Arts and Entertainment

X-Files star Gillian Anderson is returning to the London stage to play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Vivien Leigh

Gone with the wind? No, it haunted her for life

Vivien Leigh was a fragile superstar who always struggled with her most famous role, says Geoffrey Macnab

Review: The Trip to Echo Spring - Why Writer's Drink, By Olivia Laing

Let's drink to inspiration in the bottom of a glass

On the jetty: Diana Quick, centre, stars in Greenberg’s The American Plan

Theatre review: The American Plan - A streetcar named mood-swing

Mental instability colours Richard Greenberg's early play – but it wears its debts too obviously

Orpheus Descending, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Imogen Stubbs looked bashful at the curtain call, as if embarrassed by all the fuss. This may have been because one of her defining moments in a theatre audience was watching Vanessa Redgrave playing the same role of Lady, the lonely, broken, middle-aged immigrant Italian woman for whom life’s possibilities in America’s South are suddenly reawakened. Stubbs tells how the image of Redgrave at the end – sitting like a broken doll – was so devastating that it felt inappropriate to clap at the curtain call.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

The ceiling fan stirs the thick, hot soup of the delta night air in the bedroom of the colonial mansion house where the bourbon flows as plentifully as the deep waters of the Mississippi.

The Saturday Quiz answers

1. Bread and circuses.

Volcano, Vaudeville Theatre, London

The eponymous volcano rumbles ominously in the distance and the skies darken. It’s the Pathetic Fallacy in full throttle as extramarital desire correspondingly seethes and churns amongst the cocktail-swiggers gathered on the verandah of Adela, a widowed forty-something plantation owner.

Gore Vidal (above) has yet to respond to the latest volley from Christopher Hitchens in their increasingly vitriolic feud

Author Gore Vidal dies at 86

Celebrated author, playwright and commentator Gore Vidal has died at the age of 86, his nephew said today.

Eve Mutso as Blanche DuBois finds comfort with Erik Cavallari in <i>A Streetcar Named Desire</i>

A Streetcar Named Desire, Sadler's Wells, London

Tennessee Williams as dance? I do declare! But Scottish Ballet triumphs with a perfectly told tale

The Cherry Orchard, National Theatre: Olivier, London

Despair and laughter in equal doses

Kingdom of Earth, Print Room, London

"Baby, you got a mother complex and I'm gonna make you forget it," the vivacious Myrtle, with a can-do waggle of her lime-green thighs, informs her droopy husband of two days in Lucy Bailey's brilliant, blackly wacky and sometimes tenderly hilarious revival of this Tennessee Williams rarity from 1967. Alas, Myrtle would have about as much luck weaning Norman Bates off his mother as reorient the ailing, secretly TB-ridden and maternally fixated Lot who has inherited the piss-elegant, antique-filled home where mummy and he used to preen preciously as a two-person-band against the rednecks endemic in this district of the Mississippi Delta.

Dangerous stairs bring the curtain down on theatre at cutting edge

The Victorian era is not generally regarded as one that greatly contributed to the progress of British theatre – and now the architecture of the age has scuppered a modern production.

Paul Taylor: A cock-up at the Cock, but a first night not to miss

"Infinitely worth seeing" was The Independent's verdict on the unholy hilarity and aching beauty of Gene David Kirk's superlative production of A Cavalier for Milady. But now this world premiere of a late Tennessee Williams play has become the production it is absolutely impossible to see.

A Cavalier for Milady, Cock Tavern, London

The new Cock's old cock Tennessee Williams season has comprised two short world premieres: one early, and now one late; A Cavalier for Milady, thought to have been written around 1979, is the only published Williams play remaining hitherto unperformed, a real collector's item, and infinitely worth seeing.

New Orleans: Decadence and drama in the Delta

Tennessee Williams, who was born 100 years ago today, drew inspiration from the characters who lived in America's Deep South. Chris Coplans follows in the playwright's footsteps
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Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
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Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
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Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
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Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

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Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
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Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
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Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

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James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
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Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

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Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album