Arts Diary: Will Marriott

As 2010 draws to a close, the world is awash with annual "best of" lists – this one, however, is actually interesting (and doesn't feature vacuous celebrities recalling their favourite anythings).

Art house cinema Sheffield Showroom has produced its very own Top 10 of 2010 – determined by ticket sales. It turns out that Sheffield film goers went crazy for Chris Morris's satirical bomb-com Four Lions back in May, which topped the list by an impressive margin. Not only was it the most successful film of the year, it was one of the most successful films ever for the Showroom. This is due in no small part to the film's local connection. Produced by Sheffield's Warp Films, the film was shot in the city and depicts a group of radicalised young men and their increasingly farcical terrorist plot.

That Sheffield Theatres will be the first in the country to stage a season of work dedicated to David Hare is exciting enough, but the casting announcement makes it doubly so.

The announcement reveals that some high-class actors are going to be starring in the three Hare plays that will make up the season. The casts for the season in March include: Patricia Hodge and Isla Blair in The Breath of Life, Hattie Morahan, Jack Ryder and Laura Carmichael in Plenty and Jane Wymark and Matthew Cottle in Racing Demon.

If you're still not feeling in a festive mood, the cast of the pantomime at Bradford's Alhambra Theatre have the answer.

Despite a ridiculously short rehearsal period for this year's show – Snow White and Seven Dwarfs – the cast took time out of learning their lines and pulling the show together to record a special Christmas message.

Won't say more than that, but really, if you want cheering up, then log on to and the video will start automatically – and it's bound to put you in festive spirits.

Anthony Clavane, one of our favourite authors, continues to do great work in promoting himself (nothing wrong with that) – but also to bang the drum for other Leeds authors.

The man behind the book Promised Land, released earlier this year, is doing great work in pulling together Leeds writers, staging various meetings in the city on a regular basis.

Anthony, whose great passions growing up in Leeds were football and literature, believes the city is fertile ground for a new literary movement, like that which previously gave us Keith Waterhouse, Alan Bennett and Willis Hall. We'll be bringing you news soon of a website that Anthony is hoping will be a place for those involved in the movement to come together in cyberspace.

As you enjoy Christmas, spare a thought for the pantomime actors who continue to work during the festive season – Bradford panto king Billy Pearce revealed to us this week that he can lose a stone and a half during the Alhambra's panto. Give him a thought when you tuck into

the turkey.