She's just an old-fashioned girl

Victorian is out; Regency is in. Sheila Johnston on Princess Caraboo an d this week's other new releases

COMEDY / The copy cat: James Rampton on Rory Bremner at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Impressionists were once the social lepers of light entertainment, banished to colonies with names like Seaside Special and Summer Season. Rory Bremner has changed all that. Thanks to him, liking impressionists is no longer terminal to your street cred. He has brought a sharp edge to an art that used to have the cutting capacity of a blancmange in a heatwave. In the post-Bremner era, it is no longer enough for impressionists to churn out 'Ooo, Betty's interspersed with the odd 'Matron' and 'Nay, nay and thrice nay.'

RADIO / A man's world: Robert Hanks on misplaced machismo and the minds of murderers

IT'S USUALLY a mistake to identify an actor with the roles he plays, but Terry Molloy makes it hard to avoid. Time after time he ends up as a macho hardhead, a man with deep convictions about what it means to be a man - a testosterone-fuelled Picasso in the Radio 3 drama Guernica, Mike 'A man who can't hold his beer ain't a real man' Tucker in The Archers, and now Maurice, a Derbyshire butcher with the accent on the 'butch', in Big Boys Don't Cry (Radio 4, Tuesday). You just know it would be a bad idea to spill his pint.

ARTS / Show People: The rise and rise of big voice: 46. Jane Horrocks

AN EVERYDAY scene in Islington: playwright Jim Cartwright has come round for a cup of tea with actress Jane Horrocks (who has been in the stage and TV productions of his first success Road). They're sitting in the back garden and she's talking about the showbiz voices that she's imitated since childhood. 'Go on then', he says, 'do some for me.' So she does her Shirley Bassey and her Marlene Dietrich. He finishes his tea and says he's going off to write a play: she doesn't think any more about it.

TELEVISION / Not a laughing matter

IT LOOKED like a Monty Python sketch: three comedians dressed in black sat in a row while a sober presenter outlined the principles of the experiment. Each would deliver a short routine, containing jokes which some among us might find offensive. Then, with the help of a large studio audience, we were going to try to analyse exactly where laughter stopped and indignation began. The task of adjudication would be a lot easier, you reflected after listening to the first victim's act, if we had actually started to laugh at any point. Lou Lewis, a club comedian, had clearly sussed that he was the fall guy in Nation's (BBC 2) first studio debate but soldiered on bravely none the less, delivering his material with the easy confidence of a man trying to serve an extradition order on a coke baron.
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