The Saturday Miscellany: Long-running musicals; Alan Sugar; How the Light Gets In; Roger Kasparian; Cathy Azria



Some musicals never die. On and on they go, reducing coach-loads of tourists to tears and keeping West End producers in champagne.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera opened in 1986; since then, 130 million people have surrendered to the music of the night, giving it the highest box-office revenue of any theatre production, (its sequel Love Never Dies was less successful).

Les Misérables opened at the Barbican in 1985 – and has become the world's longest running musical. Based on Victor Hugo's novel, it overcame poor reviews to win the public's heart. The film repeated the trick; Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" didn't hurt either. Do you hear the people sing? With Les Mis, you really, really do. The winner: Les Misérables.

Holly Williams


Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1989
Subject: Re: Proposal

Dear Mr Bernerslee,

Thank you for writing. I was interested to read your blah blah plan about blah blah can you insert the details Janice they're in his electronic mail thing.

I'm a busy man so I'll be blunt. Your idea about this interweb that will give 'universal access' to lots of documents worldwide sounds OK if you're some kind of librarian, but I really can't see it taking off. So wot if I can 'access' an article by some dago boffin in Bwaynos Iriz? I dont see the point. I have quite enough to read in the Daily Express. And you say it's not supposed to make money – are you off your trolley? I'm not a charity.

Yours blah blah

Alan Sugar

PS: This place you live, Cern – is it near Essex? Drop by if you're near, I'm looking for an apprentice.


Dear Ellen

I can't help glancing at texts when they pop up on my partner's smartphone. Should I look away?

Yes. When you hear their text tone, silently repeat this mantra: "I respect my partner's privacy, as he/she respects mine". Before long, you will feel Zen-like calm. Your dignity demands it.

Ellen E Jones


Charlie Cooper


Thought, music and sunshine: get your tickets now for How the Light Gets In, the world's largest philosophy festival at Hay-on-Wye, in Wales, 23 May-2 June;


Rare black-and-white shots of Sixties icons including Van Morrison and Marianne Faithfull by photographer Roger Kasparian at Snap Galleries. Until 22 June, London SW1,


In the hope of more evenings spent outside, why not invest in one of Cathy Azria's 'outdoor fireplace' sculptures for the patio? From £2,430,


Laura Lea

* Dan Brown’s latest novel, ‘Inferno’, is out this month; worldwide sales of his books top 200 million copies

* 5.1m: Number of copies of Brown’s 2003 thriller ‘The Da Vinci Code’ sold in the UK

* Since 1998, the various editions of the Highway Code have sold 4.8m copies

* 71: Number of novels James Patterson has authored in 33 years. The US writer’s work was most borrowed from UK libraries in the past decade

* 48: Pairs of black ankle boots owned by British bestseller Jackie Collins, who claims to have had an affair with Marlon Brando when she was 15 (he was 29)

* 10,509,988m: Number of copies of  EL James’s ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy sold in the UK last year

* The average yearly earnings of a self-published author are £6,375

* 149% Increase in sales of fiction ebooks from 2011 to 2012, with sales of £172m

* 400: The number of bookshops that closed down in 2012


1.Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown tackles Dante's Inferno for new book: The Independent

2. The top 100 bestselling books of all time: how does Fifty Shades of Grey compare?: The Guardian

3. The top 100 bestselling books of all time: how does Fifty Shades of Grey compare?: The Guardian

4. Library lending figures: which books are most popular?: The Guardian

5. The jackets Jackie Collins almost never wears twice: Wall Street Journal

6. Top 100 bestselling books of 2012: The Guardian

7. Stop the press: half of self-published authors earn less than $500: The Guardian

8. Publishing Industry Continues to Grow with Sales of Consumer ebooks rising by 134%: The Publishers Association

9. Bookshop numbers halve in just seven years: The Daily Telegraph

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Calvin Harris performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home