The Diary: Steig Larsson; Tom Levitt; Jarvis Cocker; Dennis Hopper; The Old Vic

Alice Jones
Friday 26 November 2010 01:00 GMT

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


The girl who trod the boards

We've had the books – in Swedish and English. And we've had the films – in Swedish and, next year, in English, starring Rooney Mara (the girl who dumps Zuckerberg in The Social Network) and Daniel Craig. Now Lisbeth Salander is taking to the stage – in Danish. Next Saturday The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will have its world premiere at Copenhagen's Norrebro Theatre. The play, based on the first of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, has been developed with Eva Gabrielsson, Larsson's former partner. Following the author's death in 2004, the lack of a will saw the rights to his novels go to his family, leaving his partner of 32 years with nothing. A battle over the $40m legacy is still ongoing, but while the film rights have gone, Gabrielsson has secured its first theatrical outing. "Our aim has been to stay loyal to the books," says Anna Beck Laulund at the theatre. "The films are very much about action and Lisbeth. We're trying to go back to the themes of violence and misogyny in society." Salander will be played by Signe Egholm Olsen, rising star of the Danish West Wing-style serial Borgen who appeared in Into the Wild. How long until the West End gets in on the act?

A laboured effort

An unwelcome side effect of the expenses scandal has been out-of-work MPs turning to stand-up to earn a crust. Lembit Opik was the first to take a misguided turn on the mic in June. Now former MP Tom Levitt has made his debut at new political night The Comedy Coalition. You may recall Levitt as the Labour man whose thousands of pounds of claims included £16.50 for a poppy wreath for Remembrance Day. He's already written a one-man play about the incident (Making Allowances, at Camden's New Diorama Theatre for two nights only), highlights of which featured in his stand-up set, alongside some childish puns and a Ken Dodd impression, y'know for the kids. The comedy fraternity remained unimpressed, however, with Steve Bennett, editor of the comedy website Chortle asking for "two minutes' silence please, for all the jokes that died here tonight." Wreaths to be sent care of his former constituency.

Jarvis was due – but something changed

Pulp's 1995 hit "Common People" is a much-loved student anthem, a passionate piece of satire-pop railing against inequality and – according to Jarvis Cocker – "patronising social voyeurism" inspired by his time at Central Saint Martins. So he was a natural figure to join the Royal College of Art's peaceful protest against the government's higher education cuts on Wednesday. "We need to support talented people from all backgrounds, not just those with money," declared Cordelia Cembrowicz, VP of the RCA Students' Union. But on the eve of the action, Cocker pulled out. "He sent the Student Union a text last night saying something had come up," I'm told. "Hopefully we'll do something with him again." C'mon, Jarvis, sing along with the common people!

A glittering farewell

It's the last performance Dennis Hopper committed to film before he died in May. But you'll need to go to an art gallery, not a cinema to see it. Hopper appears in Stardust, a film by the Belgian artist Nicolas Provost which will go on show at London's Haunch of Venison next week. The second in Provost's trilogy of hidden-camera shorts, it premiered at Venice Film Festival and features cameos from Hopper, first seen sitting glumly in McDonald's, Jon Voight and Jack Nicholson, alongside members of the public seemingly caught on candid camera in Las Vegas. Provost has just finished shooting his debut feature, The Invader, a thriller about an African immigrant in Brussels. One to watch.

It all hinges on timing

Any actor knows that the secret of good comedy is timing. The cast of the Old Vic's upcoming A Flea in Her Ear will need to be spot-on with theirs if the farce is to go with a bang. Tom Hollander, Lisa Dillon and the rest of Richard Eyre's crack comic ensemble must contend with over 250 door openings and slammings over the course of Feydeau's three-act play. "Rehearsals were quite technical to begin with," an insider tells me. Noisy too, I imagine.

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