Artspeople: Lloyd Webber fanfare produces play on words
A founder member of The Independent David Lister joined the paper in 1986 as Assistant Home Editor. He became the paper's arts correspondent in 1988 and is now Arts Editor and writes a column each Saturday. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Saturday 24 August 1996
Not quite, actually. As I recall, the Lyceum put on the National Theatre's Mystery Plays a mere decade ago. The publicity officer for Superstar is one Peter Thompson who also happened to be the publicity officer for the Mystery Plays. "I did point this out to the Really Useful Group," Thompson admits, "but the view was that as the Mystery Plays were promenade performances they didn't count as productions on the stage." There's lateral thinking for you.
David Strassman, the American ventriloquist, has been packing in audiences at the Edinburgh Festival, but has not received the expected nomination for a Perrier Award. "Take away the dummy and what have you got," a Perrier official told the press in Scotland. This has caused some bafflement in the Strassman camp. "That's a bit like saying 'take away the emu and Rod Hull just isn't funny'," his spokeswoman, Sally Homer, says bitterly.
That most private of actors, Alan Rickman, will be stripped of a little of that privacy in the first biography of him, written by theatre critic Maureen Paton and published in October. It will claim that Rickman has carefully shielded his working class background from the media. He was a scholarship boy from a west London council estate and went to Latymer school where he was taught by Colin Turner who also nurtured Hugh Grant and Mel Smith. Rather unromantically the book also reveals that Rickman's sensual drawl is in fact caused by a speech defect. Who wouldn't kill for such a defect?
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