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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

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Edinburgh 2014 comedy – what you have to do for a laugh these days
Aug 17th 2014
Review

Edinburgh 2014 comedy – what you have to do for a laugh these days

Edinburgh 2014 comedy – what you have to do for a laugh these days

Vikki Stone plays 20 instruments and Des Bishop taught himself Mandarin – can comedy get any harder?…

Edinburgh 2014 comedy – the funny thing about feminism
Aug 10th 2014
Review

Edinburgh 2014 comedy – the funny thing about feminism

Edinburgh 2014 comedy – the funny thing about feminism

Bridget Christie walks a brave line, Sara Pascoe is on the rise, and a daring improv musical troupe…

The Storms of War – Kate Williams's vivid portrait of Edwardian class war
Aug 3rd 2014
Review

The Storms of War – Kate Williams's vivid portrait of Edwardian class war

The Storms of War – Kate Williams's vivid portrait of Edwardian class war

A familiar family saga set in an English stately home during the first world war goes beyond its…

Edinburgh festival 2014 comedy – from a young Mary Berry to liberal smugness
Aug 3rd 2014
Review

Edinburgh festival 2014 comedy – from a young Mary Berry to liberal smugness

Edinburgh festival 2014 comedy – from a young Mary Berry to liberal smugness

Psychics and the school staff room – what's not to laugh at?…

Tom Basden: finding the funny in the 'prison of your personality'
Jul 22nd 2014
Article

Tom Basden: finding the funny in the 'prison of your personality'

Tom Basden: finding the funny in the 'prison of your personality'

As Holes opens in London, the playwright talks about the loneliness of standup, his affection for his characters…

In Love and War – Alex Preston's affecting third novel
Jul 13th 2014
Review

In Love and War – Alex Preston's affecting third novel

In Love and War – Alex Preston's affecting third novel

Alex Preston's tale of a young Englishman in wartime Florence is flawed but complex and profoundly moving…

Monty Python Live (Mostly) – Parrot fashion and no bad thing for that
Jul 6th 2014
Review

Monty Python Live (Mostly) – Parrot fashion and no bad thing for that

Monty Python Live (Mostly) – Parrot fashion and no bad thing for that

Monty Python's reunion delivers few surprises but their comedic genius remains…

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King's everyday killer of recession-hit America
Jun 9th 2014
Review

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King's everyday killer of recession-hit America

Mr Mercedes – Stephen King's everyday killer of recession-hit America

Stephen King's latest novel will leave you more afraid of the guy next door than of ghosts and…

D-Day veteran escape: why we all love this tale of defiance
Jun 8th 2014
Article

D-Day veteran escape: why we all love this tale of defiance

D-Day veteran escape: why we all love this tale of defiance

Bernard Jordan's flight from a Hove care home made headlines last week, but what did it say about…

Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It – feminist standup with its pants down
Jun 8th 2014
Review

Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It – feminist standup with its pants down

Adrienne Truscott's Asking for It – feminist standup with its pants down

Adrienne Truscott fights misogyny with hilarious slapstick, audience engagement – and she's naked from the waist down…

Talking therapies are better than pills, but you have to find the right one
May 28th 2014
Article

Talking therapies are better than pills, but you have to find the right one

Talking therapies are better than pills, but you have to find the right one

A report urges caution in using talking therapies to combat depression. I've found them helpful, and they can…

The Snow Queen – Michael Cunningham's poetic meditation on life and death
May 11th 2014
Review

The Snow Queen – Michael Cunningham's poetic meditation on life and death

The Snow Queen – Michael Cunningham's poetic meditation on life and death

Two siblings take different paths to salvation in a wise, episodic tale…

Black Rainbow – poetry in a moving account of depression
May 4th 2014
Review

Black Rainbow – poetry in a moving account of depression

Black Rainbow – poetry in a moving account of depression

A journalist and mother charts her descent into illness and the slow rebuilding of her shattered self…

You Should Have Known – a witty domestic suspense novel
Mar 30th 2014
Review

You Should Have Known – a witty domestic suspense novel

You Should Have Known – a witty domestic suspense novel

Jean Hanff Korelitz's pacy thriller examines the fear that we might not know our nearest and dearest as…

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