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Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
London 05 - The People!
Parties, events, people...
Peter Benedict's Fireworks Party - 13 November 05
Emma Malin's Halloween Party - 31 October 05
Gareth Kane Birthday Drinks - 14 September 05
Underbelly - EdFringe Programme Launch, London - 11 July 05
Plan B Exhibit B Party - 15 June 05
Reel Talent Award - Finalists Announcement Party - 1 June 05
The Feeast Launch - 25 May 05
The Muse Launch - 23 May 05
Sarah Choppen & Graham Smit Wedding - 29 April 05
Nomads - 28 April 05
Fringe Report Board Party - 23 April 05
Douglas Spurgeon Funeral - 22 April 05
Guy Adams - Marathon Man - 17 April 05
Beck's Futures Film & Video Shortlist Party - 8 April 05
The Ideas Foundry Launch - 6 April 05
Jinny McCallister dies - March/April 05
Count Arthur Strong TV pilot - 31 March 05
Birthday Parties - 19 March 05
Cannes Film Challenge Drinks - 9 March 05
Sándor Csányi FR Award Party - 23 February 05
Fringe Report Awards - 15 February 05
Spread / Sketching Lucian Opening - 13 February 05
The Stage 125th Anniversary Party - 4 February 05
Fringe Report Board Party - 15 January 05
Rohan Acharya 30th Birthday Party - 14 January 05
OTHER GOSSIP & CONTACT:
Edinburgh 05 - The People!
Crystal Clean - Edinburgh 05 gossip column
London 04 - The People!
Crystal Clean - Edinburgh 04 gossip column
Edinburgh 04 - The People!
email - email@example.com
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Charming host and the UK’s leading farceur Peter Benedict spearheads a theatrical extravaganza of fireworks featuring a live Britannia and a man waving his sausage. The soundtrack’s classical, blending to gay trance as the campometer swings off the scale.
There’s a gang of firemen – (and just as well after the last time, but wait) – in fact actors from Peter Benedict’s outrageously naughty Naked Flame - Fire Down Under!. The blockbusting (and absolutely filthy) comedy toured nationally to riotous acclaim – mainly from packed audiences of randy housewives – and took FR Awards 03 - Best Farce. It featured the equipment of several of those here tonight including Damian Kell (Blue Rock in Fire Down Under!), Iain Stirland (Graham 'Goblin') – Iain is currently rehearsing The Railway Children - and Peter Benedict (Joe 'Jesse') himself.
‘I was shy to speak to Mr Benedict’ recalls FR writer lovely Samantha Darling (the blonde cowgirl on the right here), then a shy stage manager at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, ‘as he seemed very formal. Until one night he passed me on his way to the stage wearing nothing except for a basque and fishnet stockings. After that we got on wonderfully.’
Peter Benedict is slaving over a hot stove as guests arrive and dispenses mulled wine, and lots of lovely hot food just right for a cool and pitch-black November night. There's pizza, chips, sausages. Damian Kell, in dinner jacket, borrows one for later conducting duties. He's been an altar boy earlier in the day, singing the Remembrance Day service for 2 hours at Hampstead Church. Pretty actress Catalina Mackenzie confides shyly that she thought Damian looked incredibly sexy in his white choirboy costume. Despite those hard-to-dispel connotations of the Vienna Boys Choir and public-school sodomy. Cat's just returned from Florida - not the trashy part, the posh bit where they filmed The Truman Show - and she's modelling sexy cashmere-lined black leather gloves.
Tonight’s invitation pictures a fire officer plus hose in an inferno. It recalls Peter Benedict’s last disastrous firework party two years previously that destroyed priceless works of art. Benno was roused from sleep at 2am by a posse of burly men in helmets. Hoping that all his dreams had come true, Pierre was dismayed to find that embers of the party fire had blazed, destroying his neighbour’s shed. Not a fraction as dismayed as his incandescent artist neighbour - who’d used his garden erection to store priceless canvasses. Ashen-faced P Benedict lingered these 24 months till his neighbour moved before going in for a second time.
Here’s pretty producer Fumiko Thomas. She produced Iain Stirland in The End of the Night (writer Andrew Cartmel, director Pip Minnithorpe, designer Cleo Pettitt, music Martin Pavey) at the White Bear Theatre; and Johnson In Love, with Damian Kell as Mathew, the young male lead almost cuckolded by Samuel Johnson. Fumiko Thomas produced Damian Kell again in the 90 minute feature film Shortage of Angels starring Maggie Law and Peter Law (parents of Jude Law). The cast also included Brian Teles (Mr Sims) and Caroline Jay (Harriet); writer/director was Monica Lissak (founder of Onion Shed Theatre), director of photography the charming and talented David Read, sound recordist Julian Wilson, photographic consultant Jack Cardiff, company Andrew Charles Productions. Fumiko Thomas also produced Blood Royal (writer Charles Thomas, director Ted Craig) at The King's Head Theatre; Henrik Ibsen’s Rosmersholm at Southwark Playhouse (translator Kenneth McLeish, director Paul Miller, designer Jackie Brooks, lighting by director of C Venues Hartley T A Kemp, music Terry Davies, costumes Jackie Brooks & Joanna Freedman, cast (alpha order) - Francesca Brill, Robin Hart, Georges Innes, Tom Marshall, Michael Packer, Mary Ellen Ray; and she executive-produced The Dance of Shiva, the film about World War I Hindu slaughter directed by Jamie Payne.
Tonight, in his elegant back garden, Peter Benedict wears the costume of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Here’s charming Maddy Sparham one half of Men In Coats (the smaller coat) with Mick Dow. Maddy Sparham tut-tuts with Iain Stirland over Yorkshire’s claim on Robin Hood against that of Nottingham – a town in which they have an interest.
Here’s distinguished and urbane comedy writer David McGillivray - a frequent writer and writing collaborator with Julian Clary. Among many other fine works David McGillivray wrote the superb Farndale Ladies series of comedy plays. Here are charming Michael Petry installation artist and director of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); gorgeous and distinguished artist Rachel Clark - whose portraits include Helena Kennedy QC, still-defiantly-reddish former student activist Tariq Ali, Edward Bond (not the one who wrote Paddington Bear) - and the late anti-naughtiness campaigner Mary Whitehouse; and here is handsome Chris Haydon, director of Southwark TV. Here is agent to the stars (including one P Benedict) Alison Lee. Alison's ma Sylvia Young was recently MBE'd. Actor Christopher Cockcroft is resplendent in white tie and tails - his job tonight is to greet guests and DJ during the fireworks.
It’s Remembrance Sunday and there’s a need for knob gags. Cue a lament for past pussy. In this case it’s Peter Benedict’s deceased feline Lodz (pronounced Woodge) for whom he’s written a poem. Charming and superbly-voiced actor Charles Grant who runs The Actors Church in Covent Garden reads it by lamplight. Here’s dashing and debonair Tim Heath, who has directed many operas, and theatre including Johnson in Love (BAC) and productions at the British Library Theatre and Battersea Barge.
Peter Benedict’s architecturally-striking house stands above its surroundings, and the back garden sweeps up to an area concealed by bushes where fireworks and actors prepare. It’s an impeccably choreographed display of seriously big bangs, rockets and sparks. There’s a rope across the garden for safe distance, and a rapt audience of little children sitting at the front enjoy a magical night. So do the adults, and in a different way – Peter Benedict’s a master of the pantomime experience and its levels of understanding. The audience cuts across the generations. A Union Jack flies to the rear, and men work impressively in the shadows. Music starts with the 20th Century Fox theme introducing big grenade bangs and Roman Candles. It switches to a pumping gay disco soundtrack accompanied by outrageous screamers - and a Golden Shower. There’s a musical blast of Scottish fiddling. And Rule Britannia – but that’s later.
Here’s glorious actress Nicola Duffett aka Cat (Family Affairs), Debbie Tyler (EastEnders) and and much more. Here’s sublime director Caroline Hill, and distinguished actor Ricci Harnett (The Murder of Stephen Lawrence, 28 Days Later, Dunkirk, Joy Division), in flirty red Restoration costume with bulging codpiece (or maybe not). Ricci’s in charge of fireworks.
Here’s fabulous comedian and actor
Jasper Britton. Jasper Britton was Henry II in Becket (Haymarket) opposite Dougray Scott as Becket. It was directed by John Caird (music John Cameron, writer Jean Anouilh, producer Stanhope Productions, designer Stephen Brimson Lewis, lighting Peter Mumford) but is best remembered by the cognoscenti (apart from Jasper B’s definitive Henry) for having Fringe Report’s adorable writer and board member Alison Collinge as Saxon Girl (understudy) . Jasper Britton played the Alastair Campbell character in My Dad The Prime Minister (BBC1 TV) – which also had Damian Kell (that boy and his sausage get everywhere) as Simon Johnson MP.
Gorgeous Kate Bailward plays Britannia tonight – looking a lot prettier than the one on the coin – complete with shield and trident. At short notice from director Benedict, Kate’s learnt James Thomson (1700-48)’s lyric to Thomas Augustine Arne’s famous tune (1740), declaiming most verses of Rule Britannia. Damian Kell conducts her, sausage in hand – and who can blame him. ‘No stripper?’ a rude guest asks. ‘Fivers in a hat and I’m on’ offers sublime Kate – on condition she can start from Britannia’s full (and voluminous) kit (plus the trident).
A wonderful night. Peter Benedict emerges from the bushes and enters the back door with a singed bottom and a spattering of stains on his - or rather Horatio Nelson’s - waistcoat. Or is that rhyming slang? ‘Fellatio’, quips impish Maddy Sparham, ‘on the patio.’
John Park - South London - (c) www.fringereport.com - Sunday 13 November 05 - thanks for additional reporting to Tim Heath, Damian Kell, Peter Benedict, David Read
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Gorgeous Emma Malin has been preparing her bohemian London palace for 3 months for tonight. And it's the biggest, best and the most intimate Halloween party. Ever.
A discreet door - it could be the entrance to a brothel - lets off the street into a corridor made up to match a catacomb tunnel. There are sudden in-the-face explosions of photographer's flash powder - this is a gal who grew up on film sets - revealing more ghosts than the Chamber of Horrors.
There are ghouls everywhere - around 400 people cramming rooms and stairs - in fabulous make-up. Emma (aka actress Emma Griffiths Malin) is far too pretty to be the Wicked Witch of the East, but goes for it, with black cape, black witch's hat - and face a bilious green. There are industrial quantities of cobweb, and thick clouds of smoke from full-scale Hammer House Gothic smoke generators.
In the room at the top, lovely Susan Griffiths (Emma's mum) is entertaining young gentlemen (and ladies) in her boudoir - around 50 of them, packed tight.
The crush of corpses on the stairs makes descent more hazardous than Sir Edmund Hillary's epic assault on the South Col - but warmer. A devilish-looking man's chatting up a seductive witch. 'Are you going down' asks an impatient ghoulette trying to squeeze past. 'I will if she lets me,' he replies, slyly. Blimey - the script's being written by Sid James.
The drinks come from steaming pumpkin cauldrons. There's a dense aroma of incense. In the main room there's a mass of ivy and sepulchral accessories. A pretty Japanese girl looks awestruck and puzzled. Indie record label director Gus Robertson DJs the music - including his definitive band The Carnival of Souls. Best hat's on a beguiling witch - it's in the shape of a lyre. There are warlock boys fluent in RP in formal suits - like Etonian undertakers (but with less mascara), and girls in languorous gowns.
An elegantly tough girl made up in Goth looks at the phalanx on the stair. 'Oh no,' she whispers plaintively, 'Is that the queue to the loo?' A gorgeously ample witch carries all before her. Her magnificent bosoms burst from her corset like mischievous pumpkins.
John Park - London - (c) www.fringereport.com - Monday 31 October 05.
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Rakishly handsome actor Gareth Kane birthdays at fashionable Bar Soho - surrounded by adoring female fans (and some men too).
It's a hot late-summer's night, there's music in the air, and the bar spills out onto Old Compton Street - which is packed with relaxed drinkers. Gareth's just finished a run of The Soap Kitchen at Edinburgh 05. He was in the repertory company of The Lift at Ed 04 and many of both casts are here. Those here include Gareth's year at ALRA, and friends from his work with NewsRevue, fringe and independent film.
Here's pretty blonde-haired actress and choreographer Alison Collinge - looks like an angel, but with a definitely impish smile - who's just completed her new short film. Actor Steve Sobel worries he might be joining the middle class as he's buying a house in Tooting.
Outrageously good-looking Phil Andrews is ultra-smart in suit tonight, and suavely tanned like a Sicilian businessman not short of a horse's head. As well as acting and running a successful events company, Phil is converting a Lincoln church to a theatre - it's opening late 2005. The new theatre is near (but not the same as) Lincoln Cathedral where Tom Hanks has been filming The Da Vinci Code.
Lovely Ruth Bratt was in Ed 04 The Lift, and this year's Soap Kitchen. Charming Dan Marsh is drinking fruit juice - he's up at 5am tomorrow feature filming, then a commercial on Friday. Brilliant Phil Lunn - who used to have a great job examining breasts by day and playing piano and directing NewsRevue by night (plus ca change) - is now working on a Margaret Thatcher musical with Peter Styles and two other writers. Soap Kitchen (Ed 05), The Lift (Ed 04) artistic director, and relaxed sex-symbol Steve Keyworth is expected later. But then, so was Godot.
Pretty red-haired actress and City insurance executive Karen Lister has just acted in Sedos (Stock Exchange Dramatic and Operatic Society)'s Eurovision musical. She's making costumes for their forthcoming Jekyll & Hyde at Wilton's Music Hall.
John Park - Bar Soho - (c) www.fringereport.com - Wednesday 14 September 05.
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The report on this fantastic party is on the Edinburgh 05 events page here
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It's the first birthday of fanzine-mainstream crossover music magazine Plan B, the first night of an exhibition of their art and photography, the first live gig by Pro Forma since signing to Franz Ferdinand's Paul Thomson's label New! Records, a relaxed party at Pearlfisher. But more importantly, it's a bake-off between Pil & Galia Kollectiv, and graceful PR Samantha Jayne Hulston.
Those here include: Pretty Rebecca Cross, artist. Handsome and relaxed Daniel Trilling, Plan B albums editor. Dainty Samantha Jayne Hulston, arts PR and Fringe Report 5-star recipé writer. Pretty Kathryn Sloane, Pearlfisher, on door. Artists Pil and Galia Kollectiv. Dashing Stuart Turnbull, editor of style magazine Good For Nothing; it's been going for 4 months; Stuart used to edit the Shoreditch Twat. Urbane Stevie Chick, well-known music journalist and Plan B writer. Handsome and hunky Simon O'Connell, on the door, curates Pearlfisher Gallery; it's set in a large old house with a front garden, opposite a church and EMI (Virgin's round the back) in hyper-chic Brook Green (that's the Kensington end rather than the staid and drab Shepherds Bush Road end). Pearlfisher's a 'future-focused design agency'; they do package design for Absolut Vodka; Pearlfisher Gallery aims to showcase unsigned artists related to design. Frances Morgan, Plan B editor. Chris Houghton, Plan B editor-in-chief. Lovely Sasha Horne, Pearlfisher, marketing, PR, business development. Stylish Alex Macpherson, a Plan B sub-editor ('and general all-round wonderful boy' whispers Samantha Jayne Hulston, 'he's my fashion adviser'); Alex is off to music and art festival Sonar in Barcelona tomorrow. Gracelette, Plan B live editor. Marianna Longmire, a Plan B sub-editor, is in Barcelona for Sonar. Nancy Durrant, Sunday Times art critic. Manly Everett True, Plan B publisher. Charming Anna-Marie Fitzgerald, Plan B events manager, and DJ - as Token Girl. Anna-Marie has fabulous gray eyes and is stylish in Top Shop white polka-dot on cerise pink dress; with pretty and longish, shaggy black hair; late-80s black leather belt; white leather slouch bag; pink vintage peep-toe high heels with pink bows; pink pearl bracelet; pink earrings; Annamarie necklace from 93 Feet East.
Expected include: CJ Clark. Andrew Spackman. Marese McGrane. Linzie Hunter. Andrew Whitton. Cat Stevens. Kerry O'Sullivan. Matilda Tristram. Alex Sushon. Andy Ennis. Craig Watkins. Stephen Copping. Frances Castle. James Nichols. Matt Turner. Frances May Morgan. Daryl Waller. Janine Robinson. Pauliina Shaw. Ralph Hall. Andrew Clare. Maak Newton. Pill Kalli. Anthony Wallace. Simon Fernandez. Katie Toms. Andy Escott. Jussi Brightmore. Ali Hutchinson. Guy Clark. Mike Baluk.
Progressive media guests quite possibly here include: Suzy Prince, Nude Magazine. Nicola De Main, Nicola De Main. Seb Emina, Spitz. Harry, SRD. Charlotte Clark, Arrested. Scott Bartlett, Velocity. Sarah Wilson, Matador. Elin Carlsson, Sainted. Nadia Khan, Ablaze. Steve Palmer, Wace. Gary Walker, Domino. John-Paul Harold, Karma Download. Sarah Watson, EMI. Hannah Gould, Beggars Banquet. Tom Woolfenden, Resonance. Emma Pettit, ICA. Mike Exon, Design Week. Serena Kutchinsky, London Line. Sian Walker, Stones. Marcus Scott, Warp. Jenny Pashkova, Lumin. Rosie Wilby, Piranha. Doug Gray, Sainted. Rich Walker, Beggars Banquet. Zoe Miller, Mute. Sarah Lowe, Mute. Allison Schnackenberg, Southern. Elliott Linger, Mediacom. Nick Maule, Studio K7. Lisa Southern, Southern PR. Richard Ardley, Media Campaign Services. Erica Macarthur, White Rose Movement. Kay Ishikawa, Cargo. Fiona Wooton, Spitz. Jon Lee, Lateral. Shoko Ishikawa, Cargo.
Pro Forma used to contain Paul Thomson; he went on to fame (Franz Ferdinand) but didn't forget his mates. He now has his own record label (Now!), and releases their next single Lapses In Diction / You Say, Repeat as Now!'s first product. The four-strong band (3M, 1F) delivers a strong set tonight, loud, rocky, great. Their last CD was on tsk! tsk! Records, released November 04 after their national tour. Called Pro Forma, it included tracks and a video recorded while Paul Thomson was in the band: Human Error, The Passion Prefix, Sexual Design, Cracked Machine, Ist Schon, The Passion Prefix (video). Folk-ish Canadian duo The Diskettes play first, their earlier CD was Do What You Need To Do, the new album is Island View Beach
Tonight's also the private view of Exhibit B, commissioned art and photographs from Plan B's first year. Review is here. Those exhibiting include Superdead, Joe Dilworth, Iain Paxton, Vincent Vanoli, Daryl Waller, Frances Castle, Charles Petterson, John Bagnall, Grant Peden, Robert Ramsden, Craig Watkins, Andrew Clare, Lucy Bailey, Hennie Hayworth, Till Thomas, Nathan Fletcher, Janine Robinson, Andrew Whitton, Simon Fernandez, Lindsay Wright, Jussi Brightmore, Tom Genower, Cat Stevens, Genevičve Castrée, Lauren Gregg, Bruce Ingham, Anthony Wallace, Kerry O'Sullivan, Maak Newton, Steve Gullick, Marcus Oakley, Sarah Bowles, Lady Lucy.
And that important bake-off. Food tonight is cakes from rival artistes. In the high-fashion-stakes corner, dainty Samantha Jayne Hulston. Samantha Jayne (photographed by Vogue while an ever-stylish student) looks gorgeous in retro-form skirt, blue pleats with pink trim, from Rokit; underwear top from Debenhams in chrome green, slightly see-through. Risqué Samantha Jayne shyly confides 'My eye make-up matches my bra colours - fuschia pink and turquoise blue'. SJ's hair is brown tonight, cut page-boy 'with some mismatched lengths'. Shoes are flip-flops with pink toe varnish. Accessories are a deckchair-striped bag; purple-stoned silver ring. In the high-art corner, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, wife and husband artists who create and exhibit together; their most recent exhibition was at Kate MacGarry, Bethnal Green Road. They also bake together, and present Chocolate Cherry CupCakes; Peanut Butter CupCakes; Cappuccino CupCakes; Plain Chocolate CupCakes. Is Samantha Jayne out-manoeuvred by this cupcake heavy artillery? Of course not. She produces 'Chocolate Splodge Dusted With Cocoa Powder' (the strong-nerved wishing to try this at home can follow Samantha Jayne's Fudgy Chocolate Mass recipé, but without the raspberries); and a Nigella recipé with Samantha Jayne adjustments: Lemon And Almond Sponge Squares with Almond Essence Icing & Raspberry Decoration. This is an increasingly un-serious contest, with a lot of tasting, plus a lot of Glenfiddich malt whisky and Absolut Vodka from the free bar. Very quickly, all the cakes go -and all are wonderful. It's a triumphant draw with compliments all round - and hopes for a re-match and tasting soon. Cupcakes at dawn.
John Park - Pearlfisher Gallery - (c) www.fringereport.com - Wednesday 15 June 05 - thanks for additional reporting to Rebecca Cross and Samantha Jayne Hulston.
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Tonight's the launch of a fabulous new scheme to get films made. Stars of the night are (alpha order) Andy Hui, Hayley Manning, Jonty Kenton, Luke Morris, Richard Fenwick, Toby McDonald. They're the six finalists sharing Ł30k to make three films in the Reel Talent Award - aptly titled as the sponsor is Smirnoff Experience. The venue is Dave Stewart's fabulous recording/film/tv studio/club The Hospital.
The Hospital's delightful Sonya Watt explains how the awards work. Tonight's six winners are three teams of two people. Each team has one writer/director and one producer. These three teams are the final selection based on many who previously submitted showreels. Judging was by award partner The Script Factory - who now give each winning team a 3-day intensive script development course. Each team receives value of Ł10k, of which about Ł8.5k is film budget. Each team has 2 months to make a film. The three films are judged in September 05, and the overall winning film announced early October 05. Films will be previewed, and the winning film distributed with award partner Shorts International. Sponsors are Smirnoff Experience; partners are The Hospital, The Script Factory, Shorts International, and Intrepido - who are executive producers on the project, and The Independent On Sunday. The website is www.reeltalentaward.co.uk for definitive information.
Speeches happen quickly, before everyone gets too pissed on the sponsor's product - available tonight in industrial falling-over quantity. Duncan Cargill is creative director of The Hospital. Duncan says: 'Tonight is an opportunity to celebrate talent, new ideas, to applaud the finalists. There's been a huge number of entries - we're grateful to the judges. The finalists will benefit from support, networking dinners, and funding.' He mentions the importance of music in the brief for the films; he thanks the sponsors and Jen Angel & Sonya Watt at The Hospital.
Rosalind Healy is the sponsor's repesentative - brand manager of Smirnoff Experience and Smirnoff Vodka. Ros says: 'I'm excited. It's the first time I've seen the films.' She explains that the sponsor is delighted to support the start of six careers. Smirnoff Experience's music sponsorship started 7 years ago at a club night in Scotland. 'We try to create a rich and fantastic experience for our punters. We're crossing the music experience into film with this event.' They favour support 'at grass-roots level'.
Briony Hanson is co-director - The Script Factory. She is to announce the finalists. 'It really has rocked. It's been a hard job to pick the films - because the calibre of the huge number of entries was so good. All the judges were unanimous about the winning films. Ros will present the finalists with red envelopes. The films are: LOVE LETTER: The film submitted was Cherry. The film they will make is heart-breaking and sweet, almost entirely without words. Richard Fenwick, writer/director; Hayley Manning, producer. TAKE ME BACK: We wanted the three teams to feed off each other, with different levels of experience. This team are relatively fresh out of college. There's a musical heartbeat, the story reveals the truth about a relationship that isn't what it seems. Jonty Kenton, writer/director; Andy Hui, producer. The last film is slightly shrouded in mystery. It has no title and is now - as of a few minutes ago - known as UNTITLED WORLD CINEMA STORY: They are the most experienced team, their last film was Je T'Aime John Wayne, a UK short that's on most peoples top 10, certainly on mine. They don't want me to say too much about it, just "it does for World Cinema what Je T'Aime John Wayne did for French New Wave".' Luke Morris, writer/director; Toby McDonald, producer.
Rosalind Healy gives envelopes to the six winners, and it's down to serious drinking. There's a DJ, and showreels are shown on a screen during the evening.
Those here tonight include: Charming Andy Hui, producer, Take Me Back; his background was first in economics, overcome by a passion for film. Pretty red-haired Hayley Manning is producer of Love Letter; she's from both South Africa and Newcastle on Tyne and works in production. Debonair Jonty Kenton, writer/director of Take Me Back, is a musician by background. Jonty explains he's involved in Traficante Records, with Jade Fox, Eska, and Acoustic Ladyland: 'Traficante is a group of musicians, DJs, VJs, film-makers; through that we made a film called This Is Me', which Joney wrote and directed. Luke Morris, writer/director - Untitled. Tall slim and handsome Richard Fenwick, writer/director, Love Letter, came originally from Newcastle on Tyne. Toby McDonald, producer - Untitled. Pretty Briony Hanson, co-director, The Script Factory explains that the Script Factory makes a bridge between film-makers and the film industry; they run training programmes for writers, producers, developers; and do events, previews, master-classes with experienced film-makers. Ebullient Rosalind Healy, blonde and gorgeous brand manager at Diageo for Smirnoff Experience and Smirnoff Vodka. Duncan Cargill, creative director, The Hospital - lean, with matinee idol good looks. Pretty, bubbly, petite and gorgeous Sarah Winborn used to work in the film industry including Curzon Cinemas; she's now switched to theatre, as stage manager. Recklessly handsome Jon Mortimer organises the 50 Quid Film Festival - the next one launches June 05, with films in by October 05 and screenings November 05. Jon's company It's All Electric are distributing new film The Plague online. Gorgeous flame-haired belle Daisy Gili - it's pronounced jilly and comes from Catalonia - is principal, London Film Academy; they teach using super-16 film. Charming Philip Ilson runs the Halloween Short Film Festival with Kate Taylor; and is short film programmer for Curzon Cinemas - he took over from lovely Florence Tissot; Philip will be co-ordinating the Curzon's Short Film Summer School, 6-9 July 05. Effervescent and lovely Emily Shawyer runs networking group Club Panico for London Film Academy; and short film distribution label Underground Films. Charming and stylish Jen Angel is Hospital's business development director. Hospital's Sherry Adhami does press for the event. Handsome film guru Joe Bateman (ex-Curzon and now Hospital's cinema & event programmer), and Hospital's gorgeous media and legal co-ordinator Sonya Watt organise tonight.
John Park - The Hospital - (c) www.fringereport.com - Wednesday 1 June 05.
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Eastern Europe theatrical extravaganza Feeast is launched today with a party at the fabulous Hungarian Cultural Centre. It runs 30 June to 9 July 05 at Riverside Studios, and features theatre from Hungary, Ukraine, Poland. Joint directors are Diana Cezar and Liudmila Edwards.
Katalin Bogyay, Director, Hungarian Cultural Centre (HCC), describes the HCC as a place where all people from all religions 'can meet, and inspire each other'. She welcomes colleagues from the other Eastern Europe diplomatic missions in London. All at first had so much to do in the UK, she recalls, that 'we didn't have time to concentrate on the region we're coming from. It's wonderful to have a festival of theatre from Eastern Europe. And we have a love affair with the Riverside Studios. Here are the two wonderful ladies who created Feeast.'
It happened in Holland Park. Their eyes probably met across a pink flamingo. Liudmila Edwards remembers the moment she first encountered fellow director Diana Cezar. 'We met in a park in Notting Hill. 2 weeks later we were doing the festival.' Liudmila Edwards is half-Romanian, and on her mother's side, half-Russian. Her background is film, and her documentary on dealing with playground bullying, Time To Talk, Time To Listen (directed, shot, cut by Liudmila Edwards, 31min-42sec) premieres at the Phoenix East Finchley, on 26 May 05. 'And now Diana's enthusiasm is corrupting me into theatre.'
Diana Cezar: 'It's a great pleasure to see you all here for the beginning of a dream come true. There's been a year-long nurturing process for Feeast. As a theatre artist I felt the need for an international network. As an Eastern European artist I felt the need for a platform in the UK. We had to get the courage to say the work is needed. That was one of our main motivations. Also, to give a voice to the Eastern European communities. Our aim is to gather them, put their actors together, get together, feast together - and enjoy it.'
She thanks sponsors including easyJet, the Gay Hussar, and the event's solicitors - someone from each firm is here. This first Feeast 05 features the a piece of work from each of 3 countries - Hungary, Poland, Ukraine. The idea is that more countries and more work will be involved in future. Diana Cezar: 'We would like the festival to be a pool of resources for artists, promoters, sponsors, for the years to come. And to extend it to other countries - Central and Eastern Europe.' There's a video showing extracts from the three pieces - Mimirichi (Ukraine), Cosmino (Poland), Krétakőr (Hungary www.kretakor.hu) - details are at the Feeast website.
Jon Fawcett (Programming Director, Riverside Studios): 'The Riverside has always been a home for international performances' (Jon's mobile goes off at this point, and there is a short intermission). 'We were delighted to get your proposal, and delighted that it is happening. I hope it is the first of many such festivals.'
Those at today's launch include: Robin Jones. Emma Curwood - marketing manager, SE England, easyJet. Handsome and urbane Mahmood Patel - Barbados hotelier and director of the Bridgetown Film Festival; Mahmood's relaxed in bright orange trousers, red shoes and white shirt. Lovely Alexandra Gammie - press and marketing guru (AGPR). Mari Juhasoo - actress, from the Estonian Embassy. Braindusa Tipa. Debonair Christopher Ager - author of Carry On Ealing and journalist (Offstage). Laurence Dooley - solicitor, (Michael Reason). Dr Lubomyr Mazur - President of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, and co-editor of its journal Ukrayinska Dumka (Ukranian Thought). The journal's former distinguished editor Major Dr Swiatomyr Fostun was tragically killed in 2004 in a car accident in Lviv Oblast, according to a Ukrainian Weekly report by Vasyl Pawlowsky. According to Vasyl Pawlowsky, the then 80-year-old Maj Dr Swiatomyr Fostun was also 'chairman of the Association of Ukrainian Former Combatants in Great Britain and former general secretary of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain'.
The handsome and urbane Alexander Yarovoy - managing director, Baltic Trade Ltd. HCC literature and theatre events producer, pretty and charming Enikő Leányvári - looks gorgeous in black top, with green skirt, sexy high heels, long brown hair, elegant gold family-heirloom necklace - and fishnet tights - ooh la la! Lovely Malgorzata Szum - acting director, Polish Cultural Institute. Kate Barazetti . Debonair Gregg Hone - restaurateur, Gay Hussar. HCC director, gorgeous Katalin Bogyay looks fabulous in electric blue jacket and matching - sexily short - skirt, with lots of pretty blonde hair in ringlets, lots of gold jewellery including necklaces and bracelet, and demure black shoes. Handsome and relaxed Jon Fawcett - programming director, Riverside Studios in elegant black suit and white shirt. Feeast co-director, pretty Liudmila Edwards looks divine, with lustrous dark brown hair in long tresses, smoulderingly black-brown eyes, black cullottes, outrageously sexy black felt boots, woolly top, petite purse on her belt, and spiralling bracelet. Liudmila spent 7 years in Romanian TV in documentaries as an investigative journalist. Delightful Irena Hamilton - from the Latvian Embassy. Sandra Lanigan - solicitor, (Michael Reason). Fabulous Judi Herman - playwright and broadcaster (BBC World Service). Alena Hornicka.
Jeremy Kingston - legendary journalist (The Times). Feeast co-director, pretty Diana Cezar dazzles in sensational ankle-length sheer and shiny grey velvet skirt, black tunic top with grey fluting and zip detail - with the top studs sexily ripped open - and boots, with long tumbling blondish hair, gorgeous blue-gray eyes and plum eyeliner. Diana's Romanian, and explains that passengers on state airline Tarom clap when the pilot lands not from relief and a sense of wonder at their survival, but because (Diana says) Romanian pilots are famous for their perfect landings. Diana lived in Canada, and came to the UK via a stay in Barbados. Today she's wearing fabulous West Indies trident silver earrings. Delightful Sarah Mallett - marketing manager, Riverside Studios. Nancy Bishop - PR (AGPR). Pretty Renata Clark (deputy director, Czech Centre) looks like a gorgeous younger version of Charlotte Rampling, with vivid cool-blue eyes - flashes from which must have broken many a Bohemian heart. That's the part of Czech Republic that Renata comes from; Bohemia, she explains, has strong Celtic blood-ties. Dan Rugina - solicitor, (Michael Reason). Charming handsome and sexy actor Kuba Pierzchalski, from Cosmino, whose show Double represents Poland in Feeast; Kuba looks dashing in couture blue jeans, pinstripe jacket, t-shirt and fabulous thick silver choker-chain.
John Park - Hungarian Cultural Centre - (c) www.fringereport.com - Wednesday 25 May 05.
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Tonight sees the launch of eating at Portobello Road gallery The Muse. It's the start of a week of events - the formal opening of The Muse. Styled Food @ The Muse, the food aspect of the gallery is partnered by Mukesh Patel, restaurateur Gil Reddick, star chef Tom Kime, and Muse Director Damian Rayne. The Muse has been open over the last 18 months, showing work by artists and assembling its business components. The formal launch this week draws together its three aspects of art, food, and membership club.
Damian Rayne describes The Muse as 'a stepping stone to gallery representation' for artists after graduation. He sees a 'sybiotic relationship between food and the arts'. Chef Tom Kime describes his food as a balance of flavours between the quartet of 'hot, sweet, salt, sour', adding 'It's definitely not fusion.'
It's a night of revelation about beaver. But first, the food.
Tonight's a foodie feast. It's a 'tasting dinner' with people sitting at stark white banquettes laid out on the diagonal through the gallery - impeccably served by a squad of fabulously sexy waitresses. There's salad of spice caremelized pears with Spanish Pichos cheese, shaved Manchego (don't ask), mint, rocket and walnuts. The main course is in three parts. Herb cured gravadlax of sea bass with roast beetroot, mustard and horseradish dressing. Rare grilled tuna carpaccio, with salted lemon and caper salsa; crisp fennel, celery and mint salad. Salt and cinnamon roast pork belly with chilli and star anise (no chocolate starfish jokes); hot and sour green mango salad with coriander and roast peanuts. There are side dishes including sweet potatoes. Desserts are individual chocolate puddings with orange, ginger and dried chilli, served with cantucci and marinated strawberries. There is a great deal of drink. Cue beaver? No, wait.
People here include: Distinguished campaigner for Brazilian street children, Aninha Capaldi. Arianna Brissi, founder of Brissi. Charming and magnificent journalist Marcus Scriven, regular contributor to the Evening Standard, and author of The Black Book of the Aristocracy - a romp through its naughtier reaches. Jason Bartolo. Beautiful Susan Young (bride of absent and distinguished celebrity photographer Richard Young, author of Shooting Stars) and Hannah Young. 30 years of Richard Young's career were celebrated in an exhibition at Hospital in summer 2004. PR and marketing belle Alana Pryce stuns in Philmore - a naughty and elegant (very) little black dress in punched material with beaded embroidery. Her usually-long brown hair is cut bobbed; accessories are diamante vintage earrings and raunchy knee-high commando-style black leather boots. Plus lots of bare Alana - lovely. Muse Director, relaxed and handsome Damian Rayne, equipped with beard, and what looks like a school satchel. Lovely Tori Murphy waitresses expertly tonight, and blushes prettily. Sam Parkhouse, journalist and author of Powerful Women - Dancing on the Glass Ceiling. Siobhan McKeating, who jointly runs Brissi. Johnny Thalayasingham. Stylish and sexy designer and artist Elizabeth Emanuel (exhibition review). Lovely artist Rebecca Cross, whose work is on display tonight is stunningly dressed, her pretty black hair elegantly cut. Darren Hayes's joint manager - gorgeous Leonie Messer, CEO of Magnolia Music Management. Daniel & Cadence Lane. Alexa Duvall. Nick Taylor. Stylish and handsome Chris Sleeman in fetching cream linen jacket and blue jeans. Beautiful actress Sarah Robinson, divinely blonde, waitresses with flair. Tonight's chef, Muse head chef and TV broadcaster Tom Kime. Good-looking actor - tonight in elegant white shirt - Jason Donovan, recently Jon Peregrine in director Shawn Seet's film Loot. Robert Conley. Lovely singer Louise Redknapp; Louise's footballer husband Jamie Redknapp is away in America. Jemma George. Muse studio manager and creative consultant Anne Windsor, (exhibition review). Anna Poyser. Andrew Howard. Darren Hayes fan - and enthusiastic contributor to his website - Lana Penrose. Etienne Ozeki's Indigo Collective owner and Food @ The Muse entrepreneur, the urbane and distinguished Mukesh Patel. Gorgeous PR Luisa Kelsey, about to give birth early June, by appointment. No, Luisa's not too posh to push - it's that baby's big and pretty Luisa is petite. So mum's wisely going for induction. Pretty Oxford Brookes publishing graduette Anna Scott, former Polo publication doyenne and www.quintessentially.com advertising guru, now in PR. Pretty red-haired artist and Muse funding and community initiatives specialist K Hare. K (Karen) looks fabulous in couture black trouser suit, big white Softec watch, and hello-sailor-the-fleet's-in-port red-striped matelot T. K wears it tight over either impressive embonpoint or a concealed body-worn installation piece entitled Egypt - The Twin Pyramids. With artists you never can tell. Divine Chantal Rutherford Browne, UKTV commissioning executive. Handsome and relaxed Tony Drew. Kylie Burgess-Kime. Isobel Raymond. Fabulous actor Nickolas Grace, seen first as a lad as Anthony Blanche in Brideshead Revisited; more recently in the French Chancellor in Russell T Davies's Casanova (2005); and upcoming as Nathaniel Meadowsweet in Julia Taylor-Stanley's These Foolish Things (2005). Food @ The Muse partner and tonight's charming host Gil Reddick. Gil's elegant, debonair and stylish in black velvet jacket, open white shirt, loose-cut blue jeans, all (apart from Gil) by Etienne Ozeki. Food and lifestyle writer Astrid Mannion. Charming Nick Hackworth - Evening Standard contemporary art critic (ie Not Brian Sewell) and Dazed & Confused art editor - invited but sadly absent. Here is Savage Garden's charismatic and sexy Darren Hayes, with earring and in black. Angela & Colin Radcliffe. Jennifer Sharp. Respectively beautiful and handsome Ivana & Marcus Sieberer. Dr Marcus Sieberer is a principal in the Vienna office of McKinsey & Co. These are the management consultants founded by James O McKinsey (1889 - 1937) in 1926, not to be confused with sex specialist Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956), played by Liam Neeson in Kinsey. Richard O embraced business; Alfred, anything that moved. Reviewer Eleanor Maidment. Martine Carter. Artist Linda Lieberman. Food personality and former joint proprietor of meteoric Columbus Restaurant Loyd Grossman is elsewhere, reportedly at the Chelsea Flower Show Evening Gala Dinner. Kate Riley. Georgina & Karim Juma. Rakishly handsome gossip editor Guy Adams, Pandora at The Independent, and distinguished London Marathon 2005 runner.
Pretty tousled-red-haired Suzanne Martin (CEO, SMA PR), whose PR work includes international chess and the World Scrabble Championship, is vegetarian and nut-allergic. It's a potential challenge to a menu majoring in meat, fish, walnuts and peanuts, but chef Tom Kime whisks up alternatives including a asparagus tart in dayglo-green. Suzanne is with her raunchy lover William Hartston. He's written shelves of books on chess (including How To Cheat At Chess, and Soft Pawn), she organises tournaments. So that's how they met - chess. Apparently they don't play it together - Suzanne shyly confides they have more interesting pastimes (she might mean draughts). Rakishly-handsome William Hartston, tonight in black jacket and yellow-squared tie, writes Beachcomber for the Daily Express. A five-times-a-night-bonking-Beachcomber? It's Richard Desmond. He's been putting Viagra in the tea.
Debonair William Hartston describes his new book as 'an encyclopaedia of pointless knowledge'. It's a lovingly-compiled 100,000 word, 460 page doorstop of entirely useless knowledge called 'What's What' (Waterstone Ł9.99, Amazon Ł6.99, out on 2 June 05). Gorgeous Suzanne Martin knows every page of it too, and reveals roué William's (other) sensual passion - chocolate. The Express sounds more interesting by the minute.
Beaver. Stunning PR Luisa Kelsey reveals her risqué past. First, there was the drama degree - 3 years of training in theatrical ways. Then, the career in luxury goods PR. It was during this time that she represented Belvoir. No harm in that - or so you might think. It turns out, Luisa whispers, that Belvoir - innocent makers of wholesome fruit cordials - is pronounced beaver. Really. And Belvoir Castle too.
So if Richard Desmond - or that lad from Beachcomber - tries to interest you in what sounds like a beaver split, it's OK. It's a kind of dessert.
John Park - The Muse - (c) www.fringereport.com - Monday 23 May 05 - thanks for additional reporting to Alana Pryce, Gil Reddick, Luisa Kelsey, Anna Scott, K Hare.
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Gorgeous Sarah Choppen marries handsome Graham Smit at a stylish wedding in the opulent surroundings of Margham's historic Orangery. Sarah is given away by proud dad Tony Choppen. Graham's parents attend from South Africa. There are 50 guests. The ceremony is conducted by Lisbeth Johns from the British Humanist Association.
Lovely Sarah Choppen is a fabulous actress (Daisy Craddock in Everyone Loves Me! - FR Awards 03 - Best Musical). She's also a director (Chain Reaction Theatre Company) - so the wedding ceremony is expertly structured. It's also simple, and moving, particularly when bride and groom exchange the vows they have written. Lisbeth Johns MCs with dignity; Alison Wheeler reads poetry; best man Robert Forrester remembers the rings. The bride looks divine, so does the groom. The guests behave.
Pretty Sarah wears a lace veil and stunning tuille-covered mother-of-pearl dress with diamante sparkle and outrageously long train. Handsome Graham looks great in a tailored white suit. Accessories are orange, picking up the venue's Orangery themee - the men's ties, and buttonholes; the bride's bouquet. The two lovely bridesmaids wear matching orange dresses from breast to knee, bare above and below - sexy and elegant. Men of the immediate families wear morning dress.
The wedding is hosted by Sarah's handsome dad Tony Choppen and his lovely partner Jo South - she's in couture white suit with black pinstripes, and black-ostrich-feather hat. Guests include Alison Wheeler - Sarah's former colleague at Chain Reaction, now co-host of Radio Victor's breakfast show - and her fiance. Delightful actress Sarah Strong was also with lovely bride Sarah at Chain Reaction, and is now joint CEO of Fortress Productions. Best man Robert Forrester, food supremo at North London's dazzling new venue Arts Depot. Pretty Caroline, who's travelled from Biggin Hill, her pretty friend from Brighton, and their rugged brother boyfriends.
It's the start of a wild bank holiday weekend. Bride and groom, and many of the guests, are staying at Swansea's stylish Grand Hotel till Sunday. The wedding's at 3.30 on Friday, a bright summer's day, followed by a formal meal in the evening. The party starts here.
John Park - The Orangery, Margham Country Park, South Wales - (c) www.fringereport.com - Friday 29 April 05.
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Posh inter-European network Nomads meets tonight in Rupert Street's ritzy underground and womb-like Rex Bar. It's hosted by ebullient producer/director Andrea zur Strassen, CEO of
Creativity In Action.
Those here tonight include: pretty French banker Stephanie Bickel and her handsome English fiancé Tim Sutton. Estate agent CEO of LonDomus (www.londomus.com) Agota Richardson, originally from Hungary. Gorgeous Austrian jewellery designer Daniela Nessmann. Daniela Nessmann and Andrea zur Strassen met on the set of Hire or Fire, Germany's equivalent to TV reality show The Apprentice - they beat 5,500 others to be two of the televised house. The show featured John de Mol - co-founder with Joop van den Ende of Endemol - in the Donald Trump / Sir Alan Sugar role.
Here's charming financial services writer Lucia Dore from New Zealand. UK entrepreneur Oliver Barrett. IT expert Graeme Hughes, originally from Australia but now settled in London. German logistics marketing specialist Fanny Weidenmüller. Pretty Ildiko Szalai-Szücs from the Hungarian Embassy's cultural section. Australian marketing specialist Jillian Marsh. Yvonne Kramer, editor. Viljar Lubi from the Estonian Embassy. Costume designer Suncana Dulic. Event manager Sam Fyson. Playwright Roberto Trippini. Rashid A Khatib-Shahidi, entrepreneur. Film maker Rafal Marcinkow. Critic Phillip Bergson. Consultant Paul Richardson. Polish architects Patrycja Zaczynska and her fiancé Chris, both recently arrived from New York. Life coaches Paolo Andrea Dalla Fina and Stephan Hein. Bankers Justyna Hubert and Shelley Cooper. Jon Woolfson, founder, Jewish Entrepreneur Network. Gemma Johnson, CEO of Johnson & Co (www.johnsontailors.com). Balazs Szucs from the Hungarian Tourist Board. Investment banker Anke Reingen. Alejandro Rodriguez Valencia from the Peruan Embassy. Lovely Lithuanian editor and trend analyst Kristina Dryza. Andrea zur Strassen's handsome husband, Frankfurt-born Bernhard zur Strassen. Sultry style icon, actress and FR writer, pretty Sarah Shavel. Sexy PR and Franz Kafka expert, lovely Samantha Jayne Hulston, currently Head of Press at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC). At Edinburgh Fringe 05, Samantha worked press at The Underbelly with lovely Penny Sims.
A week after the event, Andrea zur Strassen explains her vision in setting up Nomads. She's supremely stylish and infectiously bubbly, with lots of tousled pretty brown hair, green eyes underlined with glitter, and a needlecord jacket that's a riot of patterned red flowers. She's wearing delicate pink sandals with rosebuds and matching pink bag, white trousers, and - a German tribute to Essex Girls - an expensive white plastic raincoat. And a gorgeous pair of oval 60s flower-power-framed Coccinelle sunglasses.
Andrea zur Strassen wrote her master's dissertation at Bamberg University on Literary Salons in the Eighteenth Century, in particular that run by the Jewish society hostess Rahel Levin, and another by Henriette Herz. As Andrea zur Strassen's career developed, she retained the inspiration of a meeting of intellects and cultural exchange. After her degree in German Literature, Communications and Psychology, she gained a scholarship to study Marketing & PR at New Paltz University in New York State. She worked at NBC Dateline in New York's Rockerfeller Centre, and subsequently lived in Munich and Zurich - where she founded Nomads.
For a woman born and brought up in Cologne to Hungarian parents, Andrea zur Strassen was bi-lingual in German and Hungarian from childhood - and brought up with a pan-European (and beyond) outlook. The Nomads concept was, she says 'instead of sitting at home and watching TV, to have an active instead of passive role. To exchange knowledge. To speak about, instead of only consuming, theatre, art, music, culture.'
Currently she organises events for big international companies, and does market research and trend-spotting for clients. She was a documentary film-maker, with wide experience of broadcast projects - on subjects from mummies (the stuffed kind), London Art Deco, skin colours, autism, Alzheimer's - for the Discovery Channel. So it would be natural for her to create a network of media people.
But her object is much broader. Nomads aims to bring in anyone in London on the move through the world - and a lot of Londoners too (30%) - in any career, and of any age. There are around 450 Nomads at present - from 0 when Andrea zur Strassen arrived in London in February 2003 - with around 100 attending any one of the monthly events. She ensures a personal touch, remembering names and introducing people to people at each event. Venues include Atlantic, Ascot, picnics in Hyde Park, Adam Street, Cinnamon Club, Café de Paris, Red Bar, ice-skating at Somerset House, an all-women night at Bridget Jones.
Her summary of the concept is simple. She sucks coffee milkshake seductively through a straw and flashes a shy smile: 'Creativity in action'.
John Park met Andrea zur Strassen on 7 May 05 - Nomads met at Rex Cinema + Bar, 21 Rupert Street, London W1V 7FE on 28 April 05 - (c) www.fringereport.com
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It's a cautiously-warm English sunny day. The District and Circle lines close down. This may be a cheeky St George's Day riposte to former German Chancellor Hitler, whose birthday fell this week and who failed to invade. Not only don't the trains run on time, they don't run at all.
There's a party for Fringe Report's delightful and distinguished new Advisory Board. It's attended by members of FR's Consultancy Board, FR's gifted and dazzingly attractive writers, and guests.
Those here include pretty and ever-stylish Zena Barrie. TV programme developer, tall and handsome Tom Hopgood. Ebullient and newly-engaged producer Tally Parr. Lovely journalist Takako Hall. Supremely beautiful actress Sue Scott Davison, licensed to drive theatre's sexiest voice. Talented graphic designer Richard Dragun, who kindly designs FR's award certificates. Gifted FR writer - and former hippy - Peter Andrews, who's manfully making the day-return journey from Durham to be here today. FR's pretty and elegant writer, lovely blonde-haired actress Sarah Shavel. Kitten-on-the-keys inspirational pianist, musical director Pete Smith. FR's lovely writer, and doyenne of inflatable life-jacket demonstrators, air hostess Samantha Darling. Lovely PR Penny Sims. Relaxed and handsome publicist Paul Sullivan. Ebullient director and FR writer Mike Miller. Gorgeous and charming theatre director and comedy manager Michelle Flower. The delightful director and actor Michael Sarne. Comedy writer and director, debonaire Marc Blakewill. Pretty and charming producer Lynne Parker. Lovely actress Katie Warren. Pretty artist Jolanta Jagiello. Handsome comedy writer, director and producer James Harris. Society, theatre, and Loaded Magazine ace photographer James Betts. Lovely actress, poet and FR writer Isabel Robinson, fully recovered and out of quarantine from mumps ('I looked like a hamster'). UK Screen's urbane and charming publisher, Palestinian intellectual Husam Asi, whose sensitive filmscript Blond recently had a live reading at UCL. Gorgeous actress Genevieve Swallow pops in prior to tea in Claridges with a girlfriend who's getting married. FR's new writer Brad Hall. Computer guru and NewsRevue writer Avtar Khabar. Gorgeous green-eyed playwright, Mutiny At The Bargehouse organiser, and poet Alison Trower. Lovely actress and choreographer Alison Collinge. Smoulderingly-handsome director and actor Alex Dower - who marries gorgeous actress Katy Bartrop this year. Lovely Sky producer and arts PR Alana Pryce.
Absent friends include: Lovely Adrienne Truscott and Tanya Gagné , the stylish cosmopolitennes also known as the Wau-Wau Sisters. They're in New York and say 'We are crying into our cocktails as we speak'. Adrienne adds: 'If we didn't have to get up very early the next day, we would jump the pond for sure! Have a lovely time!'. Gifted actresses Angela Clerkin and Amanda Daniels, rehearsing Third Finger Left Hand for its run at York's Theatre Royal starting 11 May 05. Gorgeous actress Sarah-Louise Young, rehearsing her upcoming role as Connie in Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn and, says Sarah-Louise, being fitted for wigs and corsets. It's directed by Jacob Murray at Manchester's Royal Exchange (18 May - 25 June 05 http://www.royalexchange.co.uk). The fabulous Ray Gardner is in Frankfurt with Feelgood till 29 May. Handsome actor Ben Willbond, in Paris for his stag night - the wedding's end of June. Pretty FR writer Beth White, in Paris. Greens director David Vickerstaff, with family. David and Greens's Hector Ross kindly supply the accessories for the party. The superb character comedian Gareth Tunley aka Sven Stacy is filming one of the EalingLive! sketches. Pretty NewsRevue producer and Canal Café director Emma Taylor, in Spain. Lovely actor and director Bindu de Stoppani, away working on her new film. Delightful Emily Stone, away on film work. The charming and remarkable director Max Stafford-Clark, finishing the end of the opening week of his controversial new play Talking To Terrorists, on national tour. Irrespressible Ray Spangler Downing, playwright and producer extraordinaire, spending the day at West Ham Football Stadium. Andrew Simmons, being Butch in Topping & Butch. Lovely FR writer Lucy Scott, in India. Fay Rusling, one of the lovely Bearded Ladies, looking after her family on the South coast. Handsome film designer Laurence Dorman at his son's birthday party. Charming literary agent Guy Rose, doyen of Futerman Rose, with his family. Producer Jesse Romain, organising a promotions night in Leeds. Urbane and inspirational The Pleasance director Christopher Richardson, in the middle of preparing for Edinburgh 05. Gifted comedy creative Howard Read, in Cardiff. Mobius Industries PR director Dan Pursey, organising posters around town for theatrical clients. Director Katharine Pottinger, in Buenos Aires. Tim Passmore, studying in Australia. Promoter liaison expert Eileen O'Reilly, in Dublin. Film producer Johnnie Oddball, looking after his son. Playwright Terry Newman, working with horses - but not in a perverted way - at his country mansion. Gifted actress and comedian Joanna Neary, performing. Neil Mullarkey, fabulous comedian, rapt in the joys of new parenthood. London's prettiest PR, Kim Morgan, away on hols to an exotic location. Jamie Minoprio, in Suffolk w parents. Neil McPherson, charming director of Finborough Theatre, at a new play. FR writer and actor Jonathan McPherson, working. Drama agent Bill McLean, going away. Lovely dancer Laura Macias, in Spain. Veronica Lee, fabulous journalist, elsewhere today. Bachelor playboy publisher, NewsRevue writer (and thoughtful sponsor of drinks for today's event), Rupert Keenlyside, downing Margaritas at Ian Schrager's Delano Hotel, designed by Philippe Starck and located in Miami's chic Art Deco district - a knife's throw from South Beach - prior to yachting with friends. Pretty comedy agent Tamsin Jarvis, visiting friends in Bath. Flame-haired temptress Hils Jago, off on a pre-birthday magical mystery tour, organised by her lovely daughter Gail Scott-Spicer. Delightful Samantha Hulston, taking a day off from being head of press at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) to visit her brother in Brum. Lovely FR writer, colonic irrigationist and stand-up comic Cecilia Holmes, looking after her daughter who's poorly - get well soon. Dashing playwright and FR's New York correspondent Larry Herold, unsurprisingly in New York. Vivacious FR Edinburgh correspondent Lea Harris, in Edinburgh being mum to her two lovely children. Handsome and gifted journalist Bruce Dessau, spending the weekend as devoted dad. The magnificent Steve Delaney, taking a break with his family from solid touring as Count Arthur Strong. Hungarian heart-throb Sándor Csányi, in Budapest. Lovely chanteuse and actress Jackie Clune says 'I'm heavily pregnant with triplets! They are due in a few weeks but it could be any time...' - love from all at Fringe Report, dear Jackie, for a happy (and if possible, comfortable) birth. Lovely Chain Reaction Theatre Company director and actress Sarah Choppen, preparing for her wedding on Friday 29 April. Charming journalist Will Cantopher, with family. Handsome writer Justin Butcher, recording his new radio play about the Biafra War. Gorgeous actress Rachael Booth, hard at PR work, about to go on holiday, and celebrate her birthday on 29 March. Lovely Hungarian Cultural Centre director Katalin Bogyay, in Budapest, giving a major radio interview. Chortle publisher Steve Bennett, working through the weekend. Pretty actress Katy Bartrop, performing. Gifted playwright, bubbly Vanessa Badham, travelling from Sweden, today she's somewhere between Finland and Russia. Charming director Toni Arthur-Hay, in Oxford for family reunion with her aunties. Pretty FR writer and actress Lara Apponyi, in New York. Ace BBC comedy developer Rohan Acharya, spending time with his son.
Non-farting vegetarians Paul Sullivan and lovely Michelle Flower rise early to tour London's markets. Together they make today's food, finishing with a fabulous fresh fruit-salad. Multi-talented, multi-tasking PR Paul is the kind of expert chef who makes his own puff-pastry - most likely while writing press-releases for celebrity clients. Today, his French Camenbert squares on German Rye-bread suggest a subtle tribute to those opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Pretty theatre-manager Michelle delicately dices cheese cubes and pineapple chunks - and skewers them on cocktail sticks into an inverted half-grapefruit. The result - like an asteroid strike by alien vegetarians on the London Dome - suggests that theatre's gain is the WI's loss.
John Park - Worlds End, Chelsea - (c) www.fringereport.com - 23 April 05.
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The funeral of Douglas Spurgeon takes place today. There is a Church of England service at Trent Park Chapel at 11:30 with music from Chicken Shed Theatre alumni, followed by burial at Trent Park Cemetery. Douglas died aged 81 at home after a brief period of ill-health on 12 April 05. His obituary is here
Many of London's writers owe their skill, training and inspiration to the gifted and ebullient Maureen Spurgeon. The love affair of her life was with Douglas, her devoted husband - and father of their son Nigel.
Douglas Leslie Spurgeon was born on 11 September 1923 and left school, like many of his age-group, at 14. A few years later he was a tank-driver in the 8th Army, taking part in the push up Italy - the laconically titled 'D-Day Dodgers'. After the Second World War (1939-1945), he resumed his trade as a compositor and printer. He met Maureen in 1967. They married in 1974.
In addition to their busy work-lives, Maureen and Douglas Spurgeon became strong supporters of the Chicken Shed Theatre - famous for its work among and with so-called 'disabled' people. Their son Nigel had enrolled with the theatre, and evolved from a 'special needs' background to graduation as a professional violinist. Nigel's success was a great source of pride and delight for Douglas, and one that he was able to live to see.
Chicken Shed Theatre is well-represented at today's service. Co-founder Jo Collins OBE sings and plays guitar, accompanied by Nigel Spurgeon on violin. Paula Rees MA, wheelchair-bound writer-in-residence at the theatre (her remarkable story is told here - The Guardian - Matthew Norman) is present, and her perceptive As Far As The Eye Can See (lyrics - Paula Rees, music - Jo Collins) is sung. The service is given by Father Jeff Vaughan.
Music includes My God How Great Thou Art, Psalm 23 (The Lord Is My Shepherd), As Far As The Eye Can See (Rees-Collins), The Old Rugged Cross (violin solo intro - Nigel Spurgeon). Readings include St Paul to Corinthians 13, St Matthew Gospel 26:34-40, Farewell by Ann Bronte. Burial in the cemetery follows, with a reception and celebration of Douglas Spurgeon's life at Chicken Shed Theatre
Those among the 50 attending include: Maureen Spurgeon, author, journalist, tutor in creative writing. Their family - their son Nigel Spurgeon, Maureen's son by her previous marriage Trevor and his wife Ann, and grandchildren Peter, Sarah, Barbara, Emma. Adeela Sharif. Chicken Shed co-founder Jo Collins OBE, and writer-in-residence Paula Rees MA.
John Park - Trent Park Chapel - (c) www.fringereport.com - 22 April 05.
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Guy Adams - aka Pandora and star gossip editor of The Independent - today completes the London Marathon in 3 hr - 45 min.
Super-fit Guy recently collided with a scaffolding pole while training for the race. Despite facial injury, his rugged good looks are unimpaired - he's understood to be passing it off as a duelling scar from Heidelberg University.
In common with our own stunning gossip writer Crystal Clean, Guy was educated at Rugby - where boys were roasted over coal fires in Tom Brown's Schooldays.
But there similarity ends. Gorgeous Crystal Clean's idea of exercise is the languid lifting of a canapé to her mouth. Her physical co-ordination work-out involves holding a glass of Dom Ruinart champagne in her delicate free hand. Debonair and handsome Guy Adams plays football weekly, and thinks nothing of running 6 miles round the Isle of Dogs during his lunch break.
Guy's reaction straight after the gruelling 26-mile race was typically stoic and stiff-upper-lip: 'It was hell! I won't walk for a week. It hurt!'
But there were consolations. 'Luckily only a couple of fancy dress people beat me, so dignity more or less intact... Which is more than can be said for my blistered feet!'
Even before the race, Guy had raised Ł3,743.69 for Christies Against Cancer. The latest figures are at www.justgiving.com/guyadams (as at 24 May 05, a total of Ł4,610.36).
Guy's sponsors include: Zoe Adams, Will Duff Gordon, Valerie Veitch, Tom Teodorczuk, Tom Adams, Tina, Tim, The Hollicks, Tatts, Simon Hogg, Sharon Tan, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Sarah and Adrian, Roya Nikkhah, Ross L, Robin Adams, Robert Gray, Richard Eden, Pikes, Peter Thompson, Peter Kershaw Trust, Peter Clayton, Paul Cregor, Oly, Ollie, Olive King, Nick Wright, Nick Smith, Neal Family, Myf & Reg, Mark Thornycroft, Mark Riley, Madeleine, Louise Hannah, Lorna Thompson, Kathleen King, Kall, Julia Beldam, Jonathan Isaby, Jonathan Irby, Jon Hungin, Jen Metcalf, Jean Adams, James Macintyre, James Drewer, James Debens, Idea Generation, Hilly Maxwell-Hyslop, Henry Meller, Heather Kershaw, Graham Riddick, Footie Adams, Fay Sowerby, Esther Shaw, Emily Gummer, Edward Holt Trust, Edie & Keith, Ed and Alex Gibson-Watt, Daniel R Clarke, Chris Adams, Carole Stone, Carli, Ben Tisdall, Bea Gray, Andrew Bentley, Alastair Chilton, A & J Tipper.
Tip for Guy's future training? As sponsor Henry Meller remarked before the marathon: 'Try to avoid head-butting building material of any kind.'
John Park - (c) www.fringereport.com - 18 April 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email 'subscribe' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A naked woman's riding a white horse. She's being studied carefully by a crowd of ICA visitors in the name of art - perhaps recalling a classic white horse joke (see below). She's in one of the films on display in the ICA's Concourse Gallery.
8 film-makers show their work and party with fellow artistes into the night in the elegant surroundings of The Mall's Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). They're the shortlist of Beck's Futures Student Prize For Film And Video 2005.
The finalists are (alpha order): Craig Wilson, Julie Moggan, Mark Mangion, Ak von Malmborg, Brendan Grant, Eloise Fornieles, Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez, Martine Dempsey. They're from colleges including Central St Martins College Of Art And Design, Chelsea College Of Fine Art And Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College Of Art, National Film And Television School, Royal College Of Art, Slade School Of Fine Art.
Judges are Lynne Ramsay and Rankin. Tonight's event is press-managed by the ICA's elegant Emma Pettit and gorgeous head of press Rachael Booth. The ICA will soon have a new director, Ekow Eshun.
Media partner for this year's event is Marmalade magazine. The event is supported by Oasis Television and Pioneer Electronics. Beck's is represented by its charming marketing manager Sharon Annette. The competition's 2004 winner was Doug Fishbone.
Tonight's shortlisted films are: Why Are They All Going Mad? (Martine Dempsey). Waiting For Yoko (Ak von Malmborg). Waiting For A Lift (Julie Moggan). Minnie Mouse And The Horse (Eloise Fornieles). London Fields Are Blue (Brendan Grant). Flyonyounggirl (Mark Mangion). Flash (Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez). Boss And Dog-No Up Tae Much (Craig Wilson). They'll be shown from 29 May 05 in Glasgow, and nationally throughout April 05 in
Slug & Lettuce Pubs.
Upstairs the ICA's stunning Nash Room is heaving. Guests spill onto the balconies beyond its 3 perfectly-proportioned French windows high above The Mall. It's the first night of spring and the air feels chilly to Icelandic. There are lots of pretty girls in leather jackets and serious-looking boys talking about Kafka.
Postscript: The winner was announced on 26 April. Julie Moggan won the Ł2,000 first prize for Waiting for a Lift. Brendan Grant won second prize (Ł1,000) for London Fields are Blue. Julie Moggan & Brendan Grant are both directing graduates of National Film And Television School.
A white horse goes into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says 'That's extraordinary. We've got a whisky named after you'. The white horse looks puzzled, 'What? Eric?'.
John Park - ICA Nash Room - (c) www.fringereport.com - Friday 8 April 05.
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Naked nymphs, lots of drink. Obviously a theatrical party. And that's just the ceiling.
Beneath the risqué splendour of Herbert Draper's naughty paintings from The Tempest and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in the The Drapers' Hall, The Ideas Foundry launches.
It's a rousing concept - 'a new commercial business focused on creating new work for theatre, film and television'. Simply put, to have a hundred projects on the go every year with a cream of perhaps 5 rising to the top and ready for production. A portfolio of plays - reducing, hopefully, the financial risk associated with a single production. Details at www.theideasfoundry.co.uk
There are presentations from: Chairman - Robert Cogo-Fawcett; CEO - Joe Harmston; Marketing Director - Paul Savident. Nicholas Skilbeck plays piano - the delicacy of his touch and intimacy of his arrangements is a constant delight. Samantha Mercer sings The Future of You from MacGregor; Amanda Waring reads a monologue from A Good Place For Fishing.
Here are Robert Cogo-Fawcett, Joe Harmston, Paul Savident, Nicholas Skilbeck, the sublime Isabelle Georges, Laurent Viel, the gorgeous Samantha Mercer, lovely Amanda Waring, pretty FR writer Lara Apponyi, FR's rugged New York correspondent playwright Larry Herold, Sweet Venue Manager debonaire Julian Caddy, John Golledge. Here's the charming and urbane Charles Vance, who modestly claims to be in his 70s - 'I may be theatre's oldest producer' - but doesn't look a day over 30, and still has one of the best theatrical voices in the business. Here's Jean Marsh, Ned Sherrin. Scarlett Strallen - gifted actor, recently Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, shortly to be Josephine in HMS Pinafore in Regent's Park. Lovely Dawn Kellogg, CVTheatre Marketing Manager. Writer/director David Oyelowo, director Christopher Morahan, producer Peter Wilkins, Paul Tyrer - managing director of The Booking Office, writer Robin Chapman, Oscar-nominated (1981, for The French Lieutenant's Woman) costume designer Tom Rand, award-winning playwright, poet & arts journalist Rod Dungate, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG)'s group programming director Michael Lynas, writer Paul Herzberg. Press for tonight is by gorgeous Tamsin Stanley, who tomorrow becomes general manager of The Actors Centre.
The night's highlight is a breathtaking performance from pretty Isabelle Georges and Laurent Viel. Together they sing, act and dance Ou Vont Tous Les Trains from Quand La Guerre Sera Finie.
Isabelle Georges has a glorious voice - tonight it's mezzo soprano - strong, delicate and full of emotional depth, but without a wisp of sentimentality. Laurent Viel's fine baritone comes across eloquently in his solo, and in exciting counterpoint in the duet finale. Both performers are stunning to look at - each is slender with the graceful movement, deportment and suppleness of a dancer.
Musical theatre - and opera - is sometimes (unfairly) criticised for bad acting. Not tonight. Here are two fine actors remarkably gifted in song. And they're French - which naturally means they're terribly sexy.
Isabelle Georges goes into the studio in June 05 to record jazz album Something To Live For - in an altogether different part of her vocal range. The album's due for release September/October 05. Before that she's spending August performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. Pure bliss for Fringe-goers, and unmissable.
Other The Ideas Foundry directors include Finance Director - Peter Teale; Director (Musical Projects) - Thomas de Mallet Burgess; Musical Director - Nicholas Skilbeck; Director - New Writing Projects - Andrew Whelan. Advisors - John Golledge at Beer & Partners, Harbottle & Lewis, Trio Accountancy Services. Website - www.theideasfoundry.co.uk. Email - email@example.com. Tel - 020 7692 0778.
Tonight sees many a manly embrace. Air-kissing may be dead - the mwah is on the slide. But man-to-man kissing's coming up fast behind.
Greetings are demure, formal handshakes are exchanged. That's before a few bottles. Come the fond farewells, the riot of man-on-man suction looks like a rehearsal for Binkie Beaumont's remake of The Last Days of Sodom.
John Park - The Drapers’ Company, Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DQ - (c) www.fringereport.com - 6 April 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email 'subscribe' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jinny McCallister, playwright, theatre manager of Islington's Almeida Theatre has died. It is thought (at 7/4/5) that Jinny took her own life on Thursday 31 March 05, and that her body was discovered on Sunday 3 April 05. Obituary extract:
Those who were in any way connected with Jinny McCallister, theatre manager at the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London, will be both shocked and saddened by her death.
Trained as an actor in Sydney, Jinny went on to become theatre manager at Sydney Opera House and subsequently Sydney Theatre Company. Her production company Hamcat Productions staged the Sydney premiere of Anthony Neisen's The Censor (previously premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre) - in which she also appeared.
It is perhaps, however, as theatre manager of the Almeida that she will best be remembered. Jinny had a warmth and generosity of soul. Her passion and love of theatre were obvious to all who either met or worked alongside her.
Jinny's desire to become a respected playwright drew enormous challenges for her. As many artists in the theatre industry know, the difficulty of doing this requires faith and bravery. Her play About Face premiered at Edinburgh’s Café Royal (8 August 04) as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004.
About Face is an intercourse of loss, absence and love - which is perhaps the most fitting of epitaphs.
(by DFFM-F 6 April 05). More at Jinny McCallister - obituary.
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Count Arthur Strong today records a TV pilot for the BBC at King's College, Strand, London.
The pilot is for internal use at the BBC, hopefully with the outcome of the Count - who this year, in his alter-ego of actor
Steve Delaney accepted FR Awards 05 - Best Actor - Character Comedy - being given to the nation.
Count Arthur Strong (CAS) has treated audiences to his views on The Bible (The Greatest Story Ever Told); and to his autobiography (Through It All I've Always Laughed). Today, he reprises his legendary Count Arthur Strong's Forgotten Egypt (under the working title of Count Arthur Strong's Guide to Egypt). CAS fans will be glad to know that ventriloquist's mummy dummy Little Tut(ankhamen) appears.
Warm-up is by Count Arthur fan and headlining stand-up Dan Antopolski. Producer for the TV shoot is Karen Rosie. Stage Manager Lucy Fewell skilfully moves all the props around and draws lovely Egyptological designs on the blackboards. Director is Babs Wiltshire
The audience is organised by charming Simon Crewdson Development Researcher, New Comedy, BBC. Frankly adorable Nerys Evans, top BBC comedy talent scout, the woman who knows everyone and everything about comedy in London and probably the world, checks off guest names on her clipboard. OK, it may not sound an Amazonian task for a major talent, but Nerys packs it with style. Comedy ace, now BBC researcher/comedy developer and general legend Rohan Acharya lurks amiably.
There's an audience of around 130. They include: comedian Mathew Perret,
comedian Laurence Howarth, comedian
Dan Antopolski, writer and actor
Lara Apponyi, Cockpit Theatre's
Keef Gould, technical director Nic Watson, audience member Ian just back from Australia, youngest audience member Lucia aged 5, schoolboy Andrew, Komedia Entertainment's lovely Tamsin Jarvis and quite recklessly handsome Richard Daws, Nerys Evans, Simon Crewdson, Rohan Acharya.
And Count Arthur Strong? As ever - sublime.
John Park - The Old Lecture Theatre, Kings College, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS - (c) www.fringereport.com - 31 March 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email 'subscribe' to email@example.com.
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A night of wonderful birthday parties for Jemma Gross, Nic Watson, Tally Parr & Drew Horley (who have a special announcement).
Lovely Jemma Gross, director, has her birthday party at trendy The North Star, 188-190 New North Road, Islington, N1 7BJ. The stylish event takes over two floors with food, music - and cocktails. Jemma is assistant-directing at Islington's historic fringe theatre The King's Head. She is currently directing Sean O'Casey's Cock-A-Doodle-Dandy at the Barons Court Theatre.
Handsome technical director Nic Watson's 25 tomorrow. His party is on the canal-side near Ladbroke Grove, a setting redolent of the definitive British Waterways movie Young Adam (but without the shagging, custard-smearing, or Ewan McGregor's penis).
There's a camp-fire, barges, and roasting potatoes. It starts at 7 pm, and ends around 7 am Sunday morning. Those present include: Cockpit Theatre and We Could Be Heroes technical director David Lam; fabulous stand-up Matt Holt; charming James Galea; Cockpit Theatre's Keef Gould; adorable actress Katy Slater who brings a lovely birthday present - a book about elevenses biscuits (with biscuits attached); delightful designer Nina McDonagh;
Royal Academy of Music technical manager Jake Wiltshire; pretty Emma Clarke from the Principality of Wales;
Nic's neighbours Paul Jayson - whose boat is perilously near the bonfire - and Simon Robbins; Jo Diplock, fresh from work at The Rada; comedian Matt Kirshen; comedian Brendon Burns; Paul Byrne.
Starla, lovely 6-year-old daughter of Keef Gould goes to bed aboard ship early; then does most of the tidying-up when she gets up - what a great girl! The party is hosted by Nic Watson and his good friend and dog Mwldan, a collie/greyhound cross lurcher, who is 9 in April.
Theatrical and fashion producer Tally Parr and recording studio director Drew Horley start their joint 30th birthday party by telling guests they've become engaged the day before. There's a gorgeous engagement ring on Tally's finger.
The party's at fashionable Smithy's Bar, 15-17 Leeke Street, Kings Cross WC1. Guests include talented The Lift Ed 04 actress and Four Queens stand-up Ruth Blatt; gifted The Lift Ed 04 actor Dan March; lovely TV producer (and FR writer) Alana Pryce; writer, charming Ellen Fox; delightful film-script lecturer Rosie Cullen; Ginny Buckley - Flight 5065 Content Producer and former Vagina Monologues producer; debonaire Steve Keyworth - Flight 5065 Artistic Director; Robin Smith - Host Universal; Penny Nagel - Flight 5065 Music Content Producer; actress Kiki Kendrick; Mercury-nominated rapper Ty; soon-to-be-massive singer Natalie Williams; lots of other singers and musicians; rugged host Drew Horley; pretty hostess Tally Parr.
John Park - (c) www.fringereport.com - 19 March 05. Thanks for additional reporting to Nic Watson, Tally Parr, Alana Pryce. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email 'subscribe' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Drinks at Ruby Blue kick off the Cannes 24-Hour Film Challenge (May 05) organised by Johnnie Oddball.
Pretty writer Beth White stuns in couture chemise with exciting plunging cleavage. A clumsy journalist spills white wine down the centre - like a flash-flood in the Grand Canyon.
Resourceful Beth exits to the women's lavatory where she attracts worried stares as she thrusts her decolletage (French for breasts, though Beth's are English) under the hand-blower - and shimmies till dry.
It's the kind of behaviour Beth picked up at Cambridge studying Theology - the course whose graduettes have been responsible for the defrocking of countless Ordained Ministers of the Eucharist - and the raising of many a Bishopric.
Those attending include: Gifted and beautiful writer Thandi Ejindu, currently on a Royal Court Theatre course. Lovely actress Vicki McKellar, fresh from a successful theatre tour. Rugged producer Nigel Hilditch; he's up and coming (but that could be the trousers). Pretty actress Penelope Dudley. Scriptwriter, enigmatic Nav Takhar. Charming actor, writer and musician Rick Alancroft, an enthusiast of European theatre. Pretty actress Claire Morrissey, fabulous in NewsRevue. Broadcast journalist and man-about-town (though it's usually on a push-scooter) Jason Korsner. The urbane and charming UKScreen publisher and screen writer Dr Husam Asi. Pretty agent Jane Marney also handles PR & marketing, comedy development, music, and performs. Lovely director and producer Silvia Perett. Handsome rock and jazz musician, Ukranian (from Burnley, Lancs) Dave Senczak. Charming writer and producer Henry McGeough, working on a film about a new religion. Engaging multi-platform artiste and photographer Russell Writer aka Russell Brennan mentions 250 releases as record producer and 4 films in the pipeline. Financial Times and www.ft.com Cannes writer pretty Joyce Dundas. Cinemagine editor and author, debonaire Benjamin Craig. Beautiful actress Montserrat Roig de Puig. FR feature writer and reviewer gorgeous Rachael Booth. Rugged and inspirational organiser Johnnie Oddball.
John Park - Ruby Blue, 1 Leicester Place,Leicester Square, WC2H 7BP - (c) www.fringereport.com - 9 March 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email email@example.com.
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Katalin Bogyay, Cultural Councillor to the Hungarian Embassy in London, hosts an excellent party for Budapest heart-throb Sándor Csányi to receive Fringe Report Award 05: Best Actor - Film. Full details here.
There's a speech by the Hungarian Cultural Centre (HCC)'s Director, by Fringe Report's editor, the award presentation, and a live interview with Sándor Csányi by László Heckenast - all intercut with clips from Kontroll, and followed by a lot of drink. Full details including complete interview here
Some of the many famous Hungarians who have changed or delighted the world are mentioned: Simonyi Károly, George Cukor, Calvin Klein, Johnny Weismuller, Béla Bartók, Joseph Pulitzer, Erno Rubik, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, Tony Curtis, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Harry Houdini, George Soros, Sir Alexander Korda, Emeric Pressburger, Sir Georg Solti, Franz Liszt, Robert Capa, Joseph Laszlo Biro, Albrecht Durer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Marcel Breuer, David Gestetner, George Mikes, Eugene Fodor, Arthur Koestler.
Sándor Csányi receives Fringe Report Award 05: Best Actor - Film. 'The award reflects Sándor Csányi’s stunning delivery of central character Bulcsú in Nimród Antal's mesmerising film Kontroll. Sándor Csányi evokes Bulcsú’s journey to the heart of darkness with remarkable subtlety, investing the character with a profound soulfulness, inflected with a light layer of wry humour - all powered by an astonishing on-screen charisma.' Full details of all FR Awards 05 are here
London's Hungarian Cultural Centre (HCC) is known for the outstanding beauty and stylishness of the women (and there are one or two debonaire lads) who work there. They include: Katalin Bogyay (Director), Márta Santarsieri, Gabriella Csatári, Zsanett Hadrévi, László Heckenast, Judit Körös, Enikő Leányvári, Péter Pallai, Adél Stálmajer, many of whom are here tonight. People attending include: Producer and director, lovely Andrea zur Strassen. Critic and writer Phillip Bergson. ICA Acquisitions Consultant - responsible with her colleague for picking Kontroll out in Cannes for the ICA - lovely Mairi Macdonald. Journalist, broadcaster and translator, the urbane and charming László Heckenast, HCC's Film Events Producer. Future Threat director, the recklessly good-looking Scott Alexander Young. Distinguished and charming BBC Hungary Service journalist Daniel Izsak. Pretty architect and film researcher Barbara Chomicka. UKScreen publisher and screenplay writer Dr Husam Asi FR Awards 05 - Best Film Publication (FR Board). Filmmaker Brian Barnes. Unsent Letters (Orange Tree 2004) actor Gerard Bell. Charming sculptor Duart Sylwain. Gregory Slysz. Denes Bulkai. Comedy manager Adrian Bunting. Paul Conlay. Katharina Des Forges (Independent Cinema Organisation).
Ace graphic designer Richard Dragun (FR Board). Karin Imthurn (Verve Pictures DVD). Veronika Kuhrner.
Ildiko Palocsai. Andrea Puelarjes. Delightful Charlotte Pecsi and Enikő Schönstein. Gerard Hanratty. SandMan (FR Awards 05 - Best Play) director, Fuse Productions stalwart and quietly-spoken sex-symbol Ray Spangler Downing (FR Board). Femme fatale playwright of Spread and Sketching Lucian, Alison Trower (FR Board). Pretty Gabriella Csatári, HCC's Finance Manager. Director and founder of top Edinburgh venue The Pleasance, handsome and distinguished gent Christopher Richardson (FR Board). Doe-eyed fabulous FR writer, arts PR and TV producer Alana Pryce. GTNews publisher, comedy writer Rupert Keenlyside (FR Board). Beautiful Judit Körös, HCC's Librarian. Comedy writer and performer Brian Mitchell. Adorable comedy actress, elegant and lovely Joanna Neary (FR Awards 05 - Best Actor - Theatrical Comedy) (FR Board). Flame-haired temptress, FR writer, doyenne of London comedy producers, Hils Jago. Charming Andi Lustak. Delightful Hungarian actor living in London, Frank Hujber. Pretty Sara Squire, ICA Projects. Lovely Enikő Leányvári, HCC's Literature & Theatre Events Producer, pretty in chic Budapest couture skirt. Guest of honour is delightful actor Sándor Csányi who tonight joins the Fringe Report Board. Everyone at the party wants to meet him (especially the women - we're talking serious matinee-idol-handsome here), and he's completely charming - a really lovely man. He makes a point of staying to the end, and having a friendly chat with everyone who comes over to say hello. The event is hosted by HCC's ebullient and gorgeous director, journalist and broadcaster Katalin Bogyay.
John Park - Hungarian Cultural Centre - (c) www.fringereport.com - 23 February 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Fringe Report Awards at the Canal Café Theatre are presented by Christopher Richardson, Alison Trower and FR editor John Park. Full details here.
Awards go to (full citations here): Michael Sarne (Mid-Career Award). Max Stafford-Clark (Theatre Person of the Year). Frances Barber (Best Actor - Psychological Drama). Angela Clerkin & Amanda Daniels (Joint Best Actor - Social Drama). Sándor Csányi (Best Actor - Film). Steve Delaney (Best Actor - Character Comedy (Count Arthur Strong)). Joanna Neary (Best Actor - Theatrical Comedy). Sue Scott Davison (Best Actor - Historical Drama). Ben Willbond (Best Actor - Sketch Comedy). Toni Arthur-Hay (Best Director - Comedy). Mike Miller (Best Director - Theatre). Husam Asi (Best Film Publication (Publisher - UK Screen)). Van Badham (Best Playwright). James Betts (Best Photographer). Veronica Lee (Best Journalist). Eileen O'Reilly (Best Promoter Liaison). Lynne Parker (Best Producer). Penny Sims (Best Venue PR). James Wren, Felicity Wren, Louie Bayliss (Joint Best Venue Managers (Hen & Chickens Theatre & Lowdown at the Albany)). The Bearded Ladies (Best Sketch Comedy (Susie Donkin, Charlotte McDougall, Oriane Messina, Fay Rusling)). Lucy Porter (Best Stand-Up). Howard Read (Best Multimedia Comedy). SandMan (Best Play (All Involved - Cast, Crew, Company)). Then Again (Best Comedy Drama (All Involved - Cast, Crew, Company)). The Wau-Wau Sisters (Best Cabaret (Tanya Gagné & Adrienne Truscott)). Presentations in thanks to: Richard Dragun (Designing the Certificates). Kim Morgan (Organising the Event). Paul Sullivan (Organising the Event). David Vickerstaff (Organising the Champagne).
Those attending include: Zena Barrie, Veronica Lee, Toby Clarke, Tamsin Jarvis , Sue Scott Davison, Steve Delaney, Simon Pugh, Shiona McDougall, Rupert Keenlyside, Ross McGivern, Richard Dragun, Richard Daws, Ray Spangler Downing, Rachael Booth, Penny Sims, Oriane Messina, Natalie Ralston, Mike Miller, Michael Sarne, Margaret Dragun, Lydia Fraser-Ward, Lucy Porter, Louis Brownhill, Kim Morgan, Katalin Bogyay, John Sadlier, John Park, Joanna Neary, Jesse Romain, James Wren, James Betts, Jacqui Bennett, Husam Asi, Howard Read, Hils Jago, Felicity Wren, Fay Rusling, Emma Horne, Val Miner, Denise Bailey, Dan Pursey, Christopher Richardson, Christian Knowles, Chris Gilling, Charlotte McDougall, Brian Mitchell, Ben Willbond, Ben Ockrent, Ben Neale, Anne Sarne, Angela Clerkin, Andrew Clark, Amanda Daniels, Alison Trower, Alex Gammie, Alana Pryce, Adrian Bunting.
The welcome speech includes (full details here): Christopher Richardson. Alison Trower. David Vickerstaff. Hector Ross. Paul Sullivan. Kim Morgan. Richard Dragun. FR Advisory Board. FR Consultancy Board. Rupert Keenlyside. Monika Studena. Katalin Bogyay. Alana Pryce. Dr Andrew Doyle. Isabel Robinson. Cecilia Holmes. Eloise Emanuel. Hils Jago. Jolanta Jagiello. Katie Warren. Kitty Winter. Lea Harris. Lucy Scott. Rachael Booth. Johnnie Oddball. Tim Passmore. Peter Andrews. Peter Benedict. Wendy Richmond. Samantha Darling. Siobhan Rhodes-Johnson. Holly Davis. Micheline Sedgwick. Ella Lockwood. Annabelle Joyce. Crystal Clean. Rohan Acharya. Emma Taylor. Louis Brownhill. Ross McGivern. Tracy Allum. Chris Gutteridge.
John Park - Canal Café Theatre - (c) www.fringereport.com - 15 February 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email email@example.com.
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SPREAD / SKETCHING LUCIAN OPENING - Sun 13 February 05
If only Abi Titmuss had arrived on time, Peter Ackroyd might not have got so drunk, and there wouldn't have been a fight.
Gorgeous Abi Titmuss is having her entrance filmed for the opening of Spread - not the first time her entrance has featured on film (no, stop it!) - and arrives fashionably late. In the critical half hour's delay, fabulous and famous writer the gregarious and outspoken Peter Ackroyd leaves the venue saying he's off to buy wine.
Spread is a new play by Alison Trower
about Lucian Freud, a development of her astonishing Ed 04 Sketching Lucian. Director is the outrageous Mike Miller - who receives FR's Best Theatre Director Award 05
tomorrow night. Tonight's a rehearsed reading to showcase the work to industry professionals. Peter Ackroyd drinks for London in preparation.
The venue's the Lang Art Gallery
in Bethnal Green. The floor's polished pine. Peter Ackroyd sits almost vertically in the front row, separated from Abi Titmuss by his friend graphic designer Nick Roberts, destined for a sore head. The actors perform directly in front of them.
An hour into the play, Ackyroyd tries to start a conversation with people sitting behind him, one of whom makes a vampire cross gesture at Ackyroyd's face. Ackyroyd lurches several times for his coat to leave - his friends dissuade him from further disruption to the cast and packed audience of 55 in this small venue. Ackyroyd continues to comment to his friends and the world generally. A bottle of red wine at his feet is knocked across the gallery's expensive floor. As the play finishes two things happen.
Ackyroyd runs for the lavatory - whether to vomit or empty himself of an ocean of alcohol is fortunately - unlike the rest of his behaviour - not a public display.
And there's an immediate agument between the cast and Ackyroyd's friend, visibly pissed and perhaps normally charming but not tonight Nick Roberts, which quickly goes nuclear. Actor Alexander Warner, who plays Young Lucian, headbutts Nick Roberts.
Ackroyd exits the lavatory. Writer Alison Trower confronts Ackroyd: 'You are a cunt'. Cast member Paul Critoph (Leigh Bowery) helps Ackroyd to the door and wishes him goodnight: 'Next reading you go to, try not to be so very rude.' Ackroyd stumbles into the street with his friends.
And it's all being filmed.
The camera crew's there as part of a documentary on Abi Titmuss. In contrast to Ackroyd's showbiz behaviour - apt, it has to be said for a play celebrating the UK's greatest living artist and one not averse in the past to hell-raising - Abi Titmuss is serene, charming, and attentive to every minute of the performance. She's a former drama student of director Mike Miller at Central. And a real lady.
People here tonight include doyenne of London's theatrical agents the gorgeous and stylish Maureen Vincent (PFD), composer Martin Smith, handsome former Festen ASM and Gbatokai understudy Imran Sanusi, beautiful actress Eisha Kumar, bon viveur Peter Ackroyd, charming agent Giles Smart (PFD), actress Sarah Griffiths, pretty FR writer and TV producer Alana Pryce (her review of tonight's performance is here), ebullient American Barbara Dahill and husband Mark Ogden, Sue and Gaby from Cambridge, caterer to the stars Sophie Jeeves, Dame Maggie Pittard (playing Freud's mother), George Telfer (Freud Elder), Glasgow kisser Alexander Warner (Freud Younger), John-James Cawood (Francis Bacon), Paul Critoph (Leigh Bowery), Sarah Stow (Daughter/Nurse), Maureen Roberts (Daughter/Nurse). Pretty actress Sarah Stow recalls the worst chat-up line she received - from an American touching the dimple on her chin - 'I see God has touched your face'. Lovely Maureen Roberts alludes to an intimate tattoo involving dolphins down below. Architect Iain Roberts, sober and embarrassed friend of Peter Ackroyd is here. Here are Dr Val Miner and her daughter Rachel Miner, actress Rosie Nicholls, agent June Abbott (June Abbott Associates), charming and debonaire Greg Roberts, news photographer Barry Daws, human resources manager Costanzo Visconti (whose father, Tony Visconti, is no relation to Tony Visconti), handsome Alex Hazell, voiceover artist Ann Hirst, pretty and charming actress Annabelle Posner. And here are elegant and gorgeous writer Alison Trower and director Mike Miller, whose writer/director team works prior to Spread include Sketching Lucian and Many a Slipped, Twixt Cap and Dick.
Last word on Peter Ackroyd from one of the audience: Never meet your heroes.
John Park - Lang Gallery, 50 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP - (c) www.fringereport.com - 13 February 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Stage celebrates 125 years of continuous publication with a sensational party for 600 guests at London's elegant Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
A town crier announces The Stage's Managing Director Catherine Comerford. She recalls its foundation on 1 February 1880 by her great-grandfather Maurice Comerford and his partner Charles Lionel Carson - at a time when Wagner was still working on his Ring. The Stage's small ads have included 'Streetwise Types Wanted' - which resulted in The Spice Girls. Also a 1910 announcement about the departure to California of Miss Belle Elmore, treasurer of The Music Hall Ladies' Guild - better known as Mrs Crippen and already buried in Dr Crippen's garden by the time it appeared.
Catherine Comerford: 'The Stage has been in family ownership since its start', and welcomes guests on behalf of the family. Present include her father and predecessor the charming and debonaire
Frank Comerford, accompanied by his pretty bride Mrs Frank Comerford, and sisters Dorothea Comerford, and
Rita Comerford, all from the family's 3rd generation.
Catherine Comerford 'There are 9 members of the 5th generation - we hope (the family's presence at The Stage) will continue. She is ardent in continuing to position The Stage at the centre of the profession's development, mirroring the debate on changes in the industry, and exerting a positive influence on the institutions that control its purse-strings. She notes a current major project putting the whole of The Stage's archive on DVD.
She delivers graceful thanks to The Stage's staff. She pays special thanks to party organiser and Editorial Office Manager the lovely Cyrila Pereira, who she notes this year for the first time has hired bouncers - a realistic tribute to theatre's louche tendency.
Some of which is on show when 'I may be theatre's oldest producer' Charles Vance speaks. All his (impressive) theatrical voice is needed for silence - over barracking led by naughty Arthur Smith. Charles Vance recalls speaking at The Stage's 100th anniversary at The Savoy, with Kenneth More and Paul Daniels. He toasts Stage staff including Brian Attwood - Editor, Marcus Collingbourne - Advertising Manager, and the Comerford Family. He notes the British Government isn't represented today by either The Secretary of State for Culture or the Minister for the Arts.
Present however is the charming - and as Culture Secretary much missed - Chris Smith.
Geoffrey Marsh - Theatre Museum Director, presents The Stage with a copy of the programme for today's venue, the Theatre Royal. It's dated the year of The Stage's foundation, 1880. The production was 'A Serious Affair', which he points out may have resonance, but even more so the subtitle - 'A Melodrama'.
Many of The Stage's staff are present, they currently include: Cheryl Williams - Deputy Advertisement Manager. Lee Wilkinson - Accounts Staff. Christine White - Accounts Staff. Lisa Whitbread - Reviews Commisioner/Listings. Liz Thomas - Reporter. Julie Snell - Advertisement Executive. Alistair Smith - Reporter. David Simmons - Sub Editor. Katie Phillips - Listings Sub Editor. Cyrila Pereira - Office Manager Editorial. Scott Matthewman - Webmaster. Dominic Martin - Chief Sub Editor. John Mandry - Reception. Elizabeth Layne - Accounts Staff. Maria Hodson - Sub Editor. Clive Hipkins - Financial Consultant. Peter Hepple - Consultant/Reviews Editor. Suzan Hailes - Online Content Manager. Ruth Gillespie - Reporter. James Downham - Sub Editor. Trevor Davies - Design Manager. Aaron Coultrip - Advertisement Executive. Catherine Comerford - Managing Director. Marcus Collingbourne - Advertisement and Events Manager. Alison Cobb - Advertisement Executive. Gill Booker - Reception. Peter Benton - Deputy Design Manager. Jeremy Austin - News Editor. Brian Attwood - Editor.
Guests include: London's PR guru Guy Chapman. Fabulous stage PRs Kevin Wilson and Mark White - Mark's about to take a sabbatical in Andalucia, rising daily to write and pick olives. Recklessly handsome The Pleasance Director
Christopher Richardson in an unbelievably sharp suit. Drama Studio director and - in certain lights - Max-Bygrave-lookalike suavely good-looking Peter Craze. Lovely Vanessa Hart. John Adams - Artistic Director of Basingstoke Horseshoe. Doyen of theatre critics Sheridan Morley. Acting legends Timothy West and Prunella Scales. The ever-lovely Lionel Blair, looking amazing in dapper grey suit. Richard Mangan - editor of Sir John Gielgud's letters. Ralph Jago - Principal of the
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, which now becomes part of Central. Lovely Jacquie Capri and husband David Capri, putting the finishing touches to their new production The Costa Rica Boys. Agent Al Radcliffe. The ebullient multi-talented sax player and cabaret artist Tufty Gordon. Legendary music impresario the charming Mick Urry. Gorgeous and delightful singer Angela Jenkins - who trained at the Royal Academy of Music, sang with John McCarthy's The Ambrosian Sisters, sings and teaches the new generation of singers - among many facets of her gifted career. Stunningly lovely journalist
Alexa Baracaia from the Evening Standard Arts and Media (the Standard's party-going section). Frankly gorgeous doyenne of London theatrical PR Sarah Mitchell. Anthony Alderson - Assistant Director of The Pleasance. Desmond Jones - mime teacher supreme, shortly off to teach the art in Bogota and Columbia at large. Adorable Nichola McAuliffe - star of Murderous Instincts and endless other great productions. And lovely Cyrilla Pereira, who organised it all.
John Park - Theatre Royal Drury Lane - (c) www.fringereport.com - 4 February 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email email@example.com.
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It's drinks time again for the Fringe Report Board and writers. There's seldom a time when it's not, but junior-month-of-the-year January offers a better than average excuse.
Here is gorgeous raven-haired beauty, TV producer and arts consultant Alana Pryce. Debonaire and recklessly handsome comedy writer Bruce Dessau. Divine playwright, stunningly beautiful Alison Trower, whose new play about Lucian Freud airs February 05 in London. Laid-back fabuloso film designer Laurence Dorman taking a day off from shooting his current project, a new British feature film. Lovely Eloise Emanuel whose directing showcase premieres in February at the Kings Head.
Sultry blond Louis Brownhill, supremely gifted playwright, actor and acting Artistic Director of London’s Canal Café Theatre. Pretty and ultra-gifted film director Emma Malin, recently back from film-acting far overseas. Gifted political comedy writer, the extremely handsome Marc Blakewill. Glorious Genevieve Swallow, bootless after stunning audiences with her definitive Puss In Boots at Jacksons Lane - and raising more than the temperature of Highgate’s dads. Kitten-on-the-keys ace musical director the lovely Pete Smith. Gorgeous director Pia Furtado, currently with the Kings Head. Sublime king of British farce Peter Benedict takes a break from packaging his current play, a thriller.
Impishly divine actress Roxanne Presley takes a break from studying at Mountview. Bachelor playboy (yes girls, he’s still single – but available), comedy writer and jet-setting publisher Rupert Keenlyside. Pretty Samantha Darling, writer, theatre worker and currently air cabin crew, takes a day off from flying, but wears the thigh-length leather boots – apparently part of the uniform.
Among the illustrious and supremely talented other glitterati making up FR’s cutting edge boards engaged elsewhere: Richard Costello, being Macbeth in Vienna. Roy Gardner, rehearsing Feelgood en route to Vienna. The wonderful Neil Mullarkey, watching, but not - his many fans will be relieved to hear - performing - in ballet (L Vaughan Spencer in tutu? It could happen). Film guru Johnnie Oddball doing a vital audience Q and A at the ICA in connection with the Paris Film Challenge he recently organised.
Gorgeous Emily Stone’s at a film screening in London; Stuart Croft’s at one in Cologne; and the magnificent Shane Danielsen’s flying between screenings in Hong Kong and Sydney. Dan Mersh is in Bad Play at a massive theatre in Margate; adorable Zena Barrie and Michelle Flower are lighting it (but hopefully not the theatre). Comedy king Rohan Acharya’s clearing up his dad’s flat after the fabulous party (see below) for his 30th birthday last night.
Lucy Middleweek’s performing in Bluebeard at the Lion & Unicorn. Producer and actor Sarah Choppen’s at her engagement party. Producer Katharine Pottinger and actor and director Bindu de Stoppani are in South America. Lea Harris is in Edinburgh, preparing for Burns Night. Canal Cafe Artistic Director Emma Taylor’s in Spain; sublime principal dancer Laura Macias is just offshore in Madiera. Ace drama and comedy writer Terry Newman is saddling (but not servicing) horses on his country estate. Journalist Will Cantopher’s persuading his sons that football really is fun.
Alex Dower’s wearing a mask and spending a lot of time with children – not as a paedophile, but playing Ratty in Wind In The Willows - 3 performances today. Andrew Simmons (Butch) is writing hard against the clock (or should that be cock? Oooh! - Stop it!) to work Prince Harry’s German uniform into tonight’s Topping & Butch (see Ro's party, next item below). FR writer Tim Passmore’s at home in Oz to finish his doctoral thesis on musical theatre. Adorable Jackie Clune’s hard at work doing voice-overs.
Meanwhile in the suburbs, a man toils silently alone, working up a lather of white foam. Stranded in Surrey by a weekend of no trains, PR Paul Sullivan spends the time usefully, Vaxing his carpets. A woman’s work is never done, especially with shagpile.
John Park - Worlds End - (c) www.fringereport.com - 15 January 05. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The party of the century. It's a milestone in the life of a legend (though, as double-amputee World War 2 pilot Douglas Bader discovered, that's a word print can render ambiguous). It's the 30th birthday of the ebullient comedy impresario whose 28 Acts In 28 Minutes shoots in Feb 05. He's Rohan Acharya.
Those attending include: Underhand director and stand-up charming Matt Holt. Nudge writer the delightful Chris Lincé. Gorgeous artist Holly Lucas. Fabulous sketch comedian, handsome Steve Oram, lovely Anna. Adorable Kate Darby brings her husband Waen Shepherd aka Gary Le Strange - they're back from Xmas on fellow-comedian Simon Farnaby's farm. The divine stand-up gorgeous Ava Vidal (Bling, Blush & Bonk). Classically good-looking in a gentleman-bounder way, comedy director John Gordillo (Ealing Live!) 04. Smoulderingly gorgeous raven-haired TV producer/developer and Comedy Lounge co-editor the divine Susan Turnbull.
Blonde bombshell, comedian, actress, presenter and doggy-rights (but not doggy-style) demonstrator Anneka Svenska - currently plotting her anarchic new sketch show. Charming SandMan actor Ben Neale. Downright sexy James Lamont aka Matt and Lamont aka Nudge. Endearingly modest and sublimely-talented Fergus March, former member of Stickmen, recently working with Sir Trevor Nunn, now slipping into the male lead of West End show Mamma Mia. The charming Keef Gould. Slim-line and lovely Andrew Simmons aka Butch is complemented by equally lovely and fractionally more substantial Michael Topping - he of arched and naughty eyebrows - forming Topping and Butch; they're taking a break from a fast rewrite of their show to include Prince Harry's Nazi uniform. Charming James Galea. Walking charisma-zone, and exceptionally toned in preparation for London Marathon 05, comedian Matt Blaize stuns in dazzling leather jacket.
Ro was best man a couple of years ago to Jamie & Leila Turner. Memories of his speech don't stop them coming tonight, and Jamie Turner was Ro’s guest when Ro picked up FR Award – Comedy Person of the Year 03. Ed Byrne's brother, Paul Byrne and girlfriend Sarah Morgan. Reginald D Hunter and lovely friend gifted comedy actor Katy Brand. Ro’s lovely sister Dana Acharya and her top bloke Harry Holmes. Singer John Rhys-Davies. Bubbly and gorgeous blonde bombshell Ella Walker, in tv comedy. Maddy (Men in Coats). Brothers Jim Wallace and John Wallace. Anil Desau (Giant Pineapple Boys). Ro’s cousin Neil Chakravarty. Tonight Ro’s staying extremely close to stunning brunette actress Chloe Waite.
Sublimely beautiful and mega-talented BBC talent scout Chelle aka Michelle Farr. Film-maker Nicholas Paton. Sam Hill. Alyssa, Giles, Amelia. Comedian Victor Daniels. Gorgeous comedy writer Ariane Sherine. 6'7" comedy writer Tony Roche (currently doing 7 Days for BBC3). Natalie Bailey, taking a break from her day job as Armando Ianucci's researcher. Fabulous producer, beautiful Izzy Mant.
Elegant homme-fatal Damian Kell, a man born to play Bond, James Bond, and currently in Stickmen. Charming and sexy Matt Dyktinski (Pole Dancer). Gifted actor Ciaran Murtagh, currently on national tour with The Joy of Wine. Fellow birthday boy (at the stroke of midnight) the delightful and impish Jake Wiltshire, ex Canal Café technical director, now on the staff (but not the staffs) of the Royal Academy of Music; with more than a passing resemblance to Viz's charismatic character Johnny Fartpants.
The stunning venue is provided selflessly by Ro's exceptionally tolerant dad Amit Acharya. The most glorious food is by the divine Namita Acharya who, being Ro's mum, may have already achieved sainthood.
John Park - Barnes - (c) www.fringereport.com - 14 January 05 - thanks to Rohan Acharya for additional reporting. To keep up to date with Fringe Report's gossip and reviews, subscribe to our free, no-spam, monthly newsletter - just email email@example.com.
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Happy Birthday on their days to: Nikola Monfort on 19 Dec. Jason Korsner on 29 Nov. Gillian Best Powell on 5 Oct. Gareth Kane on 14 Sep. Paul Sullivan on 10 Sep. Isabel Robinson on 4 Aug. Michael Topping on 4 Aug. Alison Trower on 19 July. Tamsin Curno on 13 July. Howard Read - 30 on 3 June. Lea Harris (13 May). Taly Koren (6 May). Martin Smith (5 May). Rachael Booth (29 Apr). Kim Morgan (17 Apr). Tally Parr - 30 on 7 Apr. Nic Watson - 25 on 20 Mar. Jemma Gross (19 Mar). Jasmine Cullingford (12 Mar). Lara Apponyi (6 Mar). Sarah Shavel - 21 on 6 Mar. Richard Costello (2 Mar). Drew Horley - 30 on 28 Feb. Michelle Flower - 30 on 15 Feb. Tracy Keeling (3 Feb). Anneka Svenska (26 Jan). Jake Wiltshire (15 Jan). Rohan Acharya - 30 on 13 Jan.
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Congratulations to the new parents, and welcome to the new babies: Luisa Kelsey and partner had baby Poppy born Saturday 4 June; mum Luisa says '"little" Poppy was born at 8.55am weighing 8lb 3oz but luckily long (like her father) and not wide!' Hannah Dee (Hannah Davies) and Dave Brown had baby Max Elliot Davies born 15 Jan and, as mum Hannah says, 'weighing in at a whopping 8lb-11oz'. Susie Donkin (The Bearded Ladies) and partner had baby Daisy in January 05.
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Congratulations, and every happiness to those being engaged or married this year. Sarah Choppen and Graham Smit married on Friday 29 April 05 at The Orangery, Margham Country Park, South Wales. Details are here. Producer Tally Parr and recording studio director Drew Horley got engaged on Friday 18 March 05.
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Condolences to the survivors of those who died this year. Douglas Leslie Spurgeon (b 11 September 1923) died aged 81 at home after a brief period of ill-health on 12 April 05. More details here. Jinny McCallister, playwright, theatre manager of Islington's Almeida Theatre died by suicide on Thursday 31 March 05. Writer of About Face which premiered at Edinburgh 04. More details here.
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Related Links & Contact:
London 04 - The People!
Crystal Clean - Edinburgh 04 gossip column
Edinburgh 04 - The People!
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
(c) www.fringereport.com 2005
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