Arts and Entertainment Angela Lansbury is set return to the London stage after a hiatus of almost four decades

The actress will return to the Gielgud Theatre where she made her debut

Sir Trevor Nunn: Kiss her? I married my Kate!

Sir Trevor Nunn has always been fascinated by how the musical inspired by Shakespeare's comedy crosses into real life – not least his own

Sheridan Smith to star as Hedda Gabler

Legally Blonde star Sheridan Smith is set to play Hedda Gabler in a London stage production of Henrik Ibsen's seminal work.

The Weekend's Viewing: Off by Heart Shakespeare, Sat, BBC2
Episodes, Fri, BBC2

Here are the rules. Nine young finalists from something like 2,000 original entrants memorise and perform a short speech from Shakespeare in front of an RSC audience.

Eccentric escape: The House in the Clouds, a five-storey clapboard tower, is now an unusual holiday rental

Thorpeness: The Suffolk holiday village that sailed to success

With a boating lake at its heart, it is a century-old Utopian escape, says Kate Simon

The rest is silence, Brighton Festival

Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? But for a rain-battered Brighton Festival banner on the gate you'd never guess that the nondescript lock-up on a industrial estate in Shoreham-by-Sea was playing host to one of the most eagerly anticipated theatre events of the year.

Observations: Shakespeare shake-up in Shoreham-by-Sea

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Or at least in the rubbish tip of Shoreham-by-Sea, which forms the malodorous backdrop for an ambitious new take on Hamlet, opening this weekend.

Anderton House’s sitting room frames valley views

Stay the night: Anderton House, North Devon

Amid traditional thatched West Country cottages, Sophie Lam discovers an elegant Modernist homage to space and light

The Independent’s Charlie Cooper, right, learns Original Pronunciation Shakespeare with actor Ben Crystal

'Tuh beh oar nat tuh beh?' That was the question

This radically different pronunciation is, according to a new scholarly recording of Shakespeare's works, much closer to the way the line would have been spoken

The Sheffield Theatres stage three plays by Michael Frayn including 'Democracy'

Heads Up: Michael Frayn Season

From the West End to Sheffield...you've been Frayn-ed!

Absolutely Fabulous, 10pm, BBC1

The pick of Christmas television: How to make the most of your holiday viewing

It's not just the return of Edina and Patsy – there's Downton, the Doctor, and Dickens. Gerard Gilbert presents his pick of the seasonal small screen

The Faith Machine, Royal Court Downstairs, London<br/>The God of Soho, Shakespeare's Globe, London<br/>Wittenberg, Gate, London

Questions of faith, capitalism and platonic ideals are thrashed out in Alexi Kaye Campbell's new Royal Court drama

The Revenge of Prince Zi Dan, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Prince Zi Dan, the Peking Opera version of Hamlet, considers his next move. To show that he's thinking, he stretches one foot up past his ear and goes into a deep crouch on his supporting leg. He does this while wearing an embroidered costume, high platform shoes and a headdress with waving peacock plumes. Having finished his contemplative stretch, he cries, "Let's go!"

3D Hamlet: A Lost Generation, Spaces on the Mile

The title and the name of the venue create more excitement than is warranted for a 70-minute routine cut-up job in a tiny hotel function room in the city centre.

First Night: Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse, London

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

Ten Plagues, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

An account of the London plague is a strong choice of subject for a song cycle, and this Traverse production is already a festival highlight and a triumph for the singer Marc Almond, writer Mark Ravenhill, composer Conor Mitchell and director-designer Stewart Laing.

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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
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Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns