Talking Culture - June

Theatre - Barbican and Bridge Theatre present Vox Motus’ Flight

It is unusual to see a 5* review in the paper, and having not been to the theatre for ages due to Covid-19, we jumped at the chance to get back into theatre mode. The play is question was Flight at the London Bridge Theatre. In typical me fashion, I did not overly much research in advance. I knew we would wear headphones and I knew it was a story about migrants making their way to the UK. Well it really was a quite unique experience. We queued at the stage door, with great views of Tower Bridge. We were let in as a tiny group and gradually made our way down via the bowels of the theatre, in mysterious ways, to a waiting area. This time, as a solo, one was admitted to a chair on wheels and sat in a booth alone in front of what would become a light up model show that revolved. With headphones telling the story, we followed two young brothers as they made their way from Afghanistan, through places such as Turkey and France, and eventually to the Channel crossing. Multiple intricate but telling models conveyed their pain, fear and suffering. I find it so disturbing that humans can cause such pain to other humans. The story had many parallels to our Book Club choice, The Beekeeper of Aleppo (*). I have also just read American Dirt (**) which tells of similar horrific experiences for migrants.

As I understand it, this was not developed with a staging for a pandemic in mind, but its theatrical staging worked well in our individual viewing modules. A play for our time in multiple ways.

- Clare Harris 



Design - Sneakers Unboxed Exhibition, Design Museum

Last Saturday I went to the Sneakers unboxed exhibition at the Design Museum. I am not a huge sneaker fan but I have to say, I really enjoyed the exhibition! The facts and figures at the beginning was really interesting, some examples below:

  • Top 10 sneaker producers (China 55.5%, India 10.7%, Vietnam 5.8%)
  • Top 10 sneaker consumers (USA 29%, China 18%, UK 5%)
  • Pairs of sneakers sold wordwilde in 2019 (1,282 million)

The exhibition walks you through how sneakers have had an impact on sub cultuers like Hip Hop and Grime music and also introduces the famous Nike Jordans, from basketball player Michael Jordan.

Many sneakers are on display, including the Nike Dunk SB "NYC Pigeon" which caused sneaker frenzy, as thousands camped out to try and grab a pair.

The exhibition finishes with the performance section, showing all the different types of high performance sneakers. You can even catch a glimpse of the the 3D-knitting robot which has been designed to reduce waste.

Highly recommend!

- Lucy

David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring

 To be back at exhibitions is a treat, especially to see the Royal Academy in central London bathed in sunshine. One has to book in advance, but the silver lining is the comfort of viewing without having to elbow ones way to the front of a rope.

David Hockney had in mind, pre-pandemic, to base himself in Normandy and focus on one smallish garden. As it turned out, Covid-19 struck and he was perfectly placed to isolate himself and focus on his work and daily paintings. I admire that Hockney in his 80’s is still seeking out new techniques and even commissioning new function on his iPad to develop the strokes and layers further.

The walls zing with large splashes of colour. David Hockney picks up the bright greens of spring brilliantly and fills one with optimism and joy. The world feels brighter after an hour in these few rooms.

- Clare


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