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Kate Kellaway

Anna Nicole review an abject story told indecently well

Royal Opera House, LondonUncompromising production and an excellent cast bring the right balance of pathos, intelligence and vulgarity to this real-life operaMark-Anthony Turnages Anna Nicole, making a comeback to the ROH (its premiere was in 2011), is op

The Children Act by Ian McEwan review a masterly balance between research and imagination

Ian McEwan's 13th novel, about a beleaguered high court judge, is his best since On Chesil Beach Robert McCrum talks to Ian McEwanAs one begins an Ian McEwan novel this is his 13th one feels an immediate pleasure in returning to prose of uncommon clarit

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.