News The Houses of Parliament illuminated at night

Battersea have drawn up a list of their top mousers

Hollywood's last lone ranger continues to dodge the shots

Sam Shepard, enigmatic author and actor, gave a rare audience in London last week.

Power site gets greatest thrills on earth

Battersea power station in London will be turned into "the world's greatest entertainment and retail complex" under a pounds 500m plan announced yesterday.

THEATRE: The Dancing Master; BAC, London

First plays, like first novels, are usually safe, domestic, autobiographical affairs. The recent revival at BAC of Christopher Hampton's When Did You Last See My Mother? is a case in point. Two bickering adolescents, contemplating sexual hang-ups and unemployment. BAC's latest offering, The Dancing Master, the first play by actress Aletta Lawson, leaps to the other extreme, encompassing off-stage gang rape in Bosnia, body image, courtly dancing, snatches of opera, long-lost parents, love, lust and lavatory cleaning. If this is autobiography, she has led, as Lady Bracknell put it, "A life crowded with incident."

Property: A compact space with all mod cons

Studio flats are back in demand - provided they're in the right location.

Theatre A Doll's House Battersea Arts Centre, London

'As good a production as you are likely to see. It plays no tricks with Ibsen's text and subtly points up the overwhelming modernity of the play'

Letter: Asian view of Hindu `miracle'

Sir: The recent "miracle" experience by the Hindu community worldwide has no explanation in the realm of Western materialism ("The little miracle in Lady Margaret Road", 23 September). The West is usually inclined to seek the explanation of various natural and unnatural phenomena in terms of a finite set of variables. But, according to Hindu philosophy, the world is multi-dimensional, and there are many "happenings" which cannot be accounted for by using the existing model of Western rationalism.

Opera LE CINESI BAC, Battersea, London

Opera in London in the summer months is something of a non-event. Opera-goers head for the hills of Glyndebourne, Edinburgh, Salzburg, Santa Fe. But what is left is often unusual and stimulating: Almeida Opera and now BAC Opera. Where the Almeida has "establishment" backing, BAC is a more modest affair, aiming to "draw the richest young operatic talent back to London, giving audiences the chance to see the stars of tomorrow in a refreshingly intimate theatrical environment." Well, the environment at BAC is certainly intimate - a box seating about 60 - but refreshing? Musically, perhaps, but this week, with closed doors and no air-conditioning, audience, performers and instruments came close to meltdown.

LETTER : Long history of British blacks

From Ms Linda Bellos

Theatre NOTHING TO PAY Battersea Arts Centre, London

Caradoc Evans's Nothing to Pay is a Welsh mock-odyssey; the tale of a draper who leaves his village, first for the town, then London, in insatiable pursuit of wealth. It is the tale of a man - Amos Morgan - who is possessed and ruined by zealous smallmindedness. And its satiric finger is pointed relentlessly at the church for instilling a fatal combination of sheep-like thoughtlessness and rampant self-interest in its flock. No wonder it was shouted down when it was published in 1930. "Filth masquerading as truth," stormed the Western Mail. It may since have passed into relative obscurity, but it clearly touched a nerve.

A bug in the continuity

Hard Copy

Comments were 'off the record'

Chris Rea reports on the profound effects of 'unwitting' remarks

Obituary: James Gardner

James Gardner was the most difficult and one of the greatest acts in design to follow, writes Kenneth Grange [further to the obituary by Sir Hugh Casson, 29 March]. His modesty overshadowed a genius for making the commonplace magical and for giving the miraculous a place in the common culture. He was an artist, but invaluably an artist in commerce. The output from his inventive mind was boundless - most of us would be justly proud if we owned just one of his many careers.

A few minutes in Fry the spy's shoes

AND meanwhile, what about the understudy?

John Walsh suggests

Six very English restaurants

Many original features (missing): Do you need a spear railing head or plaster cornice? John Windsor explains how you can bring your crumbling villa up to spec

WHEN THEY stopped making Victorian villas they threw away the moulds - which were eagerly snapped up by ironfounders and plasterworkers. These days, if you cannot find reasonably priced architectural salvage to match the twiddly bits such as cast-iron railing heads or plaster ceiling cornices that have fallen off your villa, the chances are that you can find a local firm that has kept the original patterns.
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
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Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

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From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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