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Quentin pulped: You can cut Quentin Tarantino a little slack for surfacing as an actor in his own celluloid efforts or even those of his chums (Desperado, Destiny Turns on the Radio), but the film director is getting away with nothing for his stage debut. Walking the boards in the stage version of Wait until Dark, Tarantino plays the malevolent thug Harry Roat. But if the wannabe-thesp thinks that his much-publicised fisticuffs with producer Don Murphy last year made him a natural for the part ("It wasn't even a fight ... it was an ass-kick," he chuckled recently), critics in Boston, where the play is being staged, were far from convinced. Notwithstanding what the Boston Herald called Tarantino's "aura of violence", the Globe critic concluded that he "packs as much menace as Dennis".

Look back in Ang: The US Civil War gets the Ang "General" Lee treatment next. To Live On will follow the progress of a former slave, played by Basquiat star Jeffrey Wright, who joins up with Quantrill's southern guerrillas. The project is about to go into production with a relatively low-profile cast and little budget to speak of.

Up in smoke: Kate's having a great year. Oscar-nominated for her role in Titanic (which continues to stomp on allcomers at the box office), the British actress will star next in Hideous Kinky (the Cannes Film Festival will probably get first peek at the adaptation of Esther Freud's novel). What's more, it now seems that Jane Campion has secured La Winslet's services for her next project, Holy Smoke. In it, Kate falls in love with a cult leader from whose sect she's trying to escape. Harvey Keitel, a former Campion leading man, is said to be slated for Holy Smoke and, given the frequency with which Harvey strips off, it's a fair bet that he'll be the charismatic leader testing Kate's devotion to its limits.

London fields: The follow-up to Four Weddings and a Funeral, again scripted by Richard Curtis and provisionally entitled Notting Hill, takes London as its setting. A new production company, WLC Pictures, apparently thinks Curtis may be on to something; it is inviting aspiring writers to submit screenplays for a contemporary comedy with a London setting. Please send your efforts to John Walsh, WLC Pictures, 22 Soho Square, London W1V 5FJ.

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