Gos­sip

The Week Middle East - - News | Talking Points -

The 60th an­niver­sary re­vival of Harold Pin­ter’s The Birth­day Party has won rave re­views – un­like the orig­i­nal 1958 pro­duc­tion, which was panned. The FT de­scribed it as “mad, weary­ing and in­con­se­quen­tial gab­ble”, while the Manch­ester Guardian said: “What all this means only Pin­ter knows.” The lat­ter com­ment was quite true, be­cause the can­tan­ker­ous play­wright (pic­tured) res­o­lutely re­fused to pro­vide any ad­di­tional de­tails about the main char­ac­ter, Stan­ley. When Alan Ay­ck­bourn later played the role and asked him for guid­ance, Pin­ter replied: “Mind your own busi­ness.” Henry Bolton was fi­nally ousted as leader of UKIP last week­end af­ter four months at the helm. The 54-year-old ex-army of­fi­cer had faced a re­volt by col­leagues over his re­la­tion­ship with model Jo Mar­ney, for whom he’d re­cently left his wife. Bolton claimed to have bro­ken up with the 25-year-old af­ter it emerged that Mar­ney had sent racist mes­sages. But he con­firmed this week that the two were an item again, and didn’t rule out mar­riage. Be­fore los­ing Satur­day’s vote of con­fi­dence, Bolton had com­plained about the ap­par­ently re­lent­less press in­ter­est in his pri­vate life. “It’s been go­ing on for six weeks,” he said. “There’s prob­a­bly been noth­ing like that since the Pro­fumo af­fair or Diana and Dodi.” Tracey Emin mar­ried a rock in 2016, and the artist claims their re­la­tion­ship – her long­est to date – re­mains in good shape. “The French stone I mar­ried is still heart­bro­ken about Brexit,” she told The Mail on Sun­day. “But we are still go­ing strong and spent New Year’s Eve hold­ing each other.”

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