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.
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.
It was Nicholas Hytner’s third big opening in as many weeks. And how better to follow celebrated productions of Verdi’s Don Carlo starring Jonas Kaufmann at the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Othello with Adrian Lester at the National Theatre than an evening in conversation at the London Jewish Cultural Centre.
What do you do with a family heirloom such as Marxism? It’s not the kind you can sit on a mantelpiece or hang in a wardrobe. But it is the kind you can write a play about, which is what New York dramatist Amy Herzog has done — twice.
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 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 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.