The Xtra Diary – Tokyo Story by Emily Allchurch at Diemar/Noble Photography until May 7

Friday, 25th March 2011


Published: 25 March, 2011

PHOTOGRAPHER Emily Allchurch’s latest series of images were inspired by the famous works of the great Japanese artist Hiroshige, whose wood-block prints sell for thousands of pounds these days. 

However, during Hiroshige’s own lifetime in the 19th century the Japanese government put a cap on the price of artworks to prevent them becoming inaccessible to the public.

“The government tried to keep the price down and decreed that no one could sell an artwork for more than the price of a double portion of noodles,” said Emily, who has chosen to donate all proceeds from the sale of her latest works to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. 

The disaster struck while she was working on her new exhibition, Tokyo Story, which is being shown in a West End gallery, and she was deeply affected by the TV images.

A silent auction of the works in the exhibition will take place on April 7 and anyone interested in placing a bid should contact the gallery on the number below.

Given the auction is in aid of such a deserving cause, Diary hopes Emily’s pieces fetch more than the price of a bowl of noodles.

Tokyo Story by Emily Allchurch is at the Diemar/Noble Photography, 66/67 Wells Street, W1 until May 7. For details call 020 7636 5375. 

Making song and dance about right Royal scandal

EVEN by the standards of Royal scandals it was extraordinary, involving as it did teenage rent boys, aristocrats and a certain Prince Albert Victor Edward – otherwise known as Queen Victoria’s grandson, the heir to the throne. 

Now this amazing story, which centred on Cleveland Street in Fitzrovia, has been brought to life by Glenn Chandler – the creator of BAFTA award-winning television series Taggart. 

No. 19 Cleveland Street was a brothel where London telegraph messenger boys offered their services by night and which was frequented by the capital’s high-powered élite – until the scandal broke. 

Chandler, whose previous plays included Scouts in Bondage – which received positive reviews when it premiered at the King’s Head in Islington two years ago – has chosen the somewhat unlikely medium of a musical to tell this racy story.

“If this scandal was being explored through drama it would have become murky and downbeat,” he said, “but as a musical we can see all dimensions – including the comedy in the situation.”

Prince Albert Victor Edward, the Earl of Euston, and Lord Arthur Somerset were just some of the “reputable” figures who, it emerged, may have paid visits to the brothel.

“There’s so much mystery surrounding the whole thing,” says Chandler, who is pictured, right, above artwork for the play. “The characters were such a colourful bunch. 

“In the end, a newspaper editor who dared to print the story and a few of the boys were sent to jail, but none of the aristocrats. 

“They deliberately put Frederick Abberline – the same detective who had failed to catch Jack The Ripper – on the case, so that he would fail to catch them.

“What speaks volumes is that all this happened in 1889, but it parallels a lot of what happens in this country today.”

Acclaimed fringe theatre Above The Stag in Victoria will host Cleveland Street The Musical, which begins a five-week run on April 26.  

Animal attraction of Selfridges

LONDON Zoo has applied for a licence to “operate a zoo” in Selfridges on Oxford Street, according to an advert that appeared in the West End Extra last week. But before you get excited about the prospect of popping in for a penguin to take home – just left past the make-up counters – Diary hears the application involves a lot of technical paperwork as the shop needs the licence for the use of underwater coral in the store. It’s all part of Project Ocean, launching next month, an attempt to help promote sustainable fishing. 

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