Thursday 30th March

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Hidden London

'Fetish' by Alvarenga Marques.
'Fetish' by Alvarenga Marques.

PortugArt Exhibition in Mayfair, 1st – 15th April 2016

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By Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer

The PortugArt Project has delivered a new exhibition in Mayfair showcasing the best of contemporary Portuguese art in a classy and understated way.  

PortugArt – the brainchild of Mara Alves – seeks to promote established and new wave Portuguese artists.  More than that, it explores what binds them together: the nation’s soul.  Highlights include Duarte Vitória’s Vitreous – a typically intense and visceral portrait – and the more urban, but captivating submissions from Alvarenga Marques and Paulo Moreira.

Alves hopes to extend the exhibition’s stay in London beyond next week, but our advice: catch it while you can.

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Category: Art
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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
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.
Tom Gamble at Jazz Club Soho, London.

Tom Gamble: CD + London dates

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Classically-trained guitarist Tom Gamble recently played a solo set at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, going down a storm with the assembled literary crowd at the Playerist Comedy Night. He’s soon to leave these shores to further his studies abroad so catch him while you can. Meanwhile, music lovers will be more than satisfied with Mr Gamble’s fantastic début Jazz CD Rooftop Music. Recently graduating with a First from Trinity Laban Conservatoire in Greenwich, the maestro leads the Tom Gamble Ensemble at the South Bank Centre on August 8. He then departs with fitting flourish as Director of the Quiet Nights Orchestra at a very special gig at the National Portrait Gallery on August 22.

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Category: Culture
Marriage
Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

Marriage @ Jack Studio Theatre

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Another capacity crowd at the Jack Studio Theatre welcomed a new run of Gogol’s ‘Marriage’. Loaded with wisecracks from the start, the story, such as it is (translator Howard Colyer compares it to ‘Waiting for Godot’) is a grower. Sunny Jeon’s graphic-y design, de-constructed, Surreal, opens-up the space. You almost feel inside the setting whilst simultaneously looking-on. Is the same dichotomy shared by the players?

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Category: Comedy
The writing was on the wall
The writing was on the wall // Photograph by Martin Slidel

The Review that Never Was

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Arrived at the Oxford Arms to a review a fringe production. Usual enough. Long day at the office followed by an inspirational exhibition of children’s art that I’d been invited to by a local secondary school. Spent my time and money staying out, traipsing around my old (very old) stomping ground of Camden before time to venture forth.

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Category: Comedy
Tom Gamble
Tom Gamble

Playerist Comedy Night 2 // Poetry Café // Review

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A school night if not for half term, those in the know braved the dullest weather to arrive at a sparkling evening of comedy by Playerist Performance Collective at the Poetry Café.

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Category: Art
Darren Beaumont
Darren Beaumont // Photo credit: Tim Stubbs Hughes

Pool @ Jack Studio Theatre

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Showing until June 7, 2014 // The Write Now Festival

As always, setting the scene is a vital aspect of a visit to The Jack. This time, literally stepping into a Hockney-esque painted ‘pool’ can feel quite disconcerting. The attractive and effective set by David Shields makes full use of Amy Mae Smith’s transcendent lighting; birthing those lovely rippling reflections of sunlight-on-water. Kate Bannister comments that “the designers have done a cracking job…” and likewise the director. The sound-scaping by Mark Webber is exemplary.

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Category: Culture
Melissa James
Photo credit: Mike Watts

Melissa James @ Green Note + CD Competition

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First up was Vincent Burke in a natural, warm and easy, performance. What else would you expect when singing about pianos falling down the stairs! Somewhat in the style of old-school balladeers such as Jake Thackray and Tom Lehrer; funny, wise, droll and just jaunty enough to get your feet tapping. Plus a lovely version of Smokey Robinson’s ‘You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me’ replete with new middle-eight. Burke is also a bit McCartney-ish, reinvented with a quirkier, folksier, edge. The punters demanded more.

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Category: Culture