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September recommendations


Creative Mischief by Dave Trott, published by LOAF Marketing, £7.99
Musings from the colourful Mr Trott on various issues pertaining to advertising and creativity in general. Various pearls scattered throughout. Similar in ambition and form to the Paul Arden books. Lots. Of. Short sentences. Create. A. Self consciously. Edgy. Feel. Roger Horberry

The Power of Making, the V&A, until 2 January 2012

This exhibition looks amazing. It celebrates the role of making in our lives, and includes a ceramic eye patch (always useful), a six-necked guitar and a giant prosthetic suit for Stephen Hawking. I immediately loved Dalton Ghetti’s row of pencils, worn down to stubs, with the graphite tips sculpted into the letters of the alphabet. There’s also a Late Summer Camp on 30 September where you can ‘craft, tinker and hack’ your own objects. Fiona Thompson


The Skin I live In, directed by Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodovar is up to his old tricks again in his latest film, The Skin I Live In, but he does it with such style and panache that it’s a delight. I say delight, but in fact this is a pretty dark and gothic affair, about a hyper-controlling and somewhat chilling plastic surgeon (played superbly by Antonio Banderas), who imprisons a mysterious patient, known to us as Vera. The film has a stunning twist, such that the whole thing works as a thriller, but along the way we get typical themes of identity and obsession explored with forensic precision and depth of insight. Go see. Martin Lee


One Man, Two Guvnors, by Richard Bean, at the National Theatre, transferring to the Adelphi on 8 November

This is at the National but will transfer soon to the West End. It’s a version of Goldoni (commedia dell’arte) but a long long way from the original. The main star is James Corden and he’s very funny – but the stars on any night might be different members of the audience brought up on stage to be part of the play. (Don’t sit in the front row if you want to avoid this.) Lots of improvisation, lots of physical comedy to remind us that humour doesn’t depend on words. John Simmons.

The Playboy of the Western World, by JN Synge at the Old Vic This lyrical comedy is pure joy, all beautiful, tumbling language, Shakespearian in tempo and scale. It tells the story of a lonely dreamer called Christy who arrives in a tiny village in County Mayo with the wild tale that he has killed his father. Elen Lewis

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