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BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Friday, 13 October, 2006
In this week's programme presented by KIRSTY WARK:

THIS WEEK'S PANEL:
Julie Myerson | John O'Farrell | Natalie Haynes | Kerry Shale


film
The History Boys

Publicity image from The History Boys

Alan Bennett's play The History Boys took London and more recently Broadway by storm.

Cut and pasted to the big screen with the same director and the same cast, it's kept its smart humour which probes at the value and purpose of a modern education.

Set in Sheffield in the 1980s the film follows eight boys as they prepare for their Oxbridge entrance exams.

Richard Griffiths plays inspired and inspiring English teacher Hector, who clashes with young supply teacher Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore).

Publicity images from The History Boys

But as Hector's techniques are exposed as being a little too "hands on" and as Irwin's teaching techniques become increasingly seductive the boys, and masters, are educated in one of life's most painful lessons.

Alan Bennett and director Nicholas Hytner last collaborated on The Madness of King George, another production that began life as a National Theatre production.

Will The History Boys meet with the same critical and popular success?

  • CERTIFICATE 15
  • THE HISTORY BOYS OPENS NATIONWIDE ON 13 OCTOBER, 2006


    musical
    Cabaret
    Lyric Theatre, London


    Cabaret, the musical has returned to the stage.

    In its third re-incarnation since its original outing in 1966, this time it's a first for the West End.

    The Lyric Theatre presents the well known story of a British dancer and singer, Sally Bowles, and a struggling American author, Clifford Bradshaw, who meet in the debauched world of the Kit Kat Club where black fishnets and suspenders reign.

    Set in 1931 at the time of the Weimar Republic of Berlin, the musical pre-dates the Nazis' rise to power and yet the swastika takes the stage, an ominous reminder of what historically is to come.

    Publicity image from Cabaret
    Based on John Kander and Fred Ebb's landmark musical, and starring Anna Maxwell-Martin as Sally Bowles, James Dreyfus as the Emcee and Sheila Hancock as Fraulein Schneider, the musical looks set to bring the hedonistic world of the cabaret club alive once more.

    But just how will this West End Cabaret fare given the musical's huge success on Broadway?

  • BOOKING UNTIL SATURDAY, 7 APRIL, 2007
  • AT THE LYRIC THEATRE, SHAFTSBURY AVENUE, LONDON


    art
    Test Site by Carsten Höller
    Turbine Hall, Tate Modern

    Last year's installation in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall was Rachel Whiteread's Embankment, an arrangement of white cubes begging to be scaled but off limits for clamberers.

    Test Site at Tate Modern
    This year's commission from Carsten Höller, erected in time for half term, invites children and big kids to hurtle down five tubular slides.

    The start points are constructed at different levels of the Tate Modern, with the large 55 metre slide being entered from the fifth floor.

    All of them wind their way down to the Turbine Hall where those reluctant to take the ride themselves can watch others shoot out across the floor.

    The tubes are half stainless steel and half see-through Perspex so that riders can watch the changing light as they descend.

    The artist wants people to explore the feelings of fear and delight which accompany the abandonment of sliding.

    The work is called Test Site and Holler sees it as a prototype for a future world where slides will transport travellers around big cities.

  • TEST SITE 2006 BY CARSTEN HÖLLER IS AT TATE MODERN UNTIL 9 APRIL, 2007


    art
    Round-up

    FRIEZE

    The fourth annual Frieze Art Fair opened this week in London's Regents Park.

    With a record number of galleries applying to exhibit it makes a particularly strong showing this year.

    Although most of the works are only in the price range of serious collectors, the Fair is a visual feast for any art lover.

    Specially commissioned installations include Mike Nelson's labyrinthine artists studio tour, accessed through an unmarked door behind the exhibition floor.

    The Sculpture garden returns with works from Sarah Lucas and Peter Coffin's quirky Untitled (Tree Pants) and, for £4,500, the Chapman Brothers will paint your portrait.

  • THE FRIEZE ART FAIR IS AT REGENTS PARK, LONDON UNTIL 28 OCTOBER

    JAMES ROSENQUIST

    James Rosenquist is best known as a leading figure within the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.

    However, since then Rosenquist has continued to innovate, extending the range and forms of his work and embracing diverse themes including the environment, space travel and gun crime.

    His first major solo show in the UK has just opened. The retrospective is spread over three London sites, at both Haunch of Venison's galleries and the old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, and it's the first chance to see the iconic work Joystick in Europe.

    Much of his work in the 60s was interpreted as tackling the Vietnam War and his most recent work in particular seems to embrace political engagement.

    In particular The Xenophobic Movie Director or Our Foreign Policy juxtaposes a cow's skull by an American flag with a light bulb bearing the slogan Arabic.

    Rosenquist is keen not to invite reductive analysis of his work, though, and says art is about mystery and posing problems for people to work out.

  • JAMES ROSENQUIST IS ON UNTIL 18 NOVEMBER AT HAUNCH OF VENISON, 6 HAUNCH OF VENISON YARD, HAUNCH OF VENISON 23 BRUTON STREET AND THE OLD TRUMAN BREWERY, E1


    art
    David Hockney Portraits
    National Portrait Gallery

    The National Portrait Gallery is a fitting site for the first David Hockney retrospective to focus on his portraits.

    David Hockney, Self-portrait with blue guitar, 1977
    The artist admits he never thought of himself as a portrait painter, mostly because he won't take commissions and so only paints family and friends.

    The exhibition demonstrates, though, how integral the portrait has been to him over 50 years of working.

    He uses it both as a form in which to experiment formally - with photocollage, print, oil and camera lucida - and also to record his life.

    We see the aging of both the artist and those around him, including moving depictions of his mother who lived to the age of 99 and "was always ready to pose".

    Hockney is currently focused on painting the landscapes of East Yorkshire and this work can be seen in an exhibition across town, but says he'll return to portraits as he always does.

  • DAVID HOCKNEY PORTRAITS IS AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY LONDON UNTIL 21 JANUARY,2007
  • DAVID HOCKNEY: A YEAR IN YORKSHIRE IS AT THE ANNELY JUDA FINE ART GALLERY, LONDON UNTIL 28 OCTOBER


    music
    The Lemonheads

    The Lemonheads were formed in 1986 but the one constant of the changing line up over the years has been singer-songwriter-guitarist Evan Dando.

    Named after the American candy which is sweet on the outside and sour on the inside, the image matched their style, Dando's lullaby voice masking spiky lyrics.

    The group was adored by teen grungers in the early 90s for their albums It's a Shame about Ray and Come on Feel the Lemonheads, but later in the decade it all started to go wrong - Dando admitted problems with drugs and the band stopped releasing material.

    In 2003, though, Dando scored a success with his first solo album Baby I'm Bored. A confidence-building sell-out tour followed and now Dando has rebuilt The Lemonheads with an all new line-up.

    Their first album in this incarnation, The Lemonheads, features dark lyrics on love, life and betrayal with a recognisably Lemonheads guitar heavy sound.

  • THE LEMONHEADS IS RELEASED BY UNIVERSAL AND THE BAND PLAY DATES THROUGHOUT THE UK UNTIL 22 OCTOBER


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