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the guardian G2 - Tuesday, 9 October 2012

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Tuesday 09.10.12
Get off my land!
Human scarecrow speaks Aditya Chakrabortty
The lesson of India’s poor Hadley Freeman
Tory hair trends It’s a wrap
Decline of the kimono Robert Lepage
More play, less acting Communism, the KGB and
holidays in Chernobyl
Growing up in Soviet Russia
By Evgeny Lebedev
2 The Guardian 09.10.12
Liquid nitrogen: handle with care
sprayed on food, the food freezes in an instant. In this context, liq-
uid nitrogen is still dangerous – it can be too cold to touch – while one German amateur lost his hand after lighting it by mistake . But because the chemical is used as a tool rather than an ingredient, diners don’t have much to worry about.
That’s not neces-
sarily the case in some bars. It’s not yet known what kind of cocktail Scanlon drank, but Colin McGurran, chef proprietor Food and drink
Having played what they strongly hinted was their last show in July, Blur have announced a string of gigs in 2013. Who’s supporting? Frank Sinatra?
The long goodbye
A new biography claims that Gideon “Giddy” Osborne decided to change his name to George aged 13 because he was already concerned it would put off voters.
Aylsham and set about saving up for a trip to New Zealand. After doing a bit of casual labouring for William Youngs, a local farmer, one morning Youngs said he had a job requiring a book and a deckchair.
Working from 7.30am to 4pm on the minimum wage, Fox must be “the partridge bouncer” and do anything he likes to scare them off the succulent young shoots.
Fox has been playing the birds his ukulele, as well as doing sudoku puzzles, watching deer and daydreaming. Other university friends “have been unfortunate” in struggling to fi nd jobs but “you never know what hand life will deal”, says Fox phlegmatically, “and you’ve got to take every opportunity you fi nd”.
He is consoled by the fact that previous human scarecrows have risen far in the world. George Edwards , another Norfolk boy, went to work, aged six, in the mid-1850s scaring crows for a shilling (5p) a week. Edwards later formed an agricultural workers’ union and became Labour MP for South Norfolk .
Fox has no political aspirations but ultimately hopes to become a genealogist while also composing piano sonatas. “I’d love to have a piano out here,” he says. “If anyone could donate one and deposit it in the corner of the fi eld, I’d be very grateful.” Patrick Barkham Oh my Giddy aunt
Meet the living scarecrow, in a fi eld of his own
lapping his arms at a distant partridge on a chilly autumn morning, the graduate employed as a human scarecrow might seem a desolate symbol of contemporary austerity. But Jamie Fox has brought a ukulele, a sketch book and some podcasts to pass long days in the fi eld, and the cheery resolution of a young graduate determined to make the best of what appears to be the ultimate dead-end job.
The 22-year-old music and English graduate is not remotely depressed by his stint in a fi eld of oil-seed rape outside Aylsham in Norfolk. “This is much better than being at home on unemploy-
ment benefi t,” he says. “If I’m reading a book or playing an instrument, time passes and there are moments that are fantastic.”
He must walk up and down the fi eld on the tramlines created by the tractor wheels to scare the birds .
Ringing a cowbell and dressed in a high-vis jacket, with thermal trousers and three pairs of socks Hard at work: Jamie Fox plays the ukelele to scare birds off his fi eld outside Aylsham in Norfolk
to ward off the bitter wind, Fox has so far seen off six birds – partridges and pheasants – this morning. “I watched a squirrel for a while,” adds Fox. “Apart from the phone calls, it’s been quite tranquil.”
The story of the graduate bird-
scarer has raced around the world since the local paper got wind of Fox’s temporary job, and he has fi elded calls from dozens of radio stations and newspapers wanting to know about the “human scarecrow”. “I sound like a superhero,” he says. “If I’d aspired to become well known, I could never have imag-
ined in my wildest dreams it would be through a story like this.”
After graduating from Bangor University this summer, Fox returned to his family home in Liquid nitrogen was once just a n obscure chemical used in a completely diff erent context by high-end chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Heston Blumenthal . They used it to fl ash-freeze food – a technique now mimicked in restau-
rants across the UK.
Nitrogen boils at -196C – so once it is released from its container, it turns immediately into a vapour, before dis-
appearing com-
pletely. The vapour is extremely cold: when of Winteringham Fields, Lincoln-
shire, advises against drinking anything mixed with liquid nitro-
gen or containing nitrogen ice-cubes. The icy liquid might corrode your insides directly – or start to boil, expand rapidly, and then put too much pressure on your stomach.
As for Scanlon, happily she has survived – probably with her oesophagus sewn directly to her intestine. She can still eat normally, just in smaller portions. “Maybe ‘stay off the liquid nitrogen’ is not a funny thing to say to me,” she tweeted. “I nearly died.” Patrick Kingsley H
aving your stomach removed isn’t the best way of celebrating your birthday. This, nevertheless, was how 18-year-old Gaby Scanlon spent her coming of age. Out on the town in Lancaster last weekend, Scanlon perforated her stomach wall after drinking a cocktail prepared with liquid nitrogen . 09.10.12 The Guardian 3
Age: 14.
Appearance: The future. Or a giant solar-powered metal dragonfl y. Or both.
It’s 14 now? Yup. The fi rst piece went up way back in November 1998 .
So what’s new up there? Right now, nothing much. But they are expecting visitors.
As in visitors from outer space? No, as in visitors from Earth.
Have they never had visitors from Earth before?
They have had more than 200 of them, actually, but these ones are special.
Special how? Special because one of them is the station’s fi rst private space groceries delivery and the other is Sarah Brightman.
As in …? As in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ex-wife and the world’s biggest-selling soprano.
Both of those are going to require some explaining. Yup.
Want to start with the “private space groceries delivery”? Sure. That one’s more or less as it sounds. Since they retired the old space shuttles in July 2011, Nasa has had to fi nd new ways to deliver its astronauts’ food, drink and FHM subscriptions, and a private company has stepped in to fi ll the gap.
Is it Ocado? No, it’s a fi rm called SpaceX, which has sent an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket to drop off a capsule containing 400kg of supplies some time on Wednesday.
Between the hours of 10am and 4pm? Probably something like that, yup.
And Sarah Brightman has stowed away in this capsule? No, she’ll be coming later. In 2014 at the earliest, in fact, after extensive how-to-be-a-cosmo-
naut lessons at Russia’s Star City training centre .
Seems like a surprising career change. It’s purely pleasure, not business. She’s only going to be there a couple of weeks.
So what’s this pleasure trip going to cost her?
Estimates vary from £5m to £20m. Either way, it’s a sizeable chunk of her estimated £30m fortune.
Blimey. Looks like the rest of us won’t be taking space cruises any time soon. Not unless we become intergalactic grocery boys and girls, no.
Do say: “We tried to deliver your soprano but you were out.”
Don’t say: “She will now be available to collect from our depot on Earth.”
Waitrose launches a spring onion the size of a leek this week. Called the goku, it has a “warm heat” akin to an onion.
First Buzzfeed claimed women posting pictures of cup cakes on Pinterest was “killing feminism”. Next, food watchdog the FSA revealed that a batch of cakes had been dusted with powdered brass.
ou can tell a lot about a politician’s priorities from who they deign to follow on Twitter. When David Cameron joined the service on Saturday , he started out following just three people : Boris Johnson , Jeremy Hunt and William Hague . Not, one suspects, because those are his three best buddies , but per-
haps because those are the people he simply couldn’t be seen to have snubbed. If a person’s “following” list is the new window to their soul, then the 30 people the PM has since added tell us quite a lot about him: every single one is a Tory MP. Meanwhile, fellow Twitter newcomer Maria Miller , who replaced Jeremy Hunt as secretary of state for culture, media and sport, has already been bombarded with retweets of the question, fi rst posed by arts producer Danielle Rose : “Dear @Maria_
MillerMP, why do you not follow any artists, small to medium arts organisations, festivals, or human rights organisations?”
Miller, to be fair, is now follow-
ing more museums, galleries and charities than her predecessor in the role; of the 103 people Hunt follows , almost all are either politicians or political journalists. There are just two spots reserved for cultural types, which go to Stephen Fry and Kevin Spacey , who Hunt presumably felt would give him all the information on the arts he’d ever need.
The undisputed king of Twitter failure, however, has got to be online popularity guru Grant Shapps . The Conservative party chairman follows, at time of writing, 23,226 people, including several hundred users tweeting exclusively in foreign languages. Too many tweets may make you appear a twat, Grant, but too much following just makes you look creepy.
On the other side of the fl oor, Labour leader Ed Miliband follows 1,244 people, ranging from Barack Obama to Boris Becker , though on close examination the list doesn’t quite ring true. Is he really, for example, an avid devotee of the wisdom of Gary Barlow ? Are we honestly to believe that the geekiest party leader since Neil Kinnock keeps doggedly up-to-
date with the goings-on of Team Lorraine Kelly ? Does any adult in their right mind need to be fol-
lowing two separate accounts for Vanessa Feltz ? The political robot doth protest too much.
The lesson here? Be human, but not too human. And above all, don’t be Grant Shapps. Tom Meltzer On Sunday, Rothko’s Black on Maroon was defaced by Vladimir Umanets , who scribbled on it with marker pen. But it’s far from the fi rst artwork to be vandalised …
Rembrandt’s Danae (above) was attacked in 1985 by a man using a knife and sulphuric acid at the Hermitage gallery in St Petersburg, Russia.
Read Jonathan Jones on Rothko, art and vandalism and visit a gallery of defaced artworks at guardian. Giant onions
Brass neck
Plastic surgeons in Kabul are being kept busy by women wanting larger noses. They cost a 20th of UK prices, and tough Afghans make do with local anaesthetic.
Ahead by a nose
Who politicians are following on Twitter
Social media
Pass notes
No 3,261
International Space Station
l a
I’m following 23,226 people – one for each of my online identities
09.10.12 The Guardian 5
fter making his speech in Birming-
ham tomorrow , David Cameron will need a chillax. A bit of telly, perhaps. Allow me to suggest a programme, one that may seem far removed from the choreography of a party conference but that is in fact very relevant to how he and his fellow Conservatives talk about the poor.
The BBC’s Welcome to India is remarkable television: a series about how a few of the world’s most impoverished people live in two of its largest cities. It is a subject that the channels take in turn to do each year, when moderately well-known (but, y’know, accessible) names are despatched to a slum to meet residents and do a little emoting and a lot of moralising on camera. Surely no one who saw Channel 4’s Slumming It a couple of years back will forget the profundity delivered by Kevin McCloud after just a few days spent in the Dharavi district of Mumbai: “People are living in really horrible conditions, producing amazing things and at the same time they seem to be happy.” Not for nothing do they give you a PhD in interior design.
Welcome to India has no big-name presenter and, on the evidence of last week’s episode, goes relatively easy on the voiceover. What it off ers are stories of how poor people get by, as told (and occasionally fi lmed) by themselves. So you meet Kaale, in Kolkata’s Bowbazaar, scraping together money to rent a room where his family can live. A reserved, even grave thirtysomething, he gets up in the middle of the night to dive into the jewellery district’s stormdrains and dodge the snakes and scorpions to scour for particles of gold. You hear from Rajesh, who runs a moonshine stall on a Mumbai beach, and is worried that the council will tear down his illegal, makeshift home.
What comes through in these tales is their subjects’ incredible ingenuity. After getting bilked on the price of his buckets of mucky water, Kaale works his mobile phone and negotiates with other buyers. In the end, he gets enough to rent that tiny room where he and the fi ve members of his fam-
ily will sleep. In a diff erent life, Kaale would have made an absolutely deadly City trader.
I am recalling this a few hours after listening to Cameron’s chancellor, George Osborne, address Tory activists. In his speech, the government’s hatchetman pledged to slash a further £10bn a year from welfare spend-
ing. That’s on top of the £18bn of benefi t cuts already planned by the coalition, to make a total reduction of about a quarter in the entire welfare budget, excluding pensioners. We don’t know how Osborne plans to make these cuts or – and this must be a serious consideration now – whether they are feasible. But let’s assume that this amounts to wiping out 25% of the state-provided income of every poor child, Aditya Chakrabortty
disabled person and so on. And of course, the way in which Osborne, Cameron and their fellow ministers describe these drastic reductions is as an end to the “something-for-nothing culture” of the terminally workshy, idling behind shuttered windows, while the rest of us hi-ho off to wage-
slavery. To justify the individual misery they will infl ict, Tory frontbenchers reach for stereotypes.
Well, what programmes such as Welcome to India give us is not generalities but particularities. Such insights are not easy or cheap: Tom Beard, the series director, reckons that making the three episodes required a core team of four – and several fi xers and interpreters – to station themselves in India for nearly four months. That is quite a gamble to take for subtitled programmes about obscure people in far away places . No wonder commissioning editors prefer the reliable results of a McCloud or Sanjeev Bhaskar.
Yet the rewards are plentiful, because what comes through is the energy and resourcefulness of even the most destitute. Without those qualities, they are sunk . New Delhi has always been cavalier about its poor: indeed, its offi cials try repeatedly to underestimate how many Indians live in poverty (the government estimates around one in three of the population live below the poverty line, the United Nations Development Programme reckons it is more than one in two). And its intelligentsia, whether left- or rightwing, are as prone to dealing in generalities as their British counterparts. Jaideep Prabhu is an expert in innovation now at Cambridge, but born and schooled in India. For most of his career, he was taught that innovation was something that westerners did; then about 10 years ago, he discovered that poor Indians also did innovation. Prabhu tells me about Manshukbhai (literally, Brother Manshuk). A roofer from the western state of Gujarat, he started fi ddling with the traditional clay pots used in his village – and turned them into fridges to dispense drinking water from the top, with fruit and veg at the bottom. Manshukbhai has set up his own company called Mitticool . And the more Profes-
sor Prabhu looked around, the more comparable examples he found. The subject-cum-industry now even has its own name: jugaad, or DIY innovation. Those same western companies Prabhu used to study are now keen to see what lessons they can learn.
What if we stopped generalising about the poor, whether in India or Britain, and simply listened to them? What programmes such as Welcome to India and areas of study such as jugaad indicate is that they would have much to tell us.
From New Delhi to Westminster, governments are cavalier about the poor when they should be listening to them instead
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Welcome to India is on BBC2 tomorrow at 9pm.
6 The Guardian 09.10.12
Evgeny Lebedev, son of the oligarch Alexander Lebedev, grew up a stone’s throw from the Kremlin, amid the Communist party’s power elite. He recalls his grandfather’s fear of Stalin, the collapse of the Soviet Union – and the rise of a strange new Russia My Soviet childhood
09.10.12 The Guardian 7
he house I grew up in was fi lled with the ghosts of Soviet tyranny. Nikita Khrushchev was a neigh-
bour when my parents moved in, Vyacheslav Molotov still living there when I was born. The petrol bombs that bear Molotov’s name may have granted him an unwanted immortality, but to us he was just another old man shuffl ing through the entrance. The building was an apartment block close to the Kremlin and reserved for the leaders of the nation. It was grand and pink and fi n-de-siècle, but even here the facilities were basic. The wires were pinned on to the wall-
paper and when I was born, cooking was still done on a stove in the corner.
On the third fl oor a man in a grey suit was always waiting, smoking ciga-
rettes and watching everybody. We assumed he was KGB. Years later, when the Soviet system fi nally collapsed, we found out we were probably right. All our rooms, we were told, were bugged.
My parents were young when they had me in 1980, students in their early 20s, but we lived in the heart of Moscow’s power elite because my maternal grandfather was a distin-
guished scientist. He was the head of biology in the Soviet Academy of Sciences , which basically meant he ran biology across the entire country.
Under communism, that got you selected alongside party bosses and generals as somebody deserving a truly prestigious home, and No 3 Romanov Lane was nothing if not prestigious. The house was so packed with the shades of Russian and Soviet history that it takes centre stage in Molotov’s Magic Lantern by Rachel Polonsky, one of the best books on Russia to come out in years. At its front were huge granite slabs memorialising the revered people who had lived there, the Soviet equivalent of blue plaques. The contrast between these leaders of the past and the Soviet elite of my era could not have been more striking. I remember the shortages and the empty shelves. My mother and I would queue for hours for the most basic goods – one Soviet skill that proved useful when we ultimately moved to Britain. It was well into the 80s before my father managed to get his hands on a car. It was a Lada, and it broke down all the time. One year, on a trip to Volgo-
grad – or Stalingrad as it was previously known – we were left stranded when it took days for a new part to arrive.
Like so many families in the Soviet Union, we had a strange and divided relationship with communism. My mother’s grandfather was a senior of-
fi cial during the war, controlling food supplies and organising the evacuation of his ministry to the east when Moscow was threatened by the Nazis.
He had power and prestige, but with that came the fear faced by any high-
ranking offi cial of the period. People he worked with were sent to the labour camps for arriving only a few minutes late for work, or for not being able to immediately provide the exact infor-
mation from memory that a more sen-
ior party offi cial demanded. One time he discovered money had been taken from a safe at work. He was so terrifi ed of what might happen were news to get out that he used his own money to cover up the loss, paying people’s wages out of his own meagre savings.
In 1952 his superior, Anastas Mikoyan , probably the most likable of Stalin’s blood-drenched cronies, fell out of favour and was lambasted at the party congress . If there had been a purge, my great-grandfather would probably have found himself on a death list. To his dying day he was certain that only Stalin’s death fi ve months later saved him, and he remained too terrifi ed to talk about th e period: my father would try to ask questions and he would wave him Muscovites celebrate the failure of the anti-Gorbachev coup in 1991; Evgeny Lebedev; and (right) with his father, Alexander
away, pointing to the corners of the room in case those listening heard and came to take his family.
Despite this, both my grandmothers were strongly in favour of communism. They still are. I can see why the prom-
ise of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need” appeals, but what surprises me is how even now they believe in Stalin. Both talk with pride about how they wept at the news of his death. It is not that they do not know what happened un-
der his rule: the famine, the camps, the fear. But they maintain Stalin did not know what was going on .
This is not an uncommon view in Russia, but I fi nd it diffi cult to under-
stand how two such worldly wise people can cling to such a belief. Maybe it is simply a desire for the stability and security communism promised .
By the time I was born, my →
8 The Guardian 09.10.12
father, Alexander, no longer be-
lieved in communism. Around our apartment were hidden the forbid-
den books of Alexander Solzhenitsyn . He saw the state the country was in and quite rightly blamed the system. Yet these doubts did not stop him from starting work in the foreign intelli-
gence service after he graduated, even though it was a decision that many in our family disapproved of. He immedi-
ately established a reputation as one of the sharpest brains in his cadre, with a prodigious memory and eye for detail.
His father had never joined the Communist party as he disapproved of the perks and special access to food it provided to its members . His career as a brilliant optical engineer stall ed as a result. Even my maternal grandfather disapproved, despite his work for the Soviet state. He saw foreign in-
telligence as the descend ant of the monstrous organ of inter-
nal repression he had so feared in his youth, although by the 1980s foreign and domestic intelligence were operationally separate .
Nevertheless, for a young and ambitious man like my father , the service was an at-
tractive proposition. He saw it as an opportunity to travel, to progress, and even to argue for change from within.
As a child, I did not know what his real job was. The offi cial story was that he was a diplomat and I had no reason to doubt it. I only discovered the truth when I was 11 and found some medals in a drawer, awarded for service to his country. I was sworn to secrecy, but carried the secret with pride. I was still a boy and the idea was exciting; glam-
orous, even. In a land of grey bureau-
crats, my father was someone special.
My fi rst school was an elite kinder-
garten in Moscow. Soviet child-rearing was not like the western-liberal style: you were ordered to do gymnastics, to sleep in the afternoon, to eat every-
thing they put in front of you, however unpalatable it might have been. Once I fell over and burst my nose open. I knew it was a bad idea to ask the nursery staff for help – there would be little sympathy there – so I ran off into the forest and hid.
My fi rst holiday was to the radio-
active wasteland of Chernobyl . In 1989, three years after the meltdown, my grandfather was researching how radiation had aff ected animal life in the area, and he took me along. I remember abandoned vehicles every-
where, and these gigantic distended mushrooms. We shot a duck on a lake and checked it with a Geiger counter. mixture – and when the sun comes out, British peo-
ple really appreciate it.
Every summer, we went back to Russia and I was on one of these holidays the summer the Soviet Union collapsed . I can remember taking our Siberian husky for a walk when tanks rolled down the street past our apartment and parked by the Kremlin. Then, one night shortly afterwards, we were returning from seeing my paternal grandmother when a curfew was imposed. We were on the Moscow metro and people be-
gan to be ushered out and the stations closed. When we reached street level there were units of soldiers patrolling the streets with machine guns. This was the night of the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev , when the old guard made one last ditch attempt to reverse his reforms.
My grandmother was very much in favour of the coup. She wanted to save the Soviet Union at any cost. Her husband, my grandfather, said that if they started bashing communists, our Spirit of 1991: tanks in Red Square; Pravda front page; demonstrators man the barricades, and burn a Soviet fl ag ←
The readings were normal so we built a fi re, cooked and ate it.
My father was posted to the Lon-
don embassy when I was eight. At 29 he was incredibly young to get such a prestigious job, although the reality of his daily work was less glamorous than I imagined. He was mostly stuck in an offi ce reading the newspapers, occasionally meeting people, and then writing home about what was going on.
Arriving in Britain was a shock . Everything was so colourful: the way people dressed, the cars, the range of goods in the shops. With the freedom to speak, freedom to purchase and free-
dom to travel it seemed like another planet and I immediately loved it. In fact, I loved everything about Britain, even the weather. It is a beautiful PHOTOGRAPHS DIMA TANIN, DIMITRI KOROTAYEV, ALEXANDER NEMENOV, STEPHANE BENTURA/AFP
09.10.12 The Guardian 9
house would be the fi rst to be attacked because it was full of Soviet offi cials, military commanders and party lead-
ers. One night people came and daubed swastikas by the entrance and from th en on I found myself looking over my shoulder as I approached the front door.
My parents, however, were against the coup . They went to protests at the White House, where the Supreme Soviet met, when Muscovites gathered to make clear there could be no going back. Stuck to the walls of the metro stations were Boris Yeltsin “Wanted” posters . These provoked a fi erce argu-
ment back at our apartment between my father and maternal grandmother. He said Yeltsin was a patriot; she thought him a criminal threatening the state she had served her whole life.
We had to return to London before the crisis was over and it was a year be-
fore we visited again. By then the USSR had dissolved and even to a child it was clear how much things had changed. Moscow was no t the same city; the recent past was being removed from sight. Street names had changed. Land-
marks vanished. Historic sites were being demolished and replaced by monstrous new buildings. It is a very Russian propensity, the desire to wipe the past clean and start from scratch. They did it in 1917; they did it again, to a lesser degree, in 1991. Everything people knew was turned upside down.
Russia had become a wild place. You heard about death everywhere. People were being stripped at gunpoint just for their clothes. My grandfather started carrying a second world war pistol inside his jacket. At weekends we went to the country and he taught me how to use it, just in case.
Before, people had thin wooden doors, and apartment blocks were left open. Now giant iron doors appeared everywhere. Bullet-proof. Double-
skinned. Steel. And people were behaving so strangely. Everywhere that was not locked up started to literally fi ll up with shit. People used to just shit and piss in every available space. You would even see it in lifts, or in apartment lob-
bies that had been left unlocked.
I can imagine why the East Germans or Czechs would have felt overjoyed at the collapse of communism, but in Russia it was diff erent. It had been a superpower and Russian s are proud people. They were proud to be living in a country that could stand up to America, which others were scared of. Then sud-
denly, it just fell apart .
My father resigned from government service and started search was conducted of the surrounding buildings and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher found by a nearby window.
My father refused to leave. He had seen free countries and refused to accept that the same was not achievable in Russia. He started using his money to fund a free press – especially Novaya Gazeta, the freest and bravest news-
paper in Russia, where journalists are murdered with horrifying frequency, simply for telling the truth. All this time the police were harassing us, endlessly questioning my father.
Even now my father refuses to back down, without concern for the personal or professional cost, when he sees injustice , corruption and other abuses. I respect him for that. He is a patriot and that is why he believes his country deserves to be better than it is.
I am also a patriot. Russia is the land of my birth and I am proud of it. I wish to do all I can to help it take its right-
ful place as one of the world’s leading nations, not only economically or militarily, but culturally and politically too. Nevertheless I now live primarily in Britain and my British side helps put into perspective the challenges it now faces. Living in a free, liberal and open country with due process and the rule of law throws the present injustices that exist in Russia into sharp relief.
As for my Russian side, the side that grew up in a bugged apartment a stone’s throw from the Kremlin, that shows me how lightly British freedoms are taken by the people of this country. It sets off alarm bells when I see the state impede civil liberties, or when technological advances and unethical behaviour threaten our privacy in ways far more sophisticated than the KGB could ever have conceived.
It is because of this sense of how fragile these freedoms are that I am involved in the Independent, the Evening Standard and the Journalism Foundation, which supports and promotes free and independent journalism throughout the world. When you argue for freedom in Britain today, it can sound obvious, even banal. But I grew up in one of the least free places in the world at a time when it ruled a quarter of the globe. Freedom is never banal to me. That is why I hope these organisations can help protect freedoms in one of my countries – and help promote a stronger, healthier and more outward-facing society in the other. I feel optimistic.
On holiday in Chernobyl we shot a duck and checked it with a Geiger counter
Mikhail Gorbachev speaks to reporters after the end of the coup; (below) Evgeny Lebedev with his mother, Natalia and grandmother, Maria
launching business enterprises. He tried every thing. He was hungry to try all the things he had not been allowed to do under communism – to buy and sell. He loved the process. He wanted to take all the great things he has seen in the west and try them in Russia . Soon he had a new car , a driver and secu-
rity . He knew how dangerous it was. In Moscow in the 1990s, people were settling business deals not by doing a better job than their competitors, but by killing them .
It was 1997 when I fi rst felt the chaos intrude into my own family. I had asked to go to boarding school in Britain but I came back in the holidays and that was when I realised we were now in danger too, for my father was called in for questioning by the police. H is business rivals had bribed senior offi cials to go after him and shut him down. It happened, he told me, all the time. That did not stop the police arriving shortly afterwards at my grandfather’s apartment. They tore it apart as my mother and I stood there, watching.
That was only the start. Sometime later, behind my father’s chair at work, we found a bullet in the wall. It had been fi red from an apartment across the street. Another time, we received a tip-off of an assassination attempt. A Evgeny Lebedev is the owner of the London Evening Standard and The Independent newspaper titles, and editor-in-chief of
10 The Guardian 09.10.12
ine days ago, on the very muted fi rst day of the Labour party conference, I met Dilys Fletcher MBE, a veteran Labour councillor from Oldham. “This is the quietest, most tame conference start I have ever seen in my life,” she said, and she didn’t seem to be exaggerating. She was particularly frustrated with the scores of pallid-looking young men in ill-fi tting suits who were gathered around us in small clumps, staring at the regulation TV screens. “I feel like saying to them: this is not an educational exercise,” she raged. “You’ve not come here to bloody network . You should come here to say to Ed: ‘ Get some balls .’”
The event may have fl ared into life two days later when the younger Miliband made his big speech, but the feeling of borderline tedium lingered . The same applied to the Lib Dems’ gathering in Brighton, a four-day demonstration of how to avert your eyes from an existential crisis by distractedly muddling through. Two weeks on, I’m writing this piece from the press bunker at the Conservative conference in Birmingham: it’s more lively than the other parties’ bunfi ghts, but only just.
As now happens at all the party conferences, most of the people here seem to be either political aides, Time to put the party back into conference
lobbyists, aspiring MPs or the poor souls who have to staff the exhibition stands. The constant soundtrack is the low hum of politics-speak: “ renewal”, “ engagement”, the obligatory tributes to the Olympics. The whole thing is happening under the unspeakably lame slogan “ Britain can deliver”. As one wag joked yesterday, deliver what? Pizzas?
Every year, through the opening weeks of autumn, the same thing happens. Politicians continue to vent their angst about the public’s lack of interest in what they do. Post-expenses, polls show that Westminster is held in alarmingly low esteem. Yet while they fret about what’s happening to our democracy, the parties’ response is to spend millions on annual events that symbolise everything that has gone wrong. Think about it from the point of view of the citizens of Brighton, Manchester or Birmingham: one of the parties arrives in your city, wraps itself in an impenetrable security cordon that means you have to walk a diff erent way to work, attracts thousands of people who seem very strange indeed, encourages them to lord it around your bars and restaurants, and then promptly disappears. This is not, perhaps, the greatest recipe for the renaissance of politics.
The annual political gathering has never been more lucrative – or more alienating to the public at large. Is it time to fi nd an alternative to all this corporate boredom, asks John Harris
09.10.12 The Guardian 11
to the droves of what he calls “pasty boys” (pasty as in pale, not the Cornish snack), he agreed that everything about the conference ritual symbolises a democracy in dire need of repair. And there were, he assured me, simple enough ways of drastically changing what happens.
First, for a charge of £10 or so, the public should be let in. “You’re supposed to be embedding things in the community, and all that – so why not tear down the fence, and let people come and see you?” he said. Rather than the deadening speeches from the platform and the staid rigmarole of the conference fringe, the running order should feel more like a political book festival, based on big ideas, and featuring plenty of non-
politicos: the appearance at this year’s Labour c onference of the American philosopher Michael Sandel was a start, but a very modest one.
Those who hanker after a boost to party democracy, he said, shouldn’t pin their hopes on the conference: in the modern age, giving party members a meaningful voice can be an ongoing process, rather than fi ve days of waving cards in the air and proposing emergency motions. But there was a strong argument for an annual session devoted to party business and rules, and thanks to fi xed parliaments, a once-every-fi ve-years event focused on a huge debate about the party’s election manifesto and its fundamental principles. In between all that, he told me, there are endless possibilities: speakers from abroad, musical events in the evening – anything that might break through the current sense of a couple of thousand people talking largely to themselves. “The next one will be better,” he assured me, though he acknowledged that the people who can conceive of no other kind of conference will off er plenty of resistance.
As I packed my case and headed for Birmingham with a quiet dread, I considered some recent thoughts from Channel 4’s Jon Snow : “News is the occurrence of the unexpected. [But] very little ‘unexpected’ is permitted in the set-piece plenary moments of any party conference these days. The unexpected, if it occurs, occurs on the fringe. Here there are fl ashes of passion. But when the hands go up for questions, the arms, more often than not, belong to NGOs and thinktanks. So how does all this go down in the wider world? Have the conferences become mere shop windows? If they have, where is the real debate? Is there one?” The answer, until these increasingly pointless bunfi ghts are dramatically reinvented, will be a thundering no.
need the slightest pretext to gather together in large numbers (witness festival season, or the massed response to the Olympics). But even the parties’ remaining activists are turned off . Across the board, membership is only a fraction of what it once was: from respective fi gures of around three million and one million 50 years ago, Conservative and Labour membership is down to around 177,000 and 194,000; the Lib Dems are at 50,000, down from 100,000 20 years ago. Some of those who dutifully turn up to local meetings and stuff envelopes still come to confer-
ence, but in ever-decreasing numbers. At last year’s Tory conference, there were noticeable empty seats, even for David Cameron’s speech, and small wonder: a survey by the activist website ConservativeHome found that since the party now favours big cities rather than seaside resorts, the cost of attendance to the average delegate comes in at a headache- inducing £722.
Yet the machine grinds on. In a recent edition of PR week, a survey of 17 “public aff airs agencies” – lobbying fi rms, to you and me – found that although 64% of their people expected to see fewer activists and MPs at this year’s conferences, 70% expected the numbers of “public aff airs practi tioners” to either remain stable, or grow. For as long as they will stump up for a pass, and companies and charities still see the worth of paying for a stand, the parties will presumably leave things pretty much as they are. There is, after all, money in all the corporatised boredom: according to a recent report in The Times , the Tories turned a profi t of £1,442,000 from last year’s conference, four times the fi gure they managed fi ve years ago, and Labour sources say that their numbers “mirrored the trend”. In an age when the big parties constantly fret about money, that’s very signifi cant.
But how can you have a mass conversation about anything important in a lobbyists’ version of the Ideal Home exhibition? For all politicians’ talk about “reaching out” and connecting with the world beyond Westminster, metaphorical light years separate the public and often Soviet esque conference proceedings . Beyond the hyped-up leader’s speech, is there anything to justify all that eff ort and expense, besides a bit of short-lived PR and the chance to refi ll the parties’ bank accounts?
Just before I set off for Birming-
ham, I had a long conversation with a senior fi gure in the Labour party, who said he found annual conference “life- denying”. From the weird food, through the absence of natural light, A business with no bosses
First Clegg, now Cameron: the boss class is under the cosh this month. Leaders, though – do we really need them? Talking to Bob Cannell – a member of Suma, Britain’s biggest collectively organised cooperative – you begin to wonder.
Yesterday, Cannell was working in personnel. Today, he’s manning the phones, chatting to me. Tomorrow, he’s in the warehouse. Such is life at Suma , a Yorkshire-based wholefoods wholesaler. Everyone works across several departments, and everyone gets a say in how things operate. Most importantly, there are no bosses.
“We do management by consensus,” says Cannell, who has worked at the cooperative – one of nearly 6,000 in Britain – for over 30 years. There is a management committee of six workers – but they base their decisions on prolonged consultations with the rest of the company. Anything too contentious gets debated at a bimonthly general meeting. Decisions take time , but once made they are implemented rapidly.
This fosters quite a camaraderie. Two decades ago, Suma’s warehouse was fl ooded by sewage, tainting 700 tonnes of stock. “We turned up and thought: this is it. We’re fi nished,” remembers Cannell. “But we set to, and we were trading again within seven days. Part of my job was forcing people to go home.”
Some co-operatives end up control-
led by a small cartel of members. Not so at Suma, says Cannell. You can only stay on the management committee for two years, and all company infor-
mation is shared. “Everyone’s talking about the business, all of the time.”
And they’re not hippies, Cannell stresses – or at least not now. Founded in the 70s by a man interested in whole-
food for religious reasons, Suma soon morphed into an organised business. Last year, it had a £30m turnover, a workforce of 150, and 8% growth – “and that’s in the middle of a recession”.
Could it work elsewhere? Clearly, says Cannell. “In lots of business, you have two worlds of governance: the formal executive hierarchy; and then everyone else, who are connected by social media, criticising the manage-
ment, organising among themselves. In this world where we’re all so c onnected, it’ll be almost impossible not to be cooperative in the future.” By Patrick Kingsley
Is an impenetrable security cordon the right image to project?
The average cost per person to attend the Conservative conference
Current Labour party membership. The Conservative party stands at 177,000 and the Lib Dems at 50,000
The amout of profi t generated by the last Conservative conference IN NUMBERS
This is not,
the greatest recipe for the renaissance of politics
12 The Guardian 09.10.12
irst the Duchess of Cambridge did it on her fi rst royal tour of Asia, then Prada followed suit just a few weeks ago – both off ered a new take on the traditional Japanese kimono. Could this new prominence be a sign that an outfi t that means “some-
thing that you wear” in Japanese is having a renaissance? Made from a bolt of cloth 12 metres long, the traditional kimono design, with typical geometric square sleeves, has changed little over the centuries. But its recent celebrity resurgence cannot hide the fact that the kimono industry is in decline as, out-
side a traditional geisha world known as “fl ower and willow”, most Japanese women have switched to wearing west-
ern clothes, only bringing out kimonos for formal occasions, if at all.
“In the old days nearly all our cus-
tomers wore kimonos every day,” says Yoshio Hada, who has worked in the kimono section of the Mitsuko-
shi department store in Tokyo for 50 years. “Now there are very few.” Cost, practicality and fashion have all had an impact on the popularity of Japan’s traditional clothing. There are so many complicated rules for wearing kimonos that many Japanese women today have never learned how to do it properly and are fearful of getting it wrong.
The largest customer base for these ornate and complicated clothes is the geisha community. Umeka says she ran away from home at 15 to become a maiko, or trainee geiko – as geisha are known in Kyoto – because she loved kimonos so much. She now owns 200 of them, many of them hand-painted with exquisite fl owers, trees, birds, bridges, streams and mountains, and has also dramatically reduced . Kihachi Tabata produces some of the fi nest hand-painted kimono fabrics in Kyoto. A single kimono can take him up to a year to make. He is the fi fth generation of his family in the business, but none of his sons have followed him into the indus-
try. “You cannot make money from mak-
ing kimonos,” he says sadly .
Ten years ago, Waraku, a glossy Tokyo-based magazine aimed at women in their 50s, introduced a simpler new style of kimono known as Iki. The magazine’s editor, Kayo Igarashi, believes that the kimono industry needs to adapt and change in order to survive in a modern world. But although the Iki kimono is easier to wear, and more practical for urban working women, the price tags for these fi nely woven plain fabrics can be even higher than for elaborately patterned ceremonial kimonos. Mitsukoshi’s kimono depart-
ment had a bolt of this plainer kimono fabric for sale at £70,000. Takao Watan-
abe, president of the Nishijin Textile Industrial Association, argues that being able to aff ord these staggering prices, and follow the kimono’s elaborate rules are indications of a person’s wealth and status . So perhaps it was meant to survive to be modelled by princesses and couture clients.
Despite her collection of 200 kimonos, Umeka admits to wearing western clothes when “off duty” and proudly shows me her Hermès hand-
bag . So does she think the traditional kimono can survive in a modern Japan ? “Of course it will, “ she laughs. “Even if I am the last one, I will keep wearing kimono!”
Kimonos are worn by Prada models and the Duchess of Cambridge – but the cost and impracticality has sent the industry into decline. By Ruth Evans
kimono-obi (sash) ensembles. Some of these pieces have price tags of £50,000 or more, bought by wealthy clients and patrons, others she bought from the fees tea-house clients are charged for the pleasure of being enter-
tained by “a living work of art”. Most geisha are concentrated in “hanamachi” or “fl ower towns” in certain areas of Japan, and in the Gion district of Kyoto. Only 12 teenage maiko are currently training to become geiko in the city’s Kamishichiken fl ower district. In recent years, 19 of the area’s 30 tea houses have closed, unable to compete with the karaoke bars and pachinko par-
lours that entertain men after work As kimonos have fallen out of fash-
ion outside these fl ower districts, the number of companies making them In decline … maikos in kimonos
The last of the kimonos?
‘You can no
longer make
money from
09.10.12 The Guardian 13
In numbers
I suspect another cunning plot from our government. Jeremy Hunt calls for no abortions after 12 weeks on purpose, because he knows it’s such a ghastly, bonkers idea that Maria Miller’s and Nadine Dorries’ desire for no abortions after 20 weeks, if you ignore science and what pregnant women want, sounds comparatively reasonable, and you might, in a panic, vote for these creatures.
That is if you want more unwanted children around. I would have thought we have enough already. There are loads of them starving away, neglected, orphaned, wandering around the streets and rubbish tips of the world. Why can’t Jeremy Hunt, with his Christian values, concern himself with these unfortunates? I know many of them live abroad, and charity begins at home, but I thought the world was now meant to be a global village.
Anyway, we’ve already got people starving here, queuing up for free food. A baby starved to death last week in Westminster. His mother was sick and destitute. Women for Refugee Women could probably fi nd you some more examples, and who knows, with a few more years of benefi ts cuts, we’ll probably have hungry, grubby children scrabbling over landfi ll sites and dumps to survive, just as they do in other less fortunate countries.
This Thursday, the charity Small Steps Project will be auctioning swanky celebrity shoes to raise money for children living on fi lthy, stinking distant dumps who have no shoes at all. Or enough food, clothing, shelter or schooling. All right, I own up. It’s my daughter’s charity, but once you realise how many children everywhere need help, it seems more sensible to concentrate our eff orts on the ones we’ve got already, rather than the ones who are barely here.
But Hunt is unlikely to do that. He’s just another man from the dark ages, obsessed with a silly idea, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but is still telling women what to do. In a sane world, we could ignore him, but we can’t, because he’s in charge. Of health. Heaven help us all. I like to have a laugh, but I can’t.
abortion or contraception advice to under-16s to inform the child’s parents while the other attempted to intro-
duce compulsory counselling and a week-long “cooling off ” period before women are granted an abortion. Both were defeated in parliament, which didn’t stop Dorries teaming up with Frank Field MP to introduce a bill that attempted to strip abortion providers of their role in counselling women. This was heavily defeated in the House of Commons last year. It remains to be seen who else will join the bandwagon at the party conference this week but it seems fair to suspect there will be another attempt to reduced the abortion law before 2015.
Jane Martinson and Rosie Swash The secretaries of state for women and equalities, health and the home secre-
tary are in favour of reducing the abor-
tion limit below its current 24 weeks. Maria Miller and Theresa May back a reduction of four weeks, while Jeremy Hunt is calling for the limit to be halved. Although only a few MPs have sug-
gested scrapping legal abortions , hark-
ing on about late abortions that aff ected fewer than 3,000 women last year has led to fears that the Tories are set to ape the US right with an attack on women’s reproductive rights.
Those who argue for reducing the limit further – Nadine Dorries MP among others – cite evidence that more than half of foetuses born at 24 weeks survive and that this should take prec-
edence over the right of the mother to determine her own future. Yet the scientifi c community does not support a reduction in the time limit imple-
mented in 1990.
Just as Dorries introduced a bill to cut the abortion limit to 21 weeks in 2006, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a report on scientifi c developments since the limit was reduced from 24 weeks in 1990. The report found that 89% of abortions are carried out before 13 weeks of gestation while 2% took place at 20 weeks or over. A far higher proportion of these were due to foetal abnormali-
ties, many of which can only be picked up at the 20-week abnormality scan. None of this explains the Conservative attack, which pre-dates even the latest reshuffl e that put those opposed to current limits into positions of power. Although abortion is largely seen as a personal rather than party political issue – all votes have been free to date – the current crop of Tory MPs have form on this matter. (This wasn’t always so. Even Margaret Thatcher backed David Steel’s bill which legalised abortions in 1967.) Earlier this year Andrew Lansley ordered a review of abortions clinics, at a cost of £1m, after a report in the Telegraph said that 1 in 5 “broke the law”. Following inspections , just 14 out of 249 clinics were found to off er pre-signed consent. There were two attempts by a Con-
servative MP, Angela Watkinson, to change the law on abortion in 2007. One aimed to force doctors off ering The statistics on abortion Why do so many Tory MPs want to reduce the limit below 24 weeks?
A certain age
Michele Hanson
“My own view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it. It is just my
view about that incredibly diffi cult question – about the moment we should deem life to start.”
Jeremy Hunt
of abortions
are carried
out under
13 weeks
of gestation
carried out after 20 weeks
take place between 13 and 20 weeks
1 in 3
The proportion of women who will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old
Following inspections, 14 out of 249 clinics were found to have broken the law by off ering pre-signed consent
Cost of review of abortion clinics launched by health secretary
Andrew Lansley earlier this year 24
Full term
set in 1967 Abortion Act
Limit set in 1990
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09.10.12 The Guardian 15
and that, too, was about Dave v Boris (Dave with his newfangled modern ways is obviously toast and unrecon-
structed Boris is so very, very obviously porridge.)
According to various sources out there who I’m sure are in no way con-
nected to Boris , No 10 was “nervous” about the mayor’s speech last night, where we saw “Boris unleashed”. Fifty Shades of Peroxide yumm-ee!
Yes, Boris is the man of the moment, really, in the Tory party, despite not actually being in the cabinet, and if that isn’t strange enough, then the thought that his hair is an inextricable part of his appeal truly is something to muse upon. With its faux-casual appearance, endearing (to many) scruffi ness and absolute resistance to baldness (age cannot wither that barnet), Boris’s hair is the very symbol of the modern Tory party. Cameron’s, by contrast, looks both stiff and receding. Osborne’s, ominously for him in the current Tory climate, is beating a retreat faster than Cameron from a Boris Fan Club meeting.
Elsewhere, though, others are going the other way. Now, I’m not saying an-
yone’s gone and done a Wayne Rooney here, but Grant Shapps’ hair is, to me, as intriguing as his multiple identities and fl uctuating Twitter-follower num-
bers . Where once it seemed close to disappearing, these days it is positively fulsome, suggesting that perhaps he is not human but rather a Chia Pet. Desmond Swayne ’s is looking rather Borisifi ed these days while Oliver Letwin’s hair continues to be its own tourist destination.
So in short, for the upcoming Tory hair trends I’m thinking big, I’m thinking bold and most of all, like everyone else at the conference, I’m thinking Boris.
With the Tory party conference upon us, can you please settle a crucial issue: what male hair trends will we see emerging from the week?
Jon, Essex
Excellent question, Jon! Let us not allow ourselves to be distracted by the views of Jeremy Hunt and his non-specifi ed “experts” on abortion, nor anything else women should and shouldn’t be allowed to do with their bodies in the random personal view of Mr Hunt. Nor must we let our grief for the absence of Louise Me-me-me-
Mensch take our attention away from the important issues at hand. Namely, what is the current hair trend for the average Tory male MP and what does that say about the party today.
In the past I have discussed the terrible baldism that is rife among the world of politics today, and how baldies are – for reasons baffl ing to this column – somehow precluded from leading a country. François Hollande is the most tonsorially challenged leader of a western country that I can think of off the top of my tonsorially less challenged head, and he is hardly bald. Nor, it feels pertinent to add here, have his tonsorial challenges in any way impeded his way with the ladeez, but I am getting a little off topic here.
Now, quite why male politicians should be obliged to big up their hair so much seems even more mysterious in light of last week’s rent-a-media-
friendly-study which claimed that men with relatively little hair upon their scalps are seen as more “mas-
culine and dominant”. It may at this point be worth noting that the man who conducted this study is, as funny chance would have it, bald himself.
Nonetheless, as tradition holds among politicians, the usual male Tory politician’s hair is rich and thick [insert obvious joke here] and my prediction for the conference is that it will be richer and thicker than ever [insert even more obvious joke here], and that is down to one simple reason; one that begins with the letter B and has fi ve letters. While you’re all trying to fathom that tickler of an Ask Hadley quiz, I’ll continue.
Hair among the Tory men has been getting bigger for some time. In general, Tory man’s hair is not great anyway: it tends to be rather straw-like and have something of the “Lego hair” appearance to it, by which I mean it appears to be dropped from above atop the person’s head with little thought for suitability or style and doesn’t actually look real. Michael Fabricant is the true epitome of Tory Man Hair and I think we can all agree that the man works it.
But this is no longer quite enough for Tory Man. You see, as we all know, this confer-
ence is not about the Tories. It’s about David Cameron v Boris Johnson. Just as Cameron’s recent appearance on David Letterman’s show in Amer-
ica was about Dave v Boris. Heck, everything’s about Dave v Boris these days. This morning I decided to have porridge instead of toast Ask Hadley
What do male hair trends tell us about the state of the Conservative party?
Style Q&A
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an funny
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Post your questions to Hadley Freman, Ask Hadley, The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Email ask.hadley@
16 The Guardian 09.10.12
obert Lepage sits sipping coff ee in a vast wicker chair at an old coking plant in Germany’s Rhineland, looking impish. Meeting him here feels a bit like fi nding him on the set of one of his own productions: typically otherworldly and full of surreal encounters.
It is 9am, and the Quebecois director has just fi ve hours in which to mould his latest work-in-progress before he jets back to New York, where he will oversee his controversial £10m Wagner Ring cycle at the Met .
This new work, Playing Cards , is much less opulent, and still being “cooked in the oven”, he says. It will be performed in Madrid, Toronto and Essen before its UK premiere at the Roundhouse in London next February . “The show is in the process of losing all its dead skin and crutches,” Lepage says. “Already we’ve reduced it by 35 minutes. We will continue to edit and rewrite, and eventually we’ll feel fi nished in Melbourne a month ago, we really felt, ‘There’s not much we can add to this.’ ” His mantra seems to be: be patient – all will be revealed.
A few days beforehand, I get a glimpse into Lepage’s superfi cially chaotic rehearsal process. Chin in hand, the director strolls through empty rows in a theatre in Essen, as ideas – his and the actors’ – are fed into the action. Nuria Garcia, who plays both a Mexican maid and a Spanish call girl, toys with Lepage’s suggestion that she should be deep in prayer as her character searches for salvation from a life-threatening illness. The scene is repeated several times before both actor and director are satisfi ed; there’s not much we can add to this, and we’ll have what is essential. The early incarnations are often a bit shaky, but there’s suddenly a moment when it’s beyond you.”
“Shaky” is a description that will resonate with anyone who saw Lepage’s infamous 1994 Edinburgh premiere of The Seven Streams of the River Ota , which – to the chagrin of critics – was still very much under construction on opening night. On top of defective scenery and disgruntled actors, the show overran by two hours. Lepage, now 54, says he has learnt a lot since then, but is unapologetic about his process, arguing his work always comes good in the end.
“The same critics who destroyed Seven Streams when we opened in Edinburgh – and yes, it was horrible – called it one of the most important shows of the 21st century six years later in London.” It was a similar story with Lipsynch, another signature work , which toured for six years. “When it Rule No 1: create your own cosmos
I catch one actor grumbling ‘what a way to earn a living’ as he squeezes out of his Elvis suit
Robert Lepage is behind some of theatre’s most wildly ambitious hits and misses. Kate Connolly joins the director in rehearsals for his latest opus, featuring Elvis, hot tubs and the invasion of Iraq
09.10.12 The Guardian 17
Impish … (main) Robert Lepage; (below) a scene from his new play, Playing Cards 1: Spades
meanwhile, a young stage manager, a sprawling plan of the complicated show spread out in front of her, delivers instructions via a PA system.
“What we’re working out here is which of the 30 characters we should concentrate on,” Lepage explains. “Some we might get rid of. Some take a more relevant place in the show, and gradually, the big shwobble of ideas gets clearer the more we work on it.” Spades is the fi rst of a four-part sequence of plays that Lepage is developing for a network of 13 theatre-in-the-round venues, from Canada to Croatia. These playhouses encompass everything from gasometers and water tanks to winter circuses – and, in the case of London’s Roundhouse, a beautiful former railroad shed in Camden . Each show has a playing-card motif . Spades tells a series of intertwined stories set in the two desert cities of Las Vegas and Baghdad at the start of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 : the tale of two coalition soldiers who have a gay love aff air; a French recovering alcoholic and her gambling-
addicted British boyfriend ; and the story of a palliative nurse and her physicist husband, who are married by Elvis and get mixed up with a mysterious cowboy called Dick .
There are just six actors. Each descends into and rises out of the drum-shaped stage , in the confi ned bowels of which the backstage crew, kitted out with head torches and tiny wheeled seats, fi ght for space alongside the actors, the costumes and complex props and scenery. Not everyone is entirely happy: I catch the British actor Tony Guilfoyle grumbling “what a way for a grown man to earn a living”, as he squeezes out of his Elvis suit and into that of the gambling addict .
Lepage compares the revolving stage to a carousel or a magician’s hat : “It feels very much as if we’re all playing around in a playpen until something interesting, mature, exciting, poetic comes out.” It certainly contains surprises: diff erent sets pop up like pieces of toast from trapdoors and holes . A casino folds away and a hotel room rises in its place, sinking back into the fl oor to make way for a hotel hot tub; this is illuminated by the space-
ship style lighting deck suspended above the stage and inhabited by yet more technicians.
“This sense of playfulness is my big argument for why we should do theatre in this day and age,” says Lepage. “Nowadays there’s sometimes too much acting and not enough playing. In Shakespeare’s day we referred to players, not actors.” His theatre company, Ex Machina, spent a research week in Las Vegas – a city Lepage knows well, having lived there for a year when he created Cirque du Soleil’s Ka show in 2005 . “It’s simply an amazing place to understand the world,” he explains. “It’s constructed in such a way that people are constantly reminded to gamble, and so you’d hear it all day – the intimate ambience with Italian music and wine, as well as the constant ‘ding ding ding ding’. And every two or three minutes you’d hear a complete family scream ‘Yeah!’ And their lives would be changed . Just as people go to the theatre because they want to witness change , that’s exactly what Vegas is about. You come here and – like in Thelma and Louise – you drive through the desert and it’s your last chance. As we say in French, ‘ça passe ou ça casse’ (it’s make or break).”
Lepage also drew heavily on the military culture that pervades life in Vegas, in particular a fake Iraqi village on nearby Edwards Air Force base , where coalition forces are sent to train with “Arab” extras , recruited by Hollywood casting agents. “All of Vegas is false,” he says. “There’s a false Paris, a false Venice, a false Baghdad – in fact, all of the early Vegas aesthetic is Baghdad, which is also the irony. It’s Aladdin, the sands, One Thousand and One Nights. Even the nudity is faked. Cirque du Soleil has an erotic show there called Zoomanity, and the women are forced to dance with false nipples on their nipples and false pubic hair on their pubic hair, to abide by Nevada’s strict nudity rules.”
Lepage is aware of the connections a British audience is likely to make , after a certain British prince visited Vegas before heading to another desert in Afghanistan. “Yes, I saw the kerfuffl e and the pictures. And he recently almost got killed, didn’t he?”
e is happiest when juggling several projects at once. As well as Playing Cards and Wagner’s Ring, Lepage is currently working on a Met premiere of Thomas Adès’s operatic adaptation of The Tempest, which opens later this month. Then there is a project with Peter Gabriel, and a one-
man show on the subject of memory, which will please anyone who recalls his The Far Side of the Moon (2000) – in particular the exquisite fi nal scene in which a shrewdly placed mirror made it look as if Lepage was walking in space.
He now has designs to bring Thomas Heatherwick into that creative mix, having seen the British designer’s much-feted Olympic cauldron . “Wasn’t that the most amazing thing? Both its concept and how it was built was extraordinary. Peter Gabriel has this idea for a project together with him and is keen for us to meet,” he says.
“I like doing very small intimate things in the morning, and then in the afternoon to be working on something in a big stadium,” he continues. “I need to have many things cooking at the same time.” Getting this balance right means that the answers to a problem in one project can be found in the other, he says. “But for that you fi rst have to create your cosmos.”
Animal-shaped buildings and the age of austerity
Read Oliver Wainwright’s new architecture blog
Playing Cards 1: Spades is at Roundhouse, London NW1, 7 February to 2 March 2013. Box offi ce: 0844 482 8008 .
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18 The Guardian 09.10.12
hen The Space launched, somewhat gingerly, in May this year, it was intended as a six-month pilot. Over the summer, Arts Council England’s free digital platform, run with the BBC, has carried fi lm and other content tied to events around the UK – providing a record of the Cultural Olympiad for people unable to attend. The Lottery provided £3.7m . In June, the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the site , urging arts organisations to follow its lead, and fl oating the idea of “a permanent digital channel with live broadcasts every night ”. Now Hunt’s wish has been granted: this week, the arts council announces that The Space, due to close at the end of the month, has been granted an extension .
The aim is to establish The Space on a “more secure basis”, explains Alan Davey, chief executive of the Arts Council: he is setting aside £8m from a digital fund to support the platform over the next two to three years , following a period of evaluation with the BBC. (The BBC built the website, and provides technical support and training .) The ambition is that it will work as a means of broadening access, justifying public spending and encouraging new art forms. The decision to invest comes at a diffi cult time for the arts council: in June it was announced that it had to fi nd 29% cuts in grants between now and 2015. But it has the fi rm support of its incoming chairman, Peter Bazalgette, who helped broker the agreement. “Experiment is exactly how you do things,” Bazalgette says. “It improves as it develops – that is how the games industry works.” Some of the site’s higher-profi le content, including fi lms of the Globe theatre’s 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages , Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem , and the BFI’s Alfred Hitchcock season , will come off the site at the end of October, as copyright reverts to the originators. But the Arts Council is optimistic about retaining the bulk of it, reporting that 80% of contributors contacted so far have agreed to let their content remain .
How has the site performed? Its modest audience of around 886,000 unique users grew from an early fi gure of 260,000 by the end of June; of the seven genres covered, music has proved the most popular. Much of the content has a long life: the Helicopter String Quartet sequence from Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht , performed by Birmingham Opera Company before an audience of 2,000 (over four performances), was viewed online by the length of time for viewing niche media, and whether to chunk things up and editorialise. I loved the way you could browse, go on for one thing, then be drawn to something else.”
He is realistic about the amount of content the platform can host, particularly now the Olympic moment has passed. “There won’t be the same deluge of material . We will be keeping it up as much as we can, with four to fi ve new commissions in early 2013, and new archive material.” The latest addition is Hotel Arena, based on the BBC arts strand, which recently posted a previously unseen short fi lm of the Beatles hunting for fi sh and chips , a spin-off from its Magical Mystery Tour documentary. The plan is to open up Arena’s archive of over 600 clips . The future may include a more commercial approach, attracting private funds, with paying events off ered alongside the free . Then there is the thorny issue of rights ownership. Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of the Globe theatre, says The Space “was great for us . [The plays] could be watched almost everywhere in the world, and allowed the Globe to contact communities we have not brought before into the theatre. Yes, we do intend to work with them again.” But the Globe, which plans to run its own digital platform, will now add the plays to its archive.
Amanda Nevill, chief executive of the BFI, is more cautious, saying: “ We have to look at the economics. We live in a commercial world.” Last month the BFI launched a YouTube channel , attracting 30m hits. “There are big commercial channels really hurrying to partner with us,” she says. The BFI plans its own branded channel, and will launch its own version of the iPlayer by the end of 2013, giving access to an increasing number of restored fi lms . So The Space has competition. Is it the future of arts broadcasting, as Jeremy Hunt proposed? It appears to have the backing of the BBC’s new director general George Entwistle – though it will need the approval of the BBC Trust before it can become permanent. What it does off er is direct and free access to the arts, as well as an accredited platform for artists and producers . The days of having to persuade a gatekeeper, until now one of the big broadcasters, to make a programme may be numbered. Carry on streaming ... (from top)
Coriolanus in Japanese at the Globe; Hitchcock’s 1928 silent Champagne; Space podcast host Lauren Laverne
For the past four months, online platform The Space has hosted the best events in Britain. As it is granted a longer life, Maggie Brown asks: is this the future of arts broadcasting? Click here for culture
33 times that number . To put this into context, a Sky Arts audience for a single screening can be as low as 5,000 (though it, too, runs on a cycle of repeats). Given the richness of its archive, and in such a bumper year for British culture, why do so few people know about The Space? Davey concedes that the project has lacked a marketing budget, though it has benefi ted from its relationship with BBC programmes such as The Culture Show; it has also partnered with the Guardian, sharing fi lms, podcasts and live streams through the Guardian Space channel . (The Guardian is currently working on an original short drama in collaboration with The Space and London’s Young Vic theatre.) Davey says: “We will get more detail about audience habits and those who are underserved by the arts, 09.10.12 The Guardian 19
Interviews by Imogen Tilden. The fi nal performances of this production are at Coliseum, London WC2, on 11, 13, 15 and 18 October. Box offi ce: 0871 911 0200.
Ivan Fischer , conductor When English National Opera asked me to conduct Mozart’s Magic Flute in 1988, I said I’d do it with [director] Nick Hytner but nobody else. I’d been involved in many productions of the opera before, and I told Nick and designer Bob Crowley at our fi rst meeting that I always wished the directors and designers wouldn’t run out of ideas early. There’s usually great imagination in the early scenes – the snake , the Queen of the Night , Papageno’s birds , but very little left for the second half. Nick laughed, and came up with a brilliant second act.
Nick is a great director with a special respect for music, and he was able to put my ideas into practice. For example, I asked him that when Pamina and Tamino, the two lovers, go through fi re and water there should be real danger; in most productions, it feels like a symbolic, pleasant walk. The opera is a lovely fairy tale with humanistic, masonic ideas . It has deep philosophical origins . It is about the trial of maturity and the magic power of music. Our production was also notable for what some critics termed its feminist slant. We had Pamina taking the initiative. It was very important for Nick, and I agreed : there is a danger with the opera that Sarastro is too good, and the Queen too evil. We didn’t want a sexist production claiming that men are right. Tom Randle , tenor I was in Los Angeles trying to make a living as a singer when I got a phone call from the Coliseum asking if I would be available to sing Tamino. I thought it was a joke. But I sent a cassette tape and a hastily cobbled together biography , and a week later [ENO general director] Peter Jonas rang and asked me to audition. All the time I was thinking: “Have you got the right guy? ” It turned out that [composer] Michael Tippett had heard me sing several years previously and had recommended me. In London, Jonas looked at my CV and said “You haven’t done much opera.” I said “Listen, I haven’t done any, but how hard can it be?” and I guess he liked my attitude . We used a new translation by Jeremy Sams . He got it all: the rhyme sequence, the high nobility of the language and the silliness of some of the text. There’s a lot of spoken dialogue and I was doing my best to not sound too horribly American.
The snake was a saga. We started out with a real one. T he snake handler brought it on the Tube in a gigantic duffl e bag. We also had real doves [for Papageno, the birdcatcher]: the snake handler said I should be careful handling the birds because the snake would smell them on me. One day, I forgot and she started very slowly to squeeze tighter and tighter round my neck. I was just able to squeak: “Help!” I was disappointed when we had to use an animatronic snake instead because one of the singers had a phobia and couldn’t even be in the same building .
Nick got the show spot-on – the high art with a little camp and everything in between, and Bob Crowley’s designs are timeless. It’s a hard piece to pull off , especially if you look at the story – not a whole lot makes sense . T o this day I’ve never seen another production that has Pamina rather than Tamino playing the fl ute in the fi re and water scene. I remember thinking what a great idea it was: so much of The Magic Flute is her story after all. How we made ... The Magic Flute The conductor and star of ENO’s landmark production on feminist takes and a live snake
‘The snake started to slowly wrap itself round my neck. I managed to squeak: “Help!” ’
‘High art with a little bit of camp’ ... John Rawnsley as Papageno and Lesley Garrett as Papagena in ENO’s 1988 production of The Magic Flute
20 The Guardian 09.10.12
hat is it today that we’ll look back on in 30 years’ time and say: bloody hell, I can’t believe we used to do that. The Grand National perhaps, a race so dangerous that horses frequently fail to make it round alive. Millions still watch it, though, having been out and had a little fl utter fi rst.
Oh yeah, there’s another one, betting shops – dozens of them on every high street, creating addicts, ruining lives, but encouraged by governments. Perhaps there will be documentaries one day – I Was Once a Gambler, I Was Once a Jump Jockey, there was nothing wrong with it, it was just a bit of fun.
For now, here’s Wonderland: I Was Once a Beauty Queen (BBC2). “I was fortunately the kind of child that used to attract attention, even at a young age, from the opposite sex,” says Madeleine Stringer, disturbingly. Madeleine was Miss United Kingdom in 1977.
“It didn’t feel degrading at all,” says Carolyn Moore, who was Miss UK in 1971. Carolyn’s parents were very proud, though not everyone approved, even back then, and her father Brian remem-
bers that “the feminists, or whatever they called themselves, hurled bags of fl our at Bob Hope in the Albert Hall.”
“Why were the feminists objecting do you think?” asks fi lm-maker Hannah Berryman, hopefully. Carolyn’s mum Maureen can’t think why. “Why do you think?” she asks her daughter, but Brian chips in. “Maybe they were envious,” he says, and they all have a jolly good laugh. Brian and Maureen were also dead proud of Carolyn when she worked at the Playboy Club, as a bunny girl.
The parents of Tracy Dodds, Miss Great Britain 1982, are more worrying still. Mum Dot got Tracy a pair of Cinderella heels when she was a toddler. “She used to have a little bathing costume with a pair of these shoes on, and she used to run around like this,” she asks questions about whether they think it was degrading, or danger-
ous, or they were being objectifi ed, tries to get them at least to engage with why those feminists, or what-
ever they called themselves, where hurling fl our. With little joy, though. Carolyn’s mum Maureen’s justifi cation for her daughter’s chosen career path is typical. “Females are females, and males are males, aren’t they,’ she says. “And beauty is beauty, and ugliness is ugliness. What’s ...?” But then she can’t think of anything else to say, so laughs.
Tracy at least took on board what her headteacher said, albeit belatedly. When husband Steve traded her in for a younger model, she left their beauti-
ful Australian mansion, came back to England, did A levels, went to uni, got a teaching job. Oh, but then she packed that in, because it didn’t pay well enough. She lives back on Mersey-
side with daughter India, who has just taken up modelling, and has entered Miss Liverpool. Yes, it still goes on; it just doesn’t make TV any more.
The reveal scenes at the end, where we fi nd out what they are up to now, are interesting. Carolyn still looks like a beauty queen and is still married to Mark, who she met when she was a bunny girl. They live in a beautiful fl at, not far from where the Playboy Club was, in fact. Madeleine – who is the same either way up, remember – lives in a fl at in Berwick- upon-Tweed. Her husband, who was in The Animals, left her with big debts when he died.
For another – another Carolyn, as it happens, Carolyn Seaward, Miss UK 1979 – there was a Swiss banker, a Greek ship-
per, Carl the Canadian who proposed (she accepted but it turned out he had someone else), even Prince Andrew for a date. Now there’s no one. She’s back at home, living with her parents and her ponies. Aged 52. Sad really. It all is. Last night's TV Sad stories of the beauty queens: women reduced to three numbers
By Sam Wollaston
she remembers, mimicking the girly heely run Tracy used to do. And one of my neighbours said: ‘D’you know what ? Your daughter’s only two and a half and she’s got a fi gure already, she’s shapely.’”
Well, that was it. One inappropriate comment from over the fence and Tracy got all the parental encouragement she needed to go and become a beauty queen. Her headteacher tried to dis-
courage it, because Tracy was showing promise at school, but what’s the use in studying when you can parade around in a swimsuit, while some dodgy geezer reduces you to three numbers. “Those measurements you see there are 37-
35-37; she measures the same, exactly, upside down ...” Oh, actually it’s Madeleine he’s talking about, who is the same whichever way up she goes. Sorry.
Hannah Berryman does her best; The documentary about British sports cars on BBC4 last night seemed to have contributions from literally every single motoring journalist in Britain. Except this one. Hurt ...
Spotted as a toddler: Tracy Dodds, Miss Great Britain 1982 22 The Guardian 09.10.12
Watch this
TV and radio
Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip
9pm, BBC2
This “emotional history of Britain” is as much fun as it sounds, exploring the gap that exists between the emoting “new man” of today and the steely, remote army offi cer type of the Victorian era. Tonight’s episode fi nds Hislop in part investigating the role of the English public school, specifi cally, the mid-19th century boom in founding schools like Hislop’s own alma mater, Ardingly College. Pupils here were not the sons of gentry but of the middle classes, and showed themselves full of the same stout qualities as their betters. Are you blub-
bing, boy? John Robinson
Jewish Mum Of The Year
9pm, Channel 4
What do Caprice, Uri Gel-
ler and Ed Miliband have in common? The answer: Jewish mothers, those most archetypal of mums, with, as Vanessa Feltz puts it, “an umbilical cord made of steel, concrete and chicken soup”. In this hugely enjoy-
able, Apprentice-style real-
ity show, a dozen compete for the distinction of being Jewish Mum Of The Year. Which, as competition judge Dovid Katz points out, won’t be easy to adjudicate: “All Jewish mothers think that they’re the Jewish mother of the year.” Ali Catterall
Fresh Meat
10pm, Channel 4
It’s term two and the housemates need to fi nd a newbie now that Paul Lamb, The Invisible Man, has moved out. Kingsley is experimenting with facial hair, Shales and Oregon are over – which is awkward in lectures – and Josie has a new best friend. But what of her and the Pussy Man? Vod is on the scrounge again and Howard’s got a new job at the abattoir, while JP is struggling with his best friend’s latest revelation. It’s like they’ve never been away. Julia Raeside
10pm, BBC4
Frank (Steve Van Zandt) accompanies girlfriend Sigrid to her fi rst antenatal appointment , but is perturbed to fi nd her mid-
wife is a man. After kicking off about this, they are transferred to a less desir-
able hospital, setting Frank up for some convoluted back-and-forth, which involves back-scratching, poker and the Norwegian equivalent of the Guardian Angels in order to get their maternity slot back. It’s still awash with dramatic misfi re and tonally, it’s a complete mess, but Van Zandt is still lovely to be around. Ben Arnold
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Ben Arnold
Ben Arnold
Lilyhammer, BBC4
Fresh Meat, Channel 4
Channel 4
music by oud player Titi Robin.
12.30 Through The Night. Including music by Handel, Mozart, Chopin, Bentzon, Zarzycki, Stenhammar, Pandolfi Mealli, Wagner, Faure, Smetana, Verdi, Arban, Bach, Massenet, Haydn, Murcia, Sanz and Ribayaz.
Radio 4
92.4-94.6 MHz; 198kHz
6.0 Today. News headlines and sport. 8.31 (LW) Yesterday In Parliament. With Mark D’Arcy. 8.58 (LW) Weather 9.0 The Life Scientifi c. Professor Hugh Montgomery talks about the gene for fi tness. 9.30 One To One. Kate Silverton explores how fear can limit life choices. 9.45 (LW) Daily Service. Led by Canon BBC1 BBC2 ITV1
6.0pm Eggheads (S) 6.30 Strictly Come Dancing — It Takes Two (S) Zoe Ball talks to professional dancer Karen Hardy.
6.0pm Local News (S) 6.30 ITV News (S)
6.0pm The Simpsons (R) (S) (AD) Homer becomes a fi refi ghter.
6.30 Hollyoaks (S) (AD) Cindy intends to dump Rhys.
6.0pm BBC News (S) 6.30 Regional News (S) 7.0 The Story Of Wales: Furnace Of Change (S) Huw Edwards examines the impact made by the Industrial Revolution on the landscape and culture of Wales. 7.0 Emmerdale (S) (AD) Chas’s behaviour leaves Cain puzzled.
7.30 The Martin Lewis Money Show (S) The fi nancial journalist comes up with money-saving tips for cash-strapped consumers.
7.0 Channel 4 News (S) 7.55 (S) Rachel Underhill explains why she left the Jehovah’s Witness faith in spite of being ostracised by her parents.
7.0 The One Show (S) Live chat and topical reports with Matt Baker and Alex Jones.
7.30 EastEnders (S) (AD) Lola receives bad news, and Derek has a shocking announcement to make.
8.0 The Great British Bake Off (S) There’s a French theme as the four remaining contestants attempt to make three classic patisserie confections: petits fours, choux gateaux and fraisier cakes.
8.0 Mamma Mia! (Phyllida Lloyd, 2008) (S) (AD) Unashamedly cheesy musical comedy starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried.
8.0 Double Your House For Half The Money (S) Sarah Beeny helps a couple to improve their cramped bungalow, and another family with plans to extend the loft space
8.0 Holby City (S) (AD) Chrissie begins to have second thoughts about her wedding once the secret is out. Luc catches Eddi stealing drugs from a patient.
9.0 Ian Hislop’s Stiff Upper Lip — An Emotional History Of Britain (S) (AD) Hislop examines the nature of Victorian stoicism, and how it started to change profoundly when the fi rst world war arrived.
9.0 Jewish Mum Of The Year (S) Eight women compete for the title in this new four-part series. Their fi rst challenge is to organise a bar mitzvah to impress judges Tracy-Ann Oberman and Dovid Katz.
9.0 The Paradise (S) (AD) Moray’s fi rst thought is of business when a baby is found abandoned in the store. Miss Audrey bans Denise from sharing any more ideas.
11.20 Today At Conference (S) Highlights from Birmingham.
11.50 The Choir: Sing While You Work (R) (S) (AD) Gareth looks for singing talent among Manchester airport staff .
11.45 Random Acts (S) Short arty fi lms.
11.50 Them From That Thing (R) (S) Sketch show with stars who made their names on Channel 4 shows, including Kayvan Novak, Sally Phillips and Blake Harrison.
11.35 Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, 2000) (S) (AD) Michael Douglas stars in this absorbing comedy drama about an academic with writer’s block. Tobey Maguire co-stars.
Radio 3
90.2-92.4 MHz
6.30 Breakfast. Petroc Trelawny presents another instalment of Peter Donohoe’s 50 Great Pianists at 8.30. 9.0 Essential Classics. Sarah Walker presents a selection of classical music including the Essential CD of the Week: Peter Hurford — JS Bach Great Organ Works.
12.0 Composer Of The Week: Claude Debussy. Donald Macleod explores how Debussy led a revolution in the opera house and the concert hall, while his love life threatened to alienate all Radio
but his closest friends.
1.0 Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert. A week of programmes dedicated to showcasing the talents of the current crop of Radio 3 New Generation Artists, beginning with works by Dowland, Bridge and Brahms.
2.0 Afternoon On 3. The BBC Philharmonic performs Haydn’s Symphony No 81 and Piano Concerto in D, live from MediaCity in Salford, and the BBC SSO plays music by Brahms and Dohnanyi.
4.30 In Tune. Sean Raff erty presents a performance by wind trio Cuillin Sound, and the A to Z of the Piano continues with O for Orchestra.
6.30 Composer Of The Week: Claude Debussy. Donald Macleod explores how Debussy led a revolution in the opera house and the concert hall, while his love life threatened to alienate all but his closest friends. (R)
7.30 Radio 3 Live In Concert. From the Courtyard in Hereford, guitar duo the Katona Twins and the City of London Sinfonia perform works by Mozart, Piazzolla, Falla and Tchaikovsky.
10.0 Night Waves. Developments in culture and the arts.
10.45 The Essay. Glasgow artist Andrew Miller, who was commissioned to create this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival Pavilion, talks about the inspiration that guides his work.
11.0 Late Junction. Singer-
songwriter Xavier Rudd’s latest album Spirit Bird, Irish reels by master fi ddle and box players Mick Conneely and David Munnelly, plus 10.0 Later Live — With Jools Holland (S) With John Cale, the Vaccines, Jessie Ware, Sharon Van Etten and Beth Hart. An extended edition is on Friday at 11.50.
10.30 Newsnight (S) With Gavin Esler. 10.10 ITV News (S)
10.40 Local News (S)
10.45 Parenthood (Ron Howard, 1989) (S) (AD) Occasionally cloying comedy drama starring Steve Martin, Keanu Reeves and Mary Steenburgen.
10.0 Fresh Meat (S) (AD) Return of the student sitcom with Jack Whitehall. The gang hunts for a new housemate.
10.55 8 Out Of 10 Cats (R) (S) Jimmy Carr hosts the comedy panel show.
10.0 BBC News (S)
10.25 Regional News And Weather (S) 10.35 The Town That Never Retired (R) (S) (AD) The OAPs are put to work alongside job-
seekers aged between 18 and 25 to see if age wins over youth.
Film of the day
Sleepy Hollow (9pm, ITV2) Tim Burton’s droll and dark adaptation of the classic horror story stars Johnny Depp as 18th-century policeman Ichabod Crane, investigating reports of a murderous headless horseman.
09.10.12 The Guardian 23
Other channels
6.0pm The Big Bang Theory. Howard awaits the shuttle launch. 6.30 The Big Bang Theory. Pilot episode of the comedy, starring Jim Parsons. 7.0 Hollyoaks. Darren and Nancy learn their baby has a serious infection. 7.30 How I Met Your Mother. Barney discovers someone has been ruining his reputation. 8.0 How I Met Your Mother. Ted realises Barney feels insecure about his relationship. 8.30 The Big Bang Theory. Leonard and Penny discuss their future together. 9.0 New Girl. Jess visits her ex-boyfriend. 9.30 Suburgatory. George tries to steer Tessa away from having sex. 10.0 The Cleveland Show. Rallo gets Junior kicked out of the scouts. 10.30 The Cleveland Show. A return to his old college does not go as planned for Cleveland. 11.0 Rude Tube. The Top 50 online videos of amateur stunts. 12.0 The Big Bang Theory. Howard awaits the shuttle launch. Film4
9.0pm Transporter 2. Action thriller sequel, starring Jason Statham. 10.40 Unfaithful. Thriller, starring Diane Lane. FX
6.0pm Leverage. The team runs into trouble while trying to restore Father Christmas’s reputation. 7.0 NCIS. Two bodies are found at a building site on a Navy base. 8.0 NCIS. Part one of two. A former NCIS agent is found dead. 9.0 True Blood. Jason uncovers a secret about the death of his parents. 10.0 The Cleveland Show. Cleveland Jr takes a vow of chastity. 10.30 The Cleveland Show. Cleveland discovers Donna still attends a single mothers’ group. 11.0 Family Guy. Peter and Lois compete for a place on the school board. 11.30 Family Guy. Chris’s artistic talents come to light. 12.0 American Dad! Francine dreams of destroying George Clooney. ITV2
6.0pm The Jeremy Kyle Show USA. The host takes his successful talk-show stateside. 7.0 Take Me Out. A postman, a personal trainer, a musician and a student take part. 8.0 Take Me Out — The Gossip. Behind the scenes of the ITV1 dating show, presented by Zoe Hardman and Mark Wright. 8.45 Totally Bonkers Channel 5 BBC3 BBC4 Atlantic
Guinness World Records. Incredible and peculiar record-breaking attempts. 9.0 Sleepy Hollow. Horror, starring Johnny Depp. 11.10 Girlfri3nds. A hesitant Sarah is forced to pick the 100th bachelor. Sky1
6.0pm Last Man Standing. Mike installs a security system. 6.30 The Simpsons. Homer takes Ned Flanders to Las Vegas. 7.0 The Simpsons. Lisa develops a crush on a teacher. 7.30 The Simpsons. Homer challenges Marge to a cooking competition. 8.0 Road Wars. An innovative supermarket thief is caught. 9.0 Strike Back: Vengeance. Section 20 storms Knox’s facility. 10.0 Ocean’s Thirteen. Comedy crime caper sequel, with George Clooney. Sky Arts 1
6.0pm Spectacle: Elvis Costello. With Motown star Smokey Robinson. 7.0 Art Of The Heist. An art dealer who funded a smuggling ring. 8.0 British Legends Of Stage And Screen. Derek Jacobi discusses the roles that have defi ned his career. 9.0 Romanzo Criminale. Scialoja discovers a vital clue in the search for Libano’s killer. 10.0 Ringo Starr And The Roundheads With Special Guest Colin Hay. A 2005 concert by the former Beatles drummer. 11.0 Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison. Examining the country singer’s 1968 concert. 12.0 British Legends Of Stage And Screen. Derek Jacobi discusses the roles that have defi ned his career. TCM
7.0pm White Comanche. Western, starring William Shatner and Joseph Cotten. 9.0 Collateral Damage. Action thriller, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. 11.05 Proof Of Life. Action drama, starring Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan.
3.30 Costing The Earth. Environmental issues. Last in the series.
4.0 The Things We Forgot To Remember. The real history of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Last in the series. (R)
4.30 A Good Read. Ed Douglas and Andy Cave discuss their favourite books.
5.0 PM. With Eddie Mair.
5.57 Weather
6.0 Six O’Clock News
6.30 Rudy’s Rare Records. New series. Rudy and Doreen continue to enjoy married life.
7.0 The Archers. Alistair off ers some constructive criticism.
7.15 Front Row. Arts programme.
7.45 HighLites: Retouched. By Steve Chambers and Phil Nodding.
8.0 File On 4. How criminals have gained a foothold in the legitimate drinks market.
8.40 In Touch. Presented by Peter White.
9.0 Inside Health. Dr Mark Porter separates medical fact from fi ction.
9.30 The Life Scientifi c. Professor Hugh Montgomery talks about the gene for fi tness. (R)
9.59 Weather
10.0 The World Tonight. News round-up.
10.45 Book At Bedtime: Summer Lies. The Night in Baden-Baden — Part Two, by Bernhard Schlink.
11.0 Clayton Grange. By Neil Warhurst, with additional material by Paul Barnhill.
11.30 Today In Parliament. Mark D’Arcy presents.
12.0 News And Weather 12.30 Book Of The Week: On The Map. By Simon Garfi eld. (R) 12.48 Shipping Forecast Radio 4 Extra
Digital only
6.0 Whip Hand 6.30 Casino Royale 6.45 Dick Barton — Special Agent: The Paris Adventure 7.0 Babblewick Hall 7.30 The Secret World 8.0 The Goon Show 8.25 Captain Kremmen 8.30 Listen To Les 9.0 The News Quiz Extra 9.45 The Shuttleworths
10.0 The Grass Is Singing
11.0 The Axe
11.15 The Captain’s Wife
12.0 The Goon Show
12.25 Captain Kremmen
12.30 Listen To Les
1.0 Whip Hand
1.30 Casino Royale
1.45 Dick Barton — Special Agent: The Paris Adventure
2.0 Speaking For Themselves
2.15 Shakespeare’s Restless World
2.30 Marrying The Mistress
2.45 Amadeus
3.0 The Grass Is Singing
4.0 The 4 O’Clock Show
5.0 Flying The Flag
5.30 Babblewick Hall
6.0 Journey Into Space
6.30 Brave New Worlds
6.45 Why, Robot?
7.0 The Goon Show
7.25 Captain Kremmen
7.30 Listen To Les
8.0 Whip Hand
8.30 Casino Royale
8.45 Dick Barton — Special Agent: The Paris Adventure
9.0 The Axe
9.15 The Captain’s Wife
10.0 Comedy Club: The Secret World
10.30 I’ve Never Seen Star Wars
11.0 Acropolis Now
11.30 The Masterson Inheritance
12.0 Journey Into Space 12.30 Brave New Worlds 12.45 Why, Robot? 1.0 Whip Hand 1.30 Casino Royale 1.45 Dick Barton — Special Agent: The Paris Adventure 2.0 The News Quiz Extra 2.45 The Shuttleworths 3.0 The Grass Is Singing 4.0 The Axe 4.15 The Captain’s Wife 5.0 Flying The Flag 5.30 Babblewick Hall
World Service
Digital and 198 kHz after R4
8.30 Business Daily 8.50 From Our Own Correspondent 9.0 News 9.06 The Documentary 9.30 The Strand 9.50 Witness 10.0 World Update 11.0 Your Money 12.0 World Have Your Say 12.30 Business Daily 12.50 Sports News 1.0 News 1.06 The Documentary 1.30 Outlook 2.0 Newshour 3.0 World Briefi ng 3.30 The More4
Stephen Shipley. 9.45 (FM) Book Of The Week: On The Map. By Simon Garfi eld.
10.0 Woman’s Hour. With Jane Garvey.
11.0 Saving Species. Joanna Pinnock explores autumn bird migrations.
11.30 One Man’s War. London’s classical music scene during the Second World War. 12.0 News
12.04 Call You And Yours. With Julian Worricker.
12.57 Weather
1.0 The World At One. Presented by Martha Kearney. 1.45 China: As History Is My Witness. How Kublai Khan conquered the south. 2.0 The Archers. Ed is down in the dumps. (R)
2.15 Afternoon Drama: Not Bobby. By Nick Warburton. (R) 3.0 Short Cuts. Nina Garthwaite showcases short documentaries.
6.0pm Home And Away (R) (S) (AD) Dex fi ghts for his life in hospital after his car crash.
6.30 5 News (S) 6.50pm Come Dine With Me (R) (S) Four cooks in the Swale estuary area of Kent take part in the dinner-
party challenge.
6.0pm House (R) (S) (AD) The doctors’ personal troubles cast a shadow over Thanksgiving.
7.0 Emergency Bikers (R) (S) Emergency services are put to the test during a demonstration in Birmingham, and Mark Hayes tries to reach a protester suff ering a suspected heart attack. 7.0pm Total Wipeout (R) (S) Richard Hammond and Amanda Byram host as 20 more contestants compete in the purpose-built obstacle course.
7.0pm World News Today (S) 7.30 Great British Railway Journeys (R) (S) (AD) Michael Portillo ends his journey from Hythe to Hastings and explores Kent’s sparkling-wine industry.
7.55 Grand Designs (R) (S) (AD) Kevin McCloud meets a couple with ambitious plans to build a contemporary mansion on a south London estate.
7.0 House (R) (S) (AD) Wilson, the oncologist receives a visit from an old friend and former patient who has developed a mysterious paralysis in one arm.
8.0 The Hollywood Hillside Strangler: Born To Kill? (S) Into the minds of cousins Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who abducted, tortured and murdered 12 women in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. 8.0 Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip (R) (S) Comedian Andrew Maxwell takes fi ve British creationists to the west coast of America where he explains the theory of evolution.
8.0 Lost Cities Of The Ancients (R) (S) A look at the Peruvian Lambayeque civilisation, which based its culture on a belief that building pyramids and human sacrifi ce were essential to their survival.
8.0 Friday Night Lights (R) (S) Lyla gets a job at a Christian radio station, where she starts to bond with one of her new colleagues. 9.0 Person Of Interest (S) Reese and Finch are shocked when the machine’s latest number belongs to Joss Carter — the detective who is close to uncovering their secret operation.
9.0 Don’t Tell The Bride (S) Hopeless romantic Ian is given £12,000 to plan his wedding without his girlfriend’s help.
9.0 Dinosaurs, Myths And Monsters (R) (S) (AD) Tom Holland shows how prehistoric remains and fossils has have been interpreted over the centuries, and reveals how myths led to important scientifi c discoveries.
9.0 The World’s Largest Snake (R) (S) How scientists discovered the remains of a 48ft-long snake in Colombia in 2009, and speculation on the days when huge reptiles roamed the Earth.
9.0 Awake (R) (S) When Rex is abducted by a convict on the run, Britten realises that the kidnapper is a man he helped send to jail a decade ago.
11.0 CSI: NY (R) (S) (AD) The chief of police appears to be hindering the investigation of a murder.
11.55 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (R) (S) (AD) A newspaper editor is found hanged.
11.0 Family Guy (R) (S) Peter has liposuction.
11.25 Family Guy (R) (S) Peter sets up his own country.
11.45 American Dad Weekend Viewers’ Vote No 8 (R) (S) Countdown continues.
11.40 Lost Cities Of The Ancients (R) (S) Shown at 8.0.
11.15 Embarrassing Bodies (R) (S) Dr Dawn Harper is a festival in the Highlands, where she meets a man with a problem under his kilt.
11.10 Mad Men (R) (S) Don agrees to meet Jimmy’s wife Bobbie for dinner, but isn’t prepared for the havoc she creates in the car on the way home.
10.0 CSI: NY (R) (S) (AD) Mac fi nds a corpse on the plane while fl ying from New York to Washington DC.
10.0 Cuckoo (S) (AD) Dylan ruins things for Ken when he is chosen to be a local councillor.
10.30 EastEnders (R) (S) (AD) Lola receives bad news, and Derek has a shocking announcement to make.
10.0 Lilyhammer (S) (AD) Frank has new idea for laundering money. 10.45 Edna O’Brien: Life, Stories (S) The 81-year-old novelist recalls her eventual life and glittering career. 10.0 Jews At Ten (S) New comedy series with David Baddiel, Stacey Solomon, Uri Geller and Elliott Gould.
10.35 Curb Your Enthusiasm (R) (S) Larry wants a new lawyer.
10.0 House Of Lies Marty and the Pod travel to Arizona to sort out the future of a basketball team.
10.35 Nurse Jackie Return of the dark comedy starring Edie Falco. Jackie’s life isn’t getting any better.
Strand 3.50 From Our Own Correspondent 4.0 News 4.06 The Documentary 4.30 Sport Today 4.50 Witness 5.0 World Briefi ng 5.30 World Business Report 6.0 World Have Your Say 7.0 World Briefi ng 7.30 Click 7.50 From Our Own Correspondent 8.0 News 8.06 The Documentary 8.30 Outlook 9.0 Newshour 10.0 World Briefi ng 10.30 World Business Report 11.0 World Briefi ng 11.30 The Strand 11.50 Sports News 12.0 World Briefi ng 12.30 Outlook 1.0 World Briefi ng 1.30 World Business Report 1.50 From Our Own Correspondent 2.0 News 2.06 The Documentary 2.30 Outlook 3.0 Newsday 3.30 The Strand 3.50 Witness 4.0 Newsday 4.30 Click 4.50 From Our Own Correspondent 5.0 Newsday Proof Of Life, TCM
Full TV listings
For comprehensive programme details see the Guardian Guide every Saturday or go to
24 The Guardian 09.10.12
If... Steve Bell
Doonesbury Garry Trudeau
5 1 3
8 2 6
4 3 2
4 3
3 7
1 5
9 6 4
2 7 8
1 8 9
Sudoku no 2313
Medium. Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0036. Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline). Free tough puzzles at www.puzzler.
6 7 2 1 9 3 4 5 8
4 9 5 2 8 7 3 6 1
1 8 3 5 4 6 7 9 2
3 2 9 6 7 5 8 1 4
8 5 1 9 3 4 6 2 7
7 4 6 8 2 1 9 3 5
2 6 4 7 5 9 1 8 3
9 3 8 4 1 2 5 7 6
5 1 7 3 6 8 2 4 9
Solution to no 2312
Quick crossword no 13,235
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
9 10
11 12
14 15 16
18 19 20
22 23
1 Costa del Sol resort (12)
9 Consumed (5)
10 In times gone by (4,3)
11 Wet weather (4)
12 Slow-moving reptile (8)
14 Government unit — business providing services (6)
15 Paris, for example — harmful computer program (6)
18 Victorian prime minister (8)
20 Partly open (4)
22 Batsmen going in fi rst (7)
23 Frequently (5)
24 Unduly protracted
2 Survive (7)
3 Skating arena (4)
4 Paradise Lost poet (6)
5 Not immediate (4-4)
6 Armed services canteen (5)
7 Centre of The Potteries (5-2-5)
8 With complete devotion (5,3,4)
13 Part of a neck of veal or mutton (5-3)
16 Japanese martial art (2-5)
17 Land bought by the USA from Russia in 1867 (6)
19 Back of a boat (5)
Solution no 13,234
On the web
For tips and all manner of crossword debates go to
Want more? Access over 4,000 archive puzzles at Buy all four Guardian quick crosswords books for only £20 inc UK p&p (save £7.96). Visit or call 0330 333 6846.
Stuck? For help call 0906 751 0039 or text GUARDIANQ followed by a space, the day and date the crossword appeared another space and the CLUE reference to 85010 (e.g GUARDIANQ Wednesday24 Down20). Calls cost 77p a minute from a BT Landline. Calls from other networks may vary and mobiles will be considerably higher. Texts cost 50p a clue plus standard network charges. Service supplied by ATS. Call 0844 836 9769 for customer service (charged at local rate, 2p a min from a BT landline). 21 Pillow fi ller — dejected (4)
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tuesday, october, guardian, 2012
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