Arts and Entertainment Matt Lucas (left) and Harry Hill. Lucas is to play the twin of comic Hill as the madcap TV Burp star makes his movie debut.

Matt Lucas is to play the twin of comic Harry Hill as the madcap TV Burp star makes his movie debut.

How I faced up to the camera

Penelope Wilton was overjoyed when Alan Bennett tailored a new `Talking Heads' monologue for her. By David Benedict

Film: Women on the edge of an emotional breakthrough

It was the first time Brenda Blethyn and Julie Walters worked together, but `Girls' Night' was the start of a beautiful friendship.

A pound a film day

Sunday, 15th June sees the repeat of last year's hugely successful National Cinema Day. For just pounds 1, you can see any film in any one of the UK's 742 cinemas.

Style police: Curls on top

Not in our lifetime, we thought, but incredibly, the perm is back. This time Kristin Scott Thomas and her ringlets are the inspiration, says James Sherwood

THE EYE PROFILE: JULIE WALTERS: WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY

Actress JULIE WALTERS talks with Minty Clinch

Theatre: Educating Rita / Oleanna Salisbury Playhouse

Jonathan Church can't be the only person to have noticed the intriguing similarities and differences between Willie Russell's popular hit Educating Rita and David Mamet's infamous hit-below-the-belt Oleanna. One-set two- handers, they both explore the life-changing effect on a middle-aged academic of one of his female students. The young and newish artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse scores what I think is a first, though, in actually mounting studio productions of both plays in rep using the same pair of actors. The result, particularly if you see these works back-to-back, is a wonderfully thought-provoking dramatic diptych.

Backstairs rebellion

The detailing of a domestic tyranny makes for more compelling cinema than Kenneth Branagh's tired am-dram hokum. By Adam Mars-Jones; SISTER MY SISTER Nancy Meckler (15) IN THE BLEAK MID WINTER Kenneth Branagh (15)

It's a man's man's world

TELEVISION

Can dad become the perfect mum?

Parents who reverse roles are all the rage in popular drama. But in real-life households where he bakes while she earns the bread, social conditioning often dies hard. Lucy Lamble reports

A living national treasure

Julie Walters is one of our finest actresses. She is also the woman the British public most likes to see in TV adverts, as she confesses to James Rampton

Theatre / FAUST - RSC, Stratford

Viewed from an orthodox Christian point of view, Goethe's Faust is a drama which takes two plays, six-and-a-half hours and a great deal of fidgeting around the cosmos in order to arrive at the wrong conclusion. Howard Brenton's new version, staged now by Michael Bogdanov in the Swan, makes a pointed if slightly laboured joke about this, teasing us with a retributive false-ending.

how to be an extra

Sydney Gilman turns around in his stall seat in the Palace Theatre, Manchester, and looks blank for a moment. "What do you mean by extras?" he asks. "We're Cavalcaders."

Television (Review): The Britain of Sir Henry and Victoria Wood

MIDWAY through The Last Night of the Proms (BBC 1, Saturday), about the point when a bearded computer analyst draped a laurel wreath over the bronze bust of Sir Henry Wood, Richard Baker announced that the event was being broadcast for the first time live in Japan.

Edinburgh Festival / Day 11: Reviews

PUB INTERNATIONALE

Review: The medium has a message for you all

I don't know what it is about the spirit world but it always appears a little humdrum to me. The writer Radclyffe Hall was a big believer, in common with thousands of others just after the Great War, when mass bereavement fuelled an explosion in spiritualism. She was once reassured to discover that a loved one would be able to enjoy whisky and soda in the great beyond and also had the use of a swimming pool. Mavis, the medium profiled in last night's Everyman (BBC 1) reassured one grieving couple by assuring them that their dead son was now involved in a training programme, helping young people to 'come across'. The pay may not be great, sure, but the job security is matchless.
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