Senior Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
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Jul 19, 2012

Strike threats loom over London Games

LONDON (Reuters) – Strikes by train drivers and passport officials threaten major disruptions to the London Olympics, prompting the government to warn unions on Thursday that they risked public anger if the industrial action went ahead.

The Aslef rail union announced on Thursday that 450 of its members in central England would walk out between August 6 and 8 in a dispute over pensions, affecting passengers travelling from cities such as Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby to the capital.

Jul 19, 2012

Olympics-Strike threats loom over London Games

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) – Strikes by train drivers and
passport officials threaten major disruptions to the London
Olympics, prompting the government to warn unions on Thursday
that they risked public anger if the industrial action went
ahead.

The Aslef rail union announced on Thursday that 450 of its
members in central England would walk out between Aug. 6 and 8
in a dispute over pensions, affecting passengers travelling from
cities such as Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby to the capital.

Jul 18, 2012

UK exhibition stresses Shakespeare’s relevance today

LONDON (Reuters) – Anyone wondering whether Shakespeare’s plays are relevant today could do worse than visiting a new exhibition at London’s British Museum dedicated to the “Bard”, and, more importantly, the world in which he lived.

Parallels between the works of Britain’s greatest cultural export, his own tumultuous times and the contemporary world run throughout “Shakespeare: staging the world”, which opens on Thursday in the vaulted, circular Reading Room.

Jul 6, 2012

Art market “miracle” masks a more mixed picture

LONDON (Reuters) – One art publication has likened the record-breaking summer sales just ended in London to walking on water, yet auction houses say there is no miracle behind the headline soaring prices that have defied broader economic gloom.

Three weeks of sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and smaller rivals wound up on Thursday, and while the rarest treasures from the 14th century to the present day were snapped up, plenty of less desirable lots went unsold.

Jul 5, 2012

Fashion, fast cars: show eyes Bond film style legacy

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) – Suave, sophisticated, sexist -
James Bond has meant many things to many people since he first
hit the screen 50 years ago. A new exhibition marking the big
anniversary looks at another side of the fictional secret agent
- his role as trend-setter.

“Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style” opens at London’s
Barbican Centre on Friday and traces the importance of fashion
and design in the 22 official Bond movies released so far.

Jul 4, 2012

UK art show paints dark picture of London today

LONDON (Reuters) – Contemporary artists have big business and social unrest in their sights in a politically charged exhibition that presents a far from flattering picture of Britain, and London in particular, in the run up to the Summer Olympics.

“The London Open”, which opens at the Whitechapel Gallery on Wednesday, comes as the city gears up for the sporting showcase and just weeks after spectacular Diamond Jubilee celebrations marked the queen’s 60th year on the throne.

Jul 4, 2012

British comic actor Eric Sykes dies aged 89

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – Eric Sykes, one of Britain’s
best-loved comedians who forged a career in entertainment by
writing for others, has died, his manager said on Wednesday. He
was 89.

In a career spanning over 50 years he was a regular
collaborator on the popular 1950s radio comedy programme “The
Goon Show” and became a leading personality after starring in
his own television series, “Sykes and a…” in the 1960s.

Jul 3, 2012

Record price for Constable at centre of family feud

LONDON (Reuters) – An important work by British landscape artist John Constable at the centre of a bitter feud within a Spanish aristocratic family sold for 22.4 million pounds ($35 million) at Christie’s on Tuesday, a new auction record for the painter.

“The Lock” is one of a celebrated series of six large-scale canvases that also includes “The Hay Wain”, arguably Constable’s most famous work that hangs in Britain’s National Gallery in London, and had been expected to fetch 20-25 million pounds.

Jul 2, 2012

London play on Iraq aims to get behind the headlines

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – A new play being staged at an
experimental theatre in east London aims to get behind the
headlines and tell the world what it has really been like living
in Iraq before and since the 2003 invasion.

Conceived by Dina Mousawi, the hour-long piece is based on
her experiences as a girl being brought up in Baghdad who later
moved to England at the age of eight.

Jun 28, 2012

Queen’s 10,000 diamonds on display in London

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 10,000 diamonds go on show at London’s Buckingham Palace this week to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, in a dazzling display of gems gathered over the centuries as objects of beauty and symbols of power.

The exhibition, which runs from June 30 to July 8 and then from July 31 to October 7, was designed to coincide with the queen’s diamond jubilee this year, and features jewels she wears regularly at official functions in Britain and abroad.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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