Men Should Weep, National Theatre: Lyttelton, London

The National Theatre has been both shrewd and fortunate in its timing as it launches Josie Rourke's splendid revival of Men Should Weep in the wake of a comprehensive spending review that clobbers the poorest among us. Written in 1947, Ena Lamont Stewart's wonderfully rich but rarely performed play focuses on a Glaswegian family's struggle for survival during the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was notably revived by 7:84 Company in Scotland in 1982 during the Thatcherite recession. Now, when one of the characters says "It's only rich folks can keep theirselves tae theirselves. Folk like us hev tae depend on their neighbours when they're needin' help," you wonder what price David Cameron's Big Society.

My life after death row, by man cleared of murder

The twentieth of May 1999 is a date that will haunt John Thompson forever. It was the day he was going to die. Convicted in 1985 of first degree murder and an attempted carjacking three weeks later, the father-of-two from New Orleans was 24 when he arrived on death row in Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison. Over the course of his incarceration seven execution dates came and went, and as the final sweltering Deep South summer of the millennium approached he believed it would he his last.

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