Sheridan Smith to star as Hedda Gabler

Legally Blonde star Sheridan Smith is set to play Hedda Gabler in a London stage production of Henrik Ibsen's seminal work.

Bill Clinton's controversial charity gala

The Clinton charity gala? It was the worst party ever...

Fundraiser that was short on fun offers apologies and refunds to angry guests

Measuring up: Nonhlanhla Kheswa in ‘The Suit’

Curtain rises on London's brave new world

Eight of the capital's best-known theatres are teaming up for the greatest show in town. By David Lan

Measuring up: Nonhlanhla Kheswa in ‘The Suit’

The curtain rises on London's brave new world

Eight of London's theatres are teaming up for the greatest show in town

Bettys are selling these gorgeous milk, dark and white chocolate saddleback pigs. £12, bettys.co.uk

Without Warning The Old Vic Tunnels London 

Without Warning has a brilliant location, but takes a while to make the most of it.

Sheila Allen: Actress who made her mark on the stage before starring in 'Bouquet of Barbed Wire'

Sheila Allen, a triumphant English actress possessed of strong looks, deep voice and a graceful, maternal manner, had, outside the theatre, only one true moment in the spotlight – as the seemingly steadfast suburban housewife Cassie Manson in one of the great television events of its age, Andrea Newman's magnificent Bouquet of Barbed Wire (1976). Cunningly cast for her theatrical repose, Allen was the foil for millions of viewers who were drawn into the story of the detonation of a nuclear family through the exploration of sexual taboos. Only halfway through the serial, in the extraordinary episode "Repercussions", a remarkable musing on sexual masochism, did we learn the whole truth about Cassie – and Allen brilliantly managed to reveal the uncomfortable details of her character's past without once losing our sympathy or understanding. It was a perfect showcase for her skill in expressing decency and intelligence, a skill that blessed many of her finest stage performances.

Our Days of Rage, Old Vic Tunnels, London

Talk about topicality. While the fight for Tripoli intensified and rebels captured the Gaddafi compound, the National Youth Theatre has been opening a new play, Our Days of Rage, which dramatises four decades of struggle against his regime.

From Zeros to heroes... the rise and rise of a superband

If you have seen Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, you will know they are the next big thing. As they tour the festivals of Europe, Sarah Morrison meets them in Paris

One Thousand and One Nights, Parts 1 and 2, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh<br/>Our Days of Rage, Old Vic Tunnels, London<br/>South Pacific, Barbican, London

It's six hours long, and in Arabic, but don't be put off: this retelling of ancient stories is both mesmerising and thoroughly modern

John Wood: Powerful stage actor possessed of a sharp and illuminating intelligence

The mighty and passionate actor John Wood communicated wisdom and generated surprise with an originality and intensity that left his performances glowing in the memory like hot coals from which the heat never quite fades.

Andy Parfitt: Station controller who kept Radio 1 on the right tracks

Controller tells Ian Burrell why 12m listeners can't be wrong

Box-office sales surge as theatre defies downturn

Box office takings at London's theatres have bounced back from a winter slump thanks to a string of big productions and star performers.

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'The life of the un-famous sibling is never easy'

Who knew that Kevin Spacey has an older brother called Randy Fowler who earns his living as a Rod Stewart impersonator? While Kevin bestrides stage and screen like a colossus, Randy offers his services to the good people of Boise, Idaho, as the proprietor of Rod's Limos, ferrying prom kids in a white stretched limousine while dressed in a zoot suit.

Treasure Island, Bristol Old Vic

A ship has dropped anchor in Bristol. There's nothing unusual in that, perhaps. But this one is on dry land, parked outside the Old Vic Theatre and overrun by 18th-century pirates.

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Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
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Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor