Here I may well have missed a deeper cultural point that was being made. After all, it is highly infra dig to criticise World Theatre. What to you or me seems like a rather impertinent and abusive grabbing and kissing of audience members, which would not be tolerated in any other walk of life is, because it happens in a theatre, either allegedly hilarious or suffused with irony and deeply symbolic insights into South American politics. But the expressions on the weary female victims around me showed that they too had missed these finer points.
LIFT, as I recall, is run by two fairly feisty women. They should have the guts to tell their Argentinian guests that, for the rest of the run, groping is simply not on. Outside the theatre you get arrested for it. Inside, it's just as objectionable.
Rumpole creator John Mortimer tells me he is working on a television screenplay of Laurie Lee's Cider With Rosie. It is very much a labour of love. Mortimer served under Lee during the War in the army film unit, where Mortimer must have provoked every sergeant major by having the word "scriptwriter" on his uniform. The two stayed firm friends, though, sadly, Lee died last month before he could be told that Mortimer was to bring a new version of his classic work to the screen.
There has been a sad dearth of archaeological discoveries in all the rebuilding work and excavations brought about by the lottery. But this week happily one such came to light. Touring the shell of the Royal Court theatre with artistic director Stephen Daldry before its refurbishment, I saw that the plaster of the stripped-down wall at the back of the stage revealed the painted graffiti "Class Enemy". But which angry young man put it up there? John Osborne before bourgeois country living got the better of him? George Bernard Shaw being mischievous before one of his many premieres at the Court in a much earlier era? Or a theatre-loving building worker last week making a wry comment on Stephen Daldry's imminent move across to film production?
I'm writing a treatment for The House Revisited, a week in the life of the Royal Opera House. This week in fact. Monday: camera zooms in on Independent story that ROH is using lottery money to finance staff redundancies. Tuesday: fly-on-the-wall technique to hear Heritage Secretary Chris Smith tell a lunch table of arts writers in a private club what he thinks of the ROH management and that if they don't show proper public responsibilities and increase access he will recommend their public money be cut. Wednesday: take crew back to Covent Garden for the bombshell announcement that Macbeth is cancelled, the first production to be lost for technical reasons for decades. Thursday: film the firm of solicitors hired by the Arts Council to launch an inquiry into the way the place is run. Friday: move crew back to the Crush Bar to film the space that the ROH with Smith-provoking timing has just decided will be reserved for corporate clients.
No. Back to the drawing board. All those disasters in one week! There's not a viewer in the land who would believe it.Reuse content