THEATRE: STARRY, STARRY NIGHTS
Saturday 21 February 1998
However, as you no doubt know - unless you have spent the last two weeks on retreat in the furthermost reaches of Tibet - Islington's former Literary and Scientific Institution (more recently a music hall, then a Salvation Army citadel, then a repository for carnival novelties run by the fated Mr Betts, who managed to get himself murdered in unseemly circumstances) is currently paying pounds 225 per week for the services of one Juliette Binoche. Having scooped the Academy Award from beneath the poleaxed stare of Lauren Bacall for her frankly radiant performance in The English Patient, Binoche opened there last week in Nicholas Wright's adaptation of Pirandello's Naked.
The play is directed by the Almeida's joint artistic director Jonathan Kent, no stranger to Oscar-holders. Back in 1990, his inaugural production starred Transport Minister Glenda Jackson MP, then a major actress whose mantelpiece (or loo?) was decorated not only by the world's most famous gold statuette for her Gudrun Brangwen in Ken Russell's remarkably faithful film of DH Lawrence's Women in Love in 1969, but also another for her leading role in the romantic comedy A Touch of Class. (Hands up those of you who knew that the latter was financed by the cosmetics firm who gave the world Brut.) Kent later famously directed Ralph Fiennes in both Hamlet and Ivanov. And since we're on the subject, can anyone fathom why Fiennes, twice nominated, for Schindler's List and The English Patient, wasn't up for his intelligent, superbly modulated performance in Robert Redford's scandalously underrated Quiz Show?
Kent's future plans include directing Fiennes as both Richard II and Coriolanus in two of Shakespeare's most fascinating and opposed studies of power. You'll have to wait until 1999 for this dynamite double-header, but anyone in search of starry, starry nights need not resort to astronomy. The Almeida is decamping to the Playhouse Theatre for David Hare's next play The Judas Kiss starring nominee Liam Neeson and Peter Capaldi, who won the Best Short Feature Oscar for his film Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life.
Back in Islington, Kevin "The Usual Suspects" Spacey will lead Howard Davies's new production of Eugene O'Neill's bar-room epic The Iceman Cometh.
It's not just the Almeida which holds the monopoly on prizewinners. This autumn, Judi Dench will star in Filumena at the Piccadilly. As long as the 1,000-strong Academy voting panel aren't blinded by either patriotism (in which case the sole American contender Helen Hunt will win) or priapism (cue Helena Bonham Carter) come 25 March, Dame Judi is poised to join this select band. Here's hoping.
Almeida, Islington N1 (0171-359 4404). Day seats & returns only
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...