Just out – the debut album of young jazz drummer Corrie Dick, a Trinity Laban alumnus and a regular at Oliver’s in Greenwich. The album, titled Impossible Things, has eight tracks, all composed by Corrie and performed by him and some of Britain’s finest young jazz musicians. Five of the tracks are terrific. The other three – Soar, Annamarrakech and Don’t Cry – as sensational. In fact the whole album is impossibly brilliant. Buy it at https://corriedick.bandcamp.com/album/impossible-things
A great start to the new season of Greenwich Dance and Trinity Laban’s Compass Commissions.
Dan Daw, one of the world’s foremost disabled dancers, was amazing as he bared body and soul in Beast at the Borough Hall. Choreographed by Martin Forsberg, this was a work of such emotional intensity that I, in common with the rest of the audience, was left exhausted, elated – and overwhelmed by the courage of Daw’s uncompromising approach.
Two weeks later, at Laban Theatre, Us Then was an intriguing investigation of symbiosis. Creators/dancers Sarah Dowling and Kath Duggan took Waiting For Godot as their inspiration and gave us a work of warmth and wit in which humanity’s strengths, weaknesses and folly were writ large. It also had some really good theatrical jokes.
If Beast and Us Then are anything to go by, this new season of commissions is going to be a humdinger.
Looking for a Christmas show suitable for all the family? There are two that promise to be absolute crackers in and around Greenwich. Andrew Pollard is celebrating his tenth festive season at Greenwich Theatre (greenwichtheatre.org.uk) with his take on Red Riding Hood, which is bound to be the usual uproarious mixture of songs, dance, jokes and adlibs. It runs from Nov 20 to Jan 10. Down the road in Deptford, the Albany (thealbany.org.uk) is putting on Raymond Briggs’ classic The Bear from Dec 7 to Jan 3. The production features a huge, white-furred, black-tongued animal puppet. Tickets to both shows are selling fast, so book yours now.
Much-loved Greenwich jazz spot Oliver’s (oliversjazzbar.co.uk) continues to attract the cream of Europe’s young musicians. In the next couple of weeks or so it plays host to two brilliant guitarists – Maciek Pysz from Poland on Nov 20 and Nick Meier from Switzerland on Nov 28 – and Italian virtuoso pianist Marco Marconi on Dec 11. The basement setting is as intimate and atmospheric as a jazz venue should be and the bar offers an extensive range of drinks as reasonable prices. Check it out.
There are five superlative art shows in London at the moment and all of them run into the new year. Frank Auerbach’s paintings at Tate Britain (tate.org.uk) prove he really is this country’s greatest living artist. Goya: The Portraits at the National Gallery (nationalgallery.org.uk) is unmissable. Here is a man who truly changed the whole direction of painting. Thanks to works by artists living under despotic regimes in eastern Europe and South America in the 1960s, The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern (tate.org.uk) reveals pop art to have been politically astute, not just a bit of baby-boomer froth. John Hoyland’s Power Station Paintings at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery (newportstreetgallery.com) provide an almost visceral experience as you walk between pictures drenched in colours that seem to glow. And The Amazing World Of MC Escher at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk) is a must for anyone with a taste for mind-boggling puzzles, supreme draughtsmanship and the bizarre. What a time to be living in the capital!
Trinity Laban guitarist Joseph enraptured an audience at the Old Royal Naval College chapel in Greenwich with a fascinating programme of largely contemporary classical music, the highlight of which was his rendition with South Korean cellist Catherine Lee of a work by 20th century Brazilian composer Radames Gnatelli. These Tuesday/Friday lunchtime concerts in the riverside complex’s beautiful chapel are always terrific and are listed at trinitylaban.ac.uk/whats-on and ornc.org – and, of course, in The Greenwich Visitor (thegreenwichvisitor.com)