Just for the record, and to happily disagree with a good friend of mine; I thoroughly approve of the exemption of theatres from the smoking ban when artistically necessary.
I hail the smoking ban as a superb step towards a better society, and I hate smoking. Finally liberation to visit any pub I want or sit anywhere at the local Indian restaurant. But I do think it is silly to ask theatre companies to excise smoking from anything they perform, or at least not to do it for real. I’ve seen mock smoking onstage, at last years Edinburgh Festival, and it was very distracting from the action of the play and faintly ludicrous. As the Scottish Executive didn’t give an exemption to theatre, we’ll have to get used to that, but I’m glad England escapes this excessive artistic prohibition.
I’m loving French Films at the moment (or as always to be more accurate), after 'Le Vie En Rose' last week, I’ve now seen ‘Tell No One’. A stylish thriller set in Paris (which I love, so I tend to love films set there), and starring a cartload of French cinema talent, slickly directed and totally gripping. But here’s the surprising plot twist, the film is based on an American blockbuster of the same name. Who said Hollywood is one way street? What’s even more startling is that both the foreign language films I’ve mentioned have done extremely well at the box office and have been in my local multiplex for several weeks.