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Performing Arts

Dancing about architecture

There is a small, ugly overlap between the kind of people who complain about reduced state funding for the arts and education in the UK and the kind of people who excuse the burning of books, advocate the closure of places of learning, attack performances of classical music, and disrupt debates in bookshops. Outside this […]

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Self-Replacing Elites

The BBC’s Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield is broadly happy with his children’s French education, but he does have one complaint: French schools have absolutely no extra-curricular activities. There are no debating societies, no orchestras, no film clubs, no sports teams, no painting classes, no school newspapers, and no drama, at least none worthy of the […]

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Tough Audience

On being shown Michael Jackson moonwalking to Billie Jean, a friend’s seven-year-old son shrugged his shoulders and commented, unimpressed: “Ahh… He’s got wheels in his shoes.” [Anecdote and title stolen wholesale from JL.]

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Hardcore

British luvvies are a rich source of entertainment to me—as long as I am careful to keep my theatre-going to a minimum; it’s the stuff they say in interviews that puts a smile on my face. So many of them talk cobblers. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter because (apart perhaps from the likes of Mackintosh and […]

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Luvvie Dynasty Trivia

I had always assumed that there was some connection between the Cusack families either side of the Atlantic, but there ain’t. The actor and screenwriter Richard Cusack is father of John, Joan, Ann, Susie and Bill. Actor Cyril Cusack is father of Paul, Sorcha, Niamh, Pádraig, and Catherine. Sinead Cusack is married to Jeremy Irons […]

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Ball Lighting

A couple of weeks back I attended one of the two “reasonably smart” evening occasions that PooterGeekers kindly invited me to in response to my appeal so that I could test out some wacky lighting techniques. This was photographing various Latin American performers at a Cambridge college ball. I’m sure you’ll agree such a setting […]

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Chopped Liver

Yesterday evening I watched The Libertine. It’s diverting and stylish; there are some lovely, elegant, theatrical speeches; but there’s not as much sex as I’d hoped for. Johnny Depp doesn’t go over the top and John Malkovich is even more pleasingly restrained. I wouldn’t go out of your way to rent it though. I was […]

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Merciless Minging

The Ugly modelling agency provides “interesting” looking people for advertising and other media purposes. Cleverly, they have a Website to match: distracting background images, Comic sans fonts, horrid layouts—they got ’em all.

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And Another

I don’t have a TV, but that doesn’t mean I don’t watch it. Having trained myself out of treating television broadcasts as audiovisual wallpaper, whenever I visit friends or relatives and there’s a TV on in the background I have to make a huge effort not to be hypnotized by it. The main reason I […]

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Confident Against The World In Arms

After all those heterosexual pairings, here’s a homosexual one. I live in the gay capital of the UK and photograph weddings, yet I had to drive to Stratford-upon-Avon to shoot my first civil partnership. Ivan used to design clothes, some of which my sister used to model, and now he is Costume Co-ordinator at the […]

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Beige Girl In Space

Back here I complained that Dr Who was currently prettier than his assistant. Clearly someone at the BBC has been paying attention. Here’s one of several poorly lit publicity photos* of David Tennant and his new sidekick, half-Iranian, half-Ghanian Freema Agyeman: Having failed to heed the make-up artist’s warnings, David and Freema discover the hard […]

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The Last Stand?

A blasted heath on the edge of a backlit forest. Low clouds of mist lap around a natural arena. A figure strides over a hillock into view. It is IAN MCKELLEN. He is wearing a very silly helmet and matching cape. He is in possession of a KNIGHTHOOD and an enormous cheque. IAN MCKELLEN: Patrick! […]

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Being There

Responding to the unusually early death of actor Chris Penn, Squander Two writes about acting—and explains much of my problem with (British) theatre: If only Sean Penn were anywhere near as talented as his brother, his films wouldn’t be so irritatingly tedious. Cintra Wilson’s right: truly great acting is something you don’t even notice. That’s […]

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Julius Ginga

GINGA I could be well moved, if I were as you: If I could pray to move, prayers would move me: But I am constant as the Commons Bar, Of whose true-fix’d refreshing quality There is no fellow among vintners. The streets are linéd with unnumber’d pubs, They are all fine and every one doth […]

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Bleargh

I’ve been in bed for the past couple of days with a nasty little dose of food poisoning. On reflection, it was probably the Stilton, bacon, and red onion baguette that did for me. It tasted wonderful at the time. Because of my illness I’ve been listening to lots of radio. On Friday, as the […]

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Charlotte Jones Is Everywhere

When I was about 16, Charlotte Jones, now a playwright, beat me in the final of a public speaking competition. Because we were released from the green room to compete one-at-a-time, I didn’t meet her in person until a couple years later when we wound up undergraduates at the same college. We then spent far […]

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Energy

Sorry to resort to the same edition of Private Eye again, but I have to share this with my American friends. It's from a regular column in the magazine called “Luvvies” to which readers submit ridiculous quotes from actors. This week's was from Emmy Rossum, being interviewed in Vanity Fair: “We were doing this scene […]

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An Excuse For Some Glamour

I meant to post this at the start of the week when it was topical. My dad used to think Bill Kenwright was a great producer. Charlotte used to think that Tennessee Williams was a great playwright. Judith used to think Ashley Judd was the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. So that’s three people who […]

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