David Tennant will have surgery for a slipped disc tomorrow, which will mean no Hamlet performances until after Christmas for him.(BBC)
A few Doctor Who fans were quite vocal with their disappointment when they realized Tennant would miss his opening night performance. The Daily Telegraph‘s Tim Walker says, “As the performance got under way, I heard a great many sighs and yawns from Tennant’s fans. That [the director] seemed to expect these people, not one of them a natural theatregoer so far as I could see, to sit through almost four hours of Shakespeare without so much as a glimpse of their hero clearly seemed to them to be adding insult to injury.” I suppose I have to give them credit for not brandishing sonic screwdrivers.
The Guardian‘s Michael Billington says Tennant’s understudy, actor Edward Bennett, is more than qualified to replace the Doctor Who star. He “not only is the RSC’s current Laertes in Hamlet – and Demetrius in The Dream – but he also made a big impression in a recent season at Richmond’s Orange Tree. So we shouldn’t have been surprised that he offered his own interpretation of Hamlet and fully owned the role instead of merely being its sitting Tennant.”
Audience members agree: Tennant’s understudy received a standing ovation. One theatergoer said, “At first we were disappointed and then we saw Edward. He should keep going. I liked his modern interpretation and very emotional performance.”(The Times)
Steve Coogan will premiere a “Doctor Who-style” BBC sci-fi series called Brave Young Men. It’s also being billed as a “light-hearted Quantum Leap.”(TV Scoop)
Coldplay are denying they plagiarized: “With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations,” the band said. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician but he did not write or have any influence on the song ‘Viva La Vida’.” (BBC)
The Times calls the dispute “the most civilised argument in music history.”
Katy Perry also has been quite civilized in her response to Lily Allen’s diss of her, apologizing for calling Allen fat. “I was just kind of joking and trying to be funny. I didn’t mean anything by it. Comedians are not necessarily to be taken super seriously.” Yeah, stick to kissing girls and bellyflopping on top of baked goods.(NME)
Alex James, bassist for the newly reformed Blur, writes that he enjoys some nighttime park life – but not in the George Michael sense.(The Independent)
James also expresses worries about the Blur reunion: “God knows what it will sound like in the studio. Now Damon writes operas, Graham‘s listening to finger-plucking folk music, Dave‘s going to be a prime minister, and I’m conducting orchestras so it’s going to be weird. It could be s***!”(Mirror)
The Guardian‘s Jude Rogers says Blur’s comeback is great for indie music. “Today’s British indie bands, with the exception of the grand Arctic Monkeys, are a rum old lot. Kaiser Chiefs‘ football-chant indie has lost its match fitness, Bloc Party‘s post-punk has gone properly po-faced, and Razorlight are so far up their behinds they’re kissing their colons. None of these bands possess a smidgeon of the creativity that Blur had, so perhaps Albarn feels that it’s time to lay down the gauntlet.”
Speaking of the Arctics, they are unveiling new songs in New Zealand next month.(The Sun)
Keira Knightley will become a real-life EastEnder.(Mirror)
Rome hottie James Purefoy will co-star with Neve Campbell and Jesse L. Martin in the new NBC drama, The Philanthropist, in which Purefoy plays a “billionaire playboy turned vigilante philanthropist.”(Guardian)
David Mitchell and Robert Webb have created a new sitcom, Playing Shop, in which they play “two aspiring businessmen who set up a shop in a garden shed,” The Stage reports.
Graham Norton advises the latest set of sadsack Telegraph readers, including one poor sap who lost his job six weeks ago and still hasn’t told his wife.
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.