l Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, known to millions across the world as Senator Palpatine/The Emperor from the Star Wars films, will return to the Royal Shakespeare Company for the first time in 27 years when he plays the title role in the company's forthcoming production of A Life Of Galileo.
The masterpiece by Berthold Brecht has been newly translated by RSC writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill and will run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from January 31 to March 30. Carnoustie-born McDiarmid, who has a long association with the Almeida Theatre in London, was seen on the Scottish stage in 2009 in the National Theatre of Scotland's adaptation of Andrew O'Hagan's Be Near Me, which he also directed.
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l Hot on the heels of Dirty Dancing, another Hollywood movie-turned-stage musical will be coming to the Playhouse next year. Ghost: The Musical plays the Edinburgh venue from May 14 to June 1. Music and lyrics are by Glen Ballard and the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart but, inevitably, also feature Unchained Melody, the song boosted back to the top of the charts by the Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore film. Oscar-winner Bruce Joel Rubin has adapted his own original screenplay for the stage production, which has been nominated for five Olivier Awards and three Tony Awards.
l Edinburgh College of Art graduate Ainslie Henderson has been named winner in the animation category at this year's Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). His work, I Am Tom Moody, beat nearly 5000 entrants from 70 countries. This annual competition recognises the best student work made using Adobe's creative software and is split into 13 categories, drawn from interactive, video, motion and traditional media. Henderson's winning film features the voice of Mackenzie Crook and takes a surreal trip through a musician's conscience as he struggles to sing. See Henderson's work and other winning designs at www.adaagallery.com