The Diary: English National Ballet; Jasper Joffe; Mark Wahlberg; Stephen Hawking
Friday 03 December 2010
A dance to the music of hard times
It could be worse but the squeeze is already making itself felt at English National Ballet. "We're taking a 9.6 per cent cut, that's £485,000," says artistic director Wayne Eagling. "Or four weeks of touring. Some of the new repertory will have to be postponed."
Eagling had wanted to introduce John Neumeier's La Dame aux Camélias but has had to shelve it in favour of bigger box-office draws. "It's not an instantly recognisable title so it will be difficult to sell. We did Manon six months ago and when we got out on tour we hardly had 50 per cent audiences. It was a very popular production but until we came into the Coliseum, it was quite depressing – seeing rows and rows of empty seats." What's the solution? "Put something with 'snow', 'queen' or 'swan' in the title," says Eagling. "It's getting people out of the mould of saying, 'I'm going to see one ballet this year and it will be Swan Lake, even though it was the one ballet I saw last year'. It would be nice to get people to be really adventurous with dance." Until then, there's always The Nutcracker, about to start its annual 32-performance run at the Coliseum.
Tate of confusion
Never knowingly under-publicised, Jasper Joffe has unveiled his latest stunt to coincide with the announcement of Tate's rehang. Next week, the artist – banned from Frieze Art Fair, sold all of his possessions in the name of art – will open his own Tate Modern, a few minutes' walk from the real deal on Bankside, in a dry cleaners. A collaboration with Harry Pye, the show includes the artists' take on works from the Tate collection, including self portraits as Gilbert and George and dashed-off copies of Matisse and Basquiat. "We've been learning from the best", says Pye. "Some of the paintings are more successful than others. Maybe some will prefer our version to the originals." Maybe: the prices are certainly more appealing, with postcard Picassos and knock-off Hockneys going for £5. Neither Joffe nor Pye has ever exhibited at Tate. "Lucian Freud once saw a painting I made and said he liked it but he might have been just being polite", says Pye. "It would be nice if he made a trip to see our show."
Hors d'oeuvre oeuvre
Diners at the two-Michelin-star Pied à Terre are used to haute cuisine but how do they feel about high art? The London restaurant has announced a year-long residency, giving one artist £10,000 and the run of the kitchen (and a few free meals) to create work inspired by its food and atmosphere. The restaurant's collection already includes work by Peter Blake, Howard Hodgkin, and Richard Hamilton, with whom the proprietor David Moore has a long friendship from his days working at the artist's favourite, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. Joining this illustrious list is Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, an RCA graduate from Macedonia who filled Gloucester Cathedral with birdsong and a ballgown made of chicken skins. "Head chef and I hope she will challenge the restaurant", said Moore. She should help with leftovers, too.
No holds barred for sentimentality
To the first screening of The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg as dead-beat boxer Micky Ward and Christian Bale as his junkie brother and trainer. The film, released here in February and next week in the US, has been baffling American audiences with two very different trailers. The first, for the multiplexes, made it out to be a classic underdog sports movie, with sweaty training montages and a focus on
Ward's lover (Amy Adams). The second, premiering during the Mad Men season finale, adopted a darker tone, focusing on family dysfunction and drugs, in the mould of The Wrestler. So is it more Rocky or Rourke? Somewhere in between. David O Russell's take on Boston's seamy underbelly is unflinching, but viewers should prepare for a hefty hit of sentimentality too.
Grand unified theory required
Spotted in the West End: Stephen Hawking at Yes, Prime Minister. The mind boggles at what attracted the physicist to the hoary political farce. The cosmologist has recently advocated the possibility of time-travel millions of years into the future. Perhaps he was checking whether going back was also possible.
Books And it is whizzpopping!
MusicThey're running their own restaurants
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 2 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 3 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 4 Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
- 5 What TripAdvisor users think of 16 of the world's most popular landmarks
Conan O'Brien accused of stealing jokes from Twitter, could have to pay hundreds of thousands in damages
Child Genius: the Final, Channel 4 - TV review: Top marks to the child prodigies but mum and dad should take a bow too
Game of Thrones season 6: New toy line suggests Jon Snow is not among the dead
Game of Thrones season 6 set photos leak online
The Great British Bake Off 2015: Meet the 12 contestants
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband