Musicals

The Sound of Musicals, Channel 4 - TV Review

In this episode of Channel 4's backstage documentary The Sound of Musicals (the second of four), we followed the fortunes of two producers at very different stages in their respective careers.

The Feral Beast: Nick Serota's loofah, the luck of Lloyd Webber,

The groovy revamped Tate Britain opens on Tuesday, and there's an all-day party to celebrate on Saturday, with Hot Chip on the decks. What a different scene would have greeted you only a couple of years ago. One of the biggest changes is the opening of The Grand Saloon, a first-floor room overlooking the Thames. For years it has been divided into offices, one of which was the director Sir Nicholas Serota's private bathroom, complete with tub and loofah. Sadly, I gather the bath has now been thrown out with the bathwater. "I can confirm that Nick has had a bath in there," says a spokesman when I call, "but he moved offices some time ago, and it hadn't been used for a while." Sir Nicholas is chairman of the Turner Prize jury. Surely "Tate director bathing" is an installation we'd all pay to see?

Arts observations: Let's talk about sex, baby, says Michael Sheen

"Very shut off, very difficult to know what's going on in his mind," says Michael Sheen (pictured) of his character William Masters, the real-life gynaecologist-turned-sex-researcher in Channel 4's new US import Masters of Sex.

Masters, along with his research partner Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) – whom he married – pioneered the scientific study of sex. The series is based on Thomas Maier's 2009 book, which tells how the couple "discovered" the fake climax and women's ability to enjoy multiple orgasms, as well as the duo's struggle to be accepted by the medical establishment. "I read Maier's book," says Sheen. "I also met some of the gynaecological surgeons practising at the time, so I got a sense of how things changed quickly for people in that field." Can we expect more series after the 12-episode run? "We've talked about it. There's a desire to tell the entire story of Masters and Johnson. It intersects so much with our culture's relationship to sexuality."

'Masters of Sex' begins on Channel 4 on 8 October

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Theatre review: Profumo, the Musical - This crass production should

You wait years for a musical about the Profumo Affair and then along come two in quick succession. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the scandal, in which the liaison between the Minister of War and a call girl who was concurrently sleeping with the naval attache at the Russian embassy, rocked the Establishment and helped to bring down the Tory government of Harold Macmillan.