The Daily: August 1
Friday, 01 August 2014

The Daily: August 1

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Anna Price
Siegfried Sassoon war diaries to be digitalized
The war diaries of Siegfried Sassoon are to be published online for the first time. Cambridge University Library bought the collection of 23 journals and two notebooks of poetry in 2009 and has been working on digitalizing them. Up until now, only Max Egremont, Sassoon's official biographer has had access to the complete 4,100-page archive due its fragility. The journals are freely available from today, Friday, and offer a unique insight into life in the trenches on the front during the First World War. Within these diaries Sassoon depicts life in the trenches, describing the Battle of the Somme as a 'sunlit picture of hell'. Many of Sassoon's observations are accompanied by drawings and sketches in both pen and ink as well military briefings and diagrams of the trenches. The pages themselves are physically burdened with horrors of the war as the pages and binding have remnants of trench-mud and candle wax. The journals, which are interspersed with prose and poetry, cover the years when Sassoon was stationed on the Western Front and then in Palestine, and then the post-war years up to 1927, and then also from 1931-32. The diaries are available online on the Cambridge Digital Library site:

Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet priority booking has begun
Priority booking has opened for Shakespeare's Hamlet which will be performed next year at the Barbican Theatre, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead. The media has predicted a 'frenzied rush' and an 'unprecedented demand' for tickets, mainly due to Benedict's star status. Although the general public won't get a chance to buy tickets for another ten days, over 3,000 people have signed up for Barbican membership in the past three months, meaning the website may be under some strain today. There will be, however, 100 additional seats made available on the day of each performance for only £10. The queues for those will undoubtedly stretch for miles. Booking will be available for Orange Members on Monday and then for the general public on 11th August, on the barbican website. Lyndsey Turner's production will run from the 6th August to the 31st of October 2015.

Work has begun on a 'vertical cable car' overlooking Brighton
The Brighton seafront is to be transformed by 'i360', a 138-metre-high glass viewing pod, which will offer amazing views over Brighton and 30 miles of Sussex coast. This 'vertical cable car' will be the highest observation tower in the UK outside of London. The design is by architecture firm Marks Barfield, which designed the London eye. It is thought that that the i360 will draw over 700,000 visitors a year adding up to £25m of revenue to Brighton's economy. The building work started on Tuesday and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016. Rachel Clark from the West Pier Trust said: 'This marks the beginning of a long-awaited new era'; the £46.2m project has been in development for eight years due to some opposition of the plans. Some believe that that the height of the building will dominate the skyline due to low-rise skyline which surrounds it. Nevertheless, support from English Heritage was there from the start and the i360 is not intended to be a modern, technological eye-sore, more of 'gentle landmark' allowing those to see the best of Brighton's coast.

Banksy wall art in Cheltenham has been defaced
A piece of Banksy artwork painted on the wall of a house behind a phone box in Cheltenham has been defaced. The artwork, entitled: 'Spy Booth' shows old-fashioned, Sherlock investigators leaning on a phone booth, which is there in real life. This image appeared in April and a deal was announced earlier this week to keep 'Spy Booth' in the town, after campaigners had raised the money to buy it. Businessman Hekmat Kaveh agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to keep the artwork in place and has said that he believed it could be saved: 'I believe the original paint had some anti-graffiti products in it and also an anti-graffiti product put over the top of it. I am confident that it will come off'.

Dance performance 'Push' is deemed to be 'dazzling'
A decade after its first performance, Russell Maliphant's contemporary piece: 'Push' remains as captivating and thrilling as its original debut. This dance piece consists of three solos and one pas de deux and is returning to London for its last-ever performances. 'Push' has won many awards and have toured 48 cities, continuously being refined and revived, but it is still as 'thrilling as its original incarnation'. Sylvie Guillem, the female dancer, is introduced in Solo and is praised for the 'femininity of her classical technique'. The masterpiece is only 32 minutes and due to the captivating nature of the performance, the piece flies by and is over before the audience realizes. 'Push' is being performed at London Coliseum and is a recommended 'must-see' for contemporary dance before the show closes.

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