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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