'Zulu' VC up for sale

One of the 11 Victoria Crosses awarded for the legendary British military defence at Rorke's Drift - immortalised in the cinema classic Zulu - goes on sale next month with hopes of fetching a world record price.

Theatre: Educating Rita / Oleanna Salisbury Playhouse

Jonathan Church can't be the only person to have noticed the intriguing similarities and differences between Willie Russell's popular hit Educating Rita and David Mamet's infamous hit-below-the-belt Oleanna. One-set two- handers, they both explore the life-changing effect on a middle-aged academic of one of his female students. The young and newish artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse scores what I think is a first, though, in actually mounting studio productions of both plays in rep using the same pair of actors. The result, particularly if you see these works back-to-back, is a wonderfully thought-provoking dramatic diptych.

LETTER:Monstrous slur

From Ms Julie Burchill

Theatre / FAUST - RSC, Stratford

Viewed from an orthodox Christian point of view, Goethe's Faust is a drama which takes two plays, six-and-a-half hours and a great deal of fidgeting around the cosmos in order to arrive at the wrong conclusion. Howard Brenton's new version, staged now by Michael Bogdanov in the Swan, makes a pointed if slightly laboured joke about this, teasing us with a retributive false-ending.

101

MEGA MOVIE MIND-BOGGLERS!

Dear Richard Harris

Attacking Michael Caine for his pomposity is a public service. But you don't know that much about life outside the cosy haze of your room at the Savoy. Give your elbow a rest and try a new hobby

HOWWE MET: MURRAY SMITH AND FREDERICK FORSYTH

Murray Smith, 54, was born in Glasgow. He left the Camer- onian Scottish Rifles to join Grampian Television, later becoming a reserve officer in the Special Forces. Apart from writing extensively for television, he has written two novels. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and their children. Frederick Forsyth was born in 1938. He did National Service in the RAF for two years, then went into journalism. In 1970, he published the bestselling Day of the Jackal; in 1994 he published his ninth novel. He lives in Hertfordshire with his second wife and two sons from his previous marriage.

Africa's old dancing fury : SHAKA'S CHILDREN Stephen Taylor HarperCollins £18

Jan Morris on a sad, fierce story: the rise and fall of the Zulu nation

Interview: So what's it all about, Adam?: Now 53, a philosophical Adam Faith has come out as an Artist. He looks back at the life he left behind as a Sixties pop star and City wheeler-dealer before returning to the stage in 'Alfie'

Adam Faith is at home in here, a monarch in his kingdom, first-naming managers, joking with waiters, purring when recognised. I suggest moving to a corner, out of sight, for our chat, but no, this suits him fine, he wants to stay front of stage, bang in the middle of the lounge, able to see and be seen, one eye over my shoulder for the next arrival.

I Confess: D M Thomas on a love of show tunes and Zulu

I HAD a long depression several years ago, during which I couldn't read or write. I simply couldn't. What kept me going was my South Pacific album. I'd play it every day - every day without fail - and sing along. Everyone thought I was mad, which I almost certainly was. But I was responding to the cheery optimism of the classic pre-War / post-War American musical. In my imagination I was transformed into John Hanson, singing in the desert. Singing brings out the sentimental and romantic in me.

ETCETERA / How We Met: 66. Julie Walters and Victoria Wood

Writer and comedienne Victoria Wood (39) grew up in Lancashire and went to Birmingham University. Her first play, Talent, premiered at the Crucible Theatre Studio, Sheffield in 1978. She appeared in the TV adaptation with Julie Walters (42) who went on to star in the award-winning film Educating Rita. The two have also worked together on the comedy series Wood and Walters and Victoria Wood - As Seen On TV. Wood lives in London with her husband, Geoffrey Durham, and their two two children. Walters lives in Surrey with her boyfriend, Grant, and their daughter.

TELEVISION/ Reviews of the Week

Hollywood Greats (Tues, C4) on Michael Caine: 'He may not go in for fashionable method acting . . . contracting scurvy before playing a hobo . . but he knows how to move for the camera.' Joe Joseph, Times

Television / With nobs on

'IT'S the shock of recognition that people should see in my work.' Who said that? Olivier? Nijinsky? Picasso? No, it was Michael Caine, explaining that if we liked his movie performances, it was because we recognised how we too might have reacted in the same situation. Even leaving aside the unlikelihood of your ever finding yourself in the middle of an art heist with Shirley MacLaine, this still seemed a difficult argument to run. Confronted by a movie with Caine in it, most people perform an act of recognition, though it hardly shocks them to do so. 'That's Michael Caine,' they say.
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