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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night