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.

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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen