Bow Wow Wow, The Brook, Southampton / Daniel Johnston, St Bartholemew's Church, Brighton

Bow Wow Wow's return after 30 years is unexpectedly life-affirming, while Daniel Johnston's honesty has 'em snivelling in the aisles

The Tortured Spirit: in the BBC's Being
Human, John Mitchell (left) was so desperate to throw off his bloodlust he shared house with a ghost
and a werewolf, much to the embarrassment
of his fellow bloodsuckers

Dracula bites back! Gothic legacy in danger from touchy-feely, fictional vampires

Give us a villainous vampire we can get our teeth into, not one of these winsome wimps

Traveller of the Century, By Andrés Neuman, trans. Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia

One cold winter's night, Hans, a traveller and translator, arrives by coach in the fictional German city of Wandernburg, intending to break his journey en route to somewhere that actually exists on the map. With him he carries a mighty trunk, packed with books. "What have you got in there, a dead body?"asks the coachman. "Not one dead body," answers Hans, "several" – an answer that this novel proceeds to unpack.

Dark Lies the Island, By Kevin Barry

Tales of the unexpectedly romantic

Delicacy (12A)

Starring: Audrey Tautou, François Damiens, Bruno Todeschini

Ren Harvieu, Bush Hall, London

Ren (short for Lauren) Harvieu is swaying her hips, and pouting to the sultry number "Through the Night" which has attracted comparisons to Dusty Springfield and Shirley Bassey for its replication of 60s soul.

More than capable of taking over a film: Awashima with Isao Kimura in the 1958 film 'Nuages d'été'

Chikage Awashima: Versatile, adored Japanese actress of stage and screen

Chikage Awashima was a consummate performer of screen and stage in the post-war era, continuing up to the present. She had a strong, affectionate relationship with her public in Japan, particularly with regard her comedy performances, but she was remembered in the West for a few serious roles. The writer Donald Richie found "all of her characterisations, even the most superficially written, both believable and moving."

Leif Ove Andsnes, Queen Elizabeth Hall

As the leading pianist of his native Norway, Leif Ove Andsnes has traded very effectively on his easy manner and camera-friendly looks, and the Queen Elizabeth hall was predictably packed.

Big Ben: Behind the clock face

Ahead of the the clocks going forward this weekend, Gary Cansell meets the men who ring the changes at Big Ben.

Photographer who struggled in his life and work against banal modernity

Simon Marsden: Photographer who struggled in his life and work against banal modernity

Academics see in our undying fascination with the undead symptoms of political and economic unrest. Zombies, for instance, are an expression of guilt and dread regarding the lack of affordable care for the aged. The vampire is a vehicle for racial and geopolitical agendas. Ghosts, too, can be demystified, explained away in the light of historical and current events.

President Sarkozy speaks at an EU summit in Brussels yesterday

Sarkozy suffers a ‘horrible week’ as Hollande increases lead in polls

It has been a black week for Nicolas Sarkozy. At a pivotal time in the presidential election campaign, he has suffered what one French newspaper described as “une semaine horribilis”.

Goodbye to All That, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Talk about a striking case of "Snap!". To be seen at the Royal Court now - on both the mainstage and in the Theatre Upstairs - is the spectacle of a helpless ageing man in a bed, hooked up to things like saline drips and catheters, and flanked by two women who are warring because of him.

Invisible Ink: No 112 - Patricia Wentworth

It wasn't realism that made the early female detectives successful; after all, Miss Marple was a twinkly, rosy-cheeked old busybody who based her criminal knowledge solely on gossip overheard in her village.

Painter of Silence, By Georgina Harding

Romanian friends reunited against the elegant sweep of class, love and history

Album: Dénes Várjon, Precipitando: Berg, Janácek, Liszt (ECM New Series)

Pianist Dénes Várjon here attempts to uncover connections between composers, with specific reference to the influence Liszt had upon Berg and Janácek.

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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game