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.

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".

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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Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
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<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?