In reading to my daughter when she was younger it became apparent that modern children's writing differs from the classics of my own childhood. Heidi and the Secret Garden might propel me back to the comforts of childhood, but for her fiction from the pre-TV era grated because the prose felt too descriptive.
On Sunday it's goodbye to the Oval, London, and hello to Montpellier, Languedoc, where Michael, my carpet dealer friend and I picked up a rental car and drove to Avignon.
These are things that a tablet or an e-reader can't offer you. You can't feel pixels. Read a book, for Christ sake. You'll learn a lot more than just from the words it displays, I promise.
From the intensity of Borondo's 'Scratching' work, we move on to RONE's deep and beautiful ones. The artist is in town for his first UK solo show, and quickly delivered those two beauts. If you happen to be in London, do not miss the opportunity to see them in person, they are both a treat...
I am going to stick my neck on the line and say that, right here, right now, A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic is the best show in London.
Birdland is a warning on the perils of fame. That makes it very much a tale of our time but though the bold, exciting presentation from director Carrie Cracknell and the star casting of Andrew Scott catches the eye, this play doesn't really bring anything new to this well-worn subject.
I imagine driving somewhere in a van, France, Italy, the sense of freedom makes me happy, I stop off at a beauty parlour in some small town and get my nails painted pale pink, my hair extra blonded, I feel good. I by chance get invited out to dinner by some vague male apparition, I go out of curiosity, this is like tripping, I try to see what he looks like, Dennis Weaver in McCloud, crikey.
Perhaps in between making all that money, you were hanging around galleries, theatres, cinemas, concert halls, comedy clubs, libraries, dance studios, painting classes. Perhaps you've seen how people manage on a shoe string, perhaps you've seen the awful conditions backstage in many theatres, perhaps you know about the crap wages that most people in the arts work with.
What will Charles be like as King? We don't know for sure but many fear it. And we get a dark forewarning in King Charles III, a provocative and controversial future-history play at the Almeida Theatre.
Gergiev is a great conductor but he colludes with an expansionist tyrant. He seems to have little respect for freedom and equality. He is not fit to conduct the LSO.
It directly addresses the assumption bordering on cliché that women are more emotional - weaker - than men. Yet the contributions are all written by successful, influential men (some with very tough images) who admit to crying. Many share deeply personal insights and experiences, all provoked by poetry.
Ernesto Canovas, employs a multi-layered practice of painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. Canovas' artworks are heavily worked and only realised through careful contemplation
This week's On the Streets is focused on the faces painted on the city walls, that we see but don't always look at. Having a portrait is usually something very emotional and personal, and all the works included below carry this 'inside-out' revealing intimate feeling... See for yourselves.
At the opening reception for the The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaulter: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the designer related how he and his team had been working on the exhibition for over a year. It shows.
As a result, A Small Family Business very much seems a play of its time. It doesn't shed any light on our society today. It's not helped by the fact that the whole production is set in the 1980s with plenty of permed hair and shoulder pads.
Double acts might be easy to name in the worlds of comedy or music, even in film, but in the visual arts the myth tends to run more to trouble than double.