Arts and Entertainment
 

They're the stealthy elite squad who killed Bin Laden, but now a team of real US Navy Seals have stepped out of the shadows to star in a movie

Book Of A Lifetime: The Black Dahlia, By James Ellroy

As a reader I define a book as "great" if I'm still thinking about it long after I've finished it. As a writer, I'm tougher. A great book is one that makes me re-evaluate what I'm doing, dig deeper, try harder, raise my own bar. But James Ellroy's 'The Black Dahlia' was something else entirely, far more than just a great book. It changed my life.

Rose Byrne - A Rose that grew in the shade

After many bit-part roles in big movies, Rose Byrne tells James Mottram what it's like in the spotlight

Actor Hartnett wins payout over sex claims

Hollywood actor Josh Hartnett accepted £20,000 libel damages today over newspaper allegations that he indulged in "steamy shenanigans" with a mystery woman at a London hotel and that they were caught on CCTV.

David Lister: They should put the Bard on the box

Political leaders tend not to speak about the arts. I'm not sure why. Perhaps they fear it looks a little "soft" or peripheral to the "big issues". Whatever the reason, they certainly give the subject a wide berth. We've been bombarded with Barack Obama's collected speeches and philosophy, but I defy anyone to give me chapter and verse on his cultural policy. I'm not sure that I know where Gordon Brown stands on cultural issues either.

Tobacco firms target teenage girls with 'super slim' products cigarettes

Charities accuse companies of exploiting young women's fears about weight

Pandora: Simpson fears for the future of the BBC

Barely two months after Sir Terry Wogan claimed the BBC was no longer the world's best broadcaster, the corporation is facing what amounts to a vote of no confidence from one of the most respected voices in its news department.

Rain man, Apollo Theatre, London

You'd get a poor idea of the possibilities of theatre as an art form from the movie star Josh Hartnett's dull, undistinguished performance. It's his co-star, Adam Godley, who shows you what real acting is in this production, slickly and skilfully directed by Terry Johnson.

Sweet and Low: Ken Loach

One of the director's of '11'09''01 - September 11' chooses his best and worst scenes of all time

Film Review: How the West was lost

The Big Picture

Cinema: The horror! The horror!

The Faculty (15)

The Independent Recommends: Theatre

YOU CAN see why Conor Lovett has been compared to the likes of Eddie Izzard and Ardal O'Hanlon, as well as great Samuel Beckett (below) interpreters such as Patrick McGee and Barry McGovern. Lovett delivers extracts from the 1951 novel Molloy with a beautiful haziness which perfectly accommodates the absurd one-liners, the coarse gallows humour and speculative riddling of this lost soul, hobbling his way to his old ma, "whose charity kept me dying".

Review: Theatre

TAMASHA THEATRE'S 14 Songs, Two Weddings and a Funeral is a bold attempt by the company to provide a small-scale staging of the 1994 Bollywood blockbuster Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!, a film so popular it played for a year in London. It's the all-smiles performances from the fresh-faced cast, lipsynching to saccharine anglicised tracks, which keep you engaged with the soapy, matrimony-fixated action.

Theatre: Surfing the moral sewer

THE BLACK DAHLIA DERBY PLAYHOUSE

Theatre Curtain Calls

Awards committees do sometimes get it right. A cheer went up at Barclays Theatre Awards last week when Bryony Lavery's astonish- ingly powerful and deeply moving Frozen won Best Play. Similar pleasure was induced by the Best Actor, Kevin Spacey, whose witty acceptance speech for his towering performance in The Iceman Cometh was filmed (appropriately enough) in a bar.

Cinema: An old trick, and no treat

Halloween H2O: Twenty Years Later 18
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick