The Diary: Enquirer; Peter Adjaye; RSC's Julius Caesar; Morena Baccarin; Jessica Pare


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Hack attack

It's theatre's answer to the Leveson enquiry and it's coming to a media hub near you. Enquirer, a verbatim piece featuring leading figures from the press, will open in a top-floor office in Glasgow's Hub (home to the BBC) at the end of the month. It will transfer to a London office block near the Barbican in October. The play, a partnership between the National Theatre of Scotland and the London Review of Books is based on 50 hours of interviews with 40 newspaper employees, conducted last month by journalists Paul Flynn, Deborah Orr and Ruth Wishart.

"We're at a moment where the press is changing radically and we wanted to look at that using journalists' voices. We didn't want to commission a playwright to spend two years writing it and then it would be out of date," says Vicky Featherstone, co-director with John Tiffany. "It's not a game of spot-the-journalist. It's supposed to be more universal than that. But you'll recognise a few faces." So how do hacks measure up to the heroic soldiers of the theatre's last verbatim hit, Black Watch? "They're really rounded people who believe in what they do, whether celebrity gossip or war reporting", says Featherstone. "Everyone who has been into rehearsals so far has been surprised by how warmly they've felt towards the journalists." Really? Sounds like a five-star show already.

Musique concrète

It's easy to describe what a building looks like, but how about what it sounds like? Peter Adjaye , musician and younger brother of the architect David Adjaye, has spent the last 10 years investigating just that, and has composed soundscapes for eight of his brother's buildings, including a piece for the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford and for the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo. "I was flabbergasted at how natural it felt", says the composer. "Once David had drawn me a picture of the sound journey he wanted I went off and was back in one day, with the piece finished." The architect says: "For my generation, sound is part of how you visualise a space. It's an experiment. I was interested to see how a composer would react to a space, to see it echo back." Adjaye Sr is currently designing the £500m National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open in 2015 as part of Washington's Smithsonian. Adjaye Jr meanwhile will unveil a piece about their collaborations at the Nova Festival in Sussex in July, screening architectural films to a live soundtrack. Do the siblings ever squabble? "There is an understanding and a trust. David leaves me to get on with it. And I go to another level he might not have thought of."

Get in on the act at the cheap toga party

They don't say much but spear-carriers can, nevertheless, be expensive. So hats (plumed helmets?) off to the RSC, which is making savings and skirting Equity on its upcoming Julius Caesar by calling for volunteer toga-wearers on its website. The theatre is marketing the roles in the new production – set in Africa and featuring an all-black cast – as a unique experience. "Join us on stage in street scenes and as part of a crowd of citizens, finding out what it is like to put on a show from rehearsals to opening night... You don't need to have been on stage before," runs the ad. Those who enlist under Caesar must commit to nine days of rehearsals and at least four performances a week during the show's run between May and July. "You will be part of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directed by Gregory Doran, who directed David Tennant in Hamlet." An honour, indeed! Except that, unlike other company members, these chosen few will receive only their travel expenses in return for treading the boards.

Honey, I'm Homeland

A couple of months ago, you could have been forgiven for never having heard of either Morena Baccarin or Jessica Pare. Now as the love interests in the two hottest shows in television – Baccarin as Jessica Brody in Homeland and Pare as Megan Draper in Mad Men – they are hard to avoid. They are also, it emerges, housemates. In an interview with, Baccarin reveals that Pare is her tenant in Santa Monica. Sort of. "It's a duplex and she rents one of the units from me, so we share a wall." Baccarin must be used to such odd brushes with fame by now. As a jobbing actress, she understudied Natalie Portman in The Seagull in Central Park in 2001. And long before that, at New York City Lab School, one of her classmates was Claire Danes, who went on to become her Homeland co-star. Small world.