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James Lipton - An Obituary

James Lipton – TV host, teacher, actor, producer, lyricist
Born September 19, 1926; died March 2, 2020
James Lipton, who has died aged 93, will forever be remembered as the host of Inside the Actors Studio, the no-frills TV talk show in which he interviewed high-profile performers, writers and directors at length about their craft. From modest beginnings in 1994, the show ran for twenty-three seasons, with Lipton’s subjects including the likes of Paul Newman, Sally Field, Dennis Hopper and Sidney Lumet opening up to his forensically researched line of questioning.
Inside the Actors Studio gave Lipton his highest profile in a career that took in acting in The Lone Ranger on radio and playing the ‘surgeon with the golden hands’ in TV hospital soap, Guiding Light. He wrote the book for short-lived musical, Sherry! (1967), and produced American President Jimmy Carter’s inaugural address to the nation – the first to be televised - as well as several Bob Hope birthday specials.
Lipton was arg…
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Joseph Malik – The Republic of Persevere

The pubs were still open when Joseph Malik decided to do something for the homeless, for whom being able to self-isolate from the Covid-19 virus isn’t an option. The result of this is today’s release of The Republic of Persevere, an online only EP of remixes of the opening track to Stranger Things Have Happened, an album that saw Malik pull together a free-flowing all-star cast from Edinburgh’s assorted music scenes under the name of Out of the Ordinary.
All proceeds of from sales of Malik’s very personal love letter to Edinburgh will go to Edinburgh homeless charity, Street Work. It was Street Work that Malik looked to not that long ago during his own period of homelessness. With the world now in lockdown, the Republic of Persevere project has been pulled together with the help of Fini Tribe’s Davie Miller, who has worked at Street Work for two decades, and Malik’s label boss at Ramrock Records, Jo Wallace.
Today’s release of The Republic of Persevere is available on Bandcamp, and the…

Lockdown Culture Round-Up 1

Now we’re in lockdown, home entertainment is vital for the soul. But where to go and what to do? In the lead-up to the current state of curfew in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic following the closure of theatres, concert halls, galleries and music venues, the energy moved online. One of the first out the traps was Cryptic, the Glasgow-based music-theatre company, who took their Cryptic Nights initiative online in a concert reported in these pages last week, and which saw electronic auteurs Aeger Smoothie, LinhHafornow and Alex Smoke perform in an empty Glad Café.
With Pitlochry Festival Theatre forced to close its production of Barefoot in the Park after one night, artistic director Elizabeth Newman has kick-started both a fund-raising campaign and a series of online video shorts that comes in three strands. The first is a series of daily poems read by actors including Rufus Sewell. The second is a series of children’s’ activities to help entertain youngsters at home. The third is an…

Zoe Caldwell - An Obituary

Zoe Caldwell – actress, director
Born September 14, 1933; died February 16, 2020
Zoe Caldwell, who has died aged 86, was a major classical actress, who played a stream of powerful women across three continents. Her work took her from her native Australia to the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, and to America, where she won four Tony awards. Her second saw her named best actress in the title role of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968), Jay Presson Allen’s stage version of Muriel Spark’s iconic Edinburgh-set novel about a mercurial school-mistress. Caldwell took over from Vanessa Redgrave in a production directed by Canadian-born Robert Whitehead, who Caldwell married.
Caldwell’s first Tony win came two-years earlier for Tennessee Williams’ Slapstick Tragedy. Her other two followed later, in another title role as Medea (1982), and as operatic diva Maria Callas in Terence McNally’s solo play, Master Class (1996). At Stratford she was Bianca to Paul Robeson’s Othello and Cordelia to C…