So Long, Long Summer - 7 Things We Loved This Summer

So Long, Long Summer – 7 Things We Loved This Summer

Talk of an Indian Summer aside, it looks like this long, glorious summer of 2014 has finally drawn to an end…

The leaves are changing colour, the nights are getting longer and cooler, and the BBQ’s are being put into storage.

By our reckoning, it’s been a stonking summer – even those storms were pretty ace! We’ve taken a look back over the last few balmy months, and here are 7 of our Summer 2014 highlights…

tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs

Our summer finished on a high in the beautiful setting of Portmeirion, as we experienced the kooky, chilled out charms of Festival No.6 for the first time.

Whilst London Grammar, Beck & Pet Shop Boys wowed the main stage, music highlights for us were definitely tUnE-yArDsLove L.U.V., Arthur BeatriceTom Vek and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, not to mention Badly Drawn Boy’s set on a beautiful, intimate stage in the woods.

The Central Piazza, Portmeirion

The Central Piazza, Portmeirion

Elsewhere, Viv Albertine, of British punk band The Slits, gave an inspirational talk about her life in promotion of her autobiography Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys; beatboxer Shlomo wowed the crowds basking in the sunlight down in the Central Piazza, as did the musical comedy stylings of the inimitable John Shuttleworth.

And if all that wasn’t enough, Portmeirion itself proved an awesome setting for a festival. The bizarre village has to be seen to be believed, and a walk through the woods to the lighthouse was rewarded with one of the prettiest views in Wales. We’ll be back!

Shunt’s The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face was an impressive immersive, promenade-style performance piece. From a Charlie & The Chocolate Factory-esque corridor at the beginning, to a final ‘scene’ of a singing, guitar-noodling man in a dress (mostly), via a series of episodes that test all of your senses – The Boy… was challenging but rewarding performance art, creatively staged and executed with conviction.

Once again, we spent a good chunk August gallivanting around Edinburgh, seeking out the finest fringe frolics to recommend to you, our dear readers…

FIVE STAR highlights included cabaret tour-de-force Amy G, Katie O’Brien’s edgy, brave character comedy vehicle Billie Was Tap Dancing for the Seagulls, actor-illusionist-inventor Geoff Sobelle’s The Object Lesson, and our favourite act of the fringe (if not the year), Tina T’urner Tea Lady.

The third Elephant And The Nun boasted an eclectic programme of events in the redeveloped Burgess Park.

South London seems to excel at these community events – Lewisham People’s Day has long been a favourite of ours, and Brockwell Park hosts the Lambeth Country Show. Whilst all the talk tends to be about the Notting Hill Carnival, community spirit has a lot to say for itself south of the river, and we only hope that events like Elephant And The Nun – showcasing an eclectic mix of music, theatre, comedy, sport and dance – continue to thrive.

The arrival of The Four Quarters – the latest addition to the thriving creative community in Peckham – continued what we like to call the Peckhaissance.

Offering a mash-up of classic arcade games, craft beer, tasty food, music and events, The Four Quarters is certainly not your average bar or café – the owners have a huge passion for craft beer and classic arcade games, and preside over a series of film screenings & games tournaments whilst serving up not just a fine selection of booze, but also great food & coffee.

Cheeky, playful, dangerous and sexy, A Simple Space was a jaw-dropping spectacle of a show, from a group of extraordinarily talented performers!

A thrilling, breathtaking display of quick hands, strong muscles and lithe, limber bodies hurtling around the stage, building to a glorious crescendo – as they got their breath back to take their bow, our only question was how 60 minutes can fly by so fast?

Dogfight, at the Southwark Playhouse, was a heartfelt musical stuffed full of next generation talent & gorgeous songs.

The show packed in the punches with an exquisitely performed score (think Hairspray + Grease with soul) including a beautiful strings section. This coming of age of musical featured some supreme heavyweight talent and was a must-see for fans of new musicals everywhere!

Stuart Wilson

About 

I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like: nice pubs, film marathons, not doing real marathons, bad comedy, plays/musicals with shorter second halves, and the Oxford comma.