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By The Gay UK, Oct 25 2014 09:28AM

Drivers will save up to £150 million over the next ten years as the cost of getting a driving licence is slashed, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Transport Minister Claire Perry announced today.




Driving licence fees will fall by up to 32% as part of the government's commitment to deliver savings to the taxpayer.


The changes, which follow a recent public consultation, come into force from 31 October 2014. Drivers applying online will see the fee for a provisional driving licence fall from £50 to £34 and online renewals after ten years fall from £20 to £14. The fee for driver tachograph cards – used by businesses to record how far their staff are driving – will fall from £38 to £32.


Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:


“Giving savings back to the taxpayer is a key element in this government's drive for a stronger economy and a fairer society. That's why we're slashing the cost of getting a driving licence and giving it straight back to young people and businesses, saving £150 million over ten years.”


Transport Minister Claire Perry said:


“The cost of driving, especially for young drivers, can be significant and we are committed to cutting costs where we can. Thanks to DVLA making large scale savings to their running costs, we have been able to cut the cost of the driving licence which will save drivers and businesses £150 million over the next ten years.”


DVLA is reviewing all fees and the reduction in driving licence fees is a result of the first part of this ongoing review. Other fees being considered in the review include vehicle first registrations and duplicate registration certificates.


A million 'first licence' applications are processed every year and the fees drop will save new drivers £82.2 million over ten years. Over 77% of these applications are made by 17-24 year olds. In addition 2.1 million photocard licences are renewed every year and the changes will save motorists £61.3 million over a decade.


Businesses make another 85,500 renewals a year and will save £2.44 million over ten years while the cost savings to tachographs will save another £3.58 million over the decade.




By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 08:32PM

During the week commencing 13th October, GBK launched it's speedy 15 minute lunch menu guaranteeing your burger on your table within 15 minutes, or your next lunch is on them!




I visited their Waterloo branch where they were coinciding the launch with a rather fabulous lunch-time treat for 1 week only, of a 15 minute performance titled, Burger : The Opera. I asked GBK's CEO, Alasdair, why Opera?


“We see a lot of retailers and restauranteurs having DJs to launch their latest offers, we thought why not Opera. What better way to describe our passion? People come to GBK for fantastic burgers but also to have a great time, so we wanted to go one stage further and really entertain them. At the end of the day it is good fun and we do like having a bit of a laugh”.


I have a magnetic pull towards the weird and wonderful and was so excited to see how well the marriage of meat & melody would be.


Secret Opera told the story of a controlling father, and his fussy daughter (who ends up falling in love with a GBK employee). Instantly captivating their audience, I was blown away by the talent of this group.

Cleverly written and beautifully sung, Burger : The Opera was laced with comical menu and app references, and modern sayings like “FYI”, “bitchin” etc. Using instantly recognisable pieces of classical / operatic music and laying down a 2014 dialogue on top brought this into the realm of Popera. Pitch perfect and script cute, this felt almost deliciously Disney.


My friend ordered off the main menu and had the almighty “Mighty”- two 6oz patties, mature cheddar, crispy bacon, garlic mayo, relish, dill pickle, salad. For myself, I ordered off the 15 minute menu, which comprises of four core burgers in their simplistic form; beef, cheese, chicken, veggie, and chose the beef. GBK CEO Alasdair said, “Currently, my favourite is The Blazing Sombrero, good crunch, texture, flavour and a hint of spice, try it, you will not be disappointed”.


GBK kept to their word bringing in fact both meals at the same time to our table within the 15 minutes. It was great to see that the quality of the burgers was still intact and not been compromised by the short time-frame they have to cook and create.


I asked Alasdair if they had any plans to extend these unique and quirky dining experiences to other GBK outlets who said, “Well as this is proving so successful we thought we might take it to the West End or maybe even Broadway...we’ll just have to wait and see, but expect more fun. We might well take it on tour to other cities”.


I spoke further with Alasdair and asked him to describe the ultimate burger;

“The meat and bun are critical, our burgers are made from 100% prime beef, hand selected and traditionally reared on independent farms across the South West counties. We only select meat from the top two grades of beef and then we simply add a bit of salt and pepper. It has to be medium rare, you need the juiciness. The bun is so important as well. We’ve spent years refining the bun recipe, it is an endless quest but again, it has to be “clean deck” i.e. absolutely nothing artificial at all in it”.


GBK has been going strong since 2001, but I wondered what Alasdair's first experience or memory was of being so passionate about food.


“In the mid 70s, yes I am that old, supermarket food was pretty uninspiring but as a treat each week my Mum would buy us all (I am the youngest of 6) a Petit Suisse, a yoghurt brand that’s still going strong. To my mind that was the height of absolute bliss and luxury, I had never been abroad so it was taking me too far off places. It was wrapped in paper in the pot, you would unroll it, I would then cover it in sugar and OMG…I cannot eat one now as that would ruin it all for me!”.


Clearly GBK and their employees are passionate about food and the food that they create. Alasdair felt opera was the perfect vehicle of entertainment to get that across to diners intertwined with a romance storyline. I asked Alasdair what his favourite love story was;

“I am an absolute softie despite having spent 6 years in The Army, so hate violent or scary films, I used to cower to Doctor Who! So I like anything with a happy ending. One place I really enjoy is meeting loved ones at the airport and seeing the bliss and happiness on faces when people are reunited”.


Get yourselves down to GBK to try their new 15 minute lunch menu and keep an eye out for even more unique dining experiences in the future!





By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 06:47PM

Double Duchess Release Free Remixes of Their Trippy Electro-hop Duet, “Good Girl Freak Out”




This weekend, the queer electro-hop duo Double Duchess will release remixes of their Future-Twerk dance smash, Good Girl Freak Out, to fans free of charge. The complimentary package features brand new club tracks by three of today’s leading underground producers. Good Girl Freak (feat Future People): The Remixes is available for free download now on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/doubleduchess.


Good Girl Freak (feat Future People): The Remixes leads with the Normaling Remix, a collaboration of two Baltimore area DJ/producers, Lemz and Rar Kelly. The pair produced “Loosie”, a track from Double Duchess’ Nocturnal EP. They bring their ghettotech sound to the song with elements of Baltimore club interspersed with a psychedelic techno twist. “The Normaling remix is the banger in the collection,” says davO from Double Duchess. “Every remix collection has to have one.”


The second remix in the package is by ballroom house producer Divoli S’Vere. By blending samples from classic vogue tracks with the song’s original edit, S’Vere brings a raw, genuine, ballroom flavor to Good Girl Freak Out. “Vogue culture is a prominent feature in our live performances and music videos,” says Krylon Superstar, the other half of Double Duchess. “It's important that we give the kids something to vogue down to in the clubs.”


The final track Good Girl Freak (feat Future People): The Remixes is by NoSoul. It differentiates itself from the others by offering a creative, more relaxed vibe. “The NoSoul remix changes the overall feel of the original, bringing a wild card element we think fans will dig,” says davO.


Good Girl Freak Out was written by davO and Chris Cosgrove of Future People. The original version has the beat of twerk, but with a more indie, melodic, pop feel. Its music video that stars Kelly Osbourne of E!’s Fashion Police as a holographic purple character, has become an internet sensation.


Double Duchess has been heating up the national queer scene since 2012, delivering a raw and campy electronic sound. They’ve become known for their big beats and playful narratives, as well as Krylon Superstar’s mesmerizing voice and performance art and davO’s emceeing and production deftness. Their musical influences include Baltimore club, booty breaks, and ballroom house, all wrapped in a world of couture fashion.


Through their music, Double Duchess encourages fans to be and tell their truth regardless of sexuality, gender, or race. “We don’t want any beautiful faces hidden from the world,” says Krylon Superstar.


Double Duchess’ next full-length release is tentatively scheduled for March/April 2015. The album will cover a wide range of sounds and include collaborations with fellow queer artists Nicky da B and TT the Artist.


Good Girl Freak (feat Future People): The Remixes is available this weekend as a free download on soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/doubleduchess. For more information on Double Duchess, visit www.doubleduchess.com


By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 05:00PM

Gracie Otto's affectionate documentary on the charismatic and adventurous English theater and film producer Michael White is a movie long overdue. Despite his enormous contribution in a prolific career that spanned three decades he is as Anna Wintour succinctly put it, 'the most famous person that you've never heard'. Ms Wintour also so accurately summed up his rich and tumultuous career by describing him as 'a true Renaissance man'.

★★★★




Michael 'Chalky' White was born in Glasgow in 1936 to wealthy immigrant Jewish parents who packed him off to Boarding School in Switzerland at the tender age of 7. This small shy boy who suffered from asthma and couldn't speak a word of French was something of a loner and although fiercely independent developed a skill in befriending everyone, a character trait that would end up changing his life.


From Switzerland he went to study at the Sorbonne which was followed by a stint as a Wall Street runner in the 1950s. Somewhere along the line this well-travelled young man discovered a passion for the theatre and landed himself a job with the impresario Peter Daubney in London producing international theatre seasons. At the ripe age of 25 White produced his first play in the West End. It was not a conventional drama but a production of Jack Gelber's Living Theatre group called 'The Connection' and it depicted the life of drug-addicted jazz musicians. It had a mixed reception with its detractors up in arms about the debauchery on stage which showed men shooting up, something totally unheard of back in 1959 when every play was still censored by the Lord Chamberlain's Office.



It was however not the last time that White would break all the rules as he pursued anything avant-garde and different than the norm in a career in which he mounted 101 stage productions and produced 27 films.


He introduced London to art 'happenings' with Yoko Ono, contemporary dance with Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch, discovered the ground-breaking 'The Rocky Horror Show', joined forces with Kenneth Tynan to produce the all-nude review Oh Calcutta', gave Barry Humphries aka Dame Edna Everage his first big break. Then as his career moved into movies he produced 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', John Water's 'Polyester', and the classic 'My Dinner with Andre'.


Otto starts her movie almost at the end when after casually meeting White at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 she is intrigued about this charming septuagenarian who literally knows everybody worth knowing. And what's more, they all totally adore him. From British royalty to the Hollywood A list via mega-rock stars to model superstars, White has hung out with them all, and many of them, including ex-wives and girlfriends, eagerly line up to give witness to althe joyous times they have spent together. Even Wintour the Ice Queen cracks a rare smile on her face when she talks about her times with White.



White's professional success (and sometimes failure) is because he is a gambler. Unlike any of his peers he is happy to take a chance on people and their productions simply if he believes in them, almost in the same way that he bets on horses too. His personal 'sucess' is because he is an optimist and believes that everyone is his friend. 'Some people have cheated me, but I have no enemies at all.'


Now after a couple of strokes, although White refuses to acknowledge the aging process, he is obviously not in a good shape physically or financially. Whilst he is happy to talk about his life (with the rare exception such as losing the lucrative rights to The Rocky Horror Show) he adamantly refuses to let Otto in to find out much about him as a man. Several colleagues drop very broad hints that part of his present demise is due to not just the excessive partying but the use of recreational drugs, but Otto chooses not to pursue any of this.


His legacy will not just be all the thousands of photographs he took to chronicle his life with a whole galaxy or stars, or the correspendece with the rich anf famous that he had hoarded for decades. It will be the way that his approach of leading with his heart and not his head completely propelled London into being a true world-class stage and discovering and giving a voice to such a remarkable array of talent. It also helped that he was also a professional charmer.


The world is definitely a better place because of Michael White, the like of whom we will never see again.








By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 04:30PM

We are bringing you a sneak preview of what many critics are already pronouncing as probably the love story of the year: it just happens that all the characters are gay too.



Love Is Strange
Love Is Strange

In Ira Sach’s follow up to his hit movie ‘Keep The Lights On’, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina give stunning award-winning performances of an older gay couple whose relationship is put under enormous pressure when Molina’s character is fired for getting married.


Our movie critic Roger Walker-Dack has seen it twice and writes ‘few film love stories are as profound, rich, and devastating as this.’


Already released in the USA , there is currently no date set for its UK premiere yet but watch this space as we will be tracking this for you.








By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 04:25PM

Andrew Christian releases racy religious themed underwear video...








VIDEO: FORGIVE ME, FATHER

MUSIC: "TIME4HIGH" By New Vision Recordings/Poisonflow/Rareform/Urban Sickness Audio/ Getty Music

MODELS:Designer Andrew Christian, Rocky Santos, Murray Swanby, Cheddy Oakafor, Cory Zwierzynski, Pablo Hernandez


ALSO FEATURING: Steven Andrade, Kevin Benoit, Luis Gonzalez And Jonny Manzanares (Our Champion Pole Dancer...Yep...They Have Competitions For This)


Our newest model Steven Andrade debuts in Forgive Me Father. We love Steven because he is not only pure of heart and has a HUGE cock....but is also the first "gaybie" we have met; and by "gaybie" we mean he was adopted by two gay dads. Growing up with two gay dads, Steven naturally thought he was gay...but eventually he had to come out of the closet as straight. We didn't really believe he was straight until his make out scene with Pablo during which we were all looking to see if he got hard....and sure enough he didn't....damn. I guess there is such a thing as a straight male fag hag after all.


Get 15% off & enter to win $100 in AC* Text AC to 33733


Written and Directed by: Jeff White

Assistant Director/Editor: Will Schoenfeld

Stylist and Promo Photographer: Erica Dorsey

Assistant Editor: Christian Dean

Production Assistants: Danny Katz




By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 03:30PM

There is ‘camp’ and then there is Joan Crawford!




The legendary Oscar winning film star who’s career went from Queen of The Movies to Box Office Poison was always one of the most outrageous women in Hollywood.


Larger than life and those enormous shoulder pads of hers and the biggest bitch of all, she could pack a mean slap and she often did. Here’s a few of them. and some other juicy bits in an hilarious montage of clips we found on youtube.


by Roger Walker-Dack






By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 02:26PM

“It made the recent Globe production of Titus Andronicus look like a teddy bear’s picnic!” And indeed over 90 minutes we had been subjected to a deluge of blood, guts and gore, couple with full frontal male nudity the likes of which I have never seen before on the stage.

★★★★




David Ian Lee’s The Curing Room throws seven Soviet soldiers into the empty cellar of a monastery, stripped of all belongings and their clothes. Abandoned by their captors, and left without food, the men resort finally to murder and cannibalism in order to survive. The play asks questions about how we redefine ourselves in extreme circumstances, how the constraints of normal civilised society and military rank cling to us, or don’t.


The play is something of a tour de force for the seven brilliant actors, who literally bare all before the audience. Director Joao De Sousa is unflinching in his depiction of cannibalism and there is, as I said earlier, a lot of blood. My companion spent much of the latter part of the evening with his head turned away from the stage. This play is definitely not for the faint hearted, and if your only reason for going is a prurient desire to see seven men naked, well you soon get used to that. The gore is harder to cope with.




It would be invidious to pick out any one of the actors. They all work as a close knit team, and all, without exception give excellent performances. De Sousa’s pacing is brilliant, and I was gripped throughout. Once away from the theatrical brilliance of it all, though, a few minor doubts crept in about the writing and about the play itself. For much of the play, the characters come across as mere cyphers, as representatives of certain types; the stiff upper lip captain, the honourable senior-lieutenant, the slightly simple young private, the old retainer and so on. This could be the reason I found it ultimately less involving than I should have. Though the horror of what unfolds before you certainly draws you in, ultimately ones cares little about the fate of these soldiers as individuals.


None the less, The Curing Room is well worth seeing if you have the stomach for it. I doubt we will see anything like it again for some time.



The Curing Room is at the Pleasance Theatre until November 9th.


by Greg Mitchell




Next Fall


URINETOWN


All Theatre Reviews and News


By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 01:31PM

Manchester Police are calling for witnesses and information with regards to a brutal rape of a 17-year-old boy in a Salford Park in Manchester.




The 17-year-old unnamed victim was attacked by two men as he walked through Buille Hill Park, Eccles between 12:10 Am and 12:42AM on Wednesday 8th October.


The police have released e-fits in a fresh appeal for witnesses.




Police believe two men were standing at the gate of the Seedley Road entrance to the park and followed the boy along the path into the park. The victim then lost sight of the men and continued to walk further into the park, but a short time later the offenders approached him, one from the front and the other from behind, and raped him.


Since the attack the victim has been supported by specially trained officers and detectives have been carrying out a number of inquiries. The victim has now managed to give a detailed description of the offenders and officers have today released the E-Fits.




The men, both described as white, one in his late twenties and slim, the other in his thirties or forties and overweight, were both wearing shorts and hoodies with the hoods up. The slim male had blonde hair and was wearing glasses.


Detective Inspector Kenneth Blain said: “This horrific incident left a boy traumatised and I’d like to reassure both him and the community that we are determined to catch those responsible.

“The victim has managed to provide enough details for us to put together the E-Fits, so I would now like people to have a look and tell us if they recognise either of the men.


"I would like to make a direct appeal to anyone who may have been walking near to where the incident took place to contact police immediately.”


Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 5360 quoting log number 61 of 8 October 2014 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


If you are affected by the issues raised in this article and would like to talk to someone please call LLGS on 0300 330 0630 or visit: http://www.llgs.org.uk



By The Gay UK, Oct 24 2014 09:45AM

Frankie Valenti aka Johnny Hazard is the latest gay porn star to go legit and act in a movie where he keeps his clothes on (nearly) the entire time.




It’s a path that many have trodden and failed so miserably i.e. think François Sagat's leaden performance in the dreadful Man In Bath that we reviewed recently. When you think that the few lines that porn performers are forced to trot out just consist of stunners like ‘I’m here to fix your plumbing’ or ‘Give it to me big boy’, they really don’t need to be actors per se.


Frankie, following in the recent successful movie debut of Sean Paul Lockhart aka Brent Corrigan in TRUTH (reviewed in The Gay UK), has put in a surprising good performance playing one of two estranged gay brothers struggling to connect after the recent death of their father in ‘TIGER ORANGE’. Chet is an introvert who has never ‘come out’ or even left his small hometown, whereas rebellious Todd left for LA at the age of 18 and is out and proud and very loud. Easy to guess which one Frankie played.




It won’t win him any Oscars but is should get him more roles in independent moves such as this as he has more talent than just his larger member that has endeared him to so many gay men already. We will publish our full review when the movie gets released next year, but meanwhile here is a sneak preview of Frankie in action in Wade Gasque’s TIGER ORANGE.





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