Arts and Entertainment

From garrulous, gangrenous Jeffrey Bernard to stovepipe-hatted Sebastian Horsley, Soho’s decadents and dandies have proven an entertaining if somewhat trying tribe. Many were far less interesting than their own egos would have them believe, as you’ll know if you ever visited Soho’s notorious Colony Room, a bear pit of strawberry-nosed drunks bellowing witlessly at one another.

Chouf Ouchouf, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

There's charm and humour amid the acrobatics of a Tangier troupe dating back more than a century

Five pairs of tickets to see The 39 Steps up for grabs

The 39 Steps is the hilarious comedy based on the 1935 Hitchcock spy film with four actors playing a minimum of 100 and ‘39’ roles!

Tom Sutcliffe: Real time is a bad time on screen

The week in culture

Farley Granger: Actor best known for his roles in Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train’ and ‘Rope’

Farley Granger's two best known roles – both for Alfred Hitchcock, in Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951) – were attractive, sexually ambiguous young men, but his range was far wider, though his independent spirit did not help his career.

Leading article: Act of kindness?

To have an interval or not to have an interval? That is the question theatres are asking themselves nowadays. And increasingly they seem to be leaning towards not having one.

Invisible Ink: No 66 - Frank Baker

Who wrote the story on which Alfred Hitchcock based his film The Birds?

Film-makers 'betrayed' by developer of historic studios, says Parker

Promises of a fitting memorial to Hitchcock were a 'total sham'

Fan tracks down lost stories of Daphne Du Maurier

Newly rediscovered tales by the author of 'Rebecca' are acclaimed as 'gothic, suspenseful and macabre'

Douglas Gordon, Gagosian Britannia Street, London

Have you ever fallen in love with a piece of orchestral music? I got involved in a piece recently. I listened to it every day, over and over. I sent it to friends to listen to over the internet: no one shared my feelings! I had it in my head all the time. I wondered, as I walked down the street, violins blazing in my brain, whether I could actually replay all of it in my imagination – or was I just hearing the main tune? The arrangement has so many layers and movements – they're so particular to me now. I can't even begin to explain it with my words as tools.

Album: Herrmann, Psycho Suite – Tippett Quartet/Julian Bliss (Signum)

Pigeon-holed by his fame as a film composer, Bernard Herrmann would have heaved a weary sigh at the shower on the cover. But the "Psycho Suite" is only the coda to a disc that otherwise focuses on the lyrical abstractions of Herrmann's European-influenced "Echoes", and the extended "Souvenirs de Voyage".

Premiership Psycho, by C M Taylor

"The paps just red-handed me muffing out the Captain's wife in the Bentley." As opening sentences go, this makes up in immediacy for what it lacks in elegance; welcome to the world of Kevin King, League footballer, the protagonist in this publishing rarity, a satirical football novel.

Forgotten Author: No 60 - Stacy Aumonier

There's something wintry about Stacy Aumonier. His Extremely Entertaining Short Stories feel as if they should be read aloud beside a roaring fire.

Peter Yates: Film and theatre director best known for the thriller ‘Bullitt’

The first American film made by the British film director Peter Yates was one of the screen's most successful thrillers, Bullitt (1968), which included a car chase that is sometimes cited as the most exciting committed to film, partly because Yates and his cinematographer William Fraker decided to strap cameras to the cars themselves to give an added sense of involvement and immediacy. Because of Bullitt, Yates is sometimes thought of as an action director, and his most successful films included such thrillers as The Deep and The House on Carroll Street, but he worked (with varying results) in a variety of genres – his first film was a musical, Summer Holiday (1963), one of Cliff Richard's most popular hits.

Film remakes: Better than the real thing

Paul Haggis and the Coens are the latest Hollywood directors to retool existing films in their own image. Kaleem Aftab celebrates the fine art of the remake

John Williams Movie Music/LCO/Inglis, Barbican

One of the perennial oddities of the London concert calendar lies in the fact that at that point of the year when people are keenest to go to concerts, there are fewest on offer.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape