Between the Covers 06/10/13

What's really going on in the world of books

University of London library director resigns over Shakespeare folio sale

The director of the University of London’s Senate House Library has announced that he is resigning, following reports of his relationship with an employee at the auction house through which he planned on selling rare Shakespeare folios.

The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company sets out to make the Bard's plays more accessible to young people

Conservative Party conference: Attempts to make Shakespeare’s plays cool is ‘viciously racist’

Classic literature should be taught in its original form, youth worker tells the Tory faithful

Conservative Party conference: £10m fund to mark historic events, says Maria Miller

Money could be spent on events marking 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the centenary of Dylan Thomas's birth.

Album review: Johnny Flynn, Country Mile (Transgressive)

It may open with expansive electric guitar and crashing drums, and the singer may protest he isn’t really “folk”, but Country Mile can’t help but confirm Flynn’s spot in the more interesting corner of the Mumfording folk-pop scene.

One minute with: Adriana Lisboa, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Scene from The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Theatre review: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The role of Arturo Ui calls for bravura, high-definition acting and that's what it gets, in spades, from Henry Goodman in Jonathan Church's splendid production, which began life last year in the Minerva Studio at Chichester and has now transferred to the West End.  Brecht's blackly farcical "gangster spectacle" satirises Hitler's bloody rise to power by cutting him down to size as a ridiculous Chicago hoodlum who seizes control of the city’s greengrocery protection racket. In a tour de force of wild-eyed demonic intensity, the actor brilliantly charts the evolution of an absurd upstart into blood-freezing demagogue.

Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad are Romeo and Juliet

Orlando Bloom earns mixed reviews for his Broadway debut in Romeo and Juliet

New York critics split on the Lord of the Rings star's performance in David Leveaux's production of the Shakespeare classic

Food for thought: Kevin Macdonald, film director

Kevin Macdonald is a British film director. His How I Live Now is out on 4 October. He shares with Charlotte Cripps his current reading, watching and surfing...

Between the Covers 15/09/13

What's really going on in the world of books

Sebastian Faulks: 'I've hated all this Scando-porn serial killer stuff'

Cultural life: Sebastian Faulks, novelist

'I've hated all this Scando-porn serial killer stuff'

'The Roaring Girl' was last played at the RSC by Helen Mirren in 1983

Roaring girls: RSC to stage little-known plays with feisty female roles

The three Jacobean plays will provide more roles for actresses

Skilled ‘Shakespeare-translators’ like Margaret Atwood and Howard Jacobson should produce fascinating work

No doubt Shakespeare purists will be livid at the very idea of someone fiddling with the sacred texts. But I can’t wait to see what Atwood and Jacobson do with such glittering raw material. Atwood has form for reworking a classic, after all: The Penelopiad, her version of the Odyssey, which focused on Odysseus’s patiently waiting wife, is exquisite. And if you aren’t intimidated by Homer you can probably stand up to Shakespeare.

Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize in 2010

Howard Jacobson takes on ‘anti-Semitism’ in rewrite of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'

Writer will re-examine  the characterisation of  Shakespeare’s Jewish money-lender Shylock

Can she take the crown? Liz Hurley has been cast as Queen Helena in a new drama about the British Royal Family

Another Queen Liz? Hurley cast in pilot for American drama about contemporary Royals

Hurley will play a fictional Queen who is mourning the death of her son

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own