The biggest moon on Earth in Oberhausen
If you've ever ventured to the Ruhrpott you'll have seen the great work that has been achieved in regenerating the old industrial sites. The Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord is an amazing area full of old factory ruins slowly being reclaimed by nature. The Zeche Zollverein is a coal mine converted into an exhibition centre and event location, and the Gasometer in Oberhausen is a beautiful old gas cylinder being put to use as an exhibition space, event location and concert hall. Starting on April 2nd you can see an amazing new exhibition at the Gasometer that is definitely worth the trip "up North". As part of the Ruhr 2010 project 'Out of this World' is an event that makes excellent use of the huge scale of the Gasometer. 'Out of this World' takes visitors on a journey into the cosmos, spectacular reproductions of the planetary system, extraordinary images of the sun, the planets and their moons, precious historical instruments and the most modern space research technology - are all brought together in the Gasometer to illustrate the drama of the birth and evolution of our solar system. The exhibition starts in the area below the former gas-pressure disc with a space-filling projection of the sun and its planets hovering in the middle of the 68 metre-wide room. In the towering 100 meter high main hall, you'll see a gigantic sculpture of the largest moon on Earth. With a diameter of 25 metres, the installation passes through the phases of the moon - from new moon to full moon. It really is an out of this world experience.
2nd April-30th December 2010
Out of this world
Gasometer Oberhausen, Essener Strasse 3, 46047 Oberhausen
T: 0208-850 37 30
Celebrating a different kind of style in Cologne
Take a trip to any major European city and you'll be depressed by the similarities: Starbucks, McDonald, KFC, H&M, Burger King even Tesco's - they've secured their foothold across the high streets of Western Europe. You now have to search for that quintessential "difference" that you used to be able to find from one city to another. Even high street fashion can seem dull - it's far too easy to sink into H&M anonymity - pretty much through lack of time and enthusiasm and because of a kind of innate uniformity and lack of celebration of all things "different". Which is why this website is a great find – thanks to Robert from English Speaking Cologne. Made by movie costume designer Sandra Smilla Dankert - it puts the fun back into fashion and reminds us that individualism is good. The website is made up of photos of random people in Cologne and their wonderful wardrobe creations. The photo's are portraits captured on the street and celebrate individualism and style. Be inspired and maybe you too could be one of Sandra's street fashion finds.
A festival of emotion
Wave your hands, stamp your feet and prepare your face for a plethora of passionate expressions, it's time for the Flamenco Festival in Düsseldorf. This year's festival kicks off with a performance by the master of avantgarde flamenco Andrés Marín. Flamencos en route with flamenco supremo Susana Robledo will be performing to the music of Antonio Robledo. "Florescencia - Blütezeit - eine Hommage an Susana und Antonio Robledo" is seven scenes in a night garden that bring together many of the different aspects of flamenco dance. Concha Jareño will also be performing "ALGO", a show that combines grace, beauty and pure emotion. Feel the beat, feel the heat, feel the passion at the Flamenco Festival at Tanzhaus NRW.
Until 4th April
Tanzhaus NRW Düseldorf, Erkrather Str. 30, 40233 Düsseldorf
T: 0211 17270-0
Made to last in Cologne
Do you remember the phrase "it will last you forever" - when was the last time you bought something that could live up to that expectation? In these days of throwaway fashion, even the latest "it" bag costing thousands of euros will be thrown on the fashion scrap heap when the next season's "must have" hit's the pages of Vogue. That's not the case in Manufactum - here you can buy stuff - that lasts. With the slogan "The good things in life still exist" Manufactum sells everything from pure vegetable soaps and original Belgium chocolates, to hand-made leather goods and old fashioned wooden desk chairs. You could probably furnish and stock your house from scratch, and apart from the perishables, be set for the rest of your life. Everything Manufactum sells is top notch quality, basic, plain, practical or beautiful. Their new shop on Brückenstrasse 23 - around the corner from the Opera - is a feast for the eyes - they also have a website where you can see and buy everything online. So if you're looking for something that is made to last - check out Manufactum.
Hollywood's back in town
The hottest date in the comedy calendar is fast approaching - Hollywood's Comedy Night is back in Cologne with a bang on the 14th April. And what a line-up: cash, cash, money, money David Cassel is back to freak you out with his scary eyes and catchy raps; Staffordshire's finest, Steve Dix, fresh from his latest national tour, will be showing you why he's got the wit of John Lennon in the body of Oliver Hardy; Casey James will be telling you about his dating highs and lows and the perils of lovin' a girl with a pace-maker; and James Allan might show you his six-pack - if you're very lucky. Bengt Washburn and newcomer Brad Bowen complete the line up - and the icing on the cake will of course be the host with the most, Mr Hollywood himself. English Comedy fans in Cologne have had a bit of a comedy drought for the last few months so this show is likely to be a sell-out - which means you should book your tickets soon to ensure a nice seat at the front where you can heckle like a pro and interact with the show.
14th April, 8.30pm
Hollywoods Comedy Nights
Flanagan's Irish Pub Alter Markt 36, Cologne