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Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility

Year Of The Rat, West Yorkshire Playhouse, London

Year of the Rat is unlikely to delight the Inner Hebrides tourist board with its stark depiction of life on the isolated island of Jura. It was there that George Orwell completed the classic Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1948. Roy Smiles has taken a few liberties in Year of the Rat, but his well-observed collection of strands from, and references to, Orwell's life, personality and fiction allows him to assemble an entertaining and somehow real play that resonates beyond Big Brother and Room 101.

Super Bowl commercials going for £1.4m for 30-second slot

The American football Super Bowl is almost as eagerly awaited by US television viewers for the commercials shown during the breaks as it is for the action on the pitch.

A cinematic show puts a new twist on historical perception

How much has the world really changed in 100 years?

The Complete Guide To The Italian Lakes

Natural beauty, elegant architecture, relaxing boat trips and energetic watersports - this fabulous region has it all, says Matthew Teller

1984, Royal Opera House, London

Maazel's money beats the Orwellian machine to launch an opera triumph

LSO / Lorin Maazel, Barbican London

Since his first emergence as a prodigy back in the 1950s, Lorin Maazel has established himself as a somewhat uncanny necromancer among conductors, while invariably delivering performances of glittering technical proficiency and vividness. Whether these have always transcended a certain narcissistic coldness is another matter. One would not, in any case, have readily associated him with the warmth and inwardness of Schubert and Bruckner.

Get a PhD - and be paid for it

Sponsorship is a student's best friend, says Tristan Farrow. For a few months' work, you'll receive a vital financial top-up

The class traitor who taught me to love socialism

Paul Foot made the rich, the powerful and the bigoted look ridiculous

Labour of love

Mark Seddon, outgoing editor of Tribune, reflects on spin, lawsuits, bursting Blair's bubble and a bizarre encounter with Sir James Goldsmith

When politics is brought to book

Cheltenham lures an inspiring line-up of writers for a timely look at the political use of language

Stefan Collini: An intellectuals place in society

From the George Orwell Memorial Lecture, given by the Cambridge Professor of Intellectual History
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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