English National Opera's beards smell 'like wet dog'

Take hair from the belly of a yak, wrap it in tissue, wind it around wooden dowelling, secure it with cotton and string, and boil for two to three hours. Before you reach for Heston's cookbook, this is not the latest culinary fad but English National Opera's recipe for curling facial hair. "It smells like wet dog," says Vanessa Davis, wigs and make-up supervisor at ENO."Whenever we do it, everyone complains."

Caligula, Coliseum, London

English National Opera does a good hatchet job on an updated bully, but it is the bliss of new generation music-making that resonates

Master and God, By Lindsey Davis

For the background to this novel, Lindsey Davis picks up on Suetonius's biography of the Roman emperor Domitian, as well as more recent histories. Suetonius's dramatic account of Domitian is perhaps now unfashionable, but his spindly-legged madman stabbing flies with a pen is far more fun than the rather swotty legislator of modern scholarship.

Britney Spears sex tape offered for sale

Britney Spears’ transformation from troubled starlet to credible pop icon took something of a detour today, with news that her ex-boyfriend is offering to sell a sex tape.

Making a scene: Is the BBC drama department obsessed with costumes,

Ever since Mr Darcy emerged from that icy pool, dripping wet, it has been a truth universally acknowledged that the BBC's forte is retelling the classics for Sunday evening audiences, a reputation bolstered by recent successes with Cranford, Bleak House, and Lark Rise to Candleford. It follows then that almost anyone asked which programme they think best defines BBC drama will, to a man, plump for a lavish costume piece adorned with the wigs, jewels, carriages and vast country houses expected of period drama.

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