To be or not to be? That isn’t a question, that’s the Queen’s dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!

A Crown fit for a Queen, or any of the other Kings!
A Crown fit for a Queen, or any of the other Kings!

Last week was so exciting and was very, very British!

Why, you might ask?

Well, it was the Queen’s birthday as well as being the birth and death of William Shakespeare!

I know!!

Anyhoo!

I was invited to participate in a gala show and performance celebrating Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOUR MAJESTY!

Royal Mail Stamps with the Queen's head!
Royal Mail Stamps with the Queen’s head!

The Queen was 90!

Wow!

I’ve always found her to be absolutely marvellous and looking equally amazing at 90, as she did at 19!

I remember the letter that she commanded her Lady-in-Waiting to send me, in which I nattered away about my family holiday at the most delicate age of 9, and I never forgot the reply!

I was so proud!

WHEN IS THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY?

The Queen is 90!
The Queen is 90!

The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April, and her official birthday on (usually), the second Saturday in June!

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday, a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park, and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London!

On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour Parade, which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and Horseguards’ Parade, as well as a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And in case you didn’t know, and of course, you did!

Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!
Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!

Queen Elizabeth II has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history becoming a much-loved, and respected figure, across the globe.

Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, and undertake many historic overseas visits. Not only is she known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, but she also carries out all of her duties against the backdrop of a full personal life, which has seen her raise four children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren, to the Royal Family.

Her Majesty has been, and continues to be, an important figurehead for the UK, the Commonwealth, and indeed, the world! At a time of enormous discord and strive, she remains unswayed, and ever solid and constant.

Her birthday celebration was a great day and made me feel proud to be British, and a part of the pomp and pageantry.

Long Live the Queen!

A DINNER FOR THE QUEEN!

The Queen's favorite dishes!
The Queen’s favorite dishes!

I was invited to honour the Queen and enjoy an exquisite gala evening at the Wintergarten Varieté theatre in Berlin.

The Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is a venue that was considered one of the stage entertainment places to be, between 1887 and 1943.

Today, the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is a large variety theatre and located in a different part of Berlin known as Schöneberg which is a stylish, leafy suburb with boulevards and open-air markets, just great for lovely Saturday morning walks at a local farmers’ market by day and Berlin’s popular centre of gay life and community, by night!

Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn in Berlin! @ R.Pater
Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn in Berlin!
@ R.Pater

I’ve written about shows at the Wintergarten Varieté theatre in the past. Here they are below:

On this occasion, it was a black tie affair with a distinct British flair so I invited another member of the British community to accompany me – The Tall Young Gentleman – otherwise known as my tween son!

We had a delightful evening hosted by one of my musical friends and fellow MancurianJack Woodhead – and the internationally acclaimed Australian artist – Sarah Bowden.

We were comfortably seated having arrived early and shown to our table, pretty much at the front of the stage, when the rest of the table (a group of 4) asked if we could swap seats as the rest of their party were on the other table!

Of course, we obliged.

A basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter!
A basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter!

We started with an apertif of prosecco (for me) and orange juice (for the tween), accompanied by a basket of warm bread and creamy-chived butter. And then a camera crew swooped in.

Imagine my annoyance when the TV reporter looked briefly around in some sort of confusion, and then quickly proceeded to interview the pleased but startled middle-aged man, who was seated in the chair that I had just left!

After about a minute, they switched off the camera light, took off the mics, and belted out the left hand stage door!

Me being thoughtful and looking as if I'm about to sing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Me being thoughtful and looking as if I’m about to sing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Hmmmrff! Have I become one of those people..”but don’t you know who I am?!!!”

I hope not. Eeeek!

Jack took us through an artistic-culinary programme bursting with artists and performers, not only from the United Kingdom, but other Commonwealth nations too!

And then we had our starter.

A bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons. Yum!
A bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons.
Yum!

We had a bowl of cream of apple cider soup with fresh chopped chives and butter croutons. Yum!

After that, we had the 40-strong (!) choir – The Embassy Singers – from the British Embassy in Berlin who did a marvellous job of entertaining us.

Next, were more friends of ours, the hilarious comedy duo Carrington-Brown, who came along with their cello – Joe!

Somewhere along those lines thereafter, we had our main course.

We were served roast beef à la Wellington. Delicious but chewy!
We were served roast beef à la Wellington.
Delicious but chewy!

We were served roast beef à la Wellington with Cumberland sauce, sautéed green asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Everything was wonderful except for the roast beef. It would have been nice if it had been rare. It was however, well-done, but a bit chewy for my taste.

Ah well, “The Tall Young Gentleman” was pleased, as he had the most important job of polishing it off, while I had his cumberland sauce!

After dinner, the sexy-gracious English aerial artist Emily Kinch gave us a lovely acrobatic performance.

Another of our personal friends also came on – Sanjay Shihora – a talented artist and famous TV comedian from India, as well as being the owner of a well-established comedy club called Kookaburra, which we all used to hang out in, back in the day, before everyone got famous lol!

And soon it was time for dessert.

Rhubarb crumble and custard.
Rhubarb crumble and custard.

We had maple syrup-walnut pudding and rhubarb crumble and custard.

I’m allergic to nuts so I had two servings of rhubarb crumble sprinkled with strawberries and cherry compote, while “The Tall Young Gentleman” had two servings of maple syrup-walnut pudding!

After that performance, we had an onslaught of British music from the British / German conductor Rainer Hersch who was just a bellyfull of laughs and very, very funny with his Quartet orchestra and his slap-stick humour! 

Not long after, the leader and singer of the Savoy Dance Orchestra from Berlin and former lead singer of the legendary Pasadena Roof Orchestra – Robin Merrill – breezed in, in full jacket and tails as he had rushed over from another performance on German TV!

A fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms,
A fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms,

There was more charming music and a hell of a lot more laughs and towards the end we rounded up with the The Embassy Singers once again, an enthralling black and white video and pictorial archive of selective insights, into the most significant stages, of the life-time of Queen Elizabeth II. As well as a fine reminder of the Last Night of the Proms with pieces such as “We’ll meet again,” and “Land of Hope and Glory.”

It was during the singing of “Rule Britannia” that a gulp came into my throat and a little tear of nostalgia and happiness, that the Queen had made it.

Long may she live!

I had a great time. Thanks very much Wintergarten Varieté!

AND NOW, FOR A TINY BIT OF SHAKESPEARE!

A potrait of William Shakespeare.
A potrait of William Shakespeare.

I love Shakespeare!

Everywhere you go and in my opinion, everywhere you look, there is something influenced by the books and writings of Shakespeare!

As you know, last week was not only the Queen’s birthday  but Shakespeare’s birthday too!

On April 23rd.

In fact, that day not only marked William Shakespeare’s birth, but also his death!

Shakespeare in Love!

2016 was the 400th anniversary of lifetime and all over the world was a live broadcasting showing of Shakespeare Live! From the RSC in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, hosted by David Tennant!

I have to confess that the marketing of Shakespeare in Berlin was so dismal and cruelly inadequate, such that I took up the marketing myself and started blasting my Twitter and Facebook feed, so that my friends and followers would know.

I mean, firstly, there were only two cinemas that were showing the broadcast.

In the whole city!

And secondly, when I went to buy my ticket on April 19th, just 4 days before the showing, only six (6) seats had been sold.

Six!

The house of Anne Hathaway - Shakespeare's wife!
The house of Anne Hathaway – Shakespeare’s wife!

I was amazed and utterly annoyed. So I swung into action and started telling everyone all about it!

Even with all the palaver, I still had a very awesome night.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate were marvellous and even Prince Charles joined in, and made a cameo appearance and was a very good sport!

Let’s just say “To be, or not to be, that is the QUESTION!” or “To be, OR not to be, that is the question!”

It was enormously funny, watch and see for yourself right here lol!

Me thinks there’s a PR job somewhere with my name on it. Hint! Hint!

TO BE OR NOT TO BE? THAT ISN’T A QUESTION. THAT’S A NIGHT OUT WITH WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!

Shakespeare Lives and there's the living proof. Oh yeah. The skull!
Shakespeare Lives and there’s the living proof.
Oh yeah. The skull!

WHAT IS SHAKESPEARE LIVES AND SHAKESPEARE 400?

King Ed VI - William Shakespeare.
King Ed VI – William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Lives and Shakespeare 400 is:

  • A life’s work.
  • A 400-year legacy.
  • A year of celebrations.

It’s also a worldwide celebration of the enduring global impact, relevance and creativity of William Shakespeare – the world’s best known Briton – and the UK’s most successful cultural export ever, on the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. All over the world are activities and events in more than 140 countries, new creative commissions, partnerships with the UK’s most influential cultural institutions, and a global social media campaign to reach millions of people.

Phew!

FUN FACTS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE!

The hilarious chaps from "Horrible Histories!"
The hilarious chaps from “Horrible Histories!”
  • Shakespeare holds the Guinness World Record for being the most filmed author in the world!
  • The word ‘love’ appears 2,191 times in the complete works of Shakespeare!
  • His plays are set in 12 countries, with cities in present-day Italy being Shakespeare’s favourite.
  • Shakespeare lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, a handsome market town 20 miles south-east of Birmingham a little over two (2) hours from London. I’ve been there and it’s a lovely place with lots of huge swans that bite!
  • Shakespeare married an older woman – Anne Hathaway – who was three months pregnant at the time!
  • The only comedy set in the UK is The Merry Wives of Windsor.
  • Since 1960, there have been publications and productions of Hamlet in more than 75 languages!
  • Hamlet has even been translated into Klingon, Esperanto, and Interlingua!
  • Romeo and Juliet has been performed in 24 countries in the last ten years.
  • Very little is known about the life of William Shakespeare, but between about 1590 and 1613, he wrote at least 37 plays and 154 sonnets!
The gorgeous David Tennant as William Shakespeare's Richard II.
The gorgeous David Tennant as William Shakespeare’s Richard II.
  • William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets have been adapted into 420 feature films and TV-movies!
  • Shakespeare wrote many plays and many poems. The most famous among his 10 tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear.
  • Shakespeare’s best-known poems are The Sonnets, first published in 1609.
  • West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins) was inspired by Romeo and Juliet.
  • Kiss Me, Kate (George Sidney) was inspired by The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Forbidden Planet (Nicholas Nayfack) was inspired by The Tempest.
  • Looking for Richard (Al Pacino) was inspired by Richard III.
  • The most popular name from a Shakespeare play used today is Olivia.
  • Romeo and Juliet is based on an Italian folktale, which Shakespeare read in translation.
  • Shakespeare’s epitaph wards off would-be grave robbers with a curse and indeed, Shakespeare’s remains have yet to be disturbed!
  • It’s believed that Shakespeare wore a gold hoop earring, as he lived a bohemian lifestyle and was not a pirate!
  • Some people think Shakespeare was a fraud and was not to be!
Illuminating Shakespeare Artists' Impression.
Illuminating Shakespeare Artists’ Impression.

That’s it for now!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary invitation, all opinions and the scrumptious rhubarb crumble and custard that I had at the Gala, are my very own!

In the summer I’ll be going to Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and possibly Russia!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be finalising my writing about Spain and focusing on Portugal!

Sometime between now and May 1st, I’ll be visiting the interactive exhibition Discover Mexico or Entdecke Mexiko taking place on Washingtonplatz. It’s free to the public. Go see!

On April 27th, I’ll be attending STRICTLY STAND-UP – The English Comedy Night Show!

On April 29th, the TV interviewed that I did for Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcasting station), about the 5th wedding anniversary of our very own William & Kate, will be broadcast! As soon as I get the exact details, I’ll inform you all via Twitter and Facebook!

On May 5th, I’ll be at a Travel Massive & DNX Mingle so if you’re a blogger or just interested in travel, lifestyle or travel technology, then come and meet us! Registration and attendance is free of charge!

From May 18th – May 22nd, I’ll be at the Berlin Music Video Award ceremony.

April is hopping!

Berlin is going to be so much fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you must be bonkers!

Watch this space!

To be or not to be? That isn't a question, that's the Queen's dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!
To be or not to be? That isn’t a question, that’s the Queen’s dinner & a Night Out with William Shakespeare!

Would you choose dinner with the Queen? Would you choose beer with Shakespeare? Or do you prefer rhubard and custard?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Frankenstein isn’t dead! Thrills and spills, Danny Boyle, Benedict, & Jonny Lee Miller!

The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).
The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

If you follow me on Twitter and of course you do, you would have seen all the exciting features and pictures of the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and to tell you the truth, I never get sick of Berlin. How can I, when there’s so much to do, so many places to go, and so many things to see?

It’s a privilege to live here ‘cos we get to live in a world-famous historical city, and we also get to participate in critically acclaimed world-wide productions; and one of those productions is that of Frankenstein.

Yes, Frankenstein.

If you thought Frankenstein was dead, archaic, and boring, you can think again because Frankenstein is here to stay!

A few weeks ago, I received a couple of tickets from one of Berlin’s very few cinemas in which you can watch original English Language films. The cinema is called: CineStar Berlin – Original. im Sony Center.

Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Anderson, and Ben Foster in A Streetcar Named Desire. National Theatre Live.
Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Anderson, and Ben Foster in A Streetcar Named Desire. National Theatre Live.

You can watch Hollywood blockbusters, Oscar nominated films, the English Royal Opera Live and live productions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Awesome or what?

It’s the cinema that I go to the most and this time I chose to watch a collection of National Theatre Live productions. In September, I watched a thrilling performance of Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby in the timeless LIVE masterpiece of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in Skylight at the National Theatre Live.
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in Skylight at the National Theatre Live.

In October, I watched a marvellous performance of Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan in the highly anticipated LIVE West End production of David Hare’s Skylight. 

Mary Shelley the writer of the very gruesome but fascinating - Frankenstein.
Mary Shelley the writer of the very gruesome but fascinating – Frankenstein.

Just last week, I was enthralled to be able to watch the LIVE thrilling broadcast of Frankenstein, based on the novel of the 19th century English novelist, Mary Shelley.

We are so, so, so lucky to be one of the designated cities to have original productions broadcasted by the English Royal National Theatre. Live. What this means is that you don’t have to go to London to watch these productions and pay through your nose, but you can relax and watch them from the comfy seat of a world-class cinema instead.

So last week, I went to see Frankenstein.

De Lacey (Karl Johnson) and The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch).
De Lacey (Karl Johnson) and The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Part of focusing on Berlin is to let you know the type of thing that you can do here, when you visit.

You don’t speak German, I hear you say.

Not to worry. There are plenty of activities that you can do, or places that you can go, with very foreign language skills needed. A little more English perhaps, but if you can read this blog, you’re going to do fine LOL!

The Royal English National Theatre.
The Royal English National Theatre.

WHAT’S THE NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE?

The National Theatre Live is an exciting initiative to broadcast live performances of the best of British theatre, to cinemas in Britain and around the world. Launched in 2009, the National Theatre Live is shown in over 700 cinemas, in 22 countries all around the world. So far, I’ve personally seen six (6) productions and between now and January, 2015, I intend to see three (3) more!

Boris Karloff from the very familiar image of the monster in the 1935 American horror film "The Bride of Frankenstein."
Boris Karloff from the very familiar image of the monster in the 1935 American horror film “The Bride of Frankenstein.”

WHAT IS FRANKENSTEIN ABOUT?

The Creature (Bendedict Cumberbatch).
The Creature (Bendedict Cumberbatch).

Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus was written in 1818 by the English writer – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century gothic novels were enormously popular, what with the scandal of Jack the Ripper, Wilkie Collin’s The Woman in White, and Penny Dreadful lurid serial stories. The Georgian era was coming to an end and Victorian England was to begin in less than twenty (20) years, sparking social changes that resulted in increased literacy rates.

England was ripe for something different.

Indeed, Mary Shelley’s romantic horror novel struck a chord. Her book spiced the imagination of the public with a fascinating story of an eccentric scientist called Victor Frankenstein.

Dr. Frankenstein went on a quest to produce a living creature from human parts, and succeeded. He created a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment, and genetic manipulation began!

In the shock and admiration of the moment, Dr. Frankenstein initially abandoned his creation out of horror and remorse, and The Creature set out to learn about mankind, and to find his creator.

With childlike innocence but a horrifying grotesque body and look, the bewildered Creature met with cruelty wherever he went, in a thrilling and deeply disturbing, classic, gothic tale.

It didn’t turn out well.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND CLASSIC LITERATURE TO WATCH IT?

The title page of the first edition of Frankenstein, Volume I by Mary Shelley.
The title page of the first edition of Frankenstein, Volume I by Mary Shelley.

Nope!

You don’t need to get the words in order to understand the play. It’s pretty plain to see the anger, the pain, the thrills and the spills. Without giving too much away – this is a production with a difference, as the main actors Benedict and Jonny both play the character and parts of Dr. Victor Frankenstein AND The Creature.

The Creature (Jonny Lee Miller).
The Creature (Jonny Lee Miller).

Last week, Dr. Frankenstein was played by the intense Benedict and the creature by the gorgeous Jonny. On 27.11.14, the parts will be in reverse whereby Dr. Frankenstein will be acted out by Benedict and The Creature by Jonny!

DO I “KNOW” ANYONE?

You sure do. Frankenstein is awash with skilled and talented performers with very high critically acclaim.

Danny Boyle. Photo@ Lucas Jackson - Time.com
Danny Boyle.
Photo@ Lucas Jackson – Time.com

DANNY BOYLE: Well, he’s the Academy Award-winner playwright director of Frankenstein, and also the director of such film projects as Shallow Grave (1995), Trainspotting (1996), The Beach (2000), and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

Benedict Cumberbatch.
Benedict Cumberbatch.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: Benedict plays both the titles roles of The Creature as well as Victor Frankenstein. He is one of England’s critically acclaimed talents in British theatre and films. Recognised around the world, Benedict did not achieve international recognition until the first series of Sherlock in 2010, but you could already see that he was destined for higher things in Atonement (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Star Trek into Darkness (2013), The Hobbit (2012-2014, and Sherlock (2010 – present.

In Britain, he is also known as the The Thinking Woman’s Crumpet!

Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).
Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

JONNY LEE MILLER: Jonny also plays both the titles roles of Victor Frankenstein as well as  The Creature and is a respected actor. You know him as Sick Boy in Trainspotting (1996), and other excellent productions such as Hackers (1995), Trainspotting of course (1996), Plunkett & Macleane (1999), Mansfield Park (1999), Dexter (2010), and now making waves across the pond, as Sherlock Holmes in the American CBS crime drama: Elementary (2012 – present).

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the film - Tomb Raider.
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the film – Tomb Raider.

And in case you’re wondering, Yes, Jonny. L. Miller is also the ex, and first husband of Angelina Jolie (cheeky fellow, but phwrooah. She’s one helluva hot sexy babe)?!

Victor Frankenstein (Johnny Lee Miller) and Elizabeth Lavenza (Naomie Harris).
Victor Frankenstein (Johnny Lee Miller) and Elizabeth Lavenza (Naomie Harris).

NAOMIE HARRIS: The very beautiful and talented actor Naomie, plays the part of Elizabeth Lavenza, the wife-to-be of Victor Frankenstein. She can be found in 28 Days Later (2002), Pirates of the Caribbean (2006 & 2007), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), and as the first person of colour, to play Miss Moneypenny in James Bond’s Skyfall (2012).

The Company.
The Company.

You might not know Karl Johnson who plays De Lacey the blind scholar who teaches The Creature fine manners, etiquette, and the way to be a gentleman, John Stahl who plays Ewan, a local farmer, or even Ella Smith who plays both Clarice a maid, and Gretel, a local prostitute! But I bet you’re familiar with the actor George Harris.

George Harris (M.Frankenstein).
George Harris (M.Frankenstein).

GEORGE HARRIS: George Harris plays M. Frankenstein, Victor’s father. He can be seen in such productions as Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Black Hawk Down (2001), Layer Cake (2004), and is most famously known as the very skillful Senior Auror and later, Minister for Magic (following the death of Voldemort), in the Harry Potter films (2007, 2010, and 2011).

Jonny Lee Miller.
Jonny Lee Miller.

MY VERDICT?

Absolutely delightful! I might be biased here but you can never go wrong with a British production!

I am an addict of good literature and historical drama. Watching the theatre in a cinema setting is as good as being at the theatre itself. Whoever coughed up that idea is a clever fellow. Because you can:

  • Watch a theatre production in the comfort of (depending on your ticket), a luxury seat.
  • Wear whatever you want although I noticed a few people dressed up. Mostly, we British people. It’s ingrained in our blood!
  • Sit together as a group of 3 or a group of 20.
  • If you’re really squeezed, you can stretch and walk around in the stairway of the cinema. Somehow, I don’t see that happening in a “real” theatre.
  • You can bring your popcorn, and beer into your seat but for more authenticity, buy wine and brand bottles and glasses about like I did. It’s the theatre sweetie!!
  • Most importantly, quality theatre of the best actors on the British stage for only €18.00, in your own home-town or nearby!
  • Watch the two most modern and inspiring 21st century British actors who both play the role of Sherlock Holmes most successfully in two (2) different TV series (Sherlock and Elementary), do it again. Not only do they meet up as respected artists and working actors, but they also perform together in one dramatic piece, and play the same leading characters on alternative days.

How wonderfully sick is that!

Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre Live.
Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre Live.

WHAT IF FRANKENSTEIN REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

There are more productions coming up that can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

  • John. A new play about crime, drug use, and a struggle to survive, containing adult themes, strong language, and nudity. Suitable for 18yrs+ coming up in Berlin on: 08.01.15.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a story of murder, money and mutiny brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation. Suitable for 10yrs+ coming up in Berlin on: 22.01.15.

Tickets for the National Theatre Live in Berlin are €18.00 for adults and €13.00 for children, and can be bought online here.

A wonderful bargain!

Approximate running time: About 2 hours.

For more information about Frankenstein, please contact: The National Theatre Live.

For more information about Original English films or productions in Berlin, please contact: CineStar Berlin – Original.

Hello Frankenstein!
Hello Frankenstein!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the lovely wine that I gleefully drank, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so I will be returning to our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar, later at the very end of the month!

Next week, I will be writing about the smash-hit tour of the UK and Ireland, LET IT BE a six (6) day exclusive showing of a celebration of The Beatles from 11.11.14 – 16.11.14 at the Admirals Palast.

The next Strictly Stand Up performance at the Quatsch Comedy Club is on 19.11.14 headlined by Terry Alderton (UK), joined by Al Lubel (USA), and Yianni (Australian), and supported by Drew  Portnoy (an up-and-coming American Berlin expat)!

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

November is going to be delicious!

Watch this space!

Frankenstein of old! http://ihorror.com
Frankenstein of old!
http://ihorror.com

Have you ever been to a National Theatre Live production? Are you frightened of Frankenstein? Team Bendict Cumberbatch or Team Jonny Lee Miller?!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post.

Share it! Tweet it! Like it!

An extraordinary brain and a frightening story: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; at a Berlin cinema near you!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

What a summer.

There’s just so much to do in the wonderful city of Berlin. It’s still June and this month has been fantastically exciting. At the beginning of the month, I introduced you to the hip-hop, break-dancing fun of Mozart, I watched the hilarious stand-up performance of Bill Bailey and also did my first interview with a tall, lanky, German, English-speaking, comedian! I then went all glamorous and did my first press stint at the it’s so-hip-it-hurts Berlin Music Video Awards. After that, it was only a matter of time before your fabulousness and mine could be hidden no further, at the summer festivals that the city of Berlin organises for free!

Wow!

In May, I began to introduce you to all the lovely things that you could do in Berlin without the worry of understanding the very intellectual, but grammatically difficult, language of German. One of those activities was the rather wonderful Shakespeare production of death and destruction in the body of King Lear.

As I recall, I told you that Berlin is lucky to be one of the designated cities to have original productions broadcasted by the English Royal National Theatre. Live. What this means is that you don’t have to go to London to watch these productions and pay through your nose, but you can relax and watch them from the comfy seat of a world-class cinema, instead.

The Royal English National Theatre.
The Royal English National Theatre.

Last month, I received a ticket from one of Berlin’s very few cinemas in which you can watch original English Language films. The cinema is called: CineStar Berlin – Original. im Sony Center.

You can watch Hollywood blockbusters, Oscar nominated films, the English Royal Opera Live and live productions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Isn’t that brilliant? It’s the cinema that I go to the most and a few weeks ago I chose to watch the National Theatre Live production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Curious Incident Original West End cast. Photos: Brinkoff and Mogenburg.
The Curious Incident Original West End cast.
Photos: Brinkoff and Mogenburg.

 WHAT’S THE NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE?

The National Theatre Live is an exciting initiative to broadcast live performances of the best of British theatre to cinemas in Britain and around the world. Launched in 2009, the National Theatre Live is shown in over 700 cinemas, in 22 countries all around the world. So far, I’ve personally seen three (3) productions. One (1) production starring John Lithgow in The Magistrate which was awesome, the second (2nd) production starring Helen Mirren in The Audience which was fabulous, and the third (3rd) production in King Lear which was amazing.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT IS THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME ABOUT?

Well, the play is based on the award-winning novel of Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens, and directed by Marianne Elliott. The book was originally published in 2003, and was the winner of more than seventeen (17) literary awards, including prizes in Japan, Holland and Italy, as well as the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in Britain, in 2004.

I remember the book being the darling of the literary world at the time, so if you haven’t read it, perhaps you should.

The stage production won seven (7) 2013 Olivier Awards including Best New Play, and has been hailed by The Times as ‘a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle.’

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT ELSE?

The story is about a young 15-year-old boy called Christopher who discovers that his neighbours dog (Wellington), is dead. It has been speared with a garden fork, and Christopher himself, is under suspicion, as to killing the dog.

Christopher records each fact in the book he is writing, to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington.

He has an extraordinary brain, is exceptional at maths but is terribly ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched, and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND REALLY GOOD ENGLISH TO WATCH IT?

Yes and No!

Yes, because it’s the theatre sweetie.

No, because you don’t need to get the words in order to understand the play. It’s pretty plain and what is a theatre production, if the actors don’t jump around, sway, and cry in a flood of tears? Without giving too much away: young Christopher goes alone on a very long journey, and meets interesting characters in the big and dangerous city.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

DO I “KNOW” ANYONE?

You might not know Luke Treadaway who plays Christopher the 15-year-old boy who has a unique perspective on the world, Niamh Cusack who plays Siobhan, Christopher’s favourite teacher, or Paul Ritter who plays Ed, Christopher’s father, but I bet you are familiar with the actor Una Stubbs.

The Curious Incident Rehearsal of Una Stubbs playing Mrs Alexander. Photo: Manuel Harlan.
The Curious Incident Rehearsal of Una Stubbs playing Mrs Alexander.
Photo: Manuel Harlan.

UNA STUBBS: Una plays Mrs Alexander an older woman living in Christopher and Ed’s street, who seems to know all the neighbourhood gossip. Una can be seen in such productions as Worzel Gummidge (1979-81) and (1987-89), The Catherine Tate Show (2005), Eastenders (2006), and of course famously known as Mrs. Hudson: the landlady of 221B Baker Street in the BBC 1 production of Sherlock (2010- ).

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

MY VERDICT?

Sad and thought-provoking! I might be biased here but a British theatre production will never let you down!

Watching the theatre in a cinema setting is as good as being at the theatre itself. Whoever coughed up that idea is a clever fellow. Because you can:

  • Watch a theatre production in the comfort of (depending on your ticket), a luxury seat.
  • Wear whatever you want without the worry of being over or under-dressed although I personally dressed up. It’s ingrained in our soul!
  • Sit together as a group of 3 or a group of 20.
  • If you’re really squeezed, you can stretch and walk around in the stairway of the cinema. Somehow, I don’t see that happening in a “real” theatre.
  • You can bring your popcorn and beer into your seat but for more authenticity, buy champagne or wine, and brand bottles and glasses about like I did. It’s the theatre sweetie!!
  • Most importantly, quality theatre of the best actors on the British stage for only €18.00, in your own home-town or nearby!
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

WHAT IF THIS PERFORMANCE REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. There are more productions coming up that can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

A Small Family Business by Alan Ayckbourn coming up in Berlin on 03.07.14.

Tickets for the National Theatre Live in Berlin are €18.00 for adults and €13.00 for children and can be bought online here. A wonderful bargain

Approximate running time: 2 hours 40 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.

For more information about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, please contact: The National Theatre Live.

For more information about Original English films or productions in Berlin, please contact: CineStar Berlin – Original.

The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the bottles of chilled wine I quaffed, are my very own! Every week for the months of May and June, I’ll be writing about summer time in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing about the exciting world of fashion, river cruising, and just having a jolly good time.

In case, you didn’t know, and surely you did! Berlin Fashion Week is taking place 08.07.14 – 13.07.14. I’m going. Hurrah!

Be there or be square! Or on the other hand, read my blog. July is going to be amazing.

Are you coming?

Watch this space!

In pain. The Curious Incident Original West End Cast. Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg
In pain.
The Curious Incident Original West End Cast.
Photo: Brinkoff and Mogenburg

Have you watched a National Theatre Live production? Have you ever read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time? Do you know Sherlock?

Are you coming for the summer?

See you in Berlin.

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