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Maureen Lipman: ‘I’d have to be stark raving mad to support Boris Johnson’ | Stage

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I met Maureen Lipman in the most old-fashioned way, over the telephone, to talk about her new role. She’s starring in Martin Sherman’s Rose, which will be available for three nights only – to replicate the sense of theatrical occasion – but online, rather than live. “It’s a story of one woman’s recollection, from the Holocaust to the six-day war, and slightly beyond, and how she comes to make a stand herself, rather than just survive. The play begins and ends with her making a statement about humanity, rather than just on being Jewish or a gentile.”

She’s thrilled about the role – originally made famous by Olympia Dukakis – and makes the point that, by the time you hit 74, parts don’t just end up in your lap. She’s also in Coronation Street, of course, and describes fitting the two filming schedules in with the unsociable hours and the midnight taxis of the actor in high demand. She’s so positive about Sherman’s work, however – “it’s as sensitive, clever, deep and profound a piece as I’ve read” – that you can sense a “but …” coming, and there is one.

“I’d done Martin’s other play, Messiah” – this was 1982 – “and I had an unfortunate experience: somebody in Hampstead stood up and screamed at me. It rattled me. I’ve always been a very confident actress and I never really questioned my confidence on stage, but it did unsettle me as a person. And then, of course, the BT adverts happened around the same time, and it suddenly turned me from a jobbing actress to a Jewish actress.”

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That ad had a mysteriously huge impact. Lipman was Beattie, the witty, caustic Jewish grandmother (at one point her son, for reasons I can neither recall nor guess at, refers to her breasts, and she says: “Huh, they moved south about the same time you did”). It was so talked-about that it did rather eclipse her earlier reputation: as a stage talent, a member of both the National Theatre Company and the RSC, Lamda-trained, having grown up in Hull with a tailor father and a fiercely encouraging mother. She was a sitcom favourite in the 70s, early in the genre, and always memorable even in small roles, such as Sylvie in Up the Junction.

‘It suddenly turned me from a jobbing actress to a Jewish actress’ … Lipman as Beattie in the BT advert.



‘It suddenly turned me from a jobbing actress to a Jewish actress’ … Lipman as Beattie in the BT advert.

Lipman isn’t complaining about being typecast – she’s sprightly and pragmatic on that: “You’re bloody glad to have a good part. Because I’m not going to be in Downton Abbey, am I?” It’s a much more complicated point she’s making, which starts with pigeonholes. “In the last few years, we’re all in little boxes, aren’t we? You have to play what you are. The whole purpose of acting is to play what you’re not.” This lands us, arse over tit, if you’ll forgive the phrase (this whole conversation has brought the 80s rushing back), in the trans debate. “They’re saying, now, nobody can play a person who’s trans unless they are. I’m thinking of Scarlett Johansson, she turned down a trans role because she said it wasn’t fair to take it. And that’s a good choice.

“But we’re in a different timeline, because anybody can play Shylock, and they do. Anybody can play a survivor, and they do.” For all that Lipman is famously outspoken, I can’t work out what she really thinks. Should anybody be allowed to play Shylock? Did Scarlett Johansson make a good choice? “I am all for people fighting for their rights. Of course. But if somebody’s playing a Holocaust survivor, and I’m looking at them on the television and know that they’re not and never have been Jewish, have I got the same right to say, ‘They shouldn’t play that because they’re not?’”

To return to the role of Rose, and Lipman’s audience encounter in Messiah, I wonder whether there isn’t another element to her trepidation about taking on another Sherman play – whether creatively delving into a collective trauma is actually quite traumatic to do. “The early Sherman play was 17th century, so that was a different trauma, they were fleeing a pogrom. But yes, collective trauma is something I’m very aware of. I’m very aware, particularly in my business, of the attitude towards the only Jewish state in the world.”

‘I’m not going to be in Downton Abbey, am I?’ … Lipman as Evelyn Plummer in Coronation Street.



‘I’m not going to be in Downton Abbey, am I?’ … Lipman as Evelyn Plummer in Coronation Street. Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

What a segue: Maureen Lipman is famous for her defence of Israel. She actually reprised Beattie for a video attacking Jeremy Corbyn at the last election, but her falling out with the Labour party went back to the leader before – she was furious with Ed Miliband for supporting a House of Commons motion to recognise Palestine as a state.

While she remains absolutely caustic about a lot of Labour and its works, she admits quite wryly what her relationship was to this party she has so often renounced. “I was a Labour luvvie, with Blair. I wasn’t really a party member.” She talks about all Blair had to deal with, from foot and mouth disease to the death of Princess Diana, to that other thing to do with cows (mad cow disease, we both realise at once), “and he did it with grace, and style, and he did it with gravitas and statesmanship. You had exactly the same situation with him and Campbell as you did with Boris and Cummings. People in power need advisers.”

Does this mean she supports Boris Johnson? It seems like quite a journey from a Labour-ish luvvie to that, and she is laughingly affronted. “I’d have to be stark raving mad to be a supporter of Boris Johnson. And I’m not. I don’t envy him what he wished for, because he got it.”

Yet in any conversation about politics, she remains principally vigilant about Israel; even when it’s miles from the topic, we somehow end up back there. So we jump from Johnson and what a mess he makes, back to the Labour party and whether or not antisemitism has gone away (“you can see it hasn’t”) and suddenly we’re at the explosion in Beirut, which had happened that day. “As soon as Lebanon happened, I can imagine the types that were ready to say, ‘Israel’s on the border, did they, would they, could they?’ I’m very grateful that Hezbollah said they did it.”

‘He did it with grace and gravitas’ … Lipman with Tony Blair in 2001.



‘He did it with grace and gravitas’ … Lipman with Tony Blair in 2001. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Wait, what? It was an accident resulting from political fecklessness, Hezbollah isn’t even the largest party in the Lebanese parliament, and definitely nobody said they did it. She makes a noise as though we’ll just agree to differ.

Lipman’s hardline stance on Israel, she suggests, means that she won’t work with certain actors who support the Palestinian cause. “I won’t be going on tour with The Killing of Sister George with Maxine Peake and Miriam Margolyes, put it that way.”

Peake, sure, would be an impossible acquaintance, after her recent comments – which she retracted – were deemed anti-Israel enough to get Rebecca Long-Bailey kicked off the Labour front bench for retweeting her. But Margolyes, surely, is different. Yes, she vocally supports Palestine, but they’re two character actresses of the same generation (Margolyes is five years older) – they must have gone up for the same parts, been to the same parties for decades; there must be times when they meet and don’t talk about Israel?

“We’ve seen each other at the odd funeral,” she concedes. “I don’t wish her ill. And she’s a very successful leftwing socialist with several houses. Take my point. Need I say more.” Well, not unless you want to … “Most of the stuff that I say is not that dissimilar to her. We’re opinionated women, we’ve got a platform, we tend to spew out the first thing that comes into our fevered little brains. It’s just that, unfortunately, I’m right.”

Lipman is maybe 5% less implacable than she sounds. Asked what she thinks about Keir Starmer, she launches in: “I put in some article that I’ve never been to Ikea and somebody from a newspaper said, would I go for the first time and write about it?” Uh oh, I thought, it’s going to be quite a scramble to get back to the subject from such an extreme mishearing, but the joke was on me. “And I said, I’d go to eye-Keir, and talk to him eye to eye. I’ve not got round to it. I’m very glad he’s there.”

Give or take a quick drive-by attack on John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, this has a mellowing effect on the conversation, and she reverts to the views of the Blair-era luvvie – worried about the future of theatre (“if the rats are eating the velvet, I’m going to be really sad”), mindful of the other side of the coin (“I do think the West End had become moribund. Shows were running for too long and they were tired”), relaxed and self-aware: “A lot of us, it’s very hard to distinguish between wanting a job and wanting to show off. I don’t know the difference, I never have.”

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Pregnant Ines Gutierrez shows ‘positive test’ and highlights ‘good part’

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Pregnant Ines Gutierrez shows 'positive test' and highlights 'good part'

Ines Gutiérrez took to social media on the night of Thursday, January 20 to let her followers know she tested positive for Covid-19.

The presenter, who is expecting her first child as a result of her relationship with Joao Montes, said that everything is fine with her, and in the end emphasized the positive side of the infection: “I have a positive result. I confess that I was surprised that I had not been caught before by this animal … not that I was careless or did not try as much as possible to do what is required of us, but the truth is that I already had what what I call “true racias”, because so many people around me have already become infected … “, starts with a letter.

“I feel that at this stage we are all playing a kind of Russian roulette. Some are lucky, others are chosen. I would like to believe that I will forever remain in the first group, but I was wrong.😅”, more added.

“I am pregnant and therefore I could only get vaccinated later, after a morphological ultrasound, and I confess that being pregnant, my fear, of course, increases. Fortunately, on January 5th I received my 2nd dose of the vaccine and I feel more protected despite being infected.” still can be read.

“I have symptoms: fever, body aches, sore throat and runny nose… deep down, like I have a bad flu. The usual low immune system of pregnant women is also characteristic. The good part: yesterday was much worse than today. Now yes, I have a good reason to completely relax and spend a week in our ❤️ bubble. Good food and plenty of fluids also help. I just wanted to tell you that I’m fine, calm, calm and resting. Now be patient and heal me. To you: health!he concluded.

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Mafalda Rodiles has a “heart in her hands” because of her son: “I had indications for surgery”

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Mafalda Rodiles has a “heart in her hands” because of her son: “I had indications for surgery”

Mafalda Rodiles scared with son Martim and ended by telling everything on this Wednesday, January 19, in his instagram page.

“At the very beginning of the year, Martim fell on his hand while playing on vacation. Since there was a fall in front of me, I clearly saw that we needed to go to the hospital, we went to the Odemira Health Center, where we were treated very well, they took an x-ray, confirming that it was broken, immobilized the arm and advised us to go to Lisbon., began to write.

“After two and a half hours I was in Estefania, with a heart in my hands, because Martim had indications for an operation. He not only broke, but also dislocated his elbow.”, continuation.

Despite everything, the actress received good news: “We were treated so well in Estefania that I can only thank you, and in fact the doctor managed to do a reposition, that is, he injected Martim with a sedative and put his hand in place, and then put a plaster on it. It worked, no surgery was required, and now there are only 5 days left to remove the cast.”.

“Martim was a brave man and I’m sure he will become great again”he concluded.

Reproduction Instagram, DR

Remember that Mafalda Rodiles is a mother chalk, seven years old, and Martim, four years old, through marriage to a Brazilian director. Edgar Miranda.

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Susana Henriquez of Peso Pesado considered suicide: “I was at the top of the overpass getting ready to jump.”

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Susana Henriquez of Peso Pesado considered suicide: "I was at the top of the overpass getting ready to jump."

or case Amelie Battle Bastos, a 16-year-old girl who disappeared in Porto and whose body was found in the late afternoon of the day after his disappearance, he left Portugal in shock. teenager ran “suicidal risk”, Existence “one year of psychiatric treatment for depression”. There are several people on social media who have spoken out and warned about the importance of mental health. Susana Henriquez is one of them.

A personal trainer, who competed in the first edition of “Peso Pesado” on SIC in 2011, revealed on social media that he was Amelie’s age when he considered taking his own life. “The case of Amelie touched me in a special way. I was her age when I was diagnosed with depression after losing the most important person in my life: my mother.”, began to write.

“I was her age when it crossed my mind a thousand times to commit suicide and end the suffering that I felt, and yes … I was literally seconds away from doing it that day when I was at the top of the overpass ready to jump!”, said.

“I was in a dark, cold place, similar to what this girl had. Similar but never the same. Only she will know how she felt. Only she will know how dark the world will be in her eyes! Depression is not freshness. Depression is a disease that often runs quietly and is one of the most painful that can exist. Anyone who has been in this dark place will understand what I mean.”, continuation.

Finally, Susana Henriquez leaves a message: “If you are in this dark place right now, I want you to know that you are not alone, that there is a way out of this alley, that you can turn around and smile again. If you are in this place… Please: ask for help! If you have someone close with signs of depression, pay attention, do not underestimate these signs, show that you are close to this person. Don’t listen… Listen… Embrace… Be present!”, he said.

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“Let’s be more attentive to each other, with sympathy, without judgment and with love, in order to avoid such tragedies! Don’t Suffer in Silence: Contacts of the Voz Amiga Association. 213 544 545 – 912 802 669 – 963 524 660 / Daily from 15:30 to 00:30. Rest in peace Amelie. And may your family have all the support in the world.”, finished.

Ask for help.

CONTACTS

Friendly SOS line voice. Emotional Support and Suicide Prevention Phone: 213 544 545 / 912 802 669 / 963 524 660 (daily from 15:30 to 00:30)

Contact the Hospital Mental Health Services in your area – adults, Childhood and youth.

Line SNS24 (808 242424 and www.sns24.gov.pt) and 112 are also available.

Contact via crisis lines and yes Line of psychological counseling.

For more information see National Suicide Prevention Plan.

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