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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 October 2018

Kevin Spacey theatre programme launches in Sharjah

Also, Mickey Rourke wins exhibition bout in Moscow, and iconic Mexican comedian dies.
Kevin Spacey during one of the training programmes for The Middle East Theatre Academy (META). Courtesy META
Kevin Spacey during one of the training programmes for The Middle East Theatre Academy (META). Courtesy META

The Middle East Theatre Academy will offer a theatre training programme called Home Grown next year. The intensive course, open to 18- to 25-year-olds, is in partnership with KSF, the Kevin Spacey Foundation, established by the Oscar-winner to nurture young film and theatre talent. The coaching of 35 youths from 17 countries in the region, is free of charge and will culminate in a performance at the Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts on January 25. The House of Cards star first teamed up with the Emirati businessman Badr Jafar in 2011, to launch META, a non-profit organisation offering training and support to regional actors, writers, directors and producers. The actor visited the UAE for a series of workshops and is expected to return some time during next month’s two-week course which starts on January 10. “We offer financial assistance and mentoring to get new work off the ground, unique theatre in education projects to inspire learning and fully funded university places to those young artists,” says Spacey. “We do this because I believe that if you have been lucky enough to do well in the business you want to do well in, then it is your obligation to send the lift back down.” Applications must be submitted at www.middleeasttheatre.org and auditions will be held online and in person. – The National Staff

Mickey Rourke wins exhibition bout in Moscow

Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke returned to the boxing ring on Friday at the age of 62, defeating a fighter less than half his age in an exhibition bout. Rourke sent 29-year-old Pasadena native Elliot Seymour to the canvas twice in the second round before the referee stopped the fight. The bout at a Moscow concert hall was Rourke’s first in 20 years. He took a break from acting in the early 1990s, finishing a three-year pro boxing career with six wins and two draws. He has said he plans to hold another four fights in Russia. — AP

Iconic Mexican comedian dies

Mexico’s iconic television comedian Roberto Gomez Bolanos, who enchanted generations of Latin American children by playing an orphan who lived in a barrel and a goofy superhero, died on Friday at the age of 85. Gomez Bolanos died in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun, where he retired years ago due to respiratory illnesses, said the Televisa network, where the actor spent his entire career. The cause of death was not given. Gomez Bolanos – who was given the nickname Chespirito, “Little Shakespeare”, for his short stature and prolific writing – created some of the most popular television shows in the history of Latin America. In El Chavo del Ocho (The Kid from the Eight), Gomez Bolanos played a mischievous orphan who always wore a hat with ear flaps and slept in a barrel in the courtyard of a working-class housing complex. Another famous character was Chapulin Colorado (Red Grasshopper), a red-hooded superhero with antennas and armed with a yellow and red hammer. His shows had millions of viewers from Mexico to the Andes and the tip of South America, as well as in Portuguese-speaking Brazil. Tributes poured in shortly after his death was announced. ”Mexico has lost an icon, whose work has transcended generations and borders,” ­the Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted. — AP