News Actress Emily Rossum enjoyed the free healthcare she got in the UK

'I would get hurt just to get that for free,' says impressed host

ARTS / And what's more . . .

Audiences at Sunday's preview screening were roaring at the funniest film since, well, Young Frankenstein. The scene from Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein that caused the most screams was where favourite Branagh actor Richard Briers as the blind woodsman sympathises with the creature. 'It can't be that bad,' he says. 'Worse,' comes the inevitable reply. Shame it was supposed to be taken seriously . . . Sunset Boulevard has not swept the board at the nominations for the Ovations awards in LA.

COMEDY / All that glitters is not Gary: Mark Wareham reviews Leader] The Gang's Tribute to Gary Glitter

The problem with parodying a parody is that you can end up playing it straight. And parodies come no more ridiculous than a beefy hirsute man in heels and lame. So for the first few moments of Leader] The Gang's Tribute to Gary Glitter, it seemed that we were in for a night of down-the-line reverential pastiche. Sure enough, as the dry ice cleared, there was Gary (M Simon Leigh) bulging out of his Bacofoil, tottering on his silver stacks and striking his ludicrous poses, just as you knew he would be - as sure as 'Rock 'n' Roll Part 2' follows 'Rock 'n' Roll Part 1'.

THEATRE / Production Notes: The actor Tim Flavin on stepping into somebody else's shoes in the musical Crazy for You

I've never taken over a role before, but how often does a role like this (Bobby, the lead) come along? First time around, I auditioned my tush off. I kinda thought it was mine. In this business, you gotta believe you're the cat's miaow or what's the point? But the director had different ideas. Kirby Ward got the job and I got on with the rest of my life.

SPEECH MARKS / The things they say about Aspects of Love . . .

Aspects of Love returned to the West End last night after two years. To delight or despair?

Walking into the sunset: When Andrew Lloyd Webber took Sunset Boulevard to Norma Desmond's backyard, things had to change. Paul Taylor reports from LA

The geography of it is perfect. A Los Angeles launch for the new, improved Lloyd Webber Sunset Boulevard - well, to create as big a buzz from the local history perspective, you'd have to have premiered Jesus Christ Superstar in Nazareth. And have thrown the First Night party in the joint where they held the Last Supper.

Sound computing

USERS of personal computers can tune in to their favourite radio stations and wake up or drift off to the sound of music by inserting a pounds 50 card into their machine.

Letter: Improvements in the sound of music

Sir: In his article 'Lost in transmission' (30 September), Anthony Payne compares the mental process that enables us to accept a concert reproduced in the home as 'the representation of a live original' to 'the ability to relate a two-dimensional painting or photo to three-dimensional reality'. I question the fairness of this comparison, because not only is there a dimension missing, but the image is also 'framed'.

Edinburgh Festival Day 11: Reviews: Whistle down the wind

It is not altogether surprising to discover that the National Youth Music Theatre is supported by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Whistle Down the Wind flaunts an impressively forgettable musical score, and gushes with sentimentality, but is skilfully performed none the less. An accomplished set and some smart choreography compliment the young actors, but it is the dialogue which brings the production to life. Pitting the children's naivety against the adults' cynicism, it works best as a nostalgic lament on the loss of innocence.

THEATRE / Eyes on walls, bums on seats: Anthony Pye-Jeary sends you home humming the poster. Georgina Brown reports

For an ad man, Anthony Pye-Jeary is curiously shy of the press. He certainly doesn't hold with the notion that all publicity is good publicity. A week or two ago, he explains, he thought he was having lunch at the Observer, when he and fellow guests - among them a composer, a producer, a writer and a critic - were instead served up with the brief to mount a West End musical. Worse, their conversation was recorded and selected comments published with a description of Pye-Jeary as 'the acknowledged genius behind the marketing of Cats and practically every big musical'.

Obituary: R. Tyler Gatchell Jnr

R. Tyler Gatchell Jnr, producer and manager, died New York 1 July, aged 50. Co-founder in 1969 of the theatrical general management/producing firm Gatchell & Neufeld, which acted as executive producer of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita, Cats, Song and Dance, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love and - on their way to Broadway - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Sunset Boulevard.

'City of Angels' collapses with loss of pounds 2m

THE WEST END musical City of Angels, which won rave reviews since opening four months ago, is to close on 7 August with the loss of more than pounds 2m.

Letter: Fortunes alter in 10 years

IN HER article 'Andrew: a man and his music' (Review, 4 July), Fiammetta Rocco refers to an interview with my brother Julian Lloyd Webber concerning the purchase by him of a cello. She writes: 'This is the first time he has publicly acknowledged that in his hour of need he turned to his brother - now one of the 50 richest people in Britain - and was turned away.'

Charity competition result

On 9 and 23 May we offered readers the chance to win tickets to a charity preview of Sunset Boulevard. Entrants were asked to give pounds 1 to the charities concerned (the Samaritans and Riding for the Disabled) and to tell us who was Gloria Swanson's co-star in the film (William Holden); who wrote the book for the musical (Christopher Hampton); and when Andrew Lloyd Webber last had a new show in London (1986 - Phantom of the Opera). The winner was E Pestell of Whitley Bay; pounds 266 was raised. Many thanks to all who entered.

THEATRE / One angry man: Paul Taylor on Osborne's Inadmissable Evidence

A CYNIC might say that Inadmissible Evidence (1964) offers us an instructive case of the ship leaving the sinking rat. But that would be a miserably inadequate response to John Osborne's awesome, flawed, throat-grabbing play. True, everyone is busy deserting Maitland, the self-made solicitor whose mid-life crisis is the drama's obsessive focus. By the end, he's lost clients, secretary, and managing clerk; his daughter has walked out on him without a word, and his long-term mistress has indicated that she, too, can't promise to stick around. But then it's not hard to see how this overbearing, womanising misogynist has managed to occasion such an exodus.

Sell an icon, win a watch: Oris: Made in Switzerland since 1904

IN WRITING this week's auction catalogue entries about compact discs, many of you took your cue from the recent pricing controversy. Anjana Ahuja of South Ealing, London, writes: 'Item 200 is an example of a compact disc (CD), the white elephant of music formats. It should attract particular interest this year, the centenary of the CD's demise. Ironically, following a campaign in 1993 to reduce its price, the CD was no longer seen as a symbol of affluence and became obsolete.'
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