For the last 15 years of his life, Maureen Lipman’s father Maurice struggled with short-term memory loss and the actress was “afraid it was going to happen to me”. It was the inspiration for If Memory Serves Me Right, a prime time BBC documentary broadcast on Thursday night in which she explored issues of memory and memory loss.
It is the second day of rehearsals and one of the West End’s favourite leading ladies, Maria Friedman, is at the Harold Pinter Theatre singing every note and saying every word in Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant musical, Merrily We Roll Along.
"I knew I had dynamite on my hands," says director Dror Moreh. He is talking about his Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers which has provoked wide international debate across the political spectrum since its release. Even Israeli embassies have had to grapple with how to respond to its frank revelations, admissions and insights.
Steven Spielberg’s landmark Holocaust film Schindler’s List celebrates the 20th anniversary of its release next month. An adaptation of Thomas Keneally’s historical 1982 novel, Schindler’s Ark, it recounts the story of Oskar Schindler, a businessman and Nazi Party member who, by the end of the war, had saved hundreds of Jews from extermination.
‘I love making films,’ says Sara Sugarman. “I don’t get to do it that often, just because it’s so hard to make a film, and it breaks your heart. You fall in love with each project and they often don’t come to fruition. But when you get the privilege of shouting ‘Action’, it’s fantastic.”
I have only just turned on my Dictaphone and Dan Patterson is already at it. The creator of TV comedy behemoth Mock The Week fires off the first of a series of snappy one-liners more than worthy of any of the comedians on his show. Sadly, it is not printable, but suffice to say I now feel very differently about my Dictaphone.
I have spent less than three minutes in the company of Jared Diamond and he assures me that he does not pose a threat to my life.
“I can promise you that I have not made a move to kill you yet. Nor have I detected any move on your part to kill me. But in a traditional society both of us would have made a move to kill each other by now, or else run away,” he says solemnly.