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.

One minute with: Chuck Palahniuk, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

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

Marlborough Fine Art, London

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

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
News
i100
Sport
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
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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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all