The Diary: Mike Daisey; Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; Francis Ford Coppola; Liam Thomas; Chortle Awards

 

Oopsy Daisey

High Tide scored a coup when they announced that The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs would have its European premiere at the theatre festival in May. The monologue by Mike Daisey, examining his obsession with Apple gadgets and lifting the lid on shocking conditions at the company's factories in China has seen him held up as theatre's answer to Michael Moore. This American Life even dedicated an episode to the play but this weekend a news article questioning the veracity of Daisey's story led to the radio show airing a retraction, in which they listed Daisey's embellishments and fabrications, bringing a storm of criticism down on the playwright.

The High Tide performances will still go ahead as planned, with some tweaks, says Steven Atkinson, artistic director. "Mike Daisey has chosen of his own accord to remove any content that he cannot verify. The monologue will make reference to the recent controversies." Did they consider retracting the invitation? "When the story broke, it was trending on Twitter worldwide. The reaction was vitriolic. People felt they'd been lied to," says Atkinson. "I don't believe that he set out to purposefully mislead the public to his own ends. He had a political point and was outraged by the conditions in China where people are paid so little to make objects for which we pay so much."

Atkinson is now planning a festival debate which will examine the boundaries of theatre and journalism. "We need to discuss how truth is positioned on stage from now on. Unfortunately, Mike has become a cautionary tale. He might not have a career after this."

Ker-swing!

Gasp as acrobats tumble through the air! Swoon at the $75m budget! Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, possibly the most ill-fated Broadway musical of all time, could be swinging its way across the ocean. The show, which finally opened last year after a record-breaking preview run has faced cast drop-outs, injured actors, a sacked (now litigious) director and a slew of bad reviews. Things, though, are looking up. In the first week of 2012 it took over $2.9m, the highest week gross in Broadway's history. For its European tour producers are thinking bigger than the "Victorian playhouses of the West End", reports the New York Post. Instead they are looking at "gigantic, 10,000-seater arenas" to accommodate the hi-tech extravaganza, and also, no doubt, to recoup that $75m in the fastest possible time.

A luxury hotel you can't refuse

Francis Ford Coppola has returned to his Godfather roots and opened a hotel in the tiny town of Bernalda in South Italy. The director has restored the 1892 Palazzo Margherita where his grandfather was born and where his daughter Sofia got married in August. Features include nine suites, a pool in the walled garden and a cinema showing films from Coppola's collection of Italian classics. It is the sixth hotel in the director's portfolio, which also includes a winery and a pasta sauce business. Rumours that the Palazzo offers a complimentary horse's head in its beds are unconfirmed.

Character cop

Liam Thomas had a head start when it came to getting into character as a KGB officer in Purge at the Arcola. Before he became an actor, he spent a decade working as an undercover police officer for the Met, pretending to be other people on countless operations. When his police career ended in 2002, he revisited his teenage dream of acting and found work as an extra on Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. Since then he has appeared in Macbeth at the Globe, worked with Punchdrunk and starred in The Damned United. Purge is his first time playing a cop. "Being undercover is not dissimilar to being a character actor. However you were deployed you'd have to research your back story," he says. "In both jobs you're better if you have a wider range." Thomas, 49, is now writing a play inspired by his former life. "It's about an interrogation that is not quite as it seems," he says.

Shortlists fall short

Here's an interesting statistic from the Chortle Awards. The organisers of the comedy bash, at London's Café de Paris this week, managed to find more female presenters than it did female nominees. While Jenny Eclair and Sadie Frost were among six women opening the envelopes, there were only two females on a shortlist of 54 – Dana Alexander and Susan Calman. Alexander lost out but Calman won Best Compere and made the most of her moment. "Now is not the time to talk about the shameful lack of women on the shortlists," she said from the podium. "But I will be at the bar for the next six hours talking about it."

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Arts and Entertainment
Corporate affair: The sitcom has become a satire of corporate culture in general

TV review

Broadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: There are some impressive performances by Claire Skinner and Lorraine Ashbourne in Inside No. 9, Nana's Party spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Glastonbury's pyramid stage

Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair

Arts and Entertainment
Ewan McGregor looks set to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live action remake

Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie feels the lack of food on The Island with Bear Grylls

TV

The Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Ince performing in 2006
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Beth (played by Jo Joyner) in BBC1's Ordinary Lies
tvReview: There’s bound to be a second series, but it needs to be braver spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the presenters of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Harold Ramis' original Groundhog Day film, released in 1993

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence