Times 2 - UK (2020-10-16)

(Antfer) #1

the times | Friday October 16 2020 1GT 3



Katy Perry


Dominic West



and Antonia de Sancha have I seen
a posh man so determinedly push
his wife out in front of the British
press corps. Every detail was amazing
in its own, special way: the note
given to the press that insisted,
“Our marriage is strong and we’re
still very much together,” which was
in West’s handwriting and minimally
co-signed by FitzGerald. The fact
that, at the photocall, West was
wearing the same trousers and
shirt he’d been wearing with James
in Rome — presumably because
FitzGerald had furiously set fire to
every other one of West’s possessions.
The most extraordinary thing,
however, was the expression on
West’s face. Even if, as is always
possible, nothing had happened, he’d
embarrassed his wife. So it should
have been one of contrition — a solid
“It’s the sofa for me for the next year!
Or, maybe, just an old towel, laid down
on the floor of the shed. And that is
fair enough.” It was very much the
opposite of that, however.
I struggled for a while to pinpoint
its antecedents before finally settling
on “Toad of Toad Hall, just before he
says ‘POOP POOP!’, crossed with a
cartoon fox that’s just managed to
trick a hen into getting into a sack”.
It gave offthe vibe of
a man who refers to his
face as “North West”
and his genitalia as
“South West”. A man
who drives his sports
car while roaring,
“I’m simply The West!
Better than all the
rest!”, and feeling
so rampantly
that he cat-calls
actual cats.
What happens
next will,
presumably, take
place behind closed
doors, and I am
happy to revert to
my “private lives
are private” stance.
But, for now, the
nation’s mood has
been oddly lifted by
this potent piece of
Apparent Infidelity
Time Travel.
Dominic West
is Doctor Who
Hasn’t Been
a Bit Naughty
From Time
to Time?
He’s a Time
in his Bra-dis.

Celebrity Watch is, essentially, a

weekly round-up of celebrity gossip, so

I generally avoid commenting on the

kind of gossip that could be described

as “actual, real people’s lives messily

and agonisingly exploding”. If you’re

famous and there’s a story about you

a) putting on weight, b) having a

nervous breakdown, or c) being

unfaithful, I’m, like, “Being publicly

shamed for normal human frailty

shouldn’t be some kind of tax you have

to pay for wanting to sing, act, dance

or appear on Eight Out of Ten Cats do

Countdown”. I’m here for silly stuff,

or hypocritical stuff. I tend to swerve

the “people’s guts and private lives all

over the pavement” stuff.

However, this week, I must make

a partial exception because the front-

page-grabbing story of the actor

Dominic West’s alleged affair with

his co-star Lily James has

provided bogglement on a

vast scale. On Sunday the

seemingly illicit couple

were papped in Rome

having a boozy lunch,

kissing and sharing an

electric scooter. The

next day West had

to fly home to

face his wife

of ten years,



and their



This story

is notable

because West’s

reaction to it has

been so... retro. It’s a

real throwback to how

public figures used to

respond to front-page

stories of alleged

infidelity. Appearing

on the front doorstep

of his lovely Wiltshire

house with his

faithful, put-upon

wife, West appeared

to be working from

a battered vintage

copy of How to Cope

When Nooky With

a Fragrant Young

Lovely Goes Wrong,

published by the

chief whip of the

Conservative Party

in, say, 1986. Not

since David Mellor

matching hat and
gloves — a typically
wry commentary
on how early
motherhood feels,
ie like you are a
very tired dairy cow,
constantly being milked
by a tiny, wailing farmer.
Personally, I hope Perry took the
role-play aspect of this outfit all the
way — and that, when expressing
breast milk with a pump, in between
shots, she quietly mooed; and that
when it looks as if it’s going to rain,
she just lies down under a tree and
refuses to move.

In yet more reproduction news,

the Roar chanteuse Katy Perry

has been delivered of her first

child, Daisy Dove, with her fiancé,

Orlando Bloom.

Getting back to work as a judge

on American Idol just six weeks

after the birth, Perry rocked up

in a ravishing cow-print dress with


Herdman, left, in the title role,
is being hosted by the Belfast
International Arts Festival
until tomorrow, and then shifts
to the website of Oxford’s
Creation Theatre.
com/creationtheatre.co.uk, today,
tomorrow, Sunday

As Halloween beckons, here’s
a chance to commune with
Shakespeare’s witches in a live
stream of a production by Zoe
Seaton’s Big Telly Theatre
Company. Sorcery meets
spyware in this tech-savvy
version. The play, with Dennis


I Am Greta
A fascinating fly-on-the-wall
documentary about a year in
the life of teenage eco-warrior
Greta Thunberg. She’s a
polarising figure and this film
is no hagiography. Instead it

follows the progress of her
activism, the impact of her
Asperger’s, and her harrowing
voyage from Plymouth to
New York because she
refuses to fly. In cinemas. See
review on page 8


HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!! (a
showcase for the tenor Allan
Clayton) and Britten’s Phaedra
with Christine Rice, left. Royal
Opera House, London WC
(roh.org.uk), tomorrow

The Royal Opera: 4/
The first staged opera
productions since Covent
Garden closed its doors in
March: four bitesize pieces for
one or two singers, including


Norcott argues his centre-right
corner with wit and verve. The
Stand, Newcastle (thestand.co.uk),
tomorrow; Glee Club,
Birmingham (glee.co.uk), Sunday

Geoff Norcott: Taking
Making hay with his status as
a working-class Tory in the
liberal-left enclave of stand-up,


Illuminating tantra’s symbolic
importance during India’s
struggle for independence, the
exhibits also redeem it from
accusations of exotic smut.
British Museum, London WC
(britishmuseum.org), today,
tomorrow, Sunday

Tantra: enlightenment
to revolution
From images of the tantric
goddess Kali to an AD1000-
1100 carving hacked from a
Hindu temple frieze, these
luridly riveting artefacts betray
a fascination for the forbidden.


eclectic mix of Talking Heads-
inspired “neurotic disco”.
Imitations of David Byrne,
right, in his oversized suit are,
if not de rigueur, then at least
encouraged, and the whole
night runs along social
distancing guidelines.
The Clapham Grand, London
SW11 (dice.fm), tonight

Bugged Out Night Out
It is as much of a night out as
the times allow, at least: club
promoter Bugged Out offers a
screening of Jonathan Demme’s
Stop Making Sense, the classic
concert movie of Talking Heads
in the New York band’s early
1980s prime, before DJ Erol
Alkan provides a typically

Julie Walters on Mamma Mia! and

her new film, The Secret Garden

The hot list

Your guide to the weekend

In Saturday Review tomorrow

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news, by a tiny, wa



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