Category Archives: Blog

My blog and occasional comment on current affairs.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Its-Always-Sunny-header-its-always-sunny-in-philadelphia-16086951-760-255I’ve moved house and country recently, so have spent the last few months packing and generally getting stressed out. Fortunately, you can pack while watching TV so I have been watching a lot of Netflix – specifically a show called It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The show revolves around four characters who own/work in an Irish pub in Philadelphia. In series two they are joined by Danny Devito who raised two of the characters and may be the biological father of another. The first series is great but when Mr Devito joins up things get greater. All five characters are a bit mental/ shallow/ narcissistic/ sociopathic/ just plain a bit fucked up. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been described as ‘Seinfeld on crack’ which I guess is kind of fair given the shallow cynicism of the protagonists and the ludicrous situations that evolve but they are from a very different social spectrum. In one episode, the crack analogy literally happens when two of the characters – Dennis and Dee – decide to start smoking crack just so that they can get benefits. (To give you some idea of the shenanigans they get up to.)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia treads very close to the line of being offensive but remains continuously funny. Unless you are easily offended and lack a sense of humour, in which case just move along. If you have ever written a letter of complaint about a TV show then don’t watch this and do something more meaningful and less whining with your life. For everyone else, prepare for a treat.

Here is a brief intro to the characters:

Dennis Reynolds – a good looking narcissist who gets lots of women but there are moments where what he gets up to are a little disturbing. His DENNIS system of getting women for example, is funny but a little unnerving.

Dee Reynolds – Dennis’s sister. She aspires to be an actress but isn’t really very good. She even gets stage fright which causes her to vomit. Which is funny.

Mac – Dennis’s flatmate and self proclaimed badass. His dad is a convicted drug dealer and he can be a bit of a religious gun nut. Good times.

Charlie – used to be a part owner but sold all of his shares for food and stuff. He now works as a janitor and is often seen sniffing the cleaning supplies. He is also semi literate and semi stalks a local waitress.

Frank Reynolds – Dennis and Dee’s legal father and possibly Charlie’s real dad. Great at business but a bit dodgy. At times, very dodgy. (The Devito character.)

I would mention some classic moments but there are just too many. Although the characters are all a bit on the negative/dark side, you kind of like them. They may be semi alcoholic and nearly everyone they meet comes off worse for having done so, but it is so damn funny you forget or forgive most of their behaviour. Where It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia succeeds is getting these strong disparate characters to exacerbate nearly every situation to the point where it is fucking hilarious (and sometimes quite extreme) while remaining believable given their motivations and personalities.

To quote Dennis: “We immediately escalate everything to a ten. … (S)omebody comes in with some preposterous plan or idea, then all of a sudden everyone’s on the gas, nobody’s on the brakes, nobody’s thinking, everyone’s just talking over each other with one idiotic idea after another. Until, finally, we find ourselves in a situation where we’ve broken into somebody’s house – and the homeowner is home.” (I saw that quote on wikepedia and it is a good one, so thanks for that.)

This review has run on longer than I meant it to but I have smiled while writing it. I heartily recommend It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Make sure you keep watching until Danny Devito enters in series two. Then you will be hooked. I am actually a little jealous. Enjoy.



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Goodbye London!

goodbye_londonWell, the time has come to move on once more. I feel like Bruce Banner, always on the move but without the rage and government agencies after me. (He was the Incredible Hulk in case you missed the reference.) Or the Littlest Hobo but without being a dog. Or – whatever. I get restless and need to move occasionally.

While it is fun to change scene/city/country/continent there is always an element of melancholy as you are leaving friends and possibly even family behind. When I was younger and moving to Australia or Hong Kong or wherever, it was a bit worse as flights were longer and there was no internet and people are shite at writing letters. Now it isn’t quite so bad. Thanks Facebook, you are keeping me in touch everyone (and in return here is all my personal data). Also email and Skype and all that stuff. The modern world is bloody marvel.

It is with sadness that I leave but also some excitement. Working in TV with a bit of freelance writing on the side was great and it paid for a degree and a shiny new pair of lasered eyes. But I find writing full time more satisfying and London is too goddamned expensive. So I am returning to a life of journalism, while focusing on my legendary websites. I will also be working on more kindle books, which is ridiculously good fun and is already making me an increasing amount of money.

So I bid you farewell London and all my wonderful friends and family. I will only be 12 hours away by plane or a few seconds by a click of a mouse. I will visit lots. If all goes well maybe I will spend half my time there and the other half in the tropics. (Now is a good moment to buy one of my books, by the way.) It all depends on numerous factors and most importantly, what Mrs Word of Ward wants to do. She is in charge after all.

So cheers, London and farewell Blighty! I will see you soon but for now – mine’s a Beer Chang.


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Moving abroad – the final countdown

Well, it’s all happening here at the Word of Ward. In 10 days from now, on the 18th, I am undergoing a continent/country/career/lifestyle change. I am mentioning this not to gloat but just explain why blog entries maybe be a bit more haphazard over the next couple of weeks. And also to gloat. I plan to quit my half writer, half TV existence and become pure writer. There is a lot of opportunity out there on the interweb for someone who can vaguely string a sentence together, so it seems like a fun experiment to try and make a living doing that.

Writing on a beach. That's the dream.

Writing on a beach. That’s the dream.

Obviously the best place to try such an experiment is in a hot country with nice beaches,  and cheaper beer. All you need is an internet connection. I intend to put a lot more hours into my websites as well because the pittance I make from them cover the costs of hosting but are hardly helping toward my cocktail on a beach fund. I also intend to release more fiction on kindle and enter stories in competitions and magazines. And of course, there is always the freelance journalism which pays the bills and can be a lot of fun – but can also be quite restricting and frustrating.

So bear with me. I am still here. And soon I will be there.

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Assassin’s Creed real life Parkour

If you have ever played Assassin’s Creed for hours then left the house, you sometimes find yourself looking at real life buildings to assess easy access to rooftops or cool things to run over. This subconscious analysis gets even stronger when you visit cities that feature in the games and you suddenly realise that you know your way around and that the easiest way to get to where you want to be is to climb a certain wall, run across the roofs of several buildings then dive into a river and hey presto, you’re there.

The crushing reality I felt when I visited places like Rome, Venice, and Florence was that even though it was pretty damned cool that I could navigate between some major sites based purely upon a game, I would probably injure myself just trying to jump over a small wall. Happily, while that would be the case for most of us, it is not true for practitioners of Parkour – that amazing sport/hobby/boastful exercise thing where people jump over street objects in an impressive manner.

Finally, someone has linked these two strands together and proved that Assassin’s Creed could definitely happen. (Although maybe not the ‘leap of faith into some straw’ bit if you have played the game.)

So if you like Assassin’s Creed or Parkour then you should enjoy this 3 minute clip set in Paris. It all looks pretty easy actually although the video shows that it is probably still quicker to take the bus.


Joaquin Phoenix’s Forehead

Sorry, I know it is puerile and stupid but this clip has been circling the web a lot recently and the world has been an increasingly grim place of late. So for just a minute, tilt your head to the left, watch this clip, marvel at the strange little face that appears on Joaquin Phoenix’s forehead and forget about things briefly. A word of warning – you will never look at Joaquin Phoenix the same way again. Or his forehead.




Nice in France

Dear Internet,

Sorry I haven’t written in ages but I was moving house and then had a delightful couple of weeks in the south of France. But I am back in London now and will soon be returning to the drudgery of work and a normal existence. I will be writing a lot more from that point on, I promise. Our first stop was Nice, which is no misnomer. In fact the city could be called Bloody Lovely and it would still hold true. We then went to Antibes, Aix-en-Pronce, Chateauneuf-de-Pape, Avignon, then Paris. With a few little stops in places like Eze and Monaco.

Here’s a picture of what some of it looked like:

The Cote d'Azur

The Cote d’Azur 

As you can see, it was bloody lovely and hence not a lot of writing got done. I should also add that a glass of wine in that part of the world is cheaper than mineral water or coffee, so I was half drunk a lot of the trip. We were on a budget you see…

So prepare yourselves for an explosion of shallow stuff as The Word of Ward returns to business. Tonight I am seeing Monty Python live and tomorrow we are off to Hyde Park to see Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Faith No More, and so on. Then it is back to business.

Please bear with me for this difficult period.

Yours affectionately,

The Word of Ward

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RIP Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall in the Young ONes

Rik Mayall in the Young Ones

I just wanted to say a quick goodbye to Rik Mayall. I would find it hard to add the hours I have spent watching him on TV but it would be a hell of a lot. I suspect his passing will revive a lot of fond memories in those of a slightly older generation. We generation X-ers grew up with Rik Mayall on our TV playing anarchic manic characters and although the characters were vastly different, they were all very definitely him. He seemed to dominate my TV from when I was 10 and he was in the Young Ones, through to the mid-90s when he was in Bottom and The New Statesman. I know he did a lot of stuff before and after but this was the period when he was almost permanently on my TV and his humour perfectly matched my own. Even more so once VHS boxsets came out and I could watch the shows repeatedly.

My personal favourites that deserve particular mention are: Rik – the anarchist student obsessed with Cliff Richard, the awesome Captain Flasheart in Blackadder on whom I modeled my 20s, the legendary and highly accurate portrayal of the politician Alan B’stard on whom I may model my 40s, and Richard Richard who lived in a squalor in London that was a replica of nearly every flat I have lived in until I got married.

Although some of his humour may be a bit puerile or over the top, he brought me some of my favourite TV when I was young and I thought he deserved a mention and my thanks. I feel a New Statesman binge coming on. RIP Rik Mayall.



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Turns out I’m an apathetic non-voting scumbag

I want to vote, I really do. Unfortunately, like a lot of the apathetic bloody populace these days, I don’t. There was a load of local and European elections in the UK recently and I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of the main parties. I actively distrust them all and don’t want to risk voting for a lesser political evil when the party involved might actually win and then invade an oil filled country a year later or starve pensioners or lead us to a scenario where no one will ever be able to afford a house ever again or… you get the idea.

I think everyone should have a vote – that’s a given. Everyone who chooses to side with a party and wants them to lead their country should be able to have a say. Democracy is a pretty bollocks system really, but it is by far the best we humans have come up with and I will fight for people to able to have their say. Probably not to the death, but pretty damned close.

I think I just increasingly dislike the generation of politicians who have made politics their career. They rarely seem to me to be arguing for what they genuinely believe should be happening in the country, they seem more concerned with getting one up on their rival politicians and furthering their career. They are more concerned with the politics of government than actually governing.

I don’t know why I have strayed from my usual inane fun this entry. I apologise. I think it is a combination of all the shiny politicians on TV, the fact that it is my birthday next week and I am getting increasingly grumpy, and a concern for all my friends and family in my former home of Thailand (and future) where democracy is really going through the ringer. In Thailand various failed power plays have caused people become so entrenched in two opposing political parties that the army staged a coup to try and get everyone a fair vote. On the same day in the UK, UKIP suddenly made huge gains because people were so fed up with the similar shite spouted from the main two parties that they either voted for UKIP or lay in bed in resigned apathy. In both cases, people in power craved more power and it backfired. Which is a good thing if it then leads to change. Sadly I don’t think that will happen.

The final reason is that I was reminded of a superb quote from George Orwell’s 1984. One of my favourite books. It got me thinking in a pointless and futile way and also gave me an excuse for a great quote on power. I shall stop whining now and leave you with Mr Orwell.




“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ? George Orwell, 1984

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Deadly snakes that could kill babies at large in North London!

NatureLittle did I know that I, as a North Londoner, have been living with the threat of DEADLY KILLER probably EVIL, RABID snakes for years. These things are 8 foot long and can kill babies and may or may not be able to fly. Apparently it has gotten to the point  where my own borough of Camden is talking about culling the slithering menace and I am only just hearing about it now.

Panic damn you!

Ok, I am being slightly alarmist here but that is because I have just read a load of news reports that are being massive dicks about the whole thing. Here is one such headline:

“Deadly eight-foot snakes that can kill cats and dogs invade London.” (

Here is another one:

“Snakes capable of crushing small children to death at large in London” (

A few points need to be made here.

– Yes the snakes (Aesculpian snakes to be precise) are DEADLY – but to rats and birds and so on. All carnivores are deadly in that they make other animals die. So you should also be afraid of DEADLY pussy cats and DEADLY little birdies and DEADLY moles, etc. (Especially moles, they just look weird.)

– They have invaded in the sense that they are not native to the UK. According to the newspaper reports, they originate from Yugoslavia which is no longer even a place. So they have been living here a while just getting on with things, although I am sure that still infuriates Daily Mail snake lovers.

– They live mostly on rats and small birds. Technically they can strangle small animals but as London is chock full of rats, why bother eating Mr Tiddles? As one paper pointed out – large snakes have been known to attack small dogs or babies but as this has never happened in London and after decades of them lurking around, I feel ok. Birds and rats have been known to attack kids too, so maybe this will balance out.

– The main concern about the babies being attacked comes from one quote from one person that I have seen repeated in several papers and online magazines (including the two above). They all use the exact same wording as if simply copied and pasted by some lazy bastard who can’t be arsed to do better research. Here is the copied and pasted quote:

Mum-of-three Sylvia Taylor, 33, told the Daily Star: “If they are capable of killing small animals then surely they could constrict small children?”‘

Great stuff. I have a degree in English and one part of my studies involved linguistic analysis. So having skilfully dissected the above statement I can reveal it is slightly misleading. She is actually asking a question not telling them something. Her hypothetical question is not answered but that doesn’t stop the question turning into an implication that is consequently used as a chilling headline.

I grew up in Asia and snakes are fine. Especially non-aggressive non-poisonous ones that eat rats. Leave them alone.

On the other hand I could be wrong! Be afraid! Think of the children! Next article: ‘Moody Geese from France are here to break your children’s legs.’

Regent's Canal, Camden. Right now! (Allegedly)

Regent’s Canal, Camden. Right now! (Allegedly)



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Augmented reality bus stop

This has been doing the rounds on the internet, but in case you missed it I thought I would share because it is bloody genius. I keep meaning to pop down to New Oxford street (it’s in London) and see if it is still there. Personally, I think they could go a lot further and have zombies, Triffids, psychopathic clowns, Daleks, Stormtroopers, Cthulu, Godzilla, the Borg, giant mechanoids, the Blob… well, I could actually go on all day. If I was trying to promote a film or a game I would be all over this augmented reality technology thingy but sadly I am not, so will just gawk at it instead. has shiny new look!

The good folks over at the awesome have a brilliant new look to their site. (Ok ScifiWard is me.) I thought I would try out a new design there and see how easy the whole process was. Turns out, it was pretty damn simple to achieve and now it looks like a veritable window on the future. I urge you to go and check it out forthwith and post haste!  As I mentioned when I chatted about doing code academy, it is time for this site to have a makeover.

I want to keep things simple so will probably go with a wordpress theme.

I just thought I would warn you all so that if you happen to be clicking to somewhere else on this site, everything may go a bit mental for a minute or two. While I may be brilliant at design and basic coding and most other things a human can do, I can’t work out how to change things on a site before it goes live. The changes may happen before your very eyes… Plus it is more fun this way. So don’t panic! Your computer isn’t broken. Look on in awe as a new site unfolds.

Look in awe at the new site!

Look in awe at the new site!

EDIT: Well I guess doing Scifiward first has paid off as the Word of Ward has now had its facelift and it took about half an hour. Any suggestions please email:

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myhotel, Brighton

This isn’t really a hotel review as such – it’s more of an excuse as to why I have been a bit negligent toward the poor old website.

The reason is that I have been busy at work and then busy holidaying. I’m not sure that is a good reason but that is the way it is. While there we stayed at the fantastic Myhotel in Brighton. That isn’t a typo by the way, it is supposed to look like that because it’s all hip and shit.

It was Mrs Wordofward’s birthday and the good thing about Brighton is that it is chock full of cool bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs. All of which we are fans of. I’ve stayed at the Myhotel before in Brighton and it is in a superb location in the hip and cool North Lanes, just a short walk from the hip and cool South Lanes and consequently the not quite so hip and cool waterfront. (I am always disappointed by the pier at Brighton and while there is the odd nice cafe/bar by the beach, if it isn’t a sunny day then the Lanes are the place to be.) In fact, every other male I saw in the Lanes had a beard which shows how hip(ster) it is.

Another great thing about Brighton is that it is less than an hour from London.

Anyway, if you fancy Brighton I recommend the myhotel. It is like living in a hotel in Logan’s Run. Imagine the future as designed by someone from the seventies and you’ll get the idea. There is a great coffeeshop, cool bar – you get a free cocktail and they play retro movies on multiple screens while fish swim in tanks, and a modern Indian fusion restaurant which is also apparently pretty good.

So apologies for a slight lapse. Service has now resumed and fascinating things dealing with science and reviews of stuff and things will soon be forthcoming. In the meantime, here is a photo of our room:

myhotel room.

myhotel room.


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Brilliant explanation of the Big Bang – space stuff on Youtube

Youtube is normally just a repository for videos of adorable kittens falling over, or adorable humans falling over, or adorable blurry UFOs flying over, or adorable viral events that are soon to be over, or… Ok, I’ll stop as I am running out of ideas. Plus we all know there is a lot of other great stuff on there – trailers, clips of Felix Baumgartner falling from space, new fan made Star Trek movies, cool but stupid retro scifi movies like Space Probe Taurus, and so on.

There are also lots of youtube clips that teach you things. You can get totally educated and shit watching exciting animated clips and documentaries. I am currently watching a lot of astronomy related videos on youtube. This was partly inspired by a recent interest in physics (mostly particle physics but it is all related and bloody fascinating), and partly because I am a pretentious prick who likes to sound clever down the pub. There are some great clips out there like this one that explains the Big Bang for beginners:

The people who made this clip have a page called Kurzgesagt and they explain all sorts of things – astronomy, fracking, global warming etc. Click this for Kurzgesagt’s youtube channel. I am only mentioning all this as it is riveting and there are a surprising amount of people with time on their hands and internet connection. Why not learn stuff?

Here's a picture of the big bang purely because it is interesting.

Here’s a picture of the big bang purely because it is interesting.

On a similar note. Watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on youtube while you are about it. I watched this as a kid on TV and it sparked a lifelong interest in in astronomy and science. Here is the first episode. Enjoy.

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Fun with a Theremin

Leon Theremin playing the Theremin

Leon Theremin playing the Theremin

I know what you are thinking: everyone already loves a Theremin so what is the point of this post? Well sadly, you’re wrong you poor deluded fool. It turns out that some people don’t even know what a theremin is! In case you are part of the latter crowd, look to the left. That is Leon Theremin playing his Theremin. Bizarrely the similarity in names was a coincidence. (That was a joke – he patented his invention in 1928.)

I love theremins but perhaps that is because I am a bit of a geek and geeks seem to have been exposed to the sounds of theremins more than other mere humans. Theremins can be heard in The Day the Earth Stood Still (original), Ed Wood, The Thing (from another world), The Big Bang Theory, and so on. Funnily enough they are most famous for providing the theme tunes to original Doctor Who and original Star Trek. Neither is actually true but they do sound pretty fantastic on a theremin as this video clearly demonstrates with the Doctor Who theme:

In popular music, Theremins have been used by a ton of musicians including: Hawkwind, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin, (to name but three examples of personal favourites). Plus this guy playing Radiohead:

They have been used in classical music too, although that seems pretty rare. There have been a few professional devotees though, such as Clara Rockmore. Here she is playing Tchaikovsky and it’s rather pleasant:


In case you are bored at work which, let’s face it, is likely given that you have read this far, I give you (drumroll…) – a desktop Theremin! Well actually, I don’t, but here is a link to one thanks to the good people at


Literally minutes of fun as you try and play the theme tune to original Star Trek, then a bit of Doctor Who, then… er… back to the web probably. I thought it was pretty fun for a few minutes and thought you might too. Who knows? Maybe this post will spark off a renewed interest Theremin playing. It’s unlikely but I bloody hope so.

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Conwy Castle, Wales

Conwy Castle exterior

Conwy Castle exterior

Apologies for not having written much of late but work was sparse so Mrs Word of Ward and I went a-wondering. I won’t gloat about the places we went (although I might later) as they were mostly sunny and warm. One place that wasn’t either of these, but was still pretty great, was Conwy Castle in North Wales. If you like castles or spectacular decaying edifices, I highly recommend it. It was actually pretty fun to go on a bleak mid-week afternoon in January as well, as we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

A photo of Conwy from a better photographer on a  nicer day.

A photo of Conwy from a better photographer on a nicer day.

Conwy castle was built the late 13th century. As in just before 1300ish, for King Edward 1st. Or King Edward as he was known back then. It was a major base for King Ed as he was conquering the Welsh – although it is probably best not mentioning that when you visit as they have never quite forgiven us horrible English types.

Unlike a lot of tourist attraction castles, the interior doesn’t have too much crap in it like signs or gift shops or anything. The mood is pretty unspoilt and you are allowed to wander around and climb things. Here is another picture but this time of the interior:

Conwy castle interior

Conwy castle interior

Nice eh? You can almost imagine all the lords and ladies and knights and dragons and so on. Here is another that was taken from what would have been a basement. Note that in the distance of both of these pictures you can see Conwy’s turrets – more on that after the picture.

20140129_132740If you don’t mind twisty steep dark staircases, then I highly recommend you climb one of the turrets. The view is bloody spectacular. Here is a both a superb vista and a brilliant example of modern phone’s ability to do a panorama shot.

Panorama from a Conwy turret.

Panorama from a Conwy turret.

Now, here is a shaky video on a windy day from the top, which may or may not load properly.

I said end it all but here are a couple of bonus pictures as you have been so good. I mentioned how there wasn’t too much crap to distract you from the awesomeness of Conwy castle but there are a couple of random touches that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think they ‘re there to give kiddywinks something to find. There are a few of these. My favourites were:

The ghostly head of King Edward!

The ghostly head of King Edward!


A pile of armour with a helmet, crown, and spike in a deep pit. For some reason.

A pile of armour with a helmet, crown, and spike in a deep pit. For some reason.

So you can see the kid friendly, slightly spooky vibe they are going for. If you get the chance, I highly recommend Conwy castle. As you can see it’s a good balance of castle, decay, random sights, great views, and a general Game of Thrones type vibe.

Thanks to for the picture. You can also get more info there.

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Felix Baumgartner’s jump from a First Person Point of View

I know the world moves at a quick pace these days, but do you remember that Felix Baumgartner guy who jumped from space to prove that science was cool? It was back in the simpler days of 2012. It was a pretty epic fall and he was wearing several hi-def cameras that must have taken a bugger of a lot of processing as the footage has finally been released. There are some amazing shots and it’s still an incredible feat to watch. Enjoy.


Follow The Word of Ward on Twitter

Just a quick note as I am technically at work right now although I am writing this in my officially sanctioned lunch break. The Word of Ward has been getting a lot of attention recently (not sure why but the figures keep doubling), so to the 1000s of new unique daily visitors who missed it – I am also on twitter: @thewordofward.

For those of you not on Twitter, I apologise for brazenly wasting your time. Frankly though, this seemed a good excuse to remind people to follow me  as I clearly crave incessant attention. I promise to be vaguely interesting.


Fuerza Bruta

Fuertza Bruta

Fuertza Bruta

I saw this last night at the Roundhouse in Camden (London) and if you want the short version of the review:

It was awesome, go and see it.

Now for a more lengthy version. I had no idea what to expect from Fuerza Bruta as every review I had read struggled to accurately describe what happens. I’m not going to lie – this will probably be the same. But it might at least give you a taster.

Here is a basic rundown of how things happened and what goes on:

At the start of the show we, the milling crowd, were led to the central section of the Roundhouse into what could be described as a circular circus tent that was missing a roof. The audience was immediately herded toward the centre of the room where we waited and sipped drinks and were treated to techno that sounded a bit like a heartbeat. A heartbeat from an increasingly excited person. Then the lights dimmed and Fuerza Bruta began.

_DSC6097.JPGAt first no one knew where to look. Then, people gradually turned in one direction where there was a guy silhouetted in an orange light welcoming us and shouting a bit. Then the lights came on and there was a row of Argentinian drummers. As their drumbeats filled the air a group of shouting people suddenly swung from out of nowhere and skimmed over our heads while at the same time lights started to strobe and the air was filled with confetti. This was what Fuertza Bruta was all about – spectacle, sensation, and an incredibly fun interactive experience.

The show was essentially three acts that were linked by drums, dancing, music and sensory assault. As things changed, the audience was expertly moved and parted to allow sets and machines to be brought among us.

FuerzaBrutaFor the first act, we were split into two groups as a huge treadmill was wheeled in amongst us. Then an unstoppable man began an inexplicable journey. He walks, then runs, with wind and confetti blasting in his face. Suddenly there is a shot, blood appears on his shirt and he stops for second seemingly about to collapse. Then he takes the shirt off, revealing an identical one underneath, and gets going once more. I won’t go into too much detail but there are obstacles such as people, chairs, walls that explode into glitter, staircases and more, as this plucky fellow miraculously pounds ahead with music blaring and strobe lights strobing. Fuertza Bruta means ‘brute force’ and it clearly stemmed from this amazing set piece.

fuerza-bruta-2-816x1024After another few moments of ‘where the hell should I look now’ and a dash of ‘what’s going to happen next’ eyes strayed to the ceiling. Two large rectangular pools made from see though plastic where suspended above us. A light shining through revealed the body of a lithe young lady lying in a shallow pool of water. As the pools were lowered toward us she was joined by other lithe women and a strangely beautiful (and beautifully strange) dance occurs as the ladies writhe and leap and occasionally slam down in an explosion of purple-lit water. At times this occurs inches from the audience’s head and if you are tall enough you can push the plastic bottom of the pool as the performers slide over. It was such an amazing atmosphere and unique spectacle that it felt only a tiniest bit pervy.

1240-3-fuerza-brutaFor Fuerza Bruta’s final act a plastic sheet is pulled across the top of the audience – by the audience themselves – which is then filled with air to create a big plastic dome. Performers then appear on top of this dome and peep through via three holes. At one point they dropped into the audience and grabbed a couple of people, which was a tad disconcerting. Other madness occurs such as tubes with flying people and fans billowing and music and general shenanigans. By this point our senses had been pretty heavily assaulted by wonder and we calmly took it in our stride.It is then all nicely rounded off with the drummers and the whole cast dancing.

The above description is just a taste of what Fuerza Bruta is all about. There is a lot more I haven’t even mentioned. It is a spectacle where art meets performance and if that sounds pretentious then I should also add that it is messy, loud and bloody good fun.

If you are in London, it is on at the Roundhouse (which is an awesome venue anyway and well worth a visit) until the 2nd of March. More info here. It also appears all over the world, but I suspect only in major cities as it needs venues actually capable of holding the show.

In case my feeble description of Fuerza Bruta isn’t enough to wet your insatiable appetite, here are a couple of videos. Enjoy and then book tickets – it’s worth it.

Fuerza Bruta at the Roundhouse ad:

And a generic ad (from the New York show I think):

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Arthur C. Clarke predicts computers and internet in 1974

Arthur C. Clarke predicted a ton of stuff like satellites, fully immersive VR games, sexily voiced computers and space elevators and and so on. (Granted the latter hasn’t actually happened yet but NASA does have team on it, even if it’s taking a while

In this clip from 1974, he predicts small computers will one day exist in everyone’s houses. He predicted that these computers would also one day connect to each other so we can communicate, order plane tickets, buy pointless shite and look at naked people. The guy was a genius. Anyway, see for yourself:

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas from the Word of Ward! And from Mrs Word of Ward!

If you don’t celebrate Christmas but have a festival – then Happy Festival!

If you don’t have any festival or holiday or anything then… um… happy 4th day post equinox. I assume you are at work.

Whatever the deal – enjoy!


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