CAUGHT a preview of the Runyon based musical sensation, Guys and Dolls at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, last night.
‘Never Been in Love Before,’ as if sung for the first time, pure and smooth, by Abiona Omonua, a first half sensation and ensemble number,’Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat,’ brought the house down as finale.
A co-production with Talawa Theatre Company, with their director Michael Buffong and choreography from Kenrick “H20” Sandy, relocates the fabulous show to up-town New York with all the creative excitement of the “Harlem Renaissance”.
Running from 2 Dec – 27 Jan 2018, the companies have a hit on their jazz hands!
Suzy Menkes and her sparky writing, don’t you just love her?
Currently saying, “As the fashion carousel spins ever faster, the concern is that, while the stream of newness never runs out, there’s going to be a good deal more crash and burn among designers in the future.”
Although she’s a complete oracle, I can’t help feeling she’s a bit over anxious at the moment.
It’s sweet Suzy’s concerned for the artistry and creativity of it all. But Industry, including Fashion, is not just about making people, who can afford the products, more democratic. It’s about providing ever more opportunities to create, innovate, and sell: making everyone part of the process.
What we are currently seeing is an inventive work-force keeping up with changing technologies. Sarah Burton, especially, as a woman designer is an example of democracy in progress. Trained alongside Alexander McQueen she’s able to keep his legacy going with her professional team, and their devoted followers, working with new chances to enchant us. If only Prince George had been a girl they’d have had the perfect collection to conjure with!
Tim Berners-Lee chose to name his universal computer platform, the ‘world wide web,‘ and opened up, more than just, the mathematically most enormous communications system. He involved us with feminine notions of weaving and webs!
We can no longer survive without connections, passing references, most importantly, irony. We need to know other things – the back story.
So to really enjoy the Audrey Hepburn Galaxy chocolate ad we have to be devoted fans of ‘Roman Holiday,’ (1953) ‘Sabrina’ (1954) and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). We should see the ‘Galaxy’ recreations as homage to William Wilder, Blake Edwards and their production teams.
Scenes with Vespa scooters, open air produce markets, immediately evoke Greg Peck’s life in ‘Roman Holiday’; the chauffeur and the open top car, the lives of the Larabee brothers in ‘Sabrina,’ the music, ‘Moon River’ – ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’
The ‘Framework’ crew worked tirelessly to recreate the actress’s smile, with a team of four hand-animating, carefully, posed expressions in every shot. Yet as CG VFX Supervisor, Simon French, explains: “It is amazing how unique and how recognisable a person’s smile is. When you see it in this detail, it really needs to look perfect.”
No film fan would think they had captured the spirit, the nuances, associated with the actress, but as a paid-for promotional vehicle it’s certainly absorbing.
And so, the clever team at ‘Framework,’ creating the Audrey Hepburn, ‘Galaxy’ ad, couldn’t help catching some of the star’s charisma to entice us to their shiny firmament. Yes, and of course, there’s a ‘but’ coming! What happened was that Marketing won out over Cinema Art for this technological miracle.
Why did they include, ‘Why have cotton, when you can have silk?’ No connections, whatsoever, with Hollywood or Hepburn! Separating Mars chocolate from competitors bars was unnecessary, here. Surely just having us identify with the the pleasure, the sophistication, the fun attached to Hepburn’s most successful movies is enough.
When I meet Luca Dotti at the V&A, in a celebration of his mother’s work, next week, it will not be a good idea to discuss all this Media muddle with him. So I’m back with the poets saying, ‘had we but world enough and time…..