It's that time of the week again my fellow Brits - all the news and reviews from this side of the big old Pond.
William Hague and Prince Andrew both receive my "Prat of the week' award as news of both of their failings has dominated headlines in the last few days, with one of them even coming out in support of the other.
It has been revealed that British Foreign Secretary Hague approved the bungled plan to send a team of armed diplomats and SAS soldiers into Eastern Libya this week, in the hope of building diplomatic contacts with anti-Gaddafi rebels. What followed was an embarrassing capture and deportation after only 2 days in the country. Political sources are now questioning the necessity of such a 'cloak and dagger' mission - with some speculating that this grand failure was in fact an attempted assassination plot 'gone awry'. As Hague's position in popularity polls couldn't be falling faster, he also made the decision yesterday to come out in support of Prince Andrew's role as UK Trade Ambassador, in the wake of recent critism regarding his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted paedophile and for entertaining Sakher el-Materi, the ousted Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's son-in-law, to a lunch at Buckingham Palace last October. Such decisions have raised many eyebrows and brought into question the true validity of his role representing Great Britain. Last week the anti-monarchy group Republic formally lodged a complaint with UKTI, calling for an investigation into allegations relating to Prince Andrew.
A incredible 'live' installation by artist Anthony McCall will be visible across the North West of England throughout the Olympic year 2012. Named the "spinning column of cloud", it will rise taller than the Blackpool tower and reach almost a mile into the sky from the historic dock site Wirral Waters in Merseyside. McCall describes the location as 'perfect, cavernous and compelling'. McCalls work is programmed alongside major commissions by Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett, film director Mike Leigh, Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread and musician Damon Albarn.
Naturally responsive to natural light and weather, it will appear as a white line against blue skies or a dark line against overcast skies. A “coherent convection” of cloud and mist will be created by gently rotating the water on the surface of the Mersey and then heat will be added, making it lift into the air like a water spout.
A definite highlight of the Royal Ballet's season is their production of Alice in Wonderland, running from the 2nd - 15th March at the Royal Opera House. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon honours Lewis Carroll's story of imagination with dancing playing cards, flamingos and hedgehogs and promises us a fun night of vibrant colours and vivid design.
Buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/ecKCYk
Arcade Fire have added more dates to their outdoor shows this summer. In addition to their June 30th show in Hyde Park, they will also play the Edinburgh Castle on September 1st and the Manchester Evening News Arena on the 31st August.
Buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/f2OGgi
Suede have announced a very special run of gigs at the Brixton Academy, where they'll perform their albums Suede, Dog Man Star and Coming Up over 3 nights on the 19th, 20th and 21st May, and at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on May 24th, 25th and 26th. The band have also announced they they will release remastered and expanded editions of all five studio albums in June of this year.
Buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/e084ji
Restaurant of the week: Chisou - a total gem of sushi delight just off Hanover Square. This has to be my favourite sushi bite in London and regularly helps combat my LA sushi blues. Sit at their cute little sushi bar or better still sit outside and watch the Vogue girls strut their stuff up and down Princes St. Well worth the slightly elevated price tag. I LOVE this place! http://www.chisou.co.uk/