The Diary: Punchdrunk's Sleep No More; Sweethearts; Jack Whitehall; Anish Kapoor's cannon; Spike Jonze
Is it a play? Is it a party venue? No, it's Punchdrunk's Sleep No More. The British theatre company's immersive mash-up of Macbeth and Hitchcock has been playing to sold-out crowds since it opened in a sprawling former nightclub/ hotel in New York a year ago. In that time, the fictional setting of the McKittrick Hotel has become the place to see and be seen in the city. Or rather to not be seen, thanks to the carnival masks audiences must wear to watch the show. Last weekend, the buzz show was given a fillip when Ides of March actress Evan Rachel Wood joined the cast for two performances, playing a sinister nursemaid. On Monday night, Björk held the wrap party for her tour at the venue, treating guests including Michael Stipe, Kim Cattrall and Cindy Sherman to an impromptu choral performance in the depths of "Birnam Wood". On the same night, Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell renewed his wedding vows in the theatre's Manderley Bar. One rather stylish way for Punchdrunk to recoup their enormous production costs.
Heart to art
It's the creative creed: never work with children, animals, or your partner. Now, a group of artists are defying the rule for a show at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London. Sweethearts will feature collaborative work by Antony Gormley and Vicken Parsons, Gary Hume and Georgie Hopton, Rem Koolhaas and Madelon Vriesendorp and Richard and Jane Wentworth, among others. Gormley, a monumental sculptor, and Parsons, a painter of intimate interiors, have compromised on an installation of floating polystyrene balls – sculpted by Gormley, painted by Parsons. Hume and Hopton, meanwhile, drew inspiration from a vase of flowers, photographed by Hopton, then painted by Hume and finally made into a collage. A picture of domestic harmony.
Fresh meat for American audiences
Jack Whitehall won over a new set of American fans with a slick set at the Secret Policeman's Ball in New York last weekend. "The differences between the British and American sense of humour are far less than people believe," he tells me. "They definitely get irony." They also get Brit sitcoms – The Trip and The Inbetweeners have been picked up by the US. Might the same fate await Fresh Meat, the student comedy in which Whitehall's posh twit JP stole the show? "I don't know. I imagine it will at some point – they seem to try to sell everything over here. There wouldn't be any JPs in America, though. His US equivalent would be a jock, I guess." For now, Whitehall, 23, is finishing scripts for his BBC3 sitcom Bad Education. He stars as Alfie, the "worst teacher in the world"; Gavin and Stacey's Mathew Horne will play the headmaster. Did his time at public schools Marlborough and Harrodian provide rich comic material? "It's not inspired by my own schooldays," he says. "But a lot of the storylines are from my school and my friends' schools."
Shooter on site
It famously made a mess of the Royal Academy in 2009, and now Anish Kapoor's cannon, which splatterguns 11kg balls of gooey red wax at regular intervals, has a new home – in the depths of a Brazilian forest. Shooting into the Corner is to be installed at Inhotim, a 300-acre outdoor art park near Belo Horizonte, owned by the billionaire mining magnate Bernardo Paz. The cannon will join 500 works by Olafur Eliasson, Matthew Barney and Yayoi Kusama, among others, in the vast collection scattered around pavilions, galleries and botanical gardens on the site. The cannon will "probably be shown outside and alone", according to a report in The Art Newspaper. Where will all the wax go?
There's still a year to wait for Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze's follow-up to Adaptation. In the meantime, Jonze fans can enjoy his latest side project, Mourir Auprès de toi (To die by your side), a six-minute animation set in the cult Parisian bookshop Shakespeare and Co. Made using 3,000 pieces of felt, the spooky, kooky tale imagines the shelves coming alive at night, leading to a fateful liaison between a skeleton (Macbeth's cover star) and a femme fatale (Dracula). It screens until the end of May (the next screening is on Monday at London's Ritzy cinema) as part of the global pop-up festival Future Shorts, whose spring roster also includes Sam Taylor-Wood's 2007 directorial debut, the punk romance Love You More.
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