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BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 17:09 GMT
Newsnight Review 10 February, 2006
Presented by Martha Kearney

With guests:
Joe Queenan
Anne Atkins
James Brown
Jeanette Winterson
Joe Queenan
Anne Atkins
James Brown
Jeanette Winterson

This week

  • PROOF
  • THE ROMANS IN BRITAIN
  • ROUND-UP
  • FANTABULOSA
  • A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY


    Proof

    Directed by John Madden, Proof is the story of a young woman troubled by her father's past and her own future.

    Publicity from Proof
    Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a mathematical genius named Robert (Anthony Hopkins).

    On the eve of her 27th birthday Catherine must deal not only with his death, but also the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire (Hope Davis), and with the attentions of Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), a former student of her father's.

    As Catherine confronts Hal's affections and Claire's overbearing plans for her life, she struggles to solve the most perplexing problem of all: how much of her father's madness - or genius - will she inherit?

    Originally a stage play, David Auburn's Proof premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in May 2000, and transferred to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre on October 24, 2000.

    It went on to become the longest running play since Amadeus and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

    Publicity imges from Proof

    When Proof came to the UK's Donmar Warehouse, with Paltrow as Catherine, John Madden directed, and for him the transition from stage to screen was an obvious one:

    "It's an extremely subjective piece. And it jumps around in time. And it's a mystery story. And it's about people's feelings, very close up. Naturalism, subjectivity, time-jumps, mystery, close-ups: all things a movie can do really well. The issue was to figure out how."

  • CERTIFICATE 12A
  • PROOF OPENS IN LONDON ON 10TH FEBRUARY AND NATIONWIDE FROM THE 24 FEBRUARY


    Romans in Britain
    Sheffield Crucible

    Publicity from The Romans in Britain
    Howard Brenton is a playwright and screen writer, who has written both for the stage and television. He's worked on the TV drama Spooks and his new play, Paul, a secular reading of the life of St Paul, has just finished a run at the National Theatre in London.

    But it for was his play The Romans in Britain, first staged at the National Theatre in 1980, that he's best known.

    The play juxtaposed Caesar's invasion of Britain with the British presence in Northern Ireland, a major political issue of the time.

    It depicted scenes of brutality including one in which three Roman soldiers sexually abuse a captive Celtic druid, which became the subject of a private prosecution brought by the late Mary Whitehouse against the play's director, Michael Bogdanov, for "simulating" gross indecency on stage.

    The prosecution failed, but the Old Bailey trial made the play notorious - THIS DISGRACE TO OUR NATIONAL THEATRE and BAN THIS NUDE SHOCKER were among the many headlines at the time - and it has not had a major revival since.

    But a new production has opened at the Sheffield Crucible, giving today's audiences a chance to see what caused such controversy more than 25 years ago.

    Publicity images from The Romans in Britain

    In the light of the debate over freedom of expression surrounding the Danish newspaper cartoons, and recent protests about the Sikh play, Bezhti and Jerry Springer the Opera, does the play still have the power to shock?

    We talk to Howard Brenton and discuss the new production.

  • THE ROMANS IN BRITAIN IS AT THE SHEFFIELD CRUCIBLE UNTIL FEBRUARY 25TH 2006


    Round-up

    Leo Sayer

    His last Top of the Pops appearance was in 1983 but he's back on the programme this weekend, shaking his bouffant do for the kids, thanks to a remix of his 1977 hit Thunder in My Heart.

    Leo Sayer
    LA based DJ Meck found a copy of the record in a charity shop, gave it a makeover and the result caught the attention of Pete Tong and other UK club DJs.

    Leo Sayer had a series of top 10 hits in the early 70s including The Show Must Go On, Long Tall Glasses and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing'.

    Thunder in My Heart originally only reached number 22 in the UK singles chart but this week looks set to go to number 1.

  • THUNDER IN MY HEART AGAIN BY MECK FEATURING LEO SAYER IS OUT NOW ON THE ISLAND LABEL

    Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque soloists made musical history this week by producing the UK's fastest ever classical CD release.

    Concert goers at Cadogan Hall on Thursday were able to pick up a recording of the evening's first half at the end of the second half.

    Whilst the audience listened to Mozart's Mass in C Minor, backstage engineers were producing hundreds of copies of Mozart's symphonies 39 and 41 to sell as people left the hall.

    Gardiner is known as an innovator having founded musical groups to keep the profile of early music high and in 2004 establishing his own record label to publish live recordings of all 198 of J S Bach's Cantatas.

    With over 400 of the 800 concert goers buying the quick turnaround CDs on Thursday, his latest innovation was clearly a popular one.

    A limited number of copies of SDG: On the Night can be bought at the Monteverdi Choir's online shop.


    Fantabulosa
    BBC FOUR

    Publicity from Fantabulosa
    Michael Sheen plays the legendary comedian and entertainer Kenneth Williams in a drama about the life and work of the performer who was loved by everyone - except himself.

    Drawn mainly from the intimacy of his diaries, Fantabulosa shows Williams as a dedicated performer who could create a thousand voices and characters, but who was never comfortable living in his own skin.

    He made homosexuality acceptable to the general public, first coming to prominence and popularity in Hancock's Half Hour, following that with the character of Sandy in Radio Four's acclaimed series Round The Horne.

    He was the epitome of camp British humour and he rose to great heights in the iconic Carry On films of the sixties, where he immortalised lines like his Julius Caesar's "Infamy, infamy they've all got it in for me".

    Publicity images from Fantabulosa

    Michael Sheen's acclaimed performance as Tony Blair in Channel Four's The Deal established him as an actor with an ability to transform himself both physically and mentally into the character.

    He is reprising his role as Tony Blair in the forthcoming drama The Queen.

    Fantabulosa is written by Martyn Hesford and directed by Andy de Emmony.

  • FANTABULOSA WILL BE ON BBC FOUR IN MARCH, 2006


    A Man Without a Country
    By Kurt Vonnegut

    An illustration from The Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut
    An illustration from The Man Without A Country
    A Man Without A Country is the first book in seven years from Kurt Vonnegut, whose previous novels include Slaughterhouse 5, Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions.

    In the book Kurt Vonnegut looks at life, art, politics, himself and the condition of the soul of America today.

    Written over the last five years in the form of a loose memoir, with the examples of Mark Twain, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and a saintly doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis powerfully in mind, A Man without a Country is a communication from one individual to his fellow humans - sometimes kidding, at other times despairing, always searching. It is illustrated throughout with Vonnegut's trademark artwork.

  • A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY: A MEMOIR OF LIFE IN GEORGE W. BUSH'S AMERICA, IS PUBLISHED BY BLOOMSBURY


    Newsnight Review is broadcast after Newsnight every Friday at 11pm on BBC Two.

    Don't forget that you can watch Newsnight Review online via this website. The programme is available in broadband from 1200 BST on the Saturday after originally broadcast for one week.




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