Leading article: Rumour has it wrong

It's a hard life being a celebrity. And the papers don't make it any easier by constantly getting facts wrong and refusing to print corrections. Or so the celebs claim. So now some of them are signing up to a website called icorrect.com to put out direct contradictions.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Old Vic Tunnels, London

The Old Vic Tunnels are spooky relics of 19th-century engineering that lie hidden beneath Waterloo Station and reek of Jack the Ripper. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are West Coast troubadours with a messianic frontman whose power pop comes straight out of the late 1960s. Put venue and band together and what you get is one deliriously surreal night out.

Cultural Life: Niamh Cusack, actress

Theatre: Brian Friel's masterpiece 'Faith Healer' at Bristol's Old Vic is a haunting, mysterious play. Three people telling their version of the same sad story. At Salisbury Playhouse I saw 'The Constant Wife' by Somerset Maugham, a witty period piece about sexual politics. At the Old Vic, I went to see 'A Flea in her Ear', which reminded me of those silent movies with everyone running away from each other at top speed and then bumping into each other anyway...

Theatre's on the menu at the Coming Up Festival

Six young directors were awarded £75,000 between them to stage a mini festival. The Coming Up Festival is part of Old Vic New Voices and Ideas Tap, a creative network and funding body for emerging arts talent. It opened this week at nightclub Debut London, with Jamie Lewis Hadley's BritWres-Fest, a mix of professional wrestlers, pyrotechnics and projections and Electric Tunnels, a showcase of young musicians and DJs.

Farewell, Pete

Stars including Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon, Sue Johnstone and Kevin Spacey attend a memorial service for Pete Postlethwaite in London yesterday

Swallows and Amazons, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol <br/> My Dad's a Birdman, Young Vic, London

A 1920s children's classic gets a makeover in a production of glorious inventiveness

Swallows and Amazons, Old Vic, Bristol

"Better drowned than duffers if not duffers won't drown". Nowadays, Mr Walker would probably get arrested for the famous telegram permitting his four elder children to camp alone on an island on the basis that if they weren't self-sufficient enough to manage, they might as well be under the lake. Arthur Ransome's 1930 children's classic is altogether an odd choice for a dramatic adaptation, but the obsessive minutiae on boats and camping has mostly been scoured away, leaving a paean to children's imaginative capabilities and the burbling joy of putting to sea – well, lake – to prove that underage Britons never never never shall be duffers.

A Flea in Her Ear, Old Vic, London<br/>Get Santa! Royal Court Downstairs, London<br/>Antony and Cleopatra, Roundhouse, London

With one actor as master and servant, the pace is fast and frenetic in a French farce that suits the panto season &ndash; bar the odd questionable gag

How We Met: Simon Paisley Day &amp; Jenna Russell

'Jenna's to blame for my daughter running round pretending to be an "X Factor" contestant'

Sarah Sands: Do we really want friends and family to be our ballet critics?

It was not chivalrous of Alastair Macaulay, the British dance critic of The New York Times, to write that Jenifer Ringer, principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, looked overweight in The Nutcracker. To say that a woman with a history of bulimia and anorexia looked as if she had had "one plum too many" as the Sugar Plum Fairy showed an undeniable emotional insensitivity. The incident coincides with the imminent release of Black Swan, a film about the grotesque physical demands made on dancers, and with a wave of ballet mania. So Macaulay's remark has hit black ice in front of a mass audience. As Natalie Portman, star of Black Swan, asked rhetorically: "In whatever other fields is it acceptable to judge artists by how big they are?"

A Flea in Her Ear, Old Vic, London

The Old Vic has enjoyed a long association with John Mortimer's delightful version of this great 1907 Feydeau farce. It was here that the piece was premiered in a legendary production with Albert Finney and Geraldine McEwan in 1966. Some 20-odd years later at the same address, Richard Jones directed a notoriously wrong-headed revival. And now, a couple of decades on, A Flea in Her Ear makes a triumphant return to the venue in this blissfully funny and strongly cast production by Richard Eyre.

A cultural Christmas

The next few weeks don't have to be all about panto: from theatre and dance, to opera and comedy, Alice Jones picks the events to light up the season

Michael Sharvell-Martin: Perennial supporting actor who worked with Benny Hill, Dave Allen and Les Dawson

The actor Michael Sharvell-Martin was the perennial supporting player, most often seen in television sketches alongside comedians such as Benny Hill, Dave Allen and Les Dawson – and on stage as a long-running pantomime dame.

Cart Macabre, Old Vic Tunnels, London

Hold on to your stomachs &ndash; the ghost train gets a surreal makeover

First Night: Season's Greetings, National Theatre, London

Unwrap the drinks, guns and cuddly toy for a perfect farce
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