• Ralph Fiennes interview: 'The film world is too horrendous'
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    The Independent

    Ralph Fiennes interview: 'The film world is too horrendous'

    Ralph Fiennes is playing a man on the downward spiral of his life. From tomorrow, he will bestride the stage of London’s National Theatre as Antony in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. At 55, Fiennes clearly has some sympathy with Antony’s concerns, but in many ways his career is thriving as never before, exhibiting a healthy and impressive variety that ranges from playing a demented East End villain in Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges, to a prissy concierge in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, to a dance teacher Alexander Pushkin in The White Crow (in Russian), a film about the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, which he also directed.

  • The Greatest Showman on Broadway: Everything we know about the new stage version of the Hugh Jackman musical
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    The Independent

    The Greatest Showman on Broadway: Everything we know about the new stage version of the Hugh Jackman musical

    The Greatest Showman may have been sneered at by film critics but its devoted following among audiences means it’s getting the live treatment on Broadway. The musical about the life of 19th century American circus ringmaster PT Barnum, starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams and Zendaya, was accused of glossing over the less appealing aspects of its subject’s personality and was memorably dismissed as “a shrill blast of nothing” by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. While the producers can’t fail to put together a lavish, visually spectacular theatrical show, to which the Barnum story is uniquely well suited, no cast information has yet been confirmed, nor is there any word yet on ticketing.

  • Bodyguard's Nadia shows the danger of underestimating female jihadis
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    The Independent

    Bodyguard's Nadia shows the danger of underestimating female jihadis

    Hundreds of women are believed to have travelled from Europe to Isis’ territories in Syria and Iraq since the group declared its “caliphate” in 2014, where several became key recruiters and radicalisers. Women have also attempted to launch terror attacks in their home countries, including the UK’s first-known all female jihadi cell, who were jailed earlier this year. Safaa Boular was just 16 when she started a plot to attack the British Museum, passing it on to her sister after she was detained for trying to travel to Syria.

  • Have I Got A Girl For You: Stephen Sondheim’s most fascinating female characters
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    The Independent

    Have I Got A Girl For You: Stephen Sondheim’s most fascinating female characters

    No matter how many times you’ve seen Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company, you’ll find something new in the upcoming West End revival. Mainly because Bobby, the commitment-phobic leading man, is now Bobbie, played by Rosalie Craig. Director Marianne Elliot persuaded Sondheim to allow a gender change, explaining that doing so would allow her to explore the challenges women face today.

  • The Turner Prize in 2018 is a miserable, tedious, poker-faced display
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    The Independent

    The Turner Prize in 2018 is a miserable, tedious, poker-faced display

    Last year the 33rd manifestation of the Turner Prize hit the buffers. The Ferens itself had just been newly refurbished, and the entire institution seemed to pivot about the Turner – it has seldom felt quite so feted at its home base, Tate Britain, to which it has returned this year, even though the Stuckists seem to have lost interest in hating it so much these days. Could that be because there’s too much else that’s truly appalling happening in the shrieking rat’s nest of contemporary art?

  • Strictly Come Dancing review: Easy to forgive show’s cringeworthy moments when the dancing is magnificent
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    The Independent

    Strictly Come Dancing review: Easy to forgive show’s cringeworthy moments when the dancing is magnificent

    The show was on for a whopping two hours and 20 minutes (Mo Farah finished this year’s London Marathon in less time, for context), but it whizzed by in a flash. Choreographer Jason Gilkison set the tone with one of the most romantic pro routines of recent years to start the show – all midnight blue chiffon, fountains and effortless ease on the dance floor. Then Aljaz turned up at BBC News and the hope faded, although he’d certainly liven up Brexit coverage if Huw Edwards needs a day off.

  • 'We are the fools who stayed': The elderly couple who live in Spain's population desert
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    The Independent

    'We are the fools who stayed': The elderly couple who live in Spain's population desert

    For more than 30 years, Juan Martin Colomer and his wife Sinforosa Sancho have lived alone in a village in Spain’s eastern highlands that once had more than 200 inhabitants. “Everyone has gone, we are the fools who have stayed,” laughs Sinforosa, who turned 85 this month, sitting on the steps of a pink-fronted building that was once the local boys’ school. Nestled in a valley in the northeastern Aragon region, where pollen drifts over pine trees that have gradually spread across the formerly arable land, the village is at the centre of a creeping population desert.

  • Knock Knock, South London Gallery review: A show about humour that’s as funny (weird) as it is funny (ha ha)
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    The Independent

    Knock Knock, South London Gallery review: A show about humour that’s as funny (weird) as it is funny (ha ha)

    The clown is a fibreglass sculpture from 2002 by Ugo Rondinone called If There Were Anywhere But Desert. Friday, and is a highlight of Knock Knock: Humour in Contemporary Art at the South London Gallery in Camberwell. The humour is often oblique – conveyed through irony, paradox, double meaning, and opaque cultural references.

  • Why superstar ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev was as big as Mick Jagger
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    The Independent

    Why superstar ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev was as big as Mick Jagger

    This autumn, two films celebrate Rudolf Nureyev, one of the 20th century’s best-known dancers. Nureyev, a documentary by Jacqui and David Morris, covers the full sweep of his life, from wartime survival to international stardom, his sensational partnership with Margot Fonteyn and his death, in 1993, from Aids. “Rudolf Nureyev’s life reads like an epic novel,” explain filmmakers Jacqui and David Morris.

  • Gaspar Noe interview: ‘The demonisation of nudity is sending Western society back to the 19th century’
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    The Independent

    Gaspar Noe interview: ‘The demonisation of nudity is sending Western society back to the 19th century’

    To call Gaspar Noé a provocateur is to incorrectly assume he gives a damn about the viewer’s reaction. The dancers decide to hold a low-key party, where they relax, drink, smoke cigarettes, spin vinyl, and flirt.

  • From 'Jurassic Park' to 'The Godfather': America's favourite movie trilogies, ranked
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    The Independent

    From 'Jurassic Park' to 'The Godfather': America's favourite movie trilogies, ranked

    Fortunately, in the past half-century, there have been numerous great movie trilogies made that have been so beloved as to become classics. While narrowing down a favourite can be difficult, a new survey conducted by Vudu Movies and TV asked 2,000 Americans to do just that - and the results are surprising. The winner of the trilogies was revealed to be the original Indiana Jones trilogy, followed by the Jurassic Park movies, and The Godfather trilogy in third place.

  • Chris Evans announces birth of twins called Ping and Pong
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    The Independent

    Chris Evans announces birth of twins called Ping and Pong

    Chris Evans’ wife Natasha Shishmanian has given birth to twins, a boy and girl affectionately nicknamed “Ping and Pong” throughout the pregnancy. The news was announced live on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show by guest host Sara Cox on Thursday (20 September). “Ping and Pong arrived safe and well last night,” a statement from Evans read.

  • Denis Norden dead: TV presenter and host of It'll be Alright On The Night dies aged 96
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    The Independent

    Denis Norden dead: TV presenter and host of It'll be Alright On The Night dies aged 96

    Denis Norden, the comedy writer and TV presenter best know for hosting It'll be Alright On The Night, has died at the age of 96. Norden's family said he died on Wednesday morning after a period of "many weeks" at the Royal Free Hospital in north London. A statement from the presenter's children, Nick and Maggie Norden, said: "We'd like to say a huge thank you to all the dedicated staff and doctors who have looked after him - with much devotion.

  • Netflix to make live-action version of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' series
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    The Independent

    Netflix to make live-action version of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' series

    Netflix is producing a live-action version of the popular, early-2000s cartoon 'Avatar: The Last Airbender,' the streaming service has announced. Original creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino will return for the project, which will be created in collaboration with Nickelodeon. The film won five Golden Raspberry awards, including worst picture, worst director, worst screenplay, and worst supporting actor.

  • 'Sesame Street' writer reveals Bert and Ernie are a gay couple
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    The Independent

    'Sesame Street' writer reveals Bert and Ernie are a gay couple

    Iconic duo Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street are a gay couple, a former writer for the show has confirmed. Since the show first aired in 1969, the fuzzy Muppets have amused viewers with their relationship - which includes bickering, and lots of laughter. Now, in an interview with Queerty, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman revealed the best friends are also a couple.

  • Emmys 2018 catch up: Claire Foy, Thandie Newton and John Oliver among British winners
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    The Independent

    Emmys 2018 catch up: Claire Foy, Thandie Newton and John Oliver among British winners

    Game of Thrones wrestled back control of the Emmys in Los Angeles on Monday night, winning the ceremony’s biggest award, Outstanding Drama Series. The HBO fantasy, based on the novels of George RR Martin, picked up the prize in 2015 and 2016, but was absent from proceedings last year when its broadcast date failed to meet eligibility criteria. Game of Thrones failed to dominate in other categories, however, its only other award on the night being a Supporting Actor honour for Peter Dinklage – his third Emmy win for the show.

  • Emmys 2018 - LIVE: Henry Winkley wins Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for sitcom 'Barry' in first award of the night
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    The Independent

    Emmys 2018 - LIVE: Henry Winkley wins Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for sitcom 'Barry' in first award of the night

    Stars of the small screen will be lining up tonight to collect awards at the most anticipated television event of the year - the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Comedians Colin Jost and Michael Che, best known for Saturday Night Live's weekly Weekend Update, will host proceedings, marking their first time hosting a major awards ceremony. After being ineligible last year, Game of Thrones is expected to once again dominate, the HBO series' seventh season having the most nominations of any show and already having seven statuettes thanks to the Creative Arts Emmys.

  • The Girl in the Spider's Web trailer introduces Claire Foy's Lisbeth Salander
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    The Independent

    The Girl in the Spider's Web trailer introduces Claire Foy's Lisbeth Salander

    A new trailer The Girl in the Spider's Web has arrived, which introduces The Crown's Claire Foy as Stockholm's own avenging angel, the hacker vigilante who stalks the pages of Stieg Larsson's beloved book series. Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has penned the screenplay, previously telling Collider: "With The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the girl [Lisbeth Salander] is really the central character.

  • From Hamilton to Sylvia: The new wave of woke musicals discussing race, gender, sexuality and identity
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    The Independent

    From Hamilton to Sylvia: The new wave of woke musicals discussing race, gender, sexuality and identity

    Hamilton, it seems, was just the beginning. With its hip hop score and its colour-conscious casting, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s all conquering hit was revolutionary. Suddenly there’s a wave of shows that are at the forefront of conversations around race, gender, sexuality and identity.

  • Natalia Osipova: Pure Dance, Sadler’s Wells, review: A slight selection of short works
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    The Independent

    Natalia Osipova: Pure Dance, Sadler’s Wells, review: A slight selection of short works

    In Pure Dance, ballerina Natalia Osipova has put together an evening of short works, mostly new commissions. Star of the Bolshoi and now The Royal Ballet, Osipova is one of the world’s most distinctive ballerinas, with explosive technique and fierce dramatic intelligence. The Leaves are Fading was created in 1975 by Antony Tudor, a major 20th-century choreographer whose work is now sadly neglected.

  • Heathers, Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, review: Packed with talent, but is this jollied-up version sufficiently unsettling?
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    The Independent

    Heathers, Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, review: Packed with talent, but is this jollied-up version sufficiently unsettling?

    Laurence O’Keefe who co-wrote the book, music, and lyrics for this show with Kevin Murphy, has already scored a notable success in the high school musical department. Part of the pleasure of Heathers, the cult 1989 movie, is how wickedly it traces a fine line between satire and gleeful bad taste as it tackles peer pressure, bullying, body image, social attitudes to teen suicide and mass school shootings. This musical version has its edgy moments, as well it might, given that many of these problems have only got worse in the last thirty years.

  • Why are there no middle-aged women in musicals?
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    The Independent

    Why are there no middle-aged women in musicals?

    In American musicals there are often parts for the slightly more mature woman – the friend of the innocent heroine, the wisecracking commentator on the events unfolding. Especially in the film when she was played by Eleanor Parker and wore all the best frocks. In fact, Mrs Harris might be unique in the annals of musical history in that she is a downtrodden London charlady, yet she is not the sidekick or the comic turn, but the heroine of a show that takes her from the daily grind of cleaning people’s homes to the glamour of the Dior showroom in Paris, in pursuit of the New Look dress that she has set her heart on owning.

  • Holy Sh!t, Kiln Theatre, Kilburn, London review: A vigorously funny production of Alexis Zegerman's sharp play
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    The Independent

    Holy Sh!t, Kiln Theatre, Kilburn, London review: A vigorously funny production of Alexis Zegerman's sharp play

    The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn has now been relaunched with £5.5m worth of handsome refurbishments and a controversial name change. Indhu Rubasingham, the artistic director, has overseen changes that create a more welcoming environment, calculated to pull in passers-by, and enhance the feel of a creative hub.

  • The audacious Wordsworth who put mountaineering on the map in the 19th century
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    The Independent

    The audacious Wordsworth who put mountaineering on the map in the 19th century

    In the early 19th century – when mountaineering at all was still an unusual activity – Scafell Pike was rarely climbed. Wordsworth is best known as the poet William Wordsworth’s sister. The siblings lived together for most of their lives, and Dorothy was an important influence over William’s verse.

  • Strictly Come Dancing 2018 launch show: Six talking points
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    The Independent

    Strictly Come Dancing 2018 launch show: Six talking points

    After weeks of dissecting the line-up and debating how much dance experience is too much, we saw the fab-u-lous 15 take the tense walk down the Strictly staircase into series 16. The launch show was endearingly predictable: panto comments from Craig Revel Horwood, sequins galore, Claudia Winkleman being unable to look out from beneath her slightly-too-long fringe… And excruciating jokes (even as a superfan there’s nothing good to say about an iPad/eye patch based gag from the hosts in 2018). The contestants looked as nervous and dazzling as ever as they finally met their professional partners and then clung onto them for dear life for the rest of the show.