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Archive for November 2010

Juliette Greco – London Jazz Festival 2010

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Juliette Greco brings the French jazz tradition in London.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2010  – David Franchi
It was an outstanding Juliette Greco concert last 21st November, at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London.

 

At the end of the show there was a tribute of two standing ovations for the lady who better represent the tradition of the ‘chanson française’, the French modern music. Juliette Greco comes back to London after ten years. This was one of the closing concerts of the London Jazz Festival 2010.

The Royal Festival Hall was packed with people, many Frenchs and many English as well. There was also a good presence of young people a sign that Juliette Greco is an evergreen artist.

The 83 –years -old singer was superb. She performed with an absolutely brilliant verve, though a minor problem with her throat. She has sung the classics of the francophone tradition like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leo Ferré.

When Juliette Greco finished performing she has been tribute with a standing ovation and called back on stage for an encore. Then she sang the last song and the audience tribute to her another standing ovation.

She was accompanied by pianist and husband Gerard Jouannest (Brel’s long-time musical director) and accordionist Jean- Louis Matinier.

The atmosphere was dark, the stage set in black, reminding the existentialist life of the singer.

Juliette Greco, in fact, had a tumultuous past. She has been on the scene since late 1940s, when in post war Paris she became the muse of many artists namely Jean –Paul Sartre, Miles Davis, Jacques Prévert, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau.

Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg have written songs for her.

Juliette Greco is born the 7th February 1927 in Montpellier (France). During the Second World War following her mother and Charlotte, her sister, Juliette was involved in the Resistance. They were caught, her mother and sister were deported but she was not because of her young age.

She moved to Paris in 1946 after her mother left the country engaged with the National Navy.

Juliette Greco started to hang out at the famed Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Bohemian Paris quarter, where after the Second World War many poets, writers, painters and musicians were used to meet together living an unconventional life style.

There in 1949 she met Miles Davis with whom she became acquainted. In the same year she played a role in the Jean Cocteau’s film “Orphee”.

A year later she began her singer career with “Si tu t’imagines” by Raymond Queneau.

Since then Juliette Greco career never stopped. She became famous and toured the world as much as she was involved in cinema and theatre.

In the 50’s she worked with Charles Aznavour. In the 60’s she met Serge Gainsbourg and Léo Ferré.

In 1965 her notoriety reach an insuperable peak everywhere thanks to the protagonist role in the TV serial “Belphegor”, nowadays still remembered, and for which she played a cameo in the remake of the 2001.

In the late 1970s her career is running a fast pace and she gets involved in many different activities.

Until today Juliette Greco never stopped and in 2009 released her newest album “Je me souviens de tout”.

Published for : www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/eventes-great-britain-%28london%29/music/juliette-greco-brings-the-french-jazz-tradition-in-london./

Written by davidfranchi

November 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Paolo Conte – London Jazz Festival 2010

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Standing ovation for Paolo Conte at Royal Albert Hall.

The Royal Albert Hall was full packed. The audience was completely delightful with the concert, repeatedly clapping hands during the songs and calling him “Maestro” a word Italian people use to indicate an important and respectful person. At the end of the concert Paolo Conte was called back on stage by people shouts and jumps on the floor.

Paolo Conte played some of his most famous songs and some of the new ones from his just released album “Nelson”. The concert was part of the London Jazz Festival, in association with BBC Radio 3, in the frame of the EFG International Excellence Series that every year brings music of the highest quality from across the world into the capital.

Conte is one of the most famous Italian artist in the world and seen live he is an absolute surprise. In his long career he has been awarded many times and had rave reviews from many critics, including recently The Guardian and The Times.

The music of Paolo Conte is a unique jazz close to the tradition of the French chansonniers – like Jacques Brel, Yves Montand, George Brassens, Gilbert Becaud – but also mixed with tango, samba, bossa nova, kletzmer music and, of course, the Italian popular tradition of liscio, he combines with swing, a distinctive pitch and stylish melodies.

Paolo Conte has a pebbly voice that hypnotise audiences all over the world. Amazingly he suggests smooth atmospheres with a hint of nostalgia. His music brings back in mind far countries like South America and dreamy images of southern sea. The lyrics are contemplative and melancholic, inspired by major literature and poetry authors.

Paolo Conte is someone any Italian person knows and would like to meet to say thank you for your wonderful songs that has given to me those stunning emotions.

He is a singer- songwriter born in Asti the 6th January 1937. His father was a notary (sort of Italian state lawyer specialised in legal acts) with jazz passion.

Paolo Conte studied piano together with his brother Giorgio who is also a known singer- songwriter. Paolo Conte has a degree in Law but begins to play the vibraphone in local bands and with one of them in 1962 record his first EP without much success.

During the late 1906s Conte wrote songs for other artists with very much success and some of them became major Italian hits of all times, like “La coppia più bella del mondo”, “Azzurro”, “Insieme a te non ci sto più”, “Messico e nuvole”, “Una giornata al mare”, “Onda su onda” and “Genova per noi”.

In 1974 finally he released his first album called “Paolo Conte” and started his solo career.

In 1979 with the album “Un gelato al limon” he start to have great public success.

In the 1980s he begins to be very well appreciated in France and USA. He released some albums but mostly he makes many live gigs and this seems to be his best performance.

In 1989 one of the dreams of Paolo Conte, the musical “Razmataz”, has been released as a book. In 2000 the soundtrack is released in a CD and in 2001 eventually came the DVD with the show. He created it in every specific part including stage costumes, sketches and draws.

Conte, in facts, likes also figurative art and painted some prizes for Palio di Asti, and in May 2007 the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Catanzaro has given to him a honoris causa in painting for the multimedia work Razmataz.

Razmataz is also his first book published followed by others, notably “Si sbagliava da professionisti. Canzoniere commentato”(2003) in which he comments his own music and made a famous common aphorism: “It was a world of adults. We were making mistakes in a professional manner”.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/eventes-great-britain-%28london%29/music/london:-paolo-conte-tuesday–royal-albert-hall/

Written by davidfranchi

November 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Nina Zilli – Dingwalls

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London: Nina Zilli the new Italian voice at Dingwalls.

Tuesday, 16th November 2010 – David Franchi

 

With audience dancing and singing, it was a hot Nina Zilli concert at Dingwalls, Camden Lock, the last 15th November.

At the gig were played tracks from her recent album “Sempre Lontano” – already golden awarded – and also great covers of famous 60’s authors like Solomon Burke, Adriano Celentano, The Supremes and Etta James. It was a mix of past and recent music.

An outstanding line up was with Nina on stage: Gianluca Pelosi (bass guitar), Nico Roccamo (drums), Antonio Vezzano (guitar), Marco Zaghi (sax), Riccardo Gibertini (trumpet) and Angelo Cattoni (keyboards).

The singer is the new personality of the Italian music panorama. She has a powerful voice that reminds the best Italian female singer Mina, mixed with an Amy Winehouse style. She plays a mix of genres including soul, rocksteady, reggae, beat music and Italian vocal pop songs.

Nina Zilli, whose real name is Maria Chiara Fraschetta, is born in Piacenza (Italy), the 2nd February 1983. She is a soprano and studied opera singing and piano at the music academy.

She speaks and sings in perfect English because she spent part of her infancy in Ireland and, just after secondary school, for a couple of years she lived in USA.

Nina Zilli is a singer –song- writer almost unknown since few months ago. She started to perform very young.

In 2001 she created the band “Chiara&Gliscuri” and published for Sony the single “Tutti al mare”. She began to collaborate with known rocksteady/ reggae Italian artists such as the groups Africa Unite and Franziska with whom she toured Europe.

In the meantime she had experiences as MTV vee-jay and as anchor woman in the last edition of famous Italian TV show Roxy Bar conductor Red Ronnie.

But Nina Zilli exploded on the scene just recently in 2009 with her eponym EP “Nina Zilli” from which the single “50mila” – featuring Giuliano Palma a major influencing Italian artist – had great success. The song was included in the soundtrack of one the best Italian movie of the 2010 season, the multi awarded “Mine Vaganti” (Loose Cannons), by Turkish- Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek, recently screened in London in the last BFI Festival.

This year in the 60° Sanremo Festival Nina Zilli has performed “L’uomo che amava le donne” for which she has been awarded with the “Premio della Critica Mia Martini” (Criticism Prize), the “Premio Sala Stampa Radio Tv” (Press Prize) and “Premio Assomusica 2010” (Industry Association Prize) the latter for the best live show.

Sanremo Festival is the biggest Italian music event. Running every year since 1950, the festival has been a real open window for many Italian artists and so it worked this year for Nina Zilli who could promote herself and reach the highest positions in the Top Charts.

Nina Zilli was also nominated for the Best Italian Act award in the latest MTV Europe Music Awards 2010.

In May 2010 she performed at the Wind Music Awards in the Arena of Verona (Italy) and won the prize as “New Artist”.

Just two weeks ago a new single “Bacio D’ad(d)io” and the video have been released. In the next future there will be a new release of the album “Sempre Lontano Special Edition” containing a DVD of a concert at the Blue Note of Milan.

An interesting bit of trivia is that during the concert Nina Zilli shouted: “Happy birthday Granma”. Some people thought it was a joke. But after the concert was not possible to make an interview: Nina was in the backstage with her Grandmother celebrating her birthday. Happy birthday Nina’s grandma!

Published for:  www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/entertaiment/music/london:an-exclusive-gig:-nina-zilli-/

Written by davidfranchi

November 16, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Cafiso and Rubino – Italian Cultural Institute of London

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 Cafiso & Rubino Duo wins at the Italian Cultural Institute.

Monday, 15 November 2010 – David Franchi

 

The Italian jazz player Francesco Cafiso astonished the public at the Italian Cultural Institute in London last 11th November. 

Cafiso, together with excellent pianist Dino Rubino, friend and on stage partner, played in the frame of the WTM the touristic promotion event organized by Chamber of Commerce and Province of Ragusa, Sicily.

Briefly introduced by Mr. Carlo Presenti, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, and followed by a short presentation by Mr. Giuseppe Cascone, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Ragusa, the Cafiso & Rubino Duo made a great gig, very much appreciated by the audience that requested to be given an encore.

Cafiso & Rubino, same age, played good old classical standard jazz, but also some music written by Rubino, the latter showing great ability in playing piano and composing.

Rubino is also a precocious talent, known for playing trumpet and with rave reviews in the Italian jazz environment. Last year Rubino decided to return to piano leaving the trumpet. He played with major Italian jazz musicians but also with some important international jazz player like, Lester Bowie, Steve Grossman and Eddy Enderson.

Francesco Cafiso was born in Vittoria, Sicily (1989). He is one of the most precocious talents in the history of jazz. When he was barely nine years old Francesco took his first steps, working with internationally famous musicians.

He began playing at the very early age of seven. He was already awarded in 2001.

Cafiso met Wynton Marsalis at a laterfestival in Pescara. Marsalis was amazed and took him along with his septet on his 2003 European tour. From that moment on, Francesco went through a series of important experiences both in Italy and abroad.

In 2005, at age sixteen, he won Italy’s version of the Golden Django.

Francesco has been awarded many times and played with great musicians like Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Ronnie Matthews, Jimmy Cobb, Ben Riley, Ray Drummond, Reggie Johnson, Doug Sides Lewis Nash, James Williams, Joe Lovano, George Mraz, Joe Locke, Enrico Rava, Gianni Basso, Dado Moroni, Franco D’Andrea.

In February 2006 Francesco has achieved the Diploma in Transverse Flute at the Musical Institute V. Bellini in Catania and currently he studies piano jazz.

In 2009 Cafiso has been invited to take part for the celebration during the festivities in honor of President Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Interview to Francesco Cafiso.

Q. It is not your first time in London and you travelled the world…

A. “It’s true; it is not my first time in London. I played here already, I think four times at least. I have been here for the London Jazz Festival and in other occasions at the Italian Institute of Culture”.

Q. You started to travel the world when you were very young. How is it?

A.” Well, everything have begun when I was seven years old and I started to play saxophone. I was lucky to meet a person very available that introduced me to jazz. Mostly, the availability of my father too, who supported me constantly. So I did not go far away from this kind of music, rather I studied it more. Then I made something. I believe I did something”.

Q. You had the opportunity to do great things, like to play for Barack Obama during his inaugural ceremony, or touring with Wynton Marsalis. When did you realise that your world was changing?

A. “I did not realize it because I was very young therefore I did not have time to notice it. Simply I continued in doing what I like to do, that is playing. I try to do it at the highest level. I try to do my best, minimising highs and lows. It’s no question to me as the success, if we want to call it like this; it arrived to me at a very young age. I was 12, or 13, years old. I did not pass from anonymity to being known all over the world. So for me it was a natural thing, this is my life”.

 Q. How are Italians abroad?

A. “Abroad they are like in Italy, warm people. There are no great differences. Also because I am not staying abroad for more than few days. So that I cannot really meet people to know them. Anyway, the response of the public to my concerts is always positive and more. Obviously there is the common Italian root that liaise us: so it is like to be at home”.

Q. Greetings for Italian people living in London?

A. “Yes, yes. I salute them all I hope to see them again here in London. I wish this won’t be me my last time in here”.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3343:-cafiso-a-rubino-duo-wins-at-the-italian-cultural-institute&catid=57:musicmusica&Itemid=213

Written by davidfranchi

November 15, 2010 at 8:54 am

Taylor Wessing Prize 2010 – National Portrait Gallery

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Photography prize at the National Portrait Gallery.

Friday, 12 November 2010 – David Franchi
The “Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010” has collected startling works of emerging artists, with 60 portraits selected for the exhibition from nearly 6,000 submissions entered by 2,401 photographers from around the world. Law firm Taylor Wessing sponsors the competition for the third year. The exhibition will run until 20th February 2011.

 

 

Clare_Shilland_Merel

The winner of the Prize is David Chancellor, second shortlisted Panayiotis Lamprou, followed by Jeffrey Stockbridge and fourth prize to Abbie Trayler-Smith.The special “ELLE Commission 2010” prize goes to Clare Shilland.

There’s a huge use of social issue related subjects.

On display at the exhibition there are also portraits of famous people, like former MP Tony Blair, Rolling Stones member Charlie Watts, couturier Ozwald Boateng, artist David Hockney and designer Nicky Haslam.

Notably in this exhibition many hitting subjects dealing with issues of our society are used by photographer including prostitution, addiction, homelessness, obesity, nudity, hunting, old age, femininity, handicap, poverty, famine.

This year the winner is David Chancellor with Huntress with Buck, a portrait of 14 year old Josie Slaughter from Alabama on her first hunting trip to South Africa. Chancellor has been awarded with £12,000. He says: “Josie had hunted her buck earlier in the day and was returning to camp. As we arrived, the sun set below the cloud cover and I had almost unreal light for around a minute. The contrast between the peace and tranquillity of the location, plus Josie’s ethereal beauty and the dead buck, was what I wanted to explore. Here was a vulnerability and yet also a strength”. In this portrait Chancellor is strongly inspired by the African set, giving to his work a particular artistic quality of light. He spent two days with the Josie and her family, shooting Kodak 160VC 120 film on a Mamiya 7 II camera. The portrait is from his project documenting hunters, the hunted and spaces associated with hunting.

Born in Solihull, after a fruitless career in banking, Chancellor (1961) started with photography. Now based in both London and Cape Town, he shoots documentary reportage and portraiture for a range of clients, and regularly works on projects for NGOs. Named Nikon Press Photographer of the Year three times, he also received a World Press Photo Award earlier this year.

The Second Prize goes to the Greek photographer Panayiotis Lamprou for Portrait of my British wife from the series Human Presence. The portrait was taken at the couple’s summerhouse on the small island of Schinousa in the Aegean Sea on a hot summer’s day. The woman beneath her T-shirt is not wearing anything. This particular reminds to the long and debated history of Art and expression. She is naked clearly stating Courbet “The Origins of the World” (now showed in D’Orsay Museum, Paris) which inspired Lamprou in portraying his wife. Awarded with £3,000, it is the first time this work has been on display in the UK. It has been included in numerous publications and sixteen exhibitions throughout Europe.

Lamprou says: “I never showed it to anyone. Only she knew about it. When she saw it she said that even if it wasn’t a nude the photograph has the same power to express. I can describe the portrait as Independence and Love, Devotion and Freedom”.

Panayiotis Lamprou, born in Athens in 1975, studied with founder of Photography Circle, Platon Rivellis, and in Centro di Ricerca e Archiviazione della Fotografia in Spilimbergo, near Udine in Italy.

The Third Prize goes to Jeffrey Stockbridge, from USA, for Tic Tac and Tootsie (twin sisters Carroll and Shelly McKean) from the series Nowhere but Here. Awarded with £2,000, it was taken in Kensington, North Philadelphia. The portrayed are Tic Tac and Tootsie, 20-year-old twin sisters Carroll and Shelly McKean. The twin sisters started to live on the street at nineteen and have been homeless for a year when Stockbridge met them. They both suffer from insomnia: they are addicted to Xanex and have turned to prostitution to supply their habit. Stockbridge says: “Enduring unthinkable pain on a daily basis, the sisters are both incredibly strong and weak at the same time. Caught in the grip of their addiction, they do whatever it takes to survive, except for getting clean”.

Jeffrey Stockbridge is born 1982 in Woodbine, Maryland. Since his graduation in 2005, he has broadly exhibited in the USA and received many grants and awards for his projects documenting neglected urban parts of Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David_Chancellor_Huntress_with_Buck

The Fourth Prize goes to Abbie Trayler-Smith for Untitled 2 from the series Childhood Obesity. Her shortlisted portrait was taken on the second meeting with a girl called Chelsea, from Shine, a group in Sheffield which helps teenagers deal with obesity. Trayler-Smith says: “Whilst talking about how it feels to live with the prejudices that come with being overweight, I looked away to change the film in my camera. When I looked back the picture was suddenly there. I shot one frame”.

Born in South Wales (1977) Abbie Trayler-Smith, self-trained, worked as a photographer for The Daily Telegraph, Time Magazine, GEO, Marie Claire, Tatler, Guardian Weekend, Oxfam, UNICEF and BBC Worldwide among others. Her project on asylum seekers in the UK, Still Human, Still Here, was exhibited at HOST Gallery, London, (2009) with an accompanying film which won both the Nikon Award 2009 and the PPY Best Multimedia Piece 2009.

The winner of the “ELLE Commission 2010” is Clare Shilland, 36, for her portrait Merel. For the second year running, ELLE magazine, the world’s biggest-selling fashion magazine, will commission a photographer selected for the Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition to shoot a feature story.

Shilland, from South London, met Merel in Milan when she shot her for an Italian magazine. Later she asked Merel if she can photograph her for exhibition Girls! Girls! Girls! The portrait was made out of the city of Antwerp.

Shilland has shot for clients including Marni, Hardy Amies, Warner Music, Lyle & Scott and H&M, and her photographs have been published in i-D, Italian Rolling Stone, GQ Style and Teen Vogue amongst others.

A fully illustrated book of the exhibition is available by critic and editor Lucy Davies (The Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph SEVEN Magazine and Telephoto) and by Richard McClure interviewing the winners.

All photo have been granted from National Portrait Gallery.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3337:london-photography-prize-at-the-national-portrait-gallery&catid=76:-great-britain-news-london-londra-&Itemid=300067

Written by davidfranchi

November 14, 2010 at 8:25 pm

The Book of the Dead at the British Museum

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Ancient Egyptian afterlife at the British Museum

 
Wednesday, 10th November 2010 – David Franchi

 It is an outstanding exhibition “Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead” at the British Museum until the 6th of March 2011.

It is the major autumn exhibition at the British Museum offering a complete survey of the beliefs of the ancient Egyptian netherworld.

The Book of the Dead is a funerary collection of spells, hymns and instructions made to assist a deceased used in ancient Egypt.

The exhibition galleries proceeds in an intended way ending with the Greenfield Papyrus, a 37 metres Book of the Dead and including others masterpiece like the famous papyri of Ani and Hunefer.

For ancient Egyptian death was a passage to another world dominated by two gods, Ra and Osiris.

The Book of the Dead is the common name given to the ancient Egyptian funerary text called the “Spells of Coming Forth by Day”. Usually it was written on a papyrus scroll and placed in the coffin, or burial chamber, of the deceased, sometimes painted in the coffin.

The Book of the Dead was a collection of around 200 magical spells, hymns to gods and instructions. It was made to assist the deceased to pass through obstacles in the afterlife and eventually make certain the eternal life. The Book of the Dead was used for over 1500 years between c. 1600 BC and 100 AD.

The British Museum has the largest collection of Books of the Dead of the world. The exhibition includes the Greenfield Papyrus, the longest Book of the Dead in the world. It measures 37 metres in length and has never been shown publicly in its entirety before. Also on display will be the famous papyri of Ani and Hunefer.

The exhibition starts with a gallery about “Crossing the boundaries” were the basic concepts of the ancient Egyptian afterlife are explained.

In the second room is “Preparing for the afterlife”. Ancient Egyptians created a wide range of afterlife practices, where rituals and magic play important roles. There was also an evolution on funerary writings. Here notably the famous Papyri of Ani and Anhai and the Coffin of Seni.

The third gallery “The day of burial” deals with mummification techniques and practices like the opening of the mouth. Remarkable are the Coffin of Henutmehyt and the Papyrus of Hunefer.

“The mummy in the tomb” is the fourth room. On display here the burial systems, consisting in mummies, and magical elements like amulets and statues. To be highlighted here is the Mummy of Katebet.

Fifth room the “Landscape of hereafter” the tomb was considered an interface between the realm of living and the one of the dead. For ancient Egyptian the netherworld was represented in the “Senet”, a popular board game, considered to express many metaphors of the afterlife.

The sixth gallery is “Empowering the dead” because magic and rituals could give powers to the dead to avert many dangers in the netherworld.

The following gallery, in fact, “Avoiding disaster” deals with the many ways to avoid dangers often represented by monsters or animals of everyday life in ancient Egypt.

As on display in the eighth room“Judgement” was the last step to obtain the eternal life. In the Hall of Two Maats, the heart of the deceased is weighed and it is decided if he is allowed to eternal life. On the contrary the deceased is given to the Devourer to be punished.

So “The perfect afterlife” could be achieved as in the ninth room displayed. The paradise is called the Field of Reeds where copious crops grow and gods and blessed dead live in peace and happiness.

The second last gallery the “Making of the Book of the Dead” displays materials and objects used to create a book in ancient Egypt, like scribal knives, writing palettes and pens.

In the last gallery exhibition ends with the astonishing 37 metres “Nesitanebisheru’s Book of the Dead” also called the “Greenfield Papyrus” that leaves speechless.

The well known question “What happens after death?” anyone poses to himself during his life, found in ancient Egypt answers with very detailed descriptions.

It was possible to find monsters, evil animal, weird gods, and eternal pain or, after a judgment, go to paradise.

For ancient Egyptian death was a passage to another world. For them the cosmos consisted of earth, sky and netherworld. A person was thought to consist of physical and spiritual aspects that split from each other on death and to obtain eternal life they had to be reunited. The corpse had to be preserved by mummification and the spirits had to be sustained by magic.

It worth say afterlife world in ancient Egypt was ruled by two gods, Ra and Osiris.

Ra, the Sun god, was the creator of the world. He travelled across the sky by day and each evening when the sun sets in the West, Ra undertake a symbolic death. During the night Ra makes a journey through the Duat, the netherworld, and reborn at dawn on East horizon.

For this Egyptians thought life was an eternal cycle. They considered life after death was strictly interwoven with their everyday life. They believed the challenges to face in the netherworld were comparable to those experienced in life.

Osiris, the god of the Dead, was the ruler of the netherworld. Osiris had the power to grant life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. Initially the Kings of Egypt, but later on all people, were associated with Osiris in death, as he rose from the death they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. Osiris was widely worshipped until the Christians era.

The Book of the Dead was the result of a long evolution starting with the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom through the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. Many parts of the Book of the Dead are derived from these earlier texts.

This exhibition isn’t an end in itself, there are also other related events like talks, films, lectures, activities for families, courses, workshops, study days.

Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk

Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/focus/culture/ancient-egyptian-afterlife-at-the-british-museum./

Written by davidfranchi

November 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Paradise Lost – Leicester Square Theatre

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Shame and scandal in the Paradise Lost family.

Tuesday, 26th October 2010 – David Franchi
Closedeyes1 - Copia_1.jpgIt is an interesting pièce this “ Paradise Lost” that was on stage at the Leicester Square Theatre in the West End, London.
The script is written by actress and playwright Vicki McKellar.
The plot is about a family and their siblings in a missed middle class life style.
Actors and direction are good and atmosphere is all-involving.
A little scandal about the two major actresses kisses each other on stage for real.
It could be interesting to see a sequel.
The plot deals with a family composed by three sisters, related husbands, a ghost and a lover. The three sisters decide to organise a get together evening at the place of one of them, Shirley (Vicki McKellar) who is married and living with Steve (Lloyd Morris). One of the sisters, Katherine (Andrea Deeley), wants to use an Ouija Board to communicate with the spirit of her deceased husband.
The third sister Debbie (Nadia Ostacchini) will arrive at the party with her husband Martin (Myles Brown) but they are living a terrible marriage situation due to the man infidelity.
Suzie (Abi Titmuss) will be the medium of the seance. She is introduced as a friend of Shirley but Suzie is also her lover in a sultry lesbian relationship.
Shirley doesn’ t want to do the seance. She is scared to use the occult because she has to hide many things. Shirley is pregnant of Steve. Suzie doesn’ t know about pregnancy and urging Shirley to quit Steve and go to live together.
When the spirit of Katherine’ s husband gets in contact through the Ouija Board everything suddenly sneaks out and leads them to the ruin.
The play is good. Cues are well developed. Simone Vause direction is fineelaborated and guides well the actors. Not easy is the physical action when working in such a rather small space in the basement theatre and it creates difficulties also to the audience.
All actors play very well in their roles. But spectators paid much attention to Abi Titmuss, maybe due to curiosity of her rumoured life. Or maybe for the real kissing on stage with co-star Vicki McKellar that follows the passionate embrace of the pair at the press conference.
Abi Titmuss, a former hospital nurse, started her carrier as glamour model after have been on the front page of many newspaper for her flings. Later on Abi Titmuss started a carrier as theatre actress for which she received a Fringe
Report Award.
 
Though some tragedies are running during the story, the play doesn’ t have exaggerated moods. It reminds the north European literature or movie style. This play brings memories of “ Hanna and her sisters” the Woody Allen film.
The characters are people that seem to have achieved the good quality of middle class life style with perfect marriage, children, happiness and good jobs. But this paradise is disturbed by adultery, sister rivalry, troubled marriages,
homosexuality. It is an ashamed family in scandal. So everything is missed: it is the lost paradise.
The story shows the different human relationships people can have but also how can they be lead to astray. The author seems to avoid a moral evaluation.
 
Vicki McKellar says: “ I’ m thrilled to put on my first show at the West End, with an accomplished actress like Abi Titmuss performing on stage alongside me. Paradise Lost has been a labour of love for me and I hope the audience will
find the production a thoroughly riveting and enjoyable production” .
 
The overall sensation watching this one -act play is that the story is not complete. Like if it needs to be continued, a sort of first act that needs a sequel. And we all hope that author Vicki McKellar could give us another episode.
The production is for The Tapestry Theatre Company founded by Vicki McKellar.
Published for: www.italoeuropeo.co.uk
Direct link: http://www.italoeuropeo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3318:-shame-and-scandal-in-the-paradise-lost-family&catid=83:spettacolishow&Itemid=300082

Written by davidfranchi

November 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm