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
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Ed Miliband less influential than One Direction's Louis Tomlinson in official Doncaster power list
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Kurt Cobain's life and death: Montage of Heck film uses unseen footage to tell Nirvana frontman's story
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Drugs Live: Twitter responds to Jon Snow and Jennie Bond smoking cannabis
Jimmy McGovern's new TV series 'Banished': Why Australia's past has such resonance today
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'