Cultural life: Rufus Norris, Director
Friday 10 May 2013
I went to see The Book of Mormon recently, which was brilliant and mundane in equal measure; there's hardly a tune in it and the story is pretty standard in essence, but there's some wicked laughs on the way – and the fingers up to Western patronisation of Africa is gorgeous.
I also saw Othello at the National, which is much the best version of that tricky play I've seen, largely because, for once, the two main men are so balanced. It's a masterclass in how to make Shakespeare ring out now, lucid and funny and gripping.
I finally got round to Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, which I liked very much; I had also enjoyed his Hunger, but this is a more fully achieved film for me somehow: less self-conscious.
I'm reading Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, because I'm directing a play by him (The Amen Corner). He is wonderful, I am utterly lost in it, and keep missing my tube stops.
I'm listening to a lot of gospel, for the Baldwin play. I'm working with the London Community Gospel Choir. When you're up close, those guys make your hair stand on end.
Rufus Norris directs 'Table' (until 18 May) and 'The Amen Corner' (from 4 June), both at the National Theatre, London SE1 (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk)
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance 'Carol' for not wearing high heels
Game of Thrones rape scene criticised as 'disgusting' by US senator Claire McCaskill who says she's 'done' with show
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
Mad Men, TV review: Perfect harmony? Not quite, but an enlightening finale for Don Draper
Eurovision 2015: Could Serbia's entry Bojana Stamenov be this year's Conchita Wurst?
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest