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
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >