Arts and Entertainment

X-Files star Gillian Anderson is returning to the London stage to play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Fashion: Twas the night of The Show: Nadja, Naomi, Kate, Carla and Kristen were psyching each other up backstage at John Galliano's Paris collection, but Lucy Ferry had already been armed for 24 hours with sticky tape and notebook to bring us this report.

7pm, Tuesday, Studio Pin-Up, Paris. This would challenge Anneka; the brief is to transform a stark studio into sets from A Streetcar named Desire. The inspiration for John Galliano's show is an unlikely hybrid of Tennessee Williams's Blanche Du Bois, and Misia Sert, the Slavic beauty and alleged lover of Coco Chanel who brought Diaghilev to Paris.

Obituary: Jessica Tandy

Jessica Alice Tandy, actress: born London 7 June 1909; married 1932 Jack Hawkins (died 1973; one daughter; marriage dissolved 1940), 1942 Hume Cronyn (one son, one daughter); died Easton, Connecticut 11 September 1994.

THEATRE / Smouldering fires: Jeffrey Wainwright on Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Tennessee Williams's stage directions for The Glass Menagerie describe the building where the Wingfields live as 'burning with the slow and implacable fires of human desperation'. These fires are evident from the play's first moments but so heavily are they tamped that in production their subdued smouldering translates into a problem of pace.

THEATRE / Pack your bags for a trip to Greeneland: Paul Taylor reviews Trunks at the Lyric Studio and Clare Bayley reviews 900 Oneonta at the Old Vic

When a play is entitled Trunks, you might suppose you were in for some elephantine farce involving mixed-up bathing drawers and crossed-wire long-distance phone calls. With Shaker Productions' splendid staging of this new Stephen Plaice piece, you'd be warmer thinking of luggage and lopped torsos. Atmospherically directed by Alison Edgar, the drama offers an impressionistic, creepily comic reconstruction of the Brighton Trunk Murders of 1934, a year when, by macabre coincidence, two murdered females were found in the seaside town thus inelegantly packaged.

ARTS / Show People: Casting off the rakish image: Bill Nighy

BILL NIGHY is an elegant bag of bones in a grey two-piece, open-necked check shirt and a blond Chekhovian beard. You'd never guess he was also a bag of nerves. But he hasn't stopped squirming in his chair since, in an effort to break the ice, I told him how I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Bernard Nightingale, the preening Byronist in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. 'I'm not very used to all this,' he apologises in that brittle voice, with Rs that are not far from Ws, at the end of another tortuously baroque answer. 'I'm not a very practised . . .' and another unfinished sentence twirls off frailly into the Peggy Ashcroft sponsors' suite at the National, like the curlicues of smoke from one of the six or seven cigarettes he smokes in the hour.

THEATRE / Flight from the enchanter: Paul Taylor reviews Richard Eyre's production of Sweet Bird of Youth at the National

Some critics have chided Richard Eyre of late for putting on too many American plays at the National at the expense of English works and neglected European classics. In response, Eyre has maintained that, however much you may want to mount a play, it makes no sense if you can't find a director who also has a genuine desire to see it staged.

THEATRE / Tennessee Williams and his women

'THERE IS no actress on earth who will not testify that Williams created the best women characters in the modern theatre,' wrote Gore Vidal after Tennessee Williams' death in 1983. He also said: 'It is widely believed that since Tennessee Williams liked to have sex with men (true), he hated women (untrue); as a result his women characters are thought to be malicious creatures, designed to subvert and destroy godly straightness.' With the opening tomorrow of Sweet Bird of Youth opens at the National, the debate will no doubt reopen.

FILM / Other New Releases: An eye open for trouble: Blink (18), Dir: Michael Apted (US); A Dangerous Woman (15), Dir: Stephen Gyllenhaal (US); The Puppetmaster (15), Dir: Hou Xiaoian (Tai); The Custodian (no cert), Dir: John Dingwall (Aus); My New Gun (15), Dir: Stacy Cochran (US)

After 20 years of blindness, Emma Brody (Madeleine Stowe) has been given an eye transplant with some awkward kinks: the signals from her optic nerve sometimes arrive in her brain a day or so late, and may be hallucinations anyway. Glum news for Emma, especially since she becomes the eye-witness to a murder and also suffers from DHSS (Drama Heroine Stupidity Syndrome), a condition which prompts her to hang out in deserted car parks and respond to hoax messages from the killer.

No Swifty, no party: This Oscar night, a strange absence. The master of the revels staged his last ever event in January. Phil Reeves reports

ON MONDAY night, Los Angeles time, Hollywood's chosen few will button themselves into their tuxedos and thousand-dollar ball gowns for the 66th Academy Awards, their annual parade on the world's stage. But it won't be the same.

Obituary: Maria St Just

Maria Britneva, actress: born Petrograd 2 July 1921; married 1956 Peter Grenfell, second Lord St Just (died 1984; two daughters); died London 15 February 1994.

TELEVISION / On-the-couch potatoes

MARY ANN, Wayne and Janice sat facing the audience. For those struggling to follow their story, captions kept flashing up on screen - subtitles for the hard of believing. Wayne 'Married his wife's sister' was between Janice 'Stole sister's husband' and Mary Ann - no caption but visibly 'Mad as hell with the pair of them'. Anxiously gurning his jaw, weather-beaten Wayne looked like a barbecued Steptoe senior. Ferret features sheltered furtively beneath black nylon hair. The peroxide dolls flanking him both had Deep Southern frard accents. 'Ar forgive har, but Ar don't forgit,' averred Mary Ann. Janice, sunk in sullen shame, crossed her legs. Their hostess coaxed and soothed: 'After 20 years they're here to talk 'bout what happened.' She asked Mary Ann why she blamed Janice not Wayne: 'Warl,' said Mary Ann, 'a woman kin run faster with har dress up, than a man kin with his pants down.' No need to ask for whom the belle told. It had to be Oprah Winfrey (C4).

MUSIC / The song and chance man: At 70, the composer and writer Ned Rorem is more provocative than promiscuous.

Ned Rorem says he would have liked to have been a whore, which is no doubt how many Americans will always think of him. At 70, his flawless complexion and unfaltering gaze are as remarkable now as when they stole the hearts of Parisian society in the 1950s. Yet Ned Rorem has also written 400 songs, 100 choral works, several operas, four symphonies, three piano concertos, a violin concerto, ballet scores, chamber music for countless innovative ensembles, and 12 books. He has won a Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His recorded work spans 60 albums and, for the record, he has slept with 3,000 men.

MUSIC / Riding the new wave: Nicholas Williams on a week of musical innovation, from the late-medieval to the post-modern

New music in London last week had something in common with the rain; there was lots of it, whatever the sceptics' prediction of long- term drought. The Park Lane Group's annual South Bank festival of young executants and composers swelled the flood, but other sources ranged from fine student performances by the Cambridge New Music Players to deft accounts of late-medieval repertoire from Philip Pickett's New London Consort.

Review: From the outer outer to the inner inner

TENNESSEE Williams is to drama what Las Vegas is to urban design. His plays, it can sometimes seem, are all hoarding and neon, garishly advertising their concerns with a set of knock-your-eyes out symbols. A director who gets embarrassed by this would do better never to have begun - you can no more successfully play it down than you can make Caesar's Palace blend into the desert by painting it a fetching shade of ochre. Far better to loosen your collar, wipe your brow and enjoy the whole business.

MUSIC / High spirits

ROBIN HOLLOWAY'S 50th birthday concert, at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, proved to be a kind of musical This is Your Life: favourite pieces by some of the composers who have been most important to him - Debussy, Wagner, Brahms, Wolf and Stravinsky - rubbed shoulders with new works by his pupils and colleagues.
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