Voices

I’m sat on my fat arse on the train to Edinburgh and getting emotional. I’m going to the Fringe, my spiritual second or third home. Dewy-eyed, I eat a ham-and-egg bloomer, neck mango-and-apple drink and watch England’s over-hyped scenery whistle by. I devour a vegetable crisp. The train slows down. Peterborough.

The Apple Cart, Victoria Park, London

A varied musical weekend came to a gentle close on Sunday with the first Apple Cart festival.

Irma Thomas, Barbican Theatre, London<br/>Chase &amp; Status, Roundhouse, London

Even when the band don't know the dots, this soul survivor reigns supreme

Tune in to the world&rsquo;s biggest music festival

The Proms break new ground each year. Prepare for comedy and chance, says Michael Church

Tim Minchin, Royal Albert Hall, London

"Nothing ruins comedy like arenas," sings Tim Minchin in his opening number.

Heard the one about the 'bitchy' female comics?

Three leading comedians have been accused of perpetuating a "bitchy and irrational" stereotype of woman comics by the organiser of an all-female stand-up competition, after they criticised her for charging entrants.

Cultural Life: Tim Minchin, comedian

Books: Christopher Hitchens's autobiography, 'Hitch 22', is a poignant read, and very interesting because I have a very poor knowledge of recent political history – or for that matter distant political history. I'm also reading 'Jasper Jones' by Craig Silvey, about an Aboriginal kid and a white kid who find a dead woman, hanging from a rope. I was completely sucked in.

My Secret Life: Richard Herring, comedian, 43

My parents were... My dad was my headmaster and my mother also taught me at school. I did a whole show about whether it psychologically scarred me, but when I look back, I think all the bad things about me were already in existence. I was in a fortunate position where I had a very solid family – my parents have been together since they were 13. It's almost hard to live up to that!

How to stop worrying

Britons are suffering from more anxiety than ever. Do we simply need to view our problems in a different light? Let six chilled correspondents change your life...

Comedy albums are no laughing matter

From Bo Burnham to Harry Hill, stand-ups are rediscovering the joys and profits of the long-player, says Julian Hall

Goodnight Mister Tom: Escape to the country

On the 30th anniversary of its publication, the popular wartime tale Goodnight Mister Tom is to hit the stage. Arifa Akbar celebrates the rebirth of a children's classic

The Horne Section: Songs in the key of silly

It's the perfect match. The improvised musings of the country's best comedians combined with the free-form noodlings of a five-piece jazz band. When The Horne Section debuted at Edinburgh this summer, it quickly became the talk of the Fringe. Punters clutching pints queued round the block for the occasional, lightly shambolic midnight shows. Jimmy Carr dropped by to rap out 10 one-liners over 10 different beats, Tim Minchin improvised a song about cheese and Tim Key performed a track by the Russian punk band Leningrad. There were burlesque dancers, shared bags of chips and 2am Bon Jovi singalongs, led by Josie Long with Mark Watson on drums.

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