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Live, Work & Travel

Mar 23-29 2009 Issue 1334 tntonline.co.uk

THE BOAT RACE
Best pubs to watch the action

OVERSEAS WORK
How to get a job in Dubai

AT HOME ON THE RANGE
Rivers and ranches in Texas

UK WEEKENDER
The best of Oxford

LIGHTS TO RETURN F LIA FOR AUSTRA OPLE TWO PE

WIN

QUEEN
PRISCILLA ROLLS INTO LONDON

DESERT

+ VISAS ■ NEWS ■ FREIGHT ■ CLUBBING ■ JOBS ■ SPORT

this week
23-29 March / Issue 1334 Free every Monday tntonline.co.uk

EDITOR’S LETTER
It’s been more than six weeks since fire razed much of Victoria in Australia, killing more than 200 people. While efforts to rebuild communities are in their infancy, the fund-raising efforts of people across London are still in full swing. The guys and gals from Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert are using their cross-dressing talents to help out at a major West End performance this Sunday. To find out how you can attend and raise more money for those suffering in Victoria, see page 25. Enjoy the mag.
KRYSTEN BOOTH

22 Priscilla trundles into London’s West End

Front cover: Newspix

63 TRAVEL
63 Global Vision 64 MAN WITH VAN: A camper holiday on the Isle of Wight 66 TNT Weekender: Oxford T 67 Late Deals 68 STAR ATTRACTION: Be on location in Tunisia’s desert 70 Hotshots 72 Travel Tips 73 Travel News 74 On The Road 75 Gear Up 76 FIVE STAR STATE: Y’all in for a good time in Texas
55 Not just deserts: find a job in Dubai

9 LONDON
9 London Eye 10 London Life 12 BREWS WITH A VIEW: Find a pub on the river to watch the Boat Race 14 Food & Drink 16 Spotted

19 ENTERTAINMENT
19 Celebrity News 20 Look Who’s Talking: Matt Skinner 22 LIFE’S A DRAG: Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert rolls into the West End 24 Cinema 25 Culture 26 A ROSE IN BLOOM: Rose Byrne’s big and small screen success 29 TNT Life
12 Drink down the Boat Race action

38 NEWS & SPORT
38 40 42 45 46 49 50 52 Australia News New Zealand News South Africa News This week in sport Rugby NRL General JUST THE TWO OF US: Preview of the AFL 2009 season

30 MUSIC & CLUBS
30 32 34 36 Music Music Listings Clubbing Club Listings

54 CAREERS & MONEY
54 Careers 55 CHANGE OF PLACE: Make a career move to Dubai 58 Money 61 Coming & Going

REGULARS
4 Letters 6 Wins 138 Desperately Seeking & Dear Reuben
76 Saddle up Texan style

66 What to see and do in Oxford

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EDITORIAL Editor-in-chief Krysten Booth Deputy editor Samantha Baden Chief sub Claire Goodall Subs Janine Jorgensen | Jahn Vannisselroy News and entertainment editor Erin Miller Sport editor Tom Sturrock Travel editor Amy Adams Music editor Alison Grinter Web producer Piet van Niekerk Staff writers Natasha Vuckovic |Daniel Landon Editorial assistant Inger Smith DIGITAL Digital director Phillip Ludgate Partnership manager Matt Morris Web developer Jo Bentley ART & PICTURES Art director Shabir Mahmood Designers Astrid Breacker | Helen Duston Picture editor Justine Walker Photographer Brendon Bishop Picture researcher Marcin Ochonski SALES Head of Sales Jeff Perkins Key accounts Francesca Reese | Dave Newman New business Angela Swinburne Sales execs Emma Woods | Darryn Lee | Jaqui Ward MARKETING Head of marketing Anna Williams Marketing executives Danielle Tessari (promotions and distribution) | Hazel Willis (events) Marketing assistant Camilla Hibbert ACCOUNTS Financial controller Nick Crampton Accounts Madeleine Ackermann | Margaret Roberts | Alexandra Buchlakova PRODUCTION Pre-press manager Jon Cooke Artworker Jana Waldmann IT manager Stephen Dann Receptionist Renee Cockrell TNT PUBLISHING Chairman Phil Parker Chief executive officer Jim Murray-Jones Chief operating officer Tony Goodman TNT Publishing Ltd Nightflight Distribution Ltd PRINTED BY St Ives Web Ltd NEWS SOURCES AAP NZPA SAPA PICTURES TNT Images AAP AP Corbis Getty Images Reuters NZPA Rex Features SAPA Imagenet Picturenet Pictures Colour Library Photolibrary.com
PUBLISHER DISTRIBUTION

CASTING DOUBT
In response to the great news that South Africans abroad have finally received the right to vote in the upcoming election, I attempted to contact the South African embassy in London to advise them that I want to vote. Upon endlessly trying to contact them, my call was eventually picked up not by the admin staff, but by a security guard who couldn’t help me. I called back later, only to be told by a very unhelpful woman that the embassy is not dealing with the voting. When I asked who to contact in the UK I was advised to go onto the IEC website (as it is not a UK matter it is a South African matter), which consequently referred me back to the South African embassy in London with the same telephone number I called in the first place! On phoning them back the same woman was still adamant that the South African embassy in London is not dealing with any part of the voting process. Now my question is, if our own embassy abroad is that unhelpful in supplying any information to the thousands of South Africans living in the UK, then really, what chance do we have in casting our votes from abroad? As we have to apparently advise our nearest embassy of our intent to vote by March 27, it would help if South Africa House in London sorted out some type of information

Sunny days: it seems winter is on its way out

“What chance do South Africans have in casting their votes from abroad? ”
system for all South African citizens with immediate effect!
Annoyed South African, via email Ed: See page 43 for the latest information on South African expats voting or check out southafricantimes.co.uk.

HERE COMES THE SUN
How good is this sun? After a gloomy winter it’s great to see everyone walking around with smiles on their faces. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come this summer. We are due a good one.
Mitchell, via email

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MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
From the perspective of a person who has spent 25 years working with international people abroad and in the UK, I’d like to suggest we could use the current economic pendulum’s downswing as motivation to learn at

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least one foreign language. Learning another language is important and useful because it adds to your value in the marketplace for when the economic pendulum will swing up again. We know that many of our fellow Londoners once took the decision to learn the English language in their home countries. Now these people are our workmates, neighbours and friends here in London and across the English-speaking world. Believe me, I’m an average, ordinary Londoner with English as my mother tongue. I have no special ability with languages at all. Simply, in order to progress in the job market I’ve learned six modern languages and two different alphabetical systems. If I can do it, so can anybody else.
Nick, via email

Alex Bailey, Getty Images, TNT Images

TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.

NEXT WEEK IN

London

Sport

Royalty explained in our guide to British history

Football guru Les Murray on the Socceroos’ future

LETTER OF THE WEEK

YOUR SAY GIVING THANKS
behalf, but they deserve a mountain of praise. At last all the people who have a vested interest in our great nation will get their say. I know some call us deserters for not staying in South Africa, but many of us do plan to return. This decision makes me feel that when we do, we’ll be welcomed back on equal footing with our fellow South Africans.
Gavin, via email

I’m not sure who to thank, but I just wanted to pass on a hearty congratulations to the people who have fought so hard to allow South Africans living in London to vote in next month’s election. For years we’ve felt completely left out of our own democracy, but this gives us a chance to have our say. Like I said, I don’t know who it was who fought the good fight on our

WIN
letters@tntmagazine.com letters@tntmagazine.com

Letter of the week wins a Northern Rocker tour of Ireland from Shamrocker (shamrockeradventures.com), valued at £89. Letters may be edited. Prize is not transferable. Your Say is a reader forum and does not represent the opinions of TNT or its staff.

COMMUNITY CORNER RUDD TO ATTEND SERVICE
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be in the UK to attend a memorial service for victims of the Victorian bushfires. The service will be held on Tuesday, March 31, at 6.30pm at Westminster Abbey. If you would like to attend register at advance.org/ bushfire_memorial. MORE FIRE FUND-RAISERS There will also be two fundraisers this weekend for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. The first will be an opera performance held on Friday night (see page 10 for details), and the second is a West End show on Sunday (see page 25 for details).

Careers

Travel

Where the work will be in the finance industry this year

All you need to know about the Trans-Siberian

WIN

HOW TO ENTER
Go to tntonline.co.uk/competitions See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random

RETURN FLIGHTS TO MELBOURNE
To celebrate the launch of its new service to Melbourne on March 29, Etihad Airways, the UAE’s award-winning national airline, has teamed up with TNT to give one lucky reader and a mate return tickets to the Victorian capital. Melbourne services will operate from London Heathrow and Manchester airports, with connections to the Australian city through the airline’s home base in Abu Dhabi, adding to existing services to Sydney and Brisbane. Etihad Airways provides services to other Australian cities through its partnership with Qantas, and flies daily from London Heathrow to more than 50 destinations.

» For tickets and reservations
call 0800 731 9384. For more details see etihadairways.com

WIN MORE
4 16 24 34 70 70 72 74 Ireland tour Guidebooks Cinema tickets Filthy Gorgeous clubbing tickets A three-day tour of Scotland Photography course Cash and guidebooks A trip to Bath and Stonehenge

PREVIOUS WINNERS TNT 1327: Ireland tour: Matthew Thompson TNT 1333: Clubbing tickets to Kiss My Black Ass: C Simpson

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LONDON EYE

Greenwich, SE10, Wednesday, March 18, 3.33pm Photo: Brendon Bishop

LONDON 9

You won’t need to look far to discover London’s daffodils – the first flowers of spring. Warmer weather means their yellow and orange plumage is unfurling around almost every corner and livening up the last of the winter landscape. Blooming marvellous.

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LONDON LIFE

WHAT’S ON
Daniel Landon
PICKS THE BEST OF LONDON THIS WEEK

LONDON

WAR HORSE £15- £47.50
WHAT: One of the most powerful, innovative shows ever performed on a London stage. It’s about a World War I soldier’s love for his horse, told using extraordinary, life-sized puppets. While this sounds hugely naff, it’s anything but. WHEN: From Mar 28 to Sep 6. DO IT BECAUSE: The short season at the National Theatre was a complete sell out and got rave reviews, and it’s now moved to the West End. It’s original, moving, and it’s unlikely you’ll see anything similar any time soon.

10

» New London Theatre, Drury Ln, WC2B 5PW
THE BOAT RACE FREE
Rowing teams from Oxford and Cambridge unis battle it out on the Thames, while landlubbers take to pubs and riverbanks. See page 12 for TNT’s Boat Race pub crawl.

Covent Garden (020 7452 3000; nationaltheatre.org.uk/warhorse)

OPERA FROM THE OUTBACK £20
A group of Australian opera singers are performing to raise funds for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.

Capital idea: Somerset House
London has lots of big old grand buildings, but Somerset House is certainly one of the original and best. It was built in the late 1700s specifically to remedy the problem of London having no great buildings, and it was a home for the Royals before Buckingham Palace. Its central courtyard is spectacular, and open to the public. It hosts open-air film screenings and concerts in summer, which are well worth keeping an eye out for, and is one of London’s best skating rinks during winter. Somerset House also houses the fantastic, olde worlde Courtauld Gallery, and the Embankment Galleries that host modern exhibitions. Best of all is the large outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a coffee or beer with a great view of the Thames. DL

» Along the Thames between
Putney Bridge and Chiswick Bridge (theboatrace.org). Mar 29, 3.40pm

» Fields Church, Giles High
St, WC2H 8LG Tottenham Court Road (operafromthe outback.eventbrite.com). Mar 27, 7pm

» Strand, WC2R 1LA
Temple (020 7845 4600; somersethouse.org.uk) VERDICT: LONDON GRANDEUR

THINGS THE QUEEN SHOULD DO BEFORE SHE DIES
LONDON BY NUMBERS

Average speed (mph) of traffic in central London.
Source: london.gov.uk

10.2

Rob Brady / TNT Images

#310
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JOIN THE CAST OF PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT ON THE WEST END STAGE

Silly Buggers™

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» Science Museum, SW7 2DD
South Kensington (science museum.org.uk). Mar 28-Nov 1

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Forget lions and jugglers, this is about taking the circus to a whole new level.

» Roundhouse, Chalk
Farm Rd, NW1 8EH Chalk Farm (roundhouse.org.uk). Mar 28-Apr 19

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BRITAIN EXPLAINED
JACK THE RIPPER’S ONGOING FAME
Jack the Ripper might not hold the record for the most killings (that’s held by Harold Shipman, an English doctor with up to 260 victims), but he’s one of the most famous serial killers. In London’s East End in the late 19th century, 11 women were found murdered and mutilated by apparently the same killer, who was never caught or identified. It sounds like the plot of a classic whodunnit – which is probably why people are still interested 120-odd years later. Plus there’s the fact he was the ‘original’ serial killer, spawning copycats keen to gain the same notoriety. And his catchy name has no doubt contributed to his fame. LAUREN HUGHES

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Catch all the Boat Race action, drink in hand, from a vantage point on the Thames
WORDS DANIEL LANDON

ws re B
THE GREAT BOAT RACE
ON THE DAY
The race starts at 3.40pm at Putney Bridge on Sunday, March 29. The teams’ reserve crews (known as Isis for Oxford and Goldie for Cambridge) race at 3.10pm. You can watch the race on big screens set up at Bishop’s Park (north-west of Putney Bridge) and Furnival Gardens (north-west of Hammersmith Bridge).

T

he Boat Race between the rowing teams of Oxford and Cambridge universities, held on the Thames every year, is a huge event on the London social calendar. Let’s face it though, rowing ain’t exactly the king of spectator sports. For most people the fun of this event is boozing it up on the riverbank or in one of the many fantastic waterside pubs with views of the race. But why stand around in just one pub when you can go on a Boat Race pub crawl?

PUTNEY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants in Putney will open their doors for three days of live music to coincide with the Boat Race weekend. The event starts on Friday evening (Mar 27), and continues on Saturday and Sunday. For the event’s programme, see wandsworth.gov.uk

MAKE IT HAPPEN
There’s no shortage of places to have a drink along the 6.79km route from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge. Putney has better transport options (making it easier to get home at the end of the day) and more post-race entertainment (see right). So start at Chiswick Bridge and then head down river. Some venues require you to buy a ticket in advance, so we’ve chosen pubs that will have outside bars and barbecues to make getting a drink and feed as easy as possible.

» This year will be the 155th boat race. » Cambridge have 79 wins to Oxford’s 74. » The first race was in 1829, at Henley in Oxfordshire. It moved to London the next year, then up to Putney in 1845, and became an annual event in 1856. » The quickest finish time recorded is 16 mins 19 secs, by Cambridge in 1998.

BOAT RACE HISTORY

Chiswick Bridge

STARTING POINT
The Ship (10 Thames Bank, Ship Ln, SW14 7QR) near Chiswick Bridge is a great old pub that will be firing up the barbecue from noon, so load up on food in preparation for the fun ahead.

THE SHIP
5 mins

10 mins

OAR-SOME VIEWS
About half a kilometre along the river, in an

YE WHITE HART Mortlake

elegant Victorian building, is Ye White Hart (The Terrace, SW13 0NR). The balcony area will be ticketed, but the rest of the pub is open to all, with TV screens showing the race action. Head under the bridge to the historic Bull’s Head (373 Lonsdale Rd, SW13 9PY) in the heart of genteel Barnes. Take a toilet break here as it’s a half-hour walk to the next pub.

John Perkins / TNT Images, Getty Images

KEEP SCULLING
Head north along the Thames to Hammersmith

www.tntonline.co.uk

WITH A

view
Ravenscourt Park THE DOVE
5 mins

Watch the Boat Race with a beer in hand

LONDON

Hammersmith THE RUTLAND
10 mins

THE OLD SHIP

BLUE ANCHOR
15 mins

13

Hammersmith Bridge
20 mins

THE CRABTREE TAVERN

Pick a spot at a waterside pub

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For more on getting out and about in the capital see tntonline.co.uk/londonlife

BULL’S HEAD

10 mins

Putney Bridge Barnes Bridge
5 mins

DOWN UNDER INFLUENCE
The Oxford crew has five rowers who raced at the Beijing Olympics, including New Zealander George Bridgewater (below). The Cambridge boat has no Olympians but does have Aussie Hardy Cubasch, while their head coach Chris Nilsson is a Kiwi.

DUKE’S HEAD

Bridge (which will be closed to pedestrians while the race is on) and cross to the north bank of the river. For your next stop, take your pick from any of these four popular pubs on your left – all within a few hundred metres of each other with good views of the river: The Blue Anchor (13 Lower Mall, W6 9DJ), The Rutland (15 Lower Mall, W6 9DJ), The Dove (19 Upper Mall, W6 9TA) and The Old Ship (25 Upper Mall, W6 9TD).

LAST ROUNDS
Head back towards the bridge and continue east along the northern bank to The Crabtree Tavern (Rainville Rd, W6 9HA). From here walk through Fulham and cross over Putney Bridge. There are plenty of bars around here, but nearby on Lower Richmond Road is The Duke’s Head (8 Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1JN), which overlooks the river.

» For more information see theboatrace.org

FOOD & DRINK

BAR REVIEW
Brodie’s
★★★★★
43 Fishermans Walk, E14 5HD 020 7719 0202 Canary Wharf

14

THE SCENE Just one of many bars along this suit-haunted strip in Canary Wharf. Forget your jacket and tie though – this is a more laid-back affair with a late licence and DJ

playing loud house music on the decks. THE GRUB Hot chips were in demand, as were the sharing platters of the usual sticky ribs and spring roll variety. BEHIND THE BAR Brodie’s prides itself on its huge wine choice, sourced mostly from the southern hemisphere. Standard beers and spirits on offer. BILL PLEASE Quite reasonable:

a bottle of house white is less than £15; a beer under £4. VERDICT Perhaps it was the private party taking up most of the floor space, the credit crunch, or that most of the area’s workers had started early and moved on – but as the crowd got thinner so did the vibe, and by 8pm we were out of there.
JANINE JORGENSEN

LONDON

Healthy stuff
The days are getting longer, the weather is warmer, and it’s time to move on from the pies and pints and sneak something a bit more green into your menu. ‘Spanish’ salad It’s called ‘Spanish’ not because any of the ingredients are from Spain, but because it’s adapted from a salad eaten at a restaurant in Granada. Delicious and a definite winner with friends and flatties. WHAT YOU NEED: Rocket leaves; red pepper; avocado, sliced; mango, sliced; round of Brie; asparagus spears, steamed; sunflower seeds; 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar. The amount of ingredients you’ll need depends on how many people you’re serving. THE WORK: Put the red pepper under the grill and once it has turned black, remove and put in a plastic bag to sweat. Preheat the oven to

SPRING SALAD

OF THE BEST: FOOD AND FINE ART
The National Café
Trafalgar Sq, WC2N 5DN The National Gallery’s relaxed eatery (there’s the grander National Dining Rooms) has a Spanish menu to complement the current Picasso exhibition.

180˚C. Roast the sunflower seeds on a tray for 5-10 mins. Peel and slice the pepper. Place the rocket on a platter. Layer the pepper, mango and avocado on top. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and place the

round of cheese on top. Bake in the already hot oven for 10 mins. Once soft, place the cheese on top of the salad. Add the asparagus, scatter the seeds on top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Tate Modern Restaurant
Bankside, SE1 9TG Once you’re done with the art, admire the views with a drink in hand from this spot, located on the gallery’s seventh floor.

Brendon Bishop / TNT Images, royalacademy.org.uk

NEW IN TOWN: BARS JUST OPENED
Grand Union
111 Kennington Rd, SE11 6SF Lambeth North (020 7582 6685; grandunioncamden.co.uk) Having recently opened a Brixton site, The Grand Union Bar & Grill chain has a new location in Kennington. Featuring a roof terrace with a view of the London Eye, it’s set to be a post-work drinks favourite in summer. isn’t lacking bars, Aquum offers a more stylish venue for a drink on the strip renowned for being a place to pull. With its sleek all-white interior, bespoke cocktails and top DJs, the bar is aiming for a more sophisticated crowd that wants to party into the early hours.

Academy Restaurant
Piccadilly, W1J 0BD Each Friday the Royal Academy Of Arts’ restaurant combines an exhibition-inspired menu with a live jazz performance.

Aquum
68-70 Clapham High St, SW4 7UL Clapham Common (020 7627 2726; aquum.co.uk) While Clapham High Street

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SPOTTED
ARE YOU SPOTTED IN THE CIRCLE?
Call us on 020 7373 3377 or come down to the TNT office so we can ID you. You’ve won three Lonely Planet (lonelyplanet.com) guides of your choice. PLUS for another opportunity to win, log on to tntonline.co.uk/ gallery and see if you’ve been circled.

LONDON 16

ST PATRICK’S DAY,
Waxy O’Connor’s, London W1 Sunday, March 15 Photos by: Darren Bradley / TNT Images

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STAR SPOTTING

CELEBRITY NEWS
Erin Miller WITH THE LATEST FROM THE WORLD OF SHOWBIZ
SPREADING HER WINGS: Australian model Jennifer Hawkins strutted her stuff on the catwalk in a Toni Maticevski design during the Melbourne Fashion Festival last week. Maticevski made headlines for another reason last week as well – he reportedly declined a request to send Paris Hilton some frocks. (You’ve gotta draw the line somewhere). Also in attendance at the Fashion Festival was Dannii Minogue, who was front row with her new boyfriend Kris Smith.

GLOSSY GOSSIP FROM HOME
NEW ZEALAND
New Idea: Dancing With The Stars’ Aaron Gilmore tells how dancing helped him overcome depression, plus the latest gossip from the show, and Diplomatic Immunity star Craig Parker talks about his relationship with co-star Lesley-Ann Brandt.

ENTERTAINMENT 19

AUSTRALIA
Who: In a special ‘bodies at every age’ issue, Who features 11 Australian celebrities, including Jennifer Hawkins and Jessica Rowe, who reveal how they’ve triumphed over their own body battles. OK!: Nicole Richie discusses her pregnancy and a possible move to Sydney, and Tahyna Tozzi on the set of her film.

A GOOD WEEK FOR

VIOLENCE SHOCK
Hollywood action blockbuster star Nicolas Cage has spoken of his shock at boozy street violence while filming a movie in Melbourne.

Film director Guy Ritchie looked like the cat that got the cream after a night of dining out in Notthing Hill with Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson. Madonna who?

A BAD WEEK FOR

The Lindsay Lohan saga continued with an arrest warrant issued for her (it was later lifted). Then there was a spat with girlfriend Samantha Ronson that resulted in a broken window. On the drama goes.

Cage, 45, told Melbourne’s Herald Sun he witnessed a nasty fight in the city last year. “A bar brawl in Docklands really disturbed me,” he said. “It was five guys on one. I was with my two-year-old at the time, and it was just pretty horrifying.” Cage shot science fiction

thriller Knowing last year in Melbourne, with Aussie actress Rose Byrne (read our interview with Byrne on page 26). It wasn’t the first time Cage had worked in Australia – in 2005 he also worked in Melbourne shooting the action fantasy flick Ghost Rider. “I enjoyed Melbourne. The food is extraordinary, and the people are very proud and easy to get along with,” he said. (Except for those bar brawlers, we suspect.)

SOUTH AFRICA
You: Springbok rugby star Joost van der Westhuizen is rocked by further claims by an alleged mistress who says she had a five-year on-off fling with the player, and a special Idols section including how race skews the vote on the TV show. Heat: Mischa Barton and Victoria Beckham are on the cover as the magazine asks: has skinny gone too far?


Getty Images

SAY WHAT?

“Most of the directors I’d want to work with don’t even know who I am. Their daughters might …”
Oh the perils of being a teen star, Zac Efron

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LOOK WHO’S TALKING
ENTERTAINMENT

Matt Skinner
The down-to-earth Aussie wine glugger on top tipples, being mates with Jamie Oliver and whether he spits or swallows
INTERVIEW ALISON GRINTER What’s the ponciest description you’ve ever heard with regard to a wine?

20

I’ve been privy to some shockers, although I try not to commit them to memory.
Australia has become the pin-up of new world wines – why?

nothing else, although a cold beer at the end of the day is pretty special. I’m currently drinking a Kiwi beer called Moa, which I love.
How much wine do you imbibe per week?

elite. Is there still a lot of snobbery surrounding wine?

Our wines have built a solid reputation for reliability and consistency, but the challenge now is to show the rest of the world that we have diversity up our sleeve too.
What sort of wines should we be looking out for from New Zealand and South Africa?

It varies from week to week depending on what I’ve got on – but probably far more than I would ever care to admit in print!
I’ve never understood how professional wine tasters/sommeliers can spit wine out – aren’t you tempted just to drink it all down?

Thankfully it’s nowhere near as bad as it was 10 or 15 years ago – it has really freshened up a lot. A new generation of winemakers, sommeliers, wine buyers, and wine media and an increased consumer interest in food, wine and travel has ultimately led to wine becoming more accessible than ever before.

» Matt Skinner will lead an expert wine
tasting session at Vinopolis on March 28. To book tickets go to vinopolis.co.uk, or for your chance to win tickets with TNT go to tntonline.co.uk/competitions
Rex Features

From New Zealand I’m drinking a lot of Riesling from Waipara, Syrah from Hawke’s Bay and Pinot Noir from Central Otago, while there have been some pretty exciting examples of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache to come out of South Africa in recent times.

For sure, although you learn very quickly that’s not such a good idea. At most wine shows you’re tasting and judging upwards of 150 wines per day. If you’re not spitting you’re going to be in trouble!
What do you and Jamie Oliver get up to when you come to London?

cold beer at “ Aend of the day the is pretty special ”
What advice would you give to a complete novice who’s looking to broaden their wine horizon beyond Lambrusco or Spumante?

We always make great plans, but inevitably our catch-ups end up being a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine between meetings!
You’ve always said that wine should be for everyone and not just the

YOU DON’T SAY?
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? I’m like a 12-year-old girl when it comes to TV: anything realitybased and I’ll be watching – The Hills, Temptation Island, Wife Swap, Idol, Big Brother, Rachel Zoe – bring it on. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? To be able to assemble Ikea furniture without the instruction book. What’s the best fancy dress costume you’ve ever worn to a party? Mr T from The A-Team.

Start by taking the risk out of your purchasing by finding a decent wine shop – the kind with someone standing behind the counter who can offer you some good advice. Beyond that do a wine course, visit a vineyard or visit a wine region – there are so many cheap and easy ways to learn about wine.
What’s your ultimate tipple, regardless of price?

Really great Pinot Noir does it for me like

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The sequins, feather boas and ping pong balls of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert will soon be flying in the West End
WORDS ERIN MILLER

Drag
the essence of the original Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, with all its campness and frivolity, remains.

LIFE’S A

M

en in drag, bright, feathered costumes, disco tunes, and, um, the odd ping pong ball – Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert is back. But this time it’s prancing into the West End with Jason Donovan on board the silver bus. It’s been 15 years since the iconic, overthe-top film – featuring a couple of drag queens and a transsexual on a road trip from Sydney to Alice Springs – won the hearts of audiences. And while the outback spectacle has had a few tweaks for the London stage,

A PERFECT FIT Former soapie star and singer Donovan, 40, will be pulling on the platforms to appear as Tick and his alter ego Mitzi – a drag performer who gets a group of drag artists together for a road trip through the outback. In a case of coming full circle, Donovan turned down the role of Felicia in the film, which later went to Guy Pearce. He gives a number of reasons for why he

Dancing queen : a scene from the West End show

SCENE STEALERS
ENTERTAINMENT
NEED A PRISCILLA REFRESHER? HERE ARE THE FILM’S BEST BITS …
That ping pong scene The three drag queens get upstaged by a bar-top dancer, who proves that yes, you can do that with a ping pong ball.

1 2

The performance of I Will Survive in the desert Is there anyone whose toes don’t start tapping when this song plays? The floral headdresses the characters wear as they dance around the bush campsite are pretty classic as well.

23

Felicia’s bus-top aria The drag queen’s lavish silver costume sails in the wind to Verdi’s La Traviata as ‘budget-Barbie camper’ Priscilla drives on the outback road to Alice Springs. Sublime.

3

Stars of the West End musical Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert: Oliver Thornton, Tony Sheldon and Jason Donovan

the role of transsexual Bernadette in the Aussie stage production. “I’ve been in the high heels for three years. I have trouble walking in flats,” Sheldon laughs. While the stacked shoes and outrageously bright costumes will definitely be part of the show, director Simon Phillips, also from Australia, says it was “impossible” to recreate the vastness of the outback. Phillips says: “We’ve created sort of a drag version of a desert, and a very theatrical version of a hot space.”

“I’ve been in high heels
for years. I have trouble walking in flats now

The bus journey dragged on …

Brendon Bishop / TNT Images, James Morgan, Tristram Kenton

said no to the movie, from he’d just finished a stint in another musical, to the fact that at the time he controversially sued The Face magazine over a story that alleged he was gay. “The whole gay/camp thing was a tender issue, and I didn’t want it to be exploited,” Donovan explains. “Unfortunately, I took a film called Rough Diamonds, that turned out to be quite rough to say the least. I took the safe bet basically.” For Donovan, now is the right time to don the frocks and make-up for the stage show. “It’s been the right way coming to Priscilla, doing the musical in London has been the right mix for me,” he says.

SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING As well as the eye-popping costumes, there will also be disco classics, including I Will Survive and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, to get the audience dancing in their seats. They’re songs that Sheldon admits get a bit too much to listen to outside the theatre. “I went into Harrods in my first week here and they played three songs [featured in the show] one after the other,” Sheldon chuckles. “I was bleeding from the ears. When you’re at work it’s not a worry – outside of work it’s horrific.” With plenty of glitz and Aussie humour, the West End is set to get a good dose of culture Down Under style. “The onus is on London to be good-natured enough to enjoy it,” Phillips says, adding with a laugh: “Unless the Brits prove to be really poker-arsed about it.”

AUSTRALIAN ROOTS Donovan will be in good company for the London debut of the show. Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert is hands-down Australian made, arriving on the West End after a sell-out season Down Under. Renowned Australian actor Tony Sheldon has been squeezing into the sequinned costumes and high heels for the past few years, playing

» Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert’s gala
premiere is on March 24 at the Palace Theatre. See priscillathemusical.com

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For theatre reviews and other London shows go to tntonline.co.uk/londonlife

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CINEMA
Two Lovers
STARRING:

ENTERTAINMENT

Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow

RT 110 MINS

★★★★★

SCREEN TEST: GWYNETH PALTROW
1 Actress Gwyneth Paltrow delivered her blubbering Oscar acceptance speech for her role in which film? 2 What is the name of the blog that Paltrow writes? 3 Which movie did her now late father Bruce Paltrow direct her in? 4 What are the names of her two children with husband Chris Martin? 5 In which film did Paltrow co-star with funnymen Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, and Anjelica Huston? Email your answers to erin.miller@tntmagazine.com by noon on Wednesday for a chance to win a pair of movie tickets from Vue Cinemas.

24

If a heavily bearded Joaquin Phoenix has indeed turned his back on acting to, God help us, become a rapper, Two Lovers is the perfect way for the star to sign off. The Oscar-nominated actor puts in an impressively nuanced performance in James Gray’s slow-burning romantic drama. Phoenix plays Leonard, a severely depressed man who, after repeated suicide attempts, moves in with his parents in Brooklyn. To try to get him out of his funk, his folks arrange a meeting with the pretty daughter of a family friend. Leonard, though, is more interested in Michelle (Paltrow, in fine form), his sexy upstairs neighbour who has been put up in a flat by the married man she’s seeing. With the film’s slightly predictable storyline crawling

WIN
along for almost two hours, Phoenix has to work hard to keep us awake. He’s more than up to it, delivering a thought-provoking turn as the creepy, conflicted Leonard, whose obsession with an unattainable woman threatens to destroy his life. It’s the sort of tour de force that makes you hope Phoenix will hang up his mic and return to what he does best. GOOD FOR: One last look at a mercurial talent.
PIERRE DE VILLIERS

LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS 1 Ricky Gervais 2 Love Actually 3 Jennifer Aniston 4 Kath & Kim 5 Zach Braff LAST WEEK’S WINNER Joanne Pestell

THE REEL DEAL
The filmmaker who will direct the biopic of Nelson Mandela has described his recent meeting with the former South African president as “inspirational”. British director Tom Hooper will direct the film adaptation of Mandela’s best-selling autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom. Actor Morgan Freeman has been tipped for the role of Mandela. Another film about Mandela, also based on a book, is currently being shot in South Africa, starring Matt Damon. The film tells the story of the Springboks’ landmark victory in the 1995 rugby World Cup, a year after Mandela was elected president, and how Mandela used the tournament to further reconciliation between South Africans. Kiwi actor Karl Urban will appear in a remake of thriller And Soon The Darkness, the directorial debut from Marcos Efron. Urban will be seen later this year in Star Trek.

TRAITOR

★★★★★
Guy Pearce is excellent in this patchy action thriller that sees the Aussie play an FBI agent pursuing a former Special Forces explosive expert (Don Cheadle) who’s cavorting with terrorists. The storyline is somewhat spoiled by stilted dialogue and underwhelming action scenes, but the actors are gripping enough. GOOD FOR: Those who like surprises. PDV

TYSON

★★★★★
Filmmaker James Toback goes toe-to-toe with an eloquent Mike Tyson in a doco that takes a sympathetic look at the man behind the monster. With interviews in which Tyson opens up and archive footage, this is a riveting portrait of a man who has lost his battle against his inner demons. GOOD FOR: Those willing to give Iron Mike a second chance. PDV

Getty Images

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CULTURE

SEE THIS: Stage
WEST END’S SUNDAY BEST
Australia’s expatriate entertainment community in London has come together for a one-off event to raise money for Australia’s Fire and Flood Benefit. Performers from Australia including Jason Donovan (Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert) and Tamsin Carroll (Oliver!) will join cast members from other hit West End shows including Dirty Dancing and Jersey Boys for the fund-raiser. In February this year, at least 210 people died in Australia’s worst bushfires in Victoria, while thousands were left homeless in the country’s north after severe flash flooding. The Fire and Flood benefit will be hosted by Australian actor Simon Burke, who recently starred as Captain von Trapp in The Sound Of Music. ERIN MILLER

Tamsin Carroll

ENTERTAINMENT

» The Palace Theatre,
Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 8AY Leicester Square (seetickets.com). Mar 29. £35-£60

25

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For more stage reviews and what’s on in London check out tntonline.co.uk/londonlife
Jason Donovan

WORTH A LOOK New Zealand themed comedy night Four Kiwis Walk Into A Bar features the best in Kiwi stand-up. » George IV,
Chiswick High Rd, W4 2DR Turnham Green (sanza.co.uk). Mar 26. £10 including those by David Bowie and Slade. » New Players Theatre, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG

Blok Busta will mix together • Comedy musicalCharing Cross (020 7478 0135).tunes from the ’70s, Mar 24-Apr 18. £15-£20

EXHIBITION OF THE WEEK
SHAH ’ABBAS: THE REMAKING OF IRAN
★★★★★
These days Iran is big enough and bad enough to be part of an “axis of evil” – but it wasn’t always so. This exhibition looks at the formative role the ruler Shah ’Abbas (1587-1629) had in forging a strong, unified and stable Iranian state. While the subject matter won’t be to everyone’s taste, there are plenty of interesting historical artefacts and descriptions that paint a vivid picture of the man and his country. DANIEL LANDON

BOOK OF THE WEEK
NETHERLAND
Joseph O’Neill
(Harper Perennial) OUT NOW

★★★★★
Hans van den Broek is having a bad time. His wife has abandoned him in New York, a city still licking its wounds from the recent 9/11 attacks, and taken their young son back to London. Living an aimless bachelor’s existence he is befriended by Chuck Ramkissoon, a shady, larger than life character who introduces Van den Broek to the world of New York cricket. Here he finds solace in the game he first discovered growing up in Holland. Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland

» British Museum, Great Russell
St, WC1B 3DG Tottenham Court Road (020 7323 8181; britishmuseum.org). Until Jun 14. £12

Brendon Bishop / TNT Images, Getty Images, The Trustees of the British Museum

evokes New York not as the glossy, shopping mecca of Sex And The City but a city of scrubby urban parks and outer boroughs populated almost entirely by Caribbean and south Asian immigrants. It’s fairly plotless but in Van den Broek, a reserved oil-futures analyst, O’Neill has created a sympathetic if unlikely hero who can’t help but get under the reader’s skin. A meditation on love, memory, emotional desolation and the American dream, Netherland is a quietly brilliant book which will linger in your mind long after the last page has been turned. ALISON GRINTER

MORE EXHIBITIONS Costumes, props, models,
posters and more in the new, permanent Theatre And Performance Galleries. » V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL (020 7942 2000; vam.ac.uk). Free SW1P 4RG South Kensington

• See the extraordinary affinity between two great artists in Turner/Rothko. »
Pimlico (020 7887 8888; tate.org.uk). Until Jul 26. Free

Tate Britain, Millbank,

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BLOOM
Quietly making her mark, Aussie actress Rose Byrne takes it up a notch with both film and TV roles
WORDS JAMES MOTTRAM

A ROSE IN

C

urled up on a floral-patterned sofa in a London hotel room, Australian actress Rose Byrne is doing a good impersonation of a shrinking violet. Despite starring with some of Hollywood’s most desirable leading men, including Brad Pitt (Troy) and Josh Hartnett (Wicker Park), Byrne, from Sydney, claims she’s quite reserved. “I was a very shy little girl,” she confirms, “and I’m naturally a timid person. I’ve got better as I’ve got older, but I’m usually shy and easily get intimidated, initially. It takes me a while to get warmed up.” This evidently hasn’t hampered her career. This month, Byrne, 29, can be seen opposite two of the biggest stars in show business. In hit television show Damages, which has just entered its second series on BBC1, Byrne reprises her role as law school graduate Ellen Parsons opposite Glenn Close, who plays her formidable boss Patty Hewes. Then in Knowing, the new blockbuster from Australian director Alex Proyas, she pairs up with Nicolas Cage for an apocalyptic tale about the discovery of a time capsule that points to a series of impending natural disasters. Thankfully, despite such illustrious company, Byrne hasn’t gone all A-list on us. To date, she’s only lived in Los Angeles for a year, when she was promoting both Troy and Wicker Park. “It’s pretty vacuous a lot of the time,” she says of the city. “When you go out, you feel like you’re always networking. It’s sometimes hard to have a conversation about something else.” After time spent in England (making Danny

AUSSIES IN US DRAMA
RACHEL GRIFFITHS
Seasoned Aussie actress Rachel Griffiths, 40, has been seen alongside Calista Flockhart and Sally Field in Brothers & Sisters, a role that’s netted her two Emmy Award nominations.

ENTERTAINMENT

MELISSA GEORGE
Byrne with Nicolas Cage in Knowing

“ I’m usually shy and get intimidated ”
Boyle’s sci-fi epic Sunshine and horror sequel 28 Weeks Later), Byrne is now living in New York, where she films Damages for six months of the year. While she considers Close a “dear friend”, you won’t find Byrne hanging out with any celebrity expatriate peers. “I do have some Australian friends who are actors, but they’re not particularly famous,” she says. And does she ever feel homesick? “I miss my friends and family, and the lifestyle is lovely there, but I’m really enjoying being in New York.” Making Knowing boasted one major perk: it took her back to Australia – to Melbourne, which doubled for Boston where the film is set. “I have family in Melbourne and friends, so it was lovely,” says Byrne. “It’s so nice to work at home. “Funnily enough, I went to Boston recently. I remember thinking: ‘God, this looks like
Byrne plays a single mother in apocalyptic film Knowing

From the beaches of Summer Bay to the scrubs of Seattle Grace, Melissa George, 32, has a guest role as intern Dr Sadie Harris in medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

27

GRANT BOWLER
Another Australian making a mark on the US small screen is Grant Bowler, 41, from All Saints and Blue Heelers, who has filmed Ugly Betty episodes due to be aired later this year.

SIMON BAKER
Simon Baker (below), 39, seen in US TV dramas The Guardian and Smith, takes on the role of a private investigator in crime drama The Mentalist.

Melbourne.’ It’s very flat. There’s a river in the middle. It’s very quaint and old-fashioned. It’s very similar.” Perfect for conspiracy theorists, Knowing sees Byrne play Diana Wayland, a single mother who teams up with Cage to prevent the end of the world. “It’s the best of all of [director] Alex’s worlds – in terms of horror, and thriller and darkness,” says Byrne, adding that Cage was a “consummate professional” to work with. As for working with Lara Robinson, who plays her 10-year-old daughter Abby in the film, Byrne admits she got a bit clucky. “She definitely made me think about what it would be like to have a daughter.” Quite what her long-term boyfriend, actor Brendan Cowell, would think about that, she doesn’t say. As it goes, she and Cowell, best known for Aussie series Love My Way, have yet to appear on screen together. “We’ve never been in anything together. It’s just the way it’s panned out. He works a lot at home in Australia, and I guess I’ve been over here a lot. But one day … our time will come.” Due to start shooting a third series of Damages later in the year, for Byrne, it seems her time is already here.

Getty Images

» Knowing opens in cinemas on March 25.
Damages is on BBC1 on Sundays at 10.20pm
Byrne with boyfriend Brendan Cowell

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