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.  

Raheem Sterling, right, gave Liverpool an early lead

West Ham United 2 Cheltenham 1 match report: Sam Allardyce unlocks magic of Ravel Morrison

Being in the hat for the Capital One Cup third round is good, but what West Ham United managed tonight might be even better. Sam Allardyce gave Ravel Morrison, his brilliant prodigal 20-year-old midfielder a whole 90 minutes of football, his first West Ham start.

Is the West prepared to cross the Rubicon over Syria? Probably

Will the night sky of Damascus soon be illuminated by the explosion of American cruise missiles striking government buildings and military bases as used to happen periodically in Baghdad between 1991 and 2003? Pillars of fire would suddenly spring up on each side of the Tigris river and bursts of tracer rounds from anti-aircraft guns would rise slowly and ineffectively into the sky.

Identity-theft insurance was often sold alongside the activation of credit and debit cards

Regulator puts the boot in, but will it make a difference?

The FCA got tough over ID theft insurance, but don’t expect the industry to change its ways

In a month of uncertainty, the only constant in Edinburgh is pie

It’s impossible to combat the unhealthy lifestyle that comes hand-in-hand with an assault on Edinburgh

Egyptian activists in search of middle way for their country demand to be heard

Campaign aims to encourage opposition to both the political Islam and military hegemony

Life on Marsden: The inexplicably threatening charisma of your partner's ex

They can't possibly have experienced enjoyment before me, could they?

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Theatre review: Chimerica - Lucy Kirkwood's piece is a strong contender for play of the year

Her back catalogue includes an unflinchingly eloquent promenade play about the life of a sex-trafficked girl and a lethally mordant satire about power and privacy in the era of glossy celebrity journalism. So the imaginative range and penetration of twenty nine year old Lucy Kirkwood's oeuvre were well established. But nothing had quite prepared one for the sheer theatrical boldness and thematic sweep of Chimerica, her remarkably ambitious, three-hour exploration of the fast-changing and complex relationship between the United States and China.

Egypy unrest: Hundreds held as state sets about wiping out Muslim Brotherhood

Islamists order rallies in Cairo as PM vows ‘There can be no reconciliation’

Album review: Tired Pony, The Ghost Of The Mountain (Fiction)

The alt-rock supergroup has come up with a loose narrative about two characters dealing with an unspecified "unforgiveable act". Thanks to Gary Lightbody's way with a compelling image, it manages to grip the imagination for a while but ultimately, not knowing the root cause of the action, leaves one adrift in amorphous emotional distress. But there's much to admire here, not least the broadened stylistic palette, which sees the band's staple country-rock Americana mode augmented with more European influences.

Gaming reviews: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist; Charlie Murder; The Drowning

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Book review: The Orchard of Lost Souls, By Nadifa Mohamed

From Somaliland's bitter past blooms a moving and mature novel of conflict and survival

Coronation Street star Chris Fountain suspended over 'totally unacceptable' secret rap alter-ego The Phantom

25-year-old who plays Tommy Duckworth said he is 'deeply ashamed' of the lyrics which boasted about acts of rape and violence

New Call of Duty trailer reveals female soldiers, MMO-like features

New changes described as “the biggest overhaul of multiplayer since the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”

Armstrong described his outburst as an 'emotional response'

AOL boss Tim Armstrong apologises for firing employee during conference call with 1,000 staff at Patch after public sacking goes viral

CEO doesn’t say if employee still has a job as recording of dismissal is leaked to blogs and news outlets

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New documents from the late Robin Williams' estate stipulate a restriction on his image, or any likeness of it, being used until 2039
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people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
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Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
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Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
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Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
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Ross Barkley
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'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?