Quick!!! This is your last available weekend left if you are hoping to head to Bethnal Green’s latest pop-up ‘The Cornershop’. This incredible felt masterpiece is the brainchild of Lucy Sparrow, a wonderful artist who works almost exclusively in felt. Peeking in from the outside it might look like any other shop that you’d find on the corner of a road, but step inside and you’ll realise every product has been reproduced using solely felt and the effect truly has to be seen to be believed!

I first saw Lucy’s work back in 2010 where she’d recreated a WW2 bunker exclusively made of felt in Shoreditch Town Hall’s underground labyrinth. Since then it has been wonderful seeing her work develop, my favourite piece has to be her felt recreation of Damien Hirst’s ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ i.e. a tiger shark kept in formaldehyde BUT MADE OF WOOLY FABRIC!!! I know, awesome.

Despite following the artist’s work developing on various social mediums over the last seven months, I was still taken aback by the sheer scale of the project when I entered the shop. The incredible volume of the work combined with the attention to detail is completely mind blowing and definitely a must see!

So if you are at a loose end this weekend or even if you have a whole lot planned, please make sure you visit ‘The Cornershop’, you won’t see anything else like it!

For more information go to www.sewyoursoul.co.uk

Spent a lovely (damp) Tuesday afternoon this week pottering along the Southbank with the female contingent of team Nelkon. Girls on Tour!!!

We followed the ‘Books about Town’ river side trail and very much enjoyed both the artwork and inevitably lots of discussions about books.

Between the constant drizzle and the family bantz, I very much got into the ‘British Summer Holiday’ spirit. All I really needed was Cliff Richard and a large double decker bus and I would have been away!

             Secret Cinema Presents Back to the Future

'Grab the Rope' a shabby man in dungarees shouted  whilst I stood gawking outside Doc Brown's house in upper Hill Valley. So I did, I grabbed that rope and he dragged me and various other people dressed in 1950s clothing towards the Hill Valley Fair ready for an inevitable game of tug of war.

For those who are not familiar with the concept of Secret Cinema, (WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!?) the company prides itself on not just screening films, but recreating them and bringing the audience right slam bam into the world of the film. In the case of Back to the Future, after arriving in what seemed to be East London we were quickly transported to 1950’s Hill Valley including all the houses of all the characters, Hill Valley High, Lou’s Cafe, a fun fair, all types of fun shops like record and comic book stores and of course the famous town square. Both the incredible scale of the event and the attention to detail left me completely flabbergasted.

So yes, I grabbed that dungaree’d scoundrels rope in real life and also metaphorically, and that has to be the best way of enjoying events like this. Just embrace the mischief. There is so much to explore, it can be be a little overwhelming at first, but the best thing is to just jump in and enjoy it. 

It is hard to explain the experience without pictures, so instead I will paint you a few pictures of things I saw:

  •  Before entering, we saw a variety of BTTF characters saunter past us in the queue. We hadn’t been in line five minutes before the bloke in front had been called Butthead by Biff and a man a few meters behind had been taken aside by an american officer and  ridiculed for keeping his fancy calculator (iPhone) in a pink sock. We hadn’t been admitted to Hill Valley yet and spirits were already higher than a fly delorian!
  • Having read the Hill Valley newspaper cover to cover before my visit, I had seen that Doc Brown was looking for participants for his latest science experiment. We found the Doc in his house and I introduced myself as Patricia Norman, a Hill Valley High Student (my alias) and he congratulated me on my interest in Science. He then gathered a group of people together and we entered into a very dubious but very funny science experiment that involved rubbing shoulders with the person next to you to create static energy. It was great and I practically jumped up and wooped every time he shouted ‘Great Scott!’, which was a lot… a lot of ‘Great Scott!’
  • The most exciting moments despite the build up, were still those in the film, the atmosphere sitting in the old town square was completely electric. The action came to life in so many ways, with the Delorian whizzing around the place being chased by Libyans, with dancers boogying  around you during the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and  of course the iconic scene with the Doc  dramatically perched on top the clock tower. My favourite moment of all was the scene where Lorraine (Marty’s mum to be) is being attached by Biff in the car and George (Marty’s Dad to be) interrupts them and decides to finally stand up for himself and for his wife to be. As the tension built, the audience started chanting in unison ‘Go on George, go on Geroge!’ and I have to say it made George’s punch in the face to that big ol’ bully Biff all the more satisfying!

I know these snapshots of mischief probably haven’t done the experience justice, it was just so all encompassing and joyous, I for once felt almost lost for words - almost! All I can say is for all those who are tempted by future Secret Cinema productions, I say go for it - this is a company who know how to bring stories to life!

For more information about Secret Cinema, you will find their Secret Website here.

Dance Dance Party Party

I don’t know about you,but I loved school discos. They were a great chance to show off my incredible knowledge of ALL the song lyrics that I’d painstakingly cut out of smash hits magazine as well as an opportunity to put into practise dance routines that had been weeks in the planning. As an adult I still love dancing, I dance around my office before my colleagues arrive for work, I dance down the street when I’m heading home at night, I pretty much dance around my bedroom whenever a tune comes on. To summarise, I like to shake my thang at any given opportunity!

This was why I was delighted to hear about ‘Dance, Dance, Party, Party!’ an exercise class with a difference. The difference being that it is basically a school disco… Well if you went to an all girls school… Where everyone wore trackys and trainers…

There are only three rules:

1) No Booze

2) No Boys

3) No judgement

That’s it! You turn up in Dalson, the lightswitch is flicked, the disco lights go up, someone presses play on the incredible hour long playlist and you just throw yourself around the room until the music stops and you come to the realisation of crikey, that’s a whole hour gone! I promise that you don’t have to be a dance mad ex-theatre student to enjoy it either, it is safe to say my lovely pal Becca had a few reservations, one of the main ones being that there was no booze I suspect… But within a few songs she was throwing shapes like a lady who juggles triangles for a living. So if you fancy keeping your fitness up AND listening to some cracking tunes I can wholeheartedly recommend the ‘Dance, Dance, Party, Party!’ experience. In fact, I will probably see you there!

You can find out more about the Dalston Branch of Dance, Dance, Party, Party here and to find out where your nearest branch is have a looksie here.