Monday, 27 August 2012

Alan Cumming: charity promotion, and Urban Secrets finale



Alan Cumming & Sam Trammell raise awareness for Project Angel Food
You would be hard-pressed to find more unlikely stars on the step-n-repeat than actor/writer/producer/director Alan Cumming (known in this country for his role as Eli Gold on the CBS show The Good Wife) and Sam Trammell ( “Sam” from HBO’s True Blood) but the two came together to promote the Project Angel Food event at the opening of a new Kiehl’s store in Manhattan Beach.

Both stars are long-time supports of the cause, a charity who provides home-cooked meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. In turn, Kiehl’s is donating a percentage of ALL 2012 purchases from the new store to the Project.

As the True Blood hunk told us, ” You can buy a great product and know that 1% is going to Project Angel Food.” And watch out for the True Blood finale where Sam exclusively tells us “It’s a HUGE cliffhanger…like WTF!?” 

Read more at Celebzter 




Cumming attractions: actor Alan visits some of Glasgow's hidden gems
Actor Alan Cumming has finished his TV tour of the world’s Urban Secrets with a trip home to Scotland. This week, he explores the nooks and crannies of Glasgow, the first city he lived in after moving from rural Perthshire to study drama.

He said: “Glasgow is energising, stimulating and diverse. It is a no-nonsense kind of town but also full of culture. It still has such a capacity to surprise.”

Despite having lived in the city for several years, Alan was surprised at the many treasures he had failed to explore. 

For the first time, he took a tour of the Necropolis, the 37-acre cemetery full of wonderful architecture, sculpture and fascinating stories relating to the 50,000 people remembered there. Glasgow’s “city of the dead” may not be a secret but some of the tales behind those buried there are hardly known.
Alan visited the grave of Dr James Jeffray, professor of anatomy at Glasgow University, who is said to have conducted an experiment on a corpse by attaching batteries to it, causing it to convulse, sit up and open its eyes. Novelist Mary Shelley apparently witnessed it and used it as her inspiration for Frankenstein.

Alan said: “I used to think people who wandered around graveyards were weirdos but I was fascinated.”

Alan was enthralled by the oldest surviving music hall in Britain, which was founded in 1857. The Britannia Panopticon Music Hall is a gem, hidden behind an amusement arcade in Trongate. More than 1500 people used to cram on to benches for every show. The audience gained itself a reputation for “leaving no turn unstoned” and over the years the stage saw performances by greats such as Harry Lauder. It was also where 16-year-old Stan Laurel made his debut in 1906. The hall was filled with a putrid smell. People would scrape horse muck off the road and keep it in their pockets to warm their hands and then throw it at dud acts. Performers would also get peed on from the balcony and the theatre was said to have been saved from fire as the floor was saturated with urine. For many decades it was derelict but, in 2000, a team of volunteers started restoring it.

Alan also headed to Sharmanka, an exhibition of kinetic sculpture made out of scrap and rubbish. Underground artist Eduard Bersudsky brought his entire collection to Glasgow after leaving the oppressive former Soviet Union.

Alan said: “It is mysterious, scary and fantastical. It is absolutely amazing. Russia’s loss is our gain.”

In the city centre, he dropped in on the Glasgow City Chambers, which has the largest marble staircase in the world. There are 4000 square metres of marble over three floors – the Vatican only has two marble floors.

“It is possibly the most glamorous council office you will ever see. It feels more like a cathedral than an office block. Every corner oozes palatial glamour,” said Alan.

He stopped off at Rab Ha’s, a pub named after a man known as the Glasgow Glutton. People would pay to watch him stuff his face with food. It is claimed he ate a pie which encased an entire cow.

Alan joined Hollywood actor Billy Boyd in vintage cafe the Hidden Tea Room. The cafe is in the cobbled Hidden Lane, just off Argyle Street, which is full of artisans and artists. Glaswegian Boyd had his wedding rings made in a jewellers there. Scottish band Belle and Sebastian record there, as have Franz Ferdinand, and every June it hosts its own festival.

Alan also had a drink in bourbon bar Chinaski’s, near Charing Cross, who took their sign down to encourage a more exclusive clientèle. For a whisky to be called a bourbon, it has to be made in the United States and Chinaski’s is Glasgow’s only bourbon bar.

Source: Daily Record 

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