News Actress Emily Rossum enjoyed the free healthcare she got in the UK

'I would get hurt just to get that for free,' says impressed host

The Woman in White, Palace Theatre, London

You're walking down a deserted moonlit road when suddenly Andrew Lloyd Webber springs out before you, dressed all in white and babbling about "my secret, my precious secret".

The Woman in White, The Palace Theatre, London

Lloyd Webber's chiller is good enough to haunt the West End for some time

Home Truths: Tales of the riverbank

Cheryl Markosky meets Peter Karrie, singer and West End musical star

The Information: 'Honk!'

What Is It?

Letter: Song for Julie

I WAS fascinated by Douglas Adams's attack on that notorious non-line from "Do-Re-Mi" in The Sound of Music: "La, a note to follow soh" (The Last Word, 31 October). I have long been irked by this and I always trill an alternative: "La, that's Arabic for `no' " (which happens to be the case).

David Essex & Tim Rice; how we met

David Essex, OBE, 52, is a prolific performer whose albums and singles have sold millions worldwide. His first big break was the musical `Godspell', in which he played Jesus. His new album, `I Still Believe', has just been released and he is beginning a UK tour next month. He lives in London with his wife Carlotta and their sons

Books: Star-struck excess?

Love them or loathe them, this duo made a revolution on the musical stage. But where did you hear that tune before?Oh, What a Circus: the autobiography by Tim Rice Hodder & Stoughton, pounds 18.99, 456pp; Cats on a Chandelier: the Andrew Lloyd Webber story by Michael Coveney Century, pounds 17.99, 282pp

Books: The man who couldn't go to dinner

The letters of Wilkie Collins have been collected for the first time, and they reveal more about his digestion and his boils than his mysterious love life

The Arts: Just the ticket

There are a few who want 'Plenty', some big 'Cats' fans and many who want to catch the 'Starlight Express'. But for real theatre, you could simply watch the queue at the half-price ticket booth in London's Leicester Square

The man in black, more like

The author of `The Woman in White' had an unconventional private life, including a fantasy marriage to an 11-year-old. As a new novel by Wilkie Collins is published more than a century after his death, Matthew Sweet explores an enigma of Victorian letters

Lloyd Webber in pounds 50m buyout of Polygram stake

THE COMPOSER Andrew Lloyd Webber has spent pounds 50m to settle his long-running dispute with the record company that last year sabotaged a hit single written by him.

Obituary: Lionel Bart

YOUR OBITUARY of Lionel Bart [by Tom Vallance, 5 April] was right to point out his tendency towards self-destruction, writes Professor Barry Fantoni. There were so many instances but one in particular should be put on record, as it concerned a stage during his career when his popularity was at a low ebb and a real chance to revive it was on offer.

SA laughs all the way to the ballot box

"WHY DO all South Africans need bar-coded identity books? Nelson Mandela is sentimental. He was behind bars for 27 years. Now he wants everyone to have bars in their books."
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