Diary: Oh Lord, Webber junior
Friday 18 June 2010
There was J S Bach the Elder and his nephew, the Younger. There was Johann Strauss 1 and the more talented II. Now a new Lloyd Webber is abroad. Nick Webber, 30, son of the great man, former pop group wrangler and jingle composer, has gone legit. He's doing the music for the RSC's new touring production of
The Tempest, orchestra, brass, woodwinds, the whole shebang. His papa must be proud. But what do we find Nick telling an interviewer in
The Stage? "Instead of the traditional masque, we've done a sort of nightmare wedding as a mini-operetta in four minutes. It's very funny, and ends up as a chaotic, awfully choreographed piece of music and dance, which is my little nod, shall we say, to a certain legacy of mine." Thanks a
* Isn't it time we took children's TV programmes more seriously in their application to world events? A by-no-means-geeky friend points out that, in an episode of Thunderbirds, "Atlantic Inferno", a "gyropedo" crashes into the Atlantic seabed, and produces a raging fire on the surface that threatens an oil rig. The Tracy family deploy Thunderbird 4 (the teeny yellow one) to tow a "sealing device" with some "buoyancy compensators" to the ocean floor, seal up the gushing gas with some "downward rocket clamps" and "compression valves", and hey presto, job done. Why BP didn't think of these simple measures a month ago mystifies me. I can imagine them and President Obama's oil-spill task force, grouped round the TV, taking notes.
* She doesn't stop, does she, Esther Rantzen? Star of That's Life, founder of Childline, survivor of I'm A Celebrity, aspirant MP for Luton South... She crashed to earth on election day, scoring 4.4 per cent of the vote and losing her deposit, but it hasn't persuaded her (70 on Tuesday) to abandon the spotlight. In July she joins Swan Hellenic on a cruise to Iceland, as an after-dinner speaker on the topic, "That's Life After Luton!" Her fellow lecturers on the good ship Minerva include Dr Peter Cattermole, an eminent volcanologist. I expect he'll explain how an ancient, craggy natural phenomenon, long thought to be dormant and no danger to mankind, can suddenly erupt, expelling terrible hot air and making thousands flee. And he may talk about that Eyjfjallajökull thingy as well.
* An invitation arrives to the launch of a book at the Polish embassy. It's called Hello, I'm Your Polish Neighbour by Wiktor Moszczynski, which I take to be a first-timer's guide to life, language and behaviour among the good people of Warsaw and Gdansk. An unmissable volume – but is it the first in a series? And would we welcome with the same enthusiasm Hello, I'm Your Russian Neighbour? Hello, I'm Your Iranian Neighbour? Hello, I'm Your North Korean Neighbour?
* The inhabitants of London NW5 will be honoured to hear their district is to be honoured by having its name bandied about in the House of Lords. Dianne Hayter, long-standing member of the Labour Party's national executive, takes her seat in the Upper House on Monday as Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town. But why should Dianne have chosen Kentish Town as her titular manor? I mean she's Welsh. She grew up in south Wales, in a place called Ystradgynlais. She could have chosen that name in her title. I mean it's inexplicable.
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