What secret readings? David Eldridge misses the point of the Royal Court's Surprise Theatre

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

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The Independent Culture

Buying a ticket for a named play is so 2012. The Lyric Hammersmith has announced an entire season of plays in which neither the play nor its writer will be named, while St James Theatre is selling tickets for a “top Broadway musical” to be directed by Jamie Lloyd, under the coded title “UGC London”.

And the Royal Court is currently staging a summer of Surprise Theatre and unbilled readings of plays by playwrights on Saturday mornings. One of them hasn’t quite grasped the idea of secrecy, though.

This week David Eldridge tweeted his 5,500 followers – “I’m reading Under the Blue Sky for Playwright at your Table @royalcourt on Saturday but I’m wondering what to read the week after” – thereby revealing not only that he was the mystery playwright for the next fortnight but also his mystery plays. “It’s supposed to be a secret,” scolded artistic director Vicky Featherstone in reply.

Bathing in a secret love for Laura Marling

Like Laura Marling and baths? Secret Music needs you. The team behind Secret Cinema, who are currently staging gigs inspired by the singer’s new album, Once I was an Eagle, in a mysterious London hotel filled with dancers, dramatic vignettes and classic films, need extra bodies for the final nights, having extended the series to Tuesday. Organisers are now “looking for life models who are good with taking warm baths in front of strangers” (above). Now that’s a casting call.

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