Events About Town

Welcome to 'About Town', the Chelsea Walks' new opportunity to enjoy the very best Chelsea and its surroundings have to offer; the ultimate 'meet-up' in the world's most fascinating borough. 

Each week, beginning January 1st 2012, About Town has been offering Chelsea walkers and all those who love Chelsea the widest range of events, talks, exhibitions, previews, theatre, and through the Chelsea Dining Club (CDC), regular restaurant meet-ups. 

Each event is your opportunity to meet like minded people, while enjoying Chelsea, at its best. About Town aims to provide a hub for the world's most fascinating borough, at its most charming.

Details of all events, and how to join in, will be posted on this page, so keep in touch by visiting, AboutTown, and enjoy your one-stop-opp to join the borough, and each other.

Peter Jones

Peter Jones has been building a reputation as a stylish and highly accomplished jazz singer ever since the release of his debut album 'One Way Ticket to Palookaville' in 2013. "Great arrangements … a killer band. This debut album has lots to recommend it," reported Jazzwise magazine. Peter’s mature baritone voice may remind you of Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy, with a dash of Georgie Fame and Jose James.


His band this evening includes two of the musicians who played on the album: “One of the most fiery young saxophonists around blazes a path through the hard bop repertoire”, said The Times of saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos. Drummer Davide Giovannini, meanwhile, has played with many of the biggest names in contemporary music, from Bjork, Paul McCartney and Lisa Stansfield to jazz greats Roy Hargrove, Marlena Shaw and Roy Ayers.

'Radiance', the current Alan Alda production at Chiswick's leading theatre (rumour has it the 'only' one), is a typically great Tabard production; entertaining, insightful, intelligent, and in particular, thought provoking, of the 'well I never knew that' variety.

We're all familiar with the Pierre and Marie Curie story, and their
sacrificial commitment and contribution to science in the C20. What we're less aware of perhaps, is the private, but subsequently very public life, of Marie; following the tragic and gruesome end to Pierre's life.

Ever since my first encounter with the 'romantic' tale of the Curie's scientific doggedness, and their selfless commitment, the warm glow it engendered was dimmed only by the incomprehension of Marie's apparent unpopularity in France. In an age of wilful revanchist nationalism, the latent zenophobia that applauded the Dreyfus conviction, might well have partially accounted for the venom heaped on the 'Polish hoare'. Marie's affair with Paul Langevin was all the tinder needed, to bring her to the edge of suicide.

And, as the play so clearly demonstrates, despite their academic prowess, Mme. Curie and her allies were quite undone by the streetwise incisiveness of their unintended victims, Jeanne Langevin (Zoe Tevernen), and Tarbougie (Stephen Cavanagh); Mme. Langevin's assessment of the situation being worthy of a Ph.D in divorce value management (DVM?)

Apart from his work for U.S. public service broadcasting, Alan Alda's fascinating career has strong academic leanings; being a visiting professor at a university centre actually named after him!

If fringe' theatre means a gamble, The Tabard is always London's best outsider bet: the West End in all but postcode, as Chiswickians know.

Any other surprises? Only a contemporary letter from Einstein, warmly supporting Marie, and advising her to ignore the 'reptiles' and 'hogwash',and Alda's own recent drop-in to approve the performance! Do you need further reason to get down and catch it while you can?

 (c) Gary Fahy. February 2015



Wednesday 16 October 2013


'Here's yet another true gem of a Tabard Theatre fringe production. To date I don't think I've seen any play that disappointed, at this increasingly popular pub-theatre.
The cast were magnificent in this wholly unlikely spoof western. I chuckled throughout, but each time I think of it now, I shake my head in disbelief and laugh out loud! A bizarre plot, brilliantly pruduced and executed;  eighty minutes of meteoric madness you'll neither forget, nor regret!
Well done to Simon and the crew.  I truly cannot wait till the next offering'.
Gary Fahy C. November 2013.

World premiere of Greg Freeman’s latest outlandish comedy

12 Nov - 30 Nov 2013


After the Timeout Critics choice successes of Doig – The Musical, Beak Street and No Picnic at the Tabard Theatre we are proud to present Greg Freeman's latest play Dogstar, an outlandish comedy, which delves into mankind’s obsession with ownership


In a hot, dusty, western saloon, a mysterious stranger named only as Dogstar discovers everything in town has to be paid for …even dying. And like almost every mysterious stranger, who happens to be “just passing through”, he is inextricably drawn into a battle with Clay, the unscrupulous landowner, in a bid to save the town. He is a homespun gunslinger in a greedy town and like a game of poker without cardspassions and stakes just get higher and higher. Can someone really own the whole planet or is Dogstar just a very wily drifter?

'Theatre that from concept to execution is utterly bonkers but quite brilliant’
Timeout on Doig

‘a testament to Freeman’s faith in his imagination and ours’
Timeout on Beak Street

‘this masterfully realised black comedy from the mad magician of fringe theatre
is unquestionably a feast’
Timeout on No Picnic

Dogstar stars Ben Warwick in the title role and Laura Pradelska perhaps best known as Quaithe in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Laura previously worked with Greg Freeman on Beak Street back in 2010. Rhys King and Jaymes Sygrove also worked with Greg Freeman at the Tabard Theatre in both Doig and No Picnic.

Greg Freeman edited and adapted the only ever successful re-version of an American Sitcom -

Who's The Boss which became The Upper Hand. He has since developed a career in the theatre.  Directed by Ken McClymont, Dogstar will be their fourth production at the Tabard Theatre. Their previous collaborations, No Picnic (teddy bears learning to lie), Beak Street (gangster cats) and Doig (consumerism laid bare) were all Time Out Critics’ Choices. 

PRESS NIGHT: Thursday 14 November @ 7:30pm


DogStar plays at The Tabard Theatre from Tuesday 12 Nov to Saturday 30 November @ 7.30 pm.  No performances Sunday or Mondays.  Tickets are priced £16 (£14 concessions)


Book online at or 08448 472264

Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW

Tube: Turnham Green (Next door to theatre). Buses: 27, 94, 267, 337, 391, E3, H91

For further information please contact Simon Reilly on 020 8995 6035 or


Notes to Editors:

Cast List:

Dogstar:                      Ben Warwick

Violet:                          Laura Pradelska

Clay:                            Rhys King

Jed:                             Jaymes Sygrove


Ben Warwick as Dogstar


Ben trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This year he played the lead in Les Enfants Terribles' highly acclaimed The Trench both on tour and at this year's Edinburgh Festival. Other recent work includes shows at The Finborough, The Soho Theatre and seasons with Theatre Royal York, The Orange Tree, Royal Theatre Northampton, Watford Palace, Lichfield Garrick, English Touring Theatre in the West End and The National. He has also worked with highly innovative Italian and Swedish theatre companies and toured The Seagull in Russia. Film and TV work includes the First World War feature, Canakkale - Yolun Sonu which had its European release this summer and Mary Queen of Scots (BBC).


Laura Pradelska as Violet


Laura Pradelska graduated from The Drama Centre London in 2008. Since graduating, she has worked solidly as an actor and as a voice-over artist. Her many stage roles included "Faith" in Still Life At The Sushi Bar (A One Woman show) at The Leicester Square Theatre, a role for which Laura was awarded the Best Actor prize at the 2010 Fringe Report Awards and "Eva Braun" in Summit Conference for which Laura was nominated by The Off West End awards  in the Best Female categorie in 2011. In 2012 Laura was cast as "Quaithe" in the HBO series Game of Thrones.  Laura  will be appearing in lead roles in two feature films scheduled for cinema release in 2013 and 2014 "Spite and Malice" and "Rabbit's foot" .


Rhys King as Clay


Rhys trained at the GSA Conservatoire.

Theatre credits include; Mug’s Arrows and Botallack O’Clock (Third Man Theatre, UK Tour and Brit’s Off Broadway US Festival), Henry V & Othello (Creation Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), No Picnic, DOIG! & Our Boys (Tabard Theatre), Twelfth Night & See How They Run (National Tours, The Original Theatre Company), Much Ado About Nothing & Merchant of Venice (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Madness of George III (National Tour, Wilde Enterprises), Journey’s End (National Tour, Original Theatre Company and Icarus Theatre Collective). Rhys is the Producer and Associate Artist of the award-winning, Third Man Theatre and Original Theatre companies. He also recently wrote and directed his own play, Skylark, performed at the Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter.


Jaymes Sygrove as Jed

Training: Guildford School of Acting

Theatre includes: A trio of appearances in the critics’ choice and 4 star awarded World premieres of No Picnic, Beak Street and Doig! The Musical (Tabard), Coffin (Kings Head), The Margate Play (Rosemary Branch) Merry Wives of Waltham (Rose & Crown) Beak Street (Theatre Deli.), Doig! The Musical (The Mill), Bink (U.K. Tour), Dick Whittington (Southern U.K. Tour), Titanic! The Musical (Gordon Craig), A Night Out, The Kitchen, Fiorello, Chaplin, Dr Parker in BatBoy The Musical, Destry Rides Again, The Orestia, Pericles and Trelawny of the Wells (G.S.A.)

Television includes: Temping Fates, Family Affairs, and EastEndersFilm includes: Ltnt. Percy Dennis in Unto A Good Land, Tom in the feature film Fallen Angels funded and supported by Sir Ian McKellen and the Kevin Spacey Foundation.


Kayhan Kalhor. Barbican 1.6.13 Review

It's all the wonder you'd expect from any 'Silk Road' project; in this case Yo Yo Ma's, in bringing together Kurdish Iranian 'kamancheh' exponent, Kayhan Kalhor, and 'Brooklyn Rider', a New York string quartet.
The Kamancheh is the ancient antecedent to all violin-like instruments; while surpassing all it's successors, in moving, ethereal sound. Hearing it is like capturing the first musical sounds from a previously undiscovered tomb. It's 'sinewy and mellow, deserty grit' bullets us back through millennia, to hear a sound that Xerxes and Alexander knew well, irresistably pulling at the threads of our hearts and souls, for eras and majesty only our genes may recall.
According to Kalhor: 'It seems to come from from a far distance and a far time, and reach parts of the soul that you haven't encountered before'

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion, The Rose Theatre, Wed 5.5.13
A packed rose theatre foyer still avoided the Val doodnican rocking chair; so shamelessly I took my yesteryear seat before an altogether alternative sound experience.
Ginger's Jazz Confusion (tour?) is pure percussion, supported by double bass (A. Dank werth), Sax (Pee wee Ellis), with 'Abbas@ on hand drums, to give Ginger Spice? In black, red-lined collar shirt, 'I'm too old', he groaned: 'can't remember how to play!' But despite breathing and visual problems, this 73 year old could remember a heck of a lot; impeccably co-ordinating with accompanying percussionist, Abbas. I hadn't followed Ginger's career/CV closely enough to say when the cross over to jazz occured; maybe it was always there, like the 'Stones' Charlie Watts. But Ginger's website is archive-like; a treasure-trove for anyone who wants dates.
The first half of the show simply flew past the capacity audience, and the second delivered Magrebi-African rhythmic pace to the first's precision. Behind sinewy skin and dark glasses, Ginger looked on at Alec Dankwerth deliver double and electric bass variety and virtuosity; all that makes him Ginger's 'favourite bassist'. Ginger needed no flying jacket or bi-plane to soar; but the image stuck in my mind.A south London sense of humour hasn't deserted, despite physical challenges. 'And God said to Moses; 'Come forth'. So he came fifth, and lost his beer money!'
The audience roared and stamped for 'more.., MORE!!'  An encore?. 'You're obviously determined to see me die on stage-I mean it!' But he didn't, ending a true Blue-Max effort,without once mentioning Cream, on my first 'drummers' concert. Make it yiours, with this Buddy Rich calibre legend, on the Jazz Confusion's tour dates to follow See Ginger's website for details)
C. Gary Fahy (June) 2013

at Chelsea, 2013. The Duke of York's Square, SW3 (*till March 19th)
A so not to be missed event, so note the *final date above!!
This was my first visit; heaven knows why I've never been before, as charm, a welcoming warmth, and relaxed, unrivalled but informal expertise, on so many aspects of interiors, are all there to be relished.
My particular passion for furniture and oriental carpets could have kept me rooted till the 9pm closing time-every day! Farnham Antique Carpets ( couldn't have been more fascinating. They conjured up images of C19 candle-lit carpet weaving of tiny,fine knots in Kerman rugs, and answered decade old questions on subtle colour changes, with the most prosaic of reasons, followed by a wonderful snap shot of how this Eastern art is itself changing, just as subtly.
A William & Mary 'seaweed' escritoire?. Yes, Millington Adams ( have it, and are only too willing to share the history, and the reason for the strange epithet, as well as enhancing my IT skills, with a lightning intro to 'QR' technology. I'll never be quite the same again..
Now the largest antiques fair in the capital apparently, it's certainly a wonderful fillip for the World's most fascinating borough.
Gary Fahy. Copyright-March 2013

The Cremorne Walk. March 2013

Spring is well on it's way-despite all! So there could be no better time or reason to explore Chelsea, than through the Cremorne Walk; one of the four regular Walks.
If, as they say, you can’t remember the 60s, but want to; (like the Highlights Walk), this is a Walk for you!
Chelsea’s second Pleasure Gardens, ‘Cremorne’, was a riotous parody of Ranelagh. On the site of Offa’s castle no less; with 1000 pound notes, wild tiger-riding ladies (and Whistler to paint them all), it paved the way for the area’s C20 hell raisers-Christine Keeler, Vivienne Westwood, and the Rolling Stones.
In London’s red-hot Bohemian spot for over 200 years, we take in three current, and three ‘disappeared’ pubs, including the Stone’s own Wetherby Arms.
Ninety minutes of delicious cultural and musical morsels await you, as we wend our way to ‘Writer’s Block’; the borough’s own ‘Brill’ building by the bridge; and the typewriter that changed the world, in this, the World’s most fascinating borough!
The Chelsea Dining Club's sixth (CDC6) monthly lunch meet-up is on Sunday 24th March, at 1pm, at The Ram pub; on the corner of Uverdale Road and Burnaby Street (SW10 OPL). This is your chance to meet, eat drink, and 'talk Chelsea', in a relaxed, and altogether Sunday afternoon mode!

The famous Lots Road Auctions, you may have heard of, but have you any idea where the name originates?. Well, join us, and you'll not only discover this, but, if you can make it for 12.30, I'll be leading a free 30 minute taster Walk around 'Cremorne'; the extra-ordinary 'slummy end', of this, the World's most fascinating borough.
Text/call/vmail your RSVP (07500 239 617), asap, and look for The Chelsea Walks table, from where we'll set off at 12.30. If you prefer the meet-eat-drink and talk option, Gill, one of our previous Walkers, has recently produced a DVD of Cremorne Pleasure Gardens. She'll be on hand to entertain and enchant, so come and celebrate Spring (at last!), at CDC6.
See you then, or on any of the four regular Walks
Gary, your Chelsea Walks guide. March 2013


The Mikado. The Tabard Theatre, Chiswick, W.4. (
What a winner!!. I'd never see the tiny upstairs theatre so packed, and if it was only to have admired the delictate and ingeniously functional Japan'd set, it would have been well worth it.
Players at this space already have a reputation for outstanding vocal performance and choreography, now added to by meticulous stagecraft (and all the fabulous diction needed), to pull off such a G&S tongue-twister as this.
It's the usual whakky G&S yarn. Try to keep up if you feel the need, but if you lose the 'plot' early on, you're reassured you're certifiably sane. Your grinning face will roar approval of the wittily contemporized 'I Have a Little List', and the memorably delivered 'The Sun and I'
The fresh-faced caste belie an extraordinary set of credits, spanning two continents; giving them the confidence of the West End and Broadway. But you don't have to go that far. It's all here, at Chiswick's tiny, but terrific playhouse; a hop, skip and District Line-jump from Sloane Square, until March 17th.
Gary Fahy Copyright 2013


Pulling Focus Ltd for the Tabard Theatre presents

Gilbert and Sullivan’s

Wednesday 20 February to Sunday 17 March 2013


From the producers of Ruddigore and The Pirates of Penzance comes another topsy-turpy Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Mikado.


Nanki-Poo, son of the Mikado, has fled to escape an undesirable marriage to the ageing Katisha. Disguised, he returns intending to find and marry his first love, Yum-Yum. But little does he know that she is now betrothed to Ko-Ko - the High Executioner!

The most famous of all of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta may be set in Japan but focussed entirely at English subjects and institutions.  Director Matthew Johnson transports The Mikado from the oriental town of Titipu to the gentrified eccentric English world of a golf club, complete with its honoured rules, rituals and regulations..


The Mikado is produced in-house at the Tabard Theatre whose previous musical credits also include Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Ruddigore was named Time Out Critics Choice and one of their Top Five Shows of the Week and last year’s Pirates was nominated for Best Musical production at the Off-West End awards.

With a live band and some of Gilbert and Sullivan’s best tunes, join us for three little maids, two lovers, one executioner and absolutely no flirting.


The press on the 2011 production of Ruddigore


‘This magnetically charming cast breathes new life into a dusty operetta. Pulling Focus realise the full potential of its topsy-turvy humour, and are quite simply a joy to watch’ Timeout Critic’s Choice


‘This production reminds audiences that G&S is still riotous entertainment. A full cast of men and women inventively doubling as the chorus, and each member of the company plays an instrument to supplement the pit.’ The Stage


The press on the 2012 production of The Pirates of Penzance


‘Chris Hone’s nautical design is impressive and costumes are a treat. I shall definitely be revisiting the Tabard Theatre before the run finishes to drink in more of the joy that this happy production provides and there can be no greater recommendation than that’ Bargain Theatre

‘The Tabard is doing what it does brilliantly – putting on one of its singing and dancing musical extravaganzas’ ChiswickW4


Cast List:

Yum-Yum:                             Emily Davies

Katisha:                                   Suzanna Kempner

Peep-Bo:                                 Eleanor Knight

Ko-Ko:                                     Ed Norwood

The Mikado:                            Stiofan O’ Doherty

Pooh-Ba:                                 Andrew Pugsley

Nanki-Poo:                              Michael Riseley

Pitti-Sing:                                 Michelle Witney                                 

Production Team


Director:                                 Matthew Johnson

Designer:                                 Chris Hone

Musical Director:                     Jerome van den Berghe

Producer:                                Pulling Focus Ltd for the Tabard Theatre



PRESS NIGHT: Friday 22 February 2013 @ 7:30pm



The Mikado plays at The Tabard Theatre

Wednesday 20 February to Sunday 17 March 2013.

Tuesday – Saturday @ 7:30 pm. 

Saturday @ 4pm

Sunday @ 2:30pm

No performances on Mondays.

Tickets are priced £19 (£17 concessions, £15 children)


Book online at or 0208 995 6035

Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW

Tube: Turnham Green (Next door to theatre). Buses: 27, 94, 267, 337, 391, E3, H91



For further information please contact Simon Reilly on 020 8995 6035 or




Enquiries: 020 8995 6035
Fax: 020 8994 5985
2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW
Wednesday 8 August 2012
Tuesday 14 August– Sunday 26 August 2012
The Tabard Theatre has teamed up with innovative theatre company Hot Tubs and Trampolines to present their new play Please Wait Patiently.

Welcome to the world of the lost property office where lost items attract lost people. But in the home of the forgotten is out of sight ever truly out ofmind?
In the summer of 2008 a suitcase in a lost property office was opened to reveal 30 years of love letters between a mystery couple – with this intriguing true story as a stimulus
Please Wait Patiently is a comic, classically modern love story fusing music,new writing and physical storytelling.
Hot Tubs and trampolines was formed by graduates of East 15 Acting School in 2008 and Please Wait Patiently is the follow up production to ‘Table 23’ which played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festivals Gilded Balloon.

The Press on Hot Tub and Trampolines previous production Table 23
“Audacious storytelling. This stunning cast navigate the tightrope between comedy and tragedy effortlessly” (3 Weeks) ***** Pick of the week
“Inventive, promising piece of work from a young seven strong ensemble” (TheStage)
“I saw 27 shows in 5 days and this one really blew me away” (
Directed by Matt Harrison (Pirates ofPenzance – Tabard Theatre) and written by Natasha Collie (Best ScriptedProgramme BBC Radio 1 Student Radio Awards 2009 & 2010) Please Wait Patiently is a pen and paper love story for a twitter generation and explores what lies behind the precious, plastic and purposefully left.
Cast List:

Tom Turner, Rachel Chambers, Max Wilson, Chloe Nicolson and Matt Harrison

Production Team

Writer:                                     Natasha Collie
Director:                                  Matt Harrison
Assistant Director:                   Jack Maurice
Original Music:                        Jak Poore
Designer:                                 Olivia Ward
Lighting Designer:                   Derek Anderson
 Please Wait Patiently plays at The Tabard Theatre
Tuesday 14 August to Sunday 26 August 2012.
Tuesday – Saturday @ 7:30 pm. 
Saturday @ 4pm
Sunday @ 4pm
No performances on Mondays.
Tickets are priced £16 (£14 concessions)
Book online at or 0208 995 6035
Tabard Theatre, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW
Tube: Turnham Green (Next door to theatre). Buses: 27, 94,267, 337, 391, E3, H91
For further information please contact Simon Reilly on 0208995 6035 or
And what's 'The Pheasantry'?. A one hundred year old capsule of Chelsea's artistic achievements; from it's origins as a retail source of live fowl-hence the name, to perhaps London's most significant private (Russian) ballet school; the birthplace of the great C20 British ballet icons. The mirrors and wall bars upstairs are still there to prove it! In the '60s a Beatles album cover was shot here, Germaine Greer wrote the book that made her, and Eric Clapton even lived there! And there's more-so much more..!
Since the closure, just three years ago,of the Pizza On The Park, The Pheasantry has been rekindled as Chelsea's latest musical venue, for jazz, swing, and the very best the capital's vibrant live-music and entertainment scene can offer; in this, it's most fascinating borough!
There's so much to choose from, you just don't know where to start. I eventually did; with 'California Dreaming', on August 4th; a six piece band dedicated to the 'classic songs that defined an era'-the '60s. The sounds of James Taylor, CSN&Y, Carole King and Steely Dan were always right at the heart of Chelsea; now they have a venue.

California Dremaing

The atmosphere downstairs is intimate, cabaret-plush; the service-supreme. It's smart casual, but you really want to dress up! August is a variety crammed mid Summer marathon, to suit virtually any taste, in this glorious cabaret setting.( What to choose?!. My own favourites are the yellow-suited Jive Aces (12.8.12), on their 'Sunshine Tour' (, celebrating Louis Prima, Bobby Darin and Cab Calloway. Or the exquisitely mischievous 'Kit and McConnel'; Flanders & Swann, with C21 attitude? See you there maybe...

To book, call/email: 08456027017/, and remember; The Pheasantry is at the centre of The 'Chelsea Highlights' Walk, which can be booked by emailing/calling: /07500 239 617. Join it, in this, the World's most fascinating borough; at the heart of the World's greatest city.
Gary Fahy Copyright 2012

Quant is to 60s fashion and Chelsea, what Sassoon was to the copious hair that crowned that decade. With his recent sad passing, Mary's 2012 autobiography takes on an even greater fascination; as her influence continues to direct the C21 concepts of clothes design, and it's palette of colour.
Beginning with the 'Bazaar' in 1955, (which to my continual astonishment, still attracts no plaque), she re-scissored skirts, to shock and scintillate, simultaneously, a post WW11 decade that was just grateful to be alive, and at peace.
From tights, up to the mini skirt, cosmetics, even carpets and duvets; around the globe, from Chelsea to Japan; she fashioned the look, and the very 'geist', of how we see ourselves now!
You'd probably have underestimated the significance of cow glue in all this, or the need to smuggle money out to buy a place in France-in your underwear; but all is revealed in bite-sized chapters; some less than a page in length. Short skirts, and significant thoughts!
This extraordinary glimpse into a Chelsea icon's 'life' is revealing of a mind that sees opportunity in the ordinary; the possibilities that small changes can effect-a ballerina's leggings into fashion tights?. .Literally the inner eye at work, then, as today; for tomorrow.
Check out the Chelsea 'Highlights' Walk at, which takes in the site of Mary Quant's 'Boutique Bazaar', and the kaleidoscope of people, places and events, that make Chelsea the world's most fascinating borough.
Copyright: Gary Fahy-July 2012
Chiswick may not have a major theatre, but The Tabard, near Tunham Green tube, courageously meets the challenge; atop the prestigious Arts and Crafts-associated pub of the same name; adjacent to the gorgeous Bedford Park, and all on the beautiful Old Bath Road.
Turnham Green has a particular place in my affections. Chiswick Polytechnic, as it was, was my further education first port of call; now the ( Arts Independent College?) But you don't ned a sentimental attachment to appreciate Chiswick's theater at The Tabard; that'll follow in good time! With so many stand-alone pubs disappearing in London, the fact of an Arts and Crafts pub and theatre surviving, is big time trend bucking!
The recent revival of 'Jubilee' showcased the kind of expansive energy and vocal talent needed to achieve that, in the vital upstairs theater space. Other reviewers have untangled the '30s plot more successfully than I could here, but quite how a British?/European royal family seem to rule, within the United States, was a question that remained unanswered.
Despite that madcap Moss Hart plot, if the Royals' role seemed adrift somewhere in mid-Atlantic, the majesty of Cole Porter's scores acted as a life raft for all, in this enormously popular playhouse.
'Chelsea-ite' or 'Chiswickian', visit the Tabard Theatre website (, and keep our entertainment live!
Copyright: Gary Fahy 2012

The Scott Expedition-100 years

A celebration in music, word and image.  Cadogan Hall, Chelsea. 7.30pm, Saturday 3rd March 2012.

Cadogan Hall, Chelsea are reliving the centenary of the ill-fated Scott expedition to the Antarctic, in Saturday evenings concert, by the City of London Sinfonia. It was from his Chelsea home that Robert Falcon Scott set out on the tragic venture; his house is now graced with a coveted blue plaque.

The evening is inspired by Scott’s own words, themselves set against Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Sinfonia Antarctica’; and interwoven with the composer’s sublime score for the film: ‘Scott of the Antarctic’. Readings from Scott’s own diary by renowned actor, Hugh Bonneville, together with expedition photographer Herbert Ponting’s captivating images, enwrapture the whole.

Scott himself offers further inspiration for this commemoration through letters to his family, interpreted in the world premiere of a new short piece by composer Cecilia McDowall, entitled: ‘Seventy Degrees Below Zero’. Unsurprisingly, demand for tickets has been overwhelming; but those seeking returns, who share Scott’s spirit of endeavour, may yet be rewarded.

All can enjoy the images/information available on the City of London Sinfonia website: Scott’s Chelsea home, and the story of he and his wife’s extraordinary careers, are each celebrated on the ‘Chelsea Riverside Walk’. One of four main Walks offered by The Chelsea Walks, simply email, or call 07500 239 617, to arrange your own unforgettable exploration of this, the World’s most fascinating borough!

Copyright: Gary Fahy 2012


Last Days of the Arctic

The current Ragnar Axelsson exhibition at Proud Chelsea has a peculiarly local flavour, despite its subject matter being as far removed from micro-climated Chelsea, as it's possible to be. 

How so?.

It's 2012-the centenary of Scott's (and Amundsen's) conquest of the
Antarctic, and their fateful race to that Pole. Proud Galleries, as ever,
are right there; with Axelsson's absorbing 'Last Days of the Arctic'
photo-reportage exhibition (January 26th-March 11th), and a society in it's twilight. This is a moving and insightful photographic portrait of a disappearing landscape and the Inuit people who inhabit it, by celebrated photojournalist Ragnar Axelsson.

Inspired by the fast-diminishing life of communities dependent on nature and the land around them for survival, Axelsson presents us with a breathtaking introduction to a life of Greenlandic hunters in one of the most remote regions of the world, and at once demonstrates it's temporality.

As the world turns its gaze toward the Arctic; the landscape whose
inhabitants have done the least to cause climate change is where the devastating effects are most visible. Their ancient culture is set to become extinct; the probabiliit of these communities continuing to live traditionally is becoming increasingly unlikely. In his native Iceland, Ragnar looked at the fishermen and farmers of remote villages and thought if he did not photograph them, then no one would know they ever existed. It is thought that has led to this unique body of work captured in Greenland, with unprecedented access to a community that rarely let outsiders in.

And this equally unique opportunity is 'complimented' still further by
Cadogan Hall's March 3rd concert; 'Conquering the Antarctic', celebrating local hero, Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to that other Pole; through 'music, images and words' with the City of London Sinfonia.

Follow these opportunities at the Chelsea Walks
website:(; hub for the world's most
fascinating borough, or explore these landmarks yourself on the *'Highlights Walk', and available to groups as few as eight in number, on any day, and at a time to suit you.
Email/call 'Gary' 239 617, or simply visit the website, and contact me from there.

'Screen Sirens and Rock Rebels'- a Terry O'Neill retrospective.
Proud Galleries, Chelsea, SW3 (till the 22nd January 2012)
You may have missed meeting the legend himself, but, in the light of Eve Arnold's passing, we have more reason than ever to visit another of the greats of C20 photo-art; Terry O'Neill's dazzling photo retrosective at Chelsea's own Proud Galleries.
'Screen Sirens and Rock Rebels' is on till the 22nd January, and includes the offer of a completely unseen box set of images, as well as some never before seen images from Terry's own tantalising archive.
Terry probably never imagined how a chance 1959 shot at Heathrow, would bring not just fame, but legendary status. Bardot, Bowie,The Stones-all loved his informal shots. Those same images were sometimes the very ones that propelled their subjects to cosmic status.
Terry has spent two years sifting through that O'Neill archive; five decades of his exceptional career, and the inspired approach that catapaulted Terry himself to fame. Literally hundreds of boxes of negatives;many of them he himself had forgotten about!
Proud Galleries, Chelsea, is arguably the borough's finest showcasae tribute to this art form; capturing moments in time, and itself a step into the time of the '60s King's Road; the shop itself being The Beatles' own 'Apple Boutique' in SW3, no less. Could there be a better name for it?.
And once you've savoured this unique event, why not broaden the experience, enjoying the equally unique Chelsea Highlights Walk (, where Proud Galleries is rightly one of those many jaw-dropping highlights along the 90 minute route.

Ask for 'Liz', and mention my name-Gary, and The Chelsea Walks, when arriving at Proud. You're assured a warm welcome, a visit never to be forgotten, and repeated frequently!
Proud Galleries-161, King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 / tel.0207 349 0822 / 
copyright-Gary Fahy 2012

‘Last Orders’?

The Lost Pubs of Chelsea


Two of Chelsea’s most historic pubs, The Cross Keys and The Phene Arms, may soon be no more than mere billionaire’s mansions, according to The Chelsea Society Newsletter of December 2011.

The Chelsea Walks ( offers CAMRA members what may be a final tailor-made opportunity to visit these historic, landmark Chelsea sites, as part of the ‘Lost Pubs of Chelsea Walk’; to include the sites of those already gone, or changed beyond recognition.

City money, oligarchs, a property-obsessed culture-whatever the reason, the boroughs pubs are under pressures never previously imagined. Following the riveting 90minute tour , there will be an opportunity to recoup and regroup, at The Anglesey Arms; reputedly the site for the planning of the Great Train Robbery-a chance to ‘plan’ a CAMRA response to the Great Chelsea Heritage Robbery?.

From Tudor to Turner, Whistler to Westwood, or Betjeman to the Beatles, email/call borough-born Gary, as your guide to Chelsea, the world’s most fascinating borough, to unfold its peerless parade of people, places and events, that literally shape the C 21.