Playwright Conor McPherson: 'It's thrilling to see the British tradition of political engagement in theatre alive and well'

Cultural life: Conor McPherson, playwright

'It's thrilling to see the British tradition of political engagement in theatre alive and well'

Video: The career of Joe Wright

Watch the videos below to see clips from the work of Joe Wright.

The Dance of Death, Trafalgar Studio 2, London

It's become a truism that Strindberg's depiction of marital hell in The Dance of Death paved the way for the lacerating, liquor-fuelled slug-fest and the unholy game of “Get the Guests” in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and that there are distinct affinities with the stormy love-hate intensity of the relationship in Private Lives

Sam Mendes

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Doing their thing: David Walliams is cast as Bottom, and Sheridan Smith will play Titania, queen of the fairies

David Walliams and Sheridan Smith to sex up Midsummer Night's Dream

Michael Grandage has a sensational plan for Shakespeare's comedy

A class act: Frayn has 'an acute comic ear for liberal humbug'

Still making a big noise: A season of Michael Frayn plays is set to reaffirm the brilliance of his work

There's more to come from this great polymath, says Paul Taylor

Eddie Redmayne stars in the BBC's adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' 'Birdsong'

Meet the talented Mr Redmayne

Despite extraordinary stage, TV and film success, British acting's hottest newcomer tells Clemency Burton-Hill he still hasn't got it right

Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse, London<br/>The Globe Mysteries, Shakespeare's Globe, London<br/>Crazy for You, Regent's Park Open Air, London

This rarely staged O'Neill drama may teeter on the hokey &ndash; but Jude Law is simply electrifying

First Night: Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse, London

Muscle-bound Law provides power in epic tale of the sea

Natalie Haynes: Bravo to the history boys &ndash; and girls

Getting emails from random strangers is one of the side-effects of my job: sometimes it's a perk (they like my book, or column, or whatever), other times it's a death threat (a consequence of saying something mildly contentious on Question Time), but recently, a whole new category of unsolicited correspondence opened up.

Novelist Josephine Hart dies

Writer Josephine Hart whose debut novel sold more than one million copies has died.

Moonlight, Donmar Warehouse, London

In the diary of her life with Harold Pinter, Must You Go?, Antonia Fraser says that she and HP were amused when, reviewing the first performance in 1993, I called for "hard-edged political plays" – which I didn't. Slightly put off by Moonlight's mist of poetic sleep-talking, I hankered for the "hard, cutting, political edge" of some of his shorter pieces like One for the Road and Mountain Language.

Sarah Sands: Walking, not whining, relieves the blues, Ruby

Two male university students were Skypeing each other. They had been close friends at school and had about seven months of news to catch up on. After a delighted drawn-out "Hey", they swapped views on Chelsea's line-up and performance. They joked about each other's sporting prowess. Then, sated by conversation, they signed off. Afterwards, one of them wondered rhetorically if he should have wished his pal a happy birthday.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Donmar Warehouse, London

The Broadway musical, as a habitat, tends not to throng with nature's great spellers. Gypsy's Mama Rose could probably get through "audition", without mishap, but the chances are that she'd put a middle "e" in "monstrous". And, even though it's her native German, how would Maria von Trapp cope with "Weltanschauung" – the word that happens to be the climactic clincher in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy (by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin), that redresses the balance, to an almost parodic degree, in favour of the non-orthographically-challenged?

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