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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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam