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From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Outrageous costumes. Eye-popping make-up. Gender fun and games. Three panto stars throw open their dressing rooms to explain the secrets and the demands of playing the dame...

Cultural people of the year: From Scarlett Johansson to Taylor Swift to Rembrandt

As 2014 draws to a close, our specialists profile key figures who have made their mark in the arts

Hamlet in Antigua City, Guatemala (Press image from Holly Blaxill)

All the world’s a stage: The Globe report back as they bring Hamlet to every nation on Earth

Here, in personal diary entries, they reflect on some of their experiences so far

Rich pickings: Ian McDiarmid in rehearsal for 'The Merchant of Venice'

Ian McDiarmid's Merchant of Venice: 'It's not anti-semitic'

As Shakespeare's most controversial play moves to Las Vegas, its star Ian McDiarmid tells Claire Allfree that 'The Merchant of Venice' is not racist

A dancer in rehearsal for 'Nothing to Lose'

Nothing to Lose: Fat dancers, not a freak show

A new show will question our assumptions about the size and shape of dancers

Tamsin Greig (cetnre) leads cast of the West End adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'

Bringing Almodovar's ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ to the West End

After faltering on Broadway, can a reworked musical version of Pedro Almodovar’s melodramatic, comedic farce be a hit in London?

Generation Rent: rehearsals for the musical in Havana, which features a cast of 15 Cuban actors

Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
The party's over: Paul Higgins and Stella Gonet in 'Hope' at the Royal Court

Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

The playwright's latest work poses the question to audiences

Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)

Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances

Brace yourself for Hasselhoff

Edward Scissorhands (credit Hugo Glendinning/press image from Craig Bower-Parker)

Christmas 2014: Six Christmas shows for panto-haters

From Grimm Tales to Edward Scissorhands, we've got the lot

Muppet Christmas Carol, Gonzo Kermit and Miss Piggy (film still scene)

Christmas 2014: The three best singalong opportunities

Exercise those vocal chords with our pick of the best singalongs this Christmas

One of Tatiana Bruni's original designs from 1931

Tatiana Bruni's groundbreaking costume designs for The Bolt go on show

In 1931, ‘The Bolt’ fell foul of Stalin’s censors before it even opened. But now images from the original production are on display
Molly Davies playwright... God Bless the Child

How micro-management in school classrooms became the inspiration for a new play

God Bless the Child shows how many classroom schemes to teach children are just another control method that fails to respond to the realities of a classroom

Like Hugh Jackman in the title role of 20th Century Fox’s ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, Mr Murdoch may come back fighting

Wolverine goes fly-fishing: As X-Men's Hugh Jackman hits Broadway, how will the theatre world react?

In The River, it's the presence of Jackman that has transported the play across the pond and made it the most intriguing of this Broadway season

Meera Syal at the National Theatre in London

Meera Syal interview: Goodness Gracious Me star on why she’s campaigning for more black and Asian faces on television

Syal: 'Change really doesn’t come from haranguing or guilt-tripping people, it’s a much more positive outlook than that'

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
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Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
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