Voices

The top 20 of The Stage newspaper’s recently published “power list” of the 100 most influential people in British theatre made for fascinating reading. Most of the usual suspects were there, but many of them found themselves paired with another name for their entry. For it’s not only the artistic directors, the Nick Hytners and Gregory Dorans, who are celebrated but their all-important executive directors, the men and women who oversee every aspect of an organisation except what goes on its stages. Without executive directors, no contracts would be written, no money raised and no ambitious building projects undertaken.

The Last Cigarette, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

An epitaph that doesn't quite fit

Coming Soon: Spring fever hits Chichester

Spring heralds the start of the Chichester Festival, unusually early this year. Let's hope this coincides with theatre-lovers shaking off their wintry hacking coughs, even if sore throats and sneezes ought to continue on stage with Hay Fever (pictured, 01243 781 312, 9 Apr to 2 May) and The Last Cigarette (11 Mar to 11 Apr).

Sussex, West

Secondary School Tables 2009

Maurice Stonefrost: GLC's last Director General who outwitted the Tory government

Maurice Stonefrost was Britain's leading practitioner of local government finance and the last Director General of the Greater London Council. He was a pioneer in seeking to enhance the role and qualifications of accountants, ensuring that their education and training fitted them to act as financial managers and not just technical bookkeepers.

Eileen Agar: An Eye for Collage, Pallant House, Chichester

Collages rarely seen before shed light on a male-dominated art movement

Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Gielgud Theatre, London<br />War Horse, National Theatre: Olivier, London

Rupert Goold is a name that will give any project legs at the moment. The award-winning 36-year-old director has a production of No Man's Land, starring Michael Gambon, and the I'd Do Anything-promoted extravaganza of Oliver! lined up for the West End this autumn, and a major production of King Lear with Pete Postlethwaite opening in Liverpool in the same crammed season.

Calendar Girls, Festival Theatre, Chichester

A lively, funny, heart-warming tale of an unusual group of Northern strippers – that's what The Full Monty was, and what Calendar Girls tries, in vain, to be. Even without the comparison, though, Tim Firth's play is an anecdote stretched so thin that its sentimentality and contrivance are transparent.

Adventures in Theatreland: Plays get serious again

Not enough straight plays in the West End? Not so, says Paul Taylor &ndash; a new version of Pirandello's 'Six Characters' is starting a serious revolution

Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, Christopher Chichester, Clark Rockefeller: Are they the same man?

It was a story that gripped both sides of the Atlantic. An elusive millionaire who kidnapped his own seven-year-old daughter in broad daylight and escaped with her to Baltimore.

'Rockefeller' is wanted German

A man charged with kidnapping his daughter in Boston is a German who lived in the guesthouse of a Los Angeles-area couple who disappeared in 1985, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Collaboration/taking sides, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Chichester, under its artistic director Jonathan Church, has become theatrically hip and happening. Apart from the dud of the Cherry Orchard, this season is one of its best yet – a mix of cleverly chosen, powerfully reappraised musicals (Funny Girl, The Music Man), and innovative, challenging fare such as Rupert Goold's wonderful transposition of Six Characters in Search of an Author to the morally queasy world of TV docudrama, which transfers to the West End in September.

The Music Man, Festival Theatre, Chichester

The Chichester Festival Theatre has a winning way with Broadway musicals. This season, it's busy reclaiming shows that are seldom staged because they're so strongly associated with their original stars. In the Minerva Studio, Angus Jackson and Samantha Spiro have established that you don't need Barbra Streisand to score a hit with Funny Girl. And now, in Rachel Kavanaugh's ridiculously enjoyable revival, she and Brian Conley prove that Robert Preston is not indispensable to the success of The Music Man, Meredith Willson's funny, folksy celebration of small-town life in pre-First World War Iowa.

Judge attacks internet after leering youths filmed 'sick' assault

A senior judge made a passionate plea for the Government to clamp down on disturbing internet images as he jailed four teenagers for a "sickening" attack which they filmed.

Deborah Orr: Accusations of expenses fiddling come and go, but the gravy train trundles on

Obviously, it never looks good when a politician is exposed as an expenses fiddler. But it does look better when a guilty politician quickly resigns, enabling his leader to utter phrases such as "not tolerated" and "rooted out".

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Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
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Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
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The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
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Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
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How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

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Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
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Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

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Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor