Rant & Rave (25/11/12)

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The Independent Online


Sigh. Or should that be Psy? For another week brings another parody or five of the South Korean pop star's hit, "Gangnam Style", the internet meme that never dies. The most high profile has been the Anish Kapoor-led art world "protest" vid. Now, it's obviously for a good cause – promoting freedom of speech, following the suppression of artist Ai Wei Wei's own "Gangnam" parody that was blocked by the Chinese government.

But is a naff pop song really the best tool? It guarantees an audience, but the whole thing is a bit cringey; like schoolteachers at an end of term party, gamely aping something the kids are already so over. As for the political message, I'm afraid it's hard to make any statement except "I'm game for a laff" when lassoing the air and thrusting. I'm all for freedom of expression, but surely when you've got the art scene's finest talent roped in, they could express themselves in more creative ways?


The reviews are finally in for Twelfth Night, Tim Carroll's all-male production that transferred to the West End this week. And they're pretty glowing... not least because the cross-casting is a joy, turning your head with the layers of comic mishap, and bisexual desire, that come from having men dressed up as women dressed up as men....

But happily blokes don't get to have all the fun – an all-female version of Julius Caesar is about to open at the Donmar. It'll be fascinating to see what impact that has on the power dynamics of the play, and I'm sure Dame Harriet Walter and Frances Barber have got the balls for it – metaphorically, at least.