Pandora: Benn joins broke composer's cause
Thursday 30 April 2009
There is a further twist in the long-running legal row between acclaimed composer Keith Burstein and London's Evening Standard.
Burstein, you may remember, attempted to sue the newspaper two years ago after a damning review of his opera, Manifest Destiny. He lost the case and was left him bankrupt, with the Standard forced to seize his royalties.
All was not lost, however, as he managed to turn the tale into a play, with with a little help from actors Corin Redgrave and Tim Pigott-Smith.
Now, after several months at a community theatre in London's Bethnal Green, the play is to transfer to the Hackney Empire, one of the country's best-known venues, on 21 May.
What's more, Burstein has managed to garner support from veteran political force Tony Benn, who is to take to the stage and address audience members ahead of the show. "He's agreed to do an introduction, which is very kind," Burstein tells Pandora. "We deal with each other through the Stop The War Coalition. We also have a terrific cast, with Janie Dee and Roger Lloyd-Pack in the starring roles."
Stella's stellar performance
Congratulations to Stella McCartney, who has become the fashion industry's sole representative to make it on to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people. Curiously, her USP appears to be less her clothes than her staunch vegetarianism. "Even if you are not interested," writes Gwyneth Paltrow by way of recommendation, "Stella gets you to believe. It may last just one dinner, but you start to feel a bit sad for your neighbour's lamb and a bit embarrassed by your chicken."
Indiscretion on the number 88
Overheard on the number 88 through Westminster: a young man complaining loudly into his mobile about his indecisive boss. Said employer was, apparently, unable to decide whether or not it was wise to send a letter to this very newspaper.
"But I don't want to write a letter, it'll only fan the flames," came the whiney impersonation. Unfortunately – but rather amusingly – the fellow in question works for Jacqui Smith. And as yesterday's Letters page will testify, she did indeed write in.
Gervais puts on his square pants
"I can retire now!" exclaims Ricky Gervais. "I have turned down about 25 films this year because I'm too busy but there are some things that you say 'yes' to without thinking."
Goodness. What on earth could he be referring to? Has he landed a role in the latest Woody Allen? Or perhaps he will be popping up on Broadway sometime soon?
Almost. The in-demand comedian has in fact just accepted a role in the 10th anniversary episode of the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants.
"It's only a little cameo but it's such an honour," adds Gervais, almost convincingly.
Prescott's plea: pay for my petrol please
A sign of these increasingly austere times, perhaps? Not only has John Prescott been forced to replace his famous campaign battle bus with a compact mini-van for his return to the road, but he has also taken to soliciting free (oh OK, donated) petrol for the trip.
Writes the Labour bruiser on his blog: "As I've said before we are funding the trip on small donations... so if you can help with a few pounds towards the petrol, please feel free to donate here." Bless.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...