Arts and Entertainment From left to right, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright

You only needed to watch the animated trailer for Darkside – that's right, a trailer, with images, for radio. What madness is this? – to know it was going to be totally off its box. A toy farmer stood staring at the skies; giant angle grinders sliced up the earth; a figure sat on a hospital bed with a massive propeller where his head should be.

Ian Burrell: The Damazer years: serious and popular

"Drama on BBC Radio 4 is in rude health," wrote the station's controller Mark Damazer on his blog last month as he sought to reassure listeners over his contentious decision to decommission the Friday Play. No other network, he told them, could rival Radio 4's output of 650 hours a year of original plays and readings.

Quantum Leaps, By Jeremy Bernstein

More guff has been spouted by non-scientists on quantum mechanics than any other subject excepting... relativity, of course. Jeremy Bernstein is a physicist who has lived quantum theory for more than 60 years and in Quantum Leaps he writes about both the solid core of the subject and the wilder fringes. Accompanying some rigorous philosophical workouts are clubby musings on the lives and thoughts of great men, mostly physicists and mathematicians, but also W H Auden, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and the Dalai Lama.

Close-up: Jessie Cave

Why Harry Potter's new friend decided to swap centre court for centre stage

Kurt Cobain: The play

As a new play about Kurt Cobain opens, Nancy Groves considers the frequently discordant history of bands in the theatre

Ever, Dirk, Edited by John Coldstream

This collection of letters by Dirk Bogarde a is compelling read for fans and cinephiles alike which pays homage to the beautiful, bygone art of letter writing.

Daphne Todd: Portrait commissions, Messum's, London

It's often said that the love affair with conceptualism over the past 20 years has damaged the status of figurative painting. It would be more precise to say that portraiture has been a casualty. While it is widely practised and exhibited, its leading lights have not become household names in the way that the ageing young turks of Britart did.

Stage giants fight to save Chekhov villa

Stoppard, Frayn and Branagh in campaign to stop the great writer's house falling into disrepair

First Night: Ivanov, Wyndham's Theatre, London

Branagh at his best in Donmar season debut

Claire Beale: The cause, of course, is the main thing

Advertising: TalkTalk is sure of a happy ending however this web tale concludes

PM reveals celebrity house guests

A list of all those who joined the Prime Minister and his wife Sarah at the country retreat during his first year as Premier, also including the Duke of York, was published by No 10 today.

King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe, London

Back to basics for an emotional Lear

You write the reviews: Fram, National Theatre, London

Tony Harrison's Fram is long and mind-knottingly complex, but it is neither self-indulgent nor superfluous. It is one of the most stimulating, engaging and extraordinary evenings on offer. Its message is simple: it asks what role the arts can play in a world where illegal immigrants fall from their hiding places in the wheel bays of aircraft, and four-year-olds starve to death in the Russian famine. So the beautiful ballet that Viviana Durante dances and that so many critics have complained about has to be performed in its entirety, juxtaposed as it is against the gritty realism of starving Russian children. The frills of a verse drama are necessary in the same way: the play needs a lack of realism, it needs to be elaborate in the way that the ballet is elaborate, to question its place in the world. The layers at work are extraordinary: we are constantly made aware that we are in the National Theatre watching actors playing actors putting on a play watching a play.

Tom Stoppard: The true voice of old England

Plays, politics and patriotism: Tom Stoppard's search for meaning in an uncertain present always takes him back into the past. The playwright, now garlanded with an international award, talks to Ciar Byrne

My Secret Life: Felicity Kendal, actress, 61

The house/flat I grew up in.... was a mixture of hostels, dark bungalows, hotels, guest houses, palaces and railway stations. Until I was 20, I had no fixed home.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
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Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
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Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
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'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
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Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn