brian news

MAY 2016

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REMINDERS:
Wed 13 Apr - V&A press launch "Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear" exhibition (to Sun 12 Mar 2017).
Fri 13 May - LBGT Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London (Brian May nominated in Celebrity Straight Ally category)
Mon 13 June - Metal Hammer Golden Gods 2016
Jun 27 - 2 July - Starmus III, Tenerife, Canary Islands.
TO BE ADVISED:
- Spring '17 - publication of Brian May "'Queen in 3-D" stereo book
- Brian May and Kerry Ellis "Anthems II" album.





1 | 2

**Tue 31 May 16**
BRIAN AND ANITA AT 'BREAKING THE BANK' UK GALA SCREENING
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Brian May - briefly back in London - attended a Gala Screening at the Empire Cinema of the new comedy movie "Breaking The Bank". Frasier's Kelsey Grammer plays an incompetent bank chairman, alongside Tamsin Greig, Mathew Horne and Andrew Sachs.

FIRST LOOK
31 May 1016

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Brian May and Anita Dobson arrive for the UK gala screening of 'Breaking The Bank' at The Empire Cinema on May 31, 2016 in London, England.

Brian May - Breaking The Bank

Brian and Anita - Arrivals 'Breaking The Bank'
Photo: Danny Martindale / WireImage

Brian and Anita - red carpet 'Breaking The Bank'
Getty Images

DAILY MAIL
31 May 2016
Extract:

Adding some star dust to the proceedings was Queen guitarist Brian May who rocked a dressed down look of a dark black coat and white Adidas trainers. He was in high spirits and posed for pictures with his actress wife Anita Dobson of EastEnders fame.

Anita looked smart in an all black ensemble comprising a knee length coat, suede boots and and an off the shoulder bag - she added a grey scarf for a splash of colour.

Breaking The Bank sees ruthless US and Japanese banks trying to take over Tuftons - a beleaguered two hundred-year-old British banking house run by Kelsey's character, Sir Charles.

It will hit screens from June 3.

Brian and Anita - red carpet

RED CARPET VIDEO: http://www.gettyimages.ca

 

Breaking The Bank movie poster

See more description of the film http://www.express.co.uk

and watch the trailer....

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**Sun 29 May 16**
BRIAN MAY INTERVIEW: ‘ALL SORTS OF STUFF HAPPENS IN MY WORKSHOP’
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A great interview....

THE GUARDIAN
29 May 2016 by Nicola Davis

When he’s not playing guitar for Queen, Brian May PhD is an astronomer and inventor. He talks about his latest gadget – an update on the Victorian stereoscope

Brian May with viewer - Crinoline painting
‘This is a proper scientific instrument’: Brian May poses with an Owl viewer at Tate Britain.
Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Brian May is examining his hands. His fingernails are painted with a futuristic, silvery polish, but it’s his fingertips he’s focused on. They are, he informs me, covered with soft calluses. It’s hardly surprising – he’s just flown in from Barcelona, where he’s been on tour, thrashing out hits with Queen (with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert on Freddie duties). But here in London, his guitar is nowhere in sight. Because it’s not a gig he’s eager to talk about: it’s the launch of his latest invention.

Dubbed the “Owl VR Smartphone Kit”, his low-tech, adjustable plastic gadget looks like a cross between a kiddie’s shoe gauge and Google Cardboard. By attaching a smartphone to the back of its frame, using some tape, a metal plate and a magnet, the device can be used to view 360-degree videos – handy, since Queen are currently filming one of their own. But as May reveals, it can do far more than that. Slot in a card bearing two, almost identical, photographs and when you look through the lenses the image suddenly bounces forth in glorious 3D – a technique known as stereoscopy. With an app, he demonstrates, you can even make 3D versions of your smartphone shots. “This is a proper scientific instrument,” he says, with the confidence of a man who has a patent pending.

His pride in the contraption is palpable, and rather endearing – not least because he admits his invention (available for £25 a pop this June) is unlikely to be a big money-spinner. But then, May is on something of a mission to share his seemingly inexhaustible fascination with the art of stereoscopy. As well as lending the Tate highlights from his vast collection of Victorian “stereocards”, he’s co-authored several books on the topic and spent years tinkering away to perfect the Owl. Essentially an upgrade of the Victorian stereoscope, it not only lets you marvel at images from the past, but also propels you into virtual reality. And that, says May, might have more attractions than you’d think...

Let’s be honest, an obsession with Victorian photographs is a bit niche. Where did that come from?
BRIAN MAY: "It all happened when I was a kid. I opened my eyes and I saw the world around me. I loved music and I loved images as well. And I loved astronomy – I used to beg to be allowed to stay up to watch Patrick Moore on The Sky at Night. I was told when I was a kid that you can’t be an artist and a scientist: you have to choose. I felt very strongly that there was something wrong with this, and I always pursued music alongside the science I loved. Stereoscopy, to me, is magical."

How did you stumble across it?
"I think it was the hippopotamus in the wild animal series of Vistascreen. They gave them away free in Weetabix packets. I would have been nine, and I sent away for the viewer – it cost one-and-six pence plus a Weetabix packet top – and you got a little Vistascreen viewer back. Suddenly, instead of two little pictures there was the hippopotamus, real, with its mouth yawning, and you felt like you were going to fall in. I was just enchanted."

"Virtual reality and 360-videos seem a world away from Victorian “3D”, but it’s all the same. The Victorians were for the first time able to see their favourite politicians and royalty and actors privately, in their stereoscope, but they were also travelling to the pyramids, to China and to India. They didn’t have TV or the internet or films; they had the stereoscope – and they experienced the world in a way that was totally new. I think virtual reality is going to bring us back to this."

Brian with OWL
Brian May
Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

As well as this gadget, you famously invented your Red Special guitar… do you have a house full of contraptions you are working on?
"I love inventing. I have my little workshop and all sorts of stuff happens down there. The first version of this was made out of cardboard – this was all designed geometrically in my little workshop. We did a guitar and we made a telescope in my dad’s workshop. I am always doing stuff."

Was Queen a distraction from science, or science a distraction from Queen?
"Both, really. I always believed that I should do both, that I could do both. But when I was attempting to finish off my PhD in astronomy at Imperial College London – not succeeding – we were rehearsing Queen and I was teaching in a comprehensive school. It was painful that I had to give up something in order to do something else. But I did – I said “Music is calling me, and if I don’t answer that call now it will go away”. So we all went off and took a giant step. But strangely enough, when you take a giant step in one direction it gives you the opportunity to take other giant steps later on; so I was able to come back to the PhD 30 years later and finish it off. I was able to come back to stereoscopy because it never really left me. If you could put virtual reality in an abattoir, I think we'd see a lot of people turning vegan overnight"

You’re passionate about animal rights, particularly when it comes to badgers and foxes. Do you think virtual reality and 360-degree videos, like those you can view with the Owl, have a role in activism?
"I think so. I think if this technology could be applied to letting people understand that animals have the same kind of feelings as we do, that would be a giant step. If you could step into this world through virtual reality and become a fox which is being pursued by a pack of hungry hounds, and experience being torn apart, I think that might actually change a few people’s sensibilities. If you could put virtual reality in an abattoir and if people could see what happens to those animals that they were eating, I think we’d see a lot of people turning vegan overnight."

You’ve also been vocal about fracking - how do you feel about the latest plans in North Yorkshire?
"I think it’s another example of money winning, selfishness winning. Nobody cares that they are inconveniencing other people, destroying other people’s lives. I think we have gone wrong in Britain: we have the wrong kind of people governing us – people who have no concept that other people matter."

Should we be looking for extraterrestrial homes for mankind, or should we pay more attention to looking after Earth?
"I’d love to see us looking after our planet. If we start setting up colonies on other planets, we are going to ruin them as well, aren’t we? I actually said this at a Starmus convention, and in the front couple of rows were about 10 astronauts. I said, with great trepidation, “I admire these people for going off on pioneering space travel. But I fear for humanity, doing this, because I don’t think humanity is ready. We destroy everything we touch.” I came off and Neil Armstrong came up to me and said “You’re right, that needed to be said.” I treasure that moment."

You’ve also embraced blogging with your page, Brian’s Soapbox. You seem pretty pissed off a lot of the time. Has society gone to hell in a handcart?
"That’s what soapboxes are for – to get angry on. I think Britain is in a horrible, awful state, where it is obsessed by economics and money and it has forgotten that life is to be lived and enjoyed. I hate the building that goes on senselessly to satisfy people’s speculative desire to make money. London is a disaster."

Are you ever tempted to just grab your Owl and immerse yourself in the good old days - back to Queen’s early years, for instance?
"Back to 1851, perhaps. I would love to be at the Great Exhibition – the Crystal Palace that was in Hyde Park. To walk in to that would be unbelievable. I think virtual reality will take care of that one day. READ MORE

http://www.londonstereo.com

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**Fri 27 May 16**
INTERVIEW: QUEEN STAR BRIAN MAY ON HIS 3D OBSESSION – ‘MAYBE, I’M SLIGHTLY NUTS’
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The new £25 OWL VR Smartphone Kit, due out next month - PRE-ORDER NOW - HERE

Brian and OwlAMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER
27 May 2016 by Chris Cheesman

‘My head’s kind of spinning,’ Brian May confesses to guests gathered at Dolby’s plush offices in London’s Soho Square to learn about his latest adventures in the world of 3D.

Opposite:
Brian May with his new OWL viewer – housing a smartphone displaying
stereo images he took of APs news editor Chris Cheesman.
[© C Cheesman]

The Queen guitarist is in the throes of a 15-date European tour, and between gigs has flown back especially for the London launch of his OWL VR Smartphone Kit. He has just stepped off stage in Barcelona, Spain, and jets off to Linz, Austria, first thing in the morning. He may be weary from the travelling, but May’s passion for what Victorians called stereoscopy – ‘virtual reality’, in 21st century jargon – remains undimmed. This lifelong expert and fan of the third dimension began collecting stereo cards given away free with packets of Weetabix cereal as a boy. He now has 100,000 of the things.

Ever keen to expound on all things 3D, interviews with journalists to promote his new stereo-viewing device are running behind – so late, in fact, that his PR entourage are told to vacate the screening room set aside for ‘one-on-one’ interviews. Their time is up. Amateur Photographer’s scheduled interview time came and went an hour ago and it appears we have been defeated by the cleaners. Are we about to be shown the door? After all, May has been talking all things 3D for more than four hours and does have a plane to catch. We needn’t have worried. An upstairs meeting room comes to the rescue and, installed safely inside, May is relaxed and clearly relieved as he takes a seat and hears this is his last interview of the day.

‘Hooray,’ he cries as if he’s just come off stage on the final date of a tour after a long night of encores.

How do you find time for all this 3D stuff – is it your way of switching off?

‘I don’t know what it is. I seem to be kind of driven. And I’m so fortunate that I get to do all the things that I dreamed of doing when I was a kid – stereoscopy, being a rock star, playing music, helping to give animals a voice, which I always dreamed of, and astronomy. Maybe, I’m slightly nuts…’ He’s certainly as nuts as ever about 3D. ‘It’s the reality [of it]. It’s the absolute magic of feeling that you’re there in some place you couldn’t possibly be. It’s like a time machine. You can find yourself back in a situation that you were in that you can recreate, or you could be creating a situation like you are in the international space station, or you could be diving with sharks. And the more real you can make it, the more wonderful it is. It’s just enchanting.’

3D TV – what happened?

When we last spoke, in 2011, 3D was being touted to a potentially whole new global audience, through 3D TV. At the time, May admitted that the format was ‘perched on the brink’. But 3D TV has failed to win over the masses, perhaps down to the need to wear those wretched 3D glasses. ‘I think it’s fairly well proven that people don’t like to sit riveted to one spot to watch their TV,’ May reflects. ‘They like to be watching their TV while they are cooking or putting their kids to bed or whatever they do. So, no I don’t think TV has worked out at all.’

The movie industry’s flirtation with 3D has formed a more solid bond, although he reckons this may have peaked.‘Film’s worked out pretty good, but I think there’s a slight backlash from the fact that a lot of the 3D films now are conversions, and the conversions are never perfect,’ May explains. ‘And sometimes people overdo it. Sometimes they underdo it and people get slightly jaded from it.’

Either way, he believes his new £25 viewing gadget stands a better chance of surviving the vagaries of the 3D phenomenon. The collapsible device is a 21st century twist on one that Victorian enthusiasts first used to view stereo cards. He sees 3D as now having gone full circle, returning to the days when Victorians first saw magic created before their eyes – a concept that gripped the world in the 1850s. In May’s eyes, there is little difference between ‘stereoscopy’ in the 1850s, ‘3D’ in the 1950s and ‘VR’ in the 21st century. ‘The 360° [VR] thing is great, but basically you are looking at a stereoscope,’ he says. Google joined the VR bandwagon in June 2014, and reportedly shipped more than five million of its low-cost fold-out cardboard viewers in the first 19 months. Like May’s new device – Google Cardboard the user to view smartphone images in 3D. The musician-turned-inventor hopes to tap into a technology that has ‘taken the consumer electronics industry by storm’, as availability of VR content grows.

Journalists try out the device
Journalists try out the device’s virtual reality potential at the Dolby offices in London [© Andy Westlake]

Schools plan

May predicts that the idea of taking the viewer into another world, through an ‘intimate experience’, is likely to take hold again, pointing out that stereo views ended up in every school around 1900. Introducing the OWL to schools, through his London Stereoscopic Company, may be one way of boosting its mass appeal – and he plans to do just that.

‘I get great a response from kids with these things,’ he explains. ‘They all love ’em. And they love it even more when they realise they can take pictures of themselves and their mates in stereo and immediately see them. It doesn’t look like education if you show them what it’s like to live in the Pyrenees or something. You can just put them in a virtual reality place where they find out what it’s like to be an Eskimo. I think there are great possibilities… I’m talking quite young kids. Some of my grandchildren really enjoy this.’

Like the Google Cardboard, the appeal of May’s OWL Stereo Viewer may lie in its simplicity and cost. For one thing, you don’t need to wear uncomfortable 3D glasses. And crucially, it is designed to fit any type of smartphone. It enables the user to view images taken by the user that are converted for 3D viewing using existing downloadable apps, view existing 3D content already available online, and VR material such as films and concerts.

How does the OWL differ from other viewing devices on the market, such as Google Cardboard or the new Oculus Rift headset? Unlike the Google Cardboard, the user can adjust the focusing to obtain the correct distance between the eyepieces and the stereo images.

The geometry is different. You need geometry that doesn’t give you headaches. These are slightly longer focal-length lenses, which means you won’t see the dots on your camera screen, and that makes it slightly more comfortable. There are a number of things about this that make it more comfortable – the fact that the lens separation is outstandingly wide, which is why it’s called an OWL, makes a difference too.’

The adjustable focusing may be key – especially for older users – but so is the ability to access a phone’s buttons when attached to the device, May asserts. Also, the viewer is not in a box, ‘closed in’. But he doesn’t feel this affects the ‘immersive experience’.

‘Astronomers never close one eye to look into a telescope,’ he says. ‘They are aware of the world around them so they can be immersed in virtual reality without having to block everything out. I find that most people who use these Oculus [Rift] things start to feel claustrophobic after about ten minutes and there’s pressure on their eyes because it’s strapped to their head. This doesn’t strap to your head. It’s very light and easy to hold, and you can move it around and adapt it as you need. So, it’s a different kind of philosophy towards virtual reality.’

May says he launched his original OWL viewer, designed to view stereo images in books, ‘because there was no viewer available in the whole bloody universe except a few Victorian ones’. But, halfway through designing the latest incarnation, he realised he could make it hold a stereo card. ‘Then we started thinking; the phone is everybody’s access to the universe these days… wouldn’t it be great if the phone could go into your OWL and access the stereoscopic universe. So, all it needed was some way of holding the phone.’

After wrestling with the idea for 14 months, and trying various clips and springs, a ‘fridge magnet’ provided the spark for a breakthrough....

He designed the new OWL so a smartphone could be attached to a magnetic back plate, using a removable steel strip that sticks to the phone with adhesive strips.

Brian demonstrates
The new OWL is built to hold a stereo card or a smartphone [© Andy Westlake]

My 3D selfie stick

For May, compatibility with any phone is a huge selling point, not that he needs to sell many with millions in the bank. Plus, you can still access the phone’s controls. May just can’t leave 3D alone, it seems. Even on stage where he uses a 3D selfie stick during shows these days.

‘In the beginning I was just doing stills,’ he adds. ‘I started with a regular selfie stick and I thought, “Hmm, it’s got be stereo.” So, I got two GoPros and took stills of me and the audience – it can be 50,000 people, which is great. And now it’s turned into a 3D movie… I do a panoramic sweep around, while the [audience] do a kind of Mexican wave or as they hold up their iPhones with the lights on. It’s amazing to see.’

‘Queen in 3D’

On and off-stage, May has captured thousands of images on tour with Queen, many of which may soon see the light of day. His friend and collaborator Denis Pellerin from the London Stereoscopic Company has been scanning all the 3D shots.

‘I always had a 3D camera with me, so, there are pictures of Queen on-stage and off-stage… I just have to assemble all the words now to make it into a book. It’s a project I’d like to have off the ground next year: “Queen in 3D”. I’ve also been accumulating a lot of fabulous astro stereos. I was fortunate to know a lot of these people who work in the field…. You can take stereo pictures of pretty much every object in the solar system these days. You can’t take them with your own camera, but you can find pictures from various probes and put them together. They’re real stereos, they are not manufactured, they will be the real thing.’

Reflecting on his vast archive of stereo cards, May said he wants to put th best online and release an app to showcase them. ‘I’ve been collecting these things for 40 years or whatever and it’s a real treasure trove…’ May has already uploaded pictures of skeletons from his series of French stereo cards from the 1860s called ‘Les Diableries’ via an app. Next, he wants the online library to include images from his mission to track down stereoscopic cards created by Victorian photographer TR Williams from his ‘A Village Lost and Found’ project. ‘I’ve restored the cards,’ says May. ‘I’ve spent thousands of hours restoring them and now I can share them….’

May is casting his 3D net ever wider. He now writes soundtracks for 3D movies and this week filmed Queen’s performance in Barcelona in 360° VR. ‘Things cross-pollinate… It’s nice for me to be able to sit at the hub, at the junction of many different worlds,’ he says.

On stage or off, May’s head may be spinning for some time to come. READ MORE

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**Thu 26 May 16**
VR KIT LAUNCH - MORE
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Much !!!GREAT!!! Press coverage of Brian's Virtual Reality Kit Launch, which took place at the Dolby Screening Rooms, London.

CNET
VR the Champions: Queen legend Brian May has made a rival to Google Cardboard
24 May 2016 by Richard Trenholm

The rock god and astrophysicist has a long-standing fascination with 3D imagery, leading him to create the wallet-friendly Owl viewer.

If Brian May could capture one moment from his life so that others could step inside that moment and experience it, it would be the time he strode onto the roof of Buckingham Palace alone except for his guitar and played to 200 million people. "I'd love people to know what that felt like," said the Queen guitarist. "It was a whole life-changing experience for me."

No-one but May will ever know what it was like to perform on the roof of 'er majesty's gaff for the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002. But the legendary guitarist is giving music lovers a chance to see what it's like to be part of a Queen show, thanks to virtual reality.

The band filmed its recent Barcelona concert with 360-degree cameras that zoomed around the gig on a four-point wire system suspended over the crowd -- the type of camera you've probably seen flying over arenas and sports fixtures. You'll be able to soak up the atmosphere, both on stage and from within the crowd, by watching the resulting VR experience through a wallet-friendly 3D and VR viewer developed by May himself, called the Owl.

"It was one of the best gigs we've ever done," May said of the Barcelona show -- although he also admitted, "I would hate anyone to have seen the previous night in Lisbon, because we were rough as hell."

I WANT IT OWL

Like the make-it-yourself Google Cardboard viewer, the Owl viewer holds a smartphone in front of two lenses so when you look through it you can see glorious 3D, 360-degree and virtual-reality photos and videos. It will be available in mid-June for £25 from the London Stereoscopic Company, a concern backed by May (much to the bemusement of his accountant). Unlike Google's Cardboard, Brian May's Owl viewer has open sides so you can reach in and easily tap on the screen of your phone. The bit that holds the phone slides in and out so you can move the screen closer to or further from your eyes in order to focus the 3D effect.

Brian May shows VR kit
Brian May shows Owl VR Kit at launch [Photo: Richard Trenholm/CNET]

May eagerly showed the new version of the Owl for smartphones to assembled journalists in London today. His signature curly mop now silver, May turned the Owl over in his hands and showed us how to fold it into place, like a kindly uncle showing a niece or nephew a favourite toy from his childhood. A scientist as well as a rock legend, he's endearingly fascinated by the phenomenon of stereopsis, by which our brains create the illusion of depth by combining the images from our two eyes. "We get two different views of the universe every second of our lives," he marvels.

V(R) WILL ROCK YOU

May happily digresses on the history of stereoscopy stretching back to the innovations of Sir Charles Wheatstone in the Victorian age. Today, he says, with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive among the VR kit immersing people in three-dimensional virtual worlds, "We've come almost full circle. There's no better way to experience 3D than the Victorian way."

May is even more excited about the future. "It's a way of educating people like never before," he said. "You can put people in a situation they would never otherwise be in. You could be an astronaut flying in space." A prominent animal rights campaigner, May also suggested that "You can experience, for instance, being an animal, being hunted. I think ultimately virtual reality will change the world," said May, "because you'll be able to build exactly what you want and have everything in [the virtual world] that you love and cherish, and you will feel like you can touch and you can hear and you can interact with them."

Describing a VR project that he said had "cracked it", May mused that VR could advance to the point that "when you come out of it you feel a tug, a sort of nostalgia, a feeling that you've lost something because you fall in love with the world that you're in. And I think eventually people won't want to come out."Hang on, what? "There will be good to it and there will be bad," argued May, when asked about the potential darker aspects of the technology. "We have to deal with the darkness." READ MORE

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HUFFINGTON POST:

Check out Huffington Post video:

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**Tue 24 May 16**
PRESS RELEASE: VIRTUAL REALITY FROM BRIAN MAY. IT’S REAL.
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Brian with Owl and phone
Brian May with OWL and phone

24 May 2016

Lifelong stereoscopy enthusiast and collector, and, incidentally, world-famous rock guitarist, Brian May, this month launches the OWL VR Smartphone Kit, a Virtual Reality and 3-D stereo image viewer that brings all the excitement of VR within reach of anyone with a smartphone.

Brian’s London Stereoscopic Company (website LondonStereo.com) has been supplying his unique original patent OWL Stereo Viewer to 3-D enthusiasts since 2009, enabling a whole new audience to view the company’s reproductions of classic Victorian stereo cards, as well as the originals, plus recently released astronomy and Queen-focused 3-D images. The OWL has been recognised and adopted by 3-D organisations worldwide, as a high quality immersive device.

The new OWL VR Smartphone Kit takes the existing OWL Stereo Viewer and, through use of a simple but ingenious adaptor, enables its use with a smartphone, not only to view online 3-D images, but also those taken by the user and commercially available virtual reality content. Manufactured from high-grade polypropylene, and fully collapsible to a thin flat configuration, the OWL is supplied ready for use in seconds. Its carefully positioned high-quality optical lenses, plus fully adjustable focus, present every user with the ideal optical geometry for perfect viewing of side by side 3-D images.

Working with any smartphone, the OWL VR Kit has a significant advantage over most other VR devices, which are usually tied to jut one particular make or model of phone. And, in contrast with most of the low cost viewers available, the OWL kit offers full access to the controls on the phone at all times. Access to the headphone socket is also unobstructed. This is particularly useful when using the OWL to watch virtual reality films of concerts, or other content with a soundtrack. It also enables users to connect their smartphone to a home cinema system to generate surround sound to complement the 360° 3-D visuals.

Commenting on the launch, Brian May said, “Virtual Reality has taken the consumer electronics world by storm over recent months and masses of content is now rapidly becoming available. However, until now, users have had the choice of an expensive VR viewer that puts it out of reach of many people or a very low cost alternative that just doesn’t do the format justice.” He continues, “The OWL Smartphone Kit changes all that; for a very modest outlay, anyone can now enjoy the VR experience, and also gain access to the fascinating world of Stereoscopy. Plus, with the apps that are available for smartphones, it’s now possible to take your own 3-D images and enjoy them instantly using this simple OWL Kit.”

Lilac Owl

Smartphone Adaptor

The OWL Smartphone VR Kit will be available from mid June 2016 for £25, direct from www.londonstereo.com/lsc_shop.html

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About the London Stereoscopic Company

Some time in 1854, at 313 Oxford Street, the “London Stereoscope Company” was born and, under the leadership of managing partner George Swan Nottage, by 1856 the company had changed its name, to “The London Stereoscopic Company”, and finally in May 1859 assumed the name it was to retain for years to come: the “London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company”. Its business was selling stereo views and viewers to the public, and they were leaders in a boom – a craze which swept England, Europe, and eventually the United States too.

In 2008 Brian May and a like-minded group of enthusiasts, refounded The London Stereoscopic Company with the stated objective of recreating the magic of the company and bringing the experience of 3-D photography and latterly virtual reality to a whole new generation.

VR Kit

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**Sat 21 May 16**
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT 2016 TOUR EXCLUSIVE
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BMG 2016 Tour Exclusive

NEWS FROM BRIAN MAY GUITARS

As you will no doubt all be aware, Brian May is currently rocking stadium and festival stages across the continent on the 2016 Queen + Adam Lambert Summer tour. To celebrate, Brian May Guitars and the good Doctor himself have teamed up to offer European gig goers a unique opportunity to get their their hands on some very special, exclusive BMG collector's items.

Anybody with a ticket stub or valid purchase receipt for any of the Queen dates this year - including their appearances at Lisbon's "Rock In Rio" and the UK's prestigious Isle of Wight Festival - is eligible to register NOW for the opportunity to purchase an exclusive BMG guitar, hand signed by Dr. May himself.

Choose from either a BMG MINI MAY travel guitar or BMG RHAPSODY electro-acoustic - or treat yourself to both!

REGISTER HERE for your signed guitar !!

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**Fri 20 May 16**
ANITA DOBSON JOINS CAST OF WICKED FOR 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
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TICKETS:
Tickets for the 10th birthday performance will go on public sale on May 27 at 12.00pm at
http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/booktickets.php
.
Sign up HERE: for the limited supply of 10th Anniversay tickets
http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/Wicked10/index.php

IRISH EXAMINER
20 May, 2016

Anita Dobson is joining the cast of Wicked as part of the musical’s 10th anniversary celebrations at Apollo Victoria Theatre. The former EastEnders actress, 67, will play Madame Morrible, headmistress of Shiz University, from September until January 2017.

 

Anita Dobson
Anita Dobson has joined the cast for Wicked (Ian West/PA)

Celebrated Wicked alumnae Rachel Tucker, who returns from playing Elphaba on Broadway, and Suzie Mathers, who joins as Glinda from the Australian production, are also part of the special cast. Northern Irish actress Rachel, who played Elphaba on the London stage from 2010-2012, is the longest running actress in the role in the West End show’s history with over 900 performances to her name.

Based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked tells the story of the unlikely friendship formed between two witches as they study sorcery at Shiz and how they fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz.

Wicked celebrates 10 on the London stage on September 27, making it the eighth longest-running show in the West End and gaining two Olivier Audience Awards and nine What’s On Stage trophies among the accolades during its run.

In the rest of the cast, Oliver Savile continues as love-interest Fiyero and Mark Curry as The Wizard. Original cast member Martin Ball returns to play Doctor Dillamond and Katie Rowley Jones plays Nessarose, while Idriss Kargbo joins to play Boq.

The 10th anniversary cast will lead the show from September 5, although Anita and Rachel will only appear until January 28, 2017.

Tickets for the 10th birthday performance will go on public sale on May 27 at 12.00pm at http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/booktickets.php.
Sign up HERE: for the limited supply of 10th Anniversay tickets http://www.wickedthemusical.co.uk/Wicked10/index.php

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