You’ve come at a busy time,” says Don Black as he opens the door to his sprawling, comfortable apartment in west London. However, one of the world’s most sung lyricists is not being unwelcoming. It’s just that, as well as compiling his new late Sunday evening Radio 2 show, which is fuelled by the Great American Songbook, there is still work to be done on his latest musical, Stephen Ward.
W hen Durham County Cricket Club chiefs decided to recruit a writer in residence for the fourth Ashes Test at the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street, their selection might, on the face of it, have seemed a tad bizarre —a Jewish American former professional basketball player.
Playing a low-rent Luton lawyer in a new play by Nick Payne at the Donmar Warehouse, Nigel Lindsay is certainly spending a lot less time in wardrobe than he did for his previous show. The role of Barry in The Same Deep Water As Me is one requiring Lindsay — one of this country’s most powerful stage actors — to don a shabby suit.
Zeke Emanuel was the target of bilious commentary by British TV presenters over his participation in a 1981 reality show, Now Get Out of That. An early precursor of the Survivor programmes, the show featured students in an Oxford versus Cambridge challenge performing a variety of physical and mental tasks.
Grilling the fat cats from multinationals such as Google and Amazon holds little fear for Margaret Hodge. After all, she was the Labour MP who faced down the challenge of British National Party leader Nick Griffin at the last election, inflicting a crushing defeat that sent the BNP into a possibly terminal decline.
When actor, satirist, musician, artist, broadcaster and mock-rocker Harry Shearer joins Maureen Lipman on stage at London’s newest theatre, the experience will be a tad different from the time Shearer and the rest of spoof rock band Spinal Tap performed to tens of thousands on Glastonbury’s main stage in 2009. The Park Theatre audience is around 180. But he will still be nervous.
Still touring at 85, Burt Bacharach completes a run of British concerts at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, having played in Israel on Tuesday to adoring fans at the Shuni Ampitheatre in Binyamina.