These are the rising stars of 1996

Which names will you hear everywhere in the year ahead? David Benedict canvassed the views of the Independent's critics


Gillian Wearing (above) has yet to have a full-scale solo show, but any curator with an eye on the contemporary scene in 1996 will mention her name at the drop of a hat: they're all after her. Part of the Goldsmiths' school of new British art, Wearing works in video using herself as her central subject matter and, like a lot of women artists of her generation, follows in the footsteps of Cindy Sherman, whose experiments with identity and disguise have made her one of America's best known contemporary artists. Wearing's coup this year was showing her "Western Security" piece about cowboys in the Hayward Gallery's new foyer space.

There are those who consider Jake & Dinos Chapman to be something approaching cowboys, but like them or not - and there are people preparing to mount the barricades on both sides - the brothers are on the edge of making it big. Their work is designed to shock and has certainly done so thus far. Their figures are playful, their humour very boys-own variant. All their art bears witness to their obsession with mixing up periods and genres, and displays incredible craft skills - using sculpture and film - mixed with their particular brand of prurient imagery. So far the brothers have only shown at the gallery of their dealer, Victoria Miro, but they have already established a serious international reputation for themselves and, if our British taste buds can cope with them, are possible contenders for the Turner prize shortlist in 1996.

Georgina Starr has also attracted considerable attention from abroad. At home, she is best known for her video "Crying", in which she sobbed continuously. She also works in multi-media, with photographs, tape and video, while the complex narratives in her work have meant her art appeals widely. "Visit to a Small Planet", currently touring in the British Art Show, recaptures what it's like to be a pre-adolescent. Her work goes on show at the Tate's new Art Now space in February, which should place her firmly on the art map.


In a former life, Philip Osment (right) was an actor with Shared Experience for Mike Alfreds. In the mid-Eighties he turned into a playwright with Gay Sweatshop's runaway success This Island's Mine. Under Osment's own direction, the 45 speaking parts - played by a cast of seven - highlighted his gift for beautifully dovetailed structure and subtle characterisation. After the success of The Dearly Beloved and this year's emotionally eloquent What I Did In the Holidays, next year's Flesh and Blood will be his third play for Mike Alfreds and will tour the country hot on the heels of The Undertaking, another new play for Gay Sweatshop, which should lift that company's recent mixed fortunes.

Alexandra Gilbreath is also going places in more ways than one. She attracted considerable attention as a feisty Regina in Katie Mitchell's RSC production of Ghosts, and then starred as the central character in Phyllis Nagy's acclaimed Disappeared. Jude Kelly's uneven King Lear was notable for Gilbreath's remarkable Regan, a frightening portrait of a woman on the edge of madness. In 1996 she takes on the title role in English Touring Theatre's Hedda Gabler.

James Macdonald has directed countless well-received productions, but his meticulous and startlingly clear direction of new plays - Caryl Churchill's translation of Thyestes, for instance, Nick Grosso's Peaches or Sam Shepard's Simpatico - has so far succeeded in enhancing the reputations of the writers rather than advancing his own career. With The Changing Room in the Royal Court Classics season in February, and Harry and Me at the Royal Court in March, he should finally receive the overdue attention previously accorded to other more flashy directors.


"Nothing short of incredible" is what star American baritone Thomas Hampson called it when, just two weeks ago, on the Monday before Christmas, the 20-year-old Daniel Harding (right) braved a strike-bound Paris to score a standing ovation deputising at short notice for Simon Rattle at the helm of the musical knight's Birmingham band. All the more incredible given that neither work on the programme - Schoenberg's spiky 1942 Piano Concerto and Mahler's massive vocal symphony, Das Lied von der Erde - is exactly standard repertoire even for full-time maestros, let alone a tyro with only two previous orchestral concerts to his cv. But then Harding is no ordinary beginner: Rattle, who took him on as his assistant while he was still a music student in Manchester, has gone on record as stating that his young protege is better than he himself was at the same age. When Harding conducted Boulez's Eclat in London last March, critics compared his economy and precision of technique to that of the French master himself. Now acting as Abbado's assistant in Berlin, Harding is due to celebrate his 21st birthday as he means to go on - conducting (at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw). Definitely a beat to follow for 1996.

Musicians may be getting younger, but, Emma Johnson apart, which BBC Young Musician of theYear has ever become a household name? The stunning cellist and 1994 winner Natalie Clein, 18, should soon remedy that when she delivers a reprise of her heart-tugging, title-snatching Elgar Concerto in a new Channel 4 docudrama, Elgar's Tenth Muse, starring James Fox as the ageing enigma.

It's doubtful if 1996 will do for any of its anniversaried composers - Anton Bruckner (died 1896), Howard Hanson (born the same year), Virgil Thomson (ditto) and Manuel de Falla (died 1946) - what 1995 did for Purcell, but one name worth watching among the living is that of David Sawer. At 34, he's been around, but the CD issue of his 1992 Prom premiere Byrnan Wood should perk up his profile while Sinfonietta and BBC commissions come down the pipeline.


Liv Tyler is a safe bet as a face of 1996, during which she will become more famous for acting than for being the daughter of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. She survived a ropey script for Silent Fall, came into her own in Heavy (released yesterday), and will next be seen in Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty alongside Jeremy Irons. In between fielding business offers from Woody Allen and Tom Hanks (who wants her to appear in his directorial debut), she should find time for more performances as dazzling as Heavy.

Michael Winterbottom (pictured) is hardly a new face to television viewers - having directed Cracker and Roddy Doyle's Family - but now this one- time apprentice to Lindsay Anderson is proving himself capable of setting cinema screens alight, too. He directed Butterfly Kiss this year, eliciting Saskia Reeves's most fearless performance yet, and his version of Jude the Obscure, starring Christopher Eccleston, will be with us in the new year.

The screenplay that Paul Laverty has written for Ken Loach's new film (provisionally called Carla's Song) is drawn from what he saw as a human rights lawyer and investigator in Nicaragua, a post he held for two and a half years. The film tells the story of a Glaswegian bus driver who falls for a young Nicaraguan woman and travels back to her home country with her. Currently shooting in Glasgow and Nicaragua, the film should see Laverty attract the success that his talent and commitment deserve.

If you were unlucky enough to see Cocktail you'll recognise Elisabeth Shue, but nothing can prepare you for her performance as a Vegas prostitute who falls for suicidal alcoholic Nicholas Cage in Mike Figgis's new film Leaving Las Vegas. Shue is raw and moving; the film feels like an announcement of her arrival. She has already won the Los Angeles Film Critics' Award for Best Actress, and an Oscar must surely be within sniffing distance.


Raissa (above) haven't released a thing yet, but their debut gig in darkest Harlow in early 1995 was a stark, urgent affair which proved they could carry off their sparky melodies on stage. Singer Rice's out- of-body vocals are just the icing on a very rich cake. There are echoes of dub, trip-hop, bubblegum pop and the Cocteau Twins. But what matters most is that Raissa write tunes that are harder to shake than cold sores. Their first single, "Your Summertime", is out early February; they have recorded their album with Mark Saunders, who co-produced Tricky's Maxinquaye, the album of this year; they play live at London's LA2 on 26 January. And, frankly, your life is incomplete without them.

In all the Britpop hoo-hah, The Bluetones were rather forgotten, confused with the insipid Cast and caught up in a strange sub-mod movement. In fact, their songs are carefully crafted pop gems, from the gorgeous "Blutonic" to the bouncy, irresistibly catchy new single "Slight Return" (released in January). The latter should win them untold acclaim and riches - if the album's half as good, it will be one of the year's essential purchases.

It was a good year for 60 Ft Dolls. A place on the NME's Brat Bus tour, a support slot for the Boo Radleys (who they blew clear out of the water, no trouble) and every hint of rock 'n' roll behaviour relayed to adoring fans by a salivating music press. And 1996 will be better. This Newport band fly the punk flag but their songs - "Happy Shopper", about a tough transvestite, and "Pig Valentine", a dig at Saturday night clubbers - are too dotty to be nailed to any one genre.

American Joan Osbourne is a complex derivative of her times and place. There are hints of Bonnie Raitt about her mannered, bluesy rasp, and her rhythm section is tuned for the roadhouse, yet virtually all the material on her debut album (out this spring on Mercury) is shot through with the kind of off-kilter, art-house theatricality that makes "alternative" such a popular word in American mainstream culture. Watch out for dates next month.

And watch out for:





The Royal Ballet has so far failed to capitalise upon Cooper's talent, which shone forth when he nipped away to star in Matthew Bourne's hugely theatrical Swan Lake. Next year it tours the country, which will make him a nationwide, fully fledged star.

ITV's McCallum may not prove to be the vehicle that propels him into the hearts and minds of the nation, but Hannah is set for great things after splendid work in Four Weddings and a Funeral and as a member of the Steve Coogan repertory company.

With his Fifties matinee-idol looks, Webb represents the softer face of BBC interviewing. He recently progressed from the cornflake run to reading the main evening news and now looks set to take political confrontation into a gentler era after the Paxman years.

Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride