Arts and Entertainment

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

Thompson triumph

(First Edition)

Our brilliant year: A survey of 1993 by Alex Renton and Helen Birch

JOHN WAYNE BOBBITT, a former US marine, had his penis cut off with a kitchen knife by his wife, who drove away in her car and threw it out of the window. Mr Bobbitt, since reunited with his member by surgery, claims it is longer than before. As his wife, Lorena, awaits trial for malicious wounding, Mr Bobbitt said that next time 'I'll be careful who I pick for my girlfriends.'

CINEMA / A masterly servant

THE MESSAGE of The Remains of the Day (U) might be that manners makyth history. The genius of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, maintained by James Ivory's film, is in the way the nuances of English etiquette march stride for stride with the nation's destiny. The book's narrator, Stevens, is a 1930s butler, working for Lord Darlington of Darlington Hall. While Darlington and his magic circle of white-tied guests seek to influence British foreign policy, Stevens must magically meet their needs: a spill or breakage might alter the course of the meeting, and of Europe. It is soon clear that both master, with his honour- bound overtures to Germany, and servant, with his unquestioning devotion, are appeasers. For Stevens, this is peculiarly cruel, as he is only doing his job. A case of being at the wrong place-mat at the wrong time.

FILM / Beyond the call of duty: Adam Mars-Jones on Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in Merchant Ivory's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day

A gentlewoman in the last century, hearing that Queen Victoria would not after all be paying a visit to her country house, described it as the crowning disappointment of a disappointing life. It's a remark that could describe the experience of the butler Stevens, hero of the new Merchant Ivory film The Remains of the Day (U), written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, except that in its brevity the remark tends towards comedy, while the film in its expansiveness can only be aiming at tragedy. Tragedy, though, is more than pathos taken slow.

ARTS / Show People: Off the cuff and on the spot: 74. Josie Lawrence

WHEN HER own series was broadcast two years ago Josie Lawrence was filming in Italy. 'I remember the day it came out. I was in the airport and I looked at all the papers, and the previews were saying 'pick of the week - Josie's new show' and I thought, oh, oh, lovely.' The next day the reviews came out. 'Suddenly, crunch. Real, real vitriol, some of them. People said the most terrible things.'

Letter: Hard acts for the US to follow

DOES it really matter what America thinks about Howards End and Emma Thompson ('Your Oscar is no big deal', 28 March)? The fact that American audiences haven't recognised it as a great film and appreciated its outstanding acting is neither here nor there. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her natural acting ability and performance, whether or not she is considered 'sexy'.

Your Oscar is no big deal: Cynthia Heimel explains why Americans don't give a damn about Emma Thompson

I HATE to have to tell everybody in England this but, with very few exceptions, nobody in America cares whether Emma Thompson lives or dies.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
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?