Arts and Entertainment '1984' performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

It seems a suitably Orwellian reward to the extraordinary success story that is Nottingham Playhouse’s co-production of 1984.  On the day that tickets for its keenly-awaited opening at the Almeida in London went on sale, the company was told - without warning - it faced losing all of its funding from Nottinghamshire County Council.

Great music, natural beauty ... and they can even Russell up a film star

British Breaks: Pembrokeshire

Tom Sutcliffe: We are owned by the things that we own

How many of us, I wonder, felt a twinge of envy when reading that the artist Jasper Joffe plans to sell absolutely everything he possesses and start again from scratch? True, we might not envy the circumstance that has lead to this decision – which was the unexpected ending (involuntary on his part) of a five-year relationship – but the idea of total divestment has a deep and seductive allure, at least for those lucky enough not to have to dread the prospect that it might actually happen, through flood or war.

Tied up in Notts, with Byron and Robin Hood

British Breaks: Nottinghamshire

Tim Walker: 'Most people who try to make a fan movie get bored or get a job instead'

The Couch Surfer: Having the motivation, the stamina and, crucially, the equipment to make a full-length fan movie is exceptional.

Fashion: Hark, what style is this?

When times get tough, designers get creative and flamboyant escapism is often the order of the day. But the autumn collections were more about high-church asceticism. Arcane, medieval shapes and styles were going on a pilgrimage to the end of the catwalk and back.

DVD: Defiance, For retail and rental, (Momentum)

Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell star as the Bielski brothers, the farmer's sons who set up a camp for their fellow Jewish refugees in a Belorussian forest during the Second World War.

Teenager shot dead in pub

A 16-year-old boy has been shot dead at a pub in Greater Manchester, police said today.



Wolverine: Back to the future

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the latest blockbuster to revisit the birth of a superhero. Tim Walker explores the unstoppable rise of the prequel

On the Front Foot: Cricket 'not as popular as archery' but ECB claim we miss the point

Either cricket is blooming with health or it is dead on its feet. Depends who you believe. The doom-mongers, who include the '2009 Wisden Almanack', have made much of a survey conducted in London schools last year by the Pro-Active South London group. To the killer question, which sport would you like to play more of, so few said it was cricket that it finished in 21st place, behind martial arts, archery and skiing (though Asian respondents, significantly, placed it well inside the top 10, and those of Pakistani origin put it top). Yet last week the England and Wales Cricket Board published another report showing that participation in the game last year increased by 24 per cent, 49 per cent in the case of women and girls. Impressive figures, in cricket terms almost Bradmanesque. These extremes cannot both be correct – unless other sports are simply increasing in popularity even more, south London is out of kilter with the rest of the nation or people do not want to play more cricket for the simple reason that they are already playing enough. Pete Ackerley, the ECB's head of development, was miffed about the schools survey, which he claimed was not truly representative. "More young people are playing cricket and more are being coached," he said. All this will re-open the debate on whether cricket needs a more prominent presence on free-to-air television, which seems to be a red herring considering archery does not appear to have a prime-time slot on BBC1 unless you count Robin Hood on Saturdays. The truth seems to be that cricket can hardly afford complacency, can never drop its guard, so to speak, against such interlopers as martial arts, but may actually be winning.

Pandora: A ray of light for adoption opponents

There are, it would seem, further twists to be negotiated in Madonna's Long Road to Adoption – this time in the daunting form of an emergency injunction by her opponents. Pandora hears that a collection of almost 90 Malawian civil rights groups met yesterday, hatching the plan of a court order preventing the child-gathering singer (shown here with an earlier aquisition) from adding a four-year-old girl to her toy box.

History is debunked

Now it's Robin and the Hoodies, as another legend dies. Cole Moreton and Ian Johnston report

Question Time: Andrew Zein, MD, Tiger Aspect Productions

Work: Andrew Zein, 39, is managing director of the independent television production company Tiger Aspect.

Life: Married with 'two-and-a-half children – the third is on the way'.

Balance: When not meeting his children's demands, he devours as much television drama and comedy as he can.

Oliver!: The real story of Britain's greatest musical

Rowan Atkinson is set to bring crowds flocking to Oliver! again. And though the show's history has its tragedies, the potent mix of fun and misery is perfect for our times, says Michael Coveney

Doctor Who? Unknown is latest incarnation of Time Lord

The question became inevitable last night after it was revealed that 26-year-old actor Matt Smith had been cast as the latest incarnation of the most famous double-hearted Time Lord in the universe.

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