My Edinburgh: Peter Duncan

I went to Glastonbury festival for the first time recently, in a bid to go back to my childhood hippiedom, but the Edinburgh festival is like Glastonbury times twenty. The amount of things to see is just overwhelming. I want to be like every other punter and go and see everything, but I also want to concentrate on my show. I'm the new boy here and I need to earn my spurs.

David Lister: Bridget the funny yummy mummy?

When the history of this newspaper comes to be written, which I hope won't be for quite a while yet, one item sure to be counted among the glories will be Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones column. It started off not as a glory, actually, not even as a page lead, but an undiscovered little gem at the foot of a page. Elevation to more senior status followed, then a book, then two movies and worldwide success.

Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall, Old Vic, Bristol

The Bristol Old Vic is temporarily decked out with sandbags and bunting as if celebrating D-Day, or some amateur theatre revival of Oh, What a Lovely War!

Close-up: Felix Barrett

The genius behind theatre's hottest troupe on breaking and entering

Ph&egrave;dre, NT Lyttelton, London<br>The Winter's Tale/ The Cherry Orchard, Old Vic, London<br>Kursk, Maria, Young Vic, London

Helen Mirren fails to rise to the challenge of 'Ph&egrave;dre' at the National, while Sam Mendes's Old Vic twin project is a classical treat

The Cherry Orchard/ The Winter's Tale, Old Vic, London

It's a mixed package, but the arrival in London of the latest Sam Mendes project, co-produced with Kevin Spacey's Old Vic and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, is a significant event. It mixes British and American actors with Simon Russell Beale and the star of the show, an Irish actor of proper vintage, Sinéad Cusack.

First Night: The Cherry Orchard/The Winter's Tale, Old Vic, London

Mendes's stars struggle to find the right tone

The Ayckbourn conquest

Alan Ayckbourn is a theatrical 'outsider', but a Tony Award for one of his best-loved plays has thrust Scarborough's greatest export back into the limelight

Cultural Life: April Pearson, actress

Films

I'm really into Spanish film and Almodovar particularly. My dad bought me the box set for my birthday ("All About My Mother" and "Talk To Her" to name two favourites). In the cinema I loved "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Boat that Rocked".

Time and the Conways, National Theatre, London

An unfortunate case of déj&#224; vu

Laurence Payne: Actor best known for playing the detective Sexton Blake

The screen and stage actor Laurence Payne made his biggest impression as the titular detective in Sexton Blake, a children’s television series which is fondly recalled by a generation of now middle-aged viewers.

A blagger's guide to travel: Simon Calder's no-cost holidays

Want to see the world &ndash; but feeling the pinch? You don't have to settle for staying put this summer.

Party Of The Week: Everyone's centre stage here

The stars of theatreland were out in force this week for the opening of the new theatre and performance galleries at London's V&A. Having been dusted down and moved from the rather dingier Theatre Museum in Covent Garden into an airy suite of rooms, the assorted props, costumes, playbills and trashed guitars looked resplendent in their new home.

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