University Of Edinburgh

Back to School, ***; Would be Nice Though, **** Pleasance off-site

Going to a site-specific show can be an oddly infantilising experience - standing around in embarrassed silence until someone tells you what to do, meekly following the herd from scene to scene, never quite knowing your role or when you’re going to be picked on.

Alex Salmond: If we Scots choose independence, prosperity will come

The infamous "parcel o' rogues" immortalised in verse by Robert Burns were the members of the then independent Scottish Parliament who were seen to sell their nation's sovereignty for financial reward. That of course was in the early 18th century, long before any concept of true democracy or a popular mandate emanating from a free and fair election.

The science of the trailer

A stunning teaser can make a mediocre film look like a classic, but what are the vital ingredients when making one? David Crookes finds out why a pop song can be just as key as a classy voiceover

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In memory of her mother, J K Rowling's £10m for MS

At 45, J K Rowling is now the same age as her mother was when she succumbed to the ravages of multiple sclerosis. Anne Rowling's untimely death in 1990 – five years before her daughter first gave the world Harry Potter – has had a profound and lasting influence on the writer, who has been a vocal champion for sufferers of the degenerative disease ever since.

Alexander McCall Smith: The No1 novelist's guide to Edinburgh

Alexander McCall Smith is a one-man literary industry. He has sold 40 million books, travels obsessively and churns out four or five new novels a year. But what he really likes are Belgian shoes, saddleback pigs and leisurely strolls around his beloved Edinburgh neighbourhood