Pandora: 'Oliver' children are not living on gruel

Cameron Mackintosh has hit back at claims that some of the actors in his production of Oliver! are being treated unfairly.

The renowned producer came in for criticism last week when it was revealed that children cast in the Theatre Royal production were being paid as little as £20 per night – even though box-office sales have broken all records.

Naturally some suggested that, since the youngsters are such a large part of the show, they should be entitled to a larger portion of its profits.

But, says Mackintosh, right, that isn't the way theatreland works: "The children in Oliver are actually being paid, which they aren't in a lot of other shows," he explains. "I'm not going to talk about other people's shows, but the fact is it cost a fortune to have children. They're the most expensive element of the show, because you have chaperones, and parents are coming, and travelling and you have to put them up in hotels." Also up for defence was Jodie Prenger, who was chosen as Nancy after winning the BBC's I'll Do Anything competition. Kevin Spacey took a memorable pop at such casting methods last year when he described them as "a 13-week promotion".

But Mackintosh was having none of it: "Nancy is about the girl for the people, many of the best have come from the street," he says. "She is being reviewed as part of the show."

Readying Kate's frock for Oscars

With Kate Winslet odds-on to pick up best actress at the Oscars, designers will be falling over themselves to dress her for the event. But it seems the honour may already have gone to an old friend of the star: London-based designer Ben de Lisi. He's the talented chap who provided Winslet with her memorable 2002 gown – a red asymmetric number – and sounds ready for a repeat performance. "If Kate gets a nomination I have the sketches ready," he told Pandora. "It would be very understated, very clean, quite chic. I always emphasise her gorgeous curves."

Princess Bea on the big screen

Princess Beatrice makes her big-screen debut alongside Emily Blunt in the upcoming flick The Young Victoria. The carrot-topped royal appears in the first few minutes of the film, hovering in the crowd at the formidable monarch's coronation. Early reports suggest Bea may be best sticking with her day job (a student at Goldsmiths in London). "She seemed rather self-conscious," says my mole. "Like someone who knows they're on camera and can't stop smiling."

*Interesting to hear of Harry and Chelsy's break up over the weekend. When I called on Thursday, Clarence House were adamant the couple were as happy as ever. Things must have gone down hill rapidly!

Tom says no to film with Mick

Tom Stoppard has finally put paid to rumours that he will be working with Mick Jagger on a film adaptation of his acclaimed play, Rock 'n' Roll.

The pair are old friends, and it had been reported that the unusual collaboration was to go ahead after Jagger's production team, Jagged Films, expressed an interest in the idea.

But, pressed on the matter during a recent party, Stoppard insisted that the claims couldn't be further from the truth.

It's a shame, since the play's final scene is set at a Rolling Stones concert – which would have provided Mick with a delightful cameo.

Peaches and tea for free

Good news for those seeking an entrée into the elusive world of hipster journalism: Disappear Here – the new magazine from Peaches Geldof – is accepting applications from candidates seeking work experience.

Those concerned that they may be older that the glossy rag's famous editor-at-large needn't worry; you'll soon be cut down to size by your paycheck. The position of DH's official tea-maker is, I'm reliably informed, unpaid.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015