Arts and Entertainment

Gary Barlow has expressed his bewilderment after another of his acts was axed from The X Factor last night.

Film: The Big Picture: Flintlock and two smoking barrels


Going Out: film the mask of zorro (pg)

The Mask of Zorro (above) is refreshing after a summer dominated by soulless, special-effects-driven blockbusters. In this sweeping, gleefully old-fashioned swashbuckler, the actors and the stunt artistes are the stars, not the backroom boys and their computers. A dignified Anthony Hopkins and a spirited Antonio Banderas are the ageing Zorro, masked defender of the oppressed, and the Mexican outlaw he moulds into his successor respectively. And in a star-making turn, Catherine Zeta Jones plays the film's sultry heroine, whose encounter with Banderas in a stable combines swordplay with seduction. Martin Campbell (Goldeneye), meanwhile, directs with a sure hand, only indulging in overkill (and arguably contextually dubious imagery) at the end. Under his deft guidance, a much-loved hero is thrillingly reborn.

Scotland's big adventure

Suddenly, it's not risible to wear Highland dress - it's a vibrant expression of the mood of a nation feeling at one with itself

Bond business makes a killing out of Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan has been confirmed as the most profitable ever James Bond after his new film Tommorow Never Dies topped ticket sales of $140m (pounds 84m) world-wide since opening 10 days ago.

Where angels fear to tread

He'll never play the chisel-jawed leading man but Alan Cumming has a misfit's charm, a sideline in writing, an Olivier... and the gall to accept a big part in the new Spice Girls film.

People thought Stephen Unwin was mad to move to Crewe. They don't think so now

"A few years ago I had a show on at the Royal Court Upstairs, and I remember thinking, I know everybody in the audience here," says Stephen Unwin who, shortly after that experience, took over the ailing, Crewe-based touring company Century Theatre in 1993. "People thought I was mad," he admits with an ill-concealed glint of triumph. His company, refashioned and re-named English Touring Theatre, has been raking in the plaudits ever since.

box-office charts


Who checks the plug on our TV?

Product placement in movies is an old story, but it's still banned on British television. Or is it? Meg Carter reports

To: Albert Cubby Broccoli Producer of: 'Goldeneye' From: Admiral Sir Miles Messervy RN (Retd) Ref: Cdr. James Bond (007)

Without wishing to disparage the valiant and patriotic efforts of my successors to the post of "M", I feel that this latest effort of yours, to wit Goldeneye, serves mainly as a reminder of a phrase once dropped into the public consciousness by a Miss Carly Simon, that "nobody does it better".

buy me: Bond watch

Question: How does a secret agent tell the time?


You know the name... you know the number... Yes, that most famous secret service agent is back, and to celebrate the launch of Talking Pages' Hotline to the Movies (0800 600 900), they are offering you the chance to be among the first to see this latest Bond adventure. To mark the launch, Talking Pages are sponsoring the celebrity premiere of Goldeneye, starring Pierce Brosnan (above), at the Odeon Leicester Square on 22 November.

Never mind the quality, feel the pitch

The new Bond film is four weeks away, but already the publicity machine has hit top gear. For, as the people in P&A know, you want good word-of-mouth before the movie opens and ruins it all. By Beth Porter

One hundred years of exhilaration


RLS and the lore of an ass : THE CRITICS : Radio

IN FRANCE, towards the end of 1878, Robert Louis Stevenson acquired a small donkey called Modestine. With her, he wrote, invoking the Psalms, he would set off on his travels "out of which if I do not make a book, may my right hand lose its cunning ". Travels with a Donkey was the famous result, but Stevenson was already the author of at least 600 letters. Alan Cumming has been Reading Aloud (R4) tiny selections of them, written in the 18 months before the purchase of Modestine: they are a joy.

Theatre / Willkommen: Robert Hanks and Edward Seckerson on the London revival of Cabaret

It's faintly disturbing to be told, on entering the Donmar, that you can take plastic glasses only into the auditorium, and then to find that the night-club style tables have all been screwed to the floor. I mean, are they expecting trouble here?
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions