Apex Hotels Blogs

Fleeto and Wee Andy

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Fleeto and Wee Andy (23 April 2013)

For one night only, the award-winning performances of Fleeto and Wee Andy will be coming to the Dundee Rep Theatre. These two closely related plays provide a gripping portrait of inner-city violence that is raw, powerful and beautifully produced. Inspired by Greek tragedy, Paddy Cunneen's re-tellings of both the Iliad and Medea highlight the horrifying cycle of violence, retaliation, guilt and grief.

Fleeto and Wee Andy at Dundee Rep

Fleeto is an old Glaswegian word for a gang - setting the tone for this victorious play. The main characters are played to perfection, providing an authentic look into the dangerous lives of these youngsters. Stripped down staging and the depth of the director's vision relays gangster life incredibly, inviting the audience to enter a world torn between wealth and deprivation. This is an honest and powerful exploration of causes and effects of community violence.

The performance of two these two plays will provoke raw emotions from audience members, providing a glimpse into a world with two very different perspectives. With astounding reviews, Fleeto and Wee Andy have won an Edinburgh Fringe Festival awards, the Bank SA Best Performer award and a Holden Street Edinburgh Theatre Award and others around the world.

You know you're in for a first-class performance when the British Theatre Guide honour the play with a five star rating, calling it a 'must see' and 'a staggeringly brilliant play'.

Find out more and buy tickets at www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk.

You can't face hard-hitting drama on an empty stomach, though. Take time to enjoy the pre-theatre menu in Metro Brasserie at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa.

Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon 2013

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Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon (14 April 2013)

Step out onto any street in Britain and you'll notice most runners have headphones on. Listening to music is a welcome distraction for some and inspiration for others. Many say they couldn't run without their mp3 player. Some use music to help them run at their desired tempo (180 strides per minute is seen as ideal).

Yet many road races ban the use of personal music players, citing safety concerns. One race series has come up with a solution by embracing music and making it part of the race.

The idea is simple: at the Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon they stage live bands at every mile along the course. These aren't buskers, either: they're quality live bands on stages with proper PA systems. It's a lot of fun and it noticably lifts participant's spirits. The bands often interact with the runners, too; there aren't many races where you might have to dodge someone playing a guitar solo at you.

Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon finishers medal - and a runner finishing in style

It's been a winning formula. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon series has thrived in the US since it began in 1998, and it's now the world's biggest race series. Edinburgh became the first in Europe in 2012 and it's back in 2013. The route takes competitors past famous landmarks including the Queen's Palace at Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament building, Edinburgh Castle, Portobello Promenade, the Firth of Forth and Arthur's Seat.

Bands will be announced as the event approaches, but last year indie band Kassidy and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers both kept the crowd and the runners psyched up.

The finish area at Holyrood Park also has a lively festival atmosphere, with a big stage hosting an eclectic line-up of bands, plenty of food and drink as well as family entertainment. Last year, runners and spectators lingered in the park long after the race; on a sunny day, this is one of the most spectacular and serene parts of Edinburgh.

As an accommodation partner for the race, Apex Hotels in Edinburgh are well placed to look after you during your visit. Find out more about our Edinburgh hotels

Win a VIP trip with race entry

Check out the Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon competition with race sponsors Brooks in Athletics Weekly! You could win Brooks kit, dinner and one night's accommodation for two at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel and two VIP race entries.

Enter at www.athleticsweekly.com/competitions/brooks-edinburgh-trip - good luck!


London Marathon 2013

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Virgin London Marathon 2013 (21 April 2013)

This April, London will open its doors to host one of the most iconic events of the year: the London Marathon. Millions of people from all over the world will watch, scream and cheer on the runners from street corners and pubs right across the city. It's such a popular day in the London events calendar – some people even call it London's 26.2 mile street party! Olympic 5000m and 10000m gold medal winner Mo Farah will run the first 13 miles this year, as he prepares to run the full race in 2014, so the crowd will be cheering even louder than usual.

Runners at London Marathon

We're so lucky here at Apex, as the marathon route is right on the doorstep of the Apex City of London Hotel (and also very close to Apex Temple Court Hotel). We'll make sure Edwin – the resident Apex duck at Apex City of London – will be there to applaud the runners as they whizz (or some cases limp) past.

Some supporters may choose to run from the sidelines to show their support, or like the most of us, will choose to just cheer in admiration from the sidelines. Whatever you do, this is a London sporting event you do not want to miss.

Luckily for our Apex City of London guests, the biggest crowds of spectators gather at Tower Bridge for the best view - which is less than a 1 minute walk away from the hotel! Or you may choose to watch the emotional finish as the runner cross the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace.

Make sure to experience this legendary race; gather your friends and family and experience this great day out with a fantastic atmosphere!

Dundee April 2013

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What's on in Dundee in April 2013?

Event of the month

Fleeto and Wee Andy at Dundee Rep

Fleeto and Wee Andy (23 April 2013)

These two globally award-winning plays explore knife crime in Scotland, via contemporary retellings of two Greek tragedies: Homer's Iliad and Euripides' Medea. Find out more in our Fleeto and Wee Andy blog post.

Edzell Castle and Garden (Throughout April 2013) - From the 1st of April the striking Edzell Castle and Garden will reopen, meaning summer is on its way in Dundee. In addition to the castle residence, the great walled garden that was created back in 1604 is a must-see. The garden is decorated with heraldic sculptures and carved panels, all unique to Britain. The family burial vault is additionally a must see in the ancient graveyard. - Edzell Castle and Garden, Edzell, Brechin, Angus, DD9 7UE - www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Jutta Koether (Selected dates in April) - This April is your last chance to see this exhibition of work by Jutta Koether's, the gifted painter, musician, critic, performance artist and theoretician. Koether's biggest exhibition in the UK to date, the collection will include thought-provoking pieces that represent underground culture as well as taking inspiration by the works of Nichola Poussin. - Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY- www.dca.org.uk

Simple Minds Greatest Hits UK Tour (2 April 2013) - After a summer of their hugely acclaimed 5X5 Tour, Simple Minds will be coming to Dundee for one night only. After topping the America's Billboard chart and achieving six number one albums, Simple Minds are arguable one of the UKs most successful rock groups. Get ready to enjoy their enduring rock anthems including 'Alive and Kicking', 'Waterfront' and 'Don't You Forget About Me' - Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB - www.cairdhall.co.uk/event/?id=12134

Micky Flanagan - Back in the Game Tour (8 April 2013) - London East End comedian Micky Flanagan will be performing at Caird Hall for one night only, bringing his Back In the Game Tour to Dundee. Flanagan rose to the top of the stand-up world in a short time, thanks to his showstopping performance at The Royal Variety Performance where he was nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at the British Comedy Awards. - Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB - www.cairdhall.co.uk/event/?id=10732

The Mark of Zorro (12 - 13 April 2013) - If you are looking for fun and mystery this April then the Dundee Rep theatre is the place for you to come and lock swords with Zorro. With a script originally commissioned and co-produced by Traverse Theatre, this performance is set to take audience members on an adventure in the trail of a 'Z'. As the masked hero goes from one sticky situation to the next, justice is always the name of the game. - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Zero Degrees of Empathy (20 April 2013) - This free event is an evening lecture that will examine empathy and cruelty. Have you always wanted to know why some people behave in the most evil way, whilst others are completely self-sacrificing? Simon Baron-Cohen will help provide some basic understanding of the captivating and challenging areas of what makes our behaviour, and will be available to sign copies of his new book afterwards. - Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Dundee - http://www.dundee.ac.uk/externalrelations/events/sels/2013/baroncohen.htm

Synchronise Our Eyebrows, An Exhibition by Vincent Rattray (Until 26 April 2013) - Vincent Rattray's exhibition 'Synchronise our Eyebrows' demonstrates the unique talent he has as an artist to manipulate perspective through the use of colour. The city of Dundee provides Vincent with inspiration, giving the artist a diverse subject matter to observe and deconstruct. Throughout April you can witness this vast collection that has the people of Dundee at the fibre of the canvas. - Hannah MacLure CentreTop Floor Student Centre, University of Abertay, 1 - 3 Bell Street, Dundee, DD1 1HP - www.dundeecity.gov.uk/event/12489

Live from The Met: Giulio Cesare (27 April) - This powerful staging of Giulio Cesare is set to bring tragedy, drama, romance and complex family relations. As a new production from David McVicar, this performance illuminates the opera's themes of love, war and empire-building, proving audience members with a tale of tragic adventure. - Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY- www.dca.org.uk/whats-on/films/live-from-the-met-giulio-cesare.html

Edinburgh April 2013

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What's on in Edinburgh in April 2013?

Event of the month

Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon

Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon® (14 April 2013)

With headphones banned at many road running races, if you love listening to music when you run then this is the half marathon for you - find out more in our Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon blog post.

Edinburgh International Science Festival (23 March - 7 April 2013) - The world famous (and original) science festival continues into April, including kids shows like Professor Egghead's Just in Time sight right up to events like Festival of the Spoken Nerd and LateLab for adult science fans - Various venues, Edinburgh - www.sciencefestival.co.uk

The House of Annie Lennox (23 March - 30 June 2013) - This retrospective exhibition, curated in partnership with the V&A, pulls together artwork from throughout the career of Scottish singer, songwriter and political activist Annie Lennox. From her years in Eurhythmics to her solo career, it includes work from leading photographers, music video directors as well as some stunning costumes. - Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD - www.nationalgalleries.org

Royal Shakespeare Company: The Winter's Tale (2 - 6 April 2013) - With a plot that involves the King of Sicilia becoming convinced that his pregnant wife has been having an affair with the King of Bohemia, and stage directions like "Exit, pursued by a bear", it's hard not to love The Winter's Tale. Whether you see it as a Comedy or a Romance, it's ultimately an uplifting story of forgiveness. You're in safe hands with the RSC, while members of popular folk band Bellowhead are in charge of the music. - Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT - www.edtheatres.com

Beth Orton (9 April 2013) - BRIT Award winning singer-songwriter Beth Orton's alt-folk has a lot of admirers, but fans have had a long wait for a new album. After six years, it's finally here. The electronica that textured previous work is gone; this is an acoustic pop-folk gem and a huge return to form. - The Liquid Room, 9C Victoria Street, EH1 2HE, Edinburgh - www.liquidroom.com

Sleeping Beauty on Ice (16 - 20 April 2013) - A cast of ice skating stars including World Champions and Olympians bring Tchaiskovsky's Sleeping Beauty to life in a theatrical extravaganza. The Imperial Ice Stars draw on the heritage of Russian ballet as well as modern production skills to put on an spectacular show - the backdrops and scenery were designed by the production designer for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games! - Edinburgh Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA - http://www.atgtickets.com/venue/Edinburgh-Playhouse/

Jimeoin (20 April 2013) - As an Irishman abroad in Australia, Jimeoin's comedy has whimsical outsider's perspective that has been drawing fans to his live shows for years. Recent appearances on TV shows like Live at the Apollo have brought him to the attention of a wider audience. Now his "What?" tour comes to the UK. Glasgow's show is already sold out, so move fast if you want tickets for Edinburgh. - Queens Hall, 85-89 Clerk St, Edinburgh EH8 9JG - www.thequeenshall.net

David Walsh: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong (22 April 2013) - In January 2013, Lance Armstrong finally confessed to doping during his Tour de France wins. For 13 years, Sunday Times journalist David Walsh had investigated his suspicions about the cyclist. With all popular opinion against him, he pursued the story, even after Armstrong succesfully sued the Sunday Times for libel after publishing his allegations. In this public lecture, Walsh speaks about his journey and why it's important that journalists are able to chase unpopular stories - Royal Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX - www.lyceum.org.uk

Beltane Festival (30 April 2013) - Since 1988, Edinburgh has held an annual revival of the Celtic tradition of beltane, a festival celebrating the end of winter and the welcome approach of summer. At heart it's a summer festival celebrated with fire - beltane means "bright fire" - using a burning beacon as its focal point. The revival in Edinburgh has become much more, with an audience of about 12000 audience members immersed in a performance of fire, drumming and dance. - Calton Hill, Edinburgh - beltane.org

London April 2013

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What's on in London in April 2013?

Event of the month


Virgin London Marathon 2013 (21 April 2013)

London has one of the world's largest and most famous marathons, where amateur runners and charity fun runners can run the same race as the world's greatest elite athletes. - find out more in our London Marathon blog post.

Buckingham Palace Exclusive Evening Tour (Selected dates throughout April 2013) - For a few nights only you can experience an exclusive evening tour of Buckingham Palace. Accompanied by an expert guide, the two and half hour tour will give you a rare insight in to the history and use of the famous State Rooms. A complimentary glass of champagne will give you the extra VIP feeling! - Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA - hwww.rceltickets.com/eventlist.asp?VenueID=1&proid=NET

Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men (Until 14 April 2013) - Uncover the fascinating story of an excavated burial ground found at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel that is truly extraordinary and unexpected. Now 180 years later Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection is a major exhibition at the Museum of London that is a must see. Please note this exhibition features human skeletal remains and may not be suitable for young children. - Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London, Greater London EC2Y 5HN - www.museumoflondon.org.uk

Huguenots of Spitalfields (8 – 21 April 2013) - This April will see the Huguenots of Spitalfields Festival take place, demonstrating the talents and culture of the Huguenots. Just a 10 minute walk from the Apex City of London and Apex London Wall Hotel this festival is a celebration of the contribution that the French Protestants made to the famous Spitalfields market since the late 17th century. - Spitalfields, London - www.huguenotsofspitalfields.org

Cake International (12 – 14 April 2013) - Calling all cake lovers! Returning to the ExCel, the Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating and Baking Show promises to be more lip-smacking, exciting and irresistible than ever. Featuring mini-workshops, demonstrations, star guests, couture cakes plus a variety of all the cake decorating and baking supplies you could ever imagine. There is no such thing as too much cake at this show! - ExCel, One Western Gateway, Victoria Dock Rd, London, E16 1XL - www.cakeinternational.co.uk/london/2013/

One Night with Joan Collins (12 – 28 April 2013) - Joan Collins is coming to London and will be giving audience members a rare insight in to her career as one of Hollywood's most glamorous actresses. Talking about why she lost out to Elizabeth Taylor for the role in Cleopatra and being broke, this performance promises to dip into her dramatic life illustrated by her renowned wit and frankness. - Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester St, London, Greater London WC2H 7BX - http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/

A Place in the Sun Live (12 – 14 April 2013) - Whether you are serious about moving abroad or enjoy just toying with the idea, Channel 4's A Place in the Sun Live is the biggest overseas property exhibition. Meet agents and developers selling property abroad, attend seminars and hear from the industry experts. Featuring over 100 exhibitors with properties from £20,000 to over £1million this show has something for every taste and budget. - Olympia, Hammersmith Rd, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, W14 8UX - www.aplaceinthesun.com

Virgin London Marathon Exhibition (17 – 20 April 2013) - The 2013 Virgin London Marathon Exhibition is set to be the largest ever, as the demand for exhibitors to showcase the latest technology in the running world continues to grow. Whether you are a dedicated runner with 50 marathons under your belt or a complete new beginner this exhibition covers everything you need to know about the running world. - ExCel, One Western Gateway, Victoria Dock Rd, London, E16 1XL - www.lmexpo.com

Peking Opera UK Tour 2013 (21 April 2013) - For one night only experience Peking Opera, a form of conventional Chinese theatre which combines music, mime, vocals, dance and acrobats. The O2 can be easily accessed from the Apex City of London and the Apex London Wall Hotel, so you can enjoy an evening of elaborate performances and colourful customs. Get ready to enjoy the cultural treasures of China with this performance. - Indigo2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX - www.theo2.co.uk

Sundance London (25 – 28 April 2013) - Returning to the O2, Sundance London will host the UK premieres of American and international independent films. With over 6,000 feature films submitted to the Sundance Film Festival, only 14 will be selected to make their UK premiere. Sundance London isn't just about watching films; there will be opportunities to hear guest speakers talk about the filmmaking process and the role of music in modern cinema. - The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX - www.sundance-london.com

London Coffee Festival (25 – 28 April 2013) - Love your coffee? Then the London Coffee Festival is definitely one to attend as it is the flagship event for UK Coffee Week, celebrating London's dynamic and vibrant coffee scene. The London Coffee Festival is expected to attract over 15,000 coffee lovers and foodies, coffee shop owners and key industry insiders. - Brick Lane, London - www.londoncoffeefestival.com