- Pride and Prejudice screenwriter extraordinaire Andrew Davies took part in this week's BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs, as reported by icWales. Mr Davies admits that Mr Darcy's famous 'lake' scene was intended to be even more eye-catching than it turned out to be:
I wanted him to dive in with nothing on at all. But for some reason, I don’t know what it was, it was decided – or he decided – that he was going to dive in with his shirt and breeches on and that gave us that scene.
Davies has described the episode as “rather amusing and embarrassing”. He said, “There is Darcy in a state that he would not normally want to be seen in, trying to be pleasant and polite to Elizabeth. But in fact half of England’s womanhood was going crazy about his wet shirt."
Mr Davies' music choices can be found here. The programme will be repeated on August 10 at 9am GMT.
- Time Out interviews the lovely Martha Plimpton and looks back on her career as she starts in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park:
Considering that Plimpton just ended a nine-month commitment in Lincoln Center Theater’s The Coast of Utopia, she now officially owns the title of hardest-working woman in New York theater. She took the new job a mere six weeks after Utopia’s closing-night party which, according to rumors, was as epic as the trilogy itself. “I’m not at liberty to talk about it,” Plimpton demurs teasingly during a rehearsal break.
The actor actually joined Midsummer, directed by Daniel Sullivan, a week into rehearsals after Missi Pyle dropped out. Despite having just finished a monumental, once-in-a-career project, Plimpton accepted quickly. “I was about to go to Los Angeles for the summer to scrounge up some television or film, and then I got this call from Dan,” she says. “I decided I’d much rather stay home. This is way more fun than pounding the pavement in L.A.”
It appears we weren't the only ones pleasantly surprised by such a quick transition - so was her director Daniel Sullivan (who himself has had a tough week falling through trap doors):
After coming out of Lincoln Center, she got her energies back and was ready to go. I was a little surprised—and delighted—that she immediately wanted to get on board.
Martha's move has clearly involved mental and linguistic transitions, even if she still gets to wear pretty dresses:
Since Utopia spanned 1833 to 1866, Plimpton’s new costuming won’t be radically different from that of her last gig, but the language will. And she has only one other Shakespeare on her résumé, a 1991 Pericles—at the Public, naturally. Has immersion in Stoppard’s rhetorical cascades made it easier to mouth the Bard? “It’s hard to say, ‘Well, of course it feels perfectly natural to go from Stoppard to Shakespeare,’ ” Plimpton muses. “That would be asinine. It’s all difficult, and you just sort of go at it bit by bit, hoping you tell the story clearly."
And lastly, proof that blogging can be worthwhile, (well, if your name is Martha)...
On Plimpton’s charming MySpace page (a rare and candid undertaking for a celebrity), she posted a marked-up First Folio page from Midsummer. But when the website is mentioned, she practically blushes over the phone. “It’s just a MySpace page, for God’s sake,” the actor says. “It’s something I do to have a good time and communicate with friends and colleagues and be silly.” Still, the page—which features photos of role models such as Gena Rowlands, Anna Magnani and Gilda Radner—has a practical use: Plimpton’s writing about her favorite bands got her work reviewing music on MTV’s website.
Time Out then report that Ms Plimpton then plans to spend some more than well-deserved feet-up time in Puerto Rico. Who can blame her.
- It is not only Utopia's actors that are getting stuck into new projects. Playbill report that scenic designer Scott Pask has joined the creative team of musical Saved. Broadway World have the same story. Meanwhile, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt will join the team of A Catered Affair. Also in New York this fall, the Boomerang Theatre Company are performing a piece called Stoppard Goes Electric, which includes three plays, originally written for the BBC in the 1960s: A Separate Peace, Teeth, and Another Moon Called Earth.
- Ebay has an autographed Utopia poster available, signed by 36 cast members. Current bid is $48 (although the reserve is higher) and all proceeds go to charity. Auction ends August 10th.
- Lastly, unless I have been asleep, the BBC seem to have revamped their Pride and Prejudice info. The result is a nice little page including a 'Behind the Scenes' section, crew audio clips and episode clips. It seems to contain similar info to the 'Making of' book and programmes, but worthy of a peek on a rainy day.