Putting the baa into the Baaard: It's King Lear with sheep

 

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An email finds its way to my inbox. "A friend of mine has just got back from Harvard," it reads, "and is putting on a version of King Lear in which the cast is almost exclusively composed of real sheep in Shakespearian costume."

Intriguing, and made even more so by the fact that the sender of said email is one Charlie Gilmour. Contact is made. Tentatively, I broach the subject of whether I am talking to that Charlie Gilmour, the young man who was known only as the son of David Gilmour the Pink Floyd guitarist until he spent four months in prison in 2011 for violent disorder (he was photographed hanging from the Cenotaph) during the tuition-fee riots.

"I keep myself to myself, these days," he says. But I will go to see my friend Heather's play [staged for the first time last night at DIG Open Studios in south-east London]." So a little of that anarchic spirit remains, I venture? "Indeed."

"It is a hate letter to the theatre," the show's producer Lucie Elven says. "It is about a director who tries to put on a production of King Lear with sheep and, obviously, the sheep refuse to talk to him. In the original play, there is a lot about silence: Cordelia refusing to tell her father she loves him, and our production echoes that because obviously the sheep are not performing."

You can insert your own punchline here, but you might as well know that Gilmour's email ended "There will be a bar."

Unlike! :(

When 19-year-old Alabama resident Marissa Williams befriended Tre "Topdog" Ellis on Facebook, their relationship soon took a sinister turn. After inviting Ellis to come over, get drunk and have sex with her, Williams then tried to arrange for him to kidnap her so she could escape the aunt she had been living with for the past few months. If they were caught, Williams told Ellis, he should just shoot the aunt. Nothing must be allowed to foil her plan.

Nothing except that Tre "Topdog" Ellis was, in fact, the creation of Williams's aunt, who used the fake identity to check on her niece's behaviour on social media.

Williams has since been arrested and is awaiting charges of solicitation of murder. See, kids? Your parents always told you to be careful who your Facebook friends are.

Sweet truth

A charity "first ever singalonga Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (29 June, tickets from princecharlescinema.com) is exciting. But the Cherry Laffy Taffy on the top is the guest of honour, Rusty Goffe, whose big-screen break came playing an oompa loompa.

Goffe, now 65, has since appeared in Star Wars and five Harry Potters. None of which might have come about had he not met Roy Kinnear while filming the 1971 Dahl adaptation. "When we were making Wonka," Goffe says, "we had to get in at six or seven in the morning for make-up and sometimes we would sit around all day in that horrendous orange gunk. Roy would come and chat and he gave me the most invaluable piece of advice. 'If they ever ask you at an audition if you can do something,' he said, 'lie and say you can. You'll have time to learn before shooting starts.'"

Goffe's first audition after Wonka was for a B-movie called Disciple of Death. At the audition, Goffe was asked if he could ride a horse. "I said, 'Of course,' and then hurriedly booked pony-riding lessons. I got to the set and there was this 17-18 hand stallion. I was a dwarf on this huge animal, which must have wondered what this flea was hitting him. In the end the groom had to hit it on the bum. The horse took off and I held on for dear life."

Gordon is no moron

And talking of good advice, anyone looking to make a career in the entertainment industry could do worse than follow the words of Shep Gordon, the subject of the upcoming Mike Myers documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.

Gordon, who has acted on behalf of Alice Cooper, Blondie and Luther Vandross, and whose handling of Emeril Lagasse's career is said to have invented the celebrity chef, puts it thus: "The three most important things a manager does: 1. Get the money. 2. Always remember to get the money. 3. Never forget to always remember to get the money."

Smart cookies?

"Out There" a World Cup free zone? Forget about it. Not when the "food artist" Annabel de Vetten (known as Annabel Lecter for her often grisly designs) has created a portrait Jaffa Cake for each member of the England team. But how did De Vetten know who to include? "It was a collective decision made by McVitie's," a spokesperson says. The only difference to the BBC's guess: Wilshere got a Jaffa, Henderson did not.

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

From what we can tell through the polling

It seems Scotland is largely Team Rowling

Now if yes and no voters

And even the floaters

Could all just abstain from the trolling

twitter.com/@simmyrichman

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