Arts and Entertainment

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

Julian Sands: Shifting Sands

After 20 years in Hollywood, Julian Sands returns to our screens as Laurence Olivier, no less, in a drama on the critic Kenneth Tynan, writes Gerard Gilbert

Tynan, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

He'd been the dandy king of Oxford.

Back from the dead: Lord Larry Olivier returns to movies after 'resting' for 15 years

Laurence Olivier once remarked "work is life ... without acting I cannot breathe", and during the course of his career he notched up 120 stage roles, 60 films and 15 television productions. He also ran the newly formed National Theatre for more than a decade.

Secret Dreams: A Biography of Michael Redgrave by Alan Strachan

Airbrushed out of history by Olivier

Swedish Reflections Ed. Judith Black & Jim Potts

To Sean French, Anglo-Swedish usually relations mean slaughter more than sympathy

Swedish Reflections Ed. Judith Black & Jim Potts Arcadia £11.99, 277pp £11.99 (plus £2.25 p&p per order) from 0870 8001122

To Sean French, Anglo-Swedish usually relations mean slaughter more than sympathy

Brighton Festival, Brighton Dome, Brighton

Musical shot in the arm

Portrait: His harshest critic

As a food writer, AA Gill is renowned for his withering turn of phrase, but, it seems, he reserves his most merciless judgements for himself

Obituary: James Ottaway

OVER FOUR decades from the Thirties, James Ottaway was a regular on the West End stage, but his talents as a character actor were not fully realised on television until the Sixties.

THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

"Why don't you just try acting, dear boy?" Laurence Olivier's reputed response to Dustin Hoffman's Method acting in Marathon Man is one of several tart remarks in Other People's Shoes, Harriet Walter's book on acting. Were you to slip your hand into a threshing machine, the number of remaining fingers would equal the number of half-way decent books on the subject. Most of these fall into either the "teach your-self" or autobiographical camps. The former are humourless, usually ancient volumes outlining The Voice or Use of Costumes; the latter, self-aggrandising tales in which actors try to prove their intellectual credentials by analysing their craft after decades of talking about the indefinable mystery of theatre. Thus it is to her inestimable credit that Walter falls into neither trap. Her text may be dotted with autobiographical detail, but the meat of the book is cogent analysis of the processes and choices an actor makes when preparing and performing. It won't teach you "everything you need to know", but certainly shatters misconceptions.

Obituary: Christine Glanville

AS ONE of Gerry Anderson's chief puppeteers and puppet-makers, Christine Glanville saw the whole evolution of film and television puppetry and was at the heart of that development. She worked on almost all of the classic Anderson television series of the 1960s, including Stingray and Thunderbirds.
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general election 2015
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
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Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

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How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
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The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
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Let the propaganda wars begin - again

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Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
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Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own