From a Cornish clifftop to the urban sprawl of Brent Cross in London, all roads lead to a revival of some very old cultural pursuits
Theatre performed under a starry sky, regular spa days, courtyard gardens with fountains, and luxurious seasonally inspired dining: the Romans in Britain had it all sorted. In popular imagination at least, the three and a half centuries of foreign rule that followed the Roman invasion in AD 43 saw the development of many of the cultural pursuits that are still enjoyed by the middle classes of the British Isles.
Now, the Romans’ more civilised leisure activities in Britain are being recreated up and down the country. A series of amphitheatres, either newly built or recently restored, are opening to the public this summer, together with a full-scale recreation of a Roman villa in the West Country.
The British actor on getting texts from Winona Ryder, researching his character Eddie Munson through the medium of thrash metal and the show’s ‘monster’ final episode
“This year is my year. I can feel it.” This line was said by the character Eddie Munson in the first episode of season four of Netflix’s monster-hit show Stranger Things, but it could easily have been uttered by actor Joseph Quinn.
It takes talent to join a much-loved TV cast in their fourth season and become a fan favourite. This series of Stranger Things has set Netflix records by hitting No 1 in 83 countries and is more watched than Bridgerton. But as the charismatic but vulnerable Munson, 28-year-old Quinn has made a splash. He only joined Instagram in May and already has more than 1.6 million followers.
Ex-Beatle turned 80 on Saturday, days after a brief US tour which saw him joined on stage by Bruce Springsteen
Sir Ringo Starr, Bruce Springsteen and Ronnie Wood were among stars who have been wishing Sir Paul McCartney a happy 80th birthday.
The ex-Beatle turned 80 on Saturday, days after finishing a brief US tour. The milestone comes the weekend before McCartney becomes Glastonbury’s oldest solo headliner, when he takes to the Pyramid stage on Saturday.
Six legislators call for return of cultural treasures held by British Museum ‘to their Athenian home’
More MPs and peers have expressed support for the repatriation of the Parthenon marbles to Greece as protesters in London mark the 13th anniversary of the opening of the Athens museum where they believe they belong.
Calls for the reunification of the antiquities, removed by Lord Elgin from the Acropolis in controversial circumstances more than 200 years ago – and regarded as vital to the nation’s cultural memory – mounted on Saturday with six UK lawmakers telling the Greek daily, Ta Nea, that restitution was the only proper thing to do. The British Museum acquired the sculptures from the diplomat in 1816.
Caroline Criado Perez highlights ways that the world is built around men, while Grenfell is remembered through voices and the BBC’s doggedness
Visible Women | Tortoise Media The Grenfell Tower Inquiry Podcast | BBC Sounds Today In Focus: Remembering Grenfell | Guardian Different | BBC Sounds First Person (New York Times) | Apple.com
Caroline Criado Perez is a person who likes to see clearly. A lover of data, of facts, of real-life evidence that can help her – and us all – understand the world we live in. Unfortunately, as is obvious from her new podcast, this information is often hard to come by.
Artist Gail Turpin isn’t an expert on birds, but she loved hearing their song more clearly when walking her dog around Edinburgh as traffic stopped during lockdown. “I started gathering feathers – looking at them as if for the first time, studying their stylised patterns and asymmetry.”
For this series, Nesting, currently on show at the Upright Gallery, Edinburgh, Turpin worked with whatever she had to hand – wood, fabric, paint – to recreate these foraged feathers. A process, she says, that was full of happy accidents from printing and sanding. “I love the way that [Bauhaus textile artist] Anni Albers explains it: ‘Being creative is not so much the desire to do something as listening to that which wants to be done.’”
Sister-in-law hid one dedicated to Gauguin because of ‘anger at the French artist’s attacks on his former friend’
Shortly before Vincent van Gogh cut off his left ear and had a breakdown after quarrelling with his fellow artist, Paul Gauguin, in the French city of Arles in 1888, he created a pair of extraordinary paintings. One, Gauguin’s Chair, depicts a couple of books and a lit candle discarded on an ornate armchair. The other, Van Gogh’s Chair, shows a tobacco pipe and pouch on a rustic wooden chair and is instantly recognisable as one of the most famous paintings in the world.
Now, the mystery of how the diptych of paintings came to be split up – and why the picture of Gauguin’s chair was kept in the family collection while Van Gogh’s Chair was sold off – has finally been solved.
Comments come after Ukrainian criticism of organiser EBU’s decision to move contest to UK
Boris Johnson has said Ukraine deserves to host next year’s Eurovision song contest and that he hopes it will be able to do so despite the ongoing war with Russia.
The BBC is in talks with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) about hosting the event in the UK, which came second in the 2022 contest, after the body ruled it could not go ahead in Ukraine as planned.
The author on her close friend Toni Morrison, her fear of rodents and a 24-hour flight without smoking
Born in New Jersey, Fran Lebowitz, 71, had a column in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in the 1970s. Her first book, a collection of essays entitled Metropolitan Life, became a bestseller, as did her second, Social Studies. In 2021, her documentary series Pretend It’s a City premiered on Netflix and was nominated for an Emmy. She lives in New York City and brings her show An Evening with Fran Lebowitz to the UK later this month.
When were you happiest?The moment I realised I knew how to read. I was five.
From a Nubian god in Edinburgh to a Banksy in Bristol, our critics choose the most intriguing and important paintings, sculptures, installations for you to take in this summer
1. Lucas Cranach the Elder – Judith With the Head of HolofernesThe Burrell Collection, Glasgow The culture clash that underpinned Cranach’s art – German courtly splendour and strait-laced religious reformation – powers a magnetic imagining of Jewish heroine Judith displaying the head of Assyrian general Holofernes. The bloody spoils seem like a trophy, and are more chilling for it. SS
Secrecy, stunts and subterfuge: publishers and collaborators reveal the magic that went into creating a children’s classic 25 years ago
“He’ll be famous – a legend – every child in our world will know his name.” So predicts Professor McGonagall in the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Breaking sales records from the beginning, Harry Potter is the biggest success in children’s publishing history, making its author, JK Rowling, one of the most famous writers in the world. But on 26 June 1997, when the first novel in the series was published – after notoriously being turned down by 12 publishers – no one had heard of her boy wizard. Behind this magical story was a team of children’s book devotees who helped Harry Potter take flight.
The Democratic Georgia senator has delivered an inspiring memoir, well-timed as the US tears itself apart
We live in an age of miracles but we spend very little time noticing that. After four years of Donald Trump, two years of Covid and four months of vicious war in Ukraine, it’s hardly surprising many feel overwhelmed by seemingly relentless bad news.
Raphael Warnock’s inspiring memoir arrives just in time to remind us that even in our darkest days, America offers at least as much hope as despair.
News of the Korean boy band’s plans for a temporary break sparked a media frenzy but that doesn’t mean the end is nigh
At a pre-recorded dinner this week celebrating their ninth anniversary as a group, the K-pop superstars BTS announced they would be taking a “hiatus”. Over crab and rice wine, rapper Suga began an earnest, 40-minute discussion of that choice, including the exhaustion they felt and why exploring their personal tastes through solo projects was so thrilling.
“It’s not that we’re disbanding,” he said, laughing at the absurdity of the idea, “we’re just living apart for a while.”
Whether you fancy a trip to infinity and beyond or just want to see whether Viola Davies makes a convincing Michelle Obama, our critics have all bases covered
LightyearOut nowYou’ll already know Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films. Ever wondered where the idea for that toy came from, within the Toy Story universe? If so, this is the film for you, as it explores the origin story of the astronaut the toy was based on. Chris Evans leads a stellar voice cast.
The veteran of the French new wave starred in a series of auteur-driven films, before appearing in Michael Haneke’s Amour
Jean-Louis Trintignant, the French actor closely associated with the European new waves of the 1960s and 70s, has died aged 91. His wife, Mariane Hoepfner Trintignant, announced the news to AFP.
Born in 1930, Trintignant’s childhood was overshadowed by the second world war, but he picked up a passion for race-car driving from two uncles – one of whom was killed on the track in 1933. Trintignant made his name as an actor with a role in Roger Vadim’s Brigitte Bardot vehicle And God Created Woman in 1956, but was then sent to Algeria as a conscript during the war of independence.
Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson were on duty when the UK – near-flawlessly – hosted the song contest
It’s 9 May 1998. All Saints are top of the charts, New Labour has been in power for a year and David Beckham has yet to be sent off against Argentina at the World Cup. Life is good.
Fast forward 24 years and you could be forgiven for forgetting that, amid the haze of the late 90s, it was also the last time Britain hosted the Eurovision song contest, hot on the heels of Katrina and the Waves’ success with Love Shine a Light 12 months earlier in Dublin.
Donmar Warehouse, LondonNoma Dumezweni is a compelling lead in Lucas Hnath’s sequel, which is well drawn but a little too tightly controlled
A dark and heavy house fills the stage. Just before the action begins, the house is lifted up and away. It feels like a cleansing of sorts. A declaration of intent. A Doll’s House, Part 2, will be free of baggage. No fussy set or precious little plot. Just four characters and a lot of conversation. It won’t be easy (American writer Lucas Hnath’s inventive plays rarely are). But it will certainly be different.
Just one part of the house remains: the door. This is the door Nora walked out of at the end of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Now 15 years on, with an ominous boom, Nora is asking to be let back in. She is rich and a successful writer. Greatly changed and, until a recent setback, utterly in control. But has the world changed with her?
A dog’s secret day out; a celebration of wildflowers; a guide to dinosaurs; tales of espionage and more; plus the best YA novels
A Day by the Sea by Barbara Nascimbeni (Thames & Hudson, £10.99)Mischievous dog Frido is off to the seaside! While his owner naps, he surfs, digs and feasts on ice-cream – but can he get back before he’s missed? A joyful, exuberant, summery picture book.
I am Nefertiti by Annemarie Anang, illustrated by Natelle Quek (Five Quills, £7.99)Nefertiti’s drumming brings the whole band together – but when her music teacher can’t pronounce her name, shortening it to “Nef”, something happens to Nefertiti’s playing … A deft, empathy-fostering exploration of the importance of names and respect.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! defended loaning Monroe’s ‘Happy Birthday’ gown to the reality TV star and said its importance ‘has not been negated, but rather highlighted’
The owners of the dress belonging to Marilyn Monroe and worn by Kim Kardashian at last month’s Met ball have hit back against allegations the dress was damaged by the loan.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which bought the dress – Monroe wore it to sing Happy Birthday to John F Kennedy in 1962 – for £3.8m in 2016, said it was “confident” Kardashian did not cause any damage to the garment.
To celebrate the release of Lightyear, Guardian writers detail their most-loved films from the animation studio’s back catalogue
For all their later successes, there’s still nothing in the Pixar catalogue that matches the dopamine hit of their very first feature. The first fully computer-animated film, its candy-coloured visuals simultaneously represented a new dawn and a vision of the future, in animation itself and in film-making more widely. Gone were the days of pen and ink, or the sense of something actually happening in front of the camera; the era of software-generated fantasy cinema was upon us.
Judges praise ‘incredible’ version of Jason Reynolds’ novel while Katya Balen wins the Carnegie medal for her ‘evocative’ second book October, October
Danica Novgorodoff’s “innovative” graphic novel adaptation of Jason Reynolds’ novel Long Way Down has won the Yoto Kate Greenaway medal, making it the first graphic novel to win the illustration prize since Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas in 1973.
Meanwhile, Katya Balen has won the Yoto Carnegie medal, which celebrates outstanding achievement in children’s writing. The “expertly written” October, October was inspired by Balen’s father-in-law, who lives off-grid.