Welcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up misfortune struck last night at the Coronet theatre as lead actor Sylvestra Le Touzel had to leave the stage due to personal reasons. Also today, Kristen Stewart calls Princess Diana “exceptionally manipulative” and Sadiq Khan gave wannabe Matt Hancocks at his press drinks party last night a cheeky warning. In SW1A Jess Phillips explains that Sir Nicholas Soames is one of her favourite Tories in part because he offers up weight loss tips and Sir Ed Davey recalls a bust-up with Lord Eric Pickles who said regulations were communist.
Thursday 16 September 2021 11:29 , Robbie Smith
Stop press. A leading lady appearing in The Lodger at the Coronet theatre had to stop after just a few minutes of the press night due what was described as a personal issue. Sylvestra Le Touzel, who plays Dolly, went off stage and her part was then read by director Geraldine Alexander.
Today the Coronet explained she had received “some distressing personal news” and consequently “was unfortunately unable to perform” her role. Despite Alexander stepping in, the second half of the play was called off after it was agreed that reviews would be impossible. Le Touzel has appeared in films such as The Death of Stalin and is married to Game of Thrones star Owen Teale, who played Ser Alastair Thorne.
A new press night featuring Le Touzel is planned for Monday. The Londoner wishes Le Touzel well.
Thursday 16 September 2021 15:00 , Robbie Smith
Sir Nicholas Soames is one of Jess Phillips’s favourite Tories, not least because he offered her weight loss tips. “What you want to do is eat a mulaah [Müller] yoghurt,” the Labour MP smiled, imitating his booming voice. “I didn’t think my life was going to go like this,” she told Wimbledon BookFest. “I’ve just been given dieting advice by Winston Churchill’s grandson.”
Sir Ed Davey recalled a bust-up with Lord Pickles during the coalition when they discussed energy regulations in the private sector in light of climate change. “He said that regulations were communist,” Sir Ed told a Policy Exchange event yesterday. “I said ‘thou shall not kill’ is a regulation and it came before Karl Marx.” Your move, Pickles.
A rum do as Skepta launches his spirit
Thursday 16 September 2021 14:30 , Robbie Smith
Burna Boy and Skepta were in top spirits as they dined at the Dover St Arts Club to celebrate the launch of Skepta’s rum brand. In Mayfair Nick Hackworth and Pippa Hornby were at gallery Paradise Row Projects hosting a private view of exhibition Hawala.
Mayor’s mischief over reshuffle
Thursday 16 September 2021 14:00 , Robbie Smith
Sadiq Khan was in a chipper mood at a drinks party he held for the press in City Hall last night. The London Mayor joked about the Cabinet reshuffle — “Michael Gove going to the Ministry of Sound,” he suggested, adding: “I can’t wait to take Michael to Fabric and Heaven will blow his mind.” But his sharpest tease was reserved for a former health secretary. “For anybody who has Matt Hancock tendencies,” he said, “all the CCTV cameras are working on this floor.”
‘I psyched myself up for Diana role’
Thursday 16 September 2021 13:00 , Robbie Smith
Princess Diana was “exceptionally manipulative” in interviews, the actress playing her in a new biopic has said. Kristen Stewart stars in Spencer and told an event last night that it was “like she’s been backed into a corner and she’s baring her teeth but then also opening herself up completely”. Stewart also described Diana as having a “feral” side when it came to protecting her children and said she had to psych herself up to even take the role — telling herself she would be a “p*ssy” if she said no. Emotional investment.
Life’s no longer all glitz for Dowden
Thursday 16 September 2021 12:00 , Robbie Smith
Our sympathies lie with the former culture secretary Oliver Dowden who was due next week Front Row at London Fashion Week, but has now been made Tory party chair. His new life? Out: glamorous premieres and art parties. In: dreary dinners at Conservative associations in the farthest flung corners of Britain. Boris Johnson may well be happy that he has got Dowden running the party but the ex-culture minister might pine for the James Bond premiere in two weeks. As for the Frow, new culture secretary Nadine Dorries has been invited by the British Fashion Council in Dowden’s place but has yet to respond.