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The Hoff, hooked! Backstage with David Hasselhoff and the panto brigade

Booing and hissing ex-soap stars and Eighties musicians has become an integral, if confusing, part of the Christmas tradition in the UK. As a kid, I remember pulling at my mum's ski-pants to ask who Sinitta was and why everyone was so excited to see her perform next to Cannon and Ball (it was always Cannon and Ball).

Emergency services said nearly 90 people had been injured in a packed London theatre when part of the ceiling collapsed during a performance, bringing the city's West End theatre district to a standstill

Apollo Theatre collapse: We thought cracks and bangs were part of the show – but the cast stopped and looked upwards in horror

Independent feature writer Simon Usborne didn't appreciate at first how lucky he was to be seated so near the back of the theatre

Girls on top: Playwright Ella Hickson (in orange) with Charlotte Mills, a ‘badass’ Tink, and Fiona Button (seated, far left) an assertive Wendy, backstage

And what about Wendy? Introducing a feminist return to Peter Pan's roots

A new, feminist take on "Peter Pan" puts the girl who would grow up in the spotlight

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in a scene from August: Osage County

Backstage: Who dares tell Meryl Streep how to act? Step up George Clooney

Film producers face a delicate balancing act between adding their input and not treading on the creative toes of the director, the writer and the actors. It seems Harvey Weinstein has a new tactic: send in George Clooney.

Accidents happen: Diana Rigg in Tom Stoppard’s ‘Jumpers’ at the Old Vic in 1972

Not all right on the night

In his research for a new book, The National Theatre Story, Daniel Rosenthal found that even star-studded shows don't go without a hitch. He recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg

Forbat with Laurretta Summerscales

The Nutcracker: Behind the scenes at the English National Ballet

With new artistic director Tamara Rojo on board, Victoria-Anne Bull goes behind the scenes to meet some of the ENB's rising stars

At a stage of life: Nancy Carroll

Nancy Carroll: She's on the money

A play about the expenses scandal opens tonight. Award-winning actress Nancy Carroll tells Alice Jones about playing an MP's grasping wife

Please Sir, can we have some more? Theatre's hitmaker Daniel Evans on 'Oliver' and bringing 'The Full Monty' to the stage

Sheffield Theatres’ Daniel Evans is reviving ‘Oliver!’ for Christmas and giving West End audiences ‘The Full Monty’.

Food for thought: Jack Thorne, playwright and screenwriter

The playwright/screenwriter’s stage adaptation of Let the Right One In is at the Royal Court, London, until 21 December. His film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down is out in March.

Members of the few, the happy few, the band of brothers: The unique experience of playing Henvy V revealed

As Jude Law takes the stage to play the part, some of the best actors explain why Henry V, not Hamlet, is the true rite of passage

Andy Burrows tested his songs on his daughter, Chloe

Backstage: Snowman pair get a kid’s view from Chloe’s criticism

Between them, they have recorded number one albums and have won awards for scoring soundtracks for Hollywood films. But when it came to looking for a sounding board for their recent Christmas collaboration, Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri turned to a five-year-old girl.

Shady character: Alexander Hanson during rehearsals

Man of the moment: Alexander Hanson is set to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair

The little known actor will play Stephen Ward, the society osteopath at the heart of the Profumo affair. It's strange becoming a star at 52, he tells Louise Jury

How to create a truly National Theatre: Get the Beeb on board

The National Theatre’s recent 50th anniversary gala was delightful in a number of ways, and not just for the opportunity to hear Dame Judi Dench give another magnificent rendition of “Send in the Clowns”.

Dark lark: Inua Ellam, who started it all

A run on the wild side: Dashing along with London's 'Midnight Runs'

Writer Inua Ellams’ Midnight Runs are a joyous way to get creative in the city

Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
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‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ also looks set for success in the Chinese market

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The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight

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Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’

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Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter

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Comedian, actor and broadcaster Sanjeev Bhaskar

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Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

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A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

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Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

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Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
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A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

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Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

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Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

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Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

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Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

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Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

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The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

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Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

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The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

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David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

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Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

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Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

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