Young Vic | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

On Saturday, I pursued the exploration of Tennessee William’s work with his famous Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. After attending Sweet Bird of Youth at Chichester Festival earlier this year, this production directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell (This is England, Unbroken…) was yet a different reading of William’s writing but still staged and performed brilliantly.

On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?

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Chichester Festival 2017 | Sweet Bird of Youth

Yesterday, my husband and I were off to Chichester to attend a performance of Sweet Bird of Youth at Chichester Theatre. The play, originally written by Tennessee Williams and revived by Jonathan Kent, features Marcia Gay Harden (Alexandra del Lago) and Brian J. Smith (Chance Wayne) as the main characters. We had discovered Brian J. Smith in the incrediblebutsadlycancelled TV show Sense 8 a while ago. From there, we thought it would be nice to see him on stage. Coincidence and timing did the rest! Now some of you may know I have a particular interest in classical music. I write for people that are unfamiliar with it and sometime I review live concerts. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy standing on the other side for once and being totally ignorant of theatre standards. Therefore, I read a few reviews for fun: critics tend to praise performances but they are questioning the interest of William’s piece, the size of the stage vs. intimacy, pace and set. Well… the good thing about ignorant people is that they usually have a different opinion; so here is my humble – and obviously different – experience of Sweet Bird of Youth:

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NBA – Boston Celtics Vs.Chicago Bulls

When we planned our trip to the US, there was no way to leave without attending an NBA, NFL or NHL game! Prices being completely crazy in New York for the Knicks, you’d better try to get tickets for the Brooklyn Nets. In our case, we just decided to wait for our trip to Boston as the Celtics were playing against the Chicago Bulls. We loved it so much, that when we were in Washington, we couldn’t resist to go watch another game between the Wizards and the Hawks (Atlanta).

These games are just crazy. Of course, the sport side is quite impressive, but the atmosphere is fantastic. There is always something going on: cheerleaders (the Celtics’ are just amazing), games, more dance, more basketball with kids, freebies… I just can’t see how you can be there and be grumpy. And because we were so excited with the sports there (and so jet-lagged) we spent hours in front of the TV trying to understand American Football. Guess what? Now we know the rules! So my dear Frenchies: Yes you can (too)!

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Travel | #USA – Heritage & Museums in Washington DC

Among all museums in the US, those in Washington are unique because admission is free. The National Mall is surrounded by many interesting museums you can hardly avoid. You may challenge yourself and visit them all or you can pick up depending on your interests. If museum is not your thing, there is an incredible number of memorials to see in Washington, plus the US Capitol, the Library of Congress and the National Archives for example. White House tours are also free, but subject to request through a Congress Member or your Embassy in Washington if you’re a foreigner.

Anyway, when I went to Washington two weeks ago I visited some of these places of interest. If you lack inspiration, here’s a few glimpses of things you may want to see there:

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Tate Modern – Switch House

Last week I finally visited the Switch House, the latest building in the Tate family. My guess is that the concret brown bloc may not please everyone in terms of aesthetic, but to be fair it offers tremendous space inside and a free 360 degree view of London at level 10. So you definitively need to pay a visit too!

La semaine dernière, j’ai enfin visité la Switch House, dernière arrivée dans la famille Tate. Je suppose que l’énorme bloc de béton marron n’est pas du goût de tous. Cependant, à l’intérieur le bâtiment offre un espace assez incroyable et une vue à 360 de tout Londres… gratuitement! De quoi vous convaincre d’une petite visite… 

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ROYAL ALBERT HALL | BBC PROMS 2016: Aurora Orchestra – Rihm, Strauss & Mozart (PROM 21)

Proms Proms Proms Proms. I speak Proms, breathe Proms, sing Proms and write Proms these days. I always loved this festival and this year is no exception. But there is something new though, I sang there on Friday night with the London Symphony Chorus. London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink and Sarah Connolly… not so bad for a premiere, no? This delightful night was broadcasted live on both TV and Radio 3, you can enjoy it here. As a performer, it is a unique and exciting experience, but I still wanted to go as an audience member as well, so yesterday I went there to listen to the fantastic Aurora Orchestra – check their website and next gigs if you never heard about them – and spent another lovely afternoon at the Royal Albert Hall.

Proms Proms Proms Proms. Ces derniers jours, je parle Proms, je respire Proms, je chante Proms et j’écris Proms. J’ai toujours adoré ce festival, et cette année ne fait pas exception à la régle… quoique quelque chose de nouveau est arrivé: cette année j’y ai chanté avec le London Symphony Chorus. London Symphony, Bernard Haitink et Sarah Connolly… pour une première c’est plutôt sympa, j’en convient. Cette merveilleuse soirée a été enregistrée pour la TV et BBC Radio 3, voici un lien pour vous la faire (re)vivre. Sur scène, c’est certain: c’est une expérience unique et fantastique. Mais il n’empêche que j’apprécie tout autant d’y aller en spectatrice. Hier donc, je suis allée écouter le Aurora Orchestre et j’ai de nouveau passé un après-midi bien agréable au Royal Albert Hall en leur compagnie. Bien sûr, si vous ne connaissez pas le Aurora Orchestra, il convient de visiter leur site, choisir un concert prochainement et y aller.

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L’Ode à la vie – #MusiciansForSyria | Campagne de dons pour les enfants réfugiés

Mardi dernier, je courrais dans tous les sens pour que le concert sous la banderole “Musicians for Syria” prenne place et soit un succès. Tous ceux qui bossent dans le milieu des concerts savent de quoi je parle. Des programmes à plier au dernier moment, les invités à accueillir, des livraisons, des oublis, des coups de téléphone etc. Croyez le ou non, mais dans mon cerveau fatigué il restait un peu de place pour être un brin anxieuse. Je ne pouvais pas m’empêcher de penser – non pas sans fierté ceci dit – que nous cochions avec brio la check list des écervelés fascinés par Daesh : un soutien occidental pour les réfugiés Syriens, deux jeunes Français à la tête du concert, de jeunes musiciens de divers horizons et nationalités, quelques noms de la musique classique, un compositeur Syrien ayant déjà fait face à de terribles représailles, des musiques de “l’abominable” occident etc. Il ne manquait plus qu’un after avec un peu de débauche et nous étions bon. Quand Nicolas a levé ses bras et laissé les premières notes de l’orchestre s’échapper, mes craintes ont disparu instantanément. Ces notes libres et pleines de vie c’étaient celles de Phoenix in Exile, l’œuvre merveilleuse et tendre de Malek Jandali. Elles se sont gracieusement élevées dans l’enceinte sous le regard hypnotique de cette petite fille photographiée par un autre enfant réfugié.

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Rugby World Cup 2015 – France vs. Canada

A l’heure où j’écris cet article, de nombreux anglais se réveillent avec la gueule de bois. Manque de bol, ce n’est pas parce qu’ils ont trop fêté la victoire, mais plutôt bu plus de pintes que d’habitude pour oublier qu’ils viennent de se faire sortir de la coupe du monde par l’Australie en phase de poule. Aouch. Mais que voulez vous, c’est le jeu.

By the time I finish this post, I guess many Britons will wake up with the hell of a hangover. Though I’m afraid the cause won’t be an over celebration of victory but rather the fact the rugby team has been beaten by Australia and is therefore out of the worldcup. It hurts. But it’s the game…

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British Museum | Drawing in silver and gold – Leonardo to Jasper Johns

Certains d’entre nous vivent très mal “ne pas savoir”. L’inconnu. Moi j’adore. Découvrir, écouter, voir et apprendre c’est quand même fabuleux et ça vous donne une deuxième jeunesse instantanément (politiques et ENA si vous lisez, oui c’est pour vous). Si vous êtes en manque ces jours-ci, filez donc au British Museum voir l’exposition de dessins à la pointe de métal.

Some of us are having bad time when it comes to admit that they don’t know something. I feel quite the opposite. I love the unknown. To discover and to learn. Well, if you miss the unknown these day, you should go to the British Museum and visit the Drawing in Silver and gold exhibition.

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Saatchi Gallery

Je voulais y aller depuis des lustres et vous savez quoi? La Saatchi gallery est une bien plaisante surprise! A défaut de connaître cet endroit, si vous étiez déjà installé en Angleterre en 2014 et adepte du Metro news ou de l’Evening Standard (personnellement j’y jette seulement un coup d’œil par dessus l’épaule de mes compatriotes), le nom Saatchi n’a pas pu vous échapper! Siii, rappelez-vous! Nigella… Saatchi… Saatchi… Nigella… le divorce atroce vu sous tous les angles! Does it ring a bell? Oui? Eh bien heureusement pour nous, la Galerie de Charles Saatchi est bien plus intéressante que les dessous de son divorce!

I’ve been planning to go there for years and you know what? The Saatchi Gallery is a pleasant surprise. If you don’t know the place and were already here in 2014 (and Evening Standard or Metro enthusiast, which I am certainly not) the name Saatchi can be familiar though. Doesn’t ring a bell? Nigella… Saatchi… Saatchi… Nigella? Divorce of the Century cover in every detail? Well, fortunately, Charles Saatchi Gallery is far more interesting that his divorce!

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