London’s sequence of theatrical gong-giving for 2004 began Dec. 15, with the 50th annual Evening Standard Theater Awards, whose winners were a mixture of the tried (veteran scribe Alan Bennett, whose “History Boys” was named best play) and the true (actress Victoria Hamilton for her heart-stopping turn in “Suddenly Last Summer”). “The Producers” won best musical, not to mention best impromptu cut-up when co-star Lee Evans decided to perform a madcap dumb show behind the screen that was showing a number from the tuner.
Actor winner Richard Griffiths (“The History Boys”) was only the most dramatic victim of some parlous steps to the stage of the National’s Olivier Auditorium, the venue to which the Standard had decamped from its usual trophy-giving perch at the Savoy. Griffiths tripped and fell on the way to accept his prize, and is of sufficient girth that it was by no means clear just how — or with the help of whom — he would get back up. (All was well eventually.)
From that point on, former National a.d. Trevor Nunn could be seen on the Olivier aisle, a one-man ambulance corps primed to leap into action if need be. Any hopeful winners already panicking about next year should fear not: The event will repair, we’re told, back to the Savoy, before irreparable damage is done to Britain’s theatrical body politic.
SEX PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH
How many times have you wanted to sleep with the star of the show? (What, not even once?) Well, now you can, courtesy of the Royal Court Theater Upstairs, where the self-evidently titled “Tim Fountain Sex Addict” plays Jan 7-29. The writer-turned-performer — apparently in every way — preemed his solo piece last summer at the Edinburgh Festival and reportedly is widening his scope for the London run.
Up in Scotland, Tim Fountain set his sights exclusively on men, trawling the web every night for a partner whom he would then cycle off to visit, reporting the next evening on his experience of the night before. For London, he is welcoming women into the, uh, fold. However, I don’t know too many of the fairer sex who would be eager to leap into the sack with someone who, the press release informs us, has since age 14 “slept with 5,048 men, one lesbian and a Gothic Norwegian hairdresser and is still not sure whether he’s gay or just a lazy heterosexual.” (If the latter, that’s taking “lazy” to new extremes.)
By all accounts, “Tim Fountain Sex Addict” is a serious play, as one might expect from the author of the wonderful “Resident Alien,” the London and Off Broadway solo play about the late Quentin Crisp, and it has a director — a woman, interestingly — in Natasha Betteridge.
In anticipation of the play’s run, the Court has consulted lawyers to make sure they are not contravening existing privacy laws, in case Fountain reports rather more than was bargained for about his conquest on any given night. In the meantime, those keen to give it (or, should one say, Fountain) a whirl can apply to sleep with him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who says this column isn’t helpful?
Speaking of helpful, I can’t have been the only one who did a double-take the other night at the Bush Theater’s annual fundraising Christmas quiz to find that the “staff” for the evening included a major film name: Daniel Radcliffe, the 15-year-old thesp better known as Harry Potter.
The exceedingly genial Dan was on hand due to the presence on the winning team of his father, Alan Radcliffe, the onetime agent who sits on the Bush’s board.
Radcliffe pere‘s table did rather better than your correspondent’s lot, the so-called “Press Gang,” though yours truly was able to provide the capital of Florida to a room full of Brits. (On the other hand, not even an otherwise all-English table could offer up Paul McCartney‘s middle name which — trick question! — turns out to be Paul.)
As for the waitering skills of Radcliffe fils? Exemplary, though one doubts he’ll need to abandon the day job any time soon.