April 4, 2012

Eve Best breaks the bed in The Duchess of Malfi

Eve Best, left, pictured with her Duchess of Malfi co-star Harry Lloyd and the show's director Jamie Lloyd

Eve Best, the star of the Old Vic's production of The Duchess of Malfi, has broken a bed through overuse.

The bed in The Duchess of Malfi at the Old Vic is weakening. Eve Best, in the title tole, is ravished nightly upon it (twice on matinée days) by both her brother and her husband. On Monday night, it finally gave way with a deafening twang.

Best grinned at the audience, and Harry Lloyd, as her brother, did what he could to have his unnatural way with her as the mattress drooped.

In a useful spot of product placement, Lloyd later said: “I have this night digg’d up a mandrake. And I am grown mad with 't.”

Private grief

James Fox’s son Jack, best known for the series Fresh Meat, has made a new television drama about Army life called Privates.

His character, not unlike the young Michael Heseltine, manages to curtail his national service by running for Parliament, as the rules allow.

Fox tells me at the opening of Jack Spade’s new Soho store that the title of the series is, however, causing misunderstandings.

“I think they may have to change it to Two Section,” he says. Even Capt Mainwaring once had to cope with unwelcome sniggers when, in Dad’s Army, he ordered a Nazi invader to keep his hands off his “privates.”

It’s a bit Parky

The passing years would not appear to be making Richard Ingrams’s The Oldie magazine any more clubbable. In a two page piece entitled What Went Wrong With Parky?, a journalist who worked for Sir Michael Parkinson in the Seventies alleges that was the time when the interviewer began to “forsake journalism for showbusiness.”

Out carpet shopping in Marrakech when I raise the matter with him, Parky laughs wryly. “Two pages, you say?” he asks. “Well, well. It was all a long time ago. Who on Earth cares?”

When I appeared on his Radio Two show, I was struck by his gritty professionalism and spontaneity. “Stop reading out jokes from that ruddy bit of paper you’ve got there,” he scolded me.

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