The Diary: The Godfather; How The Light Gets In; dream think speak; Venice Biennale; Samantha Womack

More respect is due

The Corleone family just keeps growing. The latest addition to the clan is a prequel novel, to be published by William Heinemann in July 2012. The Family Corleone will be set in Depression-era New York and will follow the young Vito Corleone's rise to power. Since The Godfather author Mario Puzo died in 1999, his estate has approved two literary sequels, both by Mark Winegardner. This time, Ed Falco, Professor of English at Virginia Tech, has been hired to write the hit, based on Puzo's unproduced screenplay for The Godfather IV. "The novel is largely set as Prohibition is coming to an end. I explore some issues that haven't been explored. Neither of the movies really explain much about Luca Brasi, about why he's so loyal to Vito and so feared by others," says Falco on his university website. "There's one big surprise, but I can't tell." There's also a beefed-up role for Carmela "Mama" Corleone. Perhaps Falco is taking after the Mob and looking out for family. His niece is Edie Falco, who won three Emmys as small-screen moll Carmela Soprano. She would be perfect casting should Francis Ford Coppola decide to film the prequel. But who would take on the mantle of Marlon Brando as the young Don? Might we soon see Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp duelling over the rights?

Festival trouble

The debates haven't even started but HowTheLightGetsIn is already riling the crowds. Ukip and the English Defence League are threatening to march on the philosophy festival, which kicks off in Hay on 26 May, to protest against appearance in two debates of Anjem Choudary. The controversial Islamist and advocate of Sharia Law is slated to appear in "When Women Rule the World" and a debate about terror as a tool of war. Local Ukip candidate, Christine Williams, has called for his invitation to be withdrawn. "This man, who praises terrorists and calls for the murder of British servicemen, should not be given a spotlight. His views are vile and he is a disgrace." In response the Festival Director Hilary Lawson said, "We do not endorse the views of any of our speakers. We have not given Anjem Choudary a platform to present his views unchallenged... And we encourage those who regard his views as beyond the pale to come and express their opinion and make their case." With or without placards.

Still thinking big

Their mesmerising Before I Sleep, a site-specific Cherry Orchard set over four floors of a disused department store was the highlight of last year's Brighton Festival. Now dreamthinkspeak are preparing for a London show. In the Beginning Was the End will open at Somerset House in November and is inspired by the apocalypse and Leonardo da Vinci's A Cloudburst of Material Possessions, "a drawing that depicts a bank of clouds out of which a multitude of material objects are falling". Their last residency in the building was Don't Look Back, a spooky promenade around its forgotten stairwells and corridors, in 2004. Meanwhile, if you missed it in Brighton, Before I Sleep is moving into an unoccupied office block in Amsterdam next month for the Holland Festival.

Sinking feeling

A month ago, I wrote about the Benetton family's plans to show graffiti artists in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi during the Venice Biennale. Now the project has been postponed, while Rem Koolhaas' renovation of the 16th-century building into a culture/ shopping centre is completed. "This is a very large historic building and has been unoccupied for many years," said a Benetton spokesman. "Due to its condition, we were unable to finish the modifications necessary to ensure the safety of the crowds." Perhaps they discovered that it's sinking.

EastEnders star returns to acting

Samantha Womack is gearing up to play the female lead in South Pacific at London's Barbican this summer, her first major role since leaving EastEnders. The actress resigned from the soap in January over a harrowing storyline, which saw her character lose her baby to cot death, stating that she "couldn't stop crying" during filming and "felt ill" playing the part. It's to be hoped she's developed a stronger stomach since then. As Nellie Forbush, she'll have tackle heartbreak, war, death and racism – singing and dancing the whole way through.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus brought her Bangerz tour to London's O2 Arena last night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis