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.

ART / A giant leap for mankind, a tiny step for art: The moon inspired artists for centuries, but then, 25 years ago today, man went and put his foot in it.

Asked by the press corps to give his opinion on the moon landings, Wernher Von Braun replied, 'I think it is equal in significance to that moment in evolution when aquatic life came crawling up on the land.' Well, every proud father is entitled to say a few daft things about his baby, but in July 1969 very few people were feeling cynical enough to jeer at Von Braun's hyperbole; in fact, most of the attendant journalists cheered his words. Yet that cheer did not find any rousing echo in the sublunary world of the arts.

RADIO / The scripts of the trade: BBC Radio receives 15,000 unsolicited play scripts a year. Make that 15,008, to include this week's graduates from the Fen Farm writing centre

The first ever radio play was set down a coal-mine during a blackout. Alan Drury, literature manager of BBC Radio Drama, thinks writers have moved on since then. 'We've learned that radio drama is not a stage play with the lights off,' he tells a group of would-be radio dramatists at Fen Farm, the remote and beautiful Norfolk writers' centre. Writers as diverse as Tom Stoppard, Ray Bradbury, Angela Carter and, of course, Dylan Thomas have extended the limits of the medium - if only to keep up with Light Entertainment. After all, if Light Entertainment has in the past successfully foisted on listeners the logical absurdity of radio ventriloquists, tap dancers and conjurors ('There's nothing up my sleeves - take my word for it'), anything is possible.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / Double Play: Phantom of the operetta

LEHAR: The Merry Widow

Read any good playwrights recently?

'SOME people love having their picture taken,' says James Hunkin. 'It's like going to the hairdresser's - all that attention.' But for a photographer who has spent eight years specialising in portraits of theatre people, he follows this up with a strange confession: most actors and actresses are no good at just being themselves in front of a camera. You wouldn't know it from his work: Hunkin's limpid, lucid portrayals are successful enough to hang in the National Portrait Gallery. The fruits of his latest project, a year spent photographing leading members and associates of the National Theatre, are no exception. Particularly revelatory are the portraits of Tom Stoppard - who turns an unambiguously Byronic profile to the camera - and a gentle, perplexed Alan Bennett (right). How does he do it? Hunkin says he's good at tailoring his personality to suit that of his sitter; but he also uses the dance teacher Rudolf Laban's theories of movement to 'read' people physically and gain an insight into their characters. Considering that Laban is one of the gurus of modern theatre, Hunkin obviously tailors his theories to suit his sitters, too. ('In the Wings: Photographs by James F Hunkin', National Theatre, SE1, 071-633 0880, Mon to 6 Aug.)

THEATRE / Just mad about the boy: Coriolanus - Swan, Stratford; Twelfth Night - Royal Shakespeare, Stratford; After Easter - The Other Place, Stratford; Arcadia - Haymarket; The Lodger - Hampstead

IT IS the word 'boy' that seals the hero's fate in Coriolanus. This is the ultimate insult that drives him to his last, suicidal assertion of manhood. In the case of David Thacker's production, it carries the added force that, in the midst of his stolidly middle-aged allies and enemies, Toby Stephens looks like a boy.

THEATRE REVIEW / Chaos theories: Rhoda Koenig on the West End transfer of Tom Stoppard's 'exhaustingly brilliant' Arcadia

You can stir the jam into the pudding, observes Thomasina Coverly, but you can't stir it out again. This teenage mathematical genius of the Regency is demonstrating the flaw in Newtonian physics, but her metaphor could also apply to the tom-cat among the pigeons or the bee in the academic bonnet, to name only two chaos-bearing elements in Tom Stoppard's play. A romantic, historical and mathematical mystery, Arcadia shows how intellectual and erotic energy, as well as crude ambition, will generate brilliance and mischief, even after their generators are exhausted or dead.

Theatre Offer: up to pounds 12 off tickets for 'Travesties'

THE RSC revival of Tom Stoppard's Travesties is now at the Savoy after a successful run at the Barbican. Written in 1974, it's a play about Lenin, Joyce and Tristan Tzara, the father of Dada, who were all living in Zurich in 1917. It's also about art, life, and The Importance of Being Earnest. But you don't have to know much about any of these to enjoy it.

Theatre: Notices

Nicholas de Jongh in the Evening Standard dismissed the play as 'pretty and witty but beside the point'. Benedict Nightingale told his Times readers 'I feel ill at ease in her universe, and so, I suspect, will most of you.' Neil Smith in What's On went to the nub of the issue, saying that 'as for the guys, they don't get much of a look in'.

The Art of Theatre: 12 Scene a Faire: Nicholas Wright's Masterclass

NORA: You mean I would never have accepted such a sacrifice? No, of course not. But what would my word have been in opposition to yours? I so firmly believed that you would sacrifice yourself for me - 'don't listen to her,' you would say - 'she is not responsible; she is out of her senses' - you would move heaven and earth. I thought you would get Dr Rank to witness that I was mad, unhinged, distracted. I so firmly believed that you would ruin yourself to save me. That is what I dreaded, and therefore I wanted to die.

THEATRE REVIEW '93 / Facing the final curtain: Tom Stoppard's Arcadia is the experts' choice. Robert Hanks followed its transfer from stage to radio

BACK in the early years of radio, it was easy to transfer a play from the West End on to the airwaves more or less intact: all you did was stick a microphone on the stage. Such simplicity, such purity: Arcadia.

LEADERS OF THE PACK / The fathers of invention: Play Of The Year

TWO LOST playwrights - Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter - bounced back in 1993; both filled large theatres without making artistic concessions. Pinter's Moonlight was a terrific acting piece with the bonus of relaunching Ian Holm in the fieriest performance of his life. The play itself, though, with its short-winded spurts of invention and strings of synonymous phrases, is a strained exercise in self-imitation.

ARTS / Overheard (CORRECTED)

CORRECTION (PUBLISHED 5 DECEMBER 1993) APPENDED TO THIS ARTICLE

OPERA / All on her own, the Widow without tears: Edward Seckerson on a speechless, setless, motionless Merry Widow from Glyndebourne

The phantom of the operetta is there inside our heads, and always will be. As Franz Welser-Most popped the cork on this particularly fine Glyndebourne vintage and Lehar's Merry Widow once more began to exude her charms, the whole glorious line of succession came back into focus - from Vienna all the way to Broadway, from Johann Strauss and Kalman, through to Herbert, Kern, Rodgers and Loewe. Where would the Gershwins have been without Gilbert and Sullivan; where would Lloyd Webber be without any of them? These days, of course, Sir Andrew's Phantom is more likely to wow them in Vienna than Lehar's Widow. But not that much has changed; their hearts are in the same place. So are their tunes.

Happy Anniversary: England annihilate Australia

HERE are some dates to celebrate in the forthcoming week, a period of coincidental birthdays and death days.

Not prepared to play the Revenue's role: Theatrical actors are challenging a decision to tax them at source

TOMORROW morning, the actor Alec McCowen will begin to play his part in one of the longest-running performances in modern theatre. But this time, the star of the Royal Shakespeare Company will be playing himself - a theatrical actor who found that he was suddenly put on PAYE for his stage earnings.
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness