A spell of terrible weather makes good box-office

Its stars are rampaging wind funnels that toss cows and tractors in their wake - and it's spawning floods of imitators.

THE OSCAR BOX / Ann Billson, Sunday Telegraph

Which was the most absurd Oscar ever awarded?

Night Service / La Bonne Crepe Cafe Theatre, London

The way to a theatregoer's heart is through their stomach. Why else does curtain-up coincide with the first pangs of evening hunger? The theatre world conspires to make us think that what we are watching will more than compensate for the meal we would otherwise be eating. To openly acknowledge this fraught relationship between food and theatre goes against all etiquette. La Bonne Crepe Theatre Cafe, which has the gall to sandwich its plays between the main course and dessert of an evening meal, is dismissed as an affront to the profession by drama purists. And when you first walk into the place, you understand why, after 16 years, the concept doesn't appear to have taken off elsewhere. It's all candle- lit tables, posters of Errol Flynn, Judy Garland and Clark Gable and house plants hanging from every crevice. There's a tongue-and-groove stained- pine bar area, piped cheesy post-war Americana and an Italian manager called Carlo, who sports a silver-star-spattered waistcoat.

'He suggests that to be gay is not to be frivolous. He is pointing out that not all gay men like Judy Garland'

Michael Arditti talks to Peter Gill about his revival of John Osborne's A Patriot for Me

ACTION GIRL

ACTION GIRL

Monday it's the Beauty Shoppe: should you shave, pluck or wax away your body hair?

You've seen the ads. You've spoken to the careers officer. You are16 and you are already using Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Fluid (good boy). You are simply gagging to sign on the dotted line. But before embarking on this lifetime commitment, take a break, have a KitKat, and ask yourself the $6m question: do you have what it takes to be gay?

Noel Coward's early life is basis for Venom

Theatre Review

A star is sold

Judy Garland (left) is the sort of star to inspire eternal devotion, and if your passion is matched by a stratospheric credit limit you could own a unique piece of memorabilia. A master-tape film of her last-ever concert has turned up and is expected to make anything up to £15,000 when it goes under the hammer at Bonham's on Tuesday. She is captured on the 45-minute tape performing on stage, and also duetting in her dressing room with the singer Johnnie Ray, at a theatre in Denmark shortly before her death in 1969. Remember, though, for that much dosh, you'd better duplicate it and store the original in a lead-lined vault before you wear out the copy in a few days. Also available in Bonham's entertainment sale is a pair of purple gloves and handkerchiefs worn by Jack Nicholson in Batman (yum), and an original mint-condition poster for Marlene Dietrich's 1930 film The Blue Angel, which could fetch something like £4,000.

ARTS : The Campbells are coming

Naseem Khan meets the cast of Ken Campbell Presents

Shutting the door for the last time

To a generation of thirtysomethings, the words "Larry" and "Grayson" signify little more than a limp-wristed flouncer whose incomprehensibly unfunny catchphrase, "Shut that Door", helped earn him celebrity status as the new Bruce Forsyth on The Generation Game in the late Seventies.

Clean and clever wins laughs on the Fringe: In the first of a series, David Lister starts a deadly serious search for the best joke at the Edinburgh Festival with a visit to the amateurs

THE apocryphal story tells of the actor on his deathbed who was asked how it felt to die. 'It's hard,' he replied, 'but comedy's harder.'

BOOK REVIEW / Dropping the bottom line: 'The Kenneth Williams Letters' - ed Russell Davies: HarperCollins, 18 pounds

IN A letter dated 5 September 1951 Kenneth Williams writes to his friend John Hussey: 'Just finished painting the downstairs lav and I flatter myself it looks rather gay.' While this is clearly a tremendously important revelation to anyone currently working up a thesis on 'The Lavatory as Trope and Signifier in the Life and Work of Kenneth C Williams', I'm not sure what it tells the rest of us. Even before he died in 1988, the world was more than familiar with Williams's lavatorial obsession. Unlike his friend Joe Orton, Williams didn't view the khazi as the perfect venue for liaisons d'amour but as a private sanctum: he was notoriously reluctant to allow even his most trusted friends to soil this holy of holies.

Previews and First Nights

RUTHERFORD AND SON

SHOW PEOPLE / A heart and soul sister: ANNIE ROSS

IT'S A story that would be hard to believe even in a novel by some latter-day Henry Fielding. Annabelle Lynch, sister to the Scottish comedian Jimmy Logan, is left as a child in the care of an American aunt by her vaudevillean parents. She grows up in a household where Duke Ellington is likely to call in for tea, goes to school with Elizabeth Taylor, plays Judy Garland's daughter in a film, and eventually becomes a famous jazz singer and friend of Billie Holiday. After many further adventures, including having a son by the bebop drummer Kenny Clarke and running the archetypal Swinging London nightclub, Annie's Room in Covent Garden, she becomes a Hollywood star in her sixties and returns to England once again in triumph.

OFF WEST END / Hanging by a thread

It isn't easy to write about Shiny Nylon, a new production from the Women's Playhouse Trust. To see it, you have to travel to a remote corner of east London, beyond the Isle of Dogs, where you sit in a freezing cold Victorian shed wondering what on earth is going on while a woman in a velvet dress stalks up and down waving a large nickel-plated automatic pistol and shouting 'Tell me what you feel, you dumb fuck,' over and over. This is, you feel, not a good starting-point for a review. On the other hand, maybe it's all the review Shiny Nylon needs.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee