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24th January 2003 at 00:00
Self portrait

For news presenter Jon Snow, the process of producing a self-portrait was "enjoyable and thoroughly alarming". People in schools, prisons, centres for asylum seekers or just sitting at home have been inspired to take up the same challenge. And there is still time to add yours to the total. The closing date for entries to the national Self Portrait UK campaign is February 14.

Submissions so far include a video from an 88-year-old, digital images and even writing from younger people as well as paintings and drawings. Other celebrity portraitists include the actress and singer Toyah Wilcox and the model Jodie Kidd.

For details on how to enter and further information about self-portraiture and exhibitions throughout Britain, visit www.channel4.comselfportraituk.

Some of the entries will go on show in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London from April to June.

Howl, howl, howl

Enter the world of King Lear - or at least that of a very articulate actor who played him - in Oliver Ford Davies's thoughtful yet readable book, Playing Lear: an insider's guide from text to performance (Nick Hern Books, pound;14.99, published February 6). This former academic and critic gave a moving performance in the monumental role at the Almeida Theatre last year. Here he chronicles his experience of tackling the part, from first reading through to reviews.

There is no better way to examine the warp and weft of a character than by sharing an intelligent actor's exploration; it's the best resource there is. Oliver Ford Davies will discuss the book with David Hare at the National Theatre on January 31 at 6pm. Tickets: 020 7452 3000.

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