Arts and Entertainment

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

TV drama: Britain's got talent

British audiences have long been in thrall to US drama series. But the BFI's celebration of home-grown television shows that we too have been enjoying a golden age, argues Gerard Gilbert

The Taste of Sorrow, By Jude Morgan Headline

Jude Morgan specialises in writing novels about real-life historical literary figures, and while she lacks the postmodern play of a writer such as, say, Emma Tennant, she is nevertheless a truly appealing re-creator of fascinating times and individuals – in this case, the Brontë sisters.

Popcorn, By Garry Mulholland

It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see why film directors find rock bands so compelling. Their stories invariably take in the crucial components of drama – rebellion, egotism, money, sex, drugs and, in the more extreme cases, death. And they have never been so popular. Recently we have seen Anton Corbijn's Control, about Joy Division's Ian Curtis, Sam Taylor-Wood's Nowhere Boy, about a youthful John Lennon, and Mat Whitecross's paean to Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock'n' Roll, as well as a deluge of rock-docs on the likes of Dr Feelgood, Joe Strummer and Anvil.

Sunshine State, By James Miller

Struggling under cover of Darkness

Amol Rajan: Justice to the victims

I got into a bit of trouble in conference this morning for making the point - not as sensitively as I should have, perhaps - that the spectacle of grieving mothers may feed the tabloid beast, but is irreconcilable with the demands of post-modern law.

Steve Connor: Gain height and you might lose weight

Science Notebook: You can get rid of pounds by simply living on a mountain for a few weeks

Simon Calder: A post-modern pentathlon to the future

The man who pays his way

Visible Invisible, Parasol Unit, London

Mind games, lies, deception – all are playfully and thoughtfully explored in this exhibition that sets off a new trend

Professor Elizabeth Fallaize: Scholar celebrated for her work on Simone de Beauvoir and for championing Women's Studies

Professor Elizabeth Fallaize, who has died aged 59, was a leading figure in French studies, an international authority on the work of Simone de Beauvoir and, at the time of her early retirement in 2008, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Oxford. Throughout her career she worked with great energy and effectiveness for the development of the discipline of French Studies, for the advancement of women and Women's Studies in higher education, and for the College – St John's – and University she had joined 20 years previously. She was appointed Officier dans l'ordre des palmes académiques in 2002, and promoted to Commandeur in 2009.

Meryl Streep: Golden girl

No good parts in Hollywood for older actresses? Try telling that to a star who turned 60 this year and has never been on such a roll

The Misanthrope, Comedy Theatre, London

Thea Sharrock's revival of this 1996 contemporary update by Martin Crimp of Molière's great satire against both the amoral courtly rumour-mill and courtly malpractice is an excellent, platinum-cast treat.

Book Of A Lifetime: Slaughterhouse-Five, By Kurt Vonnegut

This was the proposition discussed at a dinner I attended in Beijing: Western civilisation imploded in 1914, shattered by the First World War. We live in its ruins. The moral certainty that gave us Balzac, Flaubert, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Melville and Dickens was blown to pieces in the trenches. Afterwards, music, literature and painting floundered in a wasteland of cynicism, moral ambiguity, frivolity and despair. We have achieved nothing since except barren technique. Literature is now being pulled apart by post-modernism and commercialism...

First Night: The Misanthrope, Comedy Theatre, London

Knightley casts aside critics in thrilling debut

Vitamin Ph, Introduced by TJ Demos

This survey of current photographs delineates the weird state of post-modern art – wildly diverse and personal, yet often bizarrely imitative. Skipping surrogates of Nan Goldin (nudity and scars) and Martin Parr (lurid close-up of iced buns), you encounter images that live on in the mind for their chilly resonance.

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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'