Grandage Takes Over Donmar

Michael Grandage is succeeding Sam Mendes running the Donmar Theatre. A scary prospect following a legend? No. “There’s a myth that it’s better for a director to inherit a theatre on its knees and build it up so that, when you leave, you can say ‘Look what I’ve done!’. But to inherit a theatre with an international brand name and a legacy of excellence means that the sky’s your limit. We already have an audience and actors wanting to come. I could never put on Camus in the first season in an unsuccessful theatre, but here I can, and that’s brilliant.”

Does BBC Play Music Encouraging Violence?

Does the BBC play music that “glorifies the gun, homophobic aggression, male chauvinism and drug culture?” The founder of a London recording studio thinks so. “There is no programme of positive black awareness, and there are no music programmes reflecting the large influence roots, lovers’ rock, jazz and dub had on Britain.” He added that “the producers of certain music shows should share some of the guilt every time a black youth dies by the gun in Britain”. The BBC denies the charges.

HipHopping To Ubiquity

“Hip-hop is everywhere these days, dictating fashion and music, rewriting opera and hawking products from Sprite to Budweiser on TV. Even the Pillsbury Dough Boy tried rapping out a beat in a recent commercial. The mass media is now so full of hip-hop idioms like ‘stankin’ (which means good) and ‘mo betta’ (sex) and beeper codes like ‘1812’ (war) that the average Joe is having a real hard time, basically, getting jiggy wit it all.”

Are Easter Island Stone Heads Authentic?

Are two large Easter Island stone heads for sale in a Miami gallery really 1000 years old? “The Chilean government, which claimed the Pacific island in 1888, is investigating whether the pieces are genuine antiques smuggled from Chile or skillful reproductions. An expert on the island’s archaeology says they seem to be carved from island stone with modern tools.” Archeologists are on their way to investigate…