Arts and Entertainment

From garrulous, gangrenous Jeffrey Bernard to stovepipe-hatted Sebastian Horsley, Soho’s decadents and dandies have proven an entertaining if somewhat trying tribe. Many were far less interesting than their own egos would have them believe, as you’ll know if you ever visited Soho’s notorious Colony Room, a bear pit of strawberry-nosed drunks bellowing witlessly at one another.

Suchitra Sen retired at the height of her career and became known as ‘the Indian Garbo’

Suchitra Sen: Actress who dominated the Bengali film industry for three decades before retreating into solitude

Suchitra Sen was a legendary Indian actress known for her memorable roles in both Bengali-language and Hindi Bollywood films.

Men about town: Frankie Alvarez, Murray Bartlett and Jonathon Groff in ‘Looking’

Looking: The first drama about gay men since Queer as Folk

Show has given Russell Tovey his ideal role, he tells Gerard Gilbert

Strings attached: Attendance is up but revenues are down

British orchestras are in danger of losing top billing despite rising ticket sales

Funding reductions mean our leading ensembles may have to cut back on the things that give them world status

Last year’s Super Bowl winners Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl 2014: Never mind the football, it’s the adverts that matter - and this year the pitches are stellar

A 17-second teaser trailer for the latest project by Arnold Schwarzenegger was released on YouTube last week. Unlike the ex-Governator’s most recent movies, it’s intended as comedy. Schwarzenegger appears wearing a headband and Bjorn Borg wig, poised with a paddle at one end of a ping-pong table. But in this case, the feature being previewed is not, in fact, a movie. It’s a television commercial for Bud Light beer, due to be broadcast for the first time during next Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Invisible Ink: No 208 - Jerome K Jerome

Some authors vanish in plain sight, recalled by their most successful work, which comes to define an entire career. A friend of mine has written mytho-logies, Victoriana, crime and magical realism, but publishers are unable to mention her without inserting the title of her greatest success into her name, in the way that pantomime stars are bracketed by their TV shows. Typecasting is a problem that afflicts most successful writers.

Channel 4's new 'Big Ballet': Defying ballet’s body politics

Holly Williams reports on a new Channel 4 show giving a leg-up to plus-sized dancers

Christopher Beanland: Architecture attack - what’s with our appetite for destruction?

If you went to the National Gallery and tore up a Titian, you’d be arrested. But what about blowing up a historic building which has defined a place and its people; a building in which sweet nothings have been uttered and lives altered? Go for it! It’s strange how our attitudes to destroying art and destroying architecture are so different.

Book review: "The Crooked Maid" by Dan Vyleta

Viennese noir... with red tinges

Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games

Book of the week: Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games

Britain may be minnows when it comes to winter sports, but we did invent modern sledding, and we’ve had our moments in figure skating too. Indeed, as this book reminds us, figure skating first appeared on the Olympic schedule in London in 1908.

Postcard from... Paris

Album reviews: John Sheppard, Max Richter, Les Vents Francais

John Sheppard "Sacred Choral Music" (Delphian)

Thirsty at thirty? The Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance Film Festival is 30 years old. But is it the cultural force it once was?

Grace Dent on TV: The Musketeers, BBC1

I was all for switching off as the bawdy band of brothers fired blanks

DVD and Blu-ray reviews: The Selfish Giant, Rush, In A World..., The Call, A Belfast Story

The Selfish Giant (15) Clio Barnard DVD/Blu-ray (91mins)

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?