Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal

The Low Road

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When Dominic Cooke took over as artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre in 2006 he announced his intention to produce plays which "explore what it means to be middle class...and what it means to have wealth".

That has indeed been a feature of his reign, but it has also been marked by radical work such as Lucy Prebble's Enron and Caryl Churchill's 7 Jewish Children.

Cooke's final play for the theatre, The Low Road, written by Bruce Norris, continues in this politically charged vein. It is a funny, colourful and clever play about capitalism, set during the American Revolution but unashamed in its attempts to draw links with the current financial crisis.

Revolutionary Road

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Richard Yates

First published in 1961

Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates's first and greatest novel, has not always been considered a classic. During his lifetime Yates sold very few books and by the time he died in 1992 he had been largely forgotten. Over recent years the book has been rediscovered by a new layer of readers who are drawn to a novel that is a powerful and disturbing account of a family in crisis.

The Knitting Circle Rapist Annihilation Squad

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Derrick Jensen and Stephanie Macmillan

It's surprising to open a book and find, on the very first page, the line "Brigitte didn't set out to be a revolutionary. She just wanted to make some fabulous sweaters", but Derrick Jensen's new novel is unusual in every way. It follows a group of women who realise, during one of their weekly knitting groups, that they have all been raped. When they find out that none of their attackers have ever faced justice they decide to take things into their own hands.

Plebs revolt

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The weekend running up to 20 October was a calamitous one for the Tories. It began when their chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, was forced to resign in the wake of the "plebgate" scandal, and things went downhill from there.

Mitchell was accused of swearing at a police officer outside Downing Street, telling him to remember his place and calling him a "fucking pleb". The police federation then called for him to be sacked, sparking a war of words between the Tories and the very force designed to protect their interests.

On the Road

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Directed by Walter Salez, released on 12 October

Adapting literature into film is always a tricky task, but perhaps even more so when the book in question is known as the era-defining "voice of its generation". On the Road, first published in 1957, documents the real-life adventures of writer Jack Kerouac (known in the novel as Sal Paradise) and his wild friend Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty) as they race around the US in search of adventure and epiphany.

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