The Diary: Anish Kapoor; Ben Barnes; Frieze Art Fair; Channel 4; Crash
Friday 01 October 2010
Anish Kapoor has fallen victim to the artistic scourge that is health and safety while working on his large-scale work for London's Olympic stadium. Nervous officials have forced the artist to add a high mesh to the pedestrian walkway which winds its way up the 120m ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, both to prevent visitors from falling off and from throwing objects at the crowd below. "It's way over the top, irritatingly over the top, but that's life," says Kapoor. "You have to, kicking and screaming, find a way to negotiate those things. They are really hard work – you either cave in or you say, 'I want to do it that way, we'll have to find a way to make it work.' I'm a horrible fighter." Further afield, the sculptor is preparing to open his first exhibitions in his native India – one at the National Museum in Delhi and another in a spectacular Bollywood film studio in Mumbai – and is working on a plan to fill Paris' Grand Palais (the French equivalent of Tate Modern's Turbine Hall commission) in 2011. Details are still top secret but the work will involve inflatables. "It's playing an architectural game, reversing what's inside and outside the building," he adds.
Is Ben Barnes building up to another West End spat? The British Hollywood heart-throb opened in Trevor Nunn's Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre this week but an awkward date clash is already looming. The third Narnia blockbuster, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, starring Barnes as Prince Caspian, will have its Royal gala world premiere in London's Leicester Square on 30 November. Barnes is due on stage that night as the lovelorn hero of Sebastian Faulks' wartime romance – but a red carpet without its dashing prince seems unthinkable. What to do? The 29-year-old actor will need to tread carefully. He's already fallen out with the National Theatre, having walked out of the West End transfer of The History Boys early when Hollywood first came calling in 2007.
Dead men and women talking
Frieze Art Fair always attracts a starry crowd but this year's could be the most impressive yet, with appearances from Salvador Dalí, Vincent van Gogh, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock and Frida Kahlo. The Los Angeles artist Jeffrey Vallance (who moonlights as a columnist for the occult magazine Fortean Times) will hold a panel discussion at the fair, in which five mediums will attempt to channel the spirits of late, great artists, drawing them into a debate on the art market and the afterlife. The mediums are currently busy "establishing links" to ensure the artists – notoriously fickle beasts, especially when dead – show up on the day. "Salvador Dalí is a bit mad and has quite a heightened sense of his own importance so he's not always willing to talk to someone as unimportant as a medium," confides a Frieze representative. Well, yes, these things can be tricky.
A hunk with Heart
With post Big Brother cash to burn, Channel 4 announced a hefty new drama programme this week, with new commissions from Peter Kosminsky and Ronan Bennett. Most tempting is Any Human Heart, adapted by William Boyd from his 2002 novel with an extraordinary cast including Gillian Anderson, Tom Hollander, Sam West, Ed Stoppard and Kim Cattrall. The central character of Logan Mountstuart will be played by a generation-spanning trio of actors – Jim Broadbent, Matthew Macfadyen and newcomer Sam Clafin. The 24-year-old unknown playing the young hero is unlikely to be unknown for long, having been cast opposite Johnny Depp in the "Orlando Bloom role" (ie fresh-faced hunk) for the fourth in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
William Nicolson, the playwright and screenwriter best known for Shadowlands and Gladiator, premieres his new play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse later this month. Crash is his response to the financial crisis, centring on a successful banker and his oldest friend, a struggling artist. The scene is set for clashing values – so it's apt that the play opens on 20 October, the day the dreaded spending review is announced.
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