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Battersea have drawn up a list of their top mousers

Comedy Moments: No way to treat a heckler

Our monthly series in which comedians reflect on funny moments in their lives finds the effervescent Adam Bloom dealing with a heckler in an unusual fashion.

The Independent Recommends: Theatre

BRIAN FRIEL'S tricksy reflection on the Troubles, Volunteers, has been given the belated premiere it richly deserves by Mick Gordon, who wrings every drop of bitter comedy from this tale of five internees wisecracking and breaking ranks on an archeological dig. The Gate has been transformed into a boggy site, providing an earthy counterpoint to the many high-flown observations.

The Saturday Profile: Helen Mirren, Actress - The drama queen of England

WHEN I told people that I was writing this profile of Helen Mirren, the most common reaction was a snort of disgust. "Oh God, more excuses to run pictures of sexy old Helen," said one woman. "Why? She's the most written about woman in England," said a theatre type. Nor could anyone resist pointing out that she likes the odd nude scene. "You know the one thing that you can count on with her," said another man, eyes aglint, "is that she always takes her kit off." And then, finally and always on cue, came the discussion about whether those really were her legs in the Virgin ad.

Top black policeman fights racism in the Met

A RADICAL new approach to crimes of racial hatred will dramatically improve the poor standing of the Metropolitan Police, according to Britain's most senior black police officer.

Plenty of room for improvement

If you love where you live but feel it's too small, consider an extension, says Gwenda Joyce-Brophy

Bastien & Bastienne

The appropriation of Mozart's very early operas has been a healthy trend already this year, with stagings for Lucia Silla and Apollo et Hyacinthus. BAC'S new production of the singspiel Bastien and Bastienne (above), composed when Mozart was only 12, should follow suit. The piece was commissioned by none other than Franz Anton Mesmer, as part of an entertainment for his circle of enlightened intimates. Further Enlightenment comes from the fact that the libretto is an adaptation of one, by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Plus, uncannily, the theme of the little Overture is identical to that of the first movement of Beethoven's Eroica. Award- winning director Maggie Forsyth produces the piece as the culmination of an intensive four-day "open process', working with the cast of three, and with a "unique twist" promised as well

KNOW THE SCORE: Schoenberg's `Pierrot Lunaire'

1912 in Paris: Igor Stravinsky is working on one mighty example of musical High Modernism, The Rite of Spring - a ritualistic ballet scored for huge symphony orchestra. At the same time in Berlin, and by means of a soprano speaker and just five instruments, Arnold Schoenberg (above) is contributing his own no less radical addition to musical history, in the form of his extraordinary Expressionist song cycle, Pierrot Lunaire.

Shopping: Shop Talk

ENSURE YOUR party goes with a swing by ordering a vodka luge from The Ice Box. Sit back, open-mouthed, while a vodka shot is launched from the top of your personally sculpted ice chute, carved in any shape from a mountainside to a human torso. If this is too much to contemplate, the company will carve your name in ice, design a corporate logo or simply "freeze" a thought. And in the unlikely event that you run short of ice this summer it provides a rapid-response delivery service of ice cubes within the central London area. Vodka luges cost from pounds 50 and corporate logos from pounds 200.

Comedy: Growing pains

Bruce Morton is doing the bravest thing a stand-up comedian can do - he is giving up stand-up. At least for a while. Rather, he is currently performing Blood Below the Window, a narrative, closer to theatre than stand-up, about his own process of growing up.

Lord, forgive them

The Deborah Ross Interview; Martin (Lord Noel-Buxton to you) is an endangered species. He lost all his money, nearly drank himself to death and is a bit vague about Hague (`Who?'). For some odd reason, people want him out of Parliament (along with all the

weather wise

DRUG traffickers, of all people, are being blamed for the bizarre clouds of smoke and fumes that have been blanketing much of Texas in the past week. The smoke has reduced visibility to as little as three miles in some areas. People have been warned to stay indoors as much as possible, and the elderly and children are thought to be particularly at risk from respiratory problems triggered by the toxic haze.

Performing theatrical miracles

LITERATURE

Jongleurs April comedy highlights

This month, two of the Jongleurs venues are hosting special nights in aid of Help A London Child on Thur 2 April:

Schools: From truants to voters

"There is not so much fighting and jumping around anymore. I like being in class more because we get to go outside and we get to make the school better. I liked what we did today and I think I am learning what it means to be a good citizen."

Wednesday's ticket

Samuel Beckett's existential wonderings are finding growing favour as the idiom for the new millenium. Leap of Faith has a new production of Beckett's Happy Days at the Battersea Arts Centre in London from Feb 10. Amanda Bellamy will tackle the mystifying role of Winnie as she speaks from within her tower of sand to her similarly constrained husband, making general natterings and fumbling around in her handbag - the simple means through which Beckett brings his positive nihilism to light.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project