News in brief

Nanci Griffith

Nanci Griffith headlines at the Southern Fried Festival of American Roots, Perth Concert Hall

Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight's Children has won the Best of the Booker prize, as voted for by the public. The book, first published in 1981, beat five other former Booker winners. Peter Carey, Pat Barker, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and JG Farrell were also shortlisted for the prize.

Previously unseen documents of Franz Kafka are to be examined by experts after being found locked away in a Tel Aviv flat for 40 years. The papers were found in the home of the secretary of Kafka’s literary executor.

Edinburgh International Film Festival director Hannah McGill has said she believes moving the EIFF to June for the first time this year gave it “more attention, more status and more of a definition.” The dates for the 63rd EIFF have now been confirmed and are 17-28 June 2009.

Taste buds at the ready. This summer boasts the return of Tanqueray Tables, a series of cocktail evenings in al-fresco venues normally off-limits to the public. Hosted by the makers of Tanqueray gin, together with, guests can sample an intensity of flavours through cocktails and canapés in venues across the UK. To find out more about the venues and to reserve your table, log on to

Brian Loudon has been appointed to the newly created post of General Manager by Festival City Theatres Trust, the company that manages the King's and Festival Theatres in Edinburgh. Loudon is currently Director of Venue Operations with the Wales Millennium Centre.

It’s all getting a bit country round Perth way, with Nanci Griffith and Allen Toussain set to headline at the Southern Fried Festival of American Roots ( Perth Concert Hall, Fri 1-Sun 3 Aug). For full line-up see

And finally, Iron Man star Robert Downey Jnr has reportedly signed up for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes production. Downey Jnr learned about the Warner Bros project from his Hollywood producer wife. The film is expected to be released in October of next year.

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