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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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
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us