Tim Key: ‘I had bought provisions for my stay in the Lakes. Sausages

This week I went to a little cottage in the Lake District. I went there on my own, partly to write, partly to breathe in air from the mountains and waterfalls and partly to see whether I could spend five days in complete isolation. No internet. No phone reception. No make-up. No nothing. Would I flourish? Or would I fold, destroy the cottage and then have a difficult conversation with my mum’s friend Barbara, who owns it?

Theatre review: The Hothouse, Trafalgar Studios, London

Simon Russell Beale has transformed himself into a manic version of Ronnie Barker in this merciless, very funny revival of Harold Pinter’s second major stage play, one he wrote and discarded between The Birthday Party and The Caretaker, before directing it himself in 1980.

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