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.

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.

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".

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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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003