The Diary: Christy Turlington Burns; National Youth Theatre; Ghost Stories; Art Basel
Friday 22 October 2010
Model's moving debut
Another month, another budding friendship with a supermodel. Sarah Brown, who famously traipsed around the muddy fields of Glastonbury on Naomi Campbell's arm, will reappear on the capital's arts scene on Saturday at the London Film Festival where she will introduce the debut film from Christy Turlington Burns. The supermodel (who added Burns to her surname when she married the film producer Edward Burns in 2003) has directed her first documentary, No Woman, No Cry, about deaths in childbirth. Brown will attend in her capacity as patron of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. The 60-minute documentary opens with home video footage of Turlington Burns giving birth to her daughter, Grace, before exploring the pregnancy stories of four women around the globe, from a Maasai woman who has to walk five miles to a makeshift clinic to a midwife in Florida who treats women without medical insurance who have been refused elsewhere. "The day my daughter was born was one of the greatest days of my life but it also became the scariest," says Turlington Burns, who was compelled to make the film after suffering a traumatic labour. "While I got the care I needed, too many women don't." The film will be released on www.brightwide.com, the online screening channel launched by Colin and Livia Firth to give prominence to films that might otherwise lack distribution.
Rebels raise a smile
As culture's head honchos reeled from the news of catastrophic 30 per cent cuts to the Arts Council budget, the young upstarts at the National Youth Theatre decided to storm the fortress on Wednesday afternoon. Just hours after George Osborne had finished announcing the results of the spending review, the NYT's rising stars performed in the House of Lords' Cholmondeley Room for assorted peers (including their patron Lord Waheed Alli), MPs (Ed Vaizey, above centre, Minister for Culture, popped by) and alumni (actors Liza Tarbuck and Con O'Neill). "We wanted to make the point that young people are still worth investing in. To us, 30 per cent cuts could mean 30 per cent fewer opportunities for our young talent," says a spokesman for the NYT. "We wanted to make sure there was a good news story today, as well." Quite right, too. So what did the young folk sing to lift heavy hearts? Nat King Cole's "Smile", with some customised lyrics: "Smile, though your art is aching." All together now!
Thrills and chills on Halloween
Ghost Stories continues to hold the West End in thrall. The spooky show has already extended its run to February 2011, with writer Jeremy Dyson drafting in his old League of Gentlemen mate Reece Shearsmith to play the lead. Now it's staging a special performance for Halloween at midnight on 30 October. The play is scary at the best of times, but the witching hour could see the theatre's own ghost make an appearance. The Duke of York's is haunted by the actress-turned-manager Violet Melnotte who died in 1935 and can often be seen sitting up in the boxes, apparently.
In the frame
Frieze Art Fair has packed up and next stop for the art aristocracy's private jets is Art Basel, Miami Beach in December. This year, the fair has announced a new venture in Art Positions: "Fourteen young galleries showcasing projects by one artist." What an excellent idea. Just like Frame, the new venture set up by Frieze two years ago featuring 25 young galleries showcasing projects by one artist. At least the London contingent will feel at home over there.
I suppose they've all been rather busy with the spending review but it's disappointing to report that there hasn't been any response yet to the questions I sent to the new email service, Ask Ed Vaizey, last week. A quick check on the DCMS's YouTube channel where the Minister for Culture is supposed to be posting video responses similarly draws a blank; it's still showing Jeremy Hunt's speech to the Royal Television Society from 28 September. After this week's announcements, they're sure to receive a massive influx of emails. I'd hate for them to get a backlog.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: Luke Skywalker's bionic hand sends fans into a frenzy
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question