The Koreans Are Coming

 The face of musical theatre in London is set to change as a Korean theatre company arrives in the city next month to perform an epic spectacular that fuses Eastern and Western cultures.
The Hyundai Theatre Company performed ‘Another Sun’ in New York last year on the anniversary of 9/11 and it is due to play in London, on August 27 and 28 with three free performances.
Musician and conductor Joseph A Baker, who first worked on Broadway with David Cassidy in Blood Brothers, and whose credits include Wicked, Lion King and Starlight Express, says he has never been so excited about a musical production.

Joseph, who is the show’s musical conductor, is working alongside Another Sun’s Korean director Kim, Jin Young, and production supervisor Jeff Markowitz, who like Joseph boasts impressive Broadway credentials.
The orchestra will include traditional Korean musical instruments such as the Daegum and Haegum that will give the production a unique sound for Western audiences and the dance scenes will reflect Korean martial arts fused with the best of Broadway.
Joseph A Baker said: “When I started on this project in Seoul I didn’t know anything about Korean audiences. I found they were sophisticated and they want genuine feelings and emotions in the play, not something overdone and fake.
“What Hyundai Theatre Company has done is to knock down the walls of the traditional musical, such as Phantom of the Opera, and to bring a new merger of Western and Asian philosophies into one stunning piece.
“The work of all the various departments that come together to create a musical: lighting, set design, videography, choreography, costume design, musicians, actors and backstage crew are equal to any other theatre company in the world and certainly the equal of Broadway.
“The fact the musical is based on Korean history made it easier for me because here was something uniquely Korean I could add to, not have to build from scratch! I was able to learn about traditional Korean music and give it a slight variation so it sounds neither too Western nor too modern.”
Another Sun is scored by Jah Eun Lee, arranged and conducted by Joseph A. Baker with veteran Korean actor Kim, Sung-Won, playing the lead role of Dangun, with the mythical Goddess Mago character played by Woo, Sang-Min.
Another Sun will be performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre at 8pm on Friday, August 27, and at 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Saturday, August 28.

Wedge Wellies For Theo

 Fashion footwear entrepreneurs from Hull – the WedgeWelly Family, received a whopping £65,000 investment from the formidable retail guru Theo Paphitis in exchange for a 25 per cent share of the business, as witnessed on BBC Two Dragons’ Den.

WedgeWelly Ltd is the world leader in practical yet fashionable wellies for women, they are stylish, colourful and include a patented wedge heel. Every WedgeWelly is made with fashion and comfort in mind and the idea was the brainchild of company directors Mike and Sarah Longthorn and Laura Booth. All visited the V Festival together two years ago and decided that a 2½ inch heel provided the precise comfort and elevation needed to enjoy a field-based event.

The company obtained a Design Registration for Europe and UK Trademark, which means that they have design rights to the wedge feature in welly-style boots.

Theo Paphitis said, “I found the enthusiastic team at Wedge Welly an inspiration and believe that the business has great potential. When making an investment, the people are more important than the product. The great benefit in this case is that they also have a very exciting product that is well-designed to be both practical and stylish.”

Each boot design has been rigorously road tested and has received critical acclaim from fashion conscious festival goers nationwide who want colourful style combined with comfort. The WedgeWelly boot is the company’s flagship product and comes in two styles – WedgeWelly Unique (the standard fit boot) and WedgeWelly Curve (offering a wider fitting).

The WedgeWelly Family impressed all five Dragons but it was Theo’s deal that won.

Sarah Longthorn, WedgeWelly’s Managing Director (a.k.a. The WISE One) said, “We were overwhelmed with the response we received from the Dragons and we are delighted to receive Theo’s offer. He was always our first choice of investor due to his comprehensive expertise in the retail arena and we consider it an honour to have him on board.”

For more information about WedgeWelly Ltd please visit Wedge Welly

Pup Aid With Liam Gallagher

Oasis lead-singer Liam Gallagher signed a classic Epiphone Casino guitar with All Saints wife Nicole Appleton, their Dachshund 'Ruby Tuesday' and TV vet Marc Abraham in the Gibson Guitar Showroom in Central London to launch PUP AID 2010 - the UK's first charity boutique music festival and fun celebrity-judged dog show.

PUP AID 2010 - taking place in Brighton on Sept 19th - aims to raise awareness about the cruel industry of puppy farming - basically the battery farming of dogs in the UK purely for profit.
Marc, who’s the resident vet on ITV's This Morning and Sky1's My Pet Shame, commented: "As a massive Oasis fan I'm honoured Liam and Nicole are involved and helping me to promote dog welfare as well as raising much-needed funds for both rescue and the research into the health and happiness of all dogs."
Marc advises that: "People looking for a dog should always approach the Kennel Club for their list of Accredited Breeders or consider adopting from a rescue shelter instead. Never buy pups online, from pet shops or free newspaper ads, as these are usually farmed pups which - if they survive the first few days - will often develop severe behavioural and/or medical problems that can often be both impossible and expensive to fix - leading to pain and suffering as well as family heartbreak. Always insist on seeing the pup interacting with it's mother and beware of scams. Please remember that you may think you're 'rescuing' the pup - but its mother's still suffering and now must produce another pup you've just made room for."

This uniquely signed Epiphone Casino guitar will now do a tour of the festivals to gain even more legendary dog-loving signatures and will finally be auctioned at the PUP AID 2010 event with monies raised going to Dogs Trust, Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and Oldies Club - a small charity dedicated to the re-homing of older unwanted dogs.
To register for updates about the auction of the guitar, for more information about PUP AID 2010 and to book your tickets visit The Pet

Cézanne’s Card Players

Paul Cézanne’s famous paintings of peasant card players and pipe smokers have long been considered to be among his most iconic and powerful works. This landmark exhibition, organised by The Courtauld Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, will be the first to focus on this group of masterpieces. Described by Cézanne’s early biographer, Gustav Coquiot, as being “equal to the most beautiful works of art in the world”, this will be a unique opportunity to enjoy these remarkable paintings in unprecedented depth. The exhibition will bring together the most comprehensive group of these works ever staged, including three of the card player paintings, five of the most outstanding peasant portraits and the majority of the exquisite preparatory drawings, watercolours and oil studies.
The first mention of the card player series comes in 1891 when the writer Paul Alexis visited Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence and found the artist painting a local peasant from the farm on his estate, the Jas de Bouffan. A number of different farm workers came to sit for him during these years, often smoking their clay pipes. They included an old gardener known as le père Alexandre and Paulin Paulet, who posed as the figure seated on the left in The Card Players, a task for which he was paid five francs. Cézanne’s depictions of card players would prove to be one of his most ambitious projects and occupied him for several years. It resulted in five closely related canvases of different sizes showing the men seated at a rustic table playing cards, including versions from The Courtauld Gallery, the Metropolitan Museumand the Musée d’Orsay. Alongside these he produced a larger number of paintings of the individual farm workers who appear in the card player compositions, major examples of which will be reunited from the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, together with The Courtauld’s Man with a Pipe.