11 OCTOBER 1975, Page 17

WM Waspe

I have to return to the antics of the irrepressible Hugh Jenkins, MP. He is now assiduously seeking an alibi for his imminent departure from responsibility for the arts by putting it about that' there is some serious risk of the exiguous arts budget being cut, and that in that event he would heroically hand in his cards to Mr Wilson. The fact is, of course, that (Particularly after the arrival on the scene of Mr Harold Lever) there is no possibility of such a cut, not least because no successor could be found who in present circumstances would accept it either. Jenkins will best come out of the sorry business of his ministry if he eschews bombast and goes quietly.

Too many actors

I am interested to see that the committee appointed by the Gulbenkian Foundation to

inquire into "professional training for drama" has produced its Report. Called Going on the Stage it is available from the Foundation at El and contains some useful recommendations. Improving the overall standard of drama sch000ls, however, and seeing that more students get grants is not :going to help the primary problem of the profession —which is not that actors are poorly trained, but that there are too many of them. The "ideal' next step from these recommendations is presumably that all properly qualified actors should be employed — which is rather as though, if we had too many doctors, more people would have to be sick.

Jolly Hockney sticks Doubtless to the chagrin of critics such as my colleague, Rodney Milnes, David Hockney has been invited to design another opera at Glyndebourne, following the undoubted success of this year's Rake's Progress. A number of strategically-placed bribes have so far failed to uncover the identity of the lucky opera. A golden wasp-sting to whoever delivers the goods.