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

Goodbye Gary, as stage musical closes

The American humorist Neil Simon has suffered a rare reverse in his long career with the closure of the London stage musical of The Goodbye Girl, starring Gary Wilmot.

Was ever a man so unloved?

Andrew Lloyd Webber's threat to flee a Labour-led Britain has been met with derision - yet more evidence that the composer is unjustly treated, says David Lister

Lloyd Webber pulls back from brink of excesses

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber must have believed he was striking a blow for family values and exposing the Bacchanalian excesses of the music industry.

Restless lord seeks ideal home

FOR SALE: one of the finest houses in London, convenient for House of Lords, six floors, six bedrooms, swimming pool; neighbours very tolerant about music . Price pounds 15m. By Jonathan Glancey


Main Claim: The guy's written every uncool bit of music we've ever heard. He's fashioned harmonies and hooks that have a permanent but reluctant niche in the nation's humming repertoire. He's also known for being ... a bit unhandsome.

Celebrities with mass appeal top the list

New Year Honours: Arts

Middle-of-the-road honours for middle-brow Britain

Perhaps it will be known as John Major's slippers-and-cardigan list. Cosy, safe, middle-of-the-road, the New Year Honours sum up the Prime Minister's image as a man who enjoys his frozen peas. They smack of a man in his last days of office who wants to say a big "thank you and good-bye" to all those who have kept him entertained along the way.

Letter: Clever Sir Tim

Sir: Sir Tim Rice is apparently upset that he has not been receiving sufficient accolades for his "Evita" lyrics (" `Evita' puts spotlight on creative feud", 18 December) .

Then he kissed her

She might come and live in London, she will definitely have more babies, she prepared for her death scene in Evita by reading the Sun. Madonna and child swept into London and, with baby Lourdes Maria safely tucked up in bed, mum gave a press conference.

`Evita' puts spotlight on creative feud

A very English coolness between two knights of the realm could put a cloud on the Hollywood glitz of the film premiere of the year, when Evita opens in London tomorrow.

Madonna pipped by another Evita

So is it a premiere or not? When Madonna flies into London this week for what is being dubbed as the "international" premiere of Evita, she won't be the first to be seen playing Argentina's former first lady.

ROCK OPERA Jesus Christ Superstar Lyceum Theatre, London

Sir Henry Irving would doubtless have savoured the irony in our having to wait until the second coming for the reopening of his Lyceum Theatre. But imagine his confusion upon entering the newly refurbished auditorium (and contrary to advance reports, it is neither bright nor garish but rather subdued, musty, like an old theatre) to discover the audience seated but work apparently still in progress. Primitive wooden scaffolding shrouds the stage boxes and proscenium, the elaborate gilding visibly decayed and decaying as Sir Henry's pride and joy appears to vanish into an unfinished excavation. The remains of a Roman arena (designer John Napier) have been hewn from a backdrop of crumbling earth and rock. We're digging out the past.

The second coming

In the beginning were Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and they begat `Joseph' and `Joseph' begat `Jesus Christ Superstar'. And Robert Stigwood heard it and saw it could be cloned to the thousandth generation. And yea, two decades and a few hundred millioion pounds later it has returned to the West End. See it and wonder. By David Lister

Letter: Webber's art

Your piece on Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's art collection ("Taxpayers subsidise paintings on Lloyd Webber's walls", 10 November) misses some points. First, the dog-in-the-manger is an old fable that you must re- read; it is undoubtedly better for all of us that some fine pictures are available for the public to see most of the time rather than never. Second, the apparent tax loss to us because of his method of purchase of some of his pictures is a minute fraction of the tax that he pays; he could leave and take it all with him - new prospective South Bank gallery and all. Third, Lloyd Webber is a donor to the Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation. He has at least some entitlement to the pictures, therefore. Finally, art needs its patrons to be encouraged not tormented with gloating photos of their failed marriages. How are these relevant to your argument?

Labour disowns Fabian attack on the Queen

Tony Blair's aides last night rejected as "complete madness" a Fabian Society report calling for the Queen to be stripped of her powers and the National Anthem to be rewritten.
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