The Golden Globe success of Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire', about an Indian Oliver Twist who strikes it lucky on 'Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?' on Mumbai TV, could kickstart an Anglo-Indian cinema trend. A riches-to-rags film called 'Johnny Bollywood' is being produced by Deepak Verma (Sanjay from 'EastEnders'), with backing by Nick Powell, the producer responsible for 'Little Voice' and 'Calendar Girls'. It tells the story of a Bollywood actor who suddenly loses his fortune and is left stranded in London. Verma, who says it is being developed as a 'Ben Stiller-style' comedy, has an acting part in it. It will pay some homage to the Bollywood musical tradition. The American actor Sendhil Ramamurthy, who stars in the TV series 'Heroes', is rumoured to be in discussions for the lead. Verma said the success of 'Slumdog' could only be good for Asian actors, although he noted: "It's a shame none of the scriptwriting, producing and directing was done by Indians."
Carl Orff's 'Carmina Burana' is the first in a series of classical shows to be "modernised" with flamboyant visuals at the O2 Arena in London, says Franz Abraham, the show's creator. This weekend's 'Carmina' will be followed in 2010 by a pyrotechnic 'Aida on Fire', and then Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with a twist... Could it be 'No 9 on Ice', with the full orchestra on skates?
George Bush says he's unlikely to suffer writer's block while penning a memoir. He said on US television that, as a "type-A personality", he's not likely to get stuck in his work: "I require things to do, and I bet once I get going on this book I'll be able to get it done." Given some events of his presidency and his capacity to mangle language, some writer's block might turn out to be useful.
Way out there
Nasser Azam, the artist who last year took to a modified aircraft to experience zero gravity while completing two triptychs (a panel from Triptych II), is planning his next extreme "performance artworks". The first takes him to Antarctica to create a 20ft resin sculpture that will be left as a permanent motif. He also plans to make art inside an inactive volcano and spend time in a desert to see what images emerge. One of the zero-gravity triptychs will be unveiled at his show opening today at the Azam Gallery, County Hall, London.
Bennett's name game
Alan Bennett's award-winning play, 'The History Boys', was nearly not called that, according to Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, where the play was staged before being turned into a film. The preferred title from Bennett was 'Hector's Boys' or, even more obscurely, 'The Words of Mercury', apparently. Hytner, who is engaged in a tussle with the writer over the title of a play about the life of W H Auden ("I hope we use the title which tells us what it is about and not the other one"), said Bennett had a tendency to fight for "poetic" names for his plays.Reuse content