National Gallery

How Michelangelo's Taddei tondo got to Britain

We trace the journey of the only marble by Michelangelo in Britain, which is a star attraction at the National Gallery's Michelangelo & Sebastiano show and is usually hidden away in a bulletproof box in a quiet corner of the Royal Academy's Sackler Landing 

Actress Maxine Peake turns to goth rock music

She is best known for starring in Silk and The Village but Maxine Peake has another, darker, string to her bow. Away from the cameras, she has been recording songs about the Pendle witch trials with The Eccentronic Research Council. The Sheffield collective, led by musicians Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer, asked the actress to narrate their concept album 1612 Underture last year. “I never expected I would perform it”, Peake tells me.

Coming soon in visual arts: From Australia to Margate

Australia: so much to see, so far to travel. Hence the most satisfying thing about this autumn's calendar is news that a bunch of top curators have edited 200 years of the nation's art and are delivering it to our doorsteps for £14 a ticket. Australia at the Royal Academy, London (21 Sept to 8 Dec), features work by settlers and indigenous people and, best of all, includes four paintings from Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series, the source of much mythology and fame.

Asunder, By Chloe Aridjis

This unusual novel of art, solitude and imagination breaks the rules but creates a vision of its own

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Timon of Athens, Olivier, National Theatre, London

A profligate philanthropist goes bust, loses all his fawning fair-weather friends and bolts to the opposite extreme, becoming an even more fanatical misanthrope who rages at mankind in his self-imposed exile. 

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, Royal Opera House, London

In an Olympic year full of artistic grand projects, The Royal Ballet ends its season with one of the grandest. Titian: Metamorphosis 2012 has seven choreographers, three composers, three designers, and the surprise is that this isn’t a case of too many cooks. It’s a coherent, stylish evening, with artists moving confidently into new areas.