— Ellie Broughton

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On Katherine Lester’s wedding night, her maid Anna buttons her into a nightdress.

Are you cold, Anna asks. No, Katherine replies.

Moments later, Katherine and her husband prepare for their first night together. The house is cold, he tells her. She protests that she’s thick-skinned. To punish her for answering back, he commands her to take off her nightdress. As she pulls it over her head, the gold of her wedding band catches the low light of the fire behind him. Clothes gone, finger still trapped in the ring, she stands naked in the stone cold room while he climbs under the covers.

Lady Macbeth, based on a 19th century novella, has previously been the stuff of stage and opera adaptations. (The film’s director, William Oldroyd, and writer, Alice Birch, both have backgrounds in theatre). It’s the first feature for its director, writer and producer. One of the products of the iFeatures programme, Lady Macbeth was put together in Northumberland on a shoestring budget; its star, Florence Pugh, won Breakthrough Of The Year for her performance.

Florence Pugh is mesmerising, and Ackie’s understated portrayal of Anna is quietly devastating. The view is bleak and captivating. The huge landscapes and roaring soundscapes give glimpses of the raw power that drives the protagonist. On top of the soundscapes, and those incredible painterly interior shots, the film hangs from a sizzling, stripped-back script that makes its silence claustrophobic. The energy of the film’s inevitable tragedy barrels hard into the film’s devastating twist.

As a study in power, not much else comes close this year. Expect plenty more to come from the trio behind it.

Read the full review on the film section of The Quietus here.

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Spring is in the air, and for chocoholics that can only mean one thing. Easter eggs are inspired by the traditional symbolism of the egg as promising new life, but for anyone who’s started a new life as a vegan or is dairy intolerant, they can evoke sad memories of an easier life when you didn’t have to check ingredients lists before buying.

Luckily the dairy-free egg market gets stronger every year, and we found plenty of quality, tasty options to try.

Click here to head over and see the best in show.

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I am a huge fan of LitHub – an American website started by a team including the founder of Electric Literature. I got a commission from features editor Jess Bergman via Twitter (a first for me) to cover literary bots.

Linguist and programmer Esther Seyffarth defined a bot in a Medium post last year as “a program or agent that generates content and posts it to Twitter automatically, following some schedule or reacting to some trigger.” In the case of Twitter’s literary bots, or “corpus-fed” bots, programmers take a body of work—for example, the text file of War & Peace as it stands at Project Gutenberg—and build a program that “reads” the novel, 140 characters at a time, “aloud” by publishing sensible whole-word extracts as tweets from a dedicated Twitter account.

Literature, in the manic context of Twitter, feels like a novelty—the joy of witnessing something, somewhere, committed publishing an entire work. But at times, the bots feels uncanny too. Coincidences that arise between their tweets and the memes, gifs and beef that frame them can be as disruptive as it is delightful. Novels, titles and poems “out of place” unsettle us: not amping our anxiety like the news does, but sounding through the fog to wake up something deeper. We double-take, re-read and find originality in repetition. (Read more on the site).

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As part of Time Out’s reviews team, alongside Ashleigh Arnott, Josie Ayre, Tania Ballantine, Elizabeth Darke, Kitty Drake, Danielle Goldstein, Steph Hartman, Andy Hill, Emma Hughes, Laura Richards and Yolanda Zappaterra, I reviewed Scandal Water at Punch Room at the London Edition.

Afternoon tea in the Punch Room nods back to the way it would have been in eighteenth and nineteenth century: tea is served without milk, there’s an open fire in winter, and muffins come in repro muffin-warmers. The rest of the tea is bang up to date, though, down to the cool London-themed willow-pattern china, the sustainable credentials of the tea, and our favourite twenty-first-century upgrade: punch. Choose three cups of loose-leaf tea, then food and punch are matched. Cheese shortbread, ganache tart and eccles cake came in canapé-sized mouthfuls that won’t sate the typical arvo tea appetite. But you didn’t come to Punch Room for the grub, did you? Read the rest of the review, and the rest of the round-up, online here.

Elsewhere on Time Out:

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I wrote an article about my tour of lighthouses in Madeira for Elsewhere, a quarterly travel writing journal published out of Berlin. It’s available to buy online, or from the MagCulture shop in Clerkenwell, London.

My writing sits alongside work about Ormside Street in Bermondsey, Indonesia, Prague, Hawaii and Rhoscolyn. Illustrations are by Julia Stone, one of the two editors of the journal.

Lighthouses are something I have written about before for the same journal, and I also previously wrote about the impact of Storm Desmond for the journal too in ‘The Language Of The Land Is Water‘.

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