Katherine Parkinson stars in a Dickens spoof over Christmas, then takes on Ayckbourn. Cosy comedy's not for this cerebral soul, as Alice Jones discovers
Parkinson stars in a Dickens spoof over Christmas, then takes on Ayckbourn.
Well, the day has come. Some newer i readers such as Harry Latour (letters, yesterday) may be upset, but judging by the avalanche of hate mail over the past few months, few i readers will miss Cooper Brown.
The shortlist meeting for the awards this year was record-breakingly lengthy and no wonder, what with a rather unwieldy list of eight newcomer nominees. Many of the buzz acts made the cut, and of the main six nominees (Adam Riches, Andrew Maxwell, Chris Ramsey, Josie Long, Nick Helm and Sam Simmons), four have already been reviewed on this page and Simmons is covered below.
The next few weeks don't have to be all about panto: from theatre and dance, to opera and comedy, Alice Jones picks the events to light up the season
Unwrap the drinks, guns and cuddly toy for a perfect farce
Regional accents can be the victims – and victors – of fashion too, discovers Ian Burrell
London's theatres can draw a glittering crowd of guests when they want to but how deep are their pockets? We'll find out on 5 December when Theatreland hosts not one but two VIP charity galas in a dramatic date clash. In the red corner, the Almeida Theatre will stage Star Child in aid of the Art Room Charity. Catherine Tate, Stephen Mangan and Juliet Stevenson will all star in Patrick Barlow's modern-day nativity while Stephen Fry – who else? – will play a "disgruntled" God. Tickets: £75 (including post-show champagne). Meanwhile, in the blue (orange?) corner, the Young Vic will host a benefit for the Belarus Free Theatre and Index on Censorship, with tickets priced for the people at £25-45. Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Sam West are signed up as guest stars for the night, timed to chime with the Belarusian elections on 19 December. Shame they didn't check the theatre calendar too.
A look at the light side of suicide
Time Lord's a-leaping
Nick Clegg in panto, Boris in the Queen Vic, and now Prezza at Nessa's wedding...
Gerard Gilbert peeps under the bonnet in 'Cranford' and takes a trip with the Time Lord in a selection of the best yuletide viewing
David Tennant has just four more episodes of the BBC1 sci-fi drama to film, and rumours are rife over who will take over. Rob Sharp rounds up the main contenders
Women can be funny too
She was a 'tacky rep actress' touring with Harold Pinter as he wrote 'The Birthday Party'. So why has Sheila Hancock waited 50 years to star in his masterpiece?
The man who reinvented 'Doctor Who' for a new generation hints at a real surprise to come in the new series, as the man in the Tardis goes into 'dadshock'. By Cole Moreton