Tara Sillery | Samira’s Show | 3rd September at 12:30am

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PR and TV fashion maven, Tara Sillery of PR Passion is live on Samira’s Show tomorrow night. The Californian TV show, is an award winning International TV Show which reaches 5.6 million TV households in Los Angeles alone.

Tara will be on the show to discuss her role in the Middle East and fashion career to date, plus what it is like dressing celebrities, and being a leading fashion spokesperson and designers muse in the Middle East.

We’ll also get to hear about some of Tara’s designers from the region, where she will be highlighting the latest talented designers.

Definitely not to be missed! I personally cannot wait!

Watch live here at: http://samirashow.com/watch-live/

Nickolas Grace: Tell Me Candidely | Part Two

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This is the second instalment of the exclusive Nickolas Grace Interview. You can read Part One here too.
Part One

What Now
“Ironically, I failed Spanish A level. I rang Vanessa and asked if I could come and talk to her. I didn’t get my 3 A levels. She said well you’ve got to apply to all of the drama schools. I said but they are all full now, it’s almost August.”
‘Never mind she said You must write to them all.’
“So I did. Cutting a long story short, Royal Central had one vacancy, and offered me an audition if I wanted it.
“I went along on whatever day and there were about fifty other people, then it got down to twenty and then down to ten, and then two. It was me and this incredibly handsome boy, and I thought well at least I can say I nearly got in and this really handsome boy did. By the end of the afternoon they said right, Nickolas Grace come down to room E, and I waited and waited and no one came so I thought god why can’t they just tell me. So I crept into the office and said ‘Excuse me, I’m Nickolas Grace and I’ve been waiting’ they went ‘ what did you say your name was?’ I said again ‘Nickolas Grace’ she went ‘ oh you are in, you’re in, sorry we forgot to come and tell you’.
“Three years later I finished college and the head of the school asked me, ‘Do you remember your audition?’ I said ‘Well how could I forget?!’ He said ‘Do you remember there was a classically handsome boy that auditioned with you?’ I said ‘Yes’. He went on ‘Well he’s Helmut Berger and he’s a bit of a film star now’. So I was a lucky boy to get in but I thought if I hadn’t maybe I’d have been a film star too.
“Getting into Central was my dream. It’s where Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, Vanessa Redgrave, Julie Christie had all gone. So getting in and doing three years there was fantastic. I was very very lucky.”

Proud Parents
“Yes they was proud, but they didn’t like to show it. My Mum told me that when any visitors come round, dad would say, ‘have you seen this bit from Brideshead Revisited, Robin of Sherwood, or Col Porter, look at this look at this etc…'”
“When he came to see me in my show I did in the west end in 1991, he came secretly to a matinee because he didn’t want to come backstage. He was proud of me but he couldn’t come round to me and say ‘fantastic’. He was a bit scared of showing his emotions. I’m one of four: a very happy family, and always secure.”

Lights, Camera, Action
“Well my first job funnily enough was at Frinton in Essex. The joke always was if you can act, you’ll go straight into films or telly. And if you can’t act you’ll go ito weekly rep at Frinton-on-Sea in Essex. So Lynda Bellingham and I got offered Frinton on Sea weekly rep. Oh god. Haha. But it was the best job in the world because you’d just spent three years studying hard doing dancing, movement, voice. having to learn a play a week was putting everything into practice. So it was great. When we got there, feeling a little bit low, we looked on the big board in the Women’s Institute Hall which is where the summer theatre was, and it said previous members of the Frinton Theatre company included Julie Christie, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Dennison, so we thought, that’s not bad. We had a great summer. Then I went into rep in Manchester.”

Role Models
“It started from aged eight when I saw Sir Michael Redgrave play Hamlet. Also seeing Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir Alec Guinness. Alec Guinness was a great character actor. They were my heroes as a school boy before I went to Central. Seeing Vanessa Redgrave at Stratford playing Rosalind. It was an incredible production. It made her a star. She was beautiful. I always remember her being this stunning girl. So both she and her father inspired me. Also because at that time, Redgrave was one of our most versatile actors. He could do the classics. He was – very famous Richard II and Hamlet. Then I saw him in a farce, ‘Out Of Bounds’ in the West End and I thought I want to be as versatile as that.”
“Then I saw Olivier at the National Theatre and I realised he probably was the greatest actor of his generation. Because he could do the lot. He was incredible.
“I was lucky enough after drama school and Rep to get into The Royal Shakespeare Company, there was Dame Eileen Atkins playing Rosalind, Sir Alan Bates playing ‘Petruchio’, and many other great actors. I was very very lucky.”

 

Part three coming soon.

 

THE ART OF THE HORSE PRIVATE SALES EXHIBITION

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EQUESTRIAN ART ACROSS THE AGES
SHANGHAI 21-30 October 2014
HONG KONG 21-25 November 2014

Shanghai / Hong Kong – Christie’s is proud to announce The Art of the Horse, a ground-breaking cross-departmental private sales exhibition to be showcased in Shanghai and Hong Kong this fall at the culmination of the Chinese Year of the Horse. Coinciding with the grand opening of Christie’s new Shanghai headquarters at the Ampire Building (21-30 October), and shown at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (21-25 November), at the time of the Hong Kong autumn sales, the exhibition features highly important works exploring the portrayal and symbolism of the horse from diverse cultures across the ages. This unique show comprises over 50 works from a broad range of collecting categories, from paintings, drawings and photographs to sculpture, jade and jewellery, with a total value of over US $30 million. Incorporating the best of Chinese and international artists, from Antiquities to Post-War and Contemporary Art, The Art of the Horse offers a fascinating insight into how different cultures have engaged and connected with this beguiling creature through artistic expression.

http://www.christies.com/

Nickolas Grace: Tell Me Candidely | Part One

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This is the first of a four part interview with the legendary Nickolas Grace.
From playing Albert Einstein in Dr Who to the Spanish poet, Federico García Lorca. The versatile actor and director is probably most loved and remembered for his roles as the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham Robert de Rainault and the flamboyant Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited.

Nickolas shares some of his memorable achievements to date with the readers of Public Description in his own honest, humble and warm hearted style.

 

Where It All Began

“I’m one of those boring people that knew I always wanted to be an actor right from when I was little. Some background quickly. All my family are from Liverpool. Liverpudlian. So I love to pretend I’m Liverpudlian. But I’m not. Paul McCartney calls me a ‘Plastic Scouser’ because I was born posh. Which means over the water. I was born on the Wirral which is across the Mersey. But all my family are from Liverpool so I like to think of myself as Liverpudlian and I love going back up there.”

“As a kid my parents would take me to pantomimes, and I learned to read with Thomas The Tank Engine, books so I remember thinking ‘oh I want to be an engine driver’.

“Then they took me to pantomimes. I used to love those pantomime people.
I remember ‘Cinderella’ and Buttons. Buttons was wearing this beautiful blue suit.

“Then when I was 8, I was taken to Stratford upon Avon to see my first Shakespeare and it was Sir Michael Redgrave (Vanessa Redgrave’s dad) playing Hamlet. I just thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Apparently I got up and said to my elocution teacher ‘That’s smashing’ and she went ‘SSHHH!!!!!’ That was the combination that made me want to act.

“My mum and dad always encouraged me. My dad when we were living in Chester built me a small theatre at the top of the house and wrote me plays. My two passions at school were rowing and acting.”

Acting Dynasty

“I do have a connection with the film business. My great grandfather, on my father’s side, built some of the first cinemas in Liverpool. The cinema chain was called Empress Cinemas. No longer there sadly. Thomas Halliwell Hughes was his name and my dad idolised him. I can vaguely remember him as a little boy though, just this shadowy figure.”

“When I performed Bernstein’s ‘Candide’ with the Liverpool Philharmonic, someone in the chorus came up to me and said ‘I used to know your great grandfather, I worked for him in one of his cinemas’. I was very proud.”

 

First Lesson in Fighting

“When we moved down to Essex the only school that would accept my scholarship was called Forest in Snaresbrook, and they wouldn’t let me be in the school play, because I was a day boy and only boarders could be in the play. I felt it was ridiculous. That was my first lesson in fighting really. I remember saying to dad, well I can’t stay here because I’m not allowed to act, and he said well you have to start your own group then don’t t you. I thought of course I have.”

“So I started a group for the day boys. I went to the Headmaster and asked him and he said, yes. Then I wrote to Sir Michael Redgrave and asked if I could start
The Redgrave Society. No reply. After about fifteen letters I eventually got a reply written in red biro, saying:

‘Dear Nickolas Grace,
I suppose I am head of the clan. Yes I give you permission to start the Redgrave Society’.

“Then I went straight to Vanessa, because I was secretly in love with her, and said:

‘Dear Vanessa,

Your dad has given me permission to start the Redgrave Society, will you please be Patron, and she said I would love to be. When can I come and work with you at school?’

“I went back to the headmaster and told him that Sir Michael Redgrave had given me permission to start The Redgrave Society. He looked very surprised, and said ‘oh good’.

“I put up a notice on the school notice board saying, The Redgrave Society, patrons, Sir Michael Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave. We probably had about 20 members at 15p a time to start with.

“When Vanessa said she would come and work with the society, I put up a notice on the board, saying ‘Vanessa Redgrave talks to The Redgrave Society’. Members only, please sign underneath. Overnight we had 500 boys, including boarders. If they wanted to join, I let them. I didn’t mind.
“I got girls in as well even though it was a boys school, I didn’t want boys playing girls parts, so I asked if I could write to all the headmistresses of all the local schools in Essex. Woodford, Loughton, Leyton, I wrote to them all.
“They all asked me to go and see them. Some of them were a little bit protective of their girls. In the first play we did, in the first year, we got one girl from Leyton County and the next year we got four or five and the year I left we got about five or six. So of course the guys wanted to join because there were girls in the society. A lot of the school masters were upset that I had brought girls into the school. I had broken the rules. Hooray!
“Years later when I told Sir Cameron Mackintosh, he said: ‘You should have been a fucking producer, Grace, not an actor!’”

 

Part two to follow soon…

New York Daybreaker

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Daybreaker is fast becoming a global event. Originating from New York, it is an early morning club scene which is creating quite a buzz. Instead of going to the gym or a run in Central Park the cool kids are delivering their best moves on the dance floor where ever the Daybreaker event is being held at the time.

Maybe it’s time for us to all switch up our partying ideas and give the early hours one whilst stone cold sober a shot.

dybrkr.com

GILBERT & GEORGE: SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for London

White Cube Bermondsey

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This will be the first opportunity to view more than 60 new pictures by Gilbert & George and a new large-scale work by Rachel Kneebone. Gilbert & George will be present and will be in conversation with writer and critic Michael Bracewell.

‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for London’ by Gilbert & George and ‘399 Days’ by Rachel Kneebone runs from 18 July – 28 September 2014

 

Getting Personal with Valentine Guinness

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Elle caught up with the multi talented playwright and singer Valentine Guinness shortly after the stage reading of his upcoming new play ‘Christine’ at The Tristan Bates Theatre, directed by Nickolas Grace.

Read on to learn about Valentines’ latest projects and what has been keeping him so busy:

 

How did you first get started into becoming a playwright?

I was always interested in drama when I was at school. I did a lot of acting in those days. I kind of had a choice, when I was at college, whether to go down the drama line or carry on with my singing and song writing. Somehow it felt that it was almost too much to do both at the same time.

While I was at Uni, I had a band and we actually got a record deal, and it was all looking very very good so I thought that was going to be my future. I did that for a while, but then the band I was in broke up as they often do. After a while everyone starts arguing, ha-ha, so I thought well, what am I going to do. So I had always wanted to try my hand at writing drama so I just sat down and I said to myself I am not going to do what I did with the music which is try to please people. I am not going to sit down and try and write a play that is just going to please the critics. I’m saying to myself if I went to the theatre, would I enjoy this. Would I feel I had spent my money wisely on this? So I wrote Helping Harry it was a few years back now in 2001.

I believe Nickolas Grace was involved with Helping Harry?

In those days, I lived in Bayswater and I knew he was a neighbour of mine, I had got to know him and I was always a great fan of Nickolas Grace from his old days in Robin Hood and Brideshead Revisited. I was a bit star struck actually. So I used to bump into him in the newsagents and we got chatting, and knew that alongside his acting, he also taught at Drama College. So I thought the first person who I am going to get to read this play is NG as I am sure he will give me an honest opinion and he was really nice about it. So we started work on it, we sat on many occasions going through it, and he helped me a lot change it and cut it. Then we did a rehearsed reading at The Tristan Bates Theatre, and Harold Pinter (the playwright) came to see it. A bit scary and he wrote me a letter to say how much he really enjoyed it. So all really happy with that, so then NG and I went ahead and produced it. We put it on for a month at the Jermyn Theatre. We got amazing reviews for the entire month.

Unfortunately we couldn’t extend it, because in those sorts of theatres, you have taken your month and someone is coming in immediately after. So NG and I tried to transfer it to a bigger theatre in the west end, but that is a very difficult thing to do. Ass what you now have to do to transfer something into the west end, is you have to get a major film or TV star in it, especially if you are an unknown writer. So it is a difficult one as the theatre owners and the producers will say we can’t sell this unless we have a household name in it. It’s annoying.

So this play Christine has been knocking around in my head for some time, and so last year I said to myself I really want to knock this together so I got together with NG again.

Christine is based on these four characters that have run away from their life, and find each other; not really a refuge but it is still a very claustrophobic existence. I based it a little, on my summer holidays that I used to spend in North East Spain region. It was sort of the end of the line and one of those places that all these wandering people turn up to and never leave.

What else has been keeping you busy?

Well, I wrote the screen play of George Orwell’s novel, Burmese Days which I got the permission from the estate to do. So I have spent a lot of time on that. It is still yet to be made but my screen play is out there if anyone wants to make it.

Then there is of course the band I am in with Loyd Grossman. The New Forbidden. I have been very busy with the band, so the play writing has at times gone on the back burner.

Another thing I am in the middle of doing is, I am working with Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey) on a television series which we are trying now to get commissioned by one of the broadcasters, and it is called Love Lessons. It is based on my aunt Joan Wyndham. My aunty was a 19yr old during the 2nd WW living in Central London and she wrote these fantastically funny diaries of what it was like being that age, just between a teenager and a woman, and growing up when the war started, and the bombs started falling and everyone was being taken off to war. But the stories are warm and funny. Its light comedy but all true.

She had a journal under her bed, and lived with her mum just off of Fulham road. One of her comments from her journals was ‘I wonder if I am going to lose my virginity first or get killed by a bomb’.

She hanged out with painters, and sculptors, and disreputable people, bohemian, and they all tried to seduce her one by one. It’s a very funny but heart-warming story.

Joan, rebelled against her strict catholic upbringing and led this fun bohemian lifestyle

She died in 2007, but I had already started working on it with her. I used to sit in her kitchen, and talk through her journals which I knew better than she did as she hadn’t read them in quite a long time.

I approached Julian Fellows as I felt he was just the person to do this justice, and I gave him the book which he took with him on holiday and Julian told me he laughed out loud the whole time he was reading it. So that’s a good sign.

I am also releasing a solo album this year, if there wasn’t enough to do. The album has been done with this fantastic producer Geoffrey Haslam who also worked with us on the band. The style with be much more introverted, slower, romantic and more acoustic which we would never do in the band. So I got together with Geoff and we put nine of mine and 2 other tracks and recorded them. A few of the tracks are from my old bands which I thought were too good to leave behind. Geoff has been fantastic and he has produced it so beautifully.

So the track we are putting out as it were is called ‘Good Morning London’. Next month we are going to do a video of it and You Tube it. It’s a happy summer song and we are going to try and make an interesting video to go with it ha-ha.

I’m also working on a sitcom. It’s in the early stages. Basically based on me ha-ha. What I have done over the past years is I have collected every strange incident that has happened to me and there has been a few and I have written these down. I thought the character in the show his son would be in a terrible bad. So we have written a pilot of that. I think it might work.

So there’s a lot bubbling around.

So tell me more about The New Forbidden?

Well we were very lucky as we have been invited to play back at Glastonbury for the 4th time this year. We have such a great time there. We started off with very low expectations.

How would you describe the music genre?

We are not a punk band. It’s fast guitar rock, with catchy tunes. Our influence is Lou Reed, even The Killers. I have two daughters and at first they were worried dad would embarrass them, but they started listening to our music and playing our stuff to their friends so they then had to admit it was alright ha-ha.

Describe your musical influence?

I grew up listening to The Doors, the Velvet underground, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. Then in the 80’s when I was in my 20’s I guess I was really into The Smiths. I thought their song writing was excellent. But now I am really into The Killers.

Where was your first live gig with The New Forbidden?

We did quite a few warm up acts before our big one in Blackpool. So our first live gig together as a band was on Friday 13th June called, so I will never forget the date, at The 12 bar club in Denmark Street. It was absolutely packed, but it’s not very difficult to pack The 12 bar club ha-ha.

When producing music, where do you get your inspiration?

I have stacks of lyric ideas which I will either scribble down, and then I will then just pick up the guitar and leaf through the sheet of lyrics and try one of them to a guitar sequence. Sometimes you go down a dead end, and an hour later, you say to yourself, ‘no, I’ll try again tomorrow’ ha-ha, but sometimes suddenly there’s the chorus and the title. I usually start with the title and work backwards.

You have so much going on, how do you prioritise all of this?

I have always run my life as if I was at school and you had to write an essay, and you always do it at the last minute ha-ha. It’s probably not such a good idea to think about it all of the time. Just concentrate on one thing a day.

Yourself and the band are crazily busy but do you think there might be an opportunity for an interview and for you to perform live at the Phoenix FM studios in Brentwood?

Definitely. Loyd and I could definitely come down. An interview definitely.

Thank you for kindly sitting for this interview and we wish you much success with all your projects.

The New Forbidden

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