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Monkey. Journey to the west – Royal Opera House – 2008

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Thoughts: Despite my two tub rating, there were some good points. A young audience which gave the foyers a pop concert buzz and a smile. The idea as a whole which was created by the team behind Gorillaz (Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn), Monkey: Journey to the West, is an opera which premiered at Manchester International Festival in 2007. With lyrics based on ancient Chinese texts and performed in Mandarin.

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Hammershoi – Royal Academy of Arts

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Thoughts: Hammershol – The poetry of silence. Having declined an audio guide, half expecting that I’d key the start and hear ‘welcome to Hammershol, the poetry of silence, shhh’ followed by 45mins of nothing, I headed off to view the exhibition. Shhh indeed, grey, brown interiors, quiet, repressed, he seemed mainly to paint empty rooms, doors and windows. why all the doors and windows? A way of keeping you in or letting you out? but there is poetry in his silence.

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The Lives of others – Film – 2008

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Thoughts: Not my usual thing as I am more passionate about theatre – but I have seen three films recently and this one goes down as one of the best – it has stayed firmly with me and hence it gets a mention – ‘Magnificent and unmissable’ says the poster – I agree! Get it out on DVD.

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