Shepherds – London’s Artisan Bookbinder

Thirty years ago, a friend showed me a book given to him by his sister, a silversmith and bookbinder. It was an old volume of Coleridge’s ‘The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’, which she had bound it in soft, matt, black leather. The hide was carefully pinched and puckered to represent the ocean and an inlaid solid silver albatross hovered above the waves. I will never forget that book. The look, the feel and the smell of it will stay with me as long as I live and I can only describe my feelings towards my friend’s precious gift as pure envy. So it was with the glee and awe of a child in a sweet factory that I arrived at Shepherds for a tour of their Rochester Row workshop with Bindery Director, Alison Strachan, as my guide.

Theatre of the Damned

We all love a good ghost story, don’t we? But why? What makes us eager to be drawn into a well-told yarn of the unknown, to have the living daylights scared out of us? You may find clues in a play that is running at Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre: The Ghost Hunter, staged by Theatre of the Damned. A pilot version at the Tristan Bates in January so impressed the Artistic Directors that they invited Theatre of the Damned to stage a four-week run with a fully developed script. The Old Red Lion seems to be developing a knack for west end transfers – the latest being the acclaimed The Play That Goes Wrong – so this could well be a turning point for the Damned. I caught up with the team behind the production during rehearsals in a secret venue in deepest, darkest Denmark Hill.

Fitzrovia Radio Hour

Do you enjoy nothing more than to marvel at mystery, murder and mayhem? Do you thrill to tales of love, lust and non-ferrous metals? Well, brace yourselves because, here at The Holborn, we’ve found just the ticket. Fitzrovia Radio Hour describes itself as ‘the olive in the martini’ but it’s also bursting at the seams with egg, jelly and watermelon, not to mention more cabbage than you can shake a stick at. For a full explanation, read on …