Tuesday, January 16, 2007


What a bizarre, nonsensical standfirst (as the newspaper jargon has it) atop Charles Spencer's interview with playwright Nell Leyshon in the Telegraph:

Almost uniquely among today's writers, late starter Nell Leyshon cares about country life. She talks to Charles Spencer

A few years ago, up at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, I overheard Spencer telling his companion for the day-long Alan Ayckbourn House & Garden-fest, "Hull's just up the road. Have you ever been there? Stinks of fish." So the man is prone to kerazey, unfounded outbursts (Hull hasn't had a fishy odour for about three decades, since the fish started being delivered here in frozen containers rather than landed by trawlers). But surely Leyshon, whose play The Farm was about the plight of farmers in rural England, is in no way unique amongst writers in caring about the ongoing struggle of communities built on farming, that's just plain bonkers. Richard Bean's Harvest, anyone? And that's just for starters.

Me? I'm making slight headway today on the Rank play, eating Doritos, drinking lots of tea and listening to M telling me how great Hugh 'Gregory House' Laurie is and that he deserves more press coverage in his homeland. Laurie - regarded here as little more than a sketch show buffoon and the less intelligent half of Fry & Laurie (erm, that does still make him ridiculously intelligent.- education ed) - won a Golden Globe for best television actor for the second year running last night. Which will no doubt mean several hours of watching clips of him giving his "hilarious" speech on You Tube.

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