Event Organisers Update April 2019 ISSUE 173 - 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.
PLACES TO AVOID
The advice has been given by Michael Burleigh, author of the book Blood and Rage: a Cultural History of Terrorism, who also points out the dangers of getting "caught in the crossfire" or kidnapped for ransom in places with currently high numbers of tourists, like Mexico, where 29,000 murders took place last year, and Brazil, which had 67,000.
Writing in the Daily Mail Burleigh quotes Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson speaking after the rout of IS from its former stronghold in Syria a few weeks ago "We cannot be complacent. They've dispersed, and they'll continue to pose a threat to Britain, and that is why we will remain vigilant".
DORCHESTER BACKLASH GROWS
Accordingly organisers have pulled a number of 2019 events from London's Dorchester Hotel, including the Police Federation's annual bravery awards, the TV Choice magazine's TV Choice awards and the Conservative Party's Spring Launch. In addition Deutsch Bank have forbidden employees to stay at any of the Sultan's hotels and London mayor Sadiq Khan has banned Brunei from advertising on the London Tube.
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON BOYCOTT
These, say the IWGB provide essential services such as cleaning, security and catering and yet fare worse than directly employed staff over such items as sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay and pension contributions. The outsourced workers lodged 54 complaints about discrimination, bullying and harassment in 2017, compared to just two from direct employees.
More than 100 academics, politicians and unions are supporting the boycott, which will be lifted when the UOL makes all staff direct employees.
The service, which launches next month, is charging from £45 for a seat and up to £300 for a superior double room. Featured are en-suite bathrooms, reclining seats, key cards and wi-fi.
SEX ON THE MOORS
Residents of the local Somerset village of Rodhuish (population 293) say that the all-night hedonism arranged by members club Exclusively Silks, operated by an Allen McCloud, is disturbing their sleep as revellers "spill out into the gardens, the pool and the car park with increasingly drunken exchanges - shouting, singing, and even fights".
The Exmoor National Park Authority's planning department say that the hosting represents a change of use, and that they are preparing an enforcement notice.
VAN GOGH AND BRITAIN
It features the three years the Dutch artist was in Britain, 1873-1876, and, along with a few paintings by him (Sunflowers, Starry Night) showcases the works by other artists who inspired him, and the works of artists who were inspired by him, such as Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore, Matthew Smith and Walter Sickert, the last being accused recently, against new scientific evidence, of being Jack the Ripper. Gilman acknowledged his debt to Vincent with a print of his self-portrait on the wall of his studio and his habit before beginning to paint of waving his paintbrush at the print and declaring "A toi Van Gogh!" ("Cheers, Van Gogh!")
Surprisingly, given his huge artistic output, Vincent was an artist for just the last ten years of his troubled life and died of a gunshot wound to his chest in Arles on July 27, 1890. He was only 37 years old. Whilst the popular account was that the wounds were self-inflicted there is evidence, taking the trajectory that the bullet took, that this could not have been a suicide. What is known is that seven months earlier Vincent, on hearing some unwelcome family news, cut off part of his left ear and presented it to his favourite prostitute, who was working in one of the six brothels in the fourteen-building Rue du Bout dArles (Street at the end of Arles) what Vincent called "The street of the kind girls" in 1888. A number of mental breakdowns followed in the months before his death.
Both Starry Night and Sunflowers were painted in Arles, where Vincent painted 200 canvases, with many being his best-known works, in the 15 months he was there.
(Note. See Martin Bailey's excellent book Studio of the South - Van Gogh in Provence)
IRMA LA DOUCE & ONE, TWO, THREE
IRMA LA DOUCE (1963) was released on March 18 and stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in a saucy and sexy farce about the stuttering affair between Lemmon's prissy and principled gendarme, Nestor Patou, and MacLaine's pretty, popular Parisian prostitute, Irma la Douce. (Irma the sweet). In fact as well as sweet, and a love of green stockings, green underwear and a white poodle, Irma does vulnerable manipulatively as she regales clients with a range of tragic sob stories designed to maximise the number of francs they eventually part with for her services.
Nestor, new on the beat around Paris food market Les Halles (created with some brilliant scenery) is shocked by the shameless and brazen way Irma and her colleagues confidently ply their trade and raids the Hotel Casanova where it all happens, arresting the girls. Unfortunately one of the girl's clients happens to be his police chief boss, who fires him, leaving him to drown his sorrows back at local bar Chez Moustache, where the proprietor is known as Moustache,(well played by Lou Jacobi) and has a large one, as well as a fund of fiction about his past life to rival Irma's.
Chez Moustache is the favoured hangout for the girls and their pimps, and Irma's is the ox-like Hippolyte (Bruce Yarnell) who Nestor catches mis-treating Irma to get her to earn him more money. Nestor and Hippolyte then have an hilariously choreographed brawl which rates as some of the funniest slapstick we've seen. Nestor's hard-won victory in this endears him to Irma, who insists he becomes her new pimp, which ultimately does not suit Nestor who has a more romantic arrangement in mind.
As well as rightly winning acclaim for Lemmon and MacLaine Irma la Douce also won an Oscar for its musical score, as did Gigi, Porgy and Bess and My Fair Lady, all created by Andre Previn, who sadly died on February 28 this year. The film was originally seen as a Marilyn Monroe vehicle, with Monroe as Irma, but she died before filming could start, as also happened with Charles Laughton who poignantly rehearsed for the part of Moustache until cancer took him in 1962.
The fast-paced, madcap, Cold-War comedy ONE, TWO, THREE (1961) was released on April 15 and stars James Cagney as C,R. "Mac" MacNamara, a top executive for the Coca-Cola company in West Berlin who is given the unenviable extra job of looking after Scarlett, (Pamela Tiffin) the 17 year old socialite daughter of his boss when she comes to Berlin for a long holiday. Tiffin, described by Wilder as "the biggest find since Audrey Hepburn" was less sure of her acting abilities but the experienced Cagney helped her with advice - "You walk in, plant yourself squarely on both feet, look the other fella in the eye and tell the truth".
This was one of the positive aspects of filming for Cagney who reportedly did not get on with Horst Buckholz, the young European actor who was one of The Magnificent Seven (1960) with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and James Coburn and who plays the Communist agitator, Otto Ludwig Piffl, that Scarlett falls for. According to Cagney "This Horst Buckholz character I truly loathed. Had he kept on with his little scene-stealing didoes I would have been forced to knock him on his ass, which I would have very much enjoyed doing" In the event Wilder intervened and the movie turned out just fine, although Cagney, who also included a visit to the Dachau concentration camp during filming, never acted in anything for 20 years afterwards, till Ragtime in 1981.
As well as Tiffin and Buckholz strong support was provided for Cagney by Arlene Francis as Phyllis, his long-suffering and spirited wife and Liselotte Pulver as Fraulein Ingeborg, his sexy and grabby secretary, among others, but it is not unfair to say that this is Cagney's film. Movie buffs will undoubtedly treasure the moment Cagney threatens someone with half a grapefruit, a reference to his scene in Public Enemy (1931) where he pushes a grapefruit into a woman's face. And those who enjoyed Little Caesar, also 1931 will recall Edward G Robinson's famous last words of gangster Rico in his death scene, echoed and adapted here by Cagney, who on learning that Scarlett is pregnant moans "Mother of mercy. Is this the end of little Rico?".
The music for One, Two, Three was also supplied by Andre Previn and includes Khachaturian's rollicking Sabre Dance whenever the action speeds up, which is often.
After all their selfish actions, supported by a few bonkers celebs and assorted nobodies, have cost many time and money, including our police force which initially supported their right to disrupt, but then realised that they really didn't have any and moved them on, hopefully to grow up, go home and start saving up to pay for the damage.
Now that would be a good result.
This has been done so that victims of such abuse as bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct and other forms are prevented from revealing their experiences, an action that might prevent others from being affected. According to the BBC, which obtained the figures, it was common for those who complained to be harassed out of their jobs and forced to sign the gagging orders by their university's management.
However we do wonder if there's a scraping of the bottom of the barrel in the announced launch by Signature Living of a 42 bedroom Manchester hotel themed around a group of alleged criminals called the Quality Street Gang (Business Desk).
This group allegedly operated in Manchester in the 1960s 1970s and 1980s and in that time no alleged gang members were ever convicted of any serious crime, though rumours circulated about alleged links to the infamous Kray twins from London's East End and alleged involvement with armed robberies in Holland so the whole thing could be hogwash, and not a great theme to base a whole hotel on.
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 swingers club opens at London's Dorchester Hotel as more major events pull out. A spokesperson for the hotel tells the press: "Fortunately these groups are not too fussy where they hold their parties"... Celebrities explain why they don't think it is fair that they should compensate victims of the deliberate disruption they have condoned and supported… Universities and their legal advisors explain why the use of gagging orders is so essential to protect their public image. The Law Society reveals how much their member solicitors have made from the £87 million spent… The 500 bedroom Hotel Corleone opens on London's Park Lane, heralded as "a shrine for all those who think it's cool to celebrate criminality" Management promise a Sicilian Bar serving chokingly strong Gin Garottes, a Godfather Room where guests can kiss the general manager's hand and horses heads left in beds in the suites of complaining guests… and much, much more…
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