Dramatic bodies

This year's bland vanilla brule of a Baftas was so impeccably tasteful in word, deed and outfit that it disappeared down it's own self-satsifed throat and came out the other end as a few meaningless fart bubbles smelling of champagne and tuberose. The sole memorable moment centred around Tilda Swinton, who staggered onto the stage in glorious golden Dior which made her look like a hump-backed whale, glistening with jet barnacles, the head of an anaemic auburn mermaid rising from its majestic maw.

Swinton's lean, lupine frame is wasted on the screen. The Apollonian proportions of a Sienna or a Johnny look elegant on camera; but there's nothing quite like an atpyical, animal anatomy on the stage, as the Old Vic's new production of Speed the Plow proves. Although Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum, as film producers Charlie Fox and Bobby Gould, act with equal brilliance in their cut-throat, bullet-paced pas de deux, Goldblum steals every scene with his lolloping, oscillating, spaghetti-statured lank. Six foot four and skinny as an Arts Council grant, this brooding screen fly has become a seductive stage spider with a Humphrey Bogart face and Jimmy Stewart moves.

Many of my favourite actors run to bodily extremes, from the bear bulk of Richard Griffiths and Simon Russell Beale to the consumptive fragility of Anna Maxwell Martin and Ben Whishaw. The National's new silent physical theatre piece, The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other, throws the infinite, fascinating strangeness of ordinary bodies into sharp relief, and reminds us that our humanity is never stronger than when we realise how alien we are. Let's haul Gareth Pugh out of London Fashion Week and get him to design a Chekhov.

As for the Hitchcock Blonde? I thank God daily that my dangerously angelic, anodyne beauty is tempered with a hump. And a wooden leg.