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As we edge ever closer to the fifth month of the year and to proper, glorious spring, we’re also soon to see the latest edition of the Notting Hill Mayfest! This month-long cultural festival will once again host a number of exciting events, from music and opera to talks, art, cinema and kid’s activities, which will take place at a number of different venues in Notting Hill.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014
Mayfair

Celebrating the history and cultural life of the area, the main base of the festival will be the beautiful St John’s Church on Lansdowne Crescent. For this reason, Mayfest will pay tribute to the Church by celebrating its life and work and that of the communities that make use of the building. This includes the opening event on the 1st May which will see a performance by the Church’s choral scholars and musicians-in-residence, as well as an event on the 10th May given by the Filipino community of St John’s. An art exhibition of work by upcoming young artists will be helf in the Church’s Sacred Space Gallery, and there’s also the ever-popular village-style May Fair that takes place on 17th May.

The 2014 Mayfest will see partnerships will the Pop Up Opera – performing Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (shown below) on 3rd May – and Pop Up Screens who will show the charming Notting Hill with a specially filmed video introduction from its writer, Richard Curtis.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014 - Pop Up Opera
Pop Up Opera

Kids can join in the fun with the Mayfest’s two children’s days, run in association with the groundbreaking Multi-Story Orchestra. This will be a amazing opportunity for local children to learn more about and actually perform with a full orchestra and the newly restored organ at St John’s.

Musical elements of the 2014 Mayfest will see the festival once again champion young and upcoming talent. A selection of wind soloists from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama will perform on 8th May, whilst dynamic young vocal ensemble Schole will be performing Monteverdi madrigals and Britten part-songs on 7th May. On 22nd May, the St John’s musicians in residence, The Outcry Ensemble, will present a concert of established chamber music as well as a new commission from young composer and Multi-Story artistic director Kate Whitley.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014 - Thomas Trotter
Thomas Trotter

An organ recital on 9th May by Thomas Trotter will launch the St John’s Organ Recital Series 2014; the performance will be preceded by a community film from the Video College – an organisation which offers free production-based video training to local residents – which shows the restoration of the St John’s historic organ.

The 2014 Mayfest Lecture on 12th May will see well-­known author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform Jonathan Aitken discuss his journey in a talk entitled From Power To Prison To Peace.

As well as the events at Notting Hill’s churches – St Peter’s Church, St John’s Church and St George’s Church – for the first time this year, Mayfest has also teamed up with the wonderful Gate Cinema on Notting Hill Gate, which will be screening Grounded during the month of May.

The festival is generously supported by both Strutt & Parker and the Heritage Lottery Fund. All proceeds from the festival are donated to charities and charitable causes.

The Mayfest’s full line-up can be found on the official website nottinghillmayfest.org.uk, where you can also purchase tickets for all the events.

Notting Hill Mayfest
1st May – 31st May 2014
various locations
nottinghillmayfest.org.uk


Anyone that’s a big fan of the film Notting Hill – as well as the area, of course – may well be interested in a weekly movie walk that features various locations around the neighbourhood. The Notting Hill Movie Tour takes in a number of places that were shown in the classic Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts film, as well as other movies that were partially shot in the area, including Love Actually, A Hard Day’s Night, Sliding Doors and The Italian Job, amongst others. You’ll also be able to hear other trivia and historical information about the area, and see location stills from the films featured on the walk.

There are two walks every Saturday, at 1.30pm and 4pm, and they operate from March to November. Tickets cost £12 for the 2 hour tour (you can book tickets online), or £50 for a group of 5 people – that’s a saving of £10! The tour meets outside Crussh juice bar which is at 59 Notting Hill Gate, W11, right by the southern exit of Notting Hill Gate tube station.
For further info, see the official Notting Hill Movie Tour website.

We’ve all seen the movie (probably), we know all the filming locations (more or less) and we know all the lines from the film (unlikely). Now, the film Notting Hill has made a list of the cheesiest movie lines of all time (quite unsurprisingly – let’s face it, the movie is one big Richard Curtis cheesefest).

In a poll of 4,000 moviegoers, Notting Hill reached seventh place with its line:

I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.

…as said by Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) to William Thacker (Hugh Grant).

In case you need a further memory prompt, here it is:

Top of the poll was the fantastic Dirty Dancing line, “nobody puts Baby in the corner”, as uttered by the late, great Patrick Swayze. Which makes me ask, what are these poll respondents thinking? Classic, yes. Cheesy, no!

Article: Top 10 cheesiest lines in movie history (22nd September 2009, Newslite)