Arts and Entertainment

Perhaps "Jack and the Beanstalk" sounded a bit tame, and "Jack the Giant Killer" a bit bloodthirsty.

THEATRE / Every picture tells a story: Paul Taylor on The Seagull, directed by John Caird, at the National

It's in the plays of Brecht, not Chekhov, that you expect to encounter alienation effects. A jolting, unscheduled interruption managed to break the spell, however, at the first night of John Caird's Olivier revival of The Seagull, when proceedings were brought to a halt by a large frame which got jammed in mid-flight from the stage. This was rotten luck, even if you felt, unworthily, that here was a classic case of a fine production paying the price for visual over-elaboration.

ARTS / Show People: Casting off the rakish image: Bill Nighy

BILL NIGHY is an elegant bag of bones in a grey two-piece, open-necked check shirt and a blond Chekhovian beard. You'd never guess he was also a bag of nerves. But he hasn't stopped squirming in his chair since, in an effort to break the ice, I told him how I couldn't imagine anyone else playing Bernard Nightingale, the preening Byronist in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. 'I'm not very used to all this,' he apologises in that brittle voice, with Rs that are not far from Ws, at the end of another tortuously baroque answer. 'I'm not a very practised . . .' and another unfinished sentence twirls off frailly into the Peggy Ashcroft sponsors' suite at the National, like the curlicues of smoke from one of the six or seven cigarettes he smokes in the hour.

RADIO / Just the way it is: There's some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first? asks Robert Hanks

This being the season of good news, you can see why it seemed an appealing idea to have Martyn Lewis on Call Nick Ross (Radio 4, Tuesday), preaching his own gospel of news values. These turned out to include not only an emphasis on happy stories - or, to be fair, a suggestion that gloom is over-represented - but an insistence on ephemerality: news, he told Ross, should never be investigative. It should report purely what is happening now; scandals and conspiracies should be left for somebody else to uncover.

THEATRE REVIEW '93 / Facing the final curtain: Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is the experts' choice. Robert Hanks followed its transfer from stage to radio

BACK in the early years of radio, it was easy to transfer a play from the West End on to the airwaves more or less intact: all you did was stick a microphone on the stage. Such simplicity, such purity: Arcadia.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat