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
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before