Diary: The talking dead

It's every teenage girl's dream: a séance with James Franco (above left). The Hollywood actor/ artist/everything will present a new three-part work inspired by Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie inNew York next month.

A collaboration with the video artist Laurel Nakadate, the project will involve the pair attempting to communicate with Williams' spirit via Ouija board and auditioning select audiences for roles in the play. Actresses hoping to play Laura will be asked to interact, karaoke-style, with a video of Franco playing the longawaited gentleman caller, Jim. Franco is the latest star to sign up to Performa, New York's biennial of visual art performance, which starts next week and also features a performance from Joseph Fiennes in the Beckettian spoof, Happy Days in the Art World, written by the artist duo, Elmgreen & Dragset."The project is a twist on Williams' place in history and the mechanics of classic theatre,” says Rose Lee Goldberg, Performa's Founding Director. "The performance will break down the barrier between artist and viewer, inviting the audience to participate in all kinds of surprising ways.”

Corden the act

His method is notoriously exacting butwhat is it really like to work with Mike Leigh? Over to you, James Corden (above centre). "If you asked me what Mike Leigh is like, I'd describe him as the nicest, warmest, funniest, most generous arsehole in the world,” he writes in his autobiography, May I Have Your Attention, Please? "It's very, very hard doing his films. You never get any praise.” In a lively chapter, Corden describes his audition for All or Nothing ("He didn't tell me to do anything specifically, just to ‘become'”) and the challenges of getting into character once he had won a role ("I wouldn't know what to do. Once, I tried to peer under the door to watch Lesley Manville to seewhat she did.”). He hasn't worked with Leigh since. "I've got a feeling that All or Nothing might've been my one and only shot… The way my career's gone since, I'm not sure I'm what Mike's looking for.” Plus, James, you just called him an arsehole in print.

My one dream, my only Mumford

It's official: Marcus Mumford is the new Kate Bush. The London folkie has perhaps the most consecutive lines of anyone in Andrea Arnold's bleak and determinedly taciturn new version of Wuthering Heights. The film, out next month, closes with a song, "The Enemy”, specially written by Mumford and Sons after Arnold saw the band in concert and asked them to contribute. Coming after twoand- a-bit hours of spare dialogue, long silences and no soundtrack, Mumford's robust tones come as rather an anachronistic shock. Bush's histrionics would probably have been less jarring.

Digital wonderland

It's only October, but Martha Fiennes is already in the Christmas spirit. The film director (and sister of Ralph and Joseph) has created a hi-tech, digitalNativity scene which will be shown in a specially designed temporary black box gallery in London's Covent Garden piazza from next month. The artwork, a collaboration with MPC, the company behind many of Harry Potter's special effects, will showcase Fiennes' new baby, SLO image, a digital-image technology to make pictures "come alive”. As such, the familiar tableau will constantly evolve with different characters, backdrops and even weather conditions as visitors come and go. Let it snow!

Cock locked for a big smoking transfer

Good news that Mike Bartlett's excellent love triangle drama Cock is to transfer to off-Broadway. The witty modern romance, which premiered at the Royal Court in 2009, starred Ben Whishaw as the anti-hero forced to choose between his long-term male lover (Andrew Scott) and a female one-night stand (Katherine Parkinson). Asource at the London theatre tells me that none of the trio is available for the New York run, so who is being lined up for the juicy roles? And how will the rather conservative Broadway cope with that title being splashed across playbills and posters next Spring?

Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Arts and Entertainment
U2's Songs of Innocence album sleeve

tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men

Arts and Entertainment
Alison Steadman in Inside No.9
tvReview: Alison Steadman stars in Inside No.9's brilliant series finale Spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk