Sunday Salon: Long weekend of culture

The Sunday SalonTim and I have just got back from four days in London. We saw lots of art, mostly photography, hence the new purchases below. I highly recommend the Malick Sidibé exhibition at Somerset House. And I have loved Philippe Halsman’s work ever since being prompted to seek him out after reading a novelisation of his life, called The Jump Artist, five years ago.

But the eagle-eyed will spot that not all the below books are photography-related. We also bought the script of Lazarus, the musical written by David Bowie and Enda Walsh in 2015. The main reason for our trip to London was that my Christmas present to Tim was tickets to the production of Lazarus in London. It’s the Broadway transfer, so we got to see its original star Michael C Hall, AKA TV’s Dexter. That was pretty exciting.

It’s an amazing show, inspired by the novel The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. David Bowie of course starred in the 1970s film adaptation, which I only very vaguely remember from a probably heavily cut late-night TV showing many many years ago. My understanding is that the film is dark and weird. And I’ve never read the book. But I’m pretty sure this musical is darker and weirder.

Lazarus is basically exactly what you’d expect from Bowie. It’s arty, psychologically complex, experimental and packed with great music. I also found it deeply moving, despite not being entirely sure what happened! I highly recommend it. (The current London run ends next week but it’s sold so well I’d be surprised if they don’t bring it back in future.)

We also spent a day in Greenwich, mostly at the observatory, which was interesting but roughly half closed at the moment for refurbishment and the public exhibitions were kinda out of date. Beautiful, historically important place though. And we could have happily explored the park for hours had it not been bitterly cold. Lots of parakeets chirping away in the trees and an excellent view over London. We also nipped into the grounds of the naval college to spot where scenes from Thor: the Dark World were filmed/set. There’s currently a massive filming unit there, working on a period drama we’d guess from the odds and ends we saw. Wonder if we’ll recognise it on cinema screens later this year?

Now we’re home, caught up on Sherlock and putting off unpacking properly until tomorrow. How was your weekend?