Alice Jones' Arts Diary: A new haunt in Moscow for Nyman and Dyson's spooky smash-hit


Abandoned warehouses, monstrous babies and dry ice are scary in any language, it seems.

Ghost Stories, which had a 13-month run in the West End in 2010 and played to 210,000 people, is to transfer to Moscow. The show – which takes the form of a lecture on the spirit world interspersed with three effects-laden horror stories – will open at the Yauza Palace in October and will be performed in Russian. Andy Nyman, star of the show, has adapted it with his co-creator Jeremy Dyson. “We've taken out the references to O2 and Tesco, but other than that, the show is the same,” he tells me. “It's still going to be set in England. Russians don't believe they have ghosts, in the traditional sense. They think ghosts live in England and Scotland.” The show became a word-of-mouth hit in London following an online campaign. “It wasn't really embraced by the theatre world. It's not like we were inundated with Olivier Awards,” says Nyman. “But a quarter of a million people – many of whom had never set foot in a theatre before – came to see it.

Half-baked comedy for £31? You're taking the Michael...

How much do you like Michael McIntyre? Enough to pay £31 to see him practise his unfinished jokes and train for his distinctive cross-stage skipping? The comedian, who is expected to earn £20m from his Autumn 2012 tour, has started a run of previews of new material at a string of theatres around the country, culminating with two dates on the opening weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe. McIntyre will play the 3000-seater Edinburgh Playhouse (the largest working theatre in the UK) on 5 and 6 August with a “Work in Progress” show for which all tickets – from the stalls to the gods – will cost £31. Tickets for the full tour cost £35 (plus £5.25 booking fee at some venues). The average price of a ticket for a fully finished show on the Edinburgh Fringe, meanwhile, is £10. And that's how you become a multimillionaire comedian. Badoom-tish.

It's Showtime for another star of the burgeoning Britpack

Homeland returns to Channel 4 in October and another British actor has signed on to join Damian Lewis and David Harewood in the transatlantic cast. Rupert Friend (below), star of The Young Victoria and former beau of Keira Knightley, last seen playing a rapist at the Arcola Theatre, will play regular Peter Quinn, a CIA analyst in the second season. British actress Zuleikha Robinson, better known as Ilana in Lost, will also join the cast, playing a Middle Eastern journalist.

This be the verge... a salute to the services

For Wordsworth it was the daffodil-strewn fells of the Lake District. Today's poets find inspiration in more prosaic settings – like service stations. Wendy Cope's last collection included an ode to Stafford Services. And on Tuesday night, at the Filling Station, a former petrol station in King's Cross which has been converted into a cultural hub, Luke Wright will wax lyrical on his love-hate relationship with motorway rest stops. “My favourite is South Mimms Services,” he tells me. “Actually I don't really like it, it's just that familiarity breeds grudging feelings of home.” The poet will be joined at the Motor Culture event by Stephen Bayley, talking about car design, and Geoff Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'