A British photographer has captured up-close images of insects and flora that have been preserved in amber for 40 million years. The insects are no more than 3mm in length, so Levon Biss employed a unique method of photography to capture the level of detail seen in the pictures. Each image is built from thousands of photographs taken of the insect through a microscope.
Bright lanterns flooded the skies across China as the biggest celebration in the country's calendar came to an end. Falling annually on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, the Lantern Festival celebrates family, society and the coming of spring. The release of lanterns is universal, but towns and villages have their own traditions surrounding the festival.
The sight of the “super snow moon” wowed people across the world on 19 February as the moon appeared bigger and brighter than it will all year. It reached the perigee, or closest point to earth, only a few hours before rising last night in the UK, where it was at its brightest at 3.53pm. One of three supermoons that will be visible this year, it was the biggest and brightest full moon of 2019.
The late Chas Hodges did indeed write, with various other collaborators, several of the songs in this show. Grandad treats his fellow-drinkers in the Nag’s Head to a rousing rendition of “Where Have All the Cockneys Gone?”. John Sullivan, the creator and writer of those programmes, was working on the current adaptation when he died of viral pneumonia in 2011.
A self-portrait of the mars rover, pictures of footprints on the moon and satellite images of the most remote places in our solar system have all been taken from Nasa’s archives to commemorate the 60th birthday of the world’s most famous space agency. The collection contains over 400 pictures that show Nasa’s achievements in space travel as well as the humans that have driven them. Accompanying the photos is text charting Nasa’s past, present and future from the book’s editor, Piers Bizony, and Nasa historians.
One of the earliest theatrical responses to the horrors of 9/11 was Neil LaBute’s 2002 play The Mercy Seat. LaBute offers a tart reminder that some folk remain too trapped in their selfish concerns to rise to the occasion. LaBute shows the pair are still holed up there on 12 September as he debates whether to capitalise on his assumed death and sneak off to fluke new life with her.
Returning to The Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta’s colourful, untidy production of Don Quixote is as busy as ever, full of hyperactive scenery and rhubarbing crowds. It’s lit up by knockout performances from Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov. Acosta, a beloved international star, has just been appointed director of the Royal Ballet’s sister company, Birmingham Royal Ballet – which will dance this production next year.
Not the Grand Tour, which is what Top Gear used to be. Actually Top Gear is still what it used to be, so it is more or less what the Grand Tour now is, which is to say not much to do with real motoring journalism.
Braving the harshest climates and most gruelling terrains, some photographers will go to the ends of the Earth for the perfect shot. The winning photographers have captured some of the Earth's most incredible natural features, from mesmerising mountains to breathtaking woodlands. Winner of the top prize was Canadian Adam Gibbs, who has been a professional photographer for nearly 30 years.
An image of a tender moment between two lions is the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice Award 2018. David Lloyd's photo depicting two male lions, thought to be brothers, nuzzling together has taken the top spot in a contest of 25 nature images with 16,000 people voting for their favourite. The shortlist was wittled down from over 45,000 photos by the Natural History Musuem, who are exhibiting the final 25 until June 30.
All About Eve is one of the most delectably bitchy and cynical backstage movies ever made about the American theatre. In addition to his roster of triumphs with straight plays (A View from the Bridge, Shakespeare’s Roman and English history cycles etc), he’s shown a decided penchant for creating theatrical versions of notable movies – a whole brood of Bergmans, for example, and (most recently) Luchino Visconti’s Obsession (with Jude Law) and Paddy Chayefsky’s Network (with Bryan Cranston). You feel that the wisecracking fun in Mankiewicz’s knowing take on the “theat-uh” interests him less than the dark psychodrama that he compellingly draws out of.
If you’ve been to the theatre in the past decade, you will have likely heard the work of Ben and Max Ringham. The brothers have been sound designers and composers on a lot of shows – including, recently, Machinal at the Almeida, a production of King Lear starring one Ian McKellen, and all of the short plays in the extensive Pinter at the Pinter season. A recording of a particularly creaky lift in a branch of Sainsbury’s has become a staple, for instance: “That lift had a brilliant sound,” says Ben.
Sunday evening will see the battle of zodiacs as ITV’s new series of Endeavour goes up against BBC offering Call the Midwife. Ford Zodiacs, that is, because, set in roughly the same rose-tinted era of the 1960s, we may well see DCU Fred Thursday in his black Ford Zodiac with police markings, simultaneously broadcast with Dr Patrick Turner driving his blue Ford Zodiac estate. Endeavour, by the way, an Inspector Morse prequel, is now in its sixth series, and the look and feel is authentically Morsian, as is Shaun Evans’ portrayal of young sergeant Endeavour Morse.
Albert Finney was the actor’s actor. Finney later recalled the moment with characteristic, caustic wit, and at the same time gave an insight into what was to become a recurring story of wondrous understudy performances. Many other performances became etched on the theatregoers’ collective memory.
Oscar nominated British actor Albert Finney – best known for his roles in Annie, Murder on the Orient Express and Scrooge – has died following a short illness at the age of 82, his family has announced. A statement from his family reads: “Albert Finney, aged 82, passed away peacefully after a short illness with those closest to him by his side. Finney, who was born in Salford in 1936, was one of Britain’s premiere Shakespearean actors and was nominated for five Oscars across almost four decades – for Tom Jones (1963), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), Under the Volcano (1984) and Erin Brockovich (2000).
Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person” was published by The New Yorker on Monday 4 December and by that Friday, it was the most-read piece of fiction of all time on the magazine’s website. It earned its author – who was then completing a writing fellowship in Ann Arbor, Michigan – global fame, quickly followed by a seven-figure, two-book deal.
Succulent casting has been one of the treats of Pinter at the Pinter, Jamie Lloyd’s splendid rolling season of short Pinter works. In The Dumb Waiter (written in 1957 but not performed until 1960), Danny Dyer and Martin Freeman play Ben and Gus, a pair of contract killers anxiously awaiting orders in a windowless Birmingham basement. In A Slight Ache (which made its first appearance on radio in 1959), Gemma Whelan and John Heffernan are marvellously funny and creepy as the middle-class couple whose sexless, inadequate marriage is overturned when they invite a filthy old matchseller into their home on a midsummer day.
Lorena is very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. There, she says as she drives us around in her Kia on a recent afternoon, is the hospital where surgeons reattached John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis after she cut it off with a kitchen knife as he slept on the night of 23 June 1993. “I’m not a vindictive person because I told them where it was,” Lorena Gallo, as she is now known, says.
Bryan Singer, the director of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, has been removed from the film’s Bafta Awards nomination list amid allegations he sexually abused underaged boys years ago. The academy announced on Wednesday that Singer’s nomination has been officially “suspended” after the allegations, which were detailed in an article published by The Atlantic that featured interviews from four men who said they had not spoken about the incidents previously. The 2019 Bafta Film Awards are scheduled to take place on 10 February in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
When Anne Hathaway was first approached to host the Oscars in 2011, she turned the offer down, convinced that it was a “no-win situation”. It was James Franco, her eventual co-host, who changed her mind. “He didn’t give me anything,” Hathaway told People magazine recently.
There’s a thin line between laughing with someone, and laughing at them – and that line might just be Danny Dyer. The Cockney actor, star of films such as The Football Factory and Outlaw, and TV shows like I Believe in UFOs, has long been the target of critical vitriol. “Are there no depths to which Danny Dyer won’t plummet?” asked The Guardian after his film Run for Your Wife (2013) took just over £700 in its opening weekend.
Film fans want to see movies based on the lives of David Bowie, Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra, according to a survey. After the success of 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, based on rock group Queen, researchers polled the British public to find out what other musical stories they would like to see on the silver screen. Other dream rock star biopics which appeared in the top 10 wish-list included those of Kurt Cobain, Madonna and Stevie Wonder.
Liam Neeson has spoken about comments he made to The Independent where he said he roamed the streets with a cosh, wanting to kill a “black bastard” after someone close to him was raped. Today, he spoke to Good Morning America's Robin Roberts in an attempt to explain the comments which were met with international outrage.
Call the Midwife’s creator Heidi Thomas has revealed when she expects the show to end. The BBC drama is currently in its eighth series, with new episodes taking place in 1964, as Poplar sees growing prosperity, increased immigration, and medical innovations. “I do know that the original nuns on whom the original books were based left Poplar in 1976, because the social and the medical climate had changed,” Thomas told the Radio Times.
A short film shot entirely from a pig’s point of view has been released to mark the start of the Chinese Year of the Pig.