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THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
April 27 - May 3 2011 No. 1031
A GOAL AT LAST Relief for Chelsea as Torres finally breaks his duck
:: SPORT PAGE 46
Sheen brings home the Passion of Easter
Heat and dust Britain basks in extraordinary Easter weather :: NEWS P2
By Patrick Hennessy and Roya Nikkhah THE royal wedding suffered its first major controversy last week when it was confirmed that neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown had been invited to Friday’s ceremony.
The former Labour prime ministers will not join the 1,900-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey despite it being a “semi-state” occasion that they had been widely expected to attend.
By contrast, both their Conservative predecessors, Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher, received invitations. Lady Thatcher declined on health grounds although Sir John will be present when Prince William marries Kate Middleton.
A spokesman for St James’s Palace said Mr Blair and Mr Brown had not received invitations because neither were Knights of the Garter, unlike Sir John and Lady Thatcher.
However, Labour MPs said it was “surprising” and “odd” that the pair had apparently been snubbed on what was a “great British occasion”.
All surviving former prime ministers, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and
James Callaghan, attended the Prince of Wales’s marriage to Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981.
The relationship between Buckingham Palace and Mr Blair and, to a lesser extent, Mr Brown were marked by tension. Mr Blair’s wife, Cherie, refused to curtsy to members of the Royal family, and he was at the centre of a storm over arrangements for the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002.
Although Mr Blair and Mr Brown failed to make the cut, the “government and diplomatic” guests include John Cranfield and his wife Vilma, who will represent St Helena. The British territory in the South Atlantic has a population of little more than 4,000.
There will also be representatives from Bermuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat.
At least one guest is known to have republican tendencies — Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, has been invited along with her boyfriend, Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser turned estate agent. And a wide spectrum of
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LOOKING weary, unshaven and in bare feet, Michael Sheen commanded an audience of thousands as a Christ-like figure in his home town of Port Talbot, south Wales. The actor was starring in a modern interpretation of the Passion, staged in various settings over the entire Easter weekend.
Sheen plays a teacher rescued from the sea who has lost his memory, and as the story develops,
his experiences resemble the suffering of Jesus.
Good Friday’s main scene involved Sheen’s character meeting his first follower, a woman called Joanne, played by Francine Morgan. She is wearing a suicide vest, forced on her by a bomber protesting about a big company, but he removes it and asks her to tell her story.
“Michael was in character for the full 72 hours. He’s living the story,” said John McGrath, artistic director of National Theatre Wales. “He wanted to do something special.”
Sheen, the star of films including Frost/Nixonand TheDamned United, is also co-directing the National Theatre Wales production. It has been two years in the making and involves about 1,000 residents of the town.
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