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‘This is a ticking time bomb’: why are so many entertainers forced to work past retirement age?
From jobbing workers to familiar names, legions of entertainers are working well into their 70s and 80s. Why? Our writer uncovers an alarming story of shrinking budgets, axed royalties, misguided mortgages and paltry pensions ‘The budgets were fantastic,” says Alexei Sayle, remembering making shows with the BBC in the 1980s and 90s. “We’d always go over budget and they’d just say, ‘Oh well.’ Since then, there’s been a rerouting of funds away from the talent. It doesn’t affect the superstars but it certainly affects the foot soldiers
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Comedian drops plan for a billboard of Gina Rinehart portrait in Times Square

An Australian comedian has dropped his plan to broadcast Vincent Namatjira’s contentious portrait of Gina Rinehart to thousands of tourists and New Yorkers in Times Square.Dan Ilic told Guardian Australia on Tuesday lunchtime that, after exceeding his crowdfunding target of A$30,000, his stunt would go live in Times Square at 8pm on Friday night.Ilic said he planned to broadcast the event on his social media platforms where it was expected to attract millions of online viewers, after the story of the mining magnate’s displeasure over the Namatjira portrait in the National Gallery of Australia went global.But late afternoon on Tuesday Namatjira’s Sydney agent, Alanna Irwin from Ames Yavuz gallery, said the stunt did not have the artist’s approval.In a statement provided to the Guardian via Irwin, Namatjira said: “I didn’t give my approval for Dan Ilic’s campaign to use my artwork and I’d rather it does not go ahead

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Air at Sydney Opera House review – space-age pop as exquisite as its venue

Sydney Opera House concert hallThe French duo celebrated the 25th anniversary of their masterful debut by playing it in full. It was majestic – even if it dwarfed the rest of their discographyWe were promised jetpacks. Instead, gen X had neoliberalism, the new world order and pre-millennium tension. To soothe it, we got Air’s debut Moon Safari, the 1998 space-age bachelor pad album that offered a nostalgic passport back to a future that never materialised in quite the way we expected. Immediately, Air (French duo Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel) were everywhere – not in our faces, but part of our very atmosphere: in shopping malls, on soundtracks, in every cafe and lounge

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On my radar: Anjana Vasan’s cultural highlights

Born in Chennai, India in 1987, Anjana Vasan grew up in Singapore before relocating to the UK to study drama. She has starred in films including Mogul Mowgli and Wicked Little Letters; her stage credits include Tanika Gupta’s production of A Doll’s House (Lyric Hammersmith, 2019) and Rebecca Frecknall’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Almeida, 2022-23), for which she won an Olivier award and an Evening Standard theatre award. Vasan has been nominated for Baftas for her TV work in Black Mirror and Nida Manzoor’s comedy We Are Lady Parts; series two returns to Channel 4 on 30 May.Machinal at the Old Vic, LondonMachinal, by playwright Sophie Treadwell, takes inspiration from a case that happened in 1920s America, of a young woman called Ruth Snyder who murdered her husband, and her very public court case and execution. This is one of the best productions I’ve seen in a while: it’s taut and clear and uncomfortable

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From Baby Reindeer to Taylor Swift, how amateur sleuths ruined pop culture

In the social media age, artists are using their trauma to bolster their relatability, while dramas are often thinly veiled personal testimonies. The unvarnished truth may be irresistible, but is it bringing out the rubberneck in all of us?I recently read a novel, Soldier Sailor by Claire Kilroy, that, from the start, I understood to be a work of fiction. Instantly, I was hooked by this immersive, gut-wrenching tale of a woman overwhelmed by the gruelling labour and absolute love that characterises early motherhood. Yet by the halfway mark, I was seriously itching for my phone. Not because I wanted a distraction, but because I desperately needed to know one thing: was it true?Late April, 2024: three things dominate the pop culture conversation

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From Furiosa to We Are Lady Parts: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment

Furiosa: A Mad Max SagaOut nowOne of the year’s most anticipated movies sees director George Miller return to the post-apocalyptic world he and Byron Kennedy first created in 1979 with Mad Max. Both spin-off and prequel to 2015’s Fury Road, this new adventure unveils the origins of Imperator Furiosa, with Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role.The Garfield MovieOut nowHow did Garfield first come to adopt Jon, his human? Who was Garfield’s dad, and might he have sounded a bit like Samuel L Jackson? The Garfield Movie has the answers, along with an array of eating habits that would quickly kill a real-life cat. Featuring the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Nicholas Hoult and Snoop Dogg.SlowOut nowLithuania’s entry for best international feature film at the Oscars, Slow tells the story of an unconventional romance between dancer Elena (Greta Grineviciute) and sign language interpreter Dovydas (Kestutis Cicenas), who identifies as asexual