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.

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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible