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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She’s thrilled about the role – originally made famous by Olympia Dukakis – and makes the point that, by the time you hit 74, parts don’t just end up in your lap.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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Bruno de Carvalho and Liliana Almeida say goodbye to their single lives. See photos from parties – Celebrities

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Bruno de Carvalho and Liliana Almeida say goodbye to their single lives.  See photos from parties - Celebrities

Preparations for the wedding of Bruno de Carvalho and Liliana Almeida continue. This weekend, it’s time to cross one more step off your to-do list: bachelor parties. They took place this Sunday, August 7, both on boats on the Tagus River.

The BruLi couple, as they became known, were on TVI’s Em Família on Saturday, in which they took the opportunity to talk about this and other milestones the wedding, which, according to Liliana Almeida, will take place on September 2 in Algosa, in the parish of Silves, in the Algarve.

The ceremony will take place at Solar do Paço, just over ten minutes from the house where the singer grew up. “I’m leaving my mother’s house” disclosed, towards this “very beautiful” and “new” place. “It’s a zen garden” and the choice is “belief related”.

As for the boys, a strip show was never considered. – Not that. What for? We don’t think it’s very funny,” Liliana replied when interrogated Claudio Ramos. “We’ve eliminated some things that don’t make sense to us”it’s finished

Instead, they went with family, close childhood friends and familiar faces” to the Tagus River. “One on a sailboat and the other on a catamaran,” the groom added, referring to the private yacht charter company Pacífico Cruises, which they are available for this purpose.

But why a bachelor party on the Tagus River? “Liliana was born by the sea. I had to cross the sea to get to Portugal”, justified entrepreneur born in Mozambique. There was a lot of music on board Bruno de Carvalho’s boat (selected by the DJ, of course) and a lot of good vibes on Liliana’s boat.

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Everyone was entitled to a farewell cake, the work of the Sabores Dourados brand. With a “crazy bride” and “crazy groom” on top, and a black and white illustration of each groom, these cakes were simple but made to order – if not for the white Liliana and ex-Sporting. President Bruno., green.

On Wednesday (10) more images of the parties will be shown on “Dois at 10” and also on Saturday (13) on “VivaVida”. Liliana has already chosen dress “a long time ago” and the wedding cake, which the groom wants to be out of the ordinary, will be run by the LouléDoce patisserie.

“August 11, I will have a reverse vasectomy”

This honeymoon will be in the Maldives. The main occupation, according to Bruno de Carvalho, will be bearing a child., as he explained during the broadcast, for which he was prevented by the growth of the child. “August 11, I will have a vasectomy reversal,” he said.

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SIC Summer Party Looks – Atualidade

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SIC Summer Party Looks - Atualidade

The Cuá Cuá Club in Almancil, Algarve opened its doors to several famous faces at the SIC Summer Party.

The radio station broadcast what happened at the event for just over an hour, with several presenters such as Joao Paulo Souza, Yva Lamarao, Carolina Patrosinio and Claudia Borges participating in the program.

Among the most commented looks on social media are Diana Chavez, Claudia Vieira and Andrea Rodriguez, all perfect for this time of year.

Below we leave you photos of the visuals that stood out the most.

With a long dress with some transparency Diana Chavez I had to stand up for courage and creativity. The TV presenter’s hairstyle, however, did not cause unanimity in social networks.

Claudia Vieira opted for a long white dress with a blue pattern, which is easily associated with summer. The leading bronze also did not go unnoticed.

In black and with a bag to complete the look, Andrea Rodriguez She chose a young dress, which she complemented with green sandals.

Joao Paulo Souza Spread elegance with a pink tuxedo.

Sponsorship of Carolina presented himself with two different views at a party. The first one is a green set in which the belly can be seen, while the second one, which is completely white, was used during the broadcast broadcast by the channel.

Jani Gabriel chose a white set for the occasion to accentuate her bronze. The look was completed with large earrings.

Yva Lamarao appeared in a greenish-yellow dress with a lot of glitter and a small neckline.

Claudia Borges chose a short white dress that completely exposed her back. The host chose a long braid.

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Pink and with long sleeves, this is how Sofia Arruda introduced herself.

Renato Godinho wore a very casual floral shirt, which he paired with blue trousers and white sneakers.

Read also: Alexandra Lencastre crashes SIC summer party and explains why

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The Undertaker comments on Triple H’s “Nova WWE”

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The Undertaker comments on Triple H's "Nova WWE"

Vince McMahon retired last month it’s in WWE has undergone a major revolution in its structure and leadership of the various departments. Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan named new co-CEOse Triple H became the head of the creative teamas well as EVP Talent Relations.

many stars Struggle say they have positive hopes for a shift towards better product quality.

The Undertaker is known to be very close to Vince McMahon and Triple H. “Dead Man” said in an article for ESPN:

They take little responsibility for what fighters can say and do. I think the product will probably be a little more aggressive. I think it will be more noticeable in the creative part. They’ve kind of been in this recreational mode, so they need a little courage.

These things will help because WWE will do it better than any other company. I hope that many people know how to control and give these things some meaning, and not do it just for the sake of it.

The Undertaker also offered his opinion on Triple H’s new management:

I mean, he’s great, he really is. I don’t think he gets enough recognition for his wrestling acumen. I think he will be a great help in the development of many fighters. It will tell you what you are doing right and what is wrong. I think it will be a step in the right direction with Hunter. [Triple H].

Undertaker is known to have been present backstage Summer Slam and the next day at Ric FlairLast match.


What do you think of these new Undertaker statements?

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