Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Crumbs, Shunt return – but they won’t be hob-nobbing with the theatre set...

 

They’ve moved from an archway to a railway tunnel to a tobacco warehouse. Now Shunt, pioneers of site-specific happenings, are back on the London theatre scene with a new temporary home – in a biscuit factory.

The company is currently developing a new show, The Architects, loosely inspired by the myth of the Minotaur and the current economic crisis in Greece. It will be performed in the main hall of V22 Workspace, at the old Peek Freans site in Bermondsey, south London, in November for audiences of 250 at a time. “It will be a labyrinthine experience which will take audiences on the trip of a lifetime,” associate artist Louise Mari tells me.

Shunt have been somewhat quiet of late while its various members have pursued solo projects; The Architects will be their first new show since Money (above) closed in late 2010. This time, the company hope to go on tour for the first time ever and are aiming to take it to more unconventional spaces nationwide in the new year. Theatres need not apply. “That would be one step too far – for us to work in an actual theatre,” confirms Mari.

A breathless show that’s guaranteed to run and run

Is Roy Williams Theatreland’s most demanding playwright? For his last play, Sucker Punch, Daniel Kaluuya and Anthony Welsh underwent a gruelling six months  of training to play the boxers who sparred throughout the show. Now the lead in his latest, a 2012 update of Alan Sillitoe’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, is being put through his paces. As Colin Smith, Elliott Barnes-Worrell will run the equivalent of a 3000m steeplechase every night on stage. He is currently running 10km three times a week to train. “He will perform on a specially built 6m treadmill and runs for around 20 minutes of the 80-minute play,” a source at York Theatre Royal tells me. By way of a contrast, the leads in Chariots of Fire, Jack Lowden and James McArdle, clock up around 1km per show at the Gielgud Theatre, knocking them into silver medal place in the hitherto uncontested sprinting thespian stakes.

Back to stand up to his critics; but shouldn’t Will have learnt his lesson?

Lest we forget, Will Gompertz , BBC arts editor, former director at the Tate and ubiquitous talking head, has a less glittering stint as a stand-up comedian on his résumé. Three years ago he performed his quirky comedy lecture, Double Art History, on the Edinburgh Fringe, to largely lukewarm reviews. Now, with a new book about modern art to sell, Gompertz is braving the heckles once more with a reprise of his show at Small Wonder, a short-story festival in Charleston, East Sussex on 29 September. In 2009, the Evening Standard declared it to be “as close to stand-up as Rothko is to Ricky Gervais”, but it’s probably come on leaps and bounds since then.

If only he could cross that one off the list...

He’s a bestseller, but Ian Rankin wasn’t always so confident in his craft. At the Edinburgh Book Festival, the author declared his first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses, to be his least favourite. He wrote it while studying in Edinburgh in 1987. “And it reads like it was written when I was a postgrad literature student,” he said. “I wasn’t inside Rebus’s head; he was just a cipher to get me through the story.” He did that, and through 16 more and counting, too.

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Arts and Entertainment
Corporate affair: The sitcom has become a satire of corporate culture in general

TV review

Broadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: There are some impressive performances by Claire Skinner and Lorraine Ashbourne in Inside No. 9, Nana's Party spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Glastonbury's pyramid stage

Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair

Arts and Entertainment
Ewan McGregor looks set to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live action remake

Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie feels the lack of food on The Island with Bear Grylls

TV

The Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Ince performing in 2006
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Beth (played by Jo Joyner) in BBC1's Ordinary Lies
tvReview: There’s bound to be a second series, but it needs to be braver spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the presenters of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Harold Ramis' original Groundhog Day film, released in 1993

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

  • Get to the point
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.

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence