Friday 21st July

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Heroes: Jimmy Wales Meets Stewart Lee

Last Wednesday, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales interviewed British stand-up, writer and director Stewart Lee in a fascinating conversation hosted by The School of Life.  The event was the latest in the organisation’s ‘Heroes’ series, in which leading cultural figures get to question someone they admire from a different industry – a format giving fascinating insights into both interviewer and interviewee.

Ian Cater was there for What’s On London to hear what Wales could draw from one of Britain’s greatest living comedians and contrarians.

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Category: Comedy
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Lionel Shriver: “I know who I am. I’m never going to produce a soft, sentimental treatment of anything.”

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On Tuesday night, The School of Life hosted a remarkable interview with Lionel Shriver at Cecil Sharp House in NW1.  Ian Cater reports for What’s On London on a fascinating evening which scratched deep beneath the surface of one of the leading lights – and most intriguing creators – of 21st century fiction.

On the edge of Regent’s Park, a dark, oak-panelled hall is packed with bodies, laughter and the hum of middle-class anticipation: a cocktail always on the menu when a star’s expected to serve up something unexpected.  Eventually the murmurs dissipate as Lionel Shriver enters the room, accompanied by TV psychologist Tanya Byron, for an evening examining what makes her tick.  But the anticipation remains.

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Category: Culture
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We Need To Talk About Lionel Shriver – The School of Life on 17th January 2017

Tomorrow night, Lionel Shriver takes to the main stage at Cecil Sharp House (NW1) for a unique event organised by The School of Life.  Unlike most leading lights in literature, Shriver’s not seeking to promote a new book or gorge herself on easy questions served up by a sympathetic moderator.  Instead, she’s subjecting herself to inquiry by a clinical psychologist – Tanya Byron – to understand what makes her tick.  

As Ian Cater writes below, it promises to be a fascinating evening, providing an insight into the challenges faced – and resilience needed – by even the most successful people.

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Category: Culture
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The Isle of the Unexpected with Jura Whisky: Looking Glass Cocktail Club, 13th – 22nd October 2016

Immersive arts company Art of Disappearing – formed by Rachel Champion and Tristan Shorr – bring their latest project to London tomorrow in association with Jura Whisky.  In a unique drinking and cultural experience, for seven nights (13th-15th and 19th-22nd) The Isle of the Unexpected transports ticket-holders from Shoreditch’s buzzing Looking Glass Cocktail Club to the small Scottish island of Jura.  There, each group will wander through a rich, audio-led experience, under the pretext of finding inspiration for a mysterious filmmaker.  

Before entering Champion and Shorr’s evocative world later this week, Ian Cater caught up with them to discuss their inspiration for the project and what participants can expect during their 30 minute slot.

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Category: Culture
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James Wilson-Taylor: ‘Bat-Fan’ at Leicester Square Theatre, 25th – 26th March 2016

By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

James Wilson-Taylor doesn’t really hate Ben Affleck.  He just resents that Affleck was chosen over him to play Batman in the latest DC Comics offering, released on Friday.

Not that Wilson-Taylor was ever in the running for a role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but maybe he should have been.  Because in Bat-Fan – his one-man musical comedy being performed at Leicester Square Theatre on Friday and Saturday – Wilson-Taylor demonstrates his encyclopaedic knowledge of the Caped Crusader, and reminds us why his witty and creative performances attracted such strong reviews last summer.

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Category: Comedy
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Asli Bayram – A Rising Star

By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Asli Bayram: if you haven’t heard the name yet, expect to hear it very soon.  Because although this talented actress, writer and former model has already done a great deal, she’s got the talent, hunger and grounding to achieve so much more.

Having earned acclaim for a series of challenging stage and film roles overseas, it’s time for her to break through in the UK.  And while she’s here, our politicians would do well to listen to her sensible views on tolerance and integration.

Asli Bayram being crowned Miss Germany in 2005.

Being crowned Miss Germany in 2005.

Writing about Asli Bayram isn’t easy, because it’s hard to know where to start.

Many choose her early career as a beauty queen, becoming the first Miss Germany of Turkish extraction in 2005.  Others focus on the prejudice Bayram faced growing up as a second-generation immigrant.  Some dwell on the awful tragedy in her life: witnessing her father’s murder at the hands of a neo-Nazi when she was 12 years old.

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Category: Cinema
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The Sherlock Holmes, Northumberland Street WC2

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By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, Jonny Lee Miller … whether you’ve been glued to the big or small screen, Sherlock Holmes’ cachet has never been higher.  So what better time to relaunch a Sherlock themed pub in the heart of the city?  

That’s precisely what The Sherlock Holmes, just off Trafalgar Square, did on 2nd February 2016 to a very positive reception.  And this isn’t some johnny-come-lately jumping on the zeitgeist.  The historic pub is steeped in Sherlockian tradition.

Even looking beyond the fact you’re drinking a pint of Sherlock House Ale, eating Inspector Lestrade’s Favourite Ploughman’s Lunch and surrounded by an eye-watering amount of memorabilia, being in this pub feels like you’re very much part of something special.  In an increasingly competitive London eating and drinking scene, that goes a long way.  Elementary, my dear What’s On readers.  

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Category: Culture
Sony World Photography Awards 2015.
Sony World Photography Awards 2015.

Sony World Photography Awards: See life as it was meant to be seen

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The Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House provides an extraordinary and dynamic glimpse into the thriving world around us. Now running in its eighth year the world’s largest photography competition is running from April 24 – May 10.

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Category: Art