Gillian Orr

Gillian Orr writes about the arts for The Independent.

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Hedonistic hideout: Shangri-La is the destination for serious partygoers once the final bow has been taken on the Pyramid Stage

Glastonbury 2014: Shangri-La is part art installation, part rave, and totally hedonistic

Lady Gaga has played there, and Mick Jagger has partied there. Its creator Debs Armstrong tells Gillian Orr how the neon-lit pleasuredomes come into being - and what she hates about the festival-goers who come to get high
Teenage kicks: a scene from 'The Fault in Our Stars', the latest Young Adult publishing success story

Is popular teen fiction like The Fault in our Stars wasted on young readers?

The Fault in our Stars is the bestselling book of the year so far, proving that Young Adult fiction is also read by those old enough to know better

Portfolio: Sergei Produkin-Gorsky provides a record of life before fall of Romanov dynasty

As ruler of the largest single territory in the world at the time, it was impossible for Tsar Nicholas II to travel the extent of Russia, which at the turn of the 20th century extended from Finland to Turkestan, and from Poland to Siberia.

Blyton shock: Biddy Baxter (pictured centre with her fellow Blue Peter presenters) was heartbroken to receive two identical letters from her idol

Have you ever written fan mail to a favourite author? From Enid Blyton to JD Salinger, these readers were surprised by the response...

Two recent stories have shed light on the way in which fan letters are handled

Portfolio: Alessandro Gandolfi's images of teenage girls who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline

Among the growing band of surfers who ride the waves along Gaza's 25 miles of Mediterranean coastline, you'll find a rather curious sight: a small group of teenage girls on boards.

A stripper (not 'Tony') entertains a hen do in London
A bite of the action: A peddler sells snacks at one of the entrances to the Santa Marta ‘favela’ (shantytown) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Away from fast food fare of World Cup stadiums, Brazilian cuisine is delicious and diverse

From feijoada to caprinhas, Gillian Orr offers up a taste of the nation
Slenderman was crafted as a lanky man, with a featureless face, sometimes with tentacles protruding from his back, who would stalk and abduct children before murdering them in the woods

Slender Man: Horror character may have led two teenage girls to brutally stab a classmate. But who - or what - is he?

Until this week, Slender Man was known only to internet horror fans who would write stories about him and share his legend. But his tale took a sinister turn after it was revealed that two Wisconsin schoolgirls had allegedly stabbed a classmate because they wanted to please the mythological character

Portfolio: Nebraskan-born engineer Dr Harold Edgerton photographed motion that was too fast to be captured with traditional methods

Dr Harold Edgerton led the sort of life that lends itself to a Hollywood biopic. During his illustrious career the MIT professor, who died in 1990 at the age of 86, made advances in night aerial photography that was used during the Second World War, photographed nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s, and used radar to help illuminate the ocean floors for Jacques Cousteau.

Metronomy and Pixies are already confirmed to perform at Field Day 2014

Field Day 2014: Who are the hip new kids on the block?

New bands often emerge at the hip festival and this year is no exception

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'