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

Sam Mendes to direct Willy Wonka musical

Oscar-winning film-maker Sam Mendes is returning to the West End with a musical version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

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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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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home