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.
Right now, Este, Danielle and Alana Haim, from Los Angeles, are three of the hottest names in pop, rock and r&b (and their sound is a blend of pop, rock and r&b — imagine Fleetwood Mac jamming with Destiny’s Child).
If Brandon Cronenberg looks a little shell-shocked when we convene for an interview at last May’s Cannes Film Festival, there is a good reason. It is not only his first feature, Antiviral, that has got the world’s media buzzing, but also his background.
Edward Saatchi has a lot to say. He responds to questions with considered, passionate answers and a delivery as smooth, flawless and decisive as his hero Barack Obama, which is fitting as the two men owe each other a great deal.
John Axelrod would be the first to admit that outspokeness and popularity do not often go together. But that is not going to stop the conductor in his determination to shake up the classical music status quo.