News David Cameron and Al Murray are ‘distant cousins’ family records show

The pair are related, equally randomly, through 19th century Vanity Fair writer William Thackeray

Natalie Portman will star alongside Michael Fassbender in a new adaptation of Macbeth

Natalie Portman to play Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in new film adaptation

Natalie Portman will play Lady Macbeth alongside Michael Fassbender in a new film adaptation of Shakespeare's play.

You last-minute dropouts are causing a flakiness epidemic

It seems the current social trend is to rack-up a number of options for one’s Saturday night and then decide, last minute, which is the most appealing

Culture secretary Maria Miller is calling for the support of arts organisations to make the 'economic case' against further cuts

If Maria Miller wants art that sells, she should focus on getting art that's good

She said the arts must make the case for themselves as a "commodity". How her audience prevented themselves from pelting her with coffee cups, I just don't know.

Between the Covers 28/04/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

Cultural life: Mark Ravenhill, playwright

Cultural life: Mark Ravenhill, playwright

Theatre

As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Theatre review: As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

This revival begins in a sombre mood with the thrust stage covered in crunchy desiccated leaves which a bleak Orlando, in servitude to his abusive older brother, and the loyal ancient Adam (beautifully played by David Fielder) have been tasked to sweep into a wheelbarrow.

Dan Wheeler (Katherine) and Vince Leigh (Petruchio) in Propeller's 2013 production of The Taming of the Shrew

Theatre review: The Taming of the Shrew, Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames

Propeller Arts is an all-male-troupe, which is unusual in itself when gender-blind casting in Shakespeare is on the rise and more women are taking leading male roles.

Adrian Lester plays the title role in the National Theatre's production of 'Othello'

First Night: Othello, National Theatre, London

Othello pays a glorious tribute to Hytner's decade at the National

Zadie Smith's long-awaited fourth novel, NW, is out next month

Between the Covers 21/04/2013

Your weekly guide to what's really going on in the world of books

The Blagger's Guide To: Liverpool literature

World Book Night highlights the quality of Mersey

Shakespeare to be celebrated in schools with children as young as five

Shakespeare week will mark the Bard's 450th birthday

James Bond and other fictional stars whose names were changed

The name's Bond...but it very nearly wasn't.

Paperback review: The Green Road into the Trees, By Hugh Thomson

Hugh Thomson sets off to walk through England by ancient pathways from Dorset to Norfolk.

Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Theatre review: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol

What if there were no magic potion in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? What if your best friend fell for your girl and no enchanted flower could lift the spell? That is the premise of Shakespeare’s rarely performed comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona. And this is the play that director Andrew Hilton and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory have chosen to stage in rep with their recent Richard III.

Diogo Morgado as Jesus in TV series 'The Bible'

A mini-series of epic proportions: US drama The Bible to air on Channel 5

The Bible, a US mini-series dramatising the Bible’s best known stories, is coming to Channel 5.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game