The Diary: Shazia Mirza; Jo Wood; Serpentine Gallery; V&A; Women's Institute; Festival Brazil

Breathing room

Virginia Woolf isn't the only woman to have felt a pressing need for a room of her own. The comedian Shazia Mirza has been denied this over the past few years at the Edinburgh Fringe, and has instead found herself sharing a flat with a bunch of waifs and strays. "Every year, whenever I've gone up, I've had someone sleeping in my living room. One year, I woke up to find someone sleeping in my wardrobe, another year there was someone in the bathtub." The infestation of festival-goer friends looking for a roof for the night has become so severe that she has rented her very own one-bedroom flat, in central Edinburgh, for her month- long stay from 4 August, the day she starts her new show, Multiple Choice. "I didn't care how much it cost, I just knew I had to wake up alone." Meanwhile, she is performing in Amsterdam this weekend, she tells me, and will adapt the cultural elements in her show to fit, as she does wherever she goes. When she's in Britain, she peppers the act with references to her Asian heritage; in America, she is often mistaken for being Mexican, so that goes into her act. "When I got mistaken for a Mexican, people kept speaking to me in Mexican and they put me on a Mexican show, where the whole audience was also Mexican. They hated me when they found out I was English!" Just as long as she's not mistaken for a Spaniard this weekend. Those still-smarting Dutch football fans might not see the funny side.

A single woman

What is a fifty-something woman who finds herself unexpectedly single to do? Jo Wood is taking herself off on a pilgrimage to Kathmandu, she tells me. "I'm going there with a mystic," she says, with a bright smile. The idea came to her after her 31 years of marriage to the Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood came to an abrupt end. She found herself watching a television programme about a journey into the Nepalese city and became inspired. Being single now, after decades of marriage, is a refreshing experience, she adds. "Until now, I'd never really been single. I feel I can do things I really want to do without having to consult anyone."

More nights at the museum

Tate Modern started it, some years ago, when it invited the public into the vast expanse of the Turbine Hall to sleep the night. Now the Serpentine Gallery and the V&A are to stage their very own sleepovers, featuring talks, films, music and a midnight feast. The event starts at the V&A and continues inside the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion nearby, the site of much carousing at the gallery's summer party last week. The Serpentine's Sleepover, which takes place on 30 and 31 July, will include artists, architects, musicians, psychologists, scientists and activities throughout the night in an experiment to map sleep and sleeplessness. Insomnia experts will give lectures, too (long ones, perhaps designed to send you to sleep). "The psychedelic qualities of insomnia and the productive potential of alternative sleep states will be investigated," says the gallery. Sounds like fun.

Perfect harmony

The Women's Institute is searching for singers for a £1m record deal with Universal Records, the label that houses Cheryl Cole and the Sugababes. The search, which comes to an end in September, will take the form of an X-Factor-style singing competition. The five winning women will become The Harmonies, having been hand-picked from the 205,000 members. Meanwhile, a bunch of pensioners from Chelsea have brought out their first album. The group, called Chelsea Pensioners, is made up of – as their name would suggest – seven Chelsea pensioners, with a combined age of 550 years.

A Silva lining

Youngsters from Stockwell Park Estate and the Pereira da Silva favela in Rio de Janeiro have got together to build a miniature favela at London's Southbank Centre as part of Festival Brazil. It will be unveiled tomorrow. Just like the Rio favelas, Stockwell Park Estate's community centre and residents have been wrongly tarred with a reputation for drug-related crime and poverty. Project Morrinho, as it is called, is seeking to put that right.

Arts and Entertainment

photography
Arts and Entertainment
Adolf Hitler's 1914 watercolour 'Altes Rathaus' and the original invoice from 1916

art
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tvThe two new contestants will join the 'I'm A Celebrity' camp after Gemma Collins' surprise exit
News
The late Jimmy Ruffin, pictured in 1974
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Northern Uproar, pictured in 1996
people

Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the new Paddington bear review

Review: Paddingtonfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Tony stares at the 'Daddy Big Ears' drawing his abducted son Oliver drew for him in The Missing
tvReview: But we're no closer to the truth in 'The Missing'
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
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.

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible