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Kirst Bushell as Vittoria in The White Devil, RSC, The Swan

Italian soap opera of lust, longing and murder

The violent and misogynistic revenge tragedy The White Devil comes to the RSC this week. Catherine Vonledebur talks to director Maria Aberg

How Tolkien's fantasy novel almost never got published

Dr Philippa Semper, a University of Birmingham lecturer
It's 60 years since The Lord of the Rings heralded the dawn of a new era for fantasy writing. University of Birmingham lecturer Dr Philippa Semper, tells of JJR Tolkien's battle to get it on book shelves. Graham Young reports

The heat is on for ice tribute to city's Fallen

Brazilian artist Nele Azevedo with one of the 5,000 sculptures being created
A unique and poignant exhibition of 5,000 ice sculptures is being staged this weekend. Roz Laws finds out how it's done.

Inspiring young men to step out in the world of dance

Boys from Man Made Youth, a new contemporary dance company in Birmingham just for young men founded by Johnny Autin
Two new dance companies, including one just for boys, take to the stage this week. Roz Laws meets their founder

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