Murray with Darren McFadden could still be the one curiosity, but securing Dez Bryant was vital. New pieces on defense will aid the cause, Greg Hardy being the most notable. For Tony Romo, now 35 years old, it really could be a case of now or never. Key Player – WR Dez Bryant PHILADELPHIA: Coach Chip Kelly has shuffled the pack once more and top of the deck now is formerRam QB Sam Bradford. Gone is crowd favorite LeSean McCoy, but he is replaced by 2014 leading rusher DeMarco Murray, complimented by Ryan Mathews. Pressure will be on Nelson Agholor, the rookie WR out of Southern Cal. The loss of veteran OLB Trent Cole leaves a big hole, and the torn ACL of JaCorey Shepherd will cause problems at CB, especially with Brandon Boykin already traded away. Key Player – RB DeMarco Murray NY GIANTS: Rookie sensation WR Odell Beckham Jr, will have spent the offseason preparing for double team coverage; a lot will hinge on how he copes with the attention. We could be coming to the end of the Coughlin-Eli era, a fruitful one of course, but have they got enough in them for one last hurrah? Adding RB Shane Vereen could be a wise move, but they really need extra help on defense after DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s firework accident. Key Player – QB Eli Manning

DETROIT: The Lions were a debatable call away from making an impact in the playoffs last year. RB Joique Bell emerged as a dependable back and, if they get stellar WR Calvin Johnson back healthy, they will be a force on offense again, as Golden Tate proved more than adequate as the number one target. The loss of Ndamukong Suh will hurt, and this puts pressure on Haloti Ngata, brought in from Baltimore. Key Player – WR Calvin Johnson CHICAGO: It’s hard to see the Bears heading to the playoffs this year, even with the wily John Fox installed as Head Coach. A lot of the team’s woes fall on the shoulders of QB Jay Cutler, which I guess that comes from having a huge price tag and oftunderperforming. Vic Fangio prefers a 3-4 defense and the new coordinator on that side of the ball will aim to hit home with more blitzes, bringing in DE Ray McDonald from the 49ers will help that package. Key Player – RB Matt Forte

NFC SOUTH WASHINGTON: It seems like a lifetime ago that Robert Griffin III lit up the league with his dynamic play and dashing smile. Now, two torn ACL repairs later and he needs to play more conservative. WR DeSean Jackson is still a threat and RB Alfred Morris will keep churning out the yards on the ground. Safety Dashon Goldson adds some muscle on defense and NT Terrance Knighton will plug a gap on the line. Key Player – WR DeSean Jackson

CAROLINA: As strange as this division was last year, the Panthers managed to retain their division crown and advance in the postseason. QB Cam Newton is maturing in the position and WR Kelvin Benjamin [since injured, Ed.] was a seamless transition from Steve Smith. DE Kony Ealy needs to continue on the back end of last season’s form as the Panthers need to get to the QB more. MLB Luke Kuechly is still one the League’s best in that position. Key Player – TE Greg Olsen


NEW ORLEANS: The Saints will look back at last year as a case of what might have been – a win from either of two OT losses would have seen them in the playoffs. The defense still needs some work and they’ve invested in CB Brandon Browner to ease secondary worries. Stephone Anthony is a good pick up from Clemson to beef up the Linebacker group. The clock is ticking on QB Drew Brees’ arm, but he should be good for this year at least. Key Player – WR Brandin Cooks

GREEN BAY: The preseason pick of many, they have the League MVP in QB Aaron Rodgers who is on course for a trip to Canton. Where most teams have shopped around to find the missing pieces to the jigsaw, the Packers have made little impact in the Free Agency market and have only lost veteran AJ Hawk in the process. Coach Mike McCarthy will be all out to avenge the collapse in the NFC title game. Key Player –RB Eddie Lacy MINNESOTA: Coach Mike Zimmer will be very hopeful that this season will be another step up. QB Teddy Bridgewater will be better equipped this season, and will be helped by offensive guru Norv Turner. Premier RB Adrian Peterson is back and WR Mike Wallace is in to add a deep threat. Defensive pieces remain in place from last year with LB Eric Kendricks looking an astute pick up in the Draft. Key Player – WR Mike Wallace

ATLANTA: A Jekyll and Hyde team over the past few years, it’s hard to tell which Falcons team will show up. New Head Coach Dan Quinn will want to see the upturn in fortune continue from last season. The defense stays largely the same with notable additions including DE Adrian Clayborn and rookie LB Vic Beasley out of Clemson. QB Matt Ryan could be forced to air it out even more, as there is no immediate threat at RB. Key Player – WR Julio Jones

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TAMPA BAY: Having announced Jameis Winston as their starting QB, the Bucs have made their first bold statement. Can they make more on the field after posting a League-low two wins last term? No doubt a record that means the defense needs retooling, so on board come DT Henry Melton and LB Bruce Carter. All eyes will be on Winston though, and if he has a good camp and gels quickly with WR duo Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, he could have some early success. Key Player – QB Jameis Winston

NFC WEST SEATTLE: How quickly can they shrug off the disappointment of that dramatic Super Bowl loss will be instrumental if the Seahawks are to return to that stage again. All the big names have been locked up for the foreseeable future and when you add the likes of TE Jimmy Graham to the ingredients, it does look like Coach Pete Carroll will be cooking up another shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Losing CB Byron Maxwell is a dent in their armor. Key Player – RB Marshawn Lynch

ARIZONA: A lot will ride on QB Carson Palmer staying healthy; if so, they could once again be contenders. WR Larry Fitzgerald is still a marquee attraction, but will need help from Michael Floyd to draw coverage away. The loss of CB Antonio Cromartie will smart, but the defense is a solid unit and have been bolstered with LB Sean Weatherspoon coming in. Key Player – QB Carson Palmer SAN FRANCISCO: A problematic and turbulent 2014 will hope to be brushed away with new Head Coach Jim Tomsula seeking to make his mark known. They have lost a lot of core talent, but have tried to balance that out with WR Torrey Smith, RB Reggie Bush and DL Darnell Dockett all coming in. This is a pivotal year for QB Colin Kaepernick: he’s found the going heavier as defences have adjusted to his style. Key Player – QB Colin Kaepernick ST. LOUIS: Coach Jeff Fisher will be happy with his lot. The Rams have been ‘nearly’ men over the last few seasons while causing some upsets. Now they look ready to come out of the shadows. New QB Nick Foles is a good fit and if rookie RB Todd Gurley can settle in to NFL life quickly, they will have an explosive punch. The defensive line is strong and Robert Quinn will lead here. Key Player – RB Zac Stacy

AFC South INDIANAPOLIS: Heirs apparent to the Patriots’ throne. With QB Andrew Luck ready to step out from the shadows of Brady and Manning, and WR Andre Johnson a new target, the future looks good. RB Frank Gore has been added to ease the load off the passing game. The defense is solid and the coaching of Chuck Pagano could be enough for a Colts stampede. Key Player – WR TY Hilton

JJ Watt has turned into a megastar for the Texans and the NFL PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HOUSTON TEXANS

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HOUSTON: Last year it seemed the Texans were ready, but you can only go so far when you rely on one man to carry you. Many felt DE JJ Watt should have received the 2014 League MVP; he will, however, like to share the load. Veteran Vince Wilfork will help in that area, but they are another team that needs to sort its QB conundrum, with Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett vying for the start. They need a speedy recovery from Arian Foster RB, who had surgery on a hernia at the start of Camp. Key Player – DE JJ Watt

JACKSONVILLE: Gus Bradley is one of the good guys, and slowly but surely the Head Coach is starting to see things happen for his team (...although it is a very slow happening). TE Julius Thomas is added to the mix this year and there is still high hopes for QB Blake Bortles. However the uphill battle has already started with highly touted LB Dante Fowler ruled out for the year in rookie minicamp with a torn ACL. Key Player – QB Blake Bortles TENNESSEE: Hopes have been pinned on the number two pick in this year’s Draft, Marcus Mariota. However, there is still a question mark over how quick he can take on board Coach Whisenhunt’s system. If there’s a doubt, the team will stick with Zach Mettenberger for now. RB Bishop Sankey will need a big improvement on his rookie year. Brian Orakpo has been brought in to help at the LB position. Key Player – QB Marcus Mariota

The American

AFC East

AFC West

NEW ENGLAND: Whether or not Tom Brady is forced to sit out the first month of the season, the Patriots will be in the mix come December, because they still have Bill Belichick stalking the sideline. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman will be in the spotlight, but need to be wary on defense after some losses, including star CB Darrelle Revis. Key Player – TE Rob Gronkowski

DENVER: Gary Kubiak is now the man in charge of trying to help QB Peyton Manning ride off into the sunset with another Super Bowl ring on his finger. Manning can still get the job done but it’s not getting easier. With this in mind, Denver gave WR Demaryius Thomas a big payday to keep him happy and productive. Some will say they’ve lost more than they’ve gained and this could be the beginning of the end of their West reign. Key Player – Von Miller OLB

NY JETS: Todd Bowles is now the man in charge of putting some wrongs right, and he has made nothing but good noises so far. Gaining Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie will help a sometimes porous D, but the big problem is at QB where Geno Smith was set to start and now will miss time with a broken jaw after a locker room “incident”, handing the passing duties to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Key Player – CB Darrelle Revis MIAMI: Ryan Tannehill has steadily improved year on year and has some new weapons to aim for. Jordan Cameron is a welcome addition at TE as well as DeVante Parker, the speedy rookie receiver out of Louisville. The biggest name to step into the Florida sun was that of Ndamukong Suh. The DE will feel the pressure that comes with a $19m a year contract. Key Player – QB Ryan Tannehill BUFFALO: New Head Coach Rex Ryan has acquired some heavyweights on offense to complement an already talented defense. Matt Cassel at QB, Charles Clay TE and RB LeSean McCoy are all well established names. Try as you might, you can’t help but feel that after a bright start they will fade away. Key Player – RB LeSean McCoy

AFC North CINCINNATI: After many false dawns, this could be the year that the Bengals roar instead of purr. Andy Dalton will shrug the playoff monkey off his back and then who knows? WR AJ Green will also want to prove his big game doubters wrong. They drafted strong on the line to help with Cedric Ogbuehi from Texas A&M, and Oregon’s Jake Fisher. Key Player – QB Andy Dalton PITTSBURGH: Never count out Mike Tomlin’s teams: they will always be a threat, especially down the stretch. The biggest loss in the offseason was talismanic veteran Safety Troy Polamalu.How the defense adjusts will be crucial, but having drafted heavy in this area, it will be an interesting watch. Key Player – RB Le’Veon Bell

KANSAS: The Chiefs pose the biggest threat to the Broncos and Coach Andy Reid is as wily as they come, and will hope this is the year. In comes an old friend from Reid’s days in Philly with the acquisition of WR Jeremy Maclin. Good news broke just before Training Camp that Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry was clear from his cancer scare, and will likely start alongside former Raider Tyvon Branch. Key Player – Jamaal Charles RB SAN DIEGO: A lot of offseason speculation about a move to Los Angeles has been a distraction, and on the field the team have decided to stick with Philip Rivers under center. WR Keenan Allen has been joined by rookie RB Melvin Gordon and WR Stevie Johnson from the 49ers for more productivity on offense. The secondary is the strongest part of the defense with Brandon Flowers and Eric Weddle kept on board. Key Player – Melvin Gordon RB

Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas © ERIC LARS BAKKE

OAKLAND: Still in a rebuilding phase, there is much to be optimistic about. QB Derek Carr is a natural leader and his baptism of fire last year will stand him in good stead going into his second year. Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper are a WR tandem that will offer new ways of getting into the end zone. In comes Jack Del Rio as Head Coach and he’s passed defensive coaching duties over to Ken Norton Jr., with his biggest asset being the marauding OLB Khalil Mack. Key Player – Derek Carr QB BALTIMORE: A team in a state of flux, again there is no doubting the talent on board. QB Joe Flacco, WRs Steve Smith and rookie Breshad Perriman, and RB Justin Forsett are the core of playmakers on offense. However, at times last year they struggled to make a difference, and the Terrell Suggsled defense will need to step up to the Super Bowl level of three seasons ago. Key Player – RB Justin Forsett CLEVELAND: It’s hard to take serious a franchise that changes QB so often, and guess what… they’ve done it again. Even though they have the enigma that is Johnny Football, Head Coach Mike

Pettine opted to dive into the market and grab Josh McCown, potentially the 23rd starting QB in 16 years. Beyond that, they will look to third year players on defense CB Joe Haden and OLB Barkevious Mingo to raise the bar. Key Player – WR Dwayne Bowe A bold prediction and crystal ball gazing says that Indianapolis finally get past the pesky Patriots, and Dallas emerge as the top talent in the NFC. You read it here first…

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Richard L Gale previews the NCAA football season



fter quarterback-dominated narratives in 2012 and 2013, the story of the 2014 college season became the resiliency of Ohio State, down to their third QB as they entered the postseason. However, it was the ground game and Ezekiel Elliott that pounded the Buckeyes to a National Championship, and for 2015, the smart money is again on teams with a ferocious defense, a staunch run game, and just enough passing to build a lead, then close it out. Despite no clear No.1 QB for Ohio State, Alabama or Oregon, those teams remain atop preseason picks (something unthinkable at the NFL level). Their running backs – Elliott, ’Bama’s Derrick Henry, and Oregon’s Royce Freeman – will pace the playoff conversation, at least until September’s first gaudy passing numbers, October’s first conference-rocking comeback drive ...and November’s first unbeaten-quenching endzone pick. The passing game will always supply football’s high drama, but it’ll again be the high motor of the pass rushers and rock-carriers that ensure the oneloss, no-loss, stumble-free survival that sends top teams to the playoff bracket.

Jim Harbaugh (pictured right) turned San Diego and Stanford into 11-1 teams, resurrected the 49ers (even if they didn’t appreciate it), and now the former Wolverine QB fulfils his destiny to coach Michigan. He’ll bring fanatical intensity and sky-high expectations, but don’t expect a B1G breakthrough in year one for the maize and blue. QB is a competition between Shane Morris and Iowa transfer Jake Rudock, and while the defense returns many of the two-deep, no returning RB had more than 520 yards last season. They’ll tussle with Penn State for No.3 in the East Division. The Nittany Lions boast greater continuity, especially on offense, where QB Christian Hackenberg’s protection will be a year more mature. Out ahead, though, are Ohio State, the reigning National Champs, and Michigan State. The Buckeyes return 17 starters from their championship squad, including 3 QBs with winning starting experience, a stud RB, most of the starting O-line, experienced kickers, and DE Joey Bosa, a likely top-5 pick in next year’s draft. It’s rare that a National Championship team returns this bold a roster the following year, and the

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reason many believe they’ll be ‘Buck-to-Buck’ champs. However, exiting the East unscathed is no guarantee. Michigan State’s only two losses last year were to both of the eventual National Title contestants (who they meet again). They return QB Connor Cook and most of his line, and seven starting defenders – including NFL-bound DE Shilique Calhoun. The West Division won’t make the same headlines. Wisconsin’s line isn’t as dominant as it once was, and RB Melvin Gordon is now a San Diego Charger, but the defense (note CBs Sojourn Shelton and Darius Hillary) and special teams (kicker Rafael Gaglianone) may be key. Nebraska won 9 games in 2015, but swapped Bo Pelini for more smiley Mike Riley as coach. Careful what you wish for, Cornhusker fans. Iowa are retooling the O-line after the departure of Brandon Scherff, and install CJ Beathard at QB; Minnesota’s 5-3 Big Ten record last year (8-5 overall) included a one-score loss to Ohio State and a 10-point defeat to Wisconsin. They’ll be a tricky opponent again, but that might be their ceiling. Right now, this feels like a sure Ohio State-Wisconsin title game.


Big Ten (B1G)

The American

Before we lock Oregon into this year’s Playoffs, let’s talk quarterbacks, because the Pac-12 offers every breed of passer from supertalented potential to proven veteran. In the latter category, Stanford has Kevin Hogan back for a fifth year of eligibility, though his experience is atypical of the Cardinal roster. California has more of a poster boy passer in Heisman notable Jared Goff (35 TDs, 7 picks and almost 4000 yards in 2014), but while Cal’s defense is negligible and Stanford’s is reloading, Oregon’s handful of returning defenders includes DE DeForest Buckner, who leads a nasty D-Line. Oregon’s starting QB is probably experienced Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams Jr. (they open against his old team). Week 2 sees them visit Michigan State, so while RB Royce Freeman will be called upon to pace the offense while a new QB settles in, a new secondary will also receive an early test. After losing QB Marcus Mariota, DE Alex Armstead, CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, OT Jake Fisher... is it reasonable to expect another one-loss record going

into the playoffs? November 21 may be a useful preview of the Pac-12 title game, as the Ducks face USC. The Trojans have enough returners on defense, will have size at receiver, and QB Cody Kessler, who notched 39 TDs and just 5 interceptions last season. However, to be the TD-tossing exception that proves the rock-carrying rule, USC needs Kessler to gun hard enough to overcome questions at RB. The Pac-12 South offers little respite. Behind USC, Arizona State – who managed upsets of USC and Stanford last year – return most of an aggressive defense; Arizona enjoys some fine individual talents – LB Scooby Wright, RB Nick Wilson, WR Cayleb Jones, and barely-underthe-radar, dual-threat

Southeastern Conference First, the elephant in the room: an SEC team wasn’t in the National Championship Game for the first time in nine years. Second, the elephants not in the room: Alabama’s offense, which returns only 2 starters. So why does everyone feel so safe picking Alabama as one of 2015’s final four? Yet another top recruiting class is one reason, Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin’s first-year offensive explosion another. Defensive veterans LB Reggie Ragland, DT A’Shawn Robinson, CB Cyrus Jones are others. But RB Derrick Henry (pictured right) is symptomatic of the optimism. After Eddie Lacy, Mark Ingram, TJ Yeldon, it hardly matters that Henry doesn’t count as a returning starter, or that he will share carries with Kenyan Drake – they’re just the latest battering rams from the Alabama arsenal. We think Jake Coker’s the QB, but since when was passing pivotal to ’Bama’s fortunes? Still, 2 starters... if ever someone was going to turn back the Tide, it’s now. The contenders: Auburn have an unproven backfield and WR Duke Williams is already in the doghouse, so even with Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator, surviving September at better than 2-2 is no given. LSU have an Alabama-quality RB in Leonard Fournette running behind

an experienced line, and there’s a crowd of talent on defense. Road trips to Alabama, Ole Miss, Miss St, could be tricky. Ole Miss has skill position prowess (a big, deep fleet of targets) but again a new starting QB. They have a couple of Nkemdiches in a defense that was the nation’s best last year. Road trips: Alabama, Auburn and Miss St. Arkansas had some big moments in 2014: a one-point loss to Alabama, a one-score loss to Miss St, and shoutouts of LSU and Ole Miss in November. Again, the road schedule isn’t easy. Mississippi State boast outstanding QB Dak Prescott (4400 combined yards, 41 combined scores in 2014), but return almost nobody else from

their 10-3 campaign. And that’s just the SEC West. Georgia is the consensus class leader in the East with RB Nick Chubb (1500+ yards, 14 TDs as a freshman) to pace them, and experiened pass rushers and corners to take advantage of any faltering SEC passers. Missouri and Tennessee like to think they at least have something under center, the Tigers with Maty Mauk, and the Vols with Josh Dobbs. The Vols’ recruiting successes will start to show up this year, and there’s also a lot of experience, so they should be ahead of South Carolina and Florida, both facing inbetween years. It’s just that some programs in the SEC don’t have inbetween years. Alabama and Georgia, for example.

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super-soph Anu Solomon under center – and back-to-back 10 win seasons are possible; and Utah’s defense and offensive backfield are packed with returning seniors. And then there’s UCLA – if top recruit Josh Rosen is as good as advertised (he looks it), he, LB/RB Myles Jack, RB Paul Perkins (1500+ yards last year), and a seasoned line could make a nonsense of preseason predictions. All-in-all though, the gingerly-placed money is on Oregon and USC, although it’s credible that the Pac-12 teams undermine each other’s records enough to miss out on the playoffs entirely.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Florida State’s pass game may lose some national limelight as Jameis Winston becomes Sean Maguire, but a young backfield featuring freshman Jacques Patrick (and possibly sophomore Dalvin Cook), the kicking of Robert Aguayo, and defensive depth recasts FSU as one of the grind-it-out, grind ’em down prospects, at least for one year. Clemson could clamber over FSU in the Atlantic Division, but while Deshaun Watson to Mike Williams could be a constant QB-WR scoring threat, the defensive front six all

BIG 12 Back in 2009, The American – in a purplepaged preview – wondered aloud whether the Texas team in the National Championship Game could ever be Texas Christian. In 2010, a 13-0 TCU team proved the answer was, er, no – at least under the old system. Last year, TCU went 12-1 as co-Champs of the Big 12, and still missed out on the four-team playoff field. Baylor, the team that upended TCU by a fieldgoal, ended the regular season 11-1, and also missed out. One suspects that, had they been more storied Texas and Oklahoma, one of them would have made the bracket.


TCU passer Trevone Boykin

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Still, TCU v Baylor (and last year’s shared injustice) remains the hangover story in the Big 12. Part of the reason is the talent that returns – 17 starters for TCU, including Heisman-touted QB Trevone Boykin (33 TDs, 4600 combined yards) and his four starting receivers, and they have a deeper backfield. Good defense is as perennial here as in Alabama. They clearly believe this is the year: the roster includes more seniors than a Tom Jones concert. Baylor – who they host November 27 – have other plans. Their starting secondary and their D-line (featuring sure first rounder Shawn Oakman) is back, and while QB Seth Russell now steps in where Bryce Petty and Robert Griffin III once lit up scoreboards, he will enjoy a wholly intact Spencer Drango-lead offensive line. Amongst those looking to upend the whole ‘underdogs-ascended’ storyline are the incomplete but sneakily talented Oklahoma State (who Baylor visit the week before playing TCU – how’s that for a trap game?), defensively poised West Virginia (WVU’s Skyler Howard and OSU’s Mason Rudolph are two QBs we’d love to have space to enthuse about, but their time will come), and the ghosts of dynasties past, Texas and Oklahoma. The Sooners will ride RB Samaje Perine for all he’s worth – he toted over 1700 yards and 21 TDs as a freshman – but they have to find a passer that can keep pace when shootouts break out, which happened a little too often last year. The Longhorns won’t be in the mix for the Big 12 title, but it’s an important year for Charlie Strong to prove that core values and the switch from a pro-style to spread attack adds up to winning days to come.

change. Bobby Petrino-coached Louisville have a line rejig and a secondary restock to negotiate, areas that are no problem for NC State, which could take a step forward in the Division. In the Coastal, Virginia Tech sees both corners and the D-line among returning starters, and QB Michael Brewer, while no headliner, is steady. If the scourge of injuries subsides, and the opener against Joey Bosa-less Ohio State turns into a statement, Beamerball could be real big in 2015. Georgia Tech has a heady blend of players this year, with an intact secondary, and a potentially impactful offense of resprays (Stanford’s Patrick Skov), remoulds (Marcus Allen switches back from WR to RB) and fresh parts (receiver Qua Searcy) to put the Ramblin’ Wreck in the conference race again. However, the schedule’s mean. North Carolina, adding Gene Chizik as DC and returning QB Marquise Williams on offense, are still probably spoilers more than contenders. Pittsburgh’s latest coach, Pat Narduzzi, has flashy talent in dual-threat QB Chad Voytik, thundering RB James Conner (26 TDs last year) and receiver Tyler Boyd, but we’ll believe their desire to overcome the 6/7-win funk when we see it.

American Athletic Conference

This is a big year for the AAC, as the former Big East struggles to make the case for the Power 5 conferences being the Power 6 before college football’s major conferences pull up the drawbridge and hide behind the lucrative ramparts of autonomy. But the AAC needs to walk the walk: it was 4-22 against Power 5 teams last season, and the Conference needs a beast in the ol’ East. It could be Cincinnati. The Bearcats have a potential NFL first round talent in QB Gunner Kiel among the 9 returning starters on offense, and an upgraded stadium, but the defense is still flawed. Memphis – the best team in the West Division – had a better defense last year, but much of it is gone, including OC Barry Odom. Cincy visits Memphis September 24, but it would be no surprise if they rematched in the AAC title game. Other contenders include Coach George O’Leary’s UCF in the East (though just 10 returning starters including their punter suggests a backstep); Greg Ward-quarterbacked Houston, which also boasts a returning secondary; triple-option maven Ken Niumatalolo’s Navy (still with fleet-footed Keenan Reynolds at QB but otherwise reloading); Temple, where LB Tyler Matakevich leads a near-intact defense;

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The Heisman Hunt Texas Christian QB Trevone Boykin made quite a splash last year, and could put up 5000 yards of offense. He also has the opponents to rack up insane numbers in September, and the team to keep him on the national stage. Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott heads up the running back class and has a National Championship in his pocket. He might be good for another one. Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Georgia’s Nick Chubb and the franchise backs elsewhere, while Oregon’s Royce Freeman, Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine and Utah’s Devontae Booker are runners likely to garner significant carries. In the passing game, Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) is a QB who has already proven himself sufficiently to be in the opening Heisman picture, Michigan State’s Connor Cook has a solid portfolio of work, especially if the Spartans upset the Buckeyes. If Ohio State go on another run, their own QB (whoever!) will get mentions, and likewise for Oregon’s QB (probably Vernon Adams). Of course, the Pac-12 is the hotbed for trophy-stature passers, with USC’s Cody Kessler, Cal’s Jared Goff, and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (if you’re looking for a freshman option). Outsiders (ie non-QBs/RBs) include UCLA’s two-way Myles Jack and Ohio State DE Joey Bosa.

and Tulsa. Well, probably not Tulsa, but former Baylor OC Phil Montgomery coaching QB Dane Evans and WR Keevan Lucas (101 catches in ‘15) is a tantalizing mid-major footnote!

Other Conference Picks

In Conference USA, you could be forgiven for skipping the middle of the season. Louisiana Tech – our pick in the East, courtesy of exFlorida QB Jeff Driskel, surrounding talent and Coach Skip Holtz – visits QB Brandon Doughty and the lights-out offense of Western Kentucky on September 10. On November 27, the latter hosts defending C-USA champs Marshall in what will be a likely West Division title decider (Western Kentucky won last year’s showdown 67-66). The Hilltoppers’ home field advantage in both games is hard to ignore, but Marshall’s 6’5” 245lb James Madison transfer QB Michael Birdsong is the wildcard in that assumption ... In the Mountain West, Boise State is an easy pick in the Mountain Division and overall, with 18 returning starters. Although QB Grant Hedrick and RB Jay Ajayi are gone, it’s hard to see who will beat them. In the West, San Diego State could run the post-September table on the legs of RB Donnel Pumphrey. Air Force comes off a 10-3 season, but a host of graduations and a tough road schedule suggests 7-8 wins may be a safe guess this time ... In the MAC, you could make a decent case for most of the teams, but it probably boils down to Bowling Green’s experienced offense in the East, while seemingly unshakable West champs Northern Illinois (five and counting) could get a

strong challenge from RB Javion Franklin and Western Michigan (who will be either battlehardened or just battered by early non-con tilts against Michigan State and Ohio State) and Toledo, who shared the West title last year, but return none of their starting linemen. So, Northern Illinois it is, then ... In the Sun Belt, 1-AA powerhouses of old, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, have to be fancied: App State get every major conference foe at home, Georgia Southern largely avoids them. Arkansas State is a November 5 danger to Appalachian State, but double-digit wins are possible for the Mountaineers ... Amongst the Independents, if QB Malik Zaire can finally meet his moment of opportunity, Notre Dame has realistic aspirations for playoff contention with almost everyone back on defense, and an offensive X-factor in WR/RB CJ Prosise; Coach Bronco Mendenhall’s BYU may have bitten off more than it can chew with a September slate of Nebraska, Boise St, UCLA and Michigan; and Army West Point could muster 6 wins in Coach Jeff Monken’s second year, but skill position stars must be found. So, (1) Ohio St or Michigan State; (2) TCU or Baylor; (3) Alabama or Georgia; and (4) Oregon or USC. Who says you can’t have an eight-team playoff? For now, though we’re content to predict a wire-to-wire charge from Ezekiel Elliott and the Buckeyes... whoever the QB is.

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The American

Getting (the)Old (Course) Darren Kilfara explores whether St. Andrews, the home of golf, is too easy – at least for the golfing gods


watched the final round of the 2015 Open Championship – large chunks of it, anyway – on my mobile phone while queuing for various rides at the Legoland Windsor theme park. Alas, family holidays don’t stop for Monday finishes. You might think I’d struggle to find a less apposite location from which to watch an Old Course Open. But consider this: Legoland has been around a long time and constantly struggles to keep its attrac-

St Andrews’ Shell Bunker IMAGE © BRETT CHISUM

70 September - October 2015

tions fresh and modern. And while its rides are generally wonderful for younger children, few of them are capable of truly entertaining and/or scaring more experienced attendees. I truly love the Old Course. I’ve played it at least 30 times, mostly during my year as a student in St. Andrews, and I’ve come to understand and respect its nuances and the strategic conundrums it poses to normal golfers. But the

men playing the Old Course in an Open Championship aren’t normal golfers: for them, the Old Course is a series of wide fairways, big greens and few hurdles. Sam Snead won the 1946 Open at St. Andrews with a two-over-par total; since then, the average winning score at St. Andrews Opens has been 11.3 strokes under par, compared with 6.1 strokes under par for all of the non-St. Andrews Opens. This century, the four winning scores on

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the Old Course have been -19, -14, -16 and -15. So, every few years the R&A rebuttresses Road Bunker and builds a newer and more preposterous set of tees, expanding further into the adjacent New and Eden courses in (vainly) attempting to protect the Old Course from modern firepower. And this year, the R&A used numerous hole locations bordering on the criminally gimmicky which many locals had never seen before: e.g., the far-back-right location for the third hole on Monday was just beyond a steep downslope which bounded excellent wedge shots well beyond the green if a player’s judgment was out by even one yard. Ironically, the course’s main defense – the wind – was negated by the modern desire to maintain artificially fast green speeds; on slower greens with slightly longer grass, the gusty conditions on Saturday would have generated a brilliant day of shotmaking challenges instead of a lengthy postponement.

The birdies and eagles kept flying in The Old Course – and many other outstanding specimens of golfing architecture – could be toughened more easily simply by enforcing rigid regulations upon the game’s equipment manufacturers. But just as no political will

exists to enact meaningful gun control laws in America, ball control remains a distant dream …so we soldier on, fattening the bank accounts of golf course renovation specialists at the expense of golf clubs and their members the world over. And still, as the birdies and eagles kept flying in at the Open, two-thirds of the Old Course strongly resembled a drive-pitchand-putt competition. Personally, I’ve never thought any course is too easy; my own golfing faults see to that. But then, the Old Course is one of the few courses in the world on which I’ve broken par for 18 holes, a fact which itself may testify to what we saw at the 2015 Open. There is one way in which the Old Course is less inviting for the world’s greatest golfers, people who obsessively practice and prepare for every obstacle they expect to face, than it is for hackers like you and me: it doesn’t have a large practice putting green. And for the want of this particular nail, Jordan Spieth’s Grand Slam may have been lost: Spieth, probably the world’s greatest putter at present, cited the lack of a facility on which to practice the long lag putts you inevitably get on the Old Course after he took 37 putts in his second-round 72, and his disastrous four-putt at the eighth on Monday left him one too many mountains to climb. Of all the 2015 Open’s many fascinating sto-

rylines – I haven’t even mentioned Zach Johnson, an underrated golfer and a worthy champion – this has to be the stupidest, and yet somehow it seems an appropriate summation of the tournament. I can’t wait to see how the R&A attempts to defy golfing immortality at the next Open at St. Andrews five or six years from now. US expat Darren Kilfara formerly worked for Golf Digest magazine and is the author of A Golfer’s Education (below), a memoir of his junior year abroad as a student-golfer at the University of St. Andrews. His latest book, a novel called Do You Want Total War?, is also now available online at Amazon and elsewhere.

September - October 2015 71


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Brookwood American Cemetery The American Battle Monuments Commission Superintendant: Craig Rahanian. 01483 473237 Brookwood, Woking, Surrey GU24 0BL brookwood-american-cemetery

Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Europe US Naval Forces Europe-Africa - US Sixth Fleet,

US Air Force Recruiting Office Bldg 239 Room 139, RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 8NF 01638-54-4942/1566

American School of Aberdeen Craigton Road, Cults, Aberdeen. 01224 861068 / 868927.

Retired Affairs Office, RAF Alconbury Serving Central England POC: Rex Keegan Alt. POC: Mike Depasquale 423 SVS/RAO, Unit 5585, Box 100, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4DA. 01480 84 3364/3557 Office Hours: Tuesday and Friday, 10:30am–2:30pm Emergency no. 07986 887905

Benjamin Franklin House 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF. 020 7839 2006

2nd Air Division Memorial Library The Forum, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1AW 01603 774747

Eighth Air Force Historical Society Gordon Richards/Michelle Strefford UK Office, The Croft, 26 Chapelwent Road, Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 9SD, 01440 704014

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

Friends of the Eighth Newsletter (FOTE News) Chairman: Ron Mackay, 90 Elton Road, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 3NF, 01270 767669

76 September-October 2015

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

Navy League of the United States, United Kingdom Council Council President: Steven G. Franck

Bentwaters/Woodbridge Retirees’ Association President: Wylie Moore. 2 Coldfair Close, Knodishall, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1UN. 01728 830281

Joint RAF Alconbury/Molesworth Retiree Affairs Office 423, ABG/RAO, Unit 5623, RAF Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambs., PE28 4DE, 01480 843364 (Tues only 10:30-14:30)

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Commander: Ernest Paolucci, 00 33 (0) 24, rue Gerbert, 75015 Paris, France

Military Officers’ Association of America

American Overseas Memorial Day Association To remember and honor the memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and II, whose final resting places are in Europe.,

Madingley American Cemetery Cambridge The American Battle Monuments Commission Madingley Road, Coton, Cambridge CB23 7PH 01954-210350

Pres: LCDR Tim Fox ’97, Vice Pres: Miguel Sierra ’90, M’ship: Bart O’Brien ’98, Secretary: Matt Horan ’87,

Marine Corps League London, UK Detachment. Founding Commandant Michael E Allen, Creek Cottage, 2 Pednormead End, Old Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 2JS

AFJROTC 073 Lakenheath High School. Tel: 01638 525603 Air Force Sergeants Association UK POC Timothy W. Litherland CMSgt, USAF (ret). Chapters at RAFs Alconbury, Croughton, Lakenheath, Menwith Hill and Mildenhall.

Joint RAF Mildenhall/Lakenheath Retiree Affairs Office Co-Directors Dick Good & Jack Kramer Unit 8965, Box 30, RAF Mildenhall, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, IP28 8NF 01638 542039

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) UK Chapter President: Allison Bennett, Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association UK Chapter

Boston University – London Graduate Programs Office 43 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7244 6255, British American Educational Foundation Laurel Zimmermann, Executive Director BAEF, 520 Summit Avenue, Oradell, NJ 07649 USA (201) 2614438 BUNAC Student Exchange Employment Program - Director: Callum Kennedy, 16 Bowling Green Lane, London EC1R 0QH. 020 7251 3472 Butler University, Institute for Study Abroad 21 Pembridge Gardens, London W2 4EB 020 7792 8751

The American

Centre Academy London 92 St John’s Hill, Battersea, London SW11 1SH Tel: 02077382344,

Harlaxton College UK Campus, University of Evansville, Harlaxton Manor, Grantham, Lincs. NG32 1AG. 01476 403000 Huron University USA in London 46-47 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4JP Tel +44 (0) 20 7636 5667

Centre Academy East Anglia Church Rd, Brettenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 7QR Tel: 01449736404

Institute for the Study of the Americas Director: Professor James Dunkerley. Tel 020 7862 8879

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.

International School of Aberdeen 296 North Deeside Rd, Milltimber, Aberdeen, AB13 0AB 01224 732267

Council on International Educational Exchange Dr. Michael Woolf, 52 Portland Street, London WIV 1JQ Tel 020 7478 2000

International School of London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG. 020 8992 5823,

Ditchley Foundation Ditchley Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 4ER Tel 01608 677346

International School of London in Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking GU22 8HY, 01483 750409,

Dwight School London Formerly North London International School 6 Friem Barnet Lane, London N11 3LX 020 8920 0600

Ithaca College London Centre 35 Harrington Gardens, London SW7. Tel. 020 7370 1166

European Council of International Schools Executive Director: Jean K Vahey Fourth Floor, 146 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR 020 7824 7040

Marymount International School, London Headmistress: Ms Sarah Gallagher George Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7PE 020 8949 0571

European-Atlantic Group PO Box 37431, London N3 2XP 020 8632 9253

Missouri London Study Abroad Program 32 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4JU. 020 7373 7953.

Florida State University London Study Centre Administrative Director: Kathleen Paul 99 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LH. 020 7813 3233 Fordham University London Centre Academic Coordinator: Sabina Antal 23 Kensington Square, London W8 5HQ 020 7937 5023 Fulbright (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 ,

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

Richmond, The American International University in London Queen’s Road, Richmond-upon Thames TW10 6JP Tel: +44 20 8332 9000, 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,

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 for 3-11 year olds; Westminster campuses for 11-18 year olds. 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. 01932 565252, 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, 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. 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),

September-October 2015 77

The American

Babson College Frank de Jongh Swemer, 020 7932 7514 Barnard College Club Hiromi Stone, President. 0207 935 3981, Berkeley Club of London Geoff Kertesz groups/223876564344656/ 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 Brandeis Alumni Club of Great Britain Joan Bovarnick, President Brown University Club of the United Kingdom President: Tugba Erem. Communication: Patrick Attie Alumni Club & Liaison: Vanessa Van Hoof Brown Club UK, Box 57100, London, EC1P 1RB Bryn Mawr Club Lady Quinton, President. Wendy Tiffin, Secretary/Treasurer, 52 Lansdowne Gardens, London SW8 2EF Claremont Colleges Alumni in London Hadley Beeman, Colgate Club of London Stephen W Solomon ‘76, President 0207 349 0738 Columbia Business School Alumni Club of London 6 Petersham Mews, London SW7 5NR Columbia University Club of London Cornell Club of London Dartmouth College Club of London

78 September-October 2015

Delta Kappa Gamma Society International,

NYU Alumni Club in London Jodi Ekelchik, President

Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity London Alumni Chapter. Ashok Arora, P O Box 1110, London W3 7ZB 020 8423 8231,

NYU STERN UK Alumni Club

Delta Zeta International Sorority Alumna Club Sunny Eades 01543 490 312

Ohio University Alumni UK & Ireland Frank Madden, 01753 855 360

Duke University Club of England, regional-programs/groups/london

Penn Alumni Club of the UK w home.jsp?chapter=4&org=UPN

Emory University Alumni Chapter of the UK Matthew Williams, Chapter Leader 079 8451 4119,

Penn State Alumni Association

Georgetown Alumni Club Alexa Fernandez, ,

The London Association of Phi Beta Kappa @phibetakappaldn

Gettysburg College Alumni London Britt-Karin Oliver,

Princeton Association (UK)

Harvard Business School Club of London

Rice Alumni of London Kathy Wang 07912 560 177 a,

Harvard Club of the United Kingdom, Indiana University Alumni club of England

Skidmore College Alumni Club, London w

KKG London Alumnae Association w

Smith College Club of London

LMU Loyola Marymount Alumni Club London Alumni Relations: 310.338.4574

Stanford Business School Alumni Assn. UK overview/?group_id=0038990048

Marymount University Alumni UK Chapter President: Mrs Suzanne Tapley, 35 Park Mansions, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7QT. 020 7581 3742 MIT Club of Great Britain Mount Holyoke Club of Britain Notre Dame Club of London

Syracuse University Alumni UK Texas Tech Alumni Association - London Chapter Scott Dewar 077754 35877 Texas Exes UK (UKTE) England: Carra Kane 0778 660 7534 Scotland: Corey Cripe

The American

Texas A&M Club London The John Adams Society Tufts - London Tufts Alliance UConn Alumni Association UMass Alumni Club UK President, Renu Singh, University of California 020 7079 0567 University of Chicago Alumni Association, w University of Chicago Booth Alumni Association President: University of Colorado Alumni University of Georgia Alumni Association 07919 057 538 chapters/london_chapter University of Illinois Alumni Club of the UK Amy Barklam BUS 1994, President, 07796 193 466 University of North Carolina Alumni Club University of Michigan Alumni Association 0788-784-0941,

University of Rochester/Simon School UK Alumni Association Julie Bonne, 0118-956-5052,,

US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) Alumni UK Chapter Facebook: Kings Point Alumni - London/United Kingdom USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter President: Tim Fox ‘97 Facebook - USNA Alumni Association, UK Chapter Vassar College Club Sara Hebblethwaite, President 020 8788 6910 Warnborough Worldwide Alumni Association 01227 762 107 Washington University UK Alumni Club Steven Leof, Wellesley College Club wellesley_uk_club Wharton Alumni Club of the UK 020-7447-8800 Williams Club of Great Britain Ethan Kline:, alumni., Yale Club of London President, Secretary Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Kristin Morgan 07812 580949

CIVIL WAR SOCIETIES American Civil War Round Table (UK) Civil War historical soc., Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkan) The oldest American Civil War Re-enacting Society outside the USA.


University of Southern California, USC Alumni Club of London Walter Ladwig, President

American Actors UK 07873 371 891

University of Virginia Alumni Club of London 020 7368 8473

Savio(u)r Theatre Company Britain’s American theatre company

SPORTS English Lacrosse Wenlock Way, Manchester M12 5DH 0843 658 5006 British Baseball Federation / SoftballUK 5th Floor, Ariel House, 74a Charlotte Street, London W1T 4QJ 020 7453 7055 British Morgan Horse Society 01981 500488 Ice Hockey UK 02920 263 441 Infinity Elite Cheerleading (founded by CAC) 077 9132 0115 Herts Baseball Club Adult & Little League Baseball Lakenheath Barracudas Swim Club Open to all military affiliated families. LondonSports American flag football, baseball, basketball and soccer, boys/girls, 4-15 all nationalities, new or experienced players. London Warriors American Football Club

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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 Twitter @TheAmericanMag

September-October 2015 79

The American

Coffee Break



Blabby, Shifty and Jaunty were rejected names for which cinematic/literary septet?

Samuel Wilson is thought of as the inspiration for which American symbol, which is celebrated officially on September 13th each year?

What does the Seventh Amendment of the US Constitution pledge?

1 7 9 8

➍  Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worlds, which


monument was the most recently constucted? a) Statue of Zeus at Olympia b) Hanging Gardens of Babylon c) Lighthouse of Alexandria


The US Seventh Airforce is based in which Asian country? a) Japan b) South Korea c) China


Which famous concert venue sits on Seventh Avenue in New York?

The Star Trek: Voyager character, Seven of Nine, was played by which actress?

➑ October is Latin for ‘Eighth Month’ – why? ➒ Octavius Caeser features prominently in which

Shakespeare play?

3 7 9 2 6






6 1 4 8



6 7 2 5 6 3

It happened 25 years ago...

➓ September 10, 1990: After major renovations, which Island, famous for American immigration, was re-opened? ⓫

October 3, 1990: Which two European countries were unified on this date?

It happened 50 years ago...

⓬  September 16, 1965: Fred Quimby, American

animation producer, passed away. Which cartoon cat and mouse duo is he best known for producing?

Quiz answers and Sudoku solution on page 81.

80 September - October 2015

5 8












9 6 7 4 2 3 5

4 5 3 8 6 7 1

1 4 6 9 5 2 8

6 1 2 7 3 9 4

7 2 4 5 1 8 3

2 3 8 6 7 5 9

5 3 8 7 9 1 4 6 2


QUIZ: 1. Seven Dwarves, in the Disney film of 1937; 2. Uncle Sam – Wilson’s meat-packing firm delivered meats for the troops in the War of 1812 – the ‘US’ brand on his barrels inspired the term ‘Uncle Sam’, as an emobidment of the American spirit.; 3. The right to a trial by jury; 4. c) Lighthouse of Alexandria, (begun in 280 BC); 5. b) South Korea; 6. Carnegie Hall; 7. Jeri Ryan; 8. Because the Roman Calendar began in March; 9. Antony and Cleopatra; 10. Ellis Island; 11.East and West Germany; 12. Tom & Jerry; 13. Yale University ; 14. Pennsylvania Turnpike; 15. b) Raggedy Ann; 16. France; 17. Arthur Miller; 18. Daughters of the American Revolution.

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October 11, 1890: Which “Familial” organization, which now has chapters around the world including in the UK, was founded in Washington, DC?



It happened 125 years ago...



October 17th, 1915: Which famous American playwright – creator of shows including The Crucible, was born?



October 20, 1915: The first Transatlantic radio- telephone call was made from Arlington, VA to which European country?



September 7, 1915: Johnny Gruelle patented which well known doll? a) Barbie b) Raggedy Ann c) Cindy


It happened 100 years ago...



It happened 75 years ago...

October 1, 1940: The famous long distance highway, crossing the Appalachian Mountains, is opened – What was its name?


October 9, 1965: The Vinland Map, which describes pre-Columbian, Norse exploration of America, was first displayed at which Ivy League University?


The American

Coffee Break Answers


It happened 50 years ago...


BDO LLP and BDO Northern Ireland are both separately authorised and BDO LLP andbyBDO NorthernServices Ireland are both separately authorised andbusiness. regulated the Financial Authority to conduct investment regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct investment business.


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The American September-October 2015 Issue 746  

Bumper issue: the leading cross-media publication for Americans in the UK - and anyone interested in American culture

The American September-October 2015 Issue 746  

Bumper issue: the leading cross-media publication for Americans in the UK - and anyone interested in American culture