Stan does tap dancing
Riverside Studios: Hens

Some interesting casting news: Ben Barnes and Gemma Arterton

News emerged this week that Ben Barnes - he of Chronicles of Narnia film fame - has been cast in the Trevor Nunn-directed, stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' novel Birdsong.

I've not read the book but have heard very good things about it. I have seen Ben Barnes on the big screen  but he hasn't done anything that makes me go 'wow'. So I'm curious*. It's not his first time on stage but I imagine it is his biggest role to date.

Adaptations of much-loved novels are a risk in themselves and to play the lead? Trevor Nunn at the helm can only be a plus though. Might have to get myself a ticket.

 Another rising screen actor potentially testing their metal is Gemma Arterton who has signed on to play Hilde opposite the talented Stephen Dillane in Ibsen's The Master Builder.

Now Arterton seems talented but hasn't had the screen or stage roles to really show it in recent years. I'm trying to forget, generally, the terrible Quantum of Solace in which her character appeared to be an afterthought in a 'Oh we've forgotten the eye-candy quickly write in a redundant plotline' kind of way. And although I loved the Prince of Persia, it isn't really a film that you go and see for the acting talent.

When I saw her on stage in The Little Dog Laughed, back in January, I thought her more talented than the part allowed her to demonstrate. So this could be the part, and I'd quite like to be there to see if it is.

*Anyone who has followed my theatre posts back on my Vox blog will know that I'm shamelessly drawn to what might potentially be 'car crash' theatre - you know you shouldn't look but you can't help it. Orlando Bloom did a splendid job meeting my low expectations in his West End debut back in, oh I can't remember, and I can't even remember the name of the play which is how much it impressed me. Although I do try and enter the theatre hopeful of being impressed, and have been on a number of occasions: Daniel Radcliffe in Equus and Keira Knightley, although to a lesser extent, in  The Misanthrope are two examples.