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Friday, 5 June 2009

Pick of the Week - 05.06.09

In homage to the glorious weather that, until today, London has been basking in, this week's Pick of the Week is all about the outdoors. Buy some delicious bread and cheese at a French Market for a picnic , get involved in the creation of a new sustainable village, see some outdoor Shakespeare, go for a swim in a river, or watch some comedy on the banks of the Thames. Whatever it is that takes your fancy, it's really beginning to feel like summer. Make the most of it and head out into the heat (with an umbrella in your bag).

Market – Chosen by Rosalie
French Market, BAC, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 June, 8am – 4pm

If you’re in London and it’s nice weather next weekend, BAC’s first outdoor market will be the perfect place to pick up picnic supplies. Over 15 stalls will be coming across the Channel to set up on Town Hall Road (next to BAC), selling delicious French cheeses, an array of cured meats and freshly baked breads from an authentic Boulangerie. Sounds like a sandwich in the making… now all you need is a rug, a Frisbee, some Pimms, a batch of friends, and a nice spot in the park (Clapham Common and Battersea Park are close by).

Theatre – Chosen by Carly
Romeo & Juliet, Iris Theatre Company
St Paul’s Actors Church, Covent Garden, London
Daily at 7pm until Saturday 13th June, with additional matinee performances on Saturday 6th, Sunday 7th and Friday 12th June at 2.30pm.

Head to St. Paul's church in Covent Garden to catch this modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. A myriad of colourful cabaret artists and carnival atmosphere set in the beautiful gardens of this hidden church, this riotous show looks like an aesthetic delight for a warm summer's night (Shakespeare's got nothing on my rhyming skills). Tickets cost between £10-13, and if you fork out £2.50 for a programme, you’ll be rewarded with a free glass of wine. It’s had some great reviews already, with The British Theatre Guide commenting: ‘the Capulet's ball is a disco party with an acrobatic street dance...guest drag-act stripper and a hot-pant-wearing Lady Capulet. The first night audience loved it.’

Festival – Chosen by Lisa
Underbelly, Southbank, 27th of May - 19th of July 2009

A giant inflatable upside-down purple cow has been erected between the London Eye and the Royal Festival Hall. For the next month-and-a-half a huge range of summer shows will be taking place in this huge bovine tent, including comedy, circus, music, magic, theatre and children’s shows. Highlights include beat-boxer Beardyman, the Tom Tom Crew with their own unique blend of beat-boxing and circus, and singer Camille O-Sullivan. Click here for further information.

Art Event – Chosen by Rosalie
Linked Live by Graeme Miller
Leyton, Leytonstone and Wanstead
06 Jun 2009, 12-4pm, Free

This Saturday, take part in Linked Live and listen to a little piece of history while walking in the East London sunshine. Stretching from Hackney Marshes to Redbridge, the M11 Link Road was completed in 1999 after the demolition of 400 houses amid dramatic and passionate protest. In 2003, Artist Graeme Miller acknowledged this rich protest history by filling the empty spaces these buildings once occupied with a treasure trail of hidden voices, recorded testimonies and rekindled memories of those who once lived and worked where the motorway now runs. This Saturday, June 6th, the transmitters originally fitted for the project (which have been broadcasting continually ever since), will be accompanied by roving live broadcasts for one afternoon, adding new memories to the web of stories told in the air above the motorway. Join some of the individuals whose spoken recollections contributed to the original sound work as they broadcast new stories and memories, six years on. Visitors can collect a free map and receiver from a number of pick up points in the area on the day (click here for details).

Book – Chosen by Carly
Sarah Waters – The Little Stranger
Published by virago, ISBN: 9781844086016

Whilst ghost stories might not seem appropriate when the sun is blazing down on us, you will probably need something to read in order to avoid the Big Brother beast crawling back into our lives for a tenth year. Whilst nubile young wannabies on the verge of air-conditioning related breakdown infest our TV screens/ newspapers/ youtube/ social consciousness, poke your head into Sarah Waters new title instead. 'The Little Stranger' is an intelligently written novel focusing on the fortunes of the Ayres family in post-war England. As their handsome estate crumbles into dark, damp, disrepair, weird happenings start to haunt the family. What is lurking in the shadowy corridors of the house, and why is the Master of the Estate so cold and aloof? Currently only available in hardback, and half price at Waterstones right now, I thoroughly recommend it even if you've never read a word of Waters before. This novel seems to encapsulate her enthralling style and intimate characters brilliantly.

Find a nice shady spot, and prepare for goosebumps – although it may not be as scary as some of the goings-on in the Big Brother house…

Protest – Chosen by Mark
Creation of a new Eco Village, Hammersmith, London
Saturday 6th June

If you’re reading this from within the EU, did you use your vote in the European elections yesterday? Hopefully you did, but perhaps you felt that your vote wouldn’t make a difference, or that none of the candidates represented your voice. If that’s the case, maybe you want to do something a little more hands-on to make a stand about the state of our world today? This might be just the thing…

On June 6th 2009, hundreds of activists will converge on a piece of derelict land near to Hammersmith in south west London to create an eco-village community based entirely on sustainable technology and construction techniques. Open to all, the inspiration behind this idea comes from groups like The Land is Ours, who campaign peacefully for access to the land, its resources, and the decision-making processes. The film above shows the last Eco Village created in this fashion by This Land is Ours activists in Wandsworth in 1996. In that instance, the community created managed to survive for five-and-a-half months – take supplies if you go along to this one, as you might be in for the long haul! The exact location of the site will be revealed on the day, for more information contact Carolyn on 01727 812369 or click here. Otherwise, just turn up - to join in the fun, meet at the clock in Waterloo Station at 10am on Saturday 6th June.

Activity – Chosen by Sam
Wild/ Outdoor Swimming
All over the place! Free!

Britain’s rivers, lakes and waterfalls, secret coves, caves and beaches, and are cleaner, safer and more accessible than at any time in living memory and the health benefits of a wild swim or natural dip are also now well known. There’s nothing like that first plunge into the grey British sea (we used to go in for the first swim of the season in April! Bloody freezing!). Try the River Fowey at Cornwall’s Golitha Falls, the section of the River Cam that flows through the Grantchester Meadows – a spot where Rupert Brooke and Virginia Woolf apparently swam naked by moonlight while studing at Cambridge, or, in Scotland, head to Loch an Eilein for a wild swim to a ruined castle on an island. Alternatively, if you’re city-bound, Hamstead Heath Ponds are definitely worth a visit (a dip in the ponds is highly recommended when it’s raining – swimming in the pond with a light shower overhead is the most wonderful experience). Finally, if you’re in the capital and don’t fancy getting pond-weed tangled round your legs, all London Lidos are now open (my favorite is the Tooting Bec Lido, London SW16).

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