• Kabuki: The traditional Japanese theatre transformed by technology
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    The Independent

    Kabuki: The traditional Japanese theatre transformed by technology

    With roots in early 17th century Japan, the traditional form of Japanese theatre know as kabuki has been entertaining audiences for hundreds of years. With the introduction of modern technology such as earphones providing translations during live performances and western-style seating in the larger venues, kabuki is now reaching international audiences.

  • Manon, London Coliseum, review: English National Ballet production features blazing performance from Alina Cojocaru
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    The Independent

    Manon, London Coliseum, review: English National Ballet production features blazing performance from Alina Cojocaru

    English National Ballet’s Manon is an urgent tragedy, a passionate tale of a life at the precarious edges. It’s crowned by Alina Cojocaru’s blazing performance in the title role. Created by Kenneth MacMillan in 1974, Manon was originally designed by Nicholas Georgiadis in opulent 18th-century style.

  • True Detective review: Mahershala Ali is compelling, but he's let down by this bloated drama
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    The Independent

    True Detective review: Mahershala Ali is compelling, but he's let down by this bloated drama

    At the start of its third series, it is clear that True Detective, HBO’s noirish procedural drama, is dogged by that old entertainment dilemma: do you give the audience more of what they liked before, or try something new? In the programme’s debut run, the buddy-ish relationship between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s detectives helped leaven the gloom as they investigated macabre crimes in Louisiana. For its second season, it swapped the stars for Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, and the setting for Los Angeles.

  • Lock of Marilyn Monroe's hair on sale for £12,800
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    The Independent

    Lock of Marilyn Monroe's hair on sale for £12,800

    A lock of Marilyn Monroe’s is selling for $16,500 (£12,800) - 60 years after it was cut from the actress’s head. The clipping of hair, estimated to be about 35 strands, comes from the collection of Monroe’s hair stylist, Kenneth Battelle, TMZ first reported. The set is complete with a dated piece of paper from Battelle, Monroe’s hair stylist from 1958 until her death.

  • The Queen of Spades review, Royal Opera House, London: A near-definitive performance of majestic score
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    The Independent

    The Queen of Spades review, Royal Opera House, London: A near-definitive performance of majestic score

    When is a libretto not a libretto? When it falls into the hands of Stefan Herheim. News had travelled in advance about what he had done with Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades – which premiered two years ago in Amsterdam – but the reality of his staging still comes as a shock.

  • True Detective season 3: Can the show that refused to play by the rules return to its former greatness?
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    The Independent

    True Detective season 3: Can the show that refused to play by the rules return to its former greatness?

    This was the formula that, five years ago, turned season one of HBO’s True Detective into an instant phenomenon. It is also, by remarkable coincidence, the framing device for season three – debuting belatedly on HBO in the United States on Sunday, and on Sky Atlantic in the UK on Monday. In 2014, the deathly serious detective was Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle, a pony-tailed amateur philosopher unable to walk away from a murderous conspiracy he had uncovered in deepest Louisiana decades earlier.

  • ‘Hollywood gets queer stories wrong’: Should straight actors play gay characters on screen?
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    The Independent

    ‘Hollywood gets queer stories wrong’: Should straight actors play gay characters on screen?

    Since the turn of the century, no fewer than 25 actors have been Oscar nominated for playing LGBT+ roles. Benedict Cumberbatch as computer programmer Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014), and Timothée Chalamet for the woozy, coming-of-age drama Call Me by Your Name (2017). Of those 25 actors, not a single one was openly queer.

  • Catastrophe review: Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan are utterly at home together
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    The Independent

    Catastrophe review: Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan are utterly at home together

    Relief all round, then, that Catastrophe (Channel 4), returning for its fourth and final series, manages to wring as much vicarious pleasure as it does from the various miseries of Rob (Rob Delaney) and Sharon (Sharon Horgan), who write and star in this definitively sardonic exploration of modern professional middle-class, early-middle-aged life.

  • Silent Witness review: A bad example of the forensic thriller genre
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    The Independent

    Silent Witness review: A bad example of the forensic thriller genre

    What kind of a criminal mind devises a modus operandi that involves toilet-based, cold-blooded murder? It’s not supposed to be The Two Ronnies, I grant you, but it is eerie how no one, but no one, ever cracks a smile on Silent Witness. It’s carefully documented by our team of superheroes, returning for a 22nd series of arterial blood-spattered adventures: Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox), Jack Hodgson (David Caves), Clarissa Mullery (Liz Carr) and Dr Thomas Chamberlain (Richard Lintern).

  • Golden Globes: People surprised by Christian Bale's British accent during acceptance speech
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    The Independent

    Golden Globes: People surprised by Christian Bale's British accent during acceptance speech

    Musical or Comedy at the 2019 Golden Globes, but it was his accent that stood out. While thanking Satan for the inspiration required for his role in Vice during his speech, Bale spoke with a British accent – to the surprise of many viewers who were not aware that the actor is originally from Haverfordwest, Wales. On Twitter, viewers expressed their shock over Bale's "real" voice and birth place, possibly because the actor's numerous past roles as American characters, including the award-winning Dick Cheney, and compared him to other notable British actors.

  • Golden Globes 2019: Viewers think Mark Ronson took Lady Gaga's spotlight during acceptance speech for 'Shallow'
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    The Independent

    Golden Globes 2019: Viewers think Mark Ronson took Lady Gaga's spotlight during acceptance speech for 'Shallow'

    Lady Gaga's Golden Globes acceptance speech for Best Original Song has viewers confused – as co-writer Mark Ronson did most of the speaking. After Taylor Swift announced Gaga as the winner of the award for "Shallow" from A Star is Born, the singer began to cry as she took the stage alongside Ronson. Ronson took the moment to accept the award on the team's behalf, which also included Andrew Wyatt and Anthony Rossomando.

  • Sandra Oh gives emotional speech during Golden Globes monologue: 'A moment of change'
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    The Independent

    Sandra Oh gives emotional speech during Golden Globes monologue: 'A moment of change'

    Following a speech filled with jokes, Sandra Oh took a moment to be serious during her opening monologue alongside Andy Samberg at the 2019 Golden Globes. Pointing out the increase in racial and gender representation at this year’s awards, the actor, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress – TV Drama for Killing Eve, told the crowd that she said yes to hosting despite her “fear” because she wanted to “witness this moment of change”. In addition to having the first Asian American host in Globes history, this year’s awards include nominations for films such as Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, and If Beale Street Could Talk.

  • Golden Globes: People think Lady Gaga paid tribute to Judy Garland with her stunning dress
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    The Independent

    Golden Globes: People think Lady Gaga paid tribute to Judy Garland with her stunning dress

    Lady Gaga’s choice of gown for the Golden Globes may be more meaningful than she first realised – as it resembles an outfit worn by Judy Garland in the 1954 version of A Star is Born. Gaga, who is nominated for Best Actress for her role as Ally in 2018's remake, arrived on the red carpet wearing a custom lilac Valentino gown with off-the-shoulder sleeves and a train. In the 1950s version of A Star is Born, Garland, playing a rising star named Esther, wore a pale blue gown with a shrug and long gloves.

  • Why Fahrelnissa Zeid is considered 'one of the greatest female artists of the 20th century'
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    The Independent

    Why Fahrelnissa Zeid is considered 'one of the greatest female artists of the 20th century'

    Google is remembering the talented artist Fahrelnissa Zeid today with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 118th birthday. Born in Istanbul, Turkey on January 7 in 1901, Zeid began displaying a talent for painting when she was young - and later became one of the first women to attend the art academy in Istanbul. It was this opportunity, and her experiences later in life that inspired Zeid in her art - most recognisably, large-scale abstract kaleidoscope paintings influenced by Islamic and Byzantine art.

  • Who was Fahrelnissa Zeid? Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Turkish abstract artist
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    The Independent

    Who was Fahrelnissa Zeid? Google Doodle celebrates pioneering Turkish abstract artist

    Google’s latest Doodle celebrates the life of Fahrelnissa Zeid, the renowned Turkish artist best known for blending Islamic and Byzantine traditions with influences from the West. Monday marks the 118th anniversary of Ms Zeid’s birth.

  • Les Misérables review, episode two: Lily Collins plays the tragic Fantine with steeliness and grace
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    The Independent

    Les Misérables review, episode two: Lily Collins plays the tragic Fantine with steeliness and grace

    “I always like to trace motivations to sex,” Dominic West, who plays the wronged, reformed hero Jean Valjean in BBC One’s Les Misérables, said recently. Crass it may be, but there is an intense, scorching energy between Valjean, who did 19 years of hard labour for stealing a loaf of bread, and Javert, who spent those same 19 years making his life a misery. “You astonish me,” he says to Valjean at one point in tonight’s second episode, as puzzlement, anger, sorrow and respect flit across his face.

  • ‘I am not an easy sell’: After decades of supporting roles, how Sandra Oh finally hit her stride
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    The Independent

    ‘I am not an easy sell’: After decades of supporting roles, how Sandra Oh finally hit her stride

    For the past 30 years, Sandra Oh has been stealing every scene she’s in. Whatever role she is given – a bitter, single friend in romantic comedy Cake (2005), a fawning vice principal in The Princess Diaries (2001), a one-minute appearance as a grieving porn star in morbid TV drama Six Feet Under – her vibrant energy demands the kind of attention usually reserved for the biggest Hollywood stars.

  • Pinter Five and Six review, Harold Pinter Theatre, London: Jamie Lloyd's superbly curated season continues
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    The Independent

    Pinter Five and Six review, Harold Pinter Theatre, London: Jamie Lloyd's superbly curated season continues

    The fifth instalment of Jamie Lloyd’s superbly curated season of Harold Pinter’s shorter works kicks off with the writer’s first play, The Room, composed and first produced in 1957. Watching it in this sensitive, powerfully acted revival by Patrick Marber (his friend and colleague), you marvel at how strongly formed the dramatist’s creative identity seems to have been from the outset. Jane Horrocks gives a wonderfully well-sustained portrait of the wound-up state of Rose, who anxiously natters to her silently abusive husband (Rupert Graves) as she serves him up bacon and weak tea and talks about the icy world outside their windows.

  • Is the decline of the vowel a sign that language is evolving?
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    The Independent

    Is the decline of the vowel a sign that language is evolving?

    The first step in the next stage of language’s inevitable evolution – or devolution – may have already hppnd. What we might call the Modern Vowel Massacre seems to have begun sometime in the early Noughties, when the band MGMT found some indie-rock fame.

  • Swan Lake, London Coliseum, review: English National Ballet’s traditional production is danced with lively confidence
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    The Independent

    Swan Lake, London Coliseum, review: English National Ballet’s traditional production is danced with lively confidence

    English National Ballet welcomes the new year with Swan Lake, danced with lively confidence. This is a traditional, appealingly straightforward production, from Peter Farmer’s fairy-tale gothic designs to the brisk storytelling. Under director Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has become much more adventurous, with programming including a recent new work by William Forsythe and an upcoming evening of work by female choreographers.

  • Sheila Atim interview: ‘Those excluding people of colour are robbing themselves – they just don’t realise it’
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    The Independent

    Sheila Atim interview: ‘Those excluding people of colour are robbing themselves – they just don’t realise it’

    Last year was a huge one for Sheila Atim. Atim has carried that momentum into 2019. While most of London was nursing a hangover on 1 January, she was in the first preview of Che Walker’s Time is Love at the tiny Finborough theatre in west London.

  • Is classical ballet sexist? From Swan Lake to The Sleeping Beauty, it's time to look again at the work of Marius Petipa
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    The Independent

    Is classical ballet sexist? From Swan Lake to The Sleeping Beauty, it's time to look again at the work of Marius Petipa

    Such images abound in the work of Franco-Russian choreographer Marius Petipa (1818-1910): You can see them in the dances he made for Don Quixote, La Bayadère, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Raymonda.

  • President Trump’s 2018 in photos: a year of high drama at home and abroad
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    The Independent

    President Trump’s 2018 in photos: a year of high drama at home and abroad

    President Donald Trump faced battles across many fronts in 2018, ending the year politically weakened after his Republican Party lost control of the US House of Representatives at midterm elections in November. National security adviser HR McMaster was removed and replaced by hard-charging John Bolton.

  • Mary Quant: fashion’s inspirational icon for the #metoo era
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    The Independent

    Mary Quant: fashion’s inspirational icon for the #metoo era

    Tickets have just gone on sale for the V&A London’s Mary Quant exhibition, which opens its doors on 6 April 2019. High street fashion retailer Topshop is in the spotlight following the recent #pinknotgreen social media backlash and boycott. Linked to this, there are the allegations of sexual harassment directed at Philip Green, the chair of retail giant Arcadia, which owns Topshop.

  • How photographers captured the year’s most compelling moments, from events on Capitol Hill to the World Cup
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    The Independent

    How photographers captured the year’s most compelling moments, from events on Capitol Hill to the World Cup

    Leah Millis: “After an earlier assignment in Washington at the Supreme Court in February, I was asked to join colleague Kevin Lamarque at the Capitol, where White House communications director Hope Hicks had been testifying to the House Intelligence Committee. “After about seven hours of waiting, Hicks suddenly appeared at the end of the hallway.