Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Artists step up to the challenge and take to the streets in support of the ICA

 

It only has 30 steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art's 72, and they're tucked around the side of the building, but what the ICA lacks in grandeur it makes up for in enthusiasm.

Or at least it did yesterday, when a crowd of supporters donned trainers to recreate the running scene from Rocky. The artist Bob & Roberta Smith took the Sly Stallone role in tracksuit and towelling head-band, leading a crew including ICA director Gregor Muir, artists Jane and Louise Wilson and Roger Hiorns, and curator Norman Rosenthal out through the galleries, down the Mall and on a sprint up the Duke of York steps. Smith's film of the event will premiere at the gallery's fundraiser on Thursday, where Subodh Gupta will weld artworks live on site for sale that night, and attendees can bid for lots including a Damien Hirst spin painting and lunch with Sarah Lucas.

Star witness who's swapping deadlines for punchlines

Richard Peppiatt, the ex-Daily Star reporter who wrote a lurid public resignation letter to the newspaper's proprietor, Richard Desmond, and sensationally criticised its working practices at the Leveson Inquiry, has turned his experiences into a comedy show.

One Rogue Reporter will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe and will feature his tabloid tales and films of stunts he has pulled on tabloid editors. "Some people at the top of the tree are being taken down a peg or two," says Peppiatt, 27, who has also written a sitcom, Red Top Blues, for Hat Trick. "Some very big fish. I think it's pretty funny."

The media pundit and campaigner for press reform will preview his stand-up in private – "Partly because I don't want someone to try and sue me before I get to Edinburgh. I've glued my letterbox shut so I can't receive any legal letters" – before the month-long run. Is he nervous about reviews? "I don't really do nerves. Once you've sent a letter that blows up your whole career, it's very hard to get nervous about anything. A lot of people I know will be glad to see it fall flat on its face." Former colleagues at the Star are welcome, he says, as long as they pay for tickets (still available for every day of the run).

Practice makes perfect sense for Max and his cash-strapped company

Time is money. And one theatre company has found a way to make the time spent off-stage pay. Out of Joint, which took a 27.9 per cent cut (or around £138,000 p.a.) to its funding last year is selling tickets to rehearsals of Our Country's Good. Directed by Max Stafford-Clark, the show opens at Bolton Octagon in September and tours before moving into the West End in 2013. Tickets for rehearsals at its north London base cost £6 per 1 hour, 15 minute session (a day, or three sessions, costs £12); there are six available per session. "We don't want the cast to be outnumbered," a spokesman said. "We're expecting theatre aficionados and people who are interested in the process." They will have to be unusually interested. Tickets for the real thing – lines learned, in costume, on a proper stage – start at just £9.50 at the Octagon.

ITV joins the love-in for Royal Court writer

Mike Bartlett is having a bit of a moment. Love, Love, Love and his adaptation of Chariots of Fire are both poised to transfer to the West End and now the playwright has landed his first television commission. The Town is a three-part series for ITV about a 30-year old who returns to his hometown after a shocking family incident. Bafta-winner Andrew Scott, who appeared in Bartlett's three-hander Cock at the Royal Court in 2009, stars.

a.jones@independent.co.uk

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