The Diary: Patrick Barlow's Star Child; Belarus Free Theatre; Jessica Albarn; Grayson Perry; ENO

Conscience clash

London's theatres can draw a glittering crowd of guests when they want to but how deep are their pockets? We'll find out on 5 December when Theatreland hosts not one but two VIP charity galas in a dramatic date clash. In the red corner, the Almeida Theatre will stage Star Child in aid of the Art Room Charity. Catherine Tate, Stephen Mangan and Juliet Stevenson will all star in Patrick Barlow's modern-day nativity while Stephen Fry – who else? – will play a "disgruntled" God. Tickets: £75 (including post-show champagne). Meanwhile, in the blue (orange?) corner, the Young Vic will host a benefit for the Belarus Free Theatre and Index on Censorship, with tickets priced for the people at £25-45. Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Sam West are signed up as guest stars for the night, timed to chime with the Belarusian elections on 19 December. Shame they didn't check the theatre calendar too.

Family tree

Jessica Albarn is keeping it in the family for her latest project. The fine artist is currently shooting a short film of her dark fairytale The Boy in the Oak in the New Forest and has signed up her brother Damon to write the soundtrack. The book, published last summer, featuring Albarn's ethereal illustrations, tells the tale of a destructive young boy who is locked in a tree by vengeful faeries as punishment for being cruel to nature. The film is being directed by Luke Losey, best know as the man behind the time-lapse music video for Orbital's "The Box", starring Tilda Swinton. Jude Law is the first cast member to be announced and will provide the narrative voiceover.

Perry's Politician makes the cuts

When Grayson Perry's Print for a Politician was purchased by the House of Commons for their collection in 2006, it was an unlikely dream come true for the subversive artist. "When I was working on it I harboured a fantasy of it hanging in a minister's office helping him to temper any prejudices he may have", he said at the time. The then-Culture Minister Andy Burnham chose the work for his office back in 2008. More recently, and surprisingly, George Osborne hung the £14,000 print – which features rival modern-day "tribes", including "provincials", "fatties", "homosexuals" and "scientologists" – on his wall. Now an edition of the etching has been acquired by the Art Fund for Manchester Art Gallery, so members of the public will be able to scrutinise the work that is hanging over the Chancellor's bowed head as he chooses which of modern Britain's tribes will bear the brunt of his cuts. Whether it will have Perry's desired effect – "He might look upon it and muse, 'Yes we are all as bad and good as one another'" – remains to be seen.

Tired pipes

Is the ENO working its stars too hard? Following on from a disastrous Pearl Fishers – when an indisposed Alfie Boe was replaced by a poorly understudy, then, one act later, by a member of the chorus singing from the book at the side of the stage, while Hanan Alattar also struggled with a sore throat – more tales of sickness and woe reach me from the Coliseum. At Don Giovanni's press night on 6 November, Rebecca Evans was replaced by her understudy Sarah Redgwick in the role of Elvira. Then last Friday, the curse struck again, this time in La Bohème, where Gwyn Hughes Jones, singing Rodolfo, did his back in and was replaced by Peter Auty, wooing an English Mimi in Italian (the only libretto he knew). Both stand-ins acquitted themselves admirably. Still, might The Diary prescribe Echinacea and a daily dose of vitamins to the sickly company?

Card sharp

Calling in to the wonderful Cezanne's Card Players exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery this week, I was struck by the remarkable similarity of Peasant in a Blue Smock to one of our greatest living stage actors. Pork pie hat, red neckerchief and drooping moustache... he's the spitting image of Johnny "Rooster" Byron as played by Mark Rylance in the West End hit Jerusalem. You'll never look at it in quite the same way again.

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.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    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