Arts and Entertainment

Monks from China’s Shaolin Temple stand perched on tall wooden boxes. Swaying from side to side, they rock the crates until they fall, leaping free at the last moment. Famous for their warrior skills, in Sutra the monks are both movers and pieces in a puzzle, setting up patterns or standing inside the boxes as they fall like dominoes.

Leading article: Statuesque

One has to feel a little sorry for those members of the public chosen to be the first to stand in the open air on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth as part of Antony Gormley's art project. After several days of sunshine, the capital was lashed by torrential rain yesterday. Still, what great art was not borne of a little suffering? So what to make of the first day's participants? Jason Clark, a nurse from Brighton, didn't do an awful lot while performing his "Ordinary Man On A Plinth". Scott Illman, from Hammersmith, spent an hour shouting the merits of his bar. But the participant who really sticks in the mind was the uninvited protester. Never mind an hour, Stuart Holmes needed less than five minutes to get his anti-smoking message across.

Minor British Institutions: The Angel of the North

Pretty big, for a minor institution, this chap – and it does seem a manly sort of angel – standing 66 feet (20 m) tall, his wings stretching for 178 feet (54 m) across. When you pass the Angel on the blowy A1 not far from Gateshead you wonder how it is that this striking structure manages not to take off across the North Sea.

David Lister: Sexy or not, it's best to keep quiet

When Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe starred in a film together, Monroe took particular exception to Olivier, who was also directing, saying to her before a scene: "OK, Marilyn, be sexy." The suggestion that her greatest natural asset was a mere technique that any decent actress could turn on did not go down well.

Gormley on his plinth: 'I would be very upset if nobody took their clothes off'

Almost 5,000 people sign up to take their place as part of sculptor's 'living artwork' in Trafalgar Square

'Angel of the South' to be giant white horse

A giant white horse was announced today as a new £2 million public art commission in south-east England dubbed the "Angel of the South".

Artists jubilant as £50m Titian saved for nation

MP attacks sale as schools close for lack of funds

Design rebels of Burns Night

Glasgow design group Timorous Beasties make Burns Night a wild affair, discovers Annie Deakin

Close-up: Rungwe Kingdon & Claude Koenig

When Damien Hirst goes large, who does he turn to? His 'hands'

Party of the Week: Snapping the snappers

Fresh from the choking press scrum sparked by Annie Leibovitz's starry presence at the National Portrait Gallery some weeks ago, the gallery's director, Sandy Nairne, emerged bright-eyed and unjaded from a cloud of party-goers at the reception party for the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

Birmingham named UK's ugliest city

It’s official - Birmingham is the UK’s ugliest city. According to a new survey, it is home to the some of the nation's least-loved buildings.

Kapoor's 'Giants' to be the world's biggest public artwork

A decade ago, Antony Gormley's 65ft sculpture, Angel of the North, was credited with placing Gateshead on the artistic map of Britain and starting a trend for large-scale public artworks nicknamed the "Gormley effect".

Leading article: Holes in the accounts

It would take a heart of stone not to smile at the plight of Gordon Brown and those others left to bale out the Labour Party ship. Tonight's fundraising dinner at Wembley promises to be a rather desperate affair, after last year's event, held in the first flush of the Brown era, which the party describes as "the most successful fundraiser in Labour's history". The contrast is equally stark with the days – how long ago they seem now – when Michael Levy simply had to touch an arm and murmur Tony Blair's name for the million-pound cheques to be forthcoming.

Trafalgar Square: The people's plinth - a portrait of our time

A soupbox in Trafalgar Square will give anyone who fancies it a chance to do whatever they like for an hour. Arifa Akbar discovers the idea behind it and gets a taste of what may be in store

Leading article: Performance art

We were never among Ken Livingstone's greatest fans. But one achievement cannot be denied him as mayor of London: the vitality of the street theatre and art that flourished in the capital under his auspices. Happily, this is one part of his legacy that Boris Johnson seems to be continuing with his characteristic panache. The fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square was a test case.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Career Services

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
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution