Arts and Entertainment

Nina Stibbe moved to London in 1982 to work as a nanny for Mary-Kay Wilmers, the editor of the London Review of Books. In the years following, she wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester, and Love, Nina is the result.

LK Bennett seeks outside investors

Linda Bennett, the "Queen of the kitten heel", is planning to cash in on the success of her LK Bennett fashion empire by handing control of her £75m business to outside investors.

Alan Bennett comes out fighting as he recounts the night he was beaten up

Playwright goes public about his sexuality because 'police routinely ignore homophobic attacks'

The Dark, Donmar Warehouse, London

There can be few more piquantly paradoxical ways of lighting up a stage than by dramatising the consequences of a power-cut.

A week in books

Tales just too good to be true

Theatre review: The Lady in the Van Queen's Theatre, London

Alan Bennett's frequently hilarious autobiographical play stars Maggie Smith as the homeless old tramp who lived in a van in the playwright's driveway for 15 years. This combative, ungrateful, car-mad religious maniac, with delusions of being at the centre of some conspiracy, is played here in a performance of quite brilliant formidability and pathos. The play is studded with great comic lines, but I was never reconciled to the brightly coloured pop-up book feel of Nicholas Hytner's production.

Books: Time, ladies and gentlemen, please

Is that Mrs Woolf, in a room of her own? And Monsieur Camus, outside? Felix Bennett invites you to the last literary party of the century

Theatre: Driving Miss Crazy

The Lady in the Van Queen's, London

Profile: Alan Bennett; An Englishman abroad

In Writing Home, his best-selling volume of diary extracts, prefaces and occasional pieces, Alan Bennett records that in September 1982 his friend, the television presenter Russell Harty, invented a new parlour game. It involved tackling the momentous question: "Whose underpants would you least like to be gagged by?"

Theatre: Hull hath no fury...

LARKIN WITH WOMEN STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE

Arts: Alan Bennett: `He makes it easy for you'

Actors and directors on the playwright's qualities as his stage version of `The Lady in the Van' opens in London

Theatre: Death... and the very peculiar maiden

I'LL BE TED, YOU BE SYLVIA HAMPSTEAD THEATRE LONDON

Letting rip for love's sake

Thursday Book: REFERENCE BACK: PHILIP LARKIN'S UNCOLLECTED JAZZ WRITINGS, 1940-84 EDITED BY RICHARD PALMER AND JOHN WHITE UNIVERSITY OF HULL PRESS, pounds 19.99

Arts: Theatre: Loner among wastrels

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE THE COTTESLOE PLACE LONDON
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links