News

Prosecution says soap star was lying when he denied sexually abusing five girls

First Night: Nietzsche meets uber-entertainer

`The League Against Tedium' Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, London

Comedy: Johnny Vegas

Johnny Vegas (below) first made his mark as the comedian who spawned the phrase "pottery is the new rock'n'roll". But beyond the gimmick of bringing a potter's wheel on stage, this man-mountain in a Kevin Keegan circa 1977 hairdo, battered brown leather jacket and silver-seamed flares is bizarrely charismatic. Playing the part of a fading, drunken entertainer, he sounds off about the way the world has mistreated him. Despite the ranting and the slurring, he is an electrifying live presence. He presents a new show, Swingin', at The Talk of London this week.

GIG OF THE WEEK

Michael Smiley Fri

The Independent Recommends: Comedy

THE SPOOF showbiz entertainer Lenny Beige, returns to the adoring masses at his spiritual home in the Regency Rooms. Playing the vain- glorious entertainer to the hilt, he fumes if a mobile phone goes off in the audience: "Who the hell needs a telephone? You're communicating with a showbusiness legend here." His alter ego, Steve Furst, says that "in terms of fancying himself as an all-round entertainer, Lenny is a cross between Tom Jones and Sammy Davis Jr. I'm dead set on getting tap- dancing lessons now." If you like kitsch, you'll love this.

Preview: Think No Evil of Us

The Vaudeville has been the focus of much critical praise of late, with the Right Size's brilliantly silly show Do You Come Here Often? This is set to continue with the venue's latest incumbent, David Benson's award- winning Think No Evil of Us: My Life With Kenneth Williams finally receiving its long-awaited West End transfer. For those who haven't seen the show, which has toured the UK, Benson recreates the life of the entertainer, blending in some of his own childhood experiences. Though the two never actually met, in a bizarre twist, a 13-year-old Benson had his prize-winning story, The Rag and Bone Man, read by Williams on Jackanory. As our theatre critic, David Benedict, wrote: "Benson's startling performance is much more than a (brilliant) act of impersonation. Fascinating, unexpected and engrossing." There are only 20 performances in this season, which marks the 10th anniversary of Williams's death. You have been warned.

`Inconsolable' Paula Yates suffers further blow

Paula Yates, still in mourning following the death of her partner, Michael Hutchence, last month, was at the centre of a fresh low yesterday when DNA tests reportedly proved her real father was the entertainer Hughie Green.

Tory Conference: Midget Entertainers put on their show

Sketch by David Aaronovitch

CLASSICAL Wayne Marshall Royal Naval College

Organists are usually unseen and, some would say, better left that way. Wayne Marshall was very much in evidence on Sunday evening, inaugurating the newly restored Samuel Green organ in the Chapel of the Royal Naval College as part of the Greenwich and Docklands Festival. First, to dissolve the formal atmosphere in this exquisite neo-classical building, all pale terracotta and light blue, Marshall introduced himself, just to show he was flesh and blood. Then he climbed to the west gallery and took a microphone in his hand to tell us about each piece. Sir Hubert Parry, composer of a solid Fantasia and Fugue in G, could be compared to an English Reger, Marshall said, though he liked to make him sound closer to French composers than many players. Not many of his comments on later pieces were so provocative. But his choice of colours was actually quite sober and restrained, allowing this very clear, light-toned instrument to sing, though he pushed the fugue with an air of ruthless briskness.

The taxman's a party-pooper

Virtually all entertaining - even the staff social - means a tax penalty for someone

THEATRE: The Entertainer; Hampstead, London

Buoyed up by the success of Look Back in Anger, the first of his plays to be produced, John Osborne widened his canvas considerably with his next offering. The Entertainer, a state-of-the-nation play viewed through the prism of a down-at-heel vaudevillian, induced nervousness at the Royal Court in 1957, but they needn't have worried. Laurence Olivier's central performance as Archie Rice was cracking in every sense of the word and the play was a monster hit.

Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer

Peter Edward Cook, writer and entertainer. Born Torquay, 17 November, 1937; died London, 9 January, 1995

Sonic for Maguire

Adrian Maguire made a remarkable return from injury to ride a double for his boss David Nicholson at Worcester last night.
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