Alaskan Creatives Kickstart An Adventure iBook Project

Fairbanks residents and designers, John Schauer and Adele Wiejaczka, have launched a project to include 49 Alaskan Adventurers in a published iBook. The iBook will feature Alaskans whose lives are shaped by the wildest places in North America. Through this interactive and media-rich iBook, you will meet travelers of the arctic wilderness. Among the 49 Alaskans to be featured in the book are distance mushers Paige Drobny and Cody Strathe, class V whitewater paddlers Paul Schauer and Tim Johnson, ultra-distance specialists Tyler Johnson and Luc Mehl, alpinists Clint Helander and Jason Stuckey, and skier/mountaineer sisters Krista Heeringa and Heidi Rader.

Launched on the Kickstarter platform, the 49 Faces of Alaskan Adventure is raising funds for it’s publication at bit.ly/kick49faces. Supporters of the project receive unique rewards, such as the GPS coordinates to the “Great Alaskan River Party,” a dinner and adventure in Northern Alaska, a copy of the finished iBook, and much more.

Wiejaczka and Schauer, both Alaskan adventurers themselves, love wilderness travel and stories from the Alaskan backcountry. Wiejaczka owns her own graphic design business, Live Large Design (livelargedesign.com). Schauer works as a communications and professional development consultant and owns his own interactive media business, Think Far Beyond (thinkfarbeyond.com).

Get involved with this creative endeavor by October 2nd to be in the running for your own Alaskan adventure. 49faces.thinkfarbeyond.com/news/49-faces-donor-drawing/

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From comedy and literature to music and photography, the Southbank Centre boasts a diverse programme this autumn

Autumn on the South Bank is shaping up to be an impressive affair and with the Southbank Centre being London’s hub of cultural arts, visitors can expect a generous line-up of events. One of the centre’s most ambitious classical music projects to date, the year-long Rest is Noise festival is in its final few months before closing in December. Taking audiences on a chronological journey of 20 th century music, the second half of the festival focuses on music composed between 1945 and 2000. Autumn highlights of the programme include rare London performances from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (4th October), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (3 rd November) and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (28th November). The finale of the festival will come from the London Philharmonic Orchestra with a performance of Adams’ El Nino. Visitors travelling to the Southbank Centre from outside of the city can find a great selection of central London hotels on LondonTown.com.

As well as classical music, the Southbank Centre also welcomes a number of contemporary performers to London this autumn. Chart-topping and award-winning vocalist Alison Moyet stops by on 15 th October, American ensemble Pink Martini perform on 18 th October and veteran singer Roy Harper promotes his album Man and Myth on 22 nd October. Part of the literature and spoken word autumn season, an array of writers and performers will also visit the centre, including Elizabeth Gilbert, Seamus Heanet and Jennifer Saunders who stops by to launch her latest book, Bonkers.

Following previews at the Soho Theatre and performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, David Baddiel’s Fame: Not The Musical comes to the Southbank Centre in October. His first solo stand-up show in fifteen years, the bespectacled novelist will treat London audiences to a deconstruction of his own fame and our culture’s obsession with fame in general.

The World Press Photo Exhibition returns to the Southbank Centre in November, showcasing the most powerful and moving images from the past year. Later in the month the London Jazz Festival offers a flamboyant ten-day programme across a number of London venues. Programme highlights at the Southbank Centre include performances from Hugh Masekela, Patty Griffin and Grammy Award-winning bassist Marcus Miller. The festival conclusion is also hosted by the centre with a performance from singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux.

Find out about all the best events happening in London over the next few months with LondonTown.com’s Autumn 2013 in London article.

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The South Humber Connection – FirstGroup firms unite to provide discounted tickets to London

First Hull Trains and First TransPennine Express have joined forces to bring people living on the south bank of the River Humber some great value train fares to and from London.

People can now travel for less from stations across the region into the capital thanks to a new joint ticketing scheme between the two operators. The tickets, which are available from as little as £10 each way, enable travelers from Cleethorpes, Grimsby Town, Habrough, Barnetbyand Scunthorpe to buy a through ticket at a cheaper rate to London and back again.

David Pritchard, from First Hull Trains, said: “We’ve been looking at ways we can reach out to passengers travelling to London on services which feed into the stations we serve for some time and these joint fares seem to be a great way of doing it.

“Many people use our services anyway but by working with our colleagues at First TransPennineExpress,we have been able to take some of the hassle out of travelling and buying tickets.

“We are always looking to make all our journeys as trouble-free and as relaxing as possible and think this will represent a great offer for many people.”

The move comes as First Hull Trains has also launched its biggest ever ticket promotion since the company was launched in 2000. People taking advantage of the South Humber Connection service will be able to snap up standard class tickets from as little as £10 and First Class from only £36.

The partnership has been welcomed by independent rail user groups which exist to promote the improvement of rail services for people across the region.

David Walford of Rail Development Humber said: “First Hull Trains has produced a similar product for north bank stations and here we see another example of a move towards greater integration of transport providers, this time extending to people acrossNorth and North East Lincolnshire.

“It’s great to see First Hull Trains using its position to the benefit of more people than those at the stations which it immediately serves.

“Anything that makes throughtravel more simple and better value for the passenger is to be warmly greeted.”

With prices starting at just £10, you canbook tickets at your local staffed station, through www.hulltrains.co.uk or www.tpexpress.co.uk.

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LondonTown.com provides the chance to win tickets to the National Home Improvement Show

This year, the National Home Improvement Show returns to London’s Olympia for the second time, running from 27th to 29th September. LondonTown.com has teamed up with the organisers to offer ten lucky readers a free pair of tickets to the event. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants simply need to email their full name and contact number to competitions@londontown.com before midday on Monday 16th September 2013. The prizes consist of two standard admission tickets which will be valid for one day only; winners can choose the day they wish to attend.

Back for its fifth year, the show is now an established occasion on the London events calendar and has grown considerably in recent years. Aimed at those who are serious about home improvement, the show brings visitors an unrivalled selection of ideas, inspiration and expert advice to help them take the next step with their home improvement project.

This year boasts a number of new features including the Self-Build Zone, where experts showcase their latest products to inspire at home projects, and Ask the Architect, self-build design expert Hugo Tugman leads an advice clinic that will help visitors kick start home improvements. Further guests include property and renovation experts from Real Homes Magazine Michael Holmes, editor-in-chief; Julia Kendell, interior designer; and Oliver Heath, eco and architectural expert. All of the guests will be on hand to guide visitors in seminars, masterclasses and on-to-one consultations.

With hundreds of exhibitors and experts for visitors to meet and thousands of innovative products to see, there will also be the chance to learn how to go green with the help of eco savvy products, save money on your energy bills and discover space saving solutions.

LondonTown.com provides regular chances to win free tickets, prizes and giveaways, visit the website’s competitions page to find out more.

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The BFI announces the full programme for this year’s London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival returns for its 57th year this October and will once again attract an array of Hollywood players and Indie film-makers with its generous programme of premieres, gala films and star-studded ceremonies. Taking place at the BFI Southbank and a handful of cinemas across London, the twelve-day festival, which runs from 9th to 20th October, also provides a spotlight for small independent films, foreign language cinema, documentary work, animationand BFI National Archive classics. While informal post-screening Q&As, guest appearances, workshops and masterclasses further enhance the programme. Guests travelling from outside of London need not miss out with a great selection of cheap London hotels available to book through LondonTown.com.

In its 57th year the festival opens and closes with two European premieres, both of which star Tom Hanks. Directed by Paul Greengrass, maritime drama Captain Phillips opens the festival. The high-stakes thriller is based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. In contrast, Saving Mr Banks, a film about the making of Mary Poppins, brings it to a close and sees Hanks play Walt Disney and Oscar-winning Emma Thompson as author PL Travers.

With Clare Stewart, the BFI’s Head of Cinemas and Festivals, returning for a second year, the programme between these bookends is equally as inviting. Some of the gems to be screened across London include a gala screening of Stephen Frears’ Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, who co-wrote and produced the production; the European premiere of Steve MCQueen’s 12 Years a Slave with Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt; and AbdellatifKechiche’s critically acclaimed lesbian dramaBlue Is the Warmest Colour.

The festival will also welcome a host of British and international film stars to London including the likes of Sandra Bullock, Carey Mulligan, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and, of course, Tom Hanks.

Find out about all the best London events this autumn with the help of LondonTown.com, where all the top openings and happenings are listed.

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The Best Theatre in London in Autumn 2013

Vanessa Redgrave, Jude Law, David Walliams and David Tennant are just some of the well-known stars gracing the London stage this autumn starring in four separate Shakespearean dramas, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘Henry V’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and ‘Richard II’ and for theatre goers who want to stay overnight in London there’s a wide range of hotels in London to choose from.

Dennis Kelly, writer of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Matilda the Musical’, makes his debut at Royal Court Theatre this autumn with ‘The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas’, a dark morality tale about “capitalism, greed and individualism” from 5th September to 19th October 2013. Vicky Featherstone’s first season as artistic director of the venerated London theatre, continues with ‘Let the Right One In’ (29th November to 21st December 2013), a stage adaptation of the Swedish vampire novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Terry Johnson directs his own play, ‘Hysteria’, from 5th September to 12th October 2013, at the Hampstead Theatre, with Antony Sher playing the role of Sigmund Freud in this hilarious and insightful farce which dramatises the imagined meeting between the famous founder of psychoanalysis and Salvador Dali. Later in the autumn Tamzin Outhwaite returns to Hampstead Theatre to star in ‘Raving’ (17th October to 23rd November 2013) the debut play by actor Simon Paisley Day which is a comic study of modern parenting and matrimonial tribulations.

Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock and Keeley Hawes star in comedy crime caper ‘Barking in Essex’ from 6th September 2013 Wyndham’s Theatre in London ‘s West End . Sheridan Smith plays Titania and David Walliams is Bottom in Shakespeare’s popular comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (7th September to 16th November 2013), revived as part of the Michael Grandage season at the Noel Coward Theatre which concludes with Jude Law taking the title role in ‘Henry V’, from 23rd November 2013 and continuing until 15th February 2014.

There’s more Shakespeare as ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ stars Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones resume their on-stage partnership in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, from 7th September to 16th November 2013, directed by actor Mark Rylance at the Old Vic Theatre .

Following a successful run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ transfers to the Duchess Theatre from 18th September until 7th December 2013 with Henry Goodman – who “you simply can’t take your eyes off” ( Daily Telegraph ) – once again in the title role.

Tom Ellis (who plays love interest Gary in BBC comedy Miranda) plays Curtis Lyons in ‘The Lyons’ which comes to the Menier Chocolate Factory this September. Lesley Manville stars in Richard Eyre’s new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s drama ‘Ghosts’ based on the family travails of the Alvings, opening on 26th September 2013 at the Almeida Theatre where Rupert Goold – who becomes the theatre’s new artistic director in January 2014 – directs musical thriller ‘American Psycho’ from 3rd December 2013.

Matthew Macfadyen (whose wife Keeley Hawes appears in ‘Barking in Essex’ this autumn) is Jeeves to Stephen Mangan’s Wooster in ‘Jeeves And Wooster In Perfect Nonsense’. The play will open in London with a short run at Richmond Theatre from 10th to 19th October before transferring to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End on 30th October 2013.

‘The Scottsboro Boys’, a shocking tale based on real-life events when nine young black men are falsely accused of rape is performed at The Young Vic from 18th October to 23rd November 2013. And acclaimed Headlong Theatre company bring George Orwell’s seminal novel, ‘1984′, to Richmond Theatre from 22nd to 26th October 2013, as part of a UK tour which takes place in eight theatre across the country.

Rupert Grint makes his London stage debut in Jez Butterworth’s play ‘Mojo’, set in Soho in the late 1950s. He stars alongside Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey), Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Hamlet, Peter and Alice ) and Daniel Mays (Trelawny of the Wells, Mrs Biggs) in the play which is produced by Sonia Friedman and previews at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 26th October 2013.

London’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special gala performance on 2nd November 2013 and The Queen will make a special visit to the theatre on 22nd October 2013, 50 years after the National first opened at the Old Vic Theatre .

Finally, looking forward towards winter, David Tennant will stars in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s much anticipated production of ‘Richard II’ at the Barbican from 9th December 2013, for those who want to see what is surely one of the hottest theatre tickets in London early booking is advised.

For all the best events in London this autumn, go to LondonTown.com where a host of useful information is supplied, giving those planning to visit the city all the information they need in one online location.

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Concierto de Radio 2 en directo en Hyde Park en septiembre

En lo que promete ser uno de los puntos álgidos del calendario de música en directo de Londres, BBC Radio 2 transmitirá en directo por sexto año desde Hyde Park el domingo 8 de septiembre.

Este evento de un día contará con los presentadores usuales de la radio con grupos y cantantes que forman la lista de las cadenas de radio más populares. El programa del año pasado incluía al legendario Tom Jones de Gales, a los veteranos roqueros británicos Status Quo y a sensacional cantante de Simply Red, Mick Hucknall. El programa del 2013 es todavía mejor con la juez de The Voice UK, Jessie J, la leyenda de la discográfica Motow, Smokey Robinson, los roqueros galeses Manic Street Preachers, el grupo de música pop escocesa Texas y las verdaderas leyendas de Caledonia Simple Minds.

Jeff Smith, director musical de Radio 2 ha dicho que “Este año se trata de reunir a amigos y familiares en un día de verano replete de buena música y diversión”. Los asistentes también tendrán la oportunidad de disfrutar de un picnic de lujo que se puede reservar por adelantado.

Si piensa quedarse todo el fin de semana, LondonTown.com debe ser su primera opción para Hoteles en Londres, su amplia gama de hoteles de gran calidad en todas las zonas de la capital facilita reservar cualquier tipo de alojamiento. Está The Wellesley Hotel en Knightsbridge, por ejemplo. Esta cadena de hoteles de lujo está a un paseo de menos de diez minutos de Hyde Park y ofrece habitaciones dobles desde 310 libras, incluido un descuento del 25%. Para verdaderos momentos de lujo, se debe probar el Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London. Conocido en todo el mundo por su alojamiento de insuperable calidad y situado a tan solo unos minutos del evento principal, las dobles deluxe comienzan a 416 libras, incluido un fabuloso descuento del 43%.

¡Así que disfrute del fin de semana con LondonTown.com y Radio 2 Live!

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La National Portrait Gallery de Londres recibe los ‘Retratos’ de Yeo en septiembre

Este otoño el Natonal Portrait Gallery de Londres albergará obras del artista británico Jonathan Yeo. La serie incluirá atrevidos retratos de celebridades como Kevin Spacey, imaginado de forma grandilocuente como Ricardo III, o Damien Hirst, visionado por Yeo como el “el oscuro jefe supremo de la escena artística contemporánea”. Esta exposición será gratuita y permanecerá abierta al público desde 11 de septiembre al 5 de enero.

Yeo es colaborador habitual en los premios BP Portrait Award de la National Portrait Gallery, pero ésta se trata de la primera exposición dedicada exclusivamente a sus obras. Previamente fue comisionado por la galería para retratar al veterano periodista Michael Parkinson, si bien ahora los protagonistas de sus trabajos incluyen a famosos como Rupert Murdoch y Grayson Perry.

Coincidiendo con la apertura de esta exposición, LondonTown.com ha anunciado una serie de descuentos en Londres hoteles cercanos a la National Portrait Gallery. Entre los establecimientos ofertados se encuentra el Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel, con un 45% en habitaciones dobles, lo que reduce la tarifa a 205 libras la noche. Este lujoso Radisson se sitúa en Leicester Square, a unos minutos de la galería.

El cercano Radisson Blue Edwardian Leicester Square Hotel, situado en St. Martins Street, ofrece un 48% de descuento, con habitaciones dobles desde las 178 libras. Éste hotel está situado a menos de un minuto del museo. A misma distancia se encuentra el Thistle de Trafalgar Square, con habitaciones dobles por 135 libras, un 56% más baratas de lo habitual.

Estos y más descuentos en hoteles de Londres están disponibles exclusivamente a través de LondonTown.com. Visite el portal para más información y ofertas en hoteles en Londres disponibles durante el verano y otoño.

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Kings Place Festival Returns

Describing itself as a ‘hub for music, art, dialogue and food’ and a ‘leading cultural landmark’, the Kings Place Festival is back for a sixth successive year. Housed in an award-winning building in the heart of King’s Cross, the festival begins on September 13th, running until September 15th.

Over a hundred events and concerts will be packed into three days, making this year’s festival the biggest yet. Highlights include Alice in Wonderland by Box Tale Soup, the critically-acclaimed Pappy’s troupe, and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Vocal group Vive offer up their singular vision of a capella music, drawing on their members’ experience at the Guildhall School of Music.

The festival is one of the most eclectic around, with classical, contemporary and experimental performers sitting alongside jazz, folk and blues musicians. Events have to be booked separately, but the Kings Place Festival is offering a click ‘n’ mix discount to people booking more than three shows.

Prices vary, and more information can be found at the festival’s website or at LondonTown.com. The latter is also offering discounted hotels in London – all within easy reach of Kings Place – for the duration of the festival.

Among the hotels in London partnering with the site is the Great Northern Hotel, which is offering a 41% discount on standard rooms, bringing the cost of a night’s stay down to £142. The Great Northern is less than five minutes’ walk from Kings Place .

The Fairway Hotel London on Argyle Street – around seven minutes’ walk from the festival – is offering double rooms with en suites at a 12% discount, which brings the nightly rate down to £70. A little further down Argyle Street is the Central Hotel, whose 15% reduction makes the cost of a night’s stay only £71.

All the hotels in London featured here are available at the discounted rate exclusively viaLondonTown.com. Visit the site for more information on this year’s Kings Place Festival, and to see more discounted hotels in London available this summer.

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Yeo’s ‘Portraits’ to Open at the National Portrait Gallery in September

Jonathan Yeo is presenting a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery this autumn. The show includes daring portrayals of cultural luminaries from Kevin Spacey – grandiloquently depicted as Richard III – to Damien Hirst, envisioned by Yeo as the ‘dark overlord of the Contemporary Art scene’. The free exhibition opens on September 11th, and runs until January 5th of next year.

Yeo is a regular contributor to the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award, but the upcoming exhibition will be his first solo show. He had previously been commissioned by the gallery to paint veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson, and now turns his attentions to famous faces including Rupert Murdoch and Grayson Perry.

To coincide with the opening of the show, LondonTown.com have announced details of a number of discounted London hotels close to the National Portrait Gallery. Among the deals on offer is a 45% discount on double rooms at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel. The reduced rate makes the cost of a night’s stay £205. The luxury Radisson is situated on Leicester Square, a short trot from the National Portrait Gallery.

The nearby Radisson Blue Edwardian Leicester Square Hotel, located on St Martins Street, is offering a 48% discount on double rooms, bringing a night’s stay down to £178. The hotel is less than a minute from the gallery. Just as close is the Thistle on Trafalgar Square, which is offering double rooms at a 56% discount – or £135 per night.

Discounts on the featured London hotels are available exclusively throughLondonTown.com. Visit the site for more information, and to see more London hotels available throughout the summer and autumn.

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Hoteles en Londres asequibles para Last Night of the Proms

La famosa Last Night of the Proms tendrá lugar en el Royal Albert Hall el 7 de septiembre. El evento de este año es súper especial, ya que Marin Alsop será la primera directora de orquesta que se subirá al pódium la noche de clausura.

La mayor temporada de música clásica de Londres ha ofrecido la usual combinación de música de orquesta, solos y corales durante todo el verano a un público de todo tipo. Como siempre, la Last Night of the Proms ofrece entradas en la puerta a cinco libras para aquellos fans que no pueden permitirse asistir a las actuaciones de música clásica.

No es de extrañar que el estimado director –y pilar de los Proms– Jiri Belohlavek haya descrito este evento como el “mayor y más democrático festival de música del mundo”. En ningún otro lugar se refleja esta ética de igualdad de forma más convincente que en la última noche (Last Night), con piezas populares e himnos patrióticos, sin mencionar la amplia cobertura de la BBC, que se transmiten a todo el mundo para la mayoría de fans de la música que no pueden conseguir entradas.

El programa de este año incluye favoritos del público como Nigel Kennedy y Joyce DiDonato, y promete un sabor marino con temas del mar de George Lloyd y Bantock, entre otros. Como de costumbre, un estremecedor coro de Rule Britannia cerrará el show, y Terry Wogan dirigirá la cada vez más popular fiesta Proms in the Park.

Para aquellos con poco dinero y tiempo para hacer cola por las entradas de 5 libras, las entradas van desde 27 a 97 libras. El show comenzará alrededor de las 7.30 pm y acabará casi a las 11 pm. La web LondonTown.com ha anunciado varios descuentos en hoteles locales, todos a corta distancia del Royal Albert Hall.

Entre los hoteles en Londres en oferta, el Fifty Four Boutique Hotel en Queen’s Gate (a un paseo de menos de diez minutos del Albert Hall) ofrece un descuento del 40% en las dobles. Esta oferta, con la cual el precio se reduce a 124 libras la noche, está disponible solo con LondonTown.com.

El lujoso Milestone Hotel London en Kensington Court está a un paseo de menos de diez minutos desde el Albert Hall, y ofrece habitaciones dobles desde 315 libras, un descuento del 23% de la tarifa estándar. Visite LondonTown.com para informarse sobre hoteles baratos en Londers e informarse sobre la 2013 Last Night of the Proms.

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Los BBC Proms in the Park regresan al Hyde Park londinense en septiembre

Los BBC Proms in the Park regresa al Hyde Park de Londres por 18º año consecutivo el sábado 7 de septiembre con una brillante selección de música clásica en directo para toda la familia.

Bryan Ferry, líder de Roxy Music, encabeza el cartel de este año, lo que promete ser una emocionante y alternativa final a dos meses de BBC Proms para todos aquellos que no hayan podido conseguir entradas para el tradicional Last Night of the Proms en el Royal Albert Hall.

Si bien el show del Last Night es retransmitido en directo en la BBC, no hay nada como vivir la noche más mágica del calendario de música clásica bajo las estrellas en este evento al aire libre en mismísimo Hyde Park de Londres. Tanto familias como amigos celebran largos picnics para disfrutar de hasta cinco horas de entretenimiento con el célebre DJ de BBC Radio 2 Tony Blackburn y el inimitable Sir Terry Wogan.

Además de Bryan Ferry, el cartel de este año cuenta con el mundialmente reconocido tenor Joseph Calleja, el violinista Nigel Kennedy (que también actuará en el Royal Albert Hall la misma noche) y la Dama Edna Everage que dirigirá el tradicional coro. Otras actuaciones incluirán a los bailarines Anton de Beke y Erin Boag, un tributo a los Beatles a cargo del reparto del musical Let it Be, una tempranera actuación de los rock-gaiteros Red Hot Chilli Pipers y una sensacional sesión de fuegos de artificio sobre el escenario del parque que pondrá punto final al evento.

Las entradas para este espectáculo están disponibles por 35 libras, con entrada gratuita para niños de hasta 3 años.

Cuando se trata de encontrar un hotel en Londres, el portal LondonTown.com ofrece las opciones más lujosas y cercanas al evento a precios rebajados. El The Wellesley Hotel, por ejemplo, se sitúa en Knightsbridge, a menos de diez minutos del parque y dispone de habitaciones dobles de lujo desde las 310 libras la noche, lo que incluye un 25% de descuento. Como alternativa, el impresionante Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London ofrece habitaciones dobles desde las 416 libras, con un 38% de descuento.

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London prepares for first of two NFL International Series games

The first of two historic NFL regular-season games touches down at Wembley Stadium this autumn as the Minnesota Vikings ‘host’ the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday 29th September. The clash takes place one month ahead of the second 2013 NFL International Series games at Wembley and concludes an action-packed sporting month that also sees England take on Moldova in their latest World Cup qualifying gameas well as the first ever ITU World Triathlon Grand Final come in London.

An estimated 80,000 fans are expected to fill Wembley to see the Vikings play their first game in the UK since a 1983 pre-season clash at the old Wembley Stadium. Their opponents, the Steelers, boast the NFL record of six Super Bowl championships and will be making their first ever London appearance. The Steelers’ President is a certain Art Rooney II – and with a name like that, he will no doubt be looking for inspiration from his namesake footballer, who often gets on the scoresheet at Wembley.

Wayne Rooney is indeed expected to lead the line for England as they take on Moldova at 8pm on Friday 6th September in their latest Group H World Cup qualifier. Currently two points behind table toppers Montenegro, the home side have only ever played Moldova three times, with the results being 3-0, 4-0 and 5-0. If the sequence continues then England will coast to an easy 6-0 win before Roy Hodgson’s side travel to Kiev for their next qualifying clash against Ukraine just four days later.

Important Premier League fixtures in September include the mouth-watering North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday 1st September, a West London derby between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 21st September and Spurs welcoming Chelsea to White Hart Lane on Saturday 28th September. Visitors attending any of these scintillating fixtures from outside London can book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there’s a wide variety of Cheap London Hotels to suit all budgets and locations.

Running (cycling and swimming) from Wednesday 11th September to Sunday 15th September, the eighth and final leg of the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series comes to Hyde Park following the overwhelming success of last summer’s Olympics. Home hope Jonathan Brownlee, the bronze medallist in London 2012, is the current defending champion while his brother Alistair, who took the gold medal last July, won the title the year before. Joining the Brownlee brothers over an identical course to that used during London 2012 will be five thousand of the world’s top triathletes (both male and female and from varying age groups) competing over six days in and around the famous Serpentine Boating Lake.

For those less experienced, September starts with Tri Together, a series of triathlons open to people of all ages and abilities, at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on Sunday 1st September. Skipping out the swim, the London Duathlon takes place in Richmond Park on Sunday 15th September, while the Palace to Palace Bike Ride on Sunday 22nd September sees around four thousand riders take on a 45-mile route from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Palace, passing over many of the roads used in the London 2012 Olympic road race.

Following England’s retaining of The Ashes, the LV County Championships reaches its conclusion this September with Middlesex still in the hunt for the Division One title but bottom-of-the-table Surrey battling relegation. Surrey welcome their fellow Londoners Middlesex to the Oval from 3rd September, Middlesex’s final game of the season at Lord’s takes place from 11th September against Nottinghamshire, while Surrey’s final home game is against Yorkshire from 24th September.

Madcap runners will be going bananas in the seventh annual Great Gorilla Run over a seven-mile route in the City on Saturday 21st September, while the second NFL International Series game of the autumn sees the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the San Francisco 49ers one month later on Sunday 27th October.

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800 buildings to welcome public in London Open House Weekend

Londoners are given the key to their own city over the weekend of Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September as over 800 buildings, as well as construction and engineering sites, open their doors free of charge to curious onlookers and architectural buffs. Now in its 21st year, the annual London Open House Weekend has fast established itself as the best way to see, explore and learn about the capital’s architecture.

Whether it’s taking a fresh look at your own neighbourhood, exploring somewhere new, seeing projects in development, quizzing the experts or simply entering some of the grandest private homes of most iconic landmark structures in the capital, London Open House Weekend this year takes as its theme ‘Celebrating architecture, people and place’, exploring issues that are relevant to local communities and how the built environment is evolving.

Some of the iconic landmarks and towers featured in this year’s biggest ever Open House programme are Battersea Power Station, The View from the Shard, 30 St Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin) and Tower 42. The extensive programme also includes landscape and public realm walks, architects’ talks, boat tours and much more. Visitors from outside the capital looking to get their architectural fix in London during Open House can book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there’s a comprehensive range of Hotels in London to suit all budgets and locations.

Battersea Power Station, with its familiar yet glorious four white towers, hosts site visits for the very first time in Open House, offering guests a last opportunity to wander around before the full 38-acre site undergoes redevelopment. Other locations that fall in the Open Site category include Crossrail construction sites at Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf, the redevelopment at Convoys Wharf in Deptford, and projects at both Tate Modern and the British Museum.

The sweeping transformation of King’s Cross takes centre-stage in the 21st anniversary celebrations of Open House, while onlookers will also get the chance to explore East Village E20, one of London’s newest neighbourhoods, which has cropped up on the site of the redeveloped London 2012 Athletes’ Village on the doorstep of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In the same year as Richard Rogers’ 80th birthday, more of the celebrated British architect’s buildings are taking part than ever before, including Lloyd’s of London in the City, Channel 4 HQ in Pimlico, and Thames Wharf Studios and Maggie’s Centre, both in Hammersmith and Fulham.

On Friday 20th September, Maggie’s Cultural Crawl takes place – a 15-mile night-time hike around London from Hammersmith to the City, including access to buildings such as the EDF Energy LondonEye, the Gherkin and the Foreign Office, as well as live performances from musicians, dancers and artists. Also new this year is the first ever Open Debate, extending the opportunity for the public to express their views on what kind of city we are creating. Entitled ‘Is London Building a Sterile City?’ , the inaugural Open Debate takes place on Tuesday 17th September in advance of the Open House Weekend and is chaired by BBC correspondent RaziaIqbal.

The majority of buildings taking part in Open House Weekend are accessible on a first come basis – although some require advance booking. For more information on the full programme and timetable of events please visit www.londonopenhouse.org or download the chart-topping Open House app for iPhone.

Via EPR Network
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National Paralympic Day lights up Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The very best of disability sports and arts takes place in afree day out in East London on Saturday 7th September – including a raft of sporting events at the Copper Box Arena and the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

A year after Team GB’s Paralympians wowed the world to secure a record-breaking 120 medals in front of the jubilant home crowds, sports fans will be able to relive the wonder of London 2012 in a series of clashes between Britain’s top Paralympic athletes and elite opponents from around the globe. Taking place inside the newly re-opened Copper Box Arena, the programme includes Boccia (GB vs Greece at 10am), Table Tennis (GB vs Brazil at 11am), Sitting Volleyball (GB vs Holland at 2pm) and Wheelchair Basketball (GB vs France at 7pm).

Tickets for the Paralympic sports at the Copper Box Arena are free but attendees must register beforehand via www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk. A limited number of free tickets will be available on the door so those who have not registered are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Visitors coming from outside the capital can book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there is a comprehensive range ofLondon Hotels to suit all budgets and locations.

The National Paralympic Day also features an array of Community Sport activities for everyone to get involved in – including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and an accessible climbing wall. Professional coaches will be on hand and no tickets are required.

Also in the stunning redeveloped Olympic Park, the Liberty Festival runs from 1pm to 6pm and presents an exciting programme of Deaf and disability arts including street theatre, dance, live music, film, installations and children’s activities. As well as a special appearance from singer Andrea Begley, winner of the BBC’s The Voice, visitors will be amazed by The Limbless Knight – an inspiring performance from the Graeae Theatre Company, whose artistic director also co-directed the Paralympic Opening Ceremony – as well as Cube of Curiosity , a new dance performance commissioned exclusively for the Liberty Festival.

The whole day – both sports and arts – intends to be as accessible as possible and includes captioning and British Sign Language interpretation throughout the Music Stage performance, roving interpreters, audio description tours during the afternoon and full wheelchair access across the Park. Like the Community Sports, no tickets are required for the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival so anyone can head over to Stratford in East London for a trip down memory lane and a reminder of the wonderful Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

Via EPR Network
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Stephen Fry curates Verdi / Wagner festival at The Royal Opera

Stephen Fry, the actor, writer, comedian, television presenter and lifelong Wagner fan, curates the sixth Deloitte Ignitecontemporary arts festival, which runs from Friday 6th to Sunday 29th September. EntitledVerdi/Wagner (200) , the festival explores the work and creativity of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner in their bicentenary years with a range of events – including a special one-man show by Simon Callow.

Running for the duration of the festival at the Linbury Studio Theatre in Covent Garden,Inside Wagner’s Head is written and performed by Callow and sees the eminent writer, director and actor portray the German composer in the style of his previous one-man shows based on the lives of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. The play attempts to communicate what the divisive and contradictory Wagner was actually like: a sublime visionary and a petty anti-Semite, a political radical but with staunch conservative views, irritating and needy, yet charismatic, innovative and romantic. Tickets cost £25.

Unlike previous years, Deloitte Ignite 2013 extends over four weekends rather than just the one, with both free and ticketed events in a rich and varied programme that includes a unique installation in Covent Garden Piazza by the award-winning costume designer Es Devlin (the designer of the London 2012 Closing Ceremony and Take That’s Progress Livetour), which features a zoetrope using behind-the-scenes footage from a 2012 Royal Opera House production of Wagner’s Die Walküre . Visitors attending any of theVerdi/Wagner (200) festival from outside the capital can book a cheap hotel in London on the respected events and hotel bookings website LondonTown.com, where there is an extensive array accommodation to suit all styles, locations and budgets.

Other Deloitte Ignite highlights include hand mime artist Andrew Dawson performing a potted version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, a global recording of people from all walks of life singing the Hebrew slaves’ ‘Va, pensiero’ from Verdi’s Nabucco, and comedy dance duo New Art Club presenting their own interpretation of Verdi operas, not to mention myriad live radio broadcasts and choral work. For more information and full listings please visit www.roh.org.uk/deloitteignite.

Coincidently, the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 7th September features an overture ( The Mastersingers of Nuremberg ) by Wagner as well as ‘Va, pensiero’ from Verdi’sNabucco . The on-going Wagner 200 festival taking place throughout the year across London also features, in September, a Goethe Institute lecture by the opera director and music historian Mike Ashman on ‘Wagner and Modern Productions’ (7.30pm on Thursday 12th September) and a day-long Wagner and Freud symposium at the Freud Museum (9.30am-5pm on Saturday 28th September).

Via EPR Network
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