Alice Jones' Arts Diary: No ratings smash glee as Spielberg's big musical TV drama stumbles

 

Produced by Steven Spielberg, with a reported budget of $3.5m per episode, Smash made its UK debut last weekend.

The show, a back-stabbing, jazz-hands-filled drama about the making of a Broadway musical, has been dubbed Glee for grown-ups but at least one of its cast rejects the tagline. "It's not set in a high school where people break into song for no other reason than they're adolescent and just gotta sing. And we don't do covers," grumbles Jack Davenport (above, with Anjelica Huston), who plays a creepy theatre director. "Glee for grown-ups has good alliteration and it's a nice peg to hang the show on, but this has never been done before. Plus, we've got better singers." Over to you, Mr Schue! But Davenport could be picking a fight with the wrong show. Smash's debut attracted 75,300 viewers on Sky Atlantic on Saturday night. On (freeview's) BBC4, The Bridge, a sombre new Scandi-slasher featuring a Swedish/Danish script, subtitles and a little-known cast, pulled in more than a million.

Gyllenhaal offers Nick a fairytale of New York

The British playwright Nick Payne, 28, has been given a starry boost by Jake Gyllenhaal who will make his American stage debut this summer in his first play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet. Payne wrote the play, which premiered at the Bush in 2009, when he was just 25. Gyllenhaal will play Terry, a foul-mouthed drifter who strikes up an odd friendship with his obese teenage niece. "He likes the humour and anger of the character and the tone of the play," says Payne. The actor was sent the script and liked it so much he came to see Payne's last play, Constellations, at the Royal Court in February. After a reading of If There Is... with Roundabout Theatre in New York, he signed on for a full run, opening in August. Gyllenhaal will adopt an English accent for the role but will Payne tailor his script for American audiences? "No. Although at the read-through I asked, 'does everyone know what Asda is?' and they said, 'not really.'" Is he ready for Jake's starstruck fans at the stage-door? "I'm sure there will be a bit of hoopla but I'm quite happy to stay anonymous." Not for too much longer, I'd guess.

James Bond-style training for 007's latest recruit

Tonia Sotiropoulou is the latest to join James Bond's harem in Skyfall, alongside Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe. "She's a classic Bond Girl – exceptionally beautiful with great sensuality and a kind of flow. She's spellbinding, which is what Bond needs," says Giles Foreman, her drama teacher. He should know. His London Centre for Acting, where Sotiropoulou is enrolled, offers training based on the methods of London Drama Centre founding members Yat Malmgren and Chris Fettes, who trained two ex-007s – Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan.

Hunt for goddess to pose for Turner prize-winning artist

Is your name Diana? Do you fancy yourself as a muse? If so, Mark Wallinger needs you! The Turner prize-winner has put out a call for 21st-century Dis to take part in a new work for the National Gallery, inspired by Titian's Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto, saved for the nation at a cost of £95m. Keen Dianas should email studiowallinger@aol.com. Good bow-and-arrow skills and a relaxed attitude to nudity preferable, one imagines.

Page-turning book: Saatchi's scathing portrait of art world

There's much to enjoy in Charles Saatchi's irreverent book, Be the Worst You Can Be, unless you're one of his artists. Asked "Do you think artists are more intelligent than others? " he writes: "I have always been hesitant about visiting artists' studios, and discovering that work I have admired has been made by someone nitwitted." Who on earth could he mean?

a.jones@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits