The Diary: Matthew Warchus's Ghost; David Carradine; Alex Turner; Steve McQueen's Giardini; Sarwat Chadda
Friday 12 June 2009
Matthew Warchus, who was this week celebrating his Tony Awards victory for Yasmina Reza's 'God of Carnage' and Alan Ayckbourn's 'The Norman Conquests', told me he took on the prospect of adapting the film 'Ghost' for the stage in spite of being "rather sceptical of turning films into musicals". On reflection, he thought it was a "phenomenal story that lends itself to musicalisation". The Righteous Brothers will feature in the score, but Dave Stewart will also add his own "unusual, contemporary sounds," said Warchus. Speaking from his hotel room the day after his Tony's triumph, he said he was unsure of how he would celebrate. "The way you get through this aspect of my job is you take it lightly whether you win or lose. The celebration really happened, in the case of 'God of Carnage' and 'The Norman Conquests', when they were successful on Broadway," he added.
Alexa Jago, an actress and friend of the sadly deceased 'Kill Bill' and 'Kung Fu' actor, David Carradine, said she had just finished working with him on 'Detention', a horror film set in a high school in which he played the principal, which also stars Zelda Williams. "He liked to go to the Mexican restaurant and I always insisted on going with him," says Jago. "He felt he was Kung Fu and that he could get out of any sort of constriction. He used to greet people in his house in Malibu in a Kung Fu stance."
An Arctic snap
Alex Turner, lead vocalist of Arctic Monkeys, apparantly has his own opinions about the glories (or otherwise) of the iPhone, which have been much regaled this week. Standing outside the trendy North London pub, the Lock Tavern, having a cigarette, he was asked by a wide-eyed fan for a picture. Being an amenable sort, he agreed to pose. But eyeing up the iPhone that the fan was brandishing as a camera, he said in a thick Yorkshire brogue, "You're not going to get a flash out of that bastard."
Too hot to handle
One of the Venice Biennale's hottest tickets is the cinema screening of Steve McQueen's 'Giardini', a 40-minute film featuring the city's own Giardini (in the off-season months when it's not populated by arts types), which forced the good and the great of the artworld to get in line for a "time-slot" sticker. Such was the popular rush to see the film at last week's opening, organisers had established a sticker system in Venice, which forced everyone (including the revered likes of Nicholas Serota, director of Tate, and Sir Norman Rosenthal, formerly of the Royal Academy of Arts) to queue for a time slot, prompting frenzied "swapsies". And if you weren't at the gates of the British pavilion promptly at the time on your sticker, you were forced to queue up again, as was the unfortunate case with the stunned director of MoMA, Glenn Lowry.
All sized up
The British children's author Sarwat Chadda was visiting America when he had a brush with Homeland Security. He got his own back in a blog that read: "A Woman with a Gun asks: Have you travelled to any of the following countries? Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan? Me: Er... yes? Woman looks at me like she's sizing me up for a jumpsuit. I try and explain I look awful in orange. Woman: Do you have any relatives in the US? Me: Er... yes? Woman: Now this relative wouldn't be the one who recently had dinner with the President of Iran? Me: Er... yes? Woman concludes I'm probably a large in jumpsuits...."
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