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.

Conservative chairman 'used expenses to pay her nanny'

David Cameron's problems over "Tory sleaze" deepened last night amid allegations that the Conservative Party chairman Caroline Spelman paid her nanny out of her parliamentary allowances.

Tory EU leader quits over breach of rules on expenses

Giles Chichester resigned yesterday as leader of the Tory group in the European Parliament after breaking rules on expenses, and is now under pressure to stand down as an MEP.

The Cherry Orchard, Festival Theatre, Chichester

An orchard that bears little fruit

British MEPs took gifts from firms they are meant to regulate

Oil, car and nuclear industries among those providing senior decision-makers with services or hospitality

Fanny Brice: A Funny Girl revival ignores the real scandals in the Broadway legend's life

In 1964, Ray Stark had a problem. He wanted to produce a musical biography of Fanny Brice, but was married to Brice's daughter. Frances Stark was so protective of her mother's image that he had had to buy up the entire printing of an authorised, heavily censored biography because it stated, correctly, that Brice had shoplifted as a child. Brice's adult life contained much more unsavoury material, and her criminal husband, Nick Arnstein, was still alive. With such potential for lawsuits and domestic strife, Stark contrived a simple but effective solution: he lied.

Whatever happened to the History Boys?

Four years ago, they were a bunch of unknowns. Then a new Alan Bennett play set them on the path to fame and fortune. How have they fared since? Alice Jones tracks them down

Miles Kington: Finally, an excuse to use the Princess Margaret story

Banned for twenty years, here at last is the sordid tale of light entertainment, royal seating requirements, and string

Lone star

After 27,000 miles, MacArthur is sailing into the record books

SHE IS going to do it. Some time tonight, after pushing herself way beyond what she thought were her formidable limits, Ellen MacArthur will cross the finish line off the Brittany island of Ushant to become the fastest person in history to sail solo round the world.

Sailing: MacArthur set to take record today

She is going to do it. Some time tonight, after pushing herself way beyond what she thought were her formidable limits, Ellen MacArthur will cross the finish line off Ushant to become the fastest person in history to sail solo round the world. She will join the greats like Sir Francis Chichester and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and continue a remarkable thread of national sailing success, which includes five medals at the last two Olympic Games.

Letter: Feminine forms

Sir: In the light of recent correspondence, latterly from Harvey Cole (letter, 2 February), I looked up the difference between "fort" and "fortress" in the Concise Oxford Dictionary to discover that while a fort is a fortified building or position, a fortress is a strongly fortified town. Vive la difference!

Canon John Halliburton

Anglican scholar-priest who encouraged dialogue with Rome

Robert Lang

Actor committed to the ensemble ideal
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

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Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

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Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

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Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

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King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

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Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

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60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

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