Cultural Life: Joe Penhall, playwright
Friday 09 December 2011
Theatre: Arnold Wesker's 'The Kitchen' is one of my favourite plays. I saw a matinee of Bijan Sheibani's revival at the National and was transported. It's a warm, penetrating study of working life and the bonds that hold society together. It's also a very funny, moving portrait of migrant life in London,not long after the Second World War.
Books: I just bought Haruki Murakami's 'IQ84: Books 1 and 2.' In it he alludes to a mysterious cult-like organisation, using material he gleaned while writing his non-fiction masterpiece 'Underground', which is about the Tokyo gas attack in the Nineties. He writes about people who've reached the limits of their imagination and want something to transport them into a different realm.
Films: I saw 'Snowtown' at the London Film Festival and now it's on general release. It's as hard as nails and nerve-shreddingly, suffocatingly tense. It's also an incredibly visceral insight into a broken, failed community and the ravages of poverty. Australian cinema is producing some really gritty hard-boiled, honest film-making right now.
Music: I love the recent Grinderman album, 'Grinderman 2', and see them whenever they're in town. In concert, the band is a searing wall of noise, like a fried Stooges. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are also blistering live. They stir me up, make me laugh and fill me with optimism.
Visual Arts: The Vigo Gallery in Old Bond Street has the best contemporary painters. I saw an exhibition of Paul Simonon's paintings there and bought a landscape of Goldborne Road in West London. The sky is exactly like the sky viewed from my house.
'Haunted Child' by Joe Penhall is at the Royal Court Theatre, London, until 14 January. www.royalcourttheatre.com
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Scottish independence referendum: Franz Ferdinand, Mogwai and Frightened Rabbit to play in support of Yes campaign
Jessica Chastain demands Scarlett Johansson-fronted Marvel superhero movie
Downton Abbey series 5 start date revealed: ITV drama to return in late September
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Olivia Colman and Mary Berry top Radio Times' female power list
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain