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William Hogarth as you’ve never seen him before (played by Keith Allen)

9 September 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Rakewell is excited to hear that a new play chronicling the life and times of his creator, William Hogarth, is to hit the stage at Kingston’s Rose Theatre this month. Nick Dear’s The Taste of the Town returns to a subject the playwright first tackled in 1986 with The Art of Success, which will be revived alongside the new work. Better still, in the second play the role of the artist later in life will be played by none other than the great Keith Allen. Famed as much for his mid-’90s hellraising as for his roles in Shallow Grave, Twin Town and Trainspotting, Allen is an apt choice to play the great satirist.

The actor has made no secret of his artistic tastes, tipping his hat to Goya, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, and is apparently a ‘seriously good’ painter himself. Mind you, the less said about Fat Les, the novelty group he fronted with his old drinking pal Damien Hirst, the better…

In Other News…

In a piece for the Sunday Times last weekend, the author and critic Martin Gayford recalled Lucian Freud’s contempt for the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. ‘Everything he writes is false and wrong,’ Freud told Gayford. ‘He’d describe a house and everything about it would be different.’


Speaking to the Guardian about the exhibition he has co-curated at the British Museum, Private Eye editor Ian Hislop explained how his name ended up in the show’s title. ‘I was slightly surprised about that,’ he admitted. ‘I thought the BM would be too grand to incorporate one’s name in it, but they were very keen and I was sufficiently vain not to mind.’


The last time Rakewell caught sight of Iggy Pop, the grizzled singer was modelling in life-drawing classes in a project initiated by Jeremy Deller. Now he is channelling his inner Pop Artist. In a video for a song by the band Death Valley Girls, Pop has recreated a 1981 Andy Warhol performance in which the artist was filmed eating a hamburger. The singer’s Warhol impression could do with some work – but it probably beats his old pal David Bowie’s effort in Basquiat.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.