Voices

The top 20 of The Stage newspaper’s recently published “power list” of the 100 most influential people in British theatre made for fascinating reading. Most of the usual suspects were there, but many of them found themselves paired with another name for their entry. For it’s not only the artistic directors, the Nick Hytners and Gregory Dorans, who are celebrated but their all-important executive directors, the men and women who oversee every aspect of an organisation except what goes on its stages. Without executive directors, no contracts would be written, no money raised and no ambitious building projects undertaken.

Critics: hunks or halfwits?

Why are critics portrayed as handsome hunks in Hollywood films but seedy creeps on the stage?

The Real Inspector Hound/The Critic, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

This pairing of one-act plays about the vicarious participation of critics in the theatre business was last seen on the vast Olivier stage 25 years ago; it works much better in the compact Minerva, though Jonathan Church and Sean Foley's joint production seems over-anxious to be funny.

Questions Of Cash: Costly mix-up over car loan and insurance

Q. I took out private car insurance with Sureterm Direct in April for a car that we had looked at on the internet, arranging insurance to drive it home. When we went to collect the vehicle it was not as described, so we declined to buy it. Sureterm had also arranged finance with Close Premium Finance. We cancelled the insurance and purchased another vehicle two weeks later. Sureterm again arranged the insurance and advised that a new direct debit would be arranged. Close Premium Finance attempted to apply the direct debit on 16 May, but the direct debit had been cancelled along with the insurance – we presume by the broker, as we had not done this. I received a letter from Close on 19 May, stating that no payment had been received. It said that unless a payment was made by 3 June it would take further action.

Field and Fork, Pallant House Gallery, 90 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex

You can't guarantee that art galleries and museums will boast wonderful eating facilities. In 1988, the Saatchi brothers wrote an ad campaign describing London's Victoria & Albert Museum as "an ace caff with quite a nice museum attached" but few people were impressed with either the slogan or the food. Maybe, after two hours of inspecting Last Suppers, still-life dead pheasants and fruit portraits by Arcimboldo, the last thing the art-lover wants is a hearty lunch. And in many galleries, you won't get one.

The woman who captured Robert Capa's heart

Joanna Moorhead reveals the story of the star photographer and the intellectual who was his true love

After the Dance, NT Lyttelton, London<br/>Love Story, Minerva, Chichester<br/>The Fantasticks, Duchess, London

An assured Rattigan revival proves there's dramatic life in the drawing room yet, while a musical 'Love Story' is saccharine but leaves a sour taste

Treasury Committee gets surprise champion

To the surprise of many observers, the powerful Treasury Select Committee will be chaired by Andrew Tyrie, the Tory MP for Chichester and a former special adviser to Nigel Lawson and John Major.

Love Story, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Like Andy Williams singing the famous song, I'm in a quandary: "Where do I begin?" Well, yes, to tell the story of how great a love can be, but also to tell how composer Howard Goodall has clinically drained off the romantic excess of Erich Segal's 1970 movie script and produced a brisk, ever-so-polite chamber oratorio.

Yes, Prime Minister, Festival Theatre, Chichester

In the early days of a new hung parliament, the Prime Minister is beset by myriad problems: the cabinet is split, the national debt is rising, the Lancaster House convention is a catastrophe and the new oil pipeline deal with Kumranistan depends on the Turks joining the EU. There's worse to come: the pipeline deal, and a huge dollar loan, further hinges on the material whims of the Kumranistan foreign minister, a weekend guest at Chequers, being properly indulged. And his whim of choice is an under-age sexual partner for the night. "Is he gay?" asks an aide. "If only it were that simple," shoots back the PM.

Pygmalion: The original and best cockney rebel

As two new productions of Pygmalion hit the stage, Michael Coveney wonders why we can't get enough of Eliza Doolittle

Women Beware Women, NT Olivier, London<br/>Ruined, Almeida, London<br/>Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, Minerva, Chichester

The corpses pile up in the National Theatre's 1950s take on revenge tragedy, but Middleton's text is the real victim

John Tunnard: Inner Space to Outer Space, Pallant House, Chichester

Forgotten master of a lost universe. His work is in major collections worldwide and he was the equal of more famous contemporaries, but Tunnard has been overlooked

Rope, Almeida, London

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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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