Arts and Entertainment A scene from the film Storage 24 that grossed $72 at the US box office

The film made less than £50 after being on release for a week

Simon Read: Bailiffs are an upsetting and costly way to collect late debts

I make no apologies for returning to the subject of bailiffs this week. But I will apologise for any suggestion in my column last week that all bailiffs are unscrupulous bullies who are happy to lie their way into people's homes and help themselves to people's treasured possessions.

The Knot, Jesse Lawrence, 92mins (15)

Starring: Noel Clarke, Mena Suvari

The best, worst and downright absurd sporting mascots

This week has seen not one, but two new sporting mascots unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

Also showing: Friends with Kids, Dark Horse, Lovely Molly and Storage 24

Friends with Kids, 110 mins, 15

Karate girls in A Running Jump by Mike Leigh

First Night: London 2012 short films, Edinburgh Film Festival

Directors' Olympic film relay struggles to get out of the blocks

Rafe Spall, who played Shakespeare, has defended 'Anonymous'

Rylance defends Shakespeare film's right to question identity of Bard

Mark Rylance, one of Britain's most respected actors and the founding artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London, has defended his role in a film that pours doubt on the identity of the Bard.

City skyscraper era comes to an end

Square Mile's chief planner says current cluster of tall buildings will give way to large scale refurbishment of existing offices

Train and bus use on the increase

The rising cost of motoring is encouraging more people to use public transport, according to bus and train group Go-Ahead.

Days of the Commune, White Bear Theatre, London

Much is made, by the Gunpowder Theatre Company, of the fact that Days of the Commune is one of Bertolt Brecht's least-performed plays. Cynics might reply that there is a reason for this. This is a hefty, agenda-ridden account of the Paris Commune and as such it represents a challenge in any milieu – all the more so when that happens to be behind a South London pub during a grudge football match.

Happy Days in the Art World, Tramway, Glasgow

Previewing in Glasgow before its premiere proper at New York's Performa biennial next week, this piece by the Danish-Norwegian conceptual art duo Elmgreen & Dragset blurs the line between performance art and theatre.

Acting tough: Johnny Harris is well suited to scary roles

Street-fighting man still packs a real punch

One-time boxing champion Johnny Harris has become a Brit-flick star

The Days of the Commune, The White Bear Theatre

Much is made, by the Gunpowder Theatre Company, of their latest endeavour’s ambition.

The Country Life, By Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk's re-published third novel is reminder of just what an impressive writer she has always been. This rustic satire sees Cusk eschewing the clean, cool lines of modern fiction for an altogether denser affair. Billed as comedy, it's sometimes hard to spot the joke in this merciless journey into "the solipsistic cabbage patch" of a young woman's mind.

James Murdoch 'had to sign off hacking payouts over £250,000'

He has previously told MPs he was not aware of the details behind the Taylor deal

Adele cancels US tour amid fears of vocal cord damage

The singer Adele has cancelled her 10-date US tour as she revealed she is in danger of permanently damaging her vocal cords.

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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
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there