A History of the French in London: Liberty, Equality, Opportunity. Edited by Debra Kelly and Martyn Cornick – Review

By Nick Bailey Peter Ackroyd in his biography of London argues that ‘London has always been a city of immigrants’ and he notes that this observation could be applied to any period over the past 250 years. This book takes a historical perspective over 500 years of just one of these immigrant communities: the French …

Homeless and vulnerably housed artists to exhibit at Fitzrovia gallery

By News Reporters A group of homeless and vulnerably housed artists in Fitzrovia will hold their first major exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery in Tottenham Street this August. ARTfitzrovia is an art collective whose artists are either living on the streets, in sheltered accommodation or on the margins of society.  A spokesperson for the collective told …

A weekend to start a summer of celebrations in Fitzrovia

By News Reporters This Saturday 22 June marks the start of a summer of celebrations taking place throughout Fitzrovia. This is a brief guide to what's happening and where it's happening.  From 10am to 4pm on Saturday 22 June there will be a community festival taking place with exhibitions, refreshments and a guided walk, to …

Fitzrovia Festival celebrates 40 years of life and history

By News Reporters It was in June 1973 that the first Fitzrovia Festival was celebrated with people organising events to embrace life in Fitzrovia. For three decades it was a street festival but in recent years it has become a smaller event celebrating Fitzrovia’s special character and the neighbourhood’s history. In June 2013 we celebrate 40 …

Academic appetite for an historical analysis of food

Food in history: forthcoming event at the IHR, University of London (11-13 July 2013) By Sara Pennell In 1660, the cook Robert May published recipes for one of the modish dishes of the day: the grand ‘sallet’ or salad. The Stuart ‘sallet’ was a spectacle, with its carefully arrayed mixture of fresh and preserved elements, and imported commodities (anchovies, ‘Virginia Potato’, almonds) alongside …

Masa Afghan Restaurant – Review

By Ann Goodburn Fitzrovia News editors and contributors have been enjoying this newly opened Afghan restaurant in Goodge Street. We received a warm and friendly welcome and lovely service.  I loved the Karachi Lamb: baby lamb on the bone cooked with tomato, garlic and green chili herb -- melts in the mouth. The nan bread is soft …

Loves and lives of the men who built the Radev Collection

By Clive Jennings Hidden away until recently in a large and beautiful six storey townhouse in Fitzrovia, is one of the most impressive collections of 20th century art in private hands in England. The collection includes works by Vanessa Bell, Eugene Boudin, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Maurice Denis, Duncan Grant, Amadeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Lucien Pissarro, Matthew …

See Red Women’s Workshop

So long as women are not free the people are not free.

By Sue Blundell 'The State and Sexist Advertising Cause Illness’; ‘Fight the Cuts’; ‘The Freedom of the Press Belongs to Those who Control the Press’. Though these rallying cries may seem completely relevant today, they in fact appeared on posters created in the 1970s and 1980s by the See Red Women’s Workshop. In 1974 two …

Plaque unveiled to identify Charles Dickens first London home

By News Reporters The house at 22 Cleveland Street has long been known as Charles Dickens first London home but it was not until this weekend -- 143 years after the author's death -- that it finally gained a plaque to publicly identify it. The lack of any notice on the building had caused confusion …

Backing Into Light, by Colin Spencer – Review

Reviewed by Sebastian Wayneflete The latest publication by Goodge-Street-based Quartet Books has an unexpected intimate connection to the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre. Backing Into Light is the first volume of the autobiography of Colin Spencer. Many will know Spencer from his many years as a campaigning food columnist for the Guardian or for his much-treasured vegetarian …

Our readers tell us we are biased, opinionated and do a good job of it

By News Reporters During March and April this year we asked our readers to take part in a survey where we asked seven questions about the content of Fitzrovia News. The responses broadly supported our editorial coverage but offered some guidance about where there is room for improvement.  Rather than report less of anything respondents …

Carmen in Fitzroy Square Gardens will be a magical experience

By Edward Turner This year Fitzroy Square Opera is staging a production of Carmen, one of the most popular works in the opera repertoire, on Thursday 27 June. It’s a story of high passion, jealousy and ultimate tragedy, and was very controversial when first performed in Paris in 1875. Its centre stage portrayal of a …

Architecture festival returns with designs on Great Titchfield Street

Fitzrovia Trail, Saturday 22 June 2013 By Laura Broderick Following the success of last year’s Fitzrovia Trail for the London Festival of Architecture, RIBA London, local architecture practices and associated organisations will once again be organising a range of creative activities in the area. For people who would like to see ‘behind the scenes’ in …

Artists with learning disabilities exhibit at Fitzrovia gallery

Encounter: Artbox London Spring 2013 Exhibition By News Reporters Nati Gallery in Warren Street is hosting an exhibition and sale of works by artists with learning difficulties on Tuesday 14 May. The artists are supported by the charity Artbox London.  Encounter promises to be an evening of fun and laughter with art inspired by the two …

Paul Willetts and the making of The Look of Love

By Clive Jennings Many local residents and workers were surprised last year to spot Steve Coogan sporting an extravagant blond bouffant “combover” hairstyle as he strutted round the streets of Soho with Anna Friel on his arm. They were portraying Paul Raymond and his wife Jean for the filming of “The Look of Love” the …

Linger in the gallery where the neon signs are pretty

By News Reporters Scream Gallery in Eastcastle Street is hosting London-based light artist Chris Bracey’s first UK solo exhibition.  Bracey’s father was a neon sign-maker, predominantly for fairgrounds and amusement arcades, and Chris learnt how to manufacture and design the neon signs at an early age.  Inspired by the kitsch character of London's Soho during …

Art fails into hole in the ground at Bedford Square

https://twitter.com/andydangerfield/status/327485728265224192 By Angela Lovely Is it art or is it rubbish art? That was the question I pondered as I looked into the perfect circle of a hole in the paving at Bedford Square this afternoon. One of my neighbours emailed Fitzovia News to say: "The Architectural Association have excavated a large hole on the …

Ffound by various artists at the Woolff Gallery

By Clive Jennings Ffound is a fascinating new exhibition of work by artists from around the world who collage found objects, or parts thereof, to create figurative and abstract images. The idea of appropriating existing objects to create works has a long tradition in twentieth century art: from Marcel Duchamp’s first “Readymades” in 1915, through …