i Jim Carter

He looks familiar. Belongs in a dining room, doesn’t he?

Cannes festival shuns Hollywood glitz

This year's focus on high-minded fare, including Jean-Luc Godard's comeback, will at least appeal to serious cinephiles

Observations: When Cranford bored Judi

It is August, 1844. Mr Buxton (Jonathan Pryce) is a newcomer to the Cheshire town of Cranford, and he threatens to bring lots of alarming new-fangled ideas with him. He asks Miss Matty Jenkyns (Judi Dench), the pillar of the local community, about a trendy new dance: "have you heard of waltzing?" A look of horror, if not revulsion, passes across Miss Matty's face as she replies, "it is not a form of dancing we have experienced in Cranford."

Queens of the small screen

Helen Mirren won an Oscar as Elizabeth II and now five more actresses are to play her on television. Is it time to re-bottle the monarch's mystique? By Gerard Gilbert

Taking Woodstock (15)

Ang Lee (110 mins), starring Demetri Martin, Dan Fogler, Imelda Staunton, Emile Hirsch

Ang Lee - Beyond the mild side

Ang Lee was not the most likely director to create a film about Woodstock, and his authentic-looking LSD scene is from imagination not experience, he tells James Mottram

Tears and triumph on the Cannes red carpet

Cannes 2009 signals hard times for serious moviemakers, says Geoffrey Macnab

First Night: Taking Woodstock

All the fun of the festival – courtesy of Ang Lee

Go west! Gay storylines are drawing crowds to theatres in London's West End and fringe

The best of times is now, goes the song in La Cage aux Folles. And so it would seem for gay plays and musicals. No fewer than 10 productions currently in London's West End feature gay themes or talent.

DVD: A Bunch of Amateurs (15)

Good performances from Imelda Staunton, Derek Jacobi and Samantha Bond make this a watchable film, which fares better on the small screen.

'Gavin and Stacey' star Matthew Horne collapses on stage

Audience shocked as actor is rushed to hospital

Parties: I'd like to thank my trophy...

Stars of the stage thronged the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, for the 33rd Laurence Olivier Awards last Sunday. At the packed champagne reception it was hard to miss the glowing Lindsay Duncan, nominated for Best Actress, or David Morrissey, standing tall above the crowd with his wife, the novelist Esther Freud; easier to overlook, though, was the diminutive Imelda Staunton – until she shook your reporter's hand and asked trenchantly: "Why isn't this televised? Are we second-class citizens, working in the theatre?"

Party Of The Week: Packed with real characters

London's theatrical luminaries gathered at Grosvenor House, London, to enjoy a champagne reception in the lead-up to the Laurence Olivier Awards. Amid the splendour of the rooms, the pre-dinner drinks gave guests the chance to relax after the rigours of walking the red carpet outside.

Parties: Tales from the crypt

It was hard not to look at Mathew Horne in a new light after the opening night of Entertaining Mr Sloane, a revival of Joe Orton's play at the Trafalgar Studios. Previously known as the everyday man Gavin, from Gavin and Stacey, Horne had evolved into the play's ruthless seducer; and his new-found sexual magnetism didn't end after the curtains came down: as guests entered the recently restored vaulted crypt of St Martin's in the Fields, London, life imitated art, as a stream of admirers threatened to overwhelm Horne with gushing praise and a barrage of flirting (from both sexes).

How We Met: Henry Goodman & Imelda Staunton

'We've known each other such a long time, in some ways we're like an old married couple'
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