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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble present Underneath

UNDERNEATH by Pat Kinevane
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Review by Catherine Siggins

photo by Patrick Redmond
One would hardly expect the County of Cork in Ireland to have anything in common with ancient Egypt, however in Pat Kinevane’s new one-man show, Underneath, we find ourselves neck deep in the shadows of the Book of the Dead.

Set in Mr. Kinevane’s hometown, Cobh, the play is an eclectic mix of rural Ireland and ancient Egyptian afterlife imagery, based around the Egyptian belief that the burial tomb was a magical place that allowed the dead to move between the world of the living and the dead, and where your life on earth would be judged. Kinevane has made his audience the gods standing in judgment, as he comes before us to explain the life of his character from cruel childhood to an adulthood of shame, solitude, self-awareness, and death.

An onyx woman rises out of the darkness. The blackness of her skin is the result of its decomposition, as the woman who stands before us is speaking to us from her tomb. We never learn the protagonist’s name, though we get to know Her intimately through the play. It was a life shaped by a childhood accident that badly disfigures Her, and causes her to be shunned within her community. Alone, isolated, hated and reviled, she tells about the people she encounters in her life, who they were perceived to be by her and society at large, and who they revealed themselves to be, the truth beneath the judgments. To the world their outward lives are very different from the reality of their personal existence.

I don’t want to go into particulars, as much of the joy of this play is that you will become part of the story thanks to Mr. Kinevane’s outstanding performance and performance style. This is a hugely entertaining and moving evening of Irish storytelling. The audience gets drawn into his character’s life, and her sense of sad loneliness, and the cruel twist of fate that brings her growing happiness to a sudden and terrifying end. Moments of joy and love, felt from an uncle and acquaintances stand in high relief against the otherwise lonely existence.

However if you are expecting a heavy night of tragedy, you are in for more surprises. Kinevane’s superb writing and performance is full of fun and great jokes as he puts a spotlight on the societies obsession with surface appearance, lampooning its shallowness without restraint. He even does a great turn parodying the television series “A Place in The Sun”, a couple looking for their “perfect property” with unrealistic expectations that border on the ridiculous.

There is definitely something unsettling about the play, outside of the fact that you are being talked to by a corpse. The mix of surreal setting, the savage presence of nature, that also courses through the veins of the people who populate the town where the stories are set, savage and cruel to any weakness perceived in the protagonist. It’s a surprising piece, shifting from stylized movement and the highly theatrical to light hearted and witted conversation, often involving references to contemporary news and celebrity.

Mr. Kinevane allows Her to break through the fourth wall and directly engages a number of the audience, learning their names and having a chat with them before revealing to them more of her story, as if to a close friend. His sharp humour and ability to ad lib make you feel at ease and laugh loudly, until the banter is shattered by the horror of his character’s reality as it breaks through once more.

Indeed his character says she has no friends and has lived her life in hiding for the most part. Death is the loneliest of places, especially when no one will even find your resting place, so when you have the chance to have a chat, go for it.

This play asks a lot of the audience, as Mr. Kinevane doesn’t hold back when retelling the harsher elements. Structured as a kind of shaggy dog story, it goes off on tangents, jumping into different realms, flights of fancy, spanning the past and foretelling the future. It is a narrative that takes the viewer into Her’s imagination, where song and dance and ancient mythology are normal. All of this is achieved through Mr. Kinevane’s remarkable physicality, some gold lame fabric in a black box set, and some very affecting sound design by Denis Clohessy, all under the editorial eye of director Jim Culleton, Mr. Kinevane’s long time collaborator.

This play is something to be experience rather then observed. As the title suggests, this play gets underneath, and takes up residence in your subconscious and feelings, much as the foxes in the next tomb, like a hard to forget dream. Catch it before it’s gone!

When: “Underneath” runs til 30 October, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8p.m., Sunday at 2pm.

Book your tickets here 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WEEKLY HOROSCOPES October 26th 2016

If you would like a private reading with Anne you can contact her via

Email Anne at
or call 310-392-1681 for a private reading
Tarot and astrology! 

She is offering the following discounts
Brits in LA members $85
Brits in LA Key Members $75

Stargazing with Annie Shaw



In any direction you make a move be it personal or business makes very sure you have all the facts of the matter. Mars your boss is on a short leash and will not let you mess about procrastinating for ever. 

Your priority should be taking care of you in any area that requires attention. Mercury in Scorpio is looking at everything with an eagle eye checking up on what you have done or not done in the last few months.

You may be feeling you need to make a move in a direction that you have put off going. Even if you are not sure what reaction or result will be you will get then this is the time to do it, your ruler in Scorpio now is impatient.

You will have to be aware this next week to not speak out of turn or harshly to any one .The consequences are not something you will have to deal with right away, however it will come back again so grab the bull by the horns and go for it.

There is a time for the inner voice we all have that has been asking to show itself for some of you who are not participating in life as you know you can. Be sure you are listening with your keen intuition, not your rational mind.

Just make sure you have caught up with what ever is unfinished and then make the plans you are ready to make .This month is not as good as next month because of many obligations keeping you busy.

You are well in to making plans for the next part of the year and as this is usually the busiest part make space for unexpected invitations. The lovely planet Jupiter also known as the astrological Santa Claus is visiting you now Enjoy the limelight .

This month ahead will bring a lot of the things you have been working on to fruition.
This has been an overall difficult year for many However this is now your new year so make the most of it and have a Happy Birthday

This month ahead put your plans in motion for the holiday season as life is getting ready to surprise you .This could be in the form of a move of sorts or some one will come to visit and stay longer. Either way its an adventure.

Pluto the lord of digging up the dirt on your financial situation.This could be gold at the end of the rainbow if you handle it correctly. Put feelers out to any body who owes you money it could be just in time for the holidays

A health or diet issue that has bugged you in the past will pop up again as we move into the middle of the month. Its best to so get a handle on it right now, you will then feel ready for any work challenges to get your teeth into.

This week ahead confront your unfinished business in a much more determined way than in the past.You have the powerful Scorpio sun at your back so take advantage of this energy. Mercury also in Scorpio may bring up something from the past.

click here to watch 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Meet A Member - Nicola Bailey

Meet Nicola Bailey from St Ives, Cornwall, who moved to LA almost 11 years ago to pursue performing arts, sunshine and boys with American accents!

Photo by Elma van der Ryst

Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
After growing up as a kid who watched too much Saved By the Bell and Baywatch, I always wanted to live in the US for a period of time. Growing up by the beach in Cornwall and being a self-proclaimed beach bum, the California beaches and endless summers appealed to me. As soon as I arrived in Los Angeles, I felt instantly at home and found people here to be incredibly helpful and supportive.
I wanted to marry Zack Morris and live at the Baywatch beach!!

What do you miss most from home?
Family and friends, without a shadow of a doubt. My one wish is that LA wasn't quite so far away. In fact, I often forget just how far til it's time to go on that big plane across the pond, followed by another long trek down to St Ives. I also miss the British humour a great deal; the American version just isn't the same. I also missed playing netball when I first arrived here as I had played throughout school and college. Seeing as no one in America seemed to know about the sport, I was very surprised to learn that there was in fact netball.

 I play for the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club, as well as organizing many of their social events, and have found through the club lifelong friends through the club.

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so why?
My very first impression of LA was that it was such a sunny and optimistic kind of lifestyle, and I loved it from the very beginning. A decade on, and I still love it as much as I did then, with the same crazy excitement I had when I first set foot here.

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus St Ives?
Where do I start?! They're completely different planets, but I'm very lucky to be able to call both of them home. There's slightly more going on in LA, but I'm yet to find a half-decent pasty here!

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
I think that the best hidden gems in LA are found in places you are not familiar with, so merely exploring new areas is always fun! Going for hikes (walks) up in the mountains and exploring the diversity of Los Angeles is great to do. My own little hidden gem was finding the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club and its founder, Maxine Lewis. To have such an amazing group of women, many from England as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, has really enabled me to explore LA sights with the best people, and provides such a sense of love and comfort when you're so far away from home.

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Don't think too much. Go for it and have an adventure!!

Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
If you're in a classroom here and you make a mistake, don't shout out to everyone that you want a rubber. Words have different meanings here…

Lastly, how can we find out more about you? Are you working on anything at the moment?  
I'm currently gearing up to play in the U.S. Open Netball Championships November 4-6, which are actually being held in LA for the first time this year!
You can follow me and my fellow teammates through the Santa Monica Spirits Netball Club socials. 

                                 Instagram @santamonicaspiritsnetballclub
           Facebook SantaMonicaNetball

Brits On Stage

(and a few Australian & Irish ones too!) 

Make sure to visit us on Facebook @BritsLoveLA for ticket giveaways!

Palace Theatre (DTLA)
October 25th
Tickets Here

The Wiltern
October 28th
Tickets Here

Microsoft Theater

October 29th
Tickets Here

El Rey
October 29th
Tickets Here

Fonda Theatre
November 3rd
Tickets Here

& Freddy Be
November 5th
Tickets Here

El Rey
November 5th
Tickets Here

Regent Theatre
November 5th

The Veils
The Roxy
November 7th
Tickets Here

El Rey
November 9th

Fred Kavli Theatre 
Thousand Oaks Arts Plaza
November 9th Tickets Here 
November 11th at The Pasadena Civic - Tickets Here


November 9th
Tickets Here

November 9th & 10th
Tickets Here

Fred Kavli Theatre - Thousand Oaks

November 10th
Goldstar discount Tickets here

The Rose in Pasadena

November 11th
Tickets Here

El Rey

November 16th
Tickets Here

Låpsley w/Aquilo
The Mayan
November 16th
Tickets Here
Dolby Theatre 

November 17th
Goldstar Deal 

The Wiltern
November 30th
Tickets Here

The Wiltern
January 28th
Tickets Here


February 9th
Tickets Here

w/ Tony Hadley, ABC, Thomas Dolby & Nena
Microsoft Theatre
January 28th
Tickets Here

Observatory OC
February 17th
Tickets Here

opening for Ariana Grande

Honda Anaheim
March 30th
Tickets Here

Staples Center
June 20th/21st
Tickets Here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016



Thursday, October 13, 2016

Meet a Member: Oliver Ridge

Meet Oliver Ridge, a new filmmaker from Hampshire now looking to make LA his home.

Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
I fell in love with her. I came on holiday as a gift to myself for graduating from the Drama Centre in London.
The whole city just breathes the things that I love, it’s exciting, it’s dangerous and there is such a respect for film and art.

What do you miss most from home?
Friends. Family. Jaffa Cakes (I’m a sucker for Jaffa Cakes) 

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since. If so, why?
Much like the movies I make, everything appears idyllic on the surface, but dig deeper and there is darkness at the core. 

What do you find is the biggest difference is living here versus your home town in England?

My home town (Awbridge, Hampshire) has about as many people in it as can fit into screen 5 at the Arclight cinema. So it took a while to adjust to just how many of us there are here. It’s like coming to a town that never sleeps, from a town that was always asleep. 

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
I just directed a project based on the work of LA’s iconic barfly Charles Bukowski and was able to shoot at this character and soul filled bar that he used to frequent called Monte Carlo in Koreatown (though any similarity to the Monte Carlo in Europe is in name only) 

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Trust your instincts about the people you meet, if there is a persistent voice in your head, or a growling in you gut, listen to it, it’s always right. Oh, and download Uber

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m working the festival circuit right now with my (I’m proud to say) award winning debut feature ‘Last Days of Summer’ which stars Prison Break’s William Fichtner as a suburban man obsessed with his new young next door neighbor. At the same time, I am developing my next feature ‘Low Country’ a criminal revenge story.

How can we find out more about you?
You can find more about my mind and musings on Twitter @omridge
Or more about my films by following my company @bloodmooncreate

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Meet Douglas Dewar who moved to California from England via the rest of the world in 1989!

I am most probably one of the few members in Brits in LA that has never acted (apart from the fool) or been involved in film.  I did try doing voiceovers, or should I say auditions, but that’s not what brought me to California.

I left England the first time at the end of 1972, and did what a lot of young people wanted to do, and that was to go to France, Italy, Spain and Morocco to find out what it was like to be in the sunshine (which as you know England is not known for). On returning to England “borasic lint”, I was fortunate enough to have good friends in SE London that put me up until I found a job, and a house that I shared with five young women.  For some unknown reason the landlord always wanted one male in the house, and I didn’t complain, apart from trying to take a bath with 30 pairs of knickers hanging on a line dripping water on my head.

In July 1973, I replied to an advert in the Daily Mail for the position of printer in Bermuda, and for some unknown reason they hired me. The next 12 years is another story that would take me hours to write, and most probably get me locked up.   Bermuda was the place to be at that time.  I met other English friends who were on work permits just like I was and all we seemed to do was party.  The best description of this time uttered by a good friend after a few drinks  was, “We’re on a cruise ship 700 miles from land, and we don’t know when the party will end.” Well, for quite a few of us the party is still going, because we have a reunion every two years and approximately 22 to 25 of us show up in England, Spain, Canada, and California, or wherever we feel like.
1985 was the turning point in my life when I met the woman of my dreams at the Robin Hood Pub in Bermuda. 
Robin Hood Pub: Bermuda Attraction
We stayed in Bermuda for another five years, at which point we knew that staying on the island would not be beneficial in the long run, so we headed to California sight unseen, nowhere to stay and no job.  This was when it was a lot easier to enter the US.   
We ended up in Oxnard, California, where we found an apartment with a water view.  I found a job in my trade (printing) and my wife had no trouble in securing a position at the Ventura County Naval Base at Point Mugu.

In 1989 when we arrived there were no clubs or organizations that are like Brits in LA, and you just had word of mouth as to where you would shop, or meet other Brits.
I believe it was around 2010 before I even heard of Brits in LA, that could be because we were living about 60 miles north in Oxnard, Mandalay Bay.   Well! Tuesday I decided to give it a bash and drive down to see what it was all about. 
Brits in LA Breakfast Club RSVP Here
 I went to the weekly Breakfast Club  at Cecconi’s around 9.00.a.m. and was immediately given the friendliest reception by the only two members that were present who had gotten out of bed early. They are friends that I don’t see very often but will always remain friends, Marc Conneely and Bernard Skibben, who are great ambassadors for the club.
L-R Mario Vernazza, Bernard Skibben, Marc Conneely

That day I also met the two people that are responsible for organizing everything, Craig and Eileen. How they do it is beyond comprehension, and they are certainly appreciated by everyone that has already moved here or intends to move here.
With regard to the hidden gems of LA, I wouldn’t attempt to name any,  apart from the usual British pubs that people already know about, and if not they will soon.

What do I recommend? 
If you want to travel further north where it’s a bit cooler, take Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)  It’s a scenic drive past a lot of well known locations, Sunset BlvdTopanga Canyon Blvd, and Malibu State Park where some of the MASH scenes were filmed. There are also a lot of good restaurant’s, such as Geoffrey’s, the Reel Inn fish shack, and *Paradise Cove where the Rockford files were filmed (If you can remember that far back) and if you are a biker, Neptune’s Net is the place to go.
Neptune's Net

Further North is Oxnard where we lived, and if you happen to stay in Oxnard, I recommend the Hampton Inn on Peninsula road, which is just round the corner from Mrs. Olsen’s Café. Try the bangers with bubble and squeak but get there early or you’ll have to wait, especially on a weekend, on the other hand if you wish to stay for dinner, and not just a dinner, more of a dining experience, then call my friend James Chan at the Brasserie Communautaire for Haute Cuisine at It’s best.
Go up to Ojai where it’s so laid back you’ll fall asleep, and if you’re still awake go to Suzanne’s for dinner. The drive will take you to Ventura, which has a big harbor worth a visit, and lots of shops on Main Street.  The other places worth a visit are Carpentaria, Summerland, Montecito and Santa Barbara.

What do I miss about England?
Well!...the pubs of course, where else in the world can you go and see such outlandish characters with such camaraderie than England?.  One of the most important things is the food.  Now!!..I take exception to anyone that still say’s British food is bland, we have the most diverse cuisine in the world…but even before that, we have Pork Pies, Scotch eggs, and Sausage rolls, ….Now some of this is hard to find in the US that’s why I started making my own.
Homade Pork Pie made by Douglas!
The pork pies and scotch eggs were a bit of a disaster in the beginning, but I have now worked out all the problems.   There are places where you can buy English food, such as The Kings Head in Santa Monica, the Hare and Hounds in Thousand Oaks

and Rosie Lee’s in Ventura.

What do I find the most difference about living here?
As Sir Winston Churchill stated, we are two countries divided by a common language.  I left England 43 years ago, and people here in the US know that either I’m from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or England, but when I return to England some of my friends say that I’ve lost some of my accent, and when I ask for my eggs over easy, I get some very strange looks.
My wife and I moved from Southern California to Arizona three months ago when I retired.  The reason for this was that it’s a lot cheaper to live here, we miss the ocean and our friends, but it’s only like living in an oven for about three months of the year, and we have new things to see, such as The Grand Canyon, Sedona, and  many more....

What advice would I give to anyone that wants to relocate to LA?

The first thing is make sure that you will be eligible to reside in the US  with the skills that you have. The second thing is to take a vacation (holiday) to see if you like it.  Even if you don’t like it first of all I guarantee that you’ll make a lot of lasting friendships through Brits in LA. 

Douglas as toastmaster
for Brits in LA Jubilee Party
photo by Dawn Bowery

*Paradise Cove is often recommended by our members - worth the trip!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Meet Michele Paradise from London who moved to LA 9 months ago for a lifestyle change and greater opportunities in her career. 

I was born on the East Coast of the US and was discovered by the designer Zandra Rhodes to be her muse. I left for London and didn’t look back. I enjoyed a 20 year international catwalk modeling career and loved every minute of it. I’m a hybrid. I don’t consider myself American or British, just the best of both worlds. 

Was there a particular reason you chose LA? After retiring from modeling in 2000, I trained to work in the field of human behaviour and all of the modalities that I use with my clients originate from California or have evolved into even great things here. I believed that the mindset here would be more conducive to what I do and I was right. California has always symbolized the new frontier to me and that hasn’t changed. LA is full of great creative minds who are willing to embrace new ideas and build on them. Also, my son moved here 5 years ago with his British band, Charming Liars, and has been encouraging me to move ever since. He believed that this was a better environment for the work I do and he was right. 
Check out the Charming Liars here

What do you miss most from home? The banter and the humour. I miss shows like 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, QI and of course, the Great British Bake Off. And pubs, of course. I’ve recently found a way to watch those shows here and relish them even more now. 

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? After living in London and other large European cities, I didn’t feel like LA had a centre, a soul. There wasn’t a West End or Oxford Street where you knew you could go to shop, eat or just walk through throngs of people. I now get LA and I love the small community feeling in each area. Some even have names like Little Armenia and Thai Town. I live in West Hollywood and love the fact that I can walk to shops, see people on the streets and not always rely on my car. There are many different types of communities here, which makes it easier to find the best fit for you. 

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus London? The car is king! More people are in their cars than on the streets and that is bittersweet. You don’t meet many people on the streets but you also have a lot more room to walk on the pavement, and I love to walk. I couldn’t write this without including the weather. That is the biggest difference. From time to time I do miss the smell of rain but I get over it quickly. 

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us? My hidden gem is a rather large Indian ‘corner’ shop in Los Feliz called India Sweets & Spices. It’s the size of a football pitch and by the time you leave the store, you can have your eyebrows threaded, eat a hot Indian meal, buy a new outfit, buy loads of incense, Cadbury’s chocolate, Heinz baked beans and PG Tips, all under one roof. 

Also, Pace in Laurel Canyon. It has all the best elements of a restaurant…great food, a good wine list, off the beaten track and romantic. I love it!

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here? What I’ve noticed most amongst my British friends and family is that they sometimes find the American friendliness a bit disingenuous but it’s not. Roll with it, enjoy it. You might even get used to it after a while! I find myself having the most interesting conversations with waiters and Uber drivers about topics from politics to spirituality. Americans are talkative and very friendly people. Embrace it!

Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given? The best bit of advice I’ve been given is that life isn’t a dress rehearsal. So when you move here, get involved. Taste all that you can in LA from hikes, restaurants, beaches, theatres and nature. I came to LA to be closer to nature and I love the fact that the mountains and the beach are equidistant from my apartment. It’s so easy to spend a lot of time in your car and not interact with that many people during the day so it’s good to push yourself out a bit more and get involved. 

Lastly, how can we find out more about you? You can find out more about me on my website
Michele has a seminar on October 5th
Click here to reserve your spot
 use the code 'Members' and it will only cost you $5!

Are you working on anything at the moment? Shortly after arriving in LA I was introduced to Deepak Chopra by a former Harley Street client who referred to me as a ‘good witch’! Deepak very much liked the work I am doing to help people relieve stress and anxiety from their lives and invited me to become a Wellness Expert on his new digital wellness platform where I have my own channel entitled The Healing Haven. 

Here is the link