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Griff Rhys Jones says his comedy partnership with the late Mel Smith was "not exactly a marriage made in heaven".

Passion, Donmar Warehouse, London

Passion is the show that divides even Sondheim devotees. There are die-hard admirers who find the score – which instead of songs offers a nagging network of motifs and internal echoes – in singularly short supply of the eponymous commodity. Its gothic story has been dismissed as simultaneously distasteful and incredible. But Jamie Lloyd's Donmar revival of this rebarbative 1994 musical makes a compelling case for its power to unsettle and affront.

Into the Woods, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

Into the Woods goes virtually site-specific with this sharp, spirited revival of Sondheim's 1987 musical. Offering a Freudian take on fairy tales as psychological rites-of-passage, the piece is inventively directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel in the sylvan setting of Regent Park's Open Air Theatre.

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As if the idea of a celebratory Prom wasn’t enough seeing his name slipped into the prospectus between Schumann, Stockhausen, and Strauss would doubtless have proved as overwhelming for Stephen Sondheim as the roaring standing ovation that greeted his arrival on stage.

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Those lucky enough to have secured themselves a ticket for the Stephen Sondheim Prom – one of the first and fastest to sell out – did so knowing that the great American composer was planning to turn up to take a bow.

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Some writers are forgotten because they are chameleons. Tracking their work becomes a slippery business. They change names, switch genres and leave behind their work scattered through library systems and traceable only by ISBN number. In the history of this column, one name has remained on my list from the outset. Hugh Callingham Wheeler was also known as Patrick Quentin, Jonathan Stagge and Q Patrick, and facts about him are hopelessly few, perhaps because he remained single and lived privately.

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Proms makes history with two last nights

If you were to travel back to the Last Night of the Proms in 1910, you would see 3,000 people paying their threepence to listen to Edward German's comic operettas and Dorothy Forster's fashionable songs.

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Owen Pallett, Koko, London

The categorising of music is an increasingly vexed business, and never more so than when filing Owen Pallett under "Pop". If the Canadian virtuoso turned up as one of this summer's Proms' more left-field performers, it would not come as a total surprise.

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