HISTORY: There’s a #Roman #amphitheatre in London. Well the ruins of one anyway. If you don’t fancy your local soccer stadium this Saturday head to #Guildhall & discover how gladiators fought in these arenas without refs & halftime whistles Check out my article https://whatshotlondon.co.uk/londons-roman-amphitheatre/
ENVIRONMENT: I sought to write a round up of the environmental positive points of 2017 rather than focus on the doom and gloom of what humanity has done to the Earth. I thought about a title and the Doors track ‘Not to Touch the Earth’ came to mind. Check out my article to see how conservation numbers have bucked the trend and how China is leading the way in environmental initiatives. https://whatshotlondon.co.uk/not-to-touch-the-earth-not-to-see-the-sun/
Over the weekend I attended the Late Night Keats: Regency Gothic night at Keats House, Hampstead. A historian gave a short talk on his links to gothic literature such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and gave a Gothic tour of the house. Also gothic-themed mask making in Keats’ Kitchen. What would his cook think of that? Link to my article http://whatshotlondon.co.uk/late-night-keats-regency-gothic/
THEATRE REVIEW: I attended the opening night of The Test at White Bear Theatre, Kennington. A reckless scientist creates the world’s 1st fully conscious internet but will it trigger a Brave New Utopian World or spiral out of control. Check out my review. http://whatshotlondon.co.uk/the-test-theatre/ I also interviewed the cast and writer/director Ian Dixon Smith after the performance.
ART REVIEW: I was honoured to meet artist Frank Bowling recently at his Fishes, Wishes in Summertime exhibition at the Hales Gallery, Shoreditch. He was the first Black-British artist to be elected to the Royal Academy since its creation in the 1700s. He’s 81 years old now and still very gracious and has lots of time for people seeking to chat to him his work. Check out my review http://whatshotlondon.co.uk/frank-bowling-fishes-wishes-in-summertime-blue/
LONDON’S HISTORIC PUBS: I visited The Spaniard’s Inn in Highgate yesterday for more research on my article ‘London’s Historic Pubs’. Leafy Highgate! You know you’re in an affluent area of London when there are barely any bus stops and few train stations. Even the train station was wooded and leafy! It’s been a pub since 1543 & has an antiquated-looking fire place that looks like it’s been preserved since the 1700s. The poets Byron, Percy Shelley & Mary Shelley drank here. Also Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale in the pub gardens. It was also one of Dickens favourites and both he and Dracula author Bram Stoker mentioned it in their novels. Weird atmosphere in the place. You can feel the history. A strange but stirring place to spend the evening of the solar eclipse. Read my full article in the September print edition of http://whatshotlondon.co.uk/
FESTIVAL: I dropped by the Africa Centre Summer Festival in Southwark and as you can see it survived the up and down English weather intact and with all the vibes of the sunny continent.