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
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
Kate Bush: Previously unseen photographs reveal new side to comeback star
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head