Event Organisers Update January 2019 ISSUE 170 - an independent information source published by the Society of Event Organisers (SEO).
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Event Organisers Update
The newsletter for organisers of events.
PICK YOUR COMEDIAN
This showcases stand-up comedians and their acts and allows plenty of time for delegates to network with, and perhaps book their chosen performer(s) The latest event presented five, four who made us laugh and one who made us laugh and think. Andy Parsons, well-known from his appearances on topical news show Mock the Week, told jokes about topical issues, including the current bad joke Brexit, (he is an activist for a second public vote on the issue) and introduced the other four stand-up specialists, including Markus Birdman, Naomi Cooper and George Lewis, all of whom went down well with the mostly female audience.
However it was a unique Ms Rosie Jones who won the mind and heart of this old male curmudgeon, on account of the fact she has cerebral palsy and make jokes about it. Apparently she has also been known to quip about sexuality, her sexual fantasy, her visit to the 2016 Summer Paralympics, using disabled toilets and the word "spastic" now widely considered to be one of the most offensive terms, along with "retard", relating to disability, and only used by the ignorant. So Jones has an inspiring courage along with her edgy comedy. Mild sample: "Dribble when people get on the bus, and enjoy two seats to yourself".
And here's the personal thoughtful bit, one that Jones might disagree with. For us it would be a real pity if the cynical PR department of a tarnished company - say a dodgy bank, payday lender, gambling firm, pharmaceutical or tobacco company - hired her to pretend to a caring side, so she may want to carefully vet who she works for, and their reason for booking her, as she gets the success she deserves.
SEE YOU, JIMMY
Savile is thought to have sexually abused more than 450 people over a 60-year period, over 300 of them under 18 and some as young as eight. He owned the cottage for 13 years, from 1998 to 2011 when he died without ever being caught or charged aged 84. It was featured in a highly regarded Louis Theroux documentary in 2000, When Lous met....Jimmy. In a van on the way back from Glencoe Theroux asks why Savile had claimed to the media that he hated children and Savile told him "It's to put a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt". As the couple said goodbye Theroux claimed that he had "a new-found respect for Jimmy" though he felt he, like most other people, had never got close in the week he had lived with him for the documentary.
At Savile's death the leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield described Savile as "Leeds born and bred, and he remained a Leeds lad all his life".
VisitScotland have now removed the shot of Savile's cottage from their website, "in case it caused any offence".
ART HISTORY COURSE
The four two-hour sessions take place on Tuesday Feb 26, Tuesday March 5, Tuesday March 12 and Tuesday March 26, 10.30am to 12.30 pm and the price of £125 includes light refreshments. The course covers the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) and includes the contributions of such as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, and some of their models, muses, mistresses, mates and fellow -artists.
It is led by curator and lecturer Jo Banham, whose specialist areas of knowledge are Victorian art and design, and the history of wallpapers.
Those interested in this important sphere of art might also enjoy the 5hour, 29 minute DVD of the BBC TV programme about the PRB, Desperate Romantics, and the 418-page book by Franny Moyle of the same name on which it is based.
NEXT BIG THING?
This would be on the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent and just across the Thames from Tilbury.
SOME ITALIAN WINE
This produces an excellent medium dry white for drinking with food that the good doctor rates with a 92% score in his highly regarded "Essential Guide to Italian wine" (2019) and this is the Verdiccho dei Castellidi Jesi DOC 2017, which is also flagged as exceptionally good value and should be selling retail for around £16 a bottle.
Rather more expensive is the red Roggio Del Filare Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC 2015, not rated by Cemilli. This is likely to be £50+ to buy here but is the Winery's "Grand Cru" and, for our personal taste delivered a lovely creamy sweetness of red berry fruit that trickled seductively down the throat and dared us to spit it out, or ruin it with food.
The importer for Velenosi is Dolcevita Wines, Web: dolcevitawines.co.uk
NEW FOR MANCHESTER
Double rooms start at £100.
THE HAPPY PRINCE
The story of Oscar's fall from grace for his homosexuality has been well documented on film, starting with the two released in 1959 and 1960, These were the black and white Oscar Wilde, starring Robert Morley in the title role, Alexander Knox as his defence lawyer Sir Edward Clarke, Ralph Richerdson as the prosecuting counsel, Sir Edward Carson, John Neville as Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas and Edward Chapman as his father, the irascible Marquis of Queensbury, who wasn't happy with his son sleeping with Wilde and outed him by calling him a "somdomite" (sic) and sparking the libel case bought by Wilde that resulted in a win for Queensbury when he was able to call witnesses and defend his allegation as true.
This first film was well received, picking up a three-star out of five "worth watching" rating in the Radio Times Guide to Films, though the 1960 black and white The Trials of Oscar Wilde did rather better with a four star "very good" rating. This starred Peter Finch, whose poignant portrayal of Wilde won him a Bafta, Nigel Patrick as Sir Edward Clarke, James Mason as a hawkish Sir Edward Carson, John Fraser as Lord Alfred Douglas and Lionel Jeffries as Queensbury. Both films had the courtroom drama as the centrepiece with nothing much about Wilde as a person. This was corrected 37 years later with the release of Wilde, which also rated four stars and graphically explored homosexual love with an excellent Stephen Fry in the title role, and an equally excellent Jude Law as a spoilt and unlikeable Bosie. Also memorably good were a luminous Jennifer Ehle as Wilde’s tragic wife, Constance, Tom Wilkinson as Queensbury and Michael Sheen as Robert Ross, his onetime lover and loyal friend to the end.
And it's to the end that The Happy Prince, released last year is dedicated, taking place mostly in Paris where Wilde spent the last few years of his life. The film is an affectionate look at the man, and some of his men, and doesn't shrink from depicting some of the massive lows in his life, not least a deeply moving scene when Wilde is spotted on his way to jail with a policeman at Clapham Junction station and a bunch of high-dressed low-life of both genders amuse themselves by spitting at him. Here Wilde is brilliantly and sensitively portrayed with all his strengths and failings by a man passionate about his subject, Rupert Everett, who admits to a fascination about Wilde from when he was a child and his mother read him The Happy Prince And Other Tales as a bedtime treat.
Since then, in 2012/2013 and again in 2016 Everett played Wilde in the stage play The Judas Kiss. In 2013 he started writing the script for his film and also secured funding for it, directed it and starred in it, along with Edwin Thomas as Robert Ross, Colin Morgan as Bosie, Emily Watson as Constance Wilde (Maiden name LLoyd) and Tom Wilkinson (again) as Father Dunne, the priest who attended Wilde on his deathbed. Also there with Ross and Dunne was Wilde's lifelong friend and fellow author Reggie Turner, played by Colin Firth.
Wilde died of cerebral meningitis on November 30, 1900, aged 46 in room 16 at the dingy and budget priced Hotel d'Alsace in Saint-Germaine-des Pres where he quipped to friends that "I am dying above my means" - he died owing his kindly and patient landlord several months rent, paid two years after his death. And that "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death - one or the other of us has to go" Oscar lost that one but his famous sense of humour passed into history.Many years later it was the wallpaper's turn as the hotel was bought up by a Sainsburys heiress and transformed into L'Hotel, a five star boutique establishment where room 16 has been refurbished and renamed the Oscar Wilde Suite. It is rentable for a night to anyone who doesn't want much change from £1,000, with other rooms at around £350.
Meanwhile The Happy Prince, in spite of some major distributors refusing to show it, has won five stars from critics at the Times, the Guardian, Metro and the Evening Standard but only three stars from the Radio Times critic...
Many other Italian cities have a damaging reputation for rip-offs including Rome and Venice. And nearer to home the Belgian city of Brussels has an eating area where waiters stand outside hustling that tourists are constantly being warned about venturing into.
So it is genuinely sad to conclude that England needs some Florentine attitude after the Young's pub chain started selling cauliflower "steaks" with mushrooms, tamatoes and mashed potato for £14 at their 148 pubs across London and the South East. However they withdrew their offer after critics pointed out that a whole cauliflower, which would supply four or five one-and-a-half-inch thick "steaks" can be had for around 70p, giving an ingredient cost for the main part of the meal of less than 20p, and a huge rip-off profit for Youngs.
Somehow a large fine for ruining the reputation of English pubs would seem to be fair.
Those that have supported it, 40% female the owners say, have enjoyed leaving all their clothes in a cloakroom before enjoying a £44 three-course menu. Also taken off them has been mobile phones so that no-one takes sneaky pictures of other diners to send to friends. Ladies, however can keep their high heels on, thereby feeding a well-known male fantasy...
The objections are coming from Colmore Business Improvement District which represents businesses in the area and who say that "Birmingham's premier business area" and a "sexual entertainment venue" are not a good fit.
The owners of the proposed La Belles have previously successfully made the case that moral objections by some should not override the lawful rights of others to exist.
We are starting an ongoing survey of problems reported to us that organisers have with their use of speakers. Some common examples are listed on our website Please check the ones that you have experienced and add any others not on the list. No identities of anyone contributing to the survey will be revealed and speakers will not be named.
A growing number of comedians with disabilities make an impact on the events business but are very fussy over who they are happy to work for… a cottage in Glencoe is destroyed in a mysterious arson attack… Young's pubs suffer a damaging boycott, with food takings particularly hit… A lap-dancing restaurant where the customers have to strip off to eat is a smash hit in the Colmore business district of Birmingham… and much, much more…
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