The Diary: Sebastian Barry; Caryl Churchill; Esther Rantzen; Big Art Project; Grayson Perry

Spirited Scripture?

The author Sebastian Barry has revealed that he did some soul-searching before using the memory of a beautiful great aunt who had been sectioned for "terrifying moral reasons" (a child out of wedlock, perhaps?) as the inspiration for his latest award-winning yarn, 'The Secret Scripture'. A previous incident in which the novelist had mined family biography left lasting family friction. He explains: "I had been looking for relatives who had never been mentioned in my family... but I was concerned I would be using her just as everyone else used her. Years ago, my grandfather was very upset about a particular [incident involving Barry's writing] in the 1980s. It was tragic as we never spoke again." Barry says the first chapter had taken him seven months to write before the main character "told me her story". Even if the character was "channelled" in this way, it was done so most poetically.

A play for Gaza

The playwright Caryl Churchill has turned her pen to supporting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, it would seem. She's written a short play called 'Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza', to be staged at the Royal Court Theatre for free from 6 February. A collection will be taken for the Medical Aid for Palestinians charity.

That's life

Esther Rantzen, the television personality and general "force to be reckoned with", was seen rearranging the seating arrangements at her table at the glittering Costa Book Awards dinner in the ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Hyde Park, London. Guests' place-cards were shuffled about by Rantzen so she could spend the next few hours beside the desired dinner companion. After great manoeuvring, she apparently found herself with an empty chair on one side, while the rest of the table happily socialised with whoever happened to be beside them.

Big Art doesn't equal big support

Channel 4's Big Art Project, launched to encourage ordinary folk to have ideas for public artworks, has come a cropper in a fair few cases – including an artwork incorporating the Tinsley towers, suggested by two design graduates, Tom and Tom. After Eon demolished the towers, the men moved out of Sheffield in disgust. The project to transform the Beckton Alp into an artwork was shelved when the mound was discovered to be toxic. Meanwhile, protest against an artwork designed to create a "murmuring" effect emanating from Cardigan Bay is gaining momentum.

Has Claire got style?

Grayson Perry's female alter ego Claire may be about to have her fashion sense severely challenged. The cross-dressing artist is the subject of a photo essay in February's 'Art World' magazine, in which he styled himself for a fashion shoot and then subjected him/herself to the judgement of fashion critics. His garments include a felt coat with circus prints, a chiffon smock over a satin corset with Swarovski crystal-encrusted faux breasts and male genitalia, and a quilted print romper suit. Let the commentary begin.

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

    Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

    No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
    How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

    Power of the geek Gods

    Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

    Perfect match

    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

    Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

    Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
    Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

    Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

    He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high