Arts and Entertainment

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

Arts: his was the week that was

Today On this day 40 years ago jazz history was made when Miles Davis went into the studio with brief outlines of two new tracks and completed his breathtaking Kind of Blue album. And in 1744 nursery rhyme history was made with the publication of "Baa, baa black sheep", in Tommy Thumb's Song Book by Mrs Mary Cooper.

Focus: The accent that dare not speak its name

As posh talk becomes passe and RP dies out, the demotic language of the call centre is now the only one we share

Sport On TV: Staying ahead of the game at Madame Tussaud's

THERE IS only one true barometer of fame: Madame Tussaud's. If you're one of the 400 dummies on show, you're in the loop. Beyond lies the abyss to which has-beens are consigned. Or at least the head room. In Modern Times: Waxworks of the Rich and Famous (BBC2, Wednesday), assorted celebs ruminated on being in with the wax crowd - and what it feels like when your time is up.

Arts: Best of brood

English fiction has no more potent character than Heathcliff. John Sutherland compares versions of Emily Bronte's anti-hero

Obituary: Susan Strasberg

THE DAUGHTER of Lee Strasberg, proponent of the Method and founder of the famed Actors' Studio, and his wife Paula, who achieved notoriety as Marilyn Monroe's coach, Susan Strasberg was starring on Broadway in The Diary of Anne Frank at the age of 17; two years later she had the plum role of an aspiring actress in a screen remake of Morning Glory, which in 1933 had won an Oscar for Katharine Hepburn.

Theatre review: New lamps for old

LEGAL NOTE: Please do not publish articles about the alleged dangers of aspartame without contacting the legal department and the aspartame information website

Toby O'Connor Morse

Cross Words: Battle of the bands

Head to head: Is the cover album the ultimate tribute or tragic rip-off? Stephen McGann of The McGanns defends their debut album against Tony Szuminski of Puressence

FIRST CALL

Following the huge success of their album Fresco, M-People have announced an extensive UK arena tour. The R&B soul sensations, featuring the distinctive vocals of Heather Small, will showcase their new album, The Best of M-People, which is released on 2 Nov and features three new tracks alongside old favourites like "Search for the Hero" and "Moving On Up". There will also be a new single to add to the repertoire, "Testify", which is released on Monday.

Theatre: Richard III

"Maybe I could help you with that hump?" suggested Gene Wilder. "Hump? What hump?" replied the perplexed Marty Feldman. I refer, of course, to a scene in Mel Brooks's sublime Young Frankenstein, the best thing in humps since the invention of camels. Perhaps a more famous example is Richard III, a play that is rarely off the stage as it affords such tremendous opportunities for the leading actor, a fact not missed by Laurence Olivier and Ian McKellen, both of whom filmed their acclaimed stage appearances. Now it's the turn of Ian Pepperell at Leicester (taking time out from being Roy Tucker in The Archers) and Robert Lindsay (right) who is playing the hunch(back) at the RSC.

The only useful list is a shopping list

Only now do I see what a fiendishly difficult and meaningless exercise it is to compile lists of the best films, music and plays

Denmark's Greta Garbo

Actress Bodil Kjer rejected Hollywood, found fame in her homeland and international acclaim at the age of 70 in Babette's Feast. But she still has one regret.

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: 1: Robert Mitchum, Film Actor

IN THE Sixties Robert Mitchum appeared on a chat show plugging a record he had just released. "Can you sing?" he was asked. "Hell no," was the reply, "can't act either, but that never stopped me."

Cracking northern accent, Gromit

Every dialect has its place, and the place for some is at home, not abroad

He oughta be in pictures...

If you prefer Olivier to Arnie, a man at the NFT could have you singin' in the aisles.
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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
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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

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
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...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

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

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

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Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

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