Arts and Entertainment

"Bo Burnham: What", Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh Fringe, August

Paul F Tompkins

Theatre review: Paul F Tompkins: Crying and Driving, Soho Theatre, London

“Please welcome, the comedian, Paul F. Tompkins”. The precise way in which the American veteran introduces himself to us tonight is not merely playful intonation, it's indicative of the poise and clarity that will characterise the hour to come.

In The Studio: Gerard Hemsworth, artist

'When I put Mark Wallinger and Bob & Roberta Smith on a pair of elephants'

BC Reloaded, 2012. Bernadette Corporation with Benjamin Alexander Huseby. Courtesy the artists and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York; Cabinet, London; Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna; Galerie NEU, Berlin.

Bernadette Corporation, 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, London

“I had never been cool. I liked the same music as my mother,” writes an anonymous member of Bernadette Corporation, the New York artists’ collective, founded in the early 90s, whose oeuvre spans fashion, literature, film, and installation.

I need only mention James Franco, who combines the looks of James Dean, polymathic ambition of Stephen Fry and slacker demeanour of The Big Lebowski’s The Dude. And yet, he’s a proper pin-up

James Franco: Hero or Villain?

They don't make 'em like they used to – that's the received wisdom when it comes to film stars, right? Where screen idols of yore thrived on ego and excess, today's pretenders suffer on egg-white omelettes and media training.

Barney Clark as Oliver in Roman Polanski's 'Oliver Twist'

Oi, give us some more, you mug, or I'll do yer: Get ready for Oliver Twist spin-offs

Having sucked the pith out of Great Expectations twice over (Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter both self-immolated as Miss Havisham), film producers are now delving into Oliver Twist for spin-off ideas.

US TV show Community has had a complicated production history

Fans wail as US cult show Community loses its 'mad scientist of sitcoms' in hostile takeover

The notion of a cult US TV show that has garnered more column inches than viewers – think Arrested Development or Joss Whedon's Firefly – is nothing new.

Paperback review: Thinking in Numbers, By Daniel Tammet

A clever book about maths that just doesn't add up

A Lost Expression, By Luke Kennard. Salt Publishing, £12.99

In A Lost Expression, Luke Kennard's fourth collection of poetry, estranged protagonists report from a culture that feels at once decrepit and accelerating. "The pram cracks over branches, fag butts, glass;/ my son cries like he sees my vilest thoughts," says the narrator of "Will Write Properly Soon". Disconnection finds its form in the footnote that fractures "Parabola", asking: "How apparent is his desperation to be liked?"

Getting On

Review of 2012: Television

Women led the laughs, both in the NHS and the Hamptons, but even Claire can't save 'Homeland'

Adam Ant and The Good, the Mad and the Lovely Posse, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

"Ridicule is nothing to be scared of," bellows a stranger sporting a pirate costume into my ear, his arm wrapped around my shoulder.

The Vivisector: Group show curated by Todd Levin, Sprüth Magers, London

A naked doll with long synthetic hair greets the visitor to this inspired exhibition, which explores "the idea of opening up and exposing a living body".

Thinker, soldier, spy: Claire Danes and Damian Lewis star in 'Homeland'

Homeland or Downton Abbey: it’s decision time

This is the great ideological clash of Sunday nights at 9. Domestic staff or domestic security - there's no sitting on the fence, only deranged lunatics watch both

The winning contribution could be aired at the beginning of next season's finale in May 2013

Television: Take over the most famous sofa in the US

Simpsons fans can now submit 'couch gags' for the show's opening credits. It's the best seat in the house

Milking the laughs: Brendan O'Carroll with his Bafta, and as his alter ego Mrs Brown

Is Saturday TV a bit of a drag?

The foul-mouthed, dysfunctional Mrs Brown is hoping to change all that with her new BBC celebrity quiz show

Leading article: When rock music meets do-it-yourself

While not quite in the same class as John Cage's 4 minutes 33 seconds of silence, Andy Warhol's empty sculpture stand or Gianni Motti's blank white canvases, rock musician Beck's decision to release his latest album only as a collection of 20 pieces of sheet music constitutes something more than artistic eccentricity.

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