Wednesday, 31 March 2010

G-shock/ Secret Wars press trip to Hamburg - the bits I left out!

Here are some more photographs from the Hamburg trip:
when I was ravng about the G-shock branded bus in the first post, I can't believe I forgot to mention the Hambug crew's mode of transport!! The least I can do is show you their innovative creation.
Whilst in Germany I got back in to taking pictures of street graffiti – an old hobby of mine since I was at school. To get back into the swings of things next month I'm going to publish one of my old photographs each day, and hopefully there will be more to come.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Images throughout courtesy of Jerusalemtheplay.
Loyal readers you may remember that I posted about Jerusalem back in August of last year when I went to see it while it was showing at the Royal Court. Now firmly settled into its West End run its now showing at the beautiful Apollo Theatre. On Saturday gone I was lucky enough to attend the matinee as a guest of family friend Danny Kirrane (who I've posted about a few times, most recently on his Visa World Cup ad) which meant that myself and my boyfriend got to sit in the actor's box just above the stage left which was fantastic.
It was a privledge to go and see the play again anyway, but I loved being so close to all of the action, being able to smell the cigarette smoke and even spot a little mouse which whilst a little distracting, only added to the atmosphere created by the wonderful set designers – which features real trees and rubbish, as the surroundings where you might expect to find a caravan in the middle of the woods.
Whilst the play isn't really any different to its orginial state last year, there were a few things that had been honed and perfected, as you might expect from a stellar cast who have been performing the script - courtesy of Jez Butterworth - for the best part of six months. The pace was a lot faster, cutting the play down by about ten minutes which is quite a lot considering there are three acts and two intervals to contend with. Also the ensemble delivered their lines with much more conviction, which I didn't think could be possible. Overall the play looked a lot more relaxed and as though the cast were completely at ease and just having fun on stage everynight. I think this was really infectious for the audience as they were lively from the beginning enjoying all the swearing!!
Set on St George's Day, on the morning of the local county fair, Johnny Byron is visited at home by council officials who want to serve him an eviction notice. The play uncovers everything that happens on that fateful day with the recurring theme being Byron's Motley Crew of mates sniffing around his ample supply of drugs and alcohol. With lots of swearing Johhny Byron (played by Mark Rylance) is phenomenal in this contemporary vision of rural life.
Whilst I obviously loved Danny's portrail as Davey - the Wiltshire loving abatoire worker - Mark Rylance's portrayal was so powerful, connecting with the character in a different, yet equally deep way to when I last saw him, subtly tweaking his emotions and bringing more richness and power to his voice. Loved, loved, loved it! Everyone should go and see Jerusalem before the end of the run - watch the video trailer here! Last time I saw the play we spotted David Schwimmer, Kiera Knightley, Rupert Friend, Derren Brown and Michael Sheen. This time around I was delighted to see Bob Hoskins with his wife quietly enjoying the play.

Laurence Olivier Awards 2010
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Actor for Mark Rylance

London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2009
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Play
'Jerusalem', Winner of Best Actor for Mark Rylance

Cast list:
Mark Rylance - Johnny "Rooster" Byron
Mackenzie Crook - Ginger
Danny Kirrane - Davey
Jessica Barden - Pea
Tom Brooke - Lee
Alan David - The Professor
Aimee-Ffion Edwards - Phaedra
Amy Beth Hayes - Dawn
Gerard Horan - Wesley
Charlotte Mills - Tanya
Sarah Moyle - Ms Fawcett
Harvey Robinson - Mr Parsons
Barry Sloane - Troy Whitworth (Anyone remember Niall from hollyoaks?!)
Jerusalem is showing at the Apollo Theatre until 24th April.

Monday, 29 March 2010

G-shock/ Secret Wars press trip to Hamburg: Part Two!

On thursday night it was time for the main event so after exploring the hotel and downing my complimentary bottle of Becks, we caught cabs to the central venue, Embassy for the live battle. Promoted through word of mouth only (as are all Secret Wars events), I was really impressed with the turnout as it was packed. Whilst it was a relatively small venue, it was filled to almost double capacity with people flouting the laws (which support a national smoking ban, as in the UK) and puffing away like no one's business, making me long for the days when I used to smoke... there's nothing like being a smoker when on the continent... there's just too much choice, and everyone else is doing it so you don't feel so naughty – although surprisingly my willpower held!
On the way in we were all stamped with G-shocks!
Before the battle started we were reminded of the rules:
There are 90 minutes on the clock; during which an artist is placed on either side of an invisible line. Only black paint can be used on white walls, with no sketches or pencils allowed! The battles are judged by two guest judges and a crowd vote, whereby appluase for each team is measured using a decibel reader.
This is the London team, who were on the left side of the wall.
Mr Gauky painting away (above).
This is the London crew, with founder of Secret Wars, Terry Guy in the centre (above). I recently found out that In november 2009 Secret Wars and Edding won the The Lloyds Innovation award at the Arts and Business Awards, which is so cool... nice work guys!
On one of the walls we could see the projection of a G-shock watch which counted down the 90 minutes (pictured below).
This is the Hamburg team, who were on the right side of the wall.
As you can tell from the pictures of the audience, the place was really rammed - especially in front of the Hamburg wall, so aplogies for the lack of pictures - but the atmosphere was electric looking as though all the cool kids had come from neighbouring areas to attend the event.
This is the Hamburg team.
As the clock counted down I couldn't move for toffee so gave up and went to the bar, choosing to get some more shots at the end after the battle was over (below). The atmosphere was electric as the judges were deliberating for a while so we were treated to some beatboxing by Reeps One which was amazing!!! After a tense wait, victory was declared to the Hamburg team, who deservedly stole the win (2-1). Tough break London! I really liked both pieces, but their clarity in collaborating on one main image really paid off and I love their kooky Alice-In-Wonderland kind of table and characters - very cool indeed!
After the battle we headed back to the G-shock branded bus parked outside the venue, where it rested after having caused quite the stir travelling through the streets of Germany the whole way from the UK. Lots of beer, pizza and sambuca ensued, topped off by Yurik, a lovley Polish guy who collects boomboxes - and had one with him - bringing the music to our party!
The London wall is above, with the Hamburg wall below.
Special thanks to John and Sarah from Casio, Michelle and Jemma from Frank PR and Terry and the Monorex crew... it was a great adventure!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Hamburg Street Style

I don't know what I was expecting, but I saw lots of stylish people in Hamburg, although sadly many of them had in common a shy gene and didin't want their photographs taken, so regretfully the cool kids shall remain annonymous. I was however granted permission by these lovely people.
I loved his casual laid back style and the mixture of colour and print.
I loved this futuristic dress with statement shoulders, which unfortunately got a bit lost in the picture, but she still looks amazing - and was lovely to talk to too!

G-shock/ Secret Wars press trip to Hamburg: Part One!

On Thursday and Friday I was invited by Frank PR to attend a G-shock press trip to Hamburg! (Hence why there have been no posts for nearly a week...) The event we were invited to see in particular is called 'Secret Wars' and involves two teams battling it out in an art-off. The basic idea is that two teams or crews get an adjoining wall each, and have 90 minutes to transform a blank white wall into a work of art using only paintbrushes. Whilst the concept for 'Secret Wars' is unique to a bunch of guys called Monorex (headed up by the mastermind Terry), the events themselves have been taking place for a few years in the UK, with this year seeing the Euro League, which saw us attend the London Vs Hamburg away event (its kinda like the euro league where there are away and home games...)

As those of you who follow me on Twitter will know, there were a few mishaps along the way (most notably a three car crash, less than five miles before the turn off for Gatwick) so half of us missed our flight... which is something I've never done before and I have to say, was a pretty stressful experience that I won't be keen to repeat. Our flight was scheduled to take off at 7:40am on Thursday and my mini group walked through the main entrance of Gatwick at 7:30am so it was a given that it just wasn't going to happen.

Luckily a member of the G-shock/ Casio team also got held up in the traffic so all was not lost. With a lot of hard work back in the office and from the airport (thanks guys!) the team managed to find another flight from Heathrow at 10:45am so to cut a long story short we made a mad dash for it and made it. It kinda worked out for the best as we had a little adventure to bond over and got the bonus of flying BA rather than Easyjet, so couldn't complain too much. It turns out we made up a bit of time (as the BA flight path was faster) so we were only a couple of hours behind the other half of the group, having only missed the sightseeing tour, which sucked a bit (as I've never been to Hamburg before) but I could have been sent straight home from Gatwick!
We caught up with everyone at lunch at a beautiful boat restaurant on the harbour. It was a beautiful fish restaurant and the food was great, as were the much deserved couple of pints we all put away, whilst basking in the 22degree heat, which was even better once we heard it was pissing down back in England – shame!
After lunch we headed towards the Casio HQ on the outskirts of Hamburg to have a look at the branded G-shock route master that was to ferry the artists to the venue later in the day. The bus was really cool with a fully functioning bar and disco lights on the top deck, and lots of cushions and seats on both decks.
There were branches of McDonald's everywhere... I kid you not... we must have seen about 30 different branches driving around for a few hours! And in the places where there weren't branches there was advertising a plenty.
After going to the supermarket to stock up on all things German (Beer, Beer, Beer and Haribo) we headed to our hotel, called 25hours hotel, which I absolutely fell in love with immediately! My room was massive and just so beautiful... it was so big that for a full five minutes (I kid you not) I couldn't find the loo and the pictures don't really do it justice. I loved everything from the wallpaper to the beanbag and the lamps and the power shower – brilliant! when I next go to Hamburg I'm not even going to Google any other hotel... I absolutely loved it. Modern, stylish boutique hotels who aren't afriad of hot pink are the future!
The outside:
The inside (reception area, the 'living room', the dining room and the bar):
My room:
Stay tuned for my write up of the 'Secret Wars' event coming tomorrow!