— Ellie Broughton

“Lady Macbeth” might be a familiar name to British opera audiences. Dmitri Shostakovich’s adaptation is, to date, the likeliest way for audiences in the UK to come across the story originally told in a Russian novella Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1865). Shostakovich’s opera was also featured in Julian Barnes’ novel The Noise of Time, a factor that’s sure to draw fresh interest to a run at the Royal Opera House next year.

Apart from a Polish production from the 1970s, Lady Macbeth has never hit the silver screen before. But last year Alice Birch wrote a new adaptation, taking the first half of the story and relocating it to Northumberland. This atmospheric new drama focuses on a young woman, isolated in a loveless marriage and driven to shocking violence. The film, praised by leading UK critics including Cath Clarke and Guy Lodge, is studded with incredible performances by newcomers Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, and Naomi Ackie. Among stunning interior and landscape shots that heighten a powerful and compelling narrative, questions about the power of the female gaze wait at the film’s core.

I talked to Lady Macbeth’s producer Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly about the film, creating a collaborative environment on set and colour-blind casting. Read more on thefword.org.uk.

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Philip Wilton, who runs Wildes in Tottenham, making and selling artisanal cheeses such as the semi-hard cow’s milk Ally Pally White, says the lack of information about Brexit is leaving his business vulnerable

As the value of the pound falls and costs rise, Brexit will stretch small and independent British cheesemakers and -mongers to breaking point. Sadly, this might be a crisis that we can’t just eat our way out of.

Read more on Eater.

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Nicole Kidman plays Julia Edwards in series two

Twelve-year-old Tui Mitcham is missing. A search party of farmers and bikers meets in the town’s dive bar, gathered under her father’s leadership. From the front of the room, his gaze pans the room. His eyes drift over a woman at the far end of the bar, dressed in a pristine black parka, and snag on her for a moment. Robin Griffin grew up in that town, and she got out: now she’s back to investigate Tui’s case. Matt Mitcham might have the microphone, but Griffin has the power.

Read more on The Pool.

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This year I was lucky enough to join the BBC Springwatch team to write the live blog.

For three weeks, I wrote live updates from 8am to 9pm from the Sherborne Park Estate in Gloucestershire, in the heart of the Cotswolds.

You can see the archived updates here, and if you’d like to know anything else about how the live blog worked, please get in touch by email.

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Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and the film that followed, spurred a new generation of women to tackle huge walks like the 2,650km-long Pacific Coastal Trail. But one walker had already set out on another, much longer, walk when Reese Witherspoon hit the big screen.

Sarah Jackson had just finished her sociology degree when she embarked on one of the most gruelling anti-gap years imaginable. Some 10,600km later, though, she’s smiling: at the end of this month, aged 24, she’ll become the first woman to walk across Canada from coast to coast. (She still hasn’t read or seen Wild, though).

She often walked with a partner, and admits she took breaks to go home for Christmas, but has essentially spent two years living outdoors, out of a backpack, spending much of her time alone.

Sarah was kind enough to talk to me about her trek for Refinery29’s UK site. Read more here.

If you’re interested in reading more work I’ve done for the site, check out:

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