Alice-Azania Jarvis

Alice-Azania Jarvis is a feature writer for The Independent

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In the Red: The dreaded call that tells me Christmas is coming

There comes a time, every year, when the calls start arriving. “Hi, is that Alice?” they say, bubbling with good cheer.

Days of the Commune, White Bear Theatre, London

Much is made, by the Gunpowder Theatre Company, of the fact that Days of the Commune is one of Bertolt Brecht's least-performed plays. Cynics might reply that there is a reason for this. This is a hefty, agenda-ridden account of the Paris Commune and as such it represents a challenge in any milieu – all the more so when that happens to be behind a South London pub during a grudge football match.

Gyms are on a spin cycle

It was 1989 in Santa Monica. Duran Duran, Roxette and Bon Jovi blasted from the radio, while Madonna implored fans to express themselves. The fashion-conscious wore leopard print, shoulder pads and plaid. The body-conscious headed to Johnny G's Spin centre to burn off 600 calories an hour. Born in South Africa, Johnny Goldberg had moved to the US a decade earlier, working as a personal trainer and taking part in a host of endurance cycle races. One night, while out training on his bike, a passing car narrowly missed him. It was then he had the idea of taking cycling indoors. Spinning was born.

DVD: Prom (U)

There is a lot about Prom that's surprising – in that it is, in fact, totally unsurprising. It follows every plot twist in the Book of Disney Clichés, something which – in the age of Mean Girls and Easy A – seems enormously out of place.

Communal plates: Who said it's good to share?

On the rare occasions that my boyfriend and I go out for dinner, the conversation will, at some point, assume a familiar format: "Can I have a bite of that?" I ask, ignoring the protective arm curled around his plate. He protests, I insist, and eventually he relents, fussing that I might contaminate it by digging in my fork. Indecisive and naturally greedy, it is impossible for me to sit opposite someone and not want their food.

I love you (just not the way you are)

It's an age-old story: boy meets girl, they fall for each other – then she sets about trying to turn him into someone else. Alice-Azania Jarvis wonders what's really going on

How Britain fell back in love with baking

Forget MasterChef, now we're all in love with The Great British Bake Off. As the show reaches its final tonight, Alice-Azania Jarvis discovers why comfort food wins

Last Night's TV - The Truth about Child Brides, BBC3; Home Cooking Made Easy, BBC2

They're beginning to lift the veil

How to make it sizzle: Modern chefs are elevating steak to an art form

But what makes the difference between a decent grill and a connoisseur's cut? Alice-Azania Jarvis finds out
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Day In a Page

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On your feet!

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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

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Bradley Cooper is terrific
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Weather warning

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German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

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