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.  

Gangsta cat has to go. Are you ready, polar bears?

More news in the regular soap opera that is my family of cats. Regular readers will remember I adopted a gangsta' cat who had been shot in the mean streets of the Cheltenham hood. We named him Captain Kangaroo and despite him showing gang boss-like tendencies towards our other animals we presumed he'd eventually settle down. But then, two months ago, our other two cats disappeared and having searched high and low we presumed that they had been the victims of a gangland "hit" and were sadly never going to be seen again. Captain Kangaroo was now the undisputed "Cato di tutti Cati" – there was very little we could do but accept the situation.

Guido Gryseels, director of the colonial museum at Tervuren, said
it wanted to become a window on contemporary Africa

Belgian museum faces up to its brutal colonial legacy

The institution dubbed the last colonial museum in the world is packing up its stuffed animals and controversial statues this weekend as it closes down for a three-year makeover aimed at modernising the monument to King Leopold II and his murderous reign in the Belgian Congo.

New species of terrifying looking 'skeleton shrimp' discovered

The omnivorous ocean-dwellers are thankfully only a few millimetres in length

Paperback review: Priscilla, By Nicholas Shakespeare

Ever since his aunt Priscilla died in March 1982, Nicholas Shakespeare had been curious about her past. In the summer of 2009, he had a stroke of luck: he decided to act, just as the one person who might know something about her was wondering what to do with a trunk full of her papers. The contents proved to be more rewarding than a novelist and biographer such as Shakespeare could hope for.

Police in crackdown over ghost broking

The police are stepping up their fight against "ghost brokers" who target vulnerable people with offers of low-cost car insurance that prove to be non-existent.

Stuart Broad celebrates on the first of the First Test

Ashes 2013-14: Courier Mail continues 'Stuart Broad Ban', despite the 'Phantom Menace' taking five-wicket haul

The England bowler is revelling in the attention

3 million PS4s will be sold by the end of 2013 and 5m by the end of March according to predictions by Sony

PS4: An afternoon with Sony's Xbox One challenger

<b>Jamie Merrill</b> tries out Sony's slickest gaming machine yet

Dev Hynes is now firmly established as one of the most innovative and exciting musicians around

The Playlist: Blood Orange / Ghost Mutt / Barnaby

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

One minute with: Tony Benn, politician and diarist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Another one-day strike for university academics and staff coming in December

Second day of industrial action comes little more than a month after the first

Writing is on the wall: Britain's 'ghost signs' provide faded memories of our consumer past

Londoner Sam Roberts has been obsessively documenting Britain's brick adverts for posterity and has set up a blog to document the signs

Anthony Rose: 'Forget ancient vicars and maiden aunts - Drakes Tabanco's sherries are fresh and innovative'

Missing the recent London Sherry Trail – aka tapas bar crawl – didn't prevent me from taking in the new sherry and cava bar phenomenon that's adding a dimension to the growing tapas scene. Following Bar Pepito, Rosita and Copa de Cava comes Drakes Tabanco in central London. Tim Luther and Nigel Howell's authentic tavern serves excellent Fernando de Castilla sherries from the cask and sells them to take away.

Cate Le Bon: 'Toko Yasuda has the voice of a beautiful ghost'

Fantasy band: Cate Le Bon

'Toko Yasuda has the voice of a beautiful ghost'

Call of Duty: Ghosts announces $1bn sales, but critics prefer Battlefield 4

Clash of the shooters continues, but next-gen consoles have yet to make their mark

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album