Friday, 26 March 2010

A night at the Schachters'

I was down in London yesterday for an Old Vic-related supper party at the home of art dealer and collector Kenny Schachter.

I got to my hotel, the Park Plaza County Hall, about 2.30 to discover that they had given me a free upgrade to a penthouse suite, which was an epic win. The suite, on the 14th and top floor, had a spectacular view of the London Eye, the Palace of Westminster and beyond, as well as a nice big balcony to enjoy it all from. I guess I should at least give them a plug...

I took a wander out to bank a cheque and pick up a new riding crop then headed back to the hotel for a nice, long, hot bath before my friend arrived. We had a drink in the hotel bar then got a cab over to the Schachters' in South Kensington.

The Schachters' house, spread over five floors, is part family home and part art gallery. The walls are crammed full of paintings and photographs and there sculptures and conceptual models all over the place. At the end of the garden there's another building, containing Kenny Schachter's car collection and a large, high-ceilinged basement which is also full of artworks.

Most of the party guests congregated around the huge kitchen - that's where the champagne was, so it's understandable! We chatted for a while to an American woman called Lynn. She was a Wall Street trader who moved to London in September 2008. Ouch! I then introduced her and my friend to Kevin Spacey. We actually had a good long chat with him. He told us about his recent filming in China and his subsequent personal travels around Asia and the Middle East that followed on from it. He also talked about The Social Network, the movie he's making about Facebook.

Kevin gave a very witty speech later and premiered his Morgan Freeman impression, which in time will no doubt become as famous as his Christopher Walken one!

We chatted with various other people throughout the evening, including fellow Old Vic supporters and the lovely Jessica Hynes, who is keen for as many people as possible to go to iPlayer and watch Lizzie & Sarah. My friend left about 11 and I hung around a little longer to chat to a few more people. Kenny Schachter showed me a painting he owns by Gerhard Richter, one of my favourite artists and which he estimated as being worth about $1 million. He also showed me a Warhol of Mao Tse Tung valued at about $3 million. Pretty expensive home decor...

As the evening drew to a close I chatted to actor Ian Redford and a guy called Stanley F. Buchtal, who mainly produces documentaries, but whose first film was John Waters' Hairspray. Finally, I met Obi Abili, star of Six Degrees Of Separation at the Old Vic and ended up sharing a cab with him back to the hotel. Really nice guy. He even gave me his email address!

Overall, a great evening!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's great! Something puzzles me about Spacey and the Old Vic though: is it true that he's considering hiring Kate Moss to tread the stage, or is it just a rumour? Maybe you heard about it.

Dan Brusca said...

I've seen a few headlines about that, but haven't actually read the stories beneath them, so can't really comment on the accuracy or otherwise.

I would say though that Kevin rarely gets involved in casting plays at the Old Vic, leaving it to the directors and producers unless, of course, he himself is directing or if he has to sign-off on a big name actor's participation.

Personally, I think Kate Moss would be great for the Old Vic.