Across The Pond.....

I cannot begin this weeks column without mentioning the devastating events that took place in Japan on Friday. Despite the quake and resulting tsunami happening thousands of miles from the UK, fears are now growing over the number of potential British casualties and those British Nationals who have not been heard from since the weekend. No actual numbers have been definitively announced, but recent reports have suggested that there could be many involved in the disaster. Worried relatives have been contacting a special number set up by the foreign office, and the number of calls has risen rapidly to around 4000 today. The majority of Brits live in the Osaka and Tokyo areas, but phone lines in towns outside the major cities are still cut off, making it very difficult to gauge a true perspective on the safety of those living there. Reports have stated that a team of 63 International Search and Rescue workers arrived yesterday to begin work assisting the teams already in Japan, and will be working around the clock alongside US experts who have also flown in to the area to begin the rescue effort.
If you have any concerns about friends or relatives in Japan, contact the UK Foreign office in the UK on +44(0) 20 7008 0000.


Jill Halfpenny and Sheridan Smith. Winners for Legally Blonde

Continuing the awards season in style last night were the Olivier Awards, arguably the most prestigious ceremony in theatreland, which took place at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Terrence Rattigan's After The Dark, a play that almost a century ago was widely snubbed by audiences and depreciated by it's writer, was the overall winner - taking home Best Actress (Nancy Carroll), Best supporting Actor (Adrian Scarborough), Best Costume Design (Hildegard Bechtler) and Best Revival - celebrating its return to The National after 70 years. This years Hollywood glamour was provided by the likes of "Madmen" actress Elizabeth Moss, who presented the Best Actor award to Roger Allam for his role as Falstaff in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Audience Award was presented to The Queen musical "We Will Rock You" and Sheridan Smith and Jill Halfpenny were both winners as a result of their roles in the Sorority musical "Legally Blonde" (Best Actress in a musical and Best Supporting performer in a musical respectively) - with Smith thanking ‘everyone who let a chav play an American rich girl’ in her acceptance speech.





An intriguing retrospective exhibition of work from Russian-born photographer Ida Kar is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery, London. With iconic images of Dame Maggie Smith, 1950's actress Sylvia Syms and Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita - this exhibition only further confirms Ida's position as one of the most pioneering female photographers of her time.
A must see. (showing through June 2011).
Find out more here: http://www.npg.org.uk/

Scottish summer festival Rockness have announced a collaboration with famed Glasgow club "Sub Club" this year - to introduce a new arena to the weekend-long event. The unique 'subbie' vibe will be brought to the stage by the likes of Magda, Optimo, Jamie XX and Modeselektor - who promise to bring their usual intense atmosphere to the proceedings - and a true club experience to the Highlands festival.
For more about Rockness: http://www.rockness.co.uk/




Restaurant of the week: Moving out of the London area and taking a trip over to the new and improved city of Cardiff, Jamie's Italian is my favourite spot this week, taking Jamie Oliver's taste of italy to the masses. However, this is no ordinary chain establishment - with dishes and ingredients sourced directly from the region and staff who actually know what they're talking about. The refreshing and energetic atmosphere really is an experience that needs to be tried, tested and enjoyed. Great value and truly delicious - Jamie, you get my vote.
For more info: http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/cardiff








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