Diary

October 13, 2011

London

Honeypot

It is 1982. Susanne is a beautiful Swedish woman in her mid-thirties. So what impels her to leave behind her husband and child, embark on a wild journey of self-discovery and volunteer as a "honeypot", sent to entrap and kill the man behind the Black September movement, which assassinated 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics of 1972? Julia Pascal's intense two-handed play, with Susanne's handler and target played by the same actor, is based on interviews with a real woman who took part in a similar plot. A gripping study of revenge, the tangled interface between sex and politics, and the dark side of the Olympic dream, it continues at the New Diorama Theatre until 30 October.

London

Real Venice

For centuries, Venice has been a source of inspiration to writers and artists. Photographers in particular have never been able to resist its unique combination of colour, mystery, melancholy and, sometimes, menace. Yet it is also under serious threat. For this major new exhibition at Somerset House (until 11 December), 14 of today's leading photographers have donated to the Venice in Peril fund works that capture the sheer beauty and everyday life of the city, and its celebrated monuments, but also the disastrous impact of mass tourism and rising water levels. Selected works from the artists' portfolios will be sold at auction as part of the Phillips de Pury Photographs Sale on 3 November, while the remainder can be bought online at www.realvenice.org.

Edinburgh

Admiral Cochrane: The Real Master and Commander

Many of the classic books and films of adventure on the high seas - Master and Commander, Captain Horatio Hornblower and Mr Midshipman Easy - were inspired by one extraordinary Scottish sailor, Admiral Lord Cochrane (1775-1860). A brilliant tactician and a naval hero nicknamed by the French "le loup des mers" (the sea wolf), he was later disgraced in a financial scandal, fought in turn for Chile, Brazil and Greece, before eventually returning to Britain to resume his career. This major exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, which continues until 19 February 2012, offers a richly evocative picture of a complex and controversial man. Items on display include Cochrane's medals, marriage certificate, logbooks and charts, together with his portrait by James Ramsay, the pocket watch his father gave him when he first went to sea and the silver whistle he kept as a souvenir of his naval service.

Cambridge

Vermeer's Women: Secrets and Silence

The exquisitely crafted paintings of young women in domestic interiors by Johannes Vermeer (1632-75) rank among the most celebrated and mysterious in the history of art. This exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, which runs until 15 January 2012, is the first to focus on this particular strand of his later career and its impact on many of his contemporaries. At its heart is the extraordinary The Lacemaker from the Louvre, on loan in the UK for the first time. It will be accompanied by a selection of other key works by the mature Vermeer, as well as more than 30 masterpieces of genre painting from the Dutch "Golden Age" by artists such as Nicolaes Maes, Gerard ter Borch, Pieter de Hooch and Jan Steen.

London

The Women

Notable for its all-female cast, Clare Boothe Luce's sharply satirical 1936 analysis of women's changing role in society takes place in the boudoirs, fitting-rooms and beauty parlours inhabited by wealthy New York socialites. With what seems to be the perfect family, Mary Haines has always defined herself primarily as wife and mother. So what does it mean when she discovers her husband's infidelity, and she is assailed by comments and advice from her wide circle of egocentric friends? This new production by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama continues at the Silk Street Theatre until 18 October (except Sunday), with matinees on 17 and 18 October.

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