Arts and Entertainment

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

New home fits the bill for one of the most important private theatre collections in the world

One of the most important private theatre collections in the world, that of the actors and historians Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson, has at last found an ideal home at Bristol University, where it will be preserved as an educational and research facility within the university's theatre library.

Celebrate Father's Day with The 39 Steps - bring your dad for free!

The 39 Steps is the hilarious comedy based on the 1935 Hitchcock spy film with four actors playing a minimum of ONE HUNDRED and ‘39’ roles.

Five pairs of tickets to see The 39 Steps up for grabs

The 39 Steps is the hilarious comedy based on the 1935 Hitchcock spy film with four actors playing a minimum of 100 and ‘39’ roles!

The rise of the understudy: A crisis on stage, starring a cast of total unknowns

Audiences are unhappy about the vanishing big names in the West End

Last Night's TV - The Nativity, BBC1; Come Rain Come Shine, ITV1

They're still in with a prayer

Motherwell support player over suspicious red-card

Motherwell have fully backed Steve Jennings amid an investigation by bookmakers into the red card he received during Tuesday night's defeat by Hearts.

The Belfast Festival at Queen's 2010

Now in its 48th year, the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s once again brings an extraordinary programme of cultural delight, to excite inspiration and provoke thought.

Onassis, Novello Theatre, London

Did Aristotle Onassis really conspire in the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in 1968? And did he do so out of cultural envy, sexual jealousy, business tactics, in deference to the PLO (with whom he safeguarded his commercial airline), or mere spite?

1415: Henry V's Year of Glory, By Ian Mortimer

Ian Mortimer's decision to tell this story in diary format, giving us an almost day-by-day account, would not have suited every historical study, but in this instance was a stroke of genius. The danger would have been an excess of extraneous detail, but Mortimer's instinct is superb and what we get instead is the mythical hero-king – immortalised by the Laurence Olivier film – rendered suddenly human and close.

On the agenda: Photomonth; Juice Festival; British Food Fortnight; Fashion Week; Jo Brand; Laurence Olivier Awards

A 7ft beast in Newcastle, political beasts in Staffordshire and a free feast at St Paul's

The royal rogue that Spacey was 'born to play'

He is Shakespeare's gloriously Machiavellian monarch-in-waiting, who machinates and murders his way to the throne during the 15th-century Wars of the Roses.

No frills, no fuss: the first couple of film tie the knot in private

The last time Penelope Cruz wore white for a big occasion was at the 2009 Oscars, when she dedicated her Best Supporting Actress gong to the "actors of my country" but pointedly neglected, in her long list of highly emotional thank-yous, to name-check fellow Spaniard Javier Bardem – not just her co-star in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but also her boyfriend.

Leading article: Love hurts

What is the "worst thing that has ever happened" to the British acting profession? Was it the murder of Christopher Marlowe? Maybe the 1737 Theatrical Licensing Act, which empowered the Lord Chamberlain's Office to censor plays? Perhaps it was the Carry On films?

David Lister: Redgrave was versatile, vivacious and under-rated

The line from Hamlet that "when sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions" must be haunting the Redgrave family. Vanessa Redgrave, who has lost her daughter and her brother, has had to face within a year the loss of her daughter, brother and now sister.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

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Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

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Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

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Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

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Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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