Arts & Entertainment

With stand-up dominated by the one-comic-and-a mic-form of observational humour, it's little wonder that some comedians are seeking more alternative modes of expression to set themselves apart. The Boy with Tape On His Face distinguishes himself with a joyously retro presentation of silent, performance-led humour, while the bestowal of the Edinburgh Comedy Award on Phil Burgers last year, for his mute, sexualised and playfully scary bouffon Dr Brown, echoed and endorsed the stand-up circuit's burgeoning interest in clowning.

DVD & Blu-ray review: Beautiful Creatures (12A)

Richard LaGravenese DVD/Blu-ray (124mins)

DVD & Blu Ray: Brave (PG)

While Brave looks okay it's also terribly meh.

Will Smith is Agent J, and Josh Brolin does an uncanny impersonation of Tommy Lee Jones as a young Agent K in <i>MIB 3</i>

Men In Black 3, Barry Sonnenfeld, 106 mins (PG)
What to Expect When You're Expecting, Kirk Jones, 110 mins (12A)

What we want from Smith and Jones is ray guns, bug-eyed monsters – and a lot more fun

Tom Hodgkinson: 'Help! I'm turning into Philip Green!'

Brave was the adjective they used. It's the same epithet that friends apply when they see me playing the ukulele and singing songs in public: "That was brave." I don't take it as a compliment. "Brave" in these cases is pretty clearly a euphemism for stupid, foolhardy or reckless. So it was that when Victoria and I told friends and acquaintances that we were planning to open an independent bookshop and café, we were often told, worryingly, that we were being "brave".

Leading article: Chill, innit

Emma Thompson is working on a remake of My Fair Lady and has suddenly come over all Henry Higgins. "We have to reinvest in the idea of articulacy as a form of personal human freedom and power" the actor has told the Radio Times. "I went to give a talk at my old school and the girls were all doing their 'likes' and 'innits' and 'it ain'ts', which drives me insane. Just don't do it. Because it makes you sound stupid".

Deborah Ross: Who knows why some kids grow up to be crack addicts?'

If you ask me, I do wish working mothers and stay-at-home mothers would stop scrapping as it is very tiring, boring and pointless and it also makes a terrible racket if they happen to scrap in your street, as they do in ours. Many a time I have had to stick my head out the window and shout: "You, working mother, and you, stay-at-home mother, just pack it in. There's a mother who is meant to be working but is watching Cash in the Attic up here and I can't hear a thing over this row about what's best for children and it's not as if it is ever going to get you anywhere, anyhow. Who knows why some kids grow up to be crack-addicted, maladjusted losers? Now, be off, or I'll throw a bucket of water over you both. There's a decent-ish picture frame in that attic and, goddamn it, I want to know what it's worth."

Fair Trade, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

Three years ago an art installation in Trafalgar Square charted the journey of a sex-trafficked girl from Eastern Europe to a Western brothel. A powerful clarion call, it inspired Lucy Kirkwood's hit It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But It Is Alright Now. It also, it turns out, inspired Fair Trade, which arrives at the Fringe with Emma Thompson's endorsement as executive producer.

Fringe Notes, 11/08/10

*Frances Ruffelle is calling on old showbiz pals to jazz up her show. Tonight's features Sadie Frost, duetting on "My Best Friend". "I'm doing a film at the moment where I'm singing," says Frost. "I'm having lessons, but I know my limit."

Emma Thompson: How Jane Austen saved me from going under

The actress reveals how adapting 'Sense and Sensibility' for the screen helped her to recover from depression

Behind the scenes with Nanny McPhee and Mr Edelweiss

Take a preview peak at 'Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang' ahead of its release in cinemas on Friday. This exclusive video feature explores the relationship between Nanny (Emma Thompson) and a Jackdaw named Mr Edelweiss who follows her around.

Mirren and Hornby lead British charge

Helen Mirren fulfils the unofficial requirement for at least one British Dame to be in the running for a Best Actress Oscar, but the big story for home-grown talent this year involves two of our most celebrated comic writers: Nick Hornby and Armando Iannucci.

Curiosities of Literature, By John Sutherland

Though every page testifies to the well-stocked mind of Sutherland, it is particularly revealing of his chain of thought.

An Education, Lone Scherfig, 100 mins, (12A)

A 16-year-old's crush on a man twice her age with a taste for Ravel and fine art inspires a brilliant evocation of 1961 and a world The Beatles would make disappear overnight

An Education (12A)

Too cool for school

Last Chance Harvey (12A)

In this autumnal romance Dustin Hoffman plays a disappointed musician (he writes jingles for a living) who flies to London for the wedding of his only daughter.

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