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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss