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Alan Cumming has pulled out of a New York stage version of Spider-Man

BOOKS Alan Warner will appear in conversation at the Central Library on Thu 13 May as part of their Edinburgh Reads season. He will be reading from his new work, The Stars in the Bright Sky. See our interview with Warner on page 31. CLUBS Due to flight cancellations last week, Telefunken with Gene Farris has been rescheduled for Fri May 14 at the Caves, Edinburgh. Support comes from Alan Gray and Nick Wilson. Tickets from the cancelled 16 Apr gig are still valid.

FESTIVALS With festival frolics just around the corner, names are still being announced left, right and centre stage. Across at RockNess, electronica’s Aphex Twin will headline on Saturday, joining other recent recruits including Soma DJs, Green Velvet, Sillicone Soul and more. On Friday, The Ray Summers, Any Colour Black and Monochrome will perform; Sunday’s additions include Pearl and the Puppets, Steve Mason, Rob Broderick and Kid Adrift. Over at T in the Park, Echo & The Bunnymen, Ash, Babyshambles, Mystery Jets, The Drums and Tricky have all joined the bill.

MUSIC Fundraising is still underway for this year’s ever-expanding Leith Festival. The List suggests you do your bit and head to the second Leith Music Sessions at the GRV, on Wed 28 Apr, and check out American band Darling Waste. Tickets are £5 with proceeds going towards this year’s festival kitty. Over in Glasgow Scottish Opera continue to fly the flag for a younger audience with new show, Baby 0, which introduces the world of arias to babies as young as 6 months old. 8 THE LIST 29 Apr–13 May 2010

THEATRE Fresh from donning his kilt for New York’s Scotland Week, Alan Cumming has announced he has pulled out of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a Broadway version of the comic and film story. Cumming, who was due to play the Green Goblin, said it was due to a ‘scheduling conflict’. Closer to home, the National Theatre of Scotland has announced the launch of three new community and education projects. The new initiatives will take place throughout Scotland from 2010 through to 2011 in Glasgow, Fife and a third location, yet confirmed. See for more. Elsewhere, Pitlochry Theatre has announced aims to become one of the key producers of theatre in Scotland and will produce its first pantomime, Cinderella, this year. to be

VISUAL ART And finally, The List were happy to hear that the Fruitmarket Gallery has been invited to curate part of work going to this year’s 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Artist Karla Black will represent Scotland at the event this year. Fiona Bradley, director of The Fruitmarket Gallery said, ‘The Fruitmarket Gallery is delighted to have been selected to curate Scotland and Venice 2011. Karla Black is one of Scotland’s most interesting artists, whose beautiful, thoughtful and visceral sculpture has already made an impact internationally and in Scotland. This solo presentation of her work in Venice will be part of The Fruitmarket Gallery’s programme for 2011 and underlines the gallery’s commitment to presenting the work of Scottish artists on an international stage, both in Edinburgh and abroad.’

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Channel Hopper

Dispatches from the sofa, with Brian Donaldson

Any new cop show these days must have at its heart an investigator with a quirk. They could have OCD (Monk), the ability to travel back in time (Life on Mars) or be a serial killer (Dexter) but they can’t just go around solving crimes before heading home for a cuddle on the sofa. So, what’s the deal with Luther (BBC1, Tue 4 May, 9pm)? Well, in Idris Elba’s John Luther we have the first major black British telly policeman, a brilliant maverick (of course) whose neuroses lie not in gambling or substance abuse but in his fiery passion. His anger turns out not to be an energy but a destabilising force, witnessed in episode one when he smashes a door apart with his massive bare hands after being dumped by his long-suffering missus (Indira Varma).

Don’t mess with Stringer Bell, I mean, John Luther Luther has other problems to address having just returned to the force after allowing a filthy serial killer to fall fifty feet into a coma, and straight into the puzzling case of a murdered middle-aged couple and their dog. Except Luther nails the key suspect within minutes, the callous yet super-intelligent daughter (Ruth Wilson) who garbles lines such as ‘that’s just faulty logic postulated on imperfect data collection’. Can’t imagine Gene Hunt standing for that kind of talk without handing out a slap. As The Wire’s Stringer Bell, Elba helped reinvigorate the ‘TV villain’. He’s the only thing worth watching in his implausible hokum.