Arts and Entertainment

A definitive compendium on the revered institution that is the National Theatre

BOOK REVIEW / Dexter, not sinister: 'The Honourable Beast: A Posthumous Autobiography' - John Dexter: Nick Hern Books, 25 pounds

THE LAST TIME I saw John Dexter was at Colin Blakely's memorial service in Covent Garden. Eyes blazing and jaw tightly set, he homed in on me in the doorway of the church.

How We Met: Harriet Walter and Patsy Rodenburg

Patsy Rodenburg trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, spent nine years at the RSC, and has been Head of Voice at the National Theatre and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama since October 1990. She has written two books on voice and speech. Harriet Walter trained at LAMDA, is a member of the RSC, and won a the 1988 Laurence Olivier Award in 1988. She has recently accepted a position as an artistic director at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and is currently appearing as Lady Croom in Tom Stoppard's 'Arcadia' at the National Theatre.

Snooker: Taylor cut out to be the marathon man: Griffiths ground down in Crucible

ON the basis that if you do something long enough you will eventually become good at it, the Dennis Taylor versus Terry Griffiths match in the Embassy World Championship took on a grisly fascination. No one had anticipated a quick contest when they were paired together in the second round; few had expected it would drag on to nearly 2am yesterday.

Cashing in on the Golden Age of Filth

'YOU KNOW about her, don't you?'

Celebrity chest burster to kill for

IN THESE times of moral panic and negative equity, I like to roam the streets in search of a grotesque chest burster. At noon on Thursday I tracked one down in Chelsea, at Bonhams the auctioneers. The burster, lot 174, was the thing that sprang from John Hurt's stomach in Alien and went on to wreak madness through two sequels. It was being offered without arms, at an estimate of pounds 150- pounds 250. Naturally, I was interested.

Jim White on Friday: A man with 300 magnificent obsessions: When lucky MGs get very old, they do not go to heaven; they go to Peter Ratcliffe's workshop, an altogether better place

DR PETER RATCLIFFE picked up an ancient wooden car dash- board, pock-marked with worm holes, and surveyed it lovingly. 'This is history in your hands,' he said. 'Just think, it was fashioned by somebody listening on the radio to news about Hitler invading Czechoslovakia.

QUIZ / There are more questions than answers: Nick Lezard watches members of the RSC take on the National in their annual contest of theatrical knowledge

On the set of Carousel at the National's Lyttelton Theatre, two teams of actors are preparing to fight over a crutch. Not just any old crutch, mind. This is Antony Sher's black crutch from his production of Richard III - a big draw in contemporary theatrical iconography, the ultimate prop-up prop.

BOOK REVIEWS / Paperbacks, Non-fiction

Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession by Greil Marcus, Penguin pounds 9.99. Since Elvis's death at the age of 42, Presleymania has taken on all the trappings of a religion. Following the King- cult through the American psyche, Marcus's book is a gallery of bizarre posthumous phenomena, images, sightings - and, above all, merchandising.

Lord Olivier of Paddington: By day it's a west London coffee shop; by night it's tablecloths off for Iranian fringe theatre, courtesy of Iraj Emami, cafe owner, producer, actor extraordinaire

IT IS NOT what you expect of a coffee shop in Paddington, west London. By day, the La Strada looks much like any other cafe; a couple of students spending an hour over a shared espresso, a man in a pinstripe suit loudly conducting business over a portable phone. But for the last three weeks, if you had dropped in during the evening, you would have thought you had been teleported to downtown Tehran.

BOOK REVIEW / What Larry was like as a dad: My father Laurence Olivier - Tarquin Olivier: Headline, pounds 16.99

THIS is a curiosity: a Life by a son who barely saw his father but who adored him from afar and treasured every scrap of conversation, every fragment of correspondence. The prevailing note is almost unbearable pathos.

Obituary: Reginald Beck

Reginald Beck, film editor, born St Petersburg Russia 1902, died 12 July 1992.

Garrick chaps stand by to repel women: Zoe Heller infiltrates a bastion of male exclusiveness in its most divided hour

'FEELINGS are running very high about this. I heard a chap in the corridor the other day, shouting at the top of his voice about it. 'It's an outrage,' he was saying. 'The club will be ruined. It has to be stopped.' I . . .'
News
Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
peopleTerry Sue-Patt played Benny Green in the classic children's TV show
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
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<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?