Senior Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
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Jun 28, 2012

“Land of Decoration” wins Desmond Elliott novel prize

LONDON (Reuters) – Author Grace McCleen won the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction published in Britain on Thursday for “The Land of Decoration,” although she has already announced that her budding career as a writer is almost over.

The book, published in Britain by Chatto & Windus, centers around the deeply religious 10-year-old Judith McPherson, who with her father belongs to a religious sect and who is scorned and bullied at school.

Jun 27, 2012

No “Scream” but plenty of darkness at UK Munch show

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – How do you stage an Edvard Munch
exhibition without featuring the work for which he is renowned
the world over – “The Scream”?

Four versions of the haunting, swirling image exist of which
three are in museums and unlikely to travel, while the fourth
just sold at Sotheby’s New York for $120 million, the highest
price ever paid for a work of art at auction.

Jun 26, 2012

Spice Girls in raucous reunion to promote musical

LONDON (Reuters) – The Spice Girls reunited for a few hours on Tuesday to launch a new musical based on songs that made them one of the biggest bands of the 1990s, but there was time for plenty of laughs, avowals of mutual love and even the odd catty aside.

“Viva Forever!”, written by British comedian Jennifer Saunders and produced by “Mamma Mia!” mastermind Judy Craymer, opens at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End on December 11.

Jun 22, 2012

Chinese crackdown boosts artist Ai on world stage

LONDON (Reuters) – The worse things get for Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei at home, the greater his reputation as an artist and activist becomes abroad, a point campaigners say Beijing may want to bear in mind as it seeks to muzzle him.

The thick-set, bearded 55-year-old was back in the headlines this week when he left his house for the first time in a year without having to report his whereabouts to police.

Jun 19, 2012

Music, bouncy castle to launch Olympic art festival

LONDON (Reuters) – The London 2012 Festival, a cultural celebration across Britain to coincide with the Olympics, opens on Thursday with the spectacular – a fireworks display by Lake Windermere – and the bizarre – a life-sized inflatable replica of Stonehenge.

The festival, which runs from June 21-September 9, is the culmination of the four-year Cultural Olympiad, and organizers said on Tuesday there would be 10 million free tickets for people to experience dance, theatre, art, music and more.

Jun 18, 2012

New buyers may lift London art sales to $1 billion

LONDON (Reuters) – London’s art market is attracting the lion’s share of business from an emerging class of super-wealthy collectors from Russia, the Middle East and China, and they are likely to be a big factor in a summer season of sales valued at up to $1 billion.

Christie’s, Sotheby’s and smaller rivals like Phillips de Pury hold a three-week series of auctions featuring works by artists as diverse as Rembrandt, Renoir and Gerhard Richter.

Jun 13, 2012

Gandhi papers set to fetch $1 million in auction

LONDON (Reuters) – A huge archive of letters, papers and photographs that shed new light on Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi and his time in South Africa will be auctioned in London next month and is expected to fetch 500,000-700,000 pounds ($800,000-$1.1 million).

The documents, numbering several thousand and arranged in 18 files, belonged to Hermann Kallenbach, who became arguably Gandhi’s closest friend after they met in Johannesburg in 1904.

Jun 12, 2012

Warner Bros launches $155 mln UK movie studio

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – The Harry Potter film franchise
is at an end, but Hollywood studio Warner Bros has extended its
involvement in British cinema with the launch this week of a new
100 million pound ($155 million) studio complex just outside
London.

The state-of-the-art film and television studios are set on
a 200-acre site and include huge sound stages, one of the
largest heated underwater filming tanks in Europe and a 100-acre
“clear horizon” back-lot for outdoor scenes.

Jun 12, 2012

Meadow, cows, cricket for Olympic opening ceremony

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – London’s Olympic Stadium will be
transformed into a British meadow complete with fields, cows,
ducks, a horse-drawn plough and a game of village cricket for
the opening ceremony of this year’s summer Games.

Film maker Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012
Olympic Games opening ceremony which takes place on July 27,
said on Tuesday he wanted to recreate a classic rural idyll for
the opening scene of the three-hour event.

Jun 12, 2012

Olympic stadium to become giant meadow for opening

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – London’s Olympic Stadium will be
transformed into a British meadow complete with fields, cows,
ducks, a horse-drawn plough and a game of village cricket for
the opening ceremony of this year’s summer Games.

Film maker Danny Boyle, artistic director of the London 2012
Olympic Games opening ceremony which takes place on July 27,
said on Tuesday he wanted to recreate a classic rural idyll for
the opening scene of the three-hour event.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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