Arts and Entertainment Brace yourself: Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in 'House of Fools'

Vic and Bob have done sketch shows (The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer), web series (Vic & Bob’s Afternoon Delights), comedy dramas (Catterick, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)) and the greatest quiz show of all time (Shooting Stars), but until now they’ve never done a sitcom as sit-commy as this. Their new show, House of Fools (BBC2), is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and the duo play Odd Couple-style flatmates in a home filled with bizarre bric-à-brac and beset by unwelcome visitors.

The Weekend's Viewing: Arena: Magical Mystery Tour Revisited, Sat, BBC2
The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, Sat, BBC2

When the British public sat down to watch the latest Beatles film on Boxing Day in 1967, they might have expected similar fare to A Hard Day's Night and Help!, released a few years earlier, or maybe even something a bit more festive.

Hysteria, Richmond Theatre, London

Farce has its affinities with the Freudian psychoanalytic

method. Both are mechanisms for exposing the repressions and the guilty secrets we are desperate to hide – the former for sadistically comic, the latter for therapeutic purposes.

A point to prove: Guston's 'The Line' (1978)

When fingers point

Philip Guston's switch from abstract to figurative left critics and fans irate, but an exhibition of his work proves them wrong, argues Adrian Hamilton

History as a noisy party: Ned Beauman

The Teleportation Accident, By Ned Beauman

In prewar Berlin or madcap California, this mash-up of genres and styles has a serious intent

Album: Richard Rijnvos, Uptown/Downtown (Challenge Classics)

Dutch composer Richard Rijnvos believes that New York epitomises "the precarious equilibrium between chaos and order", a principle borne out in the two triptychs that comprise Uptown/Downtown.

Finnegans Wake By James Joyce

No one said it would be easy ...

DVD/Blu-ray: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (15)

Luis Bunuel's absurdist and beautifully staged satire from 1972 centres on six conceited upper-middle-class pals who singularly fail to arrange a dinner party.

Voyager into uncharted waters: Sjón

The Whispering Muse, By Sjón, trans. Victoria Cribb

Iceland's maverick storyteller returns with a cruise into legend.

Subversive: Luis Buñuel’s film impressed critics and the public alike on its release in 1972

The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie - A dinner that charts civilisation's decline

Buñuel's The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie has been newly restored. It's still unsettling, says Geoffrey Macnab

Wagner, The Flying Dutchman, English National Opera

The front curtain at the London Coliseum is a rare sight these days and suggested that we might for once be about to experience Wagner’s celebrated Overture without “illustration”.

Illumination: David Gascoyne

Night Thoughts: The Surreal Life of the Poet David Gascoyne, By Robert Fraser

Many know about the death by drowning of WS Gilbert; others are aware that in 1933 Ernest Hemingway, incensed by a review, trashed the Paris bookshop in which he read it. Few could point to these incidents' one degree of separation. Such surprises regularly punctuate the soberly engrossing chronicle which Robert Fraser has created around the life of a poet whose modest fame has burned steadily, almost brightly, since his Thirties emergence as a teenage prodigy.

DVD: Black Pond

Shot on a shoestring, and barely released at cinemas last year, Black Pond nonetheless earnt its young writer-directors a Bafta nomination – and quite right, too.

Paul Merton: Out of My Head, Richmond Theatre

A leading light in British comedy and one of the most-proven funnymen on the planet, Paul Merton is back with his first UK solo tour since 1999, but Out Of My Head is far from the quality you might expect, being weak virtually from start to finish.

Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S Burroughs 1959-1974, Edited by Bill Morgan

This long-awaited second volume of William Burroughs's letters spans 15 years, from the publication of Naked Lunch in Paris, to his mid-Seventies departure from London for a New York radically different to the one he knew in the 1940s. How strange it must have been to settle into a transformation that you, in part, had affected. For this is really what this volume of letters is about. The first, published in 1993 when Burroughs was still alive, covered 1945-1959. Junky aside, he was a largely unpublished but influential mentor to Kerouac, Ginsberg and co as the Beat generation assumed its shape – an entity as synthetic and modern as Beyer Pharmaceutical's heroin, a longtime companion in Burroughs's life.

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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

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Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

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Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

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A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
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Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
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KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker