Hull is city of culture - and we’re gonna gerron with it

By Maureen Lipman, November 21, 2013

Being From Hull and Jewish and a woman, the triple whammy, generally one feels like saying, when asked to go there, “what’s second prize?”. But not today.

Today I woke up and found myself besieged by requests to big up my beleaguered home town on TV, radio and press, on the grounds that Hull has been named City of Culture 2017.


Michael Grade, lord of the song and dance, on Broadway

By Brigit Grant, October 24, 2013

In any great adventure,
that you don’t want to lose,
victory depends upon the people that you choose.
So, listen, Arthur darling, closely to this news:
We won’t succeed on Broadway,
If you don’t have any Jews*

*Courtesy of Eric Idle’s Spamalot


Sylvia Young turns pop svengali

By Sandy Rashty, September 24, 2013

She established the national theatre school that trained chart-topping pop stars from Amy Winehouse to the Appleton sisters.

Now Sylvia Young has gone one step further and set up her own record label, Seymour Place Music, and formed a British band made up of four of her students.

But she insists media comparisons with music mogul Simon Cowell are well wide of the mark.


Steven Berkoff fined over Oxford Street collision

August 27, 2013

Veteran actor and director Steven Berkoff has been fined for knocking down a pedestrian while driving in London’s Oxford Street.

The 76-year-old, known for such roles as the villain in the James Bond film Octopussy, hit Fiona Scully in his Volkswagen Beetle as she crossed the road on New Year’s Eve last year.


Review: The Same Deep Water as Me

By John Nathan, August 26, 2013

Nick Payne is the author of the brilliant Royal Court play, Constellations, for my money the most thrilling new work of 2012. And so a Payne world première is now a much-anticipated thing.

The setting for the latest play is as bland as it is possible to imagine — a down-at-heel lawyer’s office in Luton.


Review: Titanic

By John Nathan, August 18, 2013

A gantry, a couple of ropes and a big step-ladder are all that Thom Southerland’s production needs to suggest a ship. To evoke size, the excellent cast — who brilliantly double-up as upper class and below-stairs passengers and crew — do something that reminded me of how people respond to the Grand Canyon. They stand dumbstruck, wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the sheer scale of the thing.


Review: The Pride

By John Nathan, August 18, 2013

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s first play, previously seen at the Royal Court in 2008, is known as a very good gay rights play. This is a shame because attaching the word “rights” — or indeed “gay” — to a play immediately saddles it with a worthiness that can only narrow its appeal. True, in the shorter second act, the play gets close to speechifying and proselytising. But never mind.


Glaser detecting similarities between Starsky and Tevye

By Angela Epstein, August 15, 2013

In the great panoply of iconic male acting roles, the part of an impoverished milkman in turn-of-the-20th-century Russia — transport, horse and cart — and a hot-shot detective who scorches the earth in a red-striped Torino are worlds apart. But no.


Review: the Sound of Music

By John Nathan, August 12, 2013

There is nothing like the sight of a swastika to haul a show away from sentimentality. During the 2006 London revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s musical, huge Nazi flags unfurled down the length of the Palladium’s walls.


Review: Josephine and I

By John Nathan, August 5, 2013

Though there is only one woman on stage, there are two people about whom we know an awful lot by the end of this show. The first is the Josephine of the title — Josephine Baker that is, the African American dancing dynamo who became a ground-breaking sex symbol on stage and screen. The second is actor and author of this show Cush Jumbo.