Arts and Entertainment

Literary prescriptions for modern ailments

The Cove, By Ron Rash

They're growing hysteria ... down on the farm

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci shows 13 around the table

Triskaidekaphobic? Don't walk under a ladder this Friday

As the first of 2012's three Friday 13ths looms, The IoS sorts fact from fiction linked to the date

Shining star: Neil Maskell in Ben Wheatley's horror / thriller 'Kill List'

Why Britain's got talent once again on the big screen

The renaissance in British film-making is down to daring directors

Lenny Henry plays Antipholus as a naive Nigerian, unaware that his twin is also in town

The Comedy of Errors, NT Olivier, London
The Heart of Robin Hood, RST, Stratford upon Avon
Hamlet, Barbican, London

Dubious casting does not guarantee laughter in Shakespeare’s farce of mistaken identities

Derek Pain: Composter is down in the dumps but vet firm has legs

It's about time I reinforced the no pain, no gain portfolio. I have decided to recruit two contrasting shares – one down in the dumps, the other riding relatively high. They are both small caps that, I hope, will not be too troubled by the recessionary climate and could, with a little luck, emerge as valuable constituents.

Irma Thomas, Barbican, London

As is the way with R&B royalty, the Soul Queen Of New Orleans is heralded by her band's loosener, a muscular "Superstition" that gets the crowd primed for some fatback funk. But when she is announced, Irma Thomas is nowhere to be seen, her voice appearing to float down from heaven. She finally appears, led gingerly up the steps stage left, microphone in hand, her voice astonishingly clear for one now into her eighth decade.

Tom Sutcliffe: When shock value is the soft option

The week in culture

The Hangover Part II, Todd Phillips, 102 mins, 15<br/>Heartbeats, Xavier Dolan, 100 mins, 15<br/>Life, Above All, Oliver Schmitz, 105 mins, 12A

What's the last thing you need the morning after the night before? The hair of the dog...

Laurie Penny: Say it again: it's our right to choose

Do you believe that a woman who finds herself pregnant against her will should be forced to carry that pregnancy to term? If you find the notion inhumane, you're not alone. Seventy-six per cent of British adults are pro-choice, but that majority consensus is failing to make its voice heard as a barely-elected government allows anti-abortion lobbyists to cram their agenda through parliament.

On Evil, By Terry Eagleton

"Those who sentimentally indulge humanity do it no favours," argues Eagleton in this brisk, deep and oddly entertaining book about mankind at its very worst.

Lady Gaga never enjoyed sex

Lady Gaga only recently "actually enjoyed sex".

The Tiger's Wife, By T&#233;a Obreht

Téa Obreht's stunning debut novel is all the more remarkable when you realise it was written when she was just 25. Born in 1985 in former Yugoslavia, Obreht covers 60 years of this war-torn region's history through a series of enchanting, surreal tales.

Ian Holloway: How to beat one of the planet's best teams without my two best players

They reckon a week is a long time in politics: try seven days at a football club. I'm still struggling to work out how we could be so superb against Tottenham – a game we won 3-1 – and then get tubbed by Wolves a few days later.

Jake Morley, Bush Hall, London

As choir, musicians and their instruments assemble on stage, there's a sense that such an ambitious line-up will require an expert level of musicality. Luckily singer-songwriter Jake Morley and his impressive band more than have what it takes.

A Kind Man, By Susan Hill

In sickness and health, till death does not part
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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable