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Kate Kellaway

Black Country review Liz Berry's impressive first collection of poems

Combining the grace of a bird in flight with sparing use of West Midlands dialect, Liz Berry's poems show warmth and maturityBlack Country is an extraordinary debut and rooted in place. When you close the book, you can still see the Black Country in your

Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe review an outlandish winner

Her brilliantly funny memoir Love, Nina may seem a hard act to follow. But Nina Stibbe's first novel is even better.

Minetti review Lear and loathing

Lyceum, EdinburghPeter Eyre is riveting as the would-be tragic hero in a brilliant revival of Thomas Bernhard's tremendous Minetti.

Guys and Dolls review an outstanding Adelaide, and added Acosta

Sophie Thompson gives a masterclass in comic acting while Carlos Acosta brings Cuban flamboyance as choreographer.

The Stairwell review Michael Longley's shortcuts to the heart

Birth and death are never far apart in the Irish poet's cherishable new collectionOne of the most moving things about Michael Longley's tenth collection is the way in which he considers death, giving it no special treatment, not dressing it up or flatteri

Cubanía review Carlos Acosta brings Havana to Covent Garden

Carlos Acosta's attempt to link his two homes doesn't quite work, but still he dances a dream.

Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth review Ruth Padel's new collection tackles the Middle East

Musical instruments of east and west appear in the search for common ground in Ruth Padel's accomplished new collection "Making is our defence against the dark," is the last line of Ruth Padel's new collection, but it could almost be the first and stand a

Beryl; Wonderland; Adler & Gibb review

Maxine Peake puts Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton back in the saddle, but a play about the miners' strike sheds little new light.

Beryl; Wonderland; Adler & Gibb review

Maxine Peake puts Yorkshire cyclist Beryl Burton back in the saddle, but a play about the miners' strike sheds little new light.

Bright Travellers review Fiona Benson's impressive first collection

Fiona Benson transforms life's surprises, accidents and let-downs into poems of great beauty in her bold debut You might think Bright Travellers a fey title, but not once you have encountered the poem from which it has been parted. It describes a baby's