Pandora: Vanishing act: Gregory Nash's mysterious exit

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The Independent Online

*There is an intriguing drama being acted out at the Young Vic – and we don't mean on stage.

The innovative theatre, according to reports in theatreland bible The Stage, has just bid farewell to its second executive director in the past few months, after Gregory Nash, who joined in October, resigned from the position midway through his probationary period.

Nash, we're told, decided to leave towards the end of last month, following a progress review with the artistic director David Lan. Since his departure, his shoes have been temporarily filled by the company's finance director, although the vacancy is to be advertised from this week.

"They had the meeting and he left a couple of days later," a staff member tells us. "It wasn't working out. What they needed wasn't Gregory and so they decided that it was better to quit now rather than later."

It's a surprising move, since when he joined, Nash was hailed for his "combination of skills and experience".

In a statement issued on his departure, he claims that he and Lan had "not established the kind of partnership we had hoped", and that his decision to leave had been reached "mutually and amicably".

Curiously, though, no one at the Young Vic has retained any forwarding address or contact details. It seems safe to assume that Nash won't be expected at any staff dos anytime soon.

The real MacKay comes clean

*Pandora wholeheartedly supports David Cameron's declaration of war on lobbying. But does his party? Former Cameron aide and MP Andrew MacKay (aka Mr Expenses, thanks to his role as one half of politics' most expense-happy couple) has just announced his plum new role at lobbyists extraordinaire Burson-Marsteller. But what do his future employers make of his boss's attitude? "David Cameron said that if lobbying was transparent, that was all right," remarks a spokesman.

All change!

Bennett tribute no laughing matter

Full marks to Alan Bennett for modesty – though not, perhaps, for tact.

The self-effacing playwright appeared at Leeds' West Yorkshire Playhouse earlier this week for a question and answer session before the arrival of his acclaimed play The History Boys. Asked how he would feel at the prospect of a metropolitan sculpture in celebration of his talents, he replied, laughing: "If they do I'll never be able to set foot in Leeds again."

Alas, we're told it's rather too late for such fears: plans to erect the 100ft monument in his image have already been drawn up, as part of the city's plans for a Bennett-themed exhibition centre. Looks like someone might have to postpone their next visit for quite some time.

Chocolate or wafer, Mr Brown?

*Another day, another pressing Kit Kat enquiry for the Downing Street press office. Regular readers will recall our delight at recent red-top reports that the Prime Minister is attempting to kick his Kit Kat habit with the help of a constant supply of bananas. So, we wondered, given his affection for the chocolate snack, had Gordon Brown ever had the good fortune of biting into one to find that, instead of the standard wafer filling, the bar was solid chocolate? Alas, a spokesman's statement is still forthcoming.

Keeping up a siege mentality

*Not for Patricia Routledge the high-maintenance habits of her on-screen alter ego, Hyacinth Bucket. Quite the opposite, it would seem. "I grew up during the war ... dried eggs and spam," she explained to us at a private viewing of the Imperial War Museum's new Ministry Of Food exhibition. "I still today have a very good store cupboard, full of tins because that's what we used to do in case there was a siege. In a way I think it is a pity we can always get a lettuce in the winter." Whatever will the neighbours say?

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