Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Expletives deleted as a comedian's songs become a serious business

 

Tim Minchin is getting serious. Next Tuesday, the comedian will play a gig but the set list will include none of the comedy songs he is famed for.

Instead, the event at London's tiny 100 Club – for which tickets cost £12 – will be a showcase for his rock songs. Before he became a stadium-filling comedian, Minchin studied contemporary music in Perth and played in a band called Rosencrantz. He'd now like to make an album and tells me that has written several new songs, including one about winter. "It has the lyric, 'I'll take this battle to the streets. Umbrella-less but undefeated.' I don't want to make my songs not quirky." He's aware, though, that the move may alienate some fans who are used to his invective-laden comedy ditties. "Although part of me thinks, 'You've found your home – theatrical and comic music', another part of me thinks, 'Bullshit, you're a songwriter. Go and write a record.' I don't have to think about writing an album like Muse but what about Elvis Costello or Randy Newman or anyone writing really interesting, genre-crossing, quirky music? I don't have to suddenly straighten up and be U2, nor do I have to dump my lyrics. But I'll probably try and stop swearing so I can get some radio play."

ITV seeks gainful employment in the comedy market

ITV hasn't commissioned a mainstream comedy since Benidorm – five series in and still going strong! – in 2007. Now, aware that Sky is stealing a march with a slew of new sitcoms, including Stella and This Is Jinsy, it has announced a new slate including a six-part sitcom set in an unemployment office. The Job Lot, made by the company behind Him & Her and Rev, will star Russell Tovey and Sarah Hadland, aka Miranda sidekick, Stevie. Further offerings include Great Night Out, about four drinking pals in Stockport, and Naked House, starring Jason Manford as a broke thirtysomething forced to move back in with his naturist parents. "It's now the genre we want to make a big splash in," ITV's director of entertainment and comedy Elaine Bedell told Broadcast. "Comedy is difficult – it's risky, exposed... We will not be too quick to judge." Audiences may be, though. ITV's most recent foray into comedy, Show Me the Funny last summer, failed to pull in the ratings.

Hirst, Emin, and the Chapman Brothers are too young to win

As the YBAs settle into millions-fuelled middle age, what better time to celebrate some more seasoned perennials? The Oldie magazine has launched The OBA Award to find the nation's best artist aged 60 or over. The prize will favour figurative canvases and will be judged by Maggi Hambling among other venerable souls.

Six characters in search of a swimsuit

This must bea first: a play in a Victorian bathing machine. The beach huts on wheels, designed to let bathers take a dip, unseen by prying eyes, have been turned into mobile theatres for the Brighton Fringe. They will be at various spots in the city, hosting shows for up to four people at a time. Woolly bathing suits optional.

The wrong arena for the right kind of film

It was a story of good films, shame about the venue for Sundance's first London run at the weekend. For a festival celebrating indie film, corporate behemoth the O2 was the worst possible setting. If Robert Redford returns, how about using one of the city's arthouse chains – Curzon, Everyman or Picturehouse – next time?

a.jones@independent.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us