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.  

Video games and your degree: Can they ever mix?

Can gaming be beneficial? Is it more fun than an essay? And does Assassin's Creed teach you history?

Call of Duty: Ghosts launch - Game debuts to mixed reactions for Xbox 360 and PS3

The latest Call of Duty game launched, but much is expected from a franchise that has totalled more than 2.85 million years of gameplay

Catalina Sandino Moreno is replacing Rosario Dawson in Incarnate

Screen Talk: Scare story suits Sandino Moreno

Tinseltown Insider

Former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko has been cast opposite Russell Crowe in his upcoming directorial debut

Screen Talk: Russell Crowe lures Olga Kurylenko to Turkey

Tinseltown Insider

Reese Witherspoon is attached to produce and star in a comedic look at the traditional fairy-tale genre

Screen Talk: A fairy tale for Reese Witherspoon

Tinseltown Insider

Cover up: a screen was built in front of the United Nations in Geneva ahead of the latest round of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme. The building is adorned with naked figures, which risked causing offence

Iran’s nuclear programme: does the deal-making start in Geneva?

John Kerry says ‘the window is open,’ as hopes rise of a constructive dialogue with country’s officials 

Running: The Autobiography, by Ronnie O'Sullivan

While Chigwell's finest snooker player has five World Championships and scores of other tournament wins to his name, his life has undeniably had its ups and downs.

Album review: Jonathan Wilson, Fanfare (Bella Union)

Album of the Week: Friends unite for a cosmic hymn to the simple things

Time to check policies as ghost brokers jailed

The police launched a dramatic crackdown on the practice of ghost broking this week by arresting 27 people in dawn swoops on Wednesday.

Fake car insurance policies: 27 people arrested in countrywide dawn raids

28 warrants executed in Leicestershire, London, Manchester, Thames Valley, and the West Midlands in operation that involved 168 officers

Between the Covers 06/10/13

What's really going on in the world of books

Screen Talk: Kinky Kemper spices things up

Tinseltown Insider

A scene from Ghosts at The Almeida theatre

Theatre review: Ibsen's Ghosts - 'A spell-binding production'

The play's emotional daring and dark humour are conveyed here with matchless immediacy

David Cameron has defended plans for more seven years of austerity

Inside Westminster: 'Let us finish the job.' We will hear it a million times before the 2015 election

David Cameron is attempting a difficult balancing act in his election warm-up rhetoric

Paris Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs leaves Louis Vuitton to focus on his own brand after emotional show

Designer leaves fashion house to focus on his brand with inspiring final collection

Arts and Entertainment
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'