Arts and Entertainment

The Good Wife on More4 is in the midst of a reputation revision. Long-term fans of the smart, glossy legal drama, which began its fifth season on More4 last night, often complain it's not given the recognition it deserves. It's true that among crime and law procedurals (TV shows where a problem is raised and solved within a single episode) this is a show of unusual quality. But is The Good Wife really that good?

Chinese Acrobatic Swan Lake, Royal Opera House, London

The Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe's Swan Lake is phenomenal and cheesy, sometimes both in the same breath. On the one hand, you get blurry storytelling, tacky effects and a corps de ballet on roller skates. On the other, you get performers doing the impossible – most spectacularly, that scene where the heroine dances, on pointe, on top of Wei Baohua's head. Once balanced, Wu Zhengdan kicks her other foot into a high extension. And then she does a backbend, her head level with her supporting ankle. The audience reacts with awed disbelief.

Brian Viner: A circus true to its roots

Country Life: 'We were by far the most cheaply educated people under the Giffords Circus big top in Cirencester'

First Night: Circque du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall, London

Never mind the plot, enjoy the somersaults

Boxing: Magee makes Froch work hard to retain title

It took Carl Froch less than two minutes to knock Brian Magee down but it took 11 rounds to stop him.

Ass you like it

Donkeys, witchcraft and sex... The Golden Ass has it all. Paul Taylor celebrates a classical adaptation without a toga in sight

Bean-bag jugglers head for Canterbury

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MONITOR: THE BLAIR BABY

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Someone's Got To Do It: Jill Gambling, Brochure Production manager for Cosmos

What does a typical day involve?

Outlook: ScottishPower

THE REGULATORY risks inherent in ScottishPower's multi-utility strategy are coming home to roost. Whereas other electricity companies have had to contend with one or, at worst, two price reviews, the not- so-canny Scots are facing a quadruple whammy from the energy and water regulators.

What To Do This Weekend In London...And Beyond

Colourscape

Leading Article: Let the law lead the way to better parenting

IT IS easy to criticise the Government proposals that were announced yesterday for extra-parental leave. It is said that the well-off will benefit most, because those on lower incomes cannot afford to take three months without pay. Small businessmen, especially, are unhappy because it will make life more difficult if essential employees are allowed to vanish for weeks or months at a time. This, in turn, could mean that the new rules will backfire; employers could be less eager to hire the parents of young children, or women of child-bearing age, who might cause such unwanted chaos. The idea that an employee has the right to walk out on the job at any moment because of a hiccup with the child-minder conjures up visions of disastrous chaos.

Cricket: Sales of the centuries

Northamptonshire 579 Essex 258-3
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
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Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
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Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?