Deaf raves

10 11 2008

Here’s a request for information – please contact Oliver if you can help.

Dear funnyoldlife, I am making a documentary, funded by Westminster Arts, about deaf raves – clubbing events run specifically for the deaf and hard of hearing – in order to raise awareness of this phenomenon and let both the hearing and deaf community involved. I was wondering whether you had any stories or experiences to share about this subject, or if you know of any deaf people who go clubbing – to hearing or deaf events, or both? I am looking for someone to make this documentary about and would really appreciate any insight or help of any kind. If you could contact me at, that would be great.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,
Oliver Riley-Smith
Palpitation Productions

Review : Sara Baras

10 07 2008

I booked tickets to go to see the flamenco dancer Sara Baras at Sadlers Wells. I used to live in Gibraltar and Spain, and loved the Spanish culture and way of life, so I jumped at the chance to see some quality flamenco.

The performance was electric and evocative of Riverdance. Very professional, very emotional, very electric. The costumes were gorgeous and the dancing superb. We were transported to a heady world of drum beats and guitar music, clapping and smiles, darkness and light. For two hours, we sat spellbound by the magic and mystery of Sara Baras, and the whole theatre gave her a huge standing ovation. Bravo!

If you missed this show, you can catch Sangre Flamenca 28 October – 15 November 2008.

FOL’s verdict : PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Dirty Dancing

27 04 2008

Spending the summer in the Kellerman’s holiday camp with her family, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dancing teacher. The original soundtrack sold over 41 million copies. Great dance routines and music with 1960s nostalgia…

If you liked the film, you’ll enjoy the theatrical production. I went to see it yesterday at the Aldwych Theatre with captions provided by Stagetext. The theatre was packed, and we had front row seats in the dress circle with a fabulous view. The box office happily looked after my Hearing Dog during the show, and almost *didn’t* give him back to me as he had won them over hook, line and sinker.

The captions were provided on the right and left of the stage. What can I say? They were word perfect. The only problem was, there was so much happening on stage, that sometimes it was too much to take it all in, and try to keep up with the captions as well. The costumes were authentic, the acting was good, and the dancing was superb. The set was fabulous with a revolving stage and excellent use of filmic and photographic backdrops to recreate scenes. The lake scene was particularly good, using a gauze screen with a smoke machine, splash sound effects and a filmic water background.

We were amazed at how much the actress Georgina Rich looks like Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in the original film, and we could really see how she blossomed into the confident person and dancer portrayed at the end of the show. Josef Brown plays the dance teacher Johnny Castle. He wowed us with his dancing, his six-pack, and his lean figure – unfortunately his Aussie-American accent wasn’t as pleasing to the ear. Nadia Coote (as Penny) has a figure to die for, us females were sooo jealous when Penny came on stage in her black leotard and high heels – no woman should be *allowed* to have a figure that good!

Photo: Tristram Kenton

We were carried through the story and became a part of the audience at the Kellermans. A huge cheer went up when Johnny shouted ‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner’ and a few people behind me got up and started dancing along during the closing scenes. Did I enjoy it? I had the time of my life. I’ve already got tickets to see it again in October.

I was really pleased to read that Stagetext captioning is jumping over to Ireland. Stagetext are on MySpace and Facebook. If you feel like trying out some dirty dancing yourself, go to the Mirano Continental in Brussels on a Saturday night.

Dirty Dancing returns to the West End in 2013!