Pandora: 'Standard' opera row has a dramatic finish

The long-running legal row between the British composer Keith Burstein and London's Evening Standard is heading for the stage.

Two years ago, Burstein lost a libel case against the newspaper after trying to argue that one of its critics had unfairly suggested in a 2005 review that Manifest Destiny, his opera featuring suicide bombers, glorified terrorism. The case bankrupted him and resulted in the Standard owning his royalties.

Now, in a delicious irony, the saga is being turned into a play by the Stop the War Coalition's press secretary, David Wilson.

The Reader will be staged next Friday at the Oxford House Theatre in Bethnal Green, east London, and stars the seasoned performers Corin Redgrave and Tim Pigott-Smith.

"It is a slightly surreal play," says Wilson. "But we got both actors involved as they have been very sympathetic to the cause. It will be on for one night only, but we hope someone might want to take it on somewhere else."

'Potter' role for Walcott's girl wins film role

Melanie Slade, the girlfriend of Arsenal and England footballer Theo Walcott, has broken with the WAG tradition by landing herself a job. The 19-year-old appears in the upcoming film Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

"I was in a scene with Hermione watching a Quidditch game and had a couple of lines to say," she tells Pandora. "I'd love to do more acting."

The unlikely cameo came about thanks to Walcott's aunt Yvonne, whose partner happens to be the film's director David Yates. Handy!

Tasteless book promotion backfires

The Jo Moore prize for least sensitive email of the year so far goes to the marketing staff at the children's publisher Halliday, who thought Wednesday a good day to write to journalists under the subject title "Tie-in with David Cameron Bereavement".

It was to promote the company's "best-selling" picture book about child bereavement, called The Lonely Tree. "We have already sent a signed and dedicated copy to the Camerons this morning, but would like to introduce you to this charming title in case you don't already know it," the email read.

Not surprisingly, the publisher has since issued a hasty apology to all recipients of the email, and the marketing employee responsible has been suspended.

Davies gets acquainted with The Streets

Alan Davies appears to have struck a frankly surprising relationship with the Brummie rapper Mike Skinner.

Davies has been in regular contact with The Streets frontman of late via the social messaging website Twitter. It transpires that Skinner is a big fan of the comedian's television drama Jonathan Creek. On Wednesday, Skinner enquired about whether any more episodes were going to made after last year's Christmas special, which, he assured Davies, was "bangin'."

"Hopefully doing a Creek in the summer," replied Davies. "Ta for watching."

Five minutes later, however, after presumably getting deluged by messages from nerdy Creek fans, Davies was forced to put out a clarification.

"Nothing definite on future Creeks," he wrote. "How can I stop this torrent of questions? As soon as I know for sure I will tweet."

Cherie heads home

Is it Cherie Blair's turn in the political spotlight? As her husband Tony played with elephants on Sir Richard Branson's game reserve in South Africa yesterday, she was in Merseyside as guest of honour at a "hotpot supper" hosted by Wirral South Labour Party.

Interestingly, it is the second time she has visited the area recently. Just before Christmas, she dropped in at Wirral Hospital with the local Labour MP, Ben Chapman, to open a new cancer unit. Scousers insist Mrs Blair is "a Crosby girl at heart".

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 and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor