Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.
I finally "got" Wes Anderson the other day. Which is not to say that I hadn't "got" him before – in the sense of liking his work and always being willing to substitute his vision of the world for mine for an hour or two. Though I'm not very fond of fey art-house whimsy (see references to Miranda July passim), there has always been something about.
The family of Roald Dahl has been forced to backtrack on a fundraising campaign designed to rescue the hut in which the author wrote his tales.
His children's books have sold 60 million copies, generating a merchandise industry and Hollywood adaptations. But an appeal for £500,000 to restore Roald Dahl's garden shed has proved a plot twist too fantastical.
Catch the last three dates in Birmingham Hippodromes's Six Summer Saturdays free programme of city-centre events, which runs until 13 August. Performances include street theatre, interactive brass bands, circus acts and acrobatics, as well as comedy and upside down painting (sixsummersaturdays.com).
Top marks for the gifted schoolgirl
With their tiny heroes and cruel villains, books by Roald Dahl never date
His musical of Roald Dahl's 'Matilda' for the RSC opens one night, his UK arena comedy stand-up tour the next. Is it any wonder Tim Minchin is going ape?
It sounds unlikely, but the late children's author Roald Dahl once received a death threat, according to his daughter, Lucy. She recalls returning from the theatre to her childhood home in Oxfordshire with her father, when her brother Theo picked up the anonymous, threatening phone call. Her father called the police immediately, but treated it "like a game", so as not to scare his children. "I really have no idea or recollection of its source. I do not remember being frightened," she adds. Speaking about the annual Roald Dahl Funny Prize, whose winners this year were Louise Rennison and Louise Yates, Dahl also revealed that she is working on a TV show, Nuclear Family, to be produced by NBC and Working Title, which will be based on her experiences as a mother of seven at the age of 32 (her husband had five children and she had two). "I got the idea when I was going through my stepson's backpack one day. It's a truthful, modern-day version of The Brady Bunch." It will include sex, drugs and plenty of teen spirit.
A new biography of Roald Dahl throws light on the private life of one of our best-loved writers. But why are so many children's authors such damaged human beings?
Patricia Neal's career started on a high and she won an Oscar for Hud. Later, despite being buffeted by tragedies, including failed love affairs, the death of a young daughter, a nervous breakdown and a series of strokes, she repeatedly returned to the screen – and set up a world-class facility for the care of stroke victims
An affair with Gary Cooper and an abortion; a 30-year marriage to Roald Dahl culminating in the author's two-timing with her friend; three strokes, a three-week coma and enough chutzpah to compete with any of the malcontent men sharing her on- and off-screen lives. If anything epitomised the orbit of the actress Patricia Neal, who has died aged 84, it was that her real existence matched anything she performed in front of the camera.
It's August, school's out – but the sun might not be. There's a lot to see and do, but arts for children needn't be childish. Alice Jones and Miranda Kiek pick the best fare for the younger culture vulture
With the industry in a pickle, Paddington Bear has been enlisted as the face of the fruit preserve
Wes Anderson, like precocious contemporary Spike Jonze, has never equalled his delightfully droll early work.
I became a member of Jack White's Third Man Records' 7-inch vinyl record singles club, which I thought was a great idea. I particularly like Dan Sartain, who is signed to the label. I also love Sweet Billy Pilgrim's album 'Twice Born Men'. It has been a while since I've played a record over and over again like this.
Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum have secretly married.