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What’s their beef? Why today’s leading men are driven to be buff

Aidan Turner’s Poldark has ushered in a new age of brawn, but many are asking if the trend has gone too farModern screen heroes come in many guises, but whether a leading man is cast as a mathematician, a surgeon or a scientist, the likelihood is that, once the shirt comes off, he will be equipped with both a firm abdomen and bulbous biceps.A new appetite for leading men who, whether or not they are playing professional athletes, appear to spend half the week in the gym is now concerning even es...
Tags: Health, Film, Life and style, Society, Body Image, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Stage, Acting, Aidan Turner, Poldark, Tom Brittney

Drama out of crisis: how theatre and improv teach lessons in sexual consent

Exploring consent issues through interactive drama and comedy can effect lasting change, whether tackling violence against sex workers in Africa, sex education in South America or abuse in UK schoolsA man in police uniform walks into a bar and corners a sex worker. He offers her a choice between giving up her body or her money – but she has no money. He pulls her away into a back room.This scene happens twice in Lilongwe, Malawi. The first time is at night, with no sober witnesses. Months later,...
Tags: Health, UK, London, Education, Wales, Prostitution, Africa, Women, Theatre, Life and style, Communities, Society, UK News, World news, Culture, Stage

Optimism v pessimism in 2017: the comedian and the psychologist debate

Liam Williams quit standup fearing his pessimissm about the state of the planet was making audiences worryingly apathetic. But is a sunny outlook really any healthier? We sat him down for a session with psychologist Philippa PerryMore uplifting culture for 2017One day last year, Liam Williams locked himself out and tried to climb in through his bedroom window. “I’d done it before very skilfully when drunk,” he says, “but this time I was hungover, so I guess I had that reduced inhibition, but not...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Comedy, London, Neuroscience, Society, World news, Culture, Williams, Stage, Liam Williams, Perry, Eeyore, Liam, Philippa Perry, Micawber

‘It’s set in the trenches but it’s not a war film’

Producers of new version of Journey’s End want audiences to see human side of conflictWhen Journey’s End, RC Sherriff’s powerful play about the first world war, was first staged in 1928, huge numbers of women went to see it. The author once observed that they recognised sons, brothers or husbands, many of whom never returned home: “The play made it possible for them to journey into the trenches and share the lives that their men had led.”Now British film-makers are producing a version of the har...
Tags: Film, Theatre, Society, UK News, World news, Mental Health, Culture, First World War, Stage, War films, Paul Bettany, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Sherriff, Toby Jones

Why don’t we grieve for extinct species?

We have no rituals for coping with extinction, ecological destruction or environmental loss. And that’s a problem. Now, an impassioned group of artists and activists are trying to create them. In early 2010, artist, activist and mother, Persephone Pearl, headed to the Bristol Museum. Like many concerned about the fate of the planet, she was in despair over the failed climate talks in Copenhagen that winter. She sat on a bench and looked at a stuffed animal behind glass: a thylacine. Before then,...
Tags: Psychology, Animals, Environment, Theatre, UK News, World news, Australia news, Culture, Wildlife, Stage, Copenhagen

FGM survivors on Cuttin' It: 'I remember that smell of disinfectant too'

Cuttin’ It is a play about British Somali girls and female genital mutilation. Three women who have been cut give their verdicts• Cuttin’ It – streetwise drama evolves into fierce FGM statementHibo Wardere, author of Cut: One Woman’s Fight Against FGM in Britain Today Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Women, Theatre, Society, Culture, Britain, Health & wellbeing, Stage, Royal Court theatre, Fgm

A must-read book? Go on, make me

Faced with rave reviews of musicals, films, books and plays, why does Oliver Burkeman run a mile?Somewhere around the 500th headline I read in praise of Hamilton, the universally acclaimed Broadway musical due in Europe next year, I was struck by a deflating thought: I’ll probably never see it. Not just because it’s virtually impossible to get a ticket, but because so many people – people whose tastes I trust – have raved about it that I now regard the prospect with annoyance. Two years ago, it ...
Tags: Psychology, Europe, Books, Film, Theatre, Life and style, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Stage, Broadway, Mark Twain, Richard Linklater, Donald Trump, Boyhood, Hamilton, Elena Ferrante

Kim Cattrall on her battle with insomnia: 'I was in a void'

Former Sex and the City actor describes debilitating condition that forced her to quit starring role on London stage last yearThe former Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall has spoken of her struggle with the “tsunami” of chronic insomnia that forced her out of a starring role on the London stage. Related: Kim Cattrall pulls out of London play on doctors' advice Continue reading...
Tags: Health, London, Sleep, Women, Theatre, Life and style, Society, UK News, Culture, Health & wellbeing, Stage, Kim Cattrall

Blue/Orange review – an argument still worth hearing

Young Vic, LondonJoe Penhall’s dissection of racism and mental health in modern Britain is still compelling, thanks in part to an outstanding central performanceBlue/Orange does not startle as it did 15 years ago. But Joe Penhall’s arguments about racism and psychiatry are still rousing. And Matthew Xia’s production elicits a memorable performance from David Haig – supercilious and sweating – and an outstanding performance from Daniel Kaluuya.Fifteen years ago Chiwetel Ejiofor put his stamp on t...
Tags: Health, Theatre, Society, World news, Mental Health, Culture, Britain, Race issues, Stage, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Young Vic, Matthew Xia, Joe Penhall, David Haig

Hearing and Lady Problems

Normally, the gaffer is the head of the lighting department, but on shows with anything more than a passing resemblance to theater (operas, concerts, ice shows, ballroom dancing), there will also be a lighting designer, who is responsible for the theatrical lighting. Anything that’s part of what would be the theater rig falls under the authority […]
Tags: Health, Work, Television, Women, Theatre, Los Angeles, Production, Dance, Filmmaking, Stage, Theater, Performance, Locations, Mishaps

IVF: 'It’s overwhelming and shocking at every single turn'

Infertility treatment had an enormous effect on Gareth Farr and Gabby Vautier and their relationship. The experience inspired him to write a play about the highs and lows of itHere’s something we all understand about conception: it’s a private thing. So what was most difficult about in vitro fertilisation (IVF), says Gareth Farr, was juggling issues around conceiving a baby in the midst of a busy working life – but when no one else knew what was going on. “I’d be in a meeting or teaching a class...
Tags: Health, Family, London, Theatre, Life and style, Society, Culture, Britain, Stage, Parents and parenting, Ivf, Birmingham, Fertility problems, Gareth, Gabby

Blue/Orange review – Joe Penhall peels tricky issues of mental heath and race

Young Vic, London With tremendous performances from Daniel Kaluuya, David Haig and Luke Norris, Penhall’s drama packs even more of a punch 16 years after its debutJunior doctors are in the news at the moment for their confrontation with government. Joe Penhall’s terrific play, first seen 16 years ago, reminds us they may also be locked in fierce battles with senior consultants. The big issue is whether Christopher, a young black guy who believes that oranges are blue and Idi Amin is his father, ...
Tags: Health, Theatre, Society, Culture, Britain, NHS, Stage, Idi Amin, Robert, Bruce, Christopher, Joe Penhall

Sheridan Smith pulls out of Funny Girl for up to a month because of stress

Star of West End show taking two- to four-week leave of absence due to stress and exhaustion, producers saySheridan Smith is to miss up to a month of performances as Fanny Brice in her West End show Funny Girl due to stress and exhaustion. Related: Sheridan Smith's Funny Girl is a masterclass in musical comedy Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Television, Theatre, Society, UK News, Mental Health, Culture, Television & radio, Stage, Smith, Sheridan Smith, Fanny Brice

Trump on road to nomination as Cruz exits Republican race

Bernie Sanders manages a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in Indiana primary, while Detroit teachers’ ‘sickout’ continues Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Europe, Music, Hbo, Technology, Media, Instagram, Republicans, Dogs, California, Animals, Pets, Environment, Americas, Football, Water

On the pulse: a chef, a football manager and a TV star track their heart rates

What does a stressful job do to you? We asked Sam Allardyce, Kirsty Wark, Angela Hartnett and others to wear a heart rate monitor for a day to find outSecret office diariesInside the UK’s wackiest officesOverwhelmed: 10 ways to feel less busyMeet the man with 20 jobsTim Dowling’s office buzzword quizSam Allardyce, 61, is a former footballer and now manages Sunderland. He divides his time between the north-east of England and Bolton, where he lives with his wife, Lynn. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, UK, England, Money, Media, Education, Football, Theatre, Sport, Life and style, Society, Work & careers, Bbc, Teaching, Culture, Food & Drink

The hard problem: Tom Stoppard on the limits of what science can explain

Can evolution explain acts of kindness, and morality? We arranged a debate between a sceptical Tom Stoppard and the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. Stuart Jeffries acted as refereeWhen Tom Stoppard was writing The Hard Problem, his play about the conundrum of human consciousness, one of the scientists he consulted was American evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. The play offers, among other things, a challenge to Wilson’s view that altruism, as a consciously motivated action, c...
Tags: Psychology, Books, Science, Biology, Neuroscience, Culture, Stage, Consciousness, Philosophy, Evolution, Science and nature, Human biology, Richard Dawkins, Tom Stoppard, Wilson, HILARY

Dance is just what the doctor ordered

People with Parkinson’s and other diseases are benefiting from a growing recognition of the therapeutic benefits of danceDance is having a moment that’s not about knuckle-headed judging on Strictly, star ballerinas or a cool new choreographer, but about the fascinatingly therapeutic uses to which the art form is increasingly being put. Dancers are being used in the training of doctors, helping them develop skills of empathy and communication, but dance is also being utilised to engage more direc...
Tags: Health, Society, Dance, Culture, Stage, Ballet, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, English National Ballet, Morris, Parkinson, Mark Morris Dance Center MMDG, Brooklyn Dance, Olie Westheimer, Brooklyn Parkinson Group BPG

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