An Owl, A Pussycat and a Python


Listening to a podcast of BBC Radio 4's arts programme "Front Row" earlier this week, we chanced upon a feature about a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and The Mayor Of London Presents initiative who are staging the Cultural Olympiad timed to coincide with the sporting events in Stratford, London E20 taking place over the next few weeks..

Together ROH & MOL commissioned Monty Python's Terry Jones and composer Anne Dudley (musical director of the forthcoming film of "Les Miserables" starring Russell Crowe) to write an opera based on Edward lear's whimsical limerick, "The Owl & The Pussy Cat". The result is being performed on a boat passing along London's canals, with forthcoming performances at Graham Street Gardens on Sunday July 29th and Mile End Park on Tuesday July 31st, free to all-comers.


You can listen to the podcast or read all about the venture by following the links below, but what caught our ear was mention of an extraordinary piece of film on YouTube featuring… an owl and a pussycat. To quote The Guardian newspaper, Jones says he was inspired by the online film depricting the chummy real-life antics of a cat called Fum and a barn owl called Gebra. "The owl flies over the cat dangling a mouse and the cat tries to grab it. Then there are shots of the cat rubbing up against the owl and being pecked."

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Unusual companions - stills from the Fum & Gebra video

If you click here you can see the clip, though we're not convinced it's a mouse being dangled by the owl but rather, its jesses. And we're in two minds about some of the contents of the clip itself too, though the relationship between the cat and the owl is something quite unusual to behold so is worth a look.


Meanwhile if you'd like to catch the last two London performances of the opera on the 29th & 31st July , it's being performed on a 'beautiful pea-green barge' and you can find out all about these events here, read The Guardian article in full here and listen to the Front Row podcast here.

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The opera is being staged on a 'beautiful pea-green barge'
as spectators of the Little Venice performance look on

One other tid-bit: did you know the Royal Mail created a new postcode especially for the Olympic Park - London E20 2ST.