The Diary: Kevin Spacey's Old Vic; Freida Pinto; Julian Schnabel; Guy Gormley; MUJU's Extreme Prevention sketch show

Alice Jones
Friday 05 November 2010 01:00

Spacey's dream

What next for Kevin Spacey's Old Vic? The Hollywood actor has signed up for just five more years and will leave his post as artistic director in 2015. "It will be time for new blood," he tells me. "We started the company from the ground up. It was literally me and a producer in a dressing room with a phone. Now we've returned the Old Vic as a destination theatre and I've proved that you can run a major British institution without any public subsidy." Spacey also revealed that he is planning a global tour of Richard III, the final instalment in the London-New York Bridge Project in which he will be directed as the monarch by Sam Mendes. Having been spotted in Beirut, Abu Dhabi and, last week, Doha, could Spacey be thinking of setting up a Middle Eastern outpost of the Old Vic? The region has already imported Tribeca film festival to Doha and the Guggenheim and Louvre are set for Abu Dhabi. Why not a theatre? "One of the things I want to do, without question, is come to the region and bring an educational ethos, work with emerging talents. I don't want to just go to a city and say 'oh, look at me, I'm here doing a play'. I want to go and create a sense of excitement about theatre, particularly in places where it isn't on the map in the way of London and New York."

Running the Old Vic has been "the most extraordinary, challenging and satisfying experience", he says. "My mother used to say, 'if you're lucky enough to have a dream come true, make sure you have another dream'. So I'm already thinking about my next dream."

Pinto interrupted

Journalists interviewing the Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto got more than they bargained for last week at Doha Tribeca Film Festival. The fragrant actress was talking about her latest role as an orphaned activist in Miral when the round table was interrupted by a rather angry bearded interloper. Julian Schnabel, director of the less-than-rapturously received Miral, plonked himself down, lit a cigarette and demanded to know how many hacks had watched the film. When the response was underwhelming, he embarked on a lengthy disquisition about Palestine before glowering through the rest of the session. "We felt a bit guilty grilling Freida about her beauty tips after that," admitted one cowed LA correspondent.

The son also rises

Guy Gormley is fast becoming as ubiquitous as his father, Antony. Next week he opens his first solo exhibition at Son Gallery in Peckham. The show consists of photographs of the Great British bush, from car-park thickets to lush countryside hedgerows. Printed on out-of-date photo paper, the images have an unusual tint and softness to them, as well as a very British quirkiness. The 25-year old is also preparing to release an EP of his computer-produced dance music. "I've been making music in my bedroom for the last five years. It started as a hobby but I've developed a knack for it," he says. Aside from that he DJs and runs the Brickhouse, a "parasitic" gallery. "We don't have our own space. Our last show was in the basement of another gallery in Victoria." Does his father's work influence his style? "I don't know. Probably." Does he give you advice? "Not very often. He's busy. But he's supportive in the general sense."

Extreme comedy

Heard the one about schoolboy extremist? No? Then you should get down to London's Tricycle Theatre to see MUJU's Extreme Prevention sketch show on Sunday. The show, from the Muslim-Jewish collective includes jokes about a publicity-hungry former terrorist and two hijab-wearing Vicky Pollard types who try to outdo one another at praying. "We'd already done jokes about mother-in-laws and online dating," says Yasmeen Khan, a member of the company. "So we thought extremism was a good topic to tackle next." Imran Yusuf, Best Newcomer nominee at this year's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, will also perform.

Eddie on the decks

He tells a mean joke, and runs an even meaner marathon, or 43, but how is Eddie Izzard on the wheels of steel? The stand-up will take to the decks on 17 November at the launch of Sarah McGuinness's new album, the soundtrack to his documentary, Believe. Is he any good? "Eddie has DJ'd before, at friends' parties, and once with Norman Cook," I'm told. "But that was a few years ago."

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