Sport

The latest stories and all the transfer rumours on Thursday 8 January

Luke Wright's Cynical Ballads, Leicester Square Theatre, London

"It was the fault of the government," barks Mark E Smith on The Fall's version of "Jerusalem" that is played before and after Luke Wright's new show. The 29-year-old poet's series of ballads, structured verses for Broken Britain, are similarly blunt in their assault on the national malaise, with media manipulation and the pursuit of easy fame among the other ills that Wright sees as afflicting our senses and sensibilities.

Kieran & the Joes in Success: a Success Story, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Three young men wearing white shirts and ties acting out themed scenes while their relationship dynamic changes through petty jealousies and annoyances sounds par for the course for the sketch genre, but there's enough of a twinkle in the eyes of performers Kieran Hodgson, Joe Parham and Joe Markham, and in the lines crafted by the cast and co-writer Tom Meltzer, that make this show a little above the average fare.

Stewart Lee: Vegetable Stew, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Sharp show is souped up with jokes

Doug Stanhope, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Dressed casually in jeans, Doug Stanhope looks less uncompromising US stand-up and more potter about to start work on some clay. Meanwhile, the trademark alcoholic haze that steadily creeps up on Stanhope (his poison for this performance is a double cocktail of beer and Jagerbombs) makes for the usual mix of the unfocused and the inspired.

Minor British Institutions: Cockney rhyming slang

Cor blimey! Cockney rhyming slang may have originated as a cryptolect to confound outsiders, occasionally including the law. If so, it failed, as most of it is widely understood far beyond Bow Bells.

Macy Gray, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Given she released her fifth album last month, it seems unfair to call Macy Gray a one-hit-wonder. Still, nothing she has produced has come close to breaking into the public consciousness the way "I Try" did when it was released back in 1999, and although she has kept on making music, it is not too much of a surprise that tonight this intimate venue is not completely full.

Outside the Boks: Fifty volleys in a row is meat and drink to Greavsie

When Jimmy Greaves turned up to take part in an advertisement for Burger King in Leicester Square, the film company had arranged a body double for what they imagined would be the hard part: volleying a football through the doors of the restaurant and into the street. Even with two reconstructed knees, Greavsie insisted on doing that himself and executed 50 in a row bang on target. He can't have been using the Jabulani.

Live Review: Plan B, Sound, Leicester Square, 19th May

As Kafka once described; "When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous insect”, thus a metamorphosis of the self can definitely make a big change, be it for better or worse. With this in mind, Plan B, obviously failing at Plan A, has transformed into a giant insect that climbs walls for pleasure. Ah, not really, he’s just changed in to a male Amy Winehouse (which is similar to be a big insect climbing the walls come to think of it) and he’s managed to blow away critics with his new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

KFC admits hygiene breaches at Leicester Square branch

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) today admitted breaching hygiene rules at one of the busiest branches in Britain

Philip Ridley: I grew up with racism, but now it's an even scarier threat

When I was at school one of my best friends was a member of the National Front. At least, he had been. He was thrown out for being too extreme. So he joined Viking Youth. You had to be the full blond-and-blue-eyed package for that lot. They would congregate at the corner of Brick Lane every Sunday morning and hurl abuse at anyone who wasn't white. At school, my mate would boast how he'd "punched a Paki". You notice I keep saying "my mate" and "friend". And he was. I saw The Fly with him. We walked all the way home from Leicester Square to Bethnal Green. Just the two of us.

An Evening with David Sedaris, Leicester Square Theatre, London

'New Yorker' stories combine cleverness and consolation

BioShock 2: The interview

When 2K Marin’s BioShock first appeared on PC and Xbox 360 back in 2007 its Creative Director, Ken Levine, was able to create an experience praised as much for its discussion of philosophy as it was its non-linear action sequences.

Miracle, Leicester Square Theatre, London

Not much to wonder at here

First Night: Avatar, Odeon, Leicester Square

London rolls out the blue carpet for Avatar (and it's actually quite good)
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