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Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

Cate Blanchett makes theatre awards shortlist for first London stage performance in over a decade

Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett has been shortlisted for a major theatre award for her first stage performance in 13 years.

Joely Richardson as Ellida, 'a picture of statuesque frailty'

First Night: The Lady from the Sea, Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames

Richardson dazzles on her return to the London stage

Joely Richardson is playing Ellida in Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From The Sea at Rose Theatre in Kingston from February 23 to March 17

The lady from the dynasty

Joely Richardson, a scion of England's grandest theatrical family and with a glittering career to match, is pensive on the eve of her return to the London stage, writes Arifa Akbar

Joely Richardson is playing Ellida in Henrik Ibsen's The Lady From The Sea at Rose Theatre in Kingston from February 23 to March 17

Once a Redgrave: Joely Richardson on playing the role made famous by her mother and sister

Joely Richardson is a scion of England's grandest theatrical family, with a glittering career to match. But recent years have brought the deaths of the actress's sister, uncle and aunt. Arifa Akbar finds her in a pensive mood on the eve of her return to the London stage.

The Lady from the Sea, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

A sensitive take on a stormy tale

Rich Fulcher: An Evening with Eleanor the Tour Whore, Udderbelly's Pasture, Bristo Square, Edinburgh

At the end of Rich Fulcher's flawed show some members of the audience give him a standing ovation. They're probably the same people that started a Mexican wave before it even began. Such slavish behaviour is typical of fans of The Mighty Boosh, in which Fulcher famously stars.

Actress Lynn Redgrave dies at 67

Lynn Redgrave, an introspective and independent player in her family's acting dynasty who became a 1960s sensation as the freethinking title character of "Georgy Girl" and later dramatized her troubled past in such one-woman stage performances "Shakespeare for My Father" and "Nightingale," has died. She was 67.

Errors & Omissions: Uncontrollable outbreak of journalese results in tragedy

"Have you heard? This woman died in a skiing accident, and then about a year later her elderly uncle died too. He had been in poor health for some time."

Actor Corin Redgrave dies

Actor Corin Redgrave has died at the age of 70, his family said today.

Evening Session to return... on 6 Music

The show that chronicled the birth of Britpop is back – for one night only

Vanessa Redgrave speaks of grief over death of daughter Natasha Richardson

Vanessa Redgrave has spoken about dealing with grief following the death of her daughter Natasha Richardson.

Stars turn out to honour Natasha Richardson

A New York City snowstorm couldn't deter Hollywood's brightest stars from supporting Natasha Richardson's favourite charity.

Free Independent Drama: As We Forgive Them

As President Obama marks his first year in office, The Independent is giving you an exclusive opportunity to download an award-winning new drama about a subject that cuts to the very heart of American politics.

Liam Neeson quits film as grief for late wife Natasha Richardson overwhelms him

Since the death of his actress wife Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident last year Liam Neeson has immersed himself in work, finding some sort of comfort in his hectic schedule.

Jade Goody is 'most mourned celebrity'

Big Brother star Jade Goody has proved to be the most mourned celebrity this year, according to an online tribute site.

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