The Diary: Neil Hamburger; Louis Molloy; Brunel Institute; Atkinson Grimshaw; Bobby Baker

A show to relish

Fresh from Edinburgh, America's "$1 funny man" Neil Hamburger will be at London's Soho Theatre next week. A cult hero and expert handler of the anti-comedy shtick, the character is the creation of comedian Gregg Turkington (although nobody's supposed to know this). Hamburger, with his studiedly nerdy garb, deadpan nasal delivery and sinus trouble, puts the "phlegm" into "phlegmatic", wheezing and spluttering through his set. Rather than get too close, I caught up with Hamburger for a Twitter interview and found that his so-unfunny-he's-hilarious style works surprisingly well in 140 characters. In response to the suggestion that being a $1 funny man might be rather cheap, he tweeted: "It didn't used to be! Unfortunately, inflation has taken its toll on everything including monikers."

Click here to read the full Twinterview

Under the city's skin

Tattooist to the stars Louis Molloy should have been celebrating a crucial inroad for tattoos into the mainstream art world this week at the opening of an exhibition of his ink designs at the Generation Pop gallery in Manchester. But when thugs kicked in the windows of the space during the riots last week, the show was called off just two days before it was due to open. "In the media, tattoos are shorthand for criminals," says Molly, who created the angel motif on David Beckham's torso. "Newspaper reports go 'Blah blah blah tattooed thug, rapist... whatever." Dr Harold Shipman was biggest serial killer this country has ever known and he wasn't tattooed. What does that tell you?" It is a shame that an exhibition which would have countered this narrow view of body art, fell victim to mindless criminality. The gallery will be closed for repairs and the show will eventually open in late September.

Precious kingdom

Not since Shakespeare for Lunch at the Bridewell Theatre (45 minute plays at 1pm) two years ago have I heard of a cultural experience designed specifically for workers to dash to in their hourly lunch break. So it is refreshing that the Brunel Institute beside Brunel's SS Great Britain in Bristol is making treasures from the life and works of the British civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel available to the public at lunchtimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The one hour time limit is "to ensure that no long-term damage is done to the precious artefacts" from the National Brunel Archive. These range from early stereoview photographs to Brunel's locked diaries and drawings. Curators will be on hand to give historical insights and say they will take a "lucky dip" approach to what will be on display on each day, so every session will be different. Manned by a mixture of employees and volunteers, it is a great example of an arts institution defying budget constraints to do something new.

Moonlight mile

The Square Mile will host the first major Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893) exhibition in 30 years next month. Typified by his pre-Raphaelite-style townscapes, Grimshaw's distinctive nocturnal street scenes captured the hazy green beauty of Victorian cities by gaslight. In the last decade revived interest has been shown in his British contemporaries, such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, but Grimshaw seems to have been wrongly overlooked. An exhibition titled Moonlight aims to redress. It features 50 paintings and takes place in the evocative setting of Guildhall Art Gallery and London's Roman Amphitheatre. Special late views will include the option of "moonbeam" cocktails.

Soul kitchen

It's great when you can leave a theatre with that "feel-good factor". But the artist Bobby Baker wants to take this a little bit further by launching a "wellness road show" called Mad Gyms & Kitchens. Inspired by her experiences of mental illness, the show will use a series of large suitcases by the sculptor Charlie Whittuck, which open up to become a kitchen, gym and living room within which Baker will demonstrate the art of feeling better. The tour, which kicks off at Bath's Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts in October, will even include that age-old answer to the blues: a cup of tea.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis' movie take on The Jungle Book

film
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Calvin Harris performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Music
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.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home