Arts and Entertainment Jamie Lloyd has become the youngest director to break into The Stage 100 power list since Sam Mendes

Jamie Lloyd has become the youngest director to break into The Stage 100 power list since Sam Mendes.

Education: How the system failed a school

It's four years since Hackney Downs school was forced to shut down after years of very public pillorying as `Britain's Worst School'. But its long demise was no simple tale of poor teachers and lack of community support.

Film: It's a comic masterpiece - not

Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me (12)

In the never-never land of literary party people

Comedians and chefs, poets and politicians: they are all part of the fellowship of the book

Britons rush to meet the brains behinds the books

WHERE CAN you find Val Doonican on the same programme as Harold Pinter? A gig by Van Morrison in the same venue as a discussion with Tom Wolfe? The Booker-winning novelist Ian McEwan with an appearance from proto-punk Ian Dury and his Blockheads? Not to mention the chance to beard Jimmy Hill ...

This was the week that was

Today In 1510 Sandro Botticelli died, 500 years too early to clean up on the royalties from his much-reproduced Birth of Venus. In 1937, long before someone sat on his trumpet and gave it that 45 degrees upwards tilt, Dizzy Gillespie (below) was featured for the first time on a recording - Teddy Hill's "King Porter Stomp".

Letter: Pinter strikes back

Sir: Timothy Garton-Ash (Comment, 6 May) is quite right to criticise my reference to Serbian "standard counter-insurgency" in the TV programme Counterblast. It is indeed a bland use of language. The reason I did not specify the Serbian atrocities which lay behind the term was because this is done every day of the week by others on television and in the press. But nothing I said in the programme could suggest that I condone these atrocities. Hardly. The point of the programme was to argue that dropping monstrously powerful bombs can only engender further atrocities and is in itself a crime.

Echoes of dissent in Albion's fair, fragmenting land

TIME FOR another episode of the long-lost Shakespearian masterpiece, The History of King Tony or New Labour's Lost, Love, in which brave King Tony seeks to drag Britain from the 19th century into the 21st, trying not to lose Wales and Scotland in the process. At the moment he is embroiled in a war against King Slobodan of Serbia...

The sitter's tale: Harold Pinter

New faces at the National Portrait Gallery: the master of the pause enjoys the chance to sit back, relax, and think about life and death

Books: Poetic loner who smells of fish blood

Underground

Theatre Review: The Late Middle Classes

Palace Theatre, Watford (01923 225671)

Books: Inspirations - Writer Alan Sillitoe

The music

Books events

LONDON

Royal Court in pounds 3m name deal

SIR PETER Hall yesterday criticised a deal by which a private company will have its name in lights outside one of the country's most historic venues, the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Anger as Royal Court puts sponsor's name up in lights

SIR PETER Hall yesterday criticised a deal by which a private company will have its name in lights outside one of the country's most historic venues, the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Christmas books: Showbiz - Fat Clarrie and the Dog Woman really do exist

David Phelan samples offerings for toughies and wannabes
Career Services

Day In a Page

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there