We had a couple of days in London to go see Cabaret and visit with friends and along the way managed to squeeze in some culture.
First off we went to the Barbican, which I visited in 2016 but only remember the conservatory – if I had a chance to take in the architecture at the time I have no memory of it. Our initial reason to go was the Poor Things costume exhibition, but John pointed out that it was also used as a location for The Kitchen which was a nice bonus.
We had a wander, taking in the wonderful 1970s brutalist retrofuturism of the place, which is really quite glorious if you’re into that sort of thing. It has shown up in quite a lot of film and television, with a little clever set design for things like The Kitchen or fully CGI-enhanced to play Corcusant on Andor. We went up to the conservatory, which currently has an exhibit of suspended sculptures by Rajani Shettar and found one of the obvious locations from the film, which was pretty cool. If you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend it, its on Netflix so not hard to find.
The Poor Things costume display was small, really just a cordoned off section in the lobby, but the costumes themselves were wonderful to see up close. I was struck how actually in some ways they are simpler than you might expect, there are no patterns, few buttons or laces, the complexity comes from the texture of the fabrics and how they are structured: big leg-of-mutton sleeves with soft organic folds contrasting with the sharp origamy fold of the blue dress, the plastic ruffles edging the yellow gown, lovely stuff from Holly Waddington, who is also the costume designer designer for the excellent show The Great.
After a bite to eat at Seven Dials Market we made our way over to the Royal Academy to see The Impressionists on Paper which was very interersting and had some nice suprises like the Seurat drawings, his paintings are not my favourite but the drawings were dark and moody.