Fiennes buries hatchet with 'bourgeois' Spacey at Old Vic

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The Independent Online

* Kevin Spacey and Joseph Fiennes have patched up their differences.

* Kevin Spacey and Joseph Fiennes have patched up their differences.

Last year, the thespians fell out over remarks by Spacey, far right, about theatre audiences. Fiennes, near right, leapt to the defence of people whom the Old Vic's artistic director condemned as noisy and disruptive, saying Spacey's attitude was "slightly bourgeois".

But now I learn that the British actor is leading a project with Old Vic New Voices - the theatre's new writing department - and is due to perform a one-man show.

"After their war of words, it has raised eyebrows that Joseph is happy to work with Spacey on an Old Vic project," I'm told. "But they are both passionate about the theatre and New Voices is exactly the sort of thing to bring them together."

Fiennes is currently in workshops with the poet Owen Sheers, who has written the piece. They will take it to the Hay Literary Festival in May for its first performance, which will give the public an opportunity to see Fiennes before he reaches the stage of the theatre itself.

"Kevin Spacey is totally involved in New Voices," says the scheme's organiser, Kate Packenham. "He doesn't involve himself in the nitty-gritty but we're all very excited about the Hay performance.

"Then, in an ideal world, it would go on stage at the Old Vic, but we'll have to wait and see."

* CAROLE CAPLIN is being dropped stealthily by The Mail on Sunday .

Cherie Blair's former lifestyle consultant has been writing for the newspaper's Night and Day magazine since 2003, but the section was re-launched two Sundays ago, and there's been no sign of her since. Nor is there any notice that she's on holiday; nor a line suggesting that she'll return. Instead, there is a column penned by one Charlie Lee-Potter (daughter of Lynda), continuing that family's relationship with the Mail group.

Caplin has surprised her bosses by exercising great discretion in the column and failing to come up with juicy revelations about the Blairs. Whilst an official spokesman for the paper eventually tells Pandora that Caplin is on a holiday of unspecified length, a source close to the magazine suggests otherwise.

"She hasn't been sacked, but her page isn't included in the new look mag," I'm told. "She's being phased out quietly."

* PANDORA WAS disappointed last night not to see Andrew Neil at the launch of Christine Hamilton's autobiography, For Better For Worse .

The most interesting revelation in her weighty tome is that, decades ago, Neil had a one-night stand with Christine. As the publisher is known to enjoy a party, his appearance at the launch was keenly awaited. But a reunion was not to be had.

"I was very flattered to be included in her memoirs," Neil tells me. "It's a dog bites man story. She was quite a girl, very beautiful. I was hoping to go to the launch party but I promised to take my godsons to Fame ."

Dumped for Neil Hamilton; snubbed for a night at Fame - cold war is a nasty business.

* AN UPMARKET, literary alternative to dodgy Soho strip clubs: the prostitute Belle de Jour is writing a stage play about her life.

Belle - who started life on the internet - recently published a book that, she claims, tells the story of her life as a high-class London call girl, and now her agent is negotiating for the Soho Theatre to produce a show based on it.

The only stumbling block is over the rights to the work. Belle flogged them to Channel 4, which is making a television series of the book, and she would have to reclaim them (in part) for the theatre. "It's very early days but it's something we would like to agree to," says her agent.

* Pity Mark Thompson. The BBC director-general is about to be on the receiving end of a flood of letters sent by irate fishermen.

The Countryside Alliance is encouraging its angling members to fire off missives to Thompson to protest about the Beeb's decision to cancel their exciting early-morning radio show, Fish on Five.

"All of us will be BBC licence payers," observes the CA's chief, Simon Hart. "A poll commissioned last year shows more people have been fishing than have played in a football match - not something reflected in the schedules of BBC radio or television."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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