Facing up to the past

Kate Beckinsale talks to Janie Lawrence

THEATRE: Widows; Badfinger Oxford Playhouse; Donmar Warehouse

It all began with his hallucination of an old woman by a river, holding the hand of a body just washed up on the bank. The Chilean author Ariel Dorfman has explored that image in a poem, then in a novel, and now - after many rewrites, workshops, a collaboration with Tony Kushner and yet further revisions - it achieves its final dramatic form in Widows, powerfully staged by Ian Brown in the touring Traverse Theatre production.

Pinter's coming home


Make-believe with malice

In Roger Michell's revival of Harold Pinter's `The Homecoming', the audience sees through the play as well as the set.

Not quite airborne

THEATRE; The Seagull Bath Theatre Royal

THEATRE / Virtual reality: Paul Taylor on electronic circuits and electric performances in Ninagawa's production of Peer Gynt at the Barbican; plus Thomas Otway revived in Manchester

Captivating large audiences seems to come as naturally as breathing to Michael Sheen - which is just as well because in Ninagawa's vast, multi-national Peer Gynt, now at the Barbican, the mop-haired 25-year-old Welsh actor has to hold the stage for more than four hours, taking Ibsen's incorrigible fantasist and liar from impetuous youth to the dark disillusions of old age.

THEATRE / A Peer with no equals: The plan was to stage Ibsen's Peer Gynt on home soil in Olympic year. Enter the Japanese master Ninagawa. Teaterflopp] jeered a Norwegian critic. By Paul Taylor

For the first night speeches and celebrations, Ellen Horn, the artistic director of Norway's National Theatre, had arrayed herself in traditional Norwegian costume, the effect being roughly equivalent to Richard Eyre welcoming a visiting foreign company done up as a Beefeater.

THEATRE / Blind men's bluff: Paul Taylor reviews Cheek by Jowl's double bill

The celebrated Cheek by Jowl opens its London season at the Donmar Warehouse with a 20-minute curtain-raiser that involves three Flemish blind men, on the march (as they think) to Rome for a cure, who refuse to believe the news that they are in fact walking round and round in circles and end up sinking to their deaths in a bog. It's hard to extract anything much but a brisk dose of the obvious from Michel de Ghelderode's dour, droll playlet. Its central image is inspired by Breughel's famous painting The Parable of the Blind; its dramatic effect is like Beckett minus the genius.

THEATRE / Barker's up for assault again: The Europeans - Greenwich; Blood Wedding - Lyric Hammersmith; Don't Fool With Love - Queen's Hall Arts Centre

TOWARDS the end of Howard Barker's The Europeans, a play set in Vienna after the siege of 1683, the Habsburg General Starhemberg gives one of his officers a message to deliver behind the Turkish lines. The officer hesitates; he has four children. Don't plead for them, Starhemberg (Nicholas le Prevost) tells him; plead for yourself, 'Make me adore you,' and adopts the pose of a trusting child while the other embarks on an embarrassed rigmarole that finally trails away with the acknowledgement that it is time he went off to see the Turks.

TELEVISION / The ready-mix detective: James Rampton reviews the best of the weekend's programmes

The following extract is taken from the Questionnaire for Would-Be Television Detectives:
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Chelsea's Loic Remy opens the scoring
footballLatest score and Twitter updates from the Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
India & Nepal
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are