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.  

Granville (David Jason) runs the shop with his son Leroy (James Baxter) in 'Still Open All Hours'

Still Open All Hours review: It was a w-w-worthy effort – but there’s only one Arkwright

With Ronnie Barker gone, it was TV as Garfunkel without Simon, Wise without Morecambe, Hale and Pace without one of Pace or Hale

Arifa Akbar: Let’s ban the latecomers from dramatic readings

"A light appeared deep inside the audience, beaming like a gig-lamp in the hands of a woman below me. It was a Blackberry"

Prime Minister David Cameron and UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Inside Westminster: If the Prime Minister wants to change the EU, he has to stop making enemies

What really spooks the Tories is that anti-EU Ukip could cost them scores of seats

Do we really need a magical new Harry Potter play?

Fans will undoubtedly buy tickets, but let's hope it isn't a massive let-down

Supporters of the Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen hold considerable influence in Recep Tayyip Erdogan's (left) Justice and Development Party

Future of Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, threatened by feud with former ally

Premier dismisses police officers after corruption probe orchestrated by exiled preacher, Fethullah Gulen

A cyclists protest in Vauxhall on Thursday - the boyfriend of a fashion student who was killed in an accident involving a lorry in 2011, told the court that both his girlfriend and the driver were the victims of poor road layout and transport policy

Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend

Kenji Hirasawa said his partner Min Joo Lee and the driver of the lorry were both victims of poor road layout and transport policy

Masters of Sex, Channel 4 - TV review

Masters of Sex just picked up two Golden Globe nominations including a Best Actor for Michael Sheen, as the pioneering sexologist Dr William Masters. No recognition for his co-star Lizzie Caplan, however. She works just as hard as her male counterpart, in pursuit of their shared professional goals and what does she get? Nothing. But then having played Virginia Johnson, Dr Masters' overshadowed assistant for a whole two series, she's used to that.

What a gaul! Asterix, and his side-kick Obelix, encounter Nessie in Asterix and the Picts

Gauls, Picts, and Goths – old friends, new adventures in our second round-up of the best children's books

In the second instalment of our three-part series on Christmas books for children, Daniel Hahn picks the season’s best titles for ages five to 12

The Vaccines perform at the XFM Winter Wonderland
A partially complete walkway which was due to link Cuidad Real International Airport with an adjacent train station

Spanish 'ghost airport' in Ciudad Real up for sale

A barely used Spanish airport that cost some 1.1 billion euros (£900 million) to build and became a symbol of the country's wasteful spending ahead of an economic downturn has gone on sale for a minimum price of 100 million euros.

Great works: A Member of the Family By Sarah Raphael (1990)

Marlborough Fine Art, London

One minute with: Chuck Palahniuk, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Postcard from... Solo

In a theatre in the central Javanese city of Solo, a troupe of performers are acting out a fight scene from Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. The god Gatutkaca is dispatching some long-haired bad guys to the delight of the audience.

Aden Gillett and Daisy Boulton in 'The White Carnation'

The White Carnation: Theatre review - 'A strongly acted revival'

Finborough Theatre, London

The Playstation 4 console retails for £349 – £80 less than its rival Microsoft's Xbox One system

PS4 beats Xbox One to become UK’s fastest ever selling console

Sony's console sold more than a million consoles during its US launch, and has now beaten records in the UK

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Independent Travel
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
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'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
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