News Jeremy Paxman has taken issue the plans to 'celebrate' next year's centenary of the First World War

The Newsnight veteran is unhappy at Cameron's take on next year's first world war centenary

A close-up of part of the opening ceremony mock-up

Where sheep may safely graze: Boyle unveils his Opening Ceremony plan

Real sheep, real cows, real horses, real grass, real ploughing and two battling mosh pits are to open the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

Opening ceremony orchestra is silenced

Musicians in the London Symphony Orchestra will have to mime their performance in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics because a live performance is deemed too risky.

Danny Boyle (centre) on Oscar night

Slumdog the musical calls in Julian Fellowes

Danny Boyle has broken off talks on staging his hit movie after an argument over artistic control

First Night: The Sunshine Boys, Savoy Theatre, London

The sun has set on this limp revival of a Seventies comedy classic

Big top secret: 2012 Olympic opening ceremony is taking shape in a closely guarded tent

At the Dagenham Ford plant, rehearsals are under way for the showcase

Trenton Oldfield after his arrest

An unlikely protest pin-up girl for London 2012

Protesters will not be allowed to ruin the Olympics, organisers vowed after Trenton Oldfield's Boat Race invasion. But the role of civil disobedience in British history could itself be hailed with a theatrical tribute to the suffragettes at the London Games' opening ceremony.

Emily Davison, who was killed trying to stop King George V’s horse Anmer in the 1913 Derby

An unlikely protest pin-up for the summer's Olympic Games

Protesters will not be allowed to ruin the Olympics, organisers vowed after Trenton Oldfield's Boat Race invasion. But the role of civil disobedience in British history could itself be hailed with a theatrical tribute to the suffragettes at the London Games' opening ceremony.

Alice Jones: What the new Sgt Pepper cover tells us about modern Britain

Where once stood Marilyn, now stands Delia, in a Norwich City scarf. HG Wells has been ousted by JK Rowling, Marlene Dietrich bumped by Kate Moss. As for John, George and Ringo – they're nowhere to be seen.

Dancing hopefuls gather at studios in east London, waiting to audition for a role in Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony

The day I danced for a place in Danny Boyle's Olympics spectacular

Tom Peck auditioned for the London 2012 opening ceremony. But was he asked back?

The recent wholesale refurbishment of The Lancaster has not altered its home-from-home ambience

Stay The Night: The Lancaster, Paris

This Parisian pied-à-terre for the Hollywood elite is sparkling once again – and now all are welcome, says Adrian Mourby

Leading article: Act of kindness?

To have an interval or not to have an interval? That is the question theatres are asking themselves nowadays. And increasingly they seem to be leaning towards not having one.

Frankenstein, National Theatre: Olivier, London

Nick Dear's taut, fiercely focused version of Frankenstein – a project that has brought Oscar-winning film-maker Danny Boyle back to his theatrical roots – offers a radically different ending from either Mary Shelley's 1818 novel (on which it is based) or the movie versions spawned by James Whale's 1931 classic. Here, in a luminously ice-green Arctic, the scientist Victor Frankenstein and his Creature both survive, umbilically linked in the kind of perpetual deathly symbiosis that would pass muster in Dante's Inferno.

Mike Leigh returns to theatre after six years waiting in the wings

Mike Leigh is to return to the National Theatre with a collaborative, improvised play, his first stage work in six years.

Cultural Life: Sarah Millican, comedian

Comedy: I recently drove all the way to Derby to see Sean Lock perform. Professional and hilarious in his interaction with the crowd, it was exactly how it should have been: a great reception for a great comedian. Sometimes at comedy gigs I find myself analysing the material but this really felt like a night off. I also really enjoyed hearing new material from Juliet Meyers and Sally-Anne Hayward when I performed alongside them in Manchester. It's great to see comedians totally different to yourself. They are both exceptionally funny.

Jai Ho! 'Slumdog' comes to 'Emmerdale' country

A Slice of Britain: North Yorkshire locals flock from miles around to see Danny Boyle's Mumbai tale at a hi-tech cinema set up in picturesque Arncliffe's village hall. It's all thanks to the UK Film Council – itself now a victim of the cuts
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform