Alexandra Sayer

Hedda Gabler: the female Hamlet?

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Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler is being performed at the Old Vic Theatre, London, until 10 November

Frequently described as "the female Hamlet", the eponymous role of Hedda Gabler has attracted a formidable range of leading actresses since its first performance in 1891, including Maggie Smith, Peggy Ashcroft, Fiona Shaw and now Sheridan Smith. The play itself is one of Henrik Ibsen's finest works - one that is well worth seeing during its current run at the Old Vic theatre in London.

Wisconsin Uprising

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Edited by Michael D Yates

Just over a year ago the uprising in Wisconsin began in response to Republican governor Scott Walker's union-busting bill.

Exciting as the topic is, this is only four weeks of history and with none of the 18 contributors having consulted each other, as the editor makes clear, inevitably it covers a lot of the same ground. Lee Sustar paints a fascinating portrait of the makeup of the movement. He gives descriptions of individual protesters, such as Jerry Thompson, a union member for 52 years, who says to the crowd "I am retired, but I want to be here because of solidarity."

Jailhouse Lawyers

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Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal is perhaps the US most famous prisoner. After nearly 30 years he was finally been moved off death row in January. His latest book sheds light on a different and relatively unknown figure in the legal system: the prisoner defending other prisoners - the "jailhouse lawyer".

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