The Diary: Russell Tovey; Katie Leung; Martin Boyce; Sheridan Smith; Bennett Miller

 

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The Independent Culture

Sex without Her

Erstwhile History Boy and slacker star of Him & Her, Russell Tovey, is preparing to start rehearsals for a new play at the Trafalgar Studios in February. He will play a young man who cheats on his girlfriend in Sex with a Stranger. The three-hander also marks a return to the theatre for the creator of Him & Her, Stefan Golaszewski. "It's pretty bleak", says Golaszewski. "I wrote it with Russell in mind and sent it to him saying, 'I'd love you to be in it, but it won't be awkward if you say no'. He emailed me back within the hour to say 'yes'." The show will be directed by Phillip Breen, who has previously directed Golaszewski in his one-man plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Bush Theatre. The playwright will remain off-stage this time. "It's quite liberating. I can make Russell do stuff that I wouldn't want to do on stage – like taking his top off and kissing people", he says. "It's also nice to write for someone who is a much better actor than me." Golaszewski, 31, has just been commissioned to write a third series of his relationship sitcom Him & Her for BBC3 – "I'll carry it on for as long as I know I can definitely do it well. I'd hate to spoil it all by doing a really bad fourth series" – and is in talks with Film Four and the BFI about a movie of his first play, Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About a Girl He Once Loved.

What Katie did next

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint can barely sneeze without someone reviewing it as part of their post Harry Potter career, but what of the rest of the young cast? This week, Katie Leung (aka Harry's first smooch, Cho Chang) was announced as the lead in the first theatrical adaptation of Wild Swans. The play will premiere at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachussetts before opening at London's Young Vic in April. Meanwhile Jessie Cave, who played Lavender Brown in the Potter films, is currently filming Mike Newell's Great Expectations, in which she plays Biddy. She has also been cast in the second series of Simon Amstell's family sitcom Grandma's House and is planning a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe next year. Whether either will eclipse former Hogwarts prefect Cedric Diggory – these days better known as RPattz – remains to be seen.

Sauchiehall Street for the art crowd?

Medals made from Tunnock's Teacakes, ceramic jelly-moulds and tenement-inspired jewellery are among the design ideas that caught the eye of the Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce this week. The Scottish artist was on the panel for Scotland Can Make It!, a contest to create souvenirs for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. The winning designs will go on show at Glasgow's People's Palace in September. Might that exhibition be joined in the city by 2012's Turner Prize show? With the award going to a Glasgow artist for the third year in a row (after Susan Philipsz and Richard Wright), it must be Scotland's turn to play host.

Pint-sized mother

The story of Sheridan Smith's upbringing is coming to the small screen this Christmas. The actress will star in Sky 1's Little Crackers, a series of dramas in which actors recreate childhood memories. Smith's episode focuses on her parents and their Country and Western duo, The Daltons. Smith, in curly blonde wig, plays her mother while Ralf Little – her on-screen boyfriend in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps – dons a Stetson and floppy moustache to play her father. "My parents don't gig as much now but every Wednesday they do a residency at the Top Club in Bentley," Smith tells me. "When I go home I get up and do a song with them. Usually 'They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy Anymore', or 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline. I never used to sing that when I was a kid – my mum said there's nothing worse than a kid singing love songs."

Silly sausages

Do you own a Dachshund? Does it harbour aspirations to perform? If so, Bennett Miller needs you. The Australian artist has put out a call for 60 sausage dogs to take part in his work, Dachshund UN at Birmingham's Fierce Festival in March. Miller's installation consists of a scale replica of the United Nations assembly in which the delegates are played by dogs. When the work premiered at the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne last year, some of the canine cast went a little rogue. "China was barking non-stop, which made it too loaded," says Miller. "So we moved the dogs around."

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