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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Behind the scenes with Madonna
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Madonna and Guy Ritchie : Enjoying London life
The writer of Madonna's forthcoming play, Up for Grabs, has been talking about life during rehearsals for the singer's hotly anticipated West End debut.

Playwright David Williamson told an Australian newspaper he and the cast have taken to calling the superstar M because she so hates the Madge tag the British press has given her.

She despises the name, Williamson said.

"The English newspapers call her Madge to try to domesticate her, and she hates it," he said.

Madonna and Lourdes
Tickets for the play were said to be going for up to £150
"One of the actors didn't realise and called her that in rehearsals and got a fairly sharp response."

The Australian writer also defended his decision to change the ending of the play, saying it was not done for Madonna.

"I'm not a pushover, and I've had a couple of arguments with her in the rehearsal room," he said. "I'm not doing everything she tells me by any means," he told the paper.

Up for Grabs opens to the public at London's Wyndham's Theatre in the West End on 23 May and is already sold out.

Its 10-week run has been cut to evening performances only because Madonna wanted it to fit in with her recording commitments.

The play, which premièred in Sydney, is a satire on the art world, with Madonna playing an art dealer willing to manipulate her friends in order to succeed.

The singer's next screen outing will be in husband Guy Ritchie's movie Love, Sex, Drugs & Money.

  • Madonna's production company is to co-produce a game show for US television.

    The star's Maverick TV company will co-produce Truth or Dare, an "edgy adult" show giving a new spin on the popular party game.

    US network NBC has commissioned a pilot episode of the show, which will see the contestants undergo on-screen polygraph lie detector tests to tell if they are lying.

    Madonna's publicist has also rubbished rumours the singer is pregnant with her third child.

  • Picture gallery
    Madonna the actress
    See also:

    20 Mar 02 | Music
    Madonna to sing Bond theme
    28 Feb 02 | Arts
    Madonna to star in West End
    28 Feb 02 | Music
    Madonna, queen of reinvention
    11 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
    Watchdog attacks Madonna outburst
    08 Feb 02 | Music
    Madonna to sing Bond song
    30 Jan 02 | Showbiz
    Madonna toasts star photographer
    14 Dec 01 | Showbiz
    Madonna attacks UK workmen
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