The Diary: Juliet and her Romeo; The Blind Side; Popstar to Opera Star; Josie Long; Bill Drummond

Time to choose your Romeo

Theatre-goers can't move for star-cross'd lovers this spring. These days, though, it's not enough merely to stage the greatest romantic tragedy of them all: you need an angle. First up is Colchester's Mercury Theatre production, in which the seven-piece Astillero Tango Orchestra from Buenos Aires are putting their sultry stamp on the action. Then in Bristol next month comes "Juliet and her Romeo", a radically reconfigured romance in which the lovers are not callow, starry-eyed youths but octogenarians (played by Siân Phillips and Michael Byrne) whose children (rather than parents) are trying to prevent their nuptials. Hot on its heels comes the RSC, with 30-somethings Sam Troughton and Mariah Gale in the leads and "Enron" director Rupert Goold at the helm. Details on the production are being kept under wraps though, judging by the whizz-bangery of Goold's "Macbeth", this will be no pedestrian passion. "There's a lot of fire in the production", confirms a spokesperson, cryptically.

Bullock pitches in

Sandra Bullock is being tipped for Oscar glory for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side", out on 26th March. Lightly cheesy, heavily Republican but mostly enjoyable, the film is the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager who was adopted by the wealthy Tuohys and became a star American footballer. Bullock is clearly deserving of the prize but her pitch-perfect performance came at a price. "She hounded me," said the real Leigh Anne Tuohy. "She called me and said, 'Say "Leigh Anne" 30 times,' and I'm thinking, 'Didn't you get it the first dozen?'"

Jenkins' ear. War?

ITV's "Popstar to Opera Star" had its finale last week but one judge didn't agree with the result. "I thought Bernie [Nolan] would win, says Katherine Jenkins. "She was vocally stronger but Darius [Campbell] had more performance. I thought Bernie had the edge." The multi-million-selling singer also said that she enjoyed learning from her co-judge, world-class tenor Rolando Villazon. "Often I'd forget that we were mentoring. I'd feel like I was having the singing lesson! The person I thought he was and the person he is couldn't be further apart. He's hysterical."

It's a Long way to get it ready

To the Hen and Chickens in North London for a sneaky peek at Josie Long's work-in-progress – working title "Be Honourable!". "Though my friends tell me that's a bit preachy...", says the stand-up comedian, who won the Best Newcomer award at the Fringe in 2006. She didn't take a show to Edinburgh last year making this new hour all the more eagerly awaited. Much of the show is about what Long has done with her "spare" year: she's been on a diet, got a boyfriend, moved to Hackney, visited India and, in an effort to become a better person, joined Food Not Bombs, which collects waste food and redistributes it to the poor. Apart from that, there's heaps of the customary Long charm, including a guide to her favourite website (365 Breakfasts) and a sketch-book full of her doodles. One to watch.

Another little piece of his art

He has burned a million pounds and set up a choir which has more than 1,500 singers and no audience. Now Bill "KLF" Drummond is trying his hand as an conceptual artist/ dealer. In 1995 the musician bought "A Smell of Sulphur in the Wind", a Richard Long work, for $20,000. Five years later he tried to sell it by advertising it on billboards. When that didn't work, he cut the work into 20,000 pieces and sold the fragments for $1 a time. The last few pieces will be flogged off, appropriately, at London's Affordable Art Fair next month. The project is, says Drummond, "an attempt to re-engage with the work". Either that or he's regretting torching that million.

Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
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.

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot