Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Plans for a film adaptation of Into the Woods may include Tracey Ullman

Screen Talk: Happy-ever-after for Ullman

Tinseltown Insider

Album review: Mavis Staples, One True Vine (Anti-)

With One True Vine, Mavis Staples reprises the collaboration with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy that created 2010’s hugely successful You Are Not Alone, with even more spectacular results. The two work with an ease and assurance that allows the producer to bring out the best in Staples’ smoky, impassioned delivery.

TUC 'austerity bus' visits struggling West Midlands towns as it tours country to highlight the impact of Coalition cuts on UK workers and families

Paul Mason has worked in the same factory in Cannock, Staffordshire, for 29 years. When he joined the business, which makes plastic parts for the automobile industry, it was the third biggest factory in town, employing around 500 people. Nearly three decades on, the number of staff has dropped to just 120.

A screenshot of the new PS4 video. Source: SONY

PS4 latest: Possible 13 November release date, new interface video

Details continue to emerge for Sony's new console

Studying great works with a gothic flavour

Stephen Hoare investigates Manchester Metropolitan University's new centre tackling the dark side of the arts

Mr Applebaum became interim mayor last November when his predecessor resigned amid corruption allegations

Now Montreal's mayor Michael Applebaum is arrested on corruption and fraud charges

Montreal residents were reeling on Monday with news of alleged dirty dealings and political disarray around their City Hall, triggered by the arrest of their mayor, Michael Applebaum, on serial corruption and fraud charges. Full details of his alleged crimes had not been made public.

Well suited to the stage: comedian Aziz Ansari
Theatre review: Bracken Moor by Alexi Kaye Campbell is an uncanny ghost story about grief
Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President,

Give us access to information on tax havens and tax avoiders, African leaders tell David Cameron ahead of G8 Summit

African leaders will warn David Cameron on Monday that his plans for a global crackdown on tax avoidance may be of little value to the world's poorest countries.

Edvard Munch’s 1906 painting ‘Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine’
Singers Tegan and Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara

Music review: Tegan & Sara, Troxy, London

The 32 year-old identical twins from Canada play the third of their four UK shows in East London's Troxy, filling the Art Deco theatre with their hardcore fans who singalong to nearly all of the 22 songs in their lengthy set.

A house in the German town of Mühlberg is submerged after the Elbe flooded. Two-thirds of the town’s 2,000 inhabitants have fled

Hungary and Germany brace for surging floodwater

The crest of the flood-swollen Danube surged towards the Hungarian capital, Budapest, today, while communities along the Elbe in Germany braced themselves for high water as the river churned towards the North Sea.

Album of the Week: Doom-laden, sci-fi metal signals Black Sabbath's return to form

Album review: Black Sabbath, 13 (Vertigo)

Album of the Week: Doom-laden, sci-fi metal signals Sabs' return to form

Winging it: Peter Wedd as Lohengrin is propelled across the water by Thomas Rowlands as Gottfried

Classical review: Lohengrin - Love means never having to say who you really are

Love is seldom simple in Wagner's operas. There is always a curse or a price, some impossible condition to be met, some sacrifice to be made. In Lohengrin ("the favourite opera of all sensitive ladies", according to one 19th-century critic), sensitive Elsa stands falsely accused of the murder of her brother, Gottfried. The dreamboat hero who arrives to defend Elsa's honour is quick to say those three little words that she longs to hear, and quick to march her to the altar to the lily-scented strains of Wagner's wedding anthem, with the proviso that she should never ask his name. Alas, Elsa has three little words of her own to say, burning like chili pepper on her sensitive tongue: who are you?

Book of a lifetime: Ghost Stories, By Charles Dickens

Throughout my teenage years, I read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens every December. It was a story that never failed to excite me for as well as being a Dickens enthusiast, I have always loved ghost stories.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam