During the French Revolution the aphorist Chamfort remarked that if you wanted to make sure that you were not going to encounter something more disgusting in the course of the day, you had to start off by swallowing a toad. In Britain right now, his advice is fairly easy to follow: the toads are regularly served up in the morning paper.

A few recent items from the British press, in no particular order:

A leading actor, interviewed about a new production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, says that he only agreed to appear in it “if I could put a firework up the play’s bum.” A new film version of Mansfield Park is announced, to be produced by a commercial company in conjunction with the BBC. Among other delights, it will show Fanny Price “stripped to her underwear and made uncomfortable by a lesbian advance from her neighbor Mary Crawford.”...


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