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.  

Better than real life: Gamers report video-game mechanics appearing in their vision

A study of 'game transfer phenomena' reports gamers seeing video games menus and music in real life

A scene from 'Hamlet' at the New Diorama theatre

Hamlet, theatre review: 'A fresh account in modern dress'

New Diorama, London

Bill Grimsey to advise Labour over high streets and business rates

The former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland Bill Grimsey has been made an adviser to the Labour party and will help draw up the opposition’s strategy over business rates for small businesses – one of the hottest topics for retailers.

The UK chief executive of Rolls-Royce Torsten Müller-Ötvös in London yesterday to celebrate the company’s 110th birthday

Rolls-Royce is on a roll as the super-rich get all revved up

Sales are booming for Britain's luxury car makers as everyone from Chinese tycoons to film stars scrambles to buy one

Remains of cars at the partially destroyed village of Oradour-sur-Glane, south-western France, where German SS Nazi troops massacred 642 people on June 10, 1944

Former SS man charged with taking part in massacre at French village that killed 642

Oradour-sur-Glane has been deliberately left untouched as a permanent memorial to the 642 people slaughtered there on 10 June 1944

David Moyes shows his frustration on another difficult night for the United manager

Comment: David Moyes' position at Manchester United is much more complicated than a matter of stick or bust

Three defeats in a row has led to more questions about his appointment that ever

Album review: Bruce Springsteen, 'High Hopes' (Columbia)

A few low notes but the Boss has still got it covered

Chiwetel Ejiofor in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave

12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor 'didn't want to be the guy that messed it up'

The actor told the BBC he was 'hesitant' about playing Solomon Northup

Benedict Cumberbatch in the new season opener

Sherlock 'The Empty Hearse' review: So, how did the great detective fake his own death?

A thoroughly satisfying season opener

High Cross House in Dartington, Devon played host to Bertrand Russell, Lucian Freud and many others

Celebrated Modernist home closed to visitors by the National Trust due to lack of interest

High Cross House in Dartington, Devon, failed to attract enough visitors to make it financially sustainable

Guests came suitably attired for the sleepover in the museum's imposing entrance hall

A night at the Natural History Museum – just don’t try doing what comes naturally at this sleepover for grown-ups

It’s billed as a sleepover, but as Kunal Dutta discovered, what with insect-based snacks there was far too much happening at the Natural History Museum

Invisible Ink: No 204 - Ghost writers

Remember the odd history of Virginia Andrews? Her Flowers In The Attic novels began appearing in 1979 and became surprise best-sellers. They were airless, claustrophobic works about four siblings locked in an attic in order to gain an inheritance. The incestuous melodramas appealed to teenaged girls, so when Andrews died in 1986 she was replaced by a ghost writer called Andrew Neiderman, who penned more than 40 further volumes in her name. They did so well that her estate kept her alive and earning, the Inland Revenue Service cannily arguing that her name was still a taxable asset.

2013 - the year in review: The best books of the year

"The Hired Man" by Aminatta Forna (Bloomsbury)

Veteran told he had three months to live after World War II celebrates his 100th birthday

Every 100th birthday is a cause for celebration, but even more so when you are a war veteran who has cheated death.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk