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.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
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The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
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travel
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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies looks set to be a dramatic conclusion to Peter Jackson's trilogy
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Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?