Will Gompertz reviews Monet and Architecture at London’s National Gallery ★★★★☆

This is what you will hear at the National Gallery’s blockbuster Monet and Architecture exhibition, which opened to the public this week:

“Excuse me.”

“Excuse me.”

“Excuse me.”

“Can I just…”

“Sorry.”

“Ouch!”

It is the sound art-lovers make when gathered en masse in a confined space full of eye-popping pictures by one of the finest painters to have ever picked up a brush.

Call it the Monet Mumble: the polite but insistent whispers uttered by well-dressed ladies and gentleman making their way around packed galleries.

Much has been made about the amount of money the National Gallery is charging punters for the privilege of seeing its Monet show while having their toes trodden on (I was on the receiving end twice, and the apologetic perpetrator once).

If you have the audacity to go for the ‘Admission Only’ option and ignore the explicit and assumed ‘suggested’ £2 donation, tickets purchased online for those over 11 years old cost £18 during the week and £20 at the weekend (they are £2 more if bought in the gallery). That works out at around 25p a painting (there are 78 in the show).

Value for money, you could argue.

Particularly when you take into account the ever-increasing costs incurred by museums when putting on such ambitious, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ exhibitions.

That said, there must be scope to be a bit more innovative and flexible on pricing when planning a sure-fire box office smash, which will be too pricey for too many (e.g. students, families with teenagers, the currently unemployed, low paid workers).

The gallery has clearly thought about the visitor experience.

For the first time, there are no wall texts beside the paintings, just a number, which you then refer to in the small booklet that comes with your ticket.

The upshot is rooms full of earnest, bespectacled faces peering down at this bijou publication like race-goers studying the formbook at the Grand National.

From time-to-time we look up and cross-reference text with picture, before an “excuse me” and move on.

It is a better system than having mini essays by pictures, which causes large huddles of people to gather to the side of paintings like giant barnacles. But I’d prefer a half-way house that had a sparse wall caption stating the artwork’s date and title, and a booklet for the details.

As for the show itself, well…

It is very good.

Although the title is misleading. Monet had no formal interest in architecture.

Canaletto painted architecture.

You could argue Ed Ruscha paints architecture.

But not Monet.

Never Monet.

His concern was with the immaterial.

Monet only ever really painted two things, both of which are as ephemeral as a snap-chat. His subjects were light and air.

Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat” he once said,

“I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat – the beauty of light in which they exist.”

Yes, there are buildings in every one of the paintings on show at the National Gallery.

Sometimes – as is the case with his spectacular depictions of the medieval façade of Rouen Cathedral – the same building many times over.

But Monet is not exploring its architectural characteristics.

For him it is a superficial motif: a compelling surface on which light falls to create an all-enveloping “atmosphere”.

He painted the same façade from the same spot dozens of times in the early 1890s.

Not to show the intricate details of every nook and cranny, but to capture how the changing light and weather conditions physically altered the ‘impression’ of what he saw.

Colour, a single colour, lasts a second, sometimes three or four minutes at most. What can one do, can one paint, in three or four minutes?” He said to the dealer René Gimpel.

Monet was the ultimate Impressionist; an on-the-spot improviser reacting to Nature’s every move, however small.

Buildings were useful to him in terms of providing a compositional structure, a consistent reference point, and a means of evoking mood. As you can see in Snow Effect at Giverny (1893), which is an utterly wonderful, beautifully rendered psychological depiction of a rural landscape covered in snow.

It is not a literal account of what was before the artist, nor is it of what he felt about what he saw (that was Van Gogh’s shtick); it is a sensational interpretation of the experience of looking at that particular moment: a manifestation in oil paint on canvas of Monet’s senses reporting back live from the scene.

His best paintings, of which there are several examples in this show, have an almost electric sense of immediacy.

Whether it is Normandy, the Netherlands, the Mediterranean coast, or Venice – he takes you there in an instant.

If you can afford the ticket price and don’t mind crowded spaces (there’s still plenty of room to see the paintings and no sense of being rushed through), I would thoroughly recommend you see this show.

You will meet a Monet you know and one that you don’t.

You’ll see how he progressed from Courbet-type realism in his early twenties into a dare-devil picture-maker who changed the way we look at our world.

Nobody thought about art in the way he did:

“When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you.”

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Heather Locklear: Actress pleads not guilty to battery

Actress Heather Locklear has pleaded not guilty to four counts of battery against a sheriff’s officer.

Ms Locklear, 56, has also pleaded not guilty to another charge of resisting or obstructing a police officer.

The former Dynasty star was represented by a lawyer at Ventura County Superior Court in California on Thursday and did not appear in person.

She was arrested on domestic violence charges in February. Those charges were dropped but the other counts remain.

According to People, Ms Locklear checked into a treatment facility last month.

A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for 7 June.

The actress allegedly resisted arrest when police were called to her home in California to deal with a dispute between her and her boyfriend.

Ms Locklear was taken to Ventura County Jail and released after posting $20,000 (£14,000) bail.

She was subsequently charged with the misdemeanour counts of battery and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Ms Locklear, who was previously married to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, rose to fame as Sammy Jo Carrington in 1980s TV show Dynasty.

She later appeared on Melrose Place and sitcom Spin City – shows that earned her six Golden Globe nominations between 1994 and 2002.

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Love, Simon: The teen film helping people come out

“It’s hard for me to wrap my head around it. It’s beyond overwhelming.”

It’s no surprise author Becky Albertalli feels this way – the book she wrote as Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda has been made into the cultural phenomenon that is Love, Simon.

Not only has it been delighting audiences, with stars like Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Bell buying out cinemas to help people to see it, but it’s been hailed as groundbreaking.

The reason why? It’s the first mainstream teenage film, backed by a major studio, to feature a gay lead.

Nick Robinson stars as Simon Spier, a US high school student who is keeping his sexuality secret from his family and close friends – until someone threatens to out him.

Another said: “When Simon’s mother tells him he can exhale now [it] turned me back into a child that needed to hear his mother say it was gonna be okay.”

Hayley wrote: “Queer kid me needed this movie, 21-year-old me needed it more. It’s hard to express how this kind of representation feels.”

Skip Twitter post by @spacekidreilly

I just saw Love Simon and I’m in awe. It’s an amazing movie. It’s exactly what we need right now and my mom and i cried pretty much the whole second half! So happy i have the support system I have, so happy a movie like this exists , love who you are. Happy to be bi. #ThxSimon

— looney lovegood (@spacekidreilly) March 31, 2018

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End of Twitter post by @spacekidreilly

One fan said they are “so happy a movie like this exists”, while another wrote: “Hearing a cinema full of people clapping when a non-hetero couple kissed made me feel so accepted.”

Becky used to work as a clinical psychologist, specialising in working with teenagers. While she saw a lot of people from the LGBT community, she stresses that none of Love, Simon was based on any of her patients’ experiences.

“That would be so unethical,” she says. “Everything about my former career is off limits.

“But because of my background, I got to a place where I had a pretty thorough understanding of what some of the issues some of the people in that community were dealing with. For personal and professional reasons, that community is important to me.

“One of the ways I try to explain my purpose for writing the book is that it’s like a love letter to them. The stuff that so many of them have to go through… I’m so in awe of those teens – they’re just the coolest, most awesome people.”

Love, Simon is on general release


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Milos Forman: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus director dies

Film lovers are mourning director Milos Forman, who won Oscars for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus.

The Czech-born film-maker, who was 86, was one of a small number of foreign directors to enjoy lasting commercial and critical success in Hollywood.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starred Jack Nicholson and won five Oscars in 1976, while 1984’s Amadeus won eight.

Director Edgar Wright was among those paying tribute, saying he “documented the rebel heart and human spirit”.

Skip Twitter post by @edgarwright

Very sad to hear that the great director Miloš Forman has passed away. He had a tremendous filmography that documented the rebel heart and human spirit. I have seen 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' enough times to be able to silently mouth along with the movie. RIP. pic.twitter.com/4QwOHL7tS4

— edgarwright (@edgarwright) April 14, 2018

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He was “a great director” with “a tremendous filmography”, Wright wrote on Twitter.

Skip Twitter post by @YesitsAlistair

Milos Forman won the Oscar for Best Director twice, and yet he was still one of the most under appreciated filmmakers of the 20th century. RIP Milos, and thanks for the films that will live on for generations to come.

— Alistair Ryder (@YesitsAlistair) April 14, 2018

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Skip Twitter post by @MarkHarrisNYC

Very sad to see that the great Miloš Forman has died at 86. A brilliant director who made only about a dozen feature films, every one of which is worth revisiting. Hair, Amadeus, Cuckoo's Nest–an indelible legacy.

— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) April 14, 2018

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Forman was born in Czechoslovakia in 1932 and became an orphan when both his parents were killed in Nazi death camps during World War II.

He made his name as a leading figure in Czech new wave cinema in the 1960s, but moved to the US when Russian troops invaded in 1968.

His first feature in the US, 1971’s Taking Off, was a critical if not commercial success. But the follow-up, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, firmly established him in Hollywood.

It was one of the biggest box office hits of 1975, taking more than $100m, and became only the second film in history to win Oscars for best picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay.

The film starred Nicholson as a man battling the system in a psychiatric establishment and was based on Ken Kesey’s novel.

“To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968,” Forman once said.

“The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do.”

The director followed that with Hair and 1981’s Ragtime before Amadeus, a look at the life of 18th Century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of his rival Antonio Salieri. Its Oscars included best picture and best director.

After 1989’s Valmont, he made The People vs Larry Flynt, with Woody Harrelson cast as the porn publisher.

Three years later, Forman cast Jim Carrey to star in Man On The Moon, the biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman.

When Forman was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Directors’ Guild of America in 2012, the guild’s president Taylor Hackford said he “finds the universality of the human experience in every story”.

Forman was married to actresses Jana Brejchova and Vera Kresadlova, having twin boys with the latter.

In 1999, he married screenwriter Martina Zborilova, with whom he also had twin sons, Andrew and James – named after Andy Kaufman and Jim Carrey.

He died on Friday in the US after a short illness, Martina told Czech news agency CTK.

“His departure was calm and he was surrounded the whole time by his family and his closest friends,” she said.

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Dec reveals he’s going to be a dad for the first time

Declan Donnelly has announced that he and his wife Ali Astall are to become parents for the first time.

The presenter confirmed the news on Twitter after a report appeared in The Sun on Sunday.

Skip Twitter post by @antanddec

Just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely messages. The news has sneaked out a little earlier than we had hoped but Ali and I are delighted to be expecting our first child. Thanks for all the love, we really appreciate it ❤️ D x pic.twitter.com/g7mZrWLYs4

— antanddec (@antanddec) March 25, 2018

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He said the couple were “delighted” but “the news had sneaked out a little earlier than we had hoped”.

Donnelly is currently preparing to host ITV’s Saturday Night Takeaway solo, after his co-presenter Ant McPartlin was charged with drink driving.

He will appear in court after being charged with drink driving on 4 April.

In a statement regarding the remaining episodes of Takeaway, ITV said: “ITV can confirm that Saturday Night Takeaway, presented by Declan Donnelly, will return on March 31, and the series finale will be taking place at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida a week later.”

Meanwhile Dec posted a message about taking the stage without his lifelong presenting partner.

“Whilst I never thought I’d be in this position, after much discussion and careful consideration we’ve decided that the remaining two shows of this series of Saturday Night Takeaway will go ahead,” he said.

“We made a promise to take hundreds of deserving winners to Florida to watch the series finale, and we will honour that. Everyone at ITV and the Takeaway team feels we owe it to the audience to complete the series.”

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Lana Del Rey and Radiohead ‘settle copyright dispute’

Lana Del Rey says her copyright dispute with Radiohead is over.

Earlier this year, Del Rey said the British band were suing her over similarities between her song, Get Free, and their breakthrough hit Creep.

Radiohead had rejected her offer of 40% of the song’s royalties, she claimed, and were demanding 100% percent.

The band’s publishers subsequently denied taking legal action, but confirmed they had asked for a writing credit to be added to the song.

Del Rey appeared to confirm the dispute had been settled during her set at the Lollapalooza festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil over the weekend.

After performing Get Free in her encore, Del Rey lit a cigarette and told fans: “Now that my lawsuit’s over, I guess I can sing that song any time I want, right?”

At the time of writing, the writing credits for Get Free have not been updated on the database of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

The BBC has contacted Lana Del Rey and Radiohead’s publishers to confirm the singer’s comments.

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Simon Cowell’s Syco to produce its first show for the BBC

Simon Cowell’s entertainment company is teaming up with the BBC for the first time for a new dance contest.

Saturday night talent show The Greatest Dancer is being produced by Syco, which is behind ITV hits The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and Thames.

It will see dancers from all different genres compete for the title of the best dancer in the UK.

The show could see former X Factor judge Cheryl return to prime-time TV after taking part in the pilot.

Alesha Dixon, who is a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, and Jordan Banjo, from dance group Diversity, could also be involved in the BBC One series after hosting the run-through last month.

‘Unsung heroes’

Kate Phillips, the BBC’s entertainment commissioner, said: “The BBC is undoubtedly the home of dance.

“By launching The Greatest Dancer we want to give the vast array of dance talent across the UK the chance to shine.

“I can’t wait to work with Syco and Thames to uncover the talent out there and let our audience critique and celebrate the nation’s unsung dance heroes.”

The BBC has commissioned eight episodes of the show, which is open to dancers from every discipline, including ballet, jazz, hip hop and Bollywood.

As well as Cheryl, the coaching panel could also include Glee star Matthew Morrison and Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, as they took part in the pilot.

The presenting and coaching line-up is yet to be confirmed by the BBC.

Nigel Hall, global head of television for Syco Entertainment, told the BBC: “The auditions for the pilot episode saw some of the most jaw-dropping, heartfelt and moving auditions I’ve ever seen on a dance show.

“There are some spectacular moments and we are beyond thrilled to have secured this commission over fierce competition.

“We look forward to working with the BBC team on something just a little bit special.”

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Why Margot Robbie is taking on Shakespeare

Margot Robbie is planning a new TV series, which will give Shakespeare plays a “female perspective”.

The Oscar-nominated actress is creating 10 standalone episodes with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, each of which will tackle a different play.

The stories will be told from female points of view, with the series led by a predominantly female creative team.

“I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film-makers, first- and second-time film-makers, mainly women,” Robbie told the Australian Associated Press in Sydney.

“I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”

Details are sketchy about which plays are going to be re-told for the series, but each of the 10 episodes will focus on a different work of Shakespeare, updated to comment on modern society.

“It’s not a particularly new idea, but it’s a welcome one,” says Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall, lecturer in Shakespeare and theatre at The Shakespeare Institute.

“People have been updating Shakespeare’s plays in order to comment on contemporary situations for an awfully long time,” she added. “There’s a wealth of adaptations of Shakespeare, many of which take a feminist angle.

“And I think it’s always interesting to see what people can do with the stories in terms of updating them.”

‘Stories that haven’t yet been told’

Carol Rutter, professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick, says Robbie’s is an arguably better approach than some other recent interpretations.

“This project fits in at the moment with women’s need, if you will, to take over Shakespeare,” she says. “So in the UK we’re seeing a lot of cross-gendering of roles, for example.

“And I think that’s really destructive. I feel very keenly that cross-gendering is not the way to go, it creates all kinds of problems.

“I wish that women could simply do Shakespeare by being actors playing parts, being male or female as the part requires, but it seems to me that it’s an odd skewing of a play when you take, for example, a Malvolio and turn it into a Malvolia.

“But Margot Robbie’s project seems to be asking us to use the richness that is in Shakespeare’s materials to explore the stories that haven’t yet been told.”

Prof Rutter adds there is no shortage of such material to explore when it comes to expanding on certain female characters or storylines.

“There are all sorts of plays in Shakespeare where we would like to hear the women talk,” she says – citing an off-stage conversation between Isabella and Mariana in Measure by Measure, which is key to the plot, as an example.

“All over Shakespeare there are women’s stories that we would like to know so much more about.”

Of course, Robbie’s attempt to tell Shakespeare stories form a female perspective is built on the premise that they are currently told from male perspectives.

But interestingly, neither Prof Rutter nor Dr Rokison-Woodall think that is the case.

“I don’t think one can say that about drama. I don’t think drama is told from any one perspective because of course it’s multi-vocal, that’s what drama is,” says Dr Rokison-Woodall.

“So I’m slightly mystified by the notion of needing to tell them from a female perspective. If this was a series of novels, I could completely understand what they were getting at.

“There are novels out there that retell plays from the perspective of a single character, but that’s something a novel is able to do.”

Prof Rutter adds: “I think it’s reductive to say that there is a default position that everybody who comes on to the stage is speaking for Shakespeare or speaking in a male voice.

“No, the women have voices, and the women are the most challenging voices that interrogate masculinity in the plays. So I don’t hold that premise.

“However, because Shakespeare was working with an all-male company, and had probably three women to deploy play by play, I can understand why now these plays look, in terms of their personnel and their narratives, to be very male dominated. But I don’t think the whole perspective is male.”

Dr Rokison-Woodall says the effectiveness of taking a female point of view will entirely depend which plays are chosen for the TV series.

“In the tragedies, a lot of the female characters are silent to an extent, they are observers. Ophelia doesn’t say very much, Gertrude doesn’t say very much, although they’re both in quite a lot of scenes in Hamlet.

“So to some extent I can see there’s something attractive about retelling a Shakespeare play from the point of view of one of the characters who observes but doesn’t speak much.”

Whether or not the plays are currently told from a certain perspective, it’s true that most of Shakespeare’s protagonists are male.

And because so many of the plays are named after their lead characters, such as Macbeth, some have argued this alone gives them a distinctly male skew.

“Yeah but you see that’s because they’re not actually listening to the play,” says Prof Rutter.

“All of Shakespeare’s titles are mischievous. Twelfth Night. Macbeth. As You Like It. These titles are invitations to walk into the trap of thinking that these plays are actually about men.

“The first people on that stage [in Macbeth] are three weird sisters. They name the play Macbeth by putting the finger on him and we already know this man is already doomed, and doomed by these things that are the weird sisters.”

She concludes: “I’m certainly positive about women remaking Shakespeare, I think that a fantastic thing to do. I just hope they are not just kind of remakes, but are genuinely new plays coming out of Shakespeare, and in the spirit of Shakespeare.”


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Why Margot Robbie is taking on Shakespeare

Margot Robbie is planning a new TV series, which will give Shakespeare plays a “female perspective”.

The Oscar-nominated actress is creating 10 standalone episodes with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, each of which will tackle a different play.

The stories will be told from female points of view, with the series led by a predominantly female creative team.

“I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film-makers, first- and second-time film-makers, mainly women,” Robbie told the Australian Associated Press in Sydney.

“I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”

Details are sketchy about which plays are going to be re-told for the series, but each of the 10 episodes will focus on a different work of Shakespeare, updated to comment on modern society.

“It’s not a particularly new idea, but it’s a welcome one,” says Dr Abigail Rokison-Woodall, lecturer in Shakespeare and theatre at The Shakespeare Institute.

“People have been updating Shakespeare’s plays in order to comment on contemporary situations for an awfully long time,” she added. “There’s a wealth of adaptations of Shakespeare, many of which take a feminist angle.

“And I think it’s always interesting to see what people can do with the stories in terms of updating them.”

‘Stories that haven’t yet been told’

Carol Rutter, professor of Shakespeare and performance studies at the University of Warwick, says Robbie’s is an arguably better approach than some other recent interpretations.

“This project fits in at the moment with women’s need, if you will, to take over Shakespeare,” she says. “So in the UK we’re seeing a lot of cross-gendering of roles, for example.

“And I think that’s really destructive. I feel very keenly that cross-gendering is not the way to go, it creates all kinds of problems.

“I wish that women could simply do Shakespeare by being actors playing parts, being male or female as the part requires, but it seems to me that it’s an odd skewing of a play when you take, for example, a Malvolio and turn it into a Malvolia.

“But Margot Robbie’s project seems to be asking us to use the richness that is in Shakespeare’s materials to explore the stories that haven’t yet been told.”

Prof Rutter adds there is no shortage of such material to explore when it comes to expanding on certain female characters or storylines.

“There are all sorts of plays in Shakespeare where we would like to hear the women talk,” she says – citing an off-stage conversation between Isabella and Mariana in Measure by Measure, which is key to the plot, as an example.

“All over Shakespeare there are women’s stories that we would like to know so much more about.”

Of course, Robbie’s attempt to tell Shakespeare stories form a female perspective is built on the premise that they are currently told from male perspectives.

But interestingly, neither Prof Rutter nor Dr Rokison-Woodall think that is the case.

“I don’t think one can say that about drama. I don’t think drama is told from any one perspective because of course it’s multi-vocal, that’s what drama is,” says Dr Rokison-Woodall.

“So I’m slightly mystified by the notion of needing to tell them from a female perspective. If this was a series of novels, I could completely understand what they were getting at.

“There are novels out there that retell plays from the perspective of a single character, but that’s something a novel is able to do.”

Prof Rutter adds: “I think it’s reductive to say that there is a default position that everybody who comes on to the stage is speaking for Shakespeare or speaking in a male voice.

“No, the women have voices, and the women are the most challenging voices that interrogate masculinity in the plays. So I don’t hold that premise.

“However, because Shakespeare was working with an all-male company, and had probably three women to deploy play by play, I can understand why now these plays look, in terms of their personnel and their narratives, to be very male dominated. But I don’t think the whole perspective is male.”

Dr Rokison-Woodall says the effectiveness of taking a female point of view will entirely depend which plays are chosen for the TV series.

“In the tragedies, a lot of the female characters are silent to an extent, they are observers. Ophelia doesn’t say very much, Gertrude doesn’t say very much, although they’re both in quite a lot of scenes in Hamlet.

“So to some extent I can see there’s something attractive about retelling a Shakespeare play from the point of view of one of the characters who observes but doesn’t speak much.”

Whether or not the plays are currently told from a certain perspective, it’s true that most of Shakespeare’s protagonists are male.

And because so many of the plays are named after their lead characters, such as Macbeth, some have argued this alone gives them a distinctly male skew.

“Yeah but you see that’s because they’re not actually listening to the play,” says Prof Rutter.

“All of Shakespeare’s titles are mischievous. Twelfth Night. Macbeth. As You Like It. These titles are invitations to walk into the trap of thinking that these plays are actually about men.

“The first people on that stage [in Macbeth] are three weird sisters. They name the play Macbeth by putting the finger on him and we already know this man is already doomed, and doomed by these things that are the weird sisters.”

She concludes: “I’m certainly positive about women remaking Shakespeare, I think that a fantastic thing to do. I just hope they are not just kind of remakes, but are genuinely new plays coming out of Shakespeare, and in the spirit of Shakespeare.”


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Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine says streaming services are ‘too similar’

Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine says streaming services are too similar – and need to diversify to survive.

“The streaming services are all charging $9.99 and everyone has the same music,” he told the BBC.

“And it’s really nice. You get whatever song you want, you get your playlists – but there’s got to be more interaction between the artist and the audience.

“Sooner or later, something’s got to give,” he said, indicating that Apple Music wanted more original content.

“Netflix [is] spending $6bn (£4.2bn) a year on original content,” said Iovine. “They have a unique catalogue and they charge you $10.99.”

On streaming sites, however, “the labels want you to have the same music”.

He said: “So there’s a real rub there. Sooner or later something’s going to give.”

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    Apple has had some success with exclusives in the past, scoring big hits with Drake’s Views and Frank Ocean’s Blonde.

    But it has recently moved away from the strategy, preferring to invest in filmed content, including the Carpool Karaoke series, and its Beats 1 radio station, which boasts shows presented by Elton John, Drake and St Vincent.

    The company’s chief rival, Spotify, has largely avoided exclusives. However it released its “first ever original new song” – by up-and-coming pop singers Nina Nesbitt, Charlotte Lawrence and Sahsa Sloan – earlier this week, indicating ambitions to become a virtual record label.

    Iovine, who produced records for Bruce Springsteen and U2 before founding Beats headphones and joining Apple, argues that streaming sites are still too limited in their scope.

    “They’re not enough as just a utility where you go there and you get the music. They have to move you, bring culture to you,” he said.

    “I don’t think any of the services are there yet. They need to be cultural hangars for people to go to, where artists communicate with their audience.

    “I’m very dedicated to that.”

    The executive was speaking as the US recording industry revealed its revenues had risen 16.5% to $8.7bn (£6.2bn) in 2017, with streaming contributing two-thirds of the total.

    Meanwhile, digital downloads – once seen as the saviour of the industry – are now being outsold by CDs and vinyl.

    Apple has previously denied rumours it would “phase out” the iTunes download store next year, but Iovine told the BBC such a move was inevitable.

    There is no concrete timescale, but he said: “If I’m honest, it’s when people stop buying.

    “It’s very simple.”

    Iovine was speaking to the BBC a few days before the Wall Street Journal reported he would step back from day-to-day involvement in Apple’s streaming business and move into a consulting role.

    The 65-year-old was in the UK to promote the HBO/Netflix documentary The Defiant Ones, which tells the parallel stories of Iovine and hip-hop producer Dr Dre, who became his partner in developing Beats Electronics.

    His rise to the top of the industry is chronicled in close detail – from the day he almost got sacked by Bruce Springsteen to the controversy he stoked by releasing records by Tupac Shakur and Marilyn Manson as the head of Interscope Records in the 1990s.

    Iovine reflects on some of those memories below.

    When Bono describes you in the film, he says: “There’s something in him that’s attracted to rage.” What do you make of that?

    He’s right! I like the edgier stuff. If I have a choice, I’ll always lean that way. It’s such an expression of someone’s power and commitment.

    I’m always looking for music that has a certain amount of dealing with social injustice, or screaming out loud, like Eminem.

    A pivotal moment in your career is recording Born To Run – but it was hard work, right?

    I come from a place where working hard is like: “It’s five o’clock, I’m getting the hell out of here.” When I met Bruce Springsteen, I was like: “This guy doesn’t stop until it’s right? What the hell has that got to do with anything?”

    So during the album, there’s this whole thing about the drums. I’m trying to get the drum sound and he just stands over me and says the word “stick” over and over again. And after what felt like six weeks, I just said: “I’m done. I can’t do this any more.”

    Bruce’s producer Jon Landau convinces you to stay. Why was he so persuasive?

    Landau looked at me and said: “Hang on a second. I’m going to teach you something that you can take with you for the rest of your life. This is not about you. This is about the greater good of the album.

    “Now you go back in there and tell Bruce Springsteen you are going to support him in whatever he wants, and for as long as it takes – and you’ll have learned a big lesson.”

    It hit me in the head like a two by four. I realised the amount of humility it takes [to make a hit record]. So I got my work ethic from Bruce Springsteen, period.

    Later on, you took Springsteen’s Because The Night and gave it to Patti Smith. Why did you think it would work for her?

    When I heard those lyrics – “Because the night belongs to lovers” – I said: “Wow, if Patti sings that, that’s going to sound so powerful from her perspective. Very different than if it comes from a man.”

    Of course, she didn’t want to do it in the beginning. She resisted at first. But as you see in the documentary, there’s a beautiful ballet that gets it done.

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    You were known for working rock musicians. How did you end up signing Dr Dre and Tupac to Interscope?

    These guys reminded me of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. They scare you but their music draws you in.

    When you signed Dre, no-one wanted to play his records. How did turn it around?

    I played [Nothin’ But A] G Thang to my radio people, and they said: “Radio’s never going to play this, MTV’s not going to touch it, it’ll never be played in Europe, it’ll never be played in Asia. Never, never, never, never.” They thought I was nuts.

    So I told my radio guys: “Do me a favour, make me a one-minute edit and [send it to] 50 of the top [radio] markets in the country. They can’t stop that, because that’s an ad.”

    Now, it didn’t say Dr Dre on the ad. It didn’t say anything, it was just the music – but all of the sudden the phones started exploding. So then we made a clean version and radio started playing it.

    How did you end up starting an electronics company?

    The minute I saw Napster, I realised the record industry was toast. It was free, easy and just smarter than the way we were doing things.

    So I felt it would be trouble, and I was looking for stuff to do. Then I’m walking down the beach and Dre says: “Hey man, my lawyer wants me to sell sneakers.” I said: “Dre, nobody cares what sneakers you wear. That’s not what you’re about. You’re about audio. People will buy the audio you recommend.”

    And I said: “Screw sneakers, do speakers.”

    But you ended up making headphones instead…

    Headphones looked like medical equipment before Beats. The most popular company was saying: “You can go to sleep with our headphones.” We wanted to make headphones that were exciting. And that’s why I believe that Beats changed the industry.

    After Apple bought Beats, you ended up in the streaming business. Do you think artists are getting a fair deal out of it?

    Artists deserve to get paid, period. And get paid a lot.

    What’s happening right now, as far as paid-for streaming, it’s almost better for new bands than it is for the catalogue. The new bands are getting a lot of traction, because younger people are on streaming.

    Where it gets tricky is the artists’ relationship with the record label or the publisher [and how the money is distributed].

    The problem the artists have is not with the streaming services. I’ll stand behind that with everything from a calculator to my fingers.

    Bruce Springsteen says the key to your success is a “tremendous lack of fear”. How true is that?

    That’s the underlying theme of the documentary – channelling fear.

    When I was a kid, I was afraid of everything. I was in a neighbourhood where physicality was the currency and I was a little guy. I was terrified of school. I still have fear today, but you channel it and you use it as a tailwind instead of a headwind.

    I mean, you’re not supposed to walk into somebody who’s got a shotgun pointed at you. That’s stupid. But the normal, everyday fear that we all have? You can harness it and it’s a powerful, powerful thing.

    The Defiant Ones is streaming now on Netflix.

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