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

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones