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

My Perfect Mind, Young Vic, London

My Perfect Mind, Young Vic, London

“King Lear is an oak and I'm more of an ash tree, or a silver birch – or privet,” declares Edward Petherbridge in his silvery, whimsical way. The seventy-six year old actor can smuggle a lot of wry dissidence and bathos through customs with that pit-a-pat mock-distracted, throwaway manner and there's many a fast and delicious aside in My Perfect Mind, a very funny show inspired by a very unfunny real-life setback.

A passage from India: Anneika Rose and Ray Panthaki in rehearsals for Tanika Gupta’s play, ‘The Empress’

The Empress at the Swan Theatre: People's play tells a tale of pride and prejudice

Tanika Gupta reveals how she gave the Indians of Victorian London a voice

Hullabaloo: Mark Watson, Doc Brown, Danny Bhoy and Ed Byrne will be performing

Heads Up: The Comedy Hullabaloo

Much hullabaloo about nothing? The RSC plays it for laughs

Weddings at the RSC: Where the course of true love runs smooth

The Royal Shakespeare Company is offering its Stratford theatre up as a venue for marriage ceremonies – and has just held its first ever wedding open day.

The Jeremy Kyle show 'turned Mick Philpott into a celebrity'

A psychologist claims that the confrontational daytime TV show reinforced the child-killer’s behaviour, rather than challenging it

William Shakespeare may have been related to Jane Shaxpere, a two-year-old girl who drowned after falling into a mill pond while picking flowers

Shakespeare the 'hard-headed businessman' uncovered

Hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger — it's not how we usually think of William Shakespeare.

Quasimodo; by lionel Bart; directed by Robert Chevara; with Steven Webb (as Quasimodo)

Quasimodo, King's Head, London

It's a case of Bart – as well as Bats –  in the Belfry in Quasimodo.

Neil Gaiman’s fantasy comes into its own on radio

Radio review: Neverwhere - Let me introduce you to the Earl of Earl's Court

In the world of fantasy sci-fi, Neil Gaiman is a big shot. His Sandman graphic novel series is, by all accounts, a classic of the genre. (Disclaimer: the last fantasy I read was set in Narnia, so I'm no expert.)

A Muslim 'Measure for Measure'? That's one updated version of Shakespeare I'd love to see

Plus: Absurd person singular in Mohsin Hamid's new novel and "feel-good" isn't good enough for Parks and Recreation

British teens 'think Delia Smith, Jerry Hall and Camilla were Henry VIII's wives'

Survey lays bare shocking state of British youths' general knowledge

Why are educationists so afraid of cultural excellence?

We should lead children to appreciate the finest in literature, music and all the arts

On the jetty: Diana Quick, centre, stars in Greenberg’s The American Plan

Theatre review: The American Plan - A streetcar named mood-swing

Mental instability colours Richard Greenberg's early play – but it wears its debts too obviously

Album: Jackie Oates, Lullabies (EEC)

Contemporary folk's most unaffected, childlike voice sings sleep songs: a perfect fit, you'd think.

Tom Hodgkinson: Education needn't be so geared to jobs

Education as it is organised today is a system for fitting children out to be servile adults. They are trained to serve, either in the corporation or the bureaucracy. This is called a utilitarian education, and its end purpose is a "good job". A lucky few slip through the net and, against the odds, create a somewhat more romantic arrangement for themselves: they are the self-employed – the artists, the entrepreneurs, the wanderers. But most are condemned to a life of more or less well-paid servility: at the last count, there were 25.3 million people in the UK with jobs. Sadly, this figure is on the rise.

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