On the agenda: British illustration; Cirque du Soleil;

We're off to knock on Badger's door. Plus, the secret to ensuring a bestselling title
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The Independent Culture


Winnie the Pooh, the BFG and the cast of The Wind in the Willows are just some of the characters appearing at London's Chris Beetles gallery in an exhibit celebrating the best of British illustration. And it's not just child's play: other works include Aubrey Beardsley's pieces for the 1894 edition of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. To 8 January, London SW1, tel: 020 7839 7551, chrisbeetles.com Salik Zia


The world's most spectacular circus rolls into town next month for its annual residency at London's Royal Albert Hall. And as always, the new show from Cirque du Soleil is nothing if not ambitious: directed by Robert Lepage, Totem traces the "journey of the human species" from primordial swamp to present day. Though aficionados will know this baggy concept is simply the backdrop for a mesmerising display of the troupe's high-octane aerial acrobatics. From 5 January; cirquedusoleil.com Laurence Earle


A line-up that includes Debbie Harry, The Who, Bryan Adams, Jeff Beck and Richard Ashcroft is tempting enough. But what's really getting us excited about next month's Concert for Killing Cancer at the Hammersmith Apollo is the worthiness of the cause: research into PDT, a pioneering, non-invasive treatment for cancer. Though he was instrumental in Live Aid, even this show's promoter Harvey Goldsmith would have to admit it has a special significance. 13 January. For tickets, visit killingcancer.co.uk or hmv.com Simmy Richman


Publishers and authors have long sought a way of predicting whether a book will sell; lulu.com/titlescorer isn't it, but it is fun. Fill in a title, answer a few questions, and we find that Howard Jacobson's Booker-winning The Finkler Question has a 26.3 per cent chance of becoming a bestseller, compared with 20.1 per cent for Katie Price's You Only Live Once and 41.4 per cent for Tony Blair's The Journey. The title of my (unwritten) masterpiece makes 76.9 per cent – but I'm not telling you what it is, silly. Katy Guest


What do you get when you tell the military junta of Burma a joke? Thirty-five years in prison. The documentary-maker Rex Bloomstein's latest film, being shown to coincide with Human Rights Day, explores the case of Burmese comic Zarganar, who, after Cyclone Nargis, mocked the junta for their suggestion that survivors could exist on what they could scavenge in the countryside. Bloomstein met Zarganar in 2007 before his jailing; the film portrays both this meeting and what his team encountered when they snuck into Burma two years later. For screenings in Cardiff (tomorrow and Friday) and Manchester (Thursday), see thisprisonwhereilive.co.uk SZ


For those who wear glasses regularly, specs are practically an extension of one's face. It's an idea that luxe label Prada has used in its latest eyewear project, PradaPrivate. A simple and lightweight frame comes in several colours, with removable legs and bespoke panels that can be personalised, either with the wearer's initials or a favourite symbol or inscription. Launching this week, it's a novel way to make sure they find their way back to you, should you ever be foolish enough to take them off your head. £310, tel: 020 7647 5000 Harriet Walker