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.  

Maria Miller and the Open: what kind of message do men-only golf clubs send out?

These elitist and exclusionary men-only clubs are not there to boost the shocking low numbers of men who play regular golf

Video: Tracks from the Playlist

Watch the videos below to take in tracks from this week's Playlist.

Kurt Vile is touring this autumn

The Playlist: Jay -Z / Pond / Chvrches

The songs that are hot on our playlist this week

Elvis Costello performing at Glastonbury Festival

Tramp The Dirt Down: Elvis Costello defends decision to continue singing anti-Thatcher songs

Singer: 'I don’t feel vindicated. I didn’t personally kill her'

James' girlfriend reacts

Video: Man terrifies sleeping girlfriend with ghost from The Ring prank

This is the moment James Williams' girlfriend thought she was face-to-face with Samara from The Ring.

Joseph Millson as Macbeth at Shakespeare's Globe

Theatre review: Macbeth, Shakespeare's Globe

Eve Best made her first appearance at Shakespeare's Globe as Lady Macbeth some twelve years ago in a studiedly abstract, black-tie production that won few fans.  

The English abroad: the legacy of British gardens on the Italian Riviera

The Italians have been no slouches in creating steep, cliffside gardens with spectacular drops to cool, glistening blue-green water

Paperback review: The Foxes Come at Night, By Cees Nooteboom (Trs by Ina Rilke)

This is exactly what it is like to be alive

Odd Couple: The imposing Eric Owens , left, and “elfin” Cameron Carpenter

Classical review: The Michelangelo Sonnets - the nightclub angel and the janitor

An unusual recital in a haunted former mission hall supplies Shostakovich and Bach with a mop and bucket

Mort-ish: (from left) Anne Consigny as Claire Séguret, Yara Pilartz as Camille Séguret, Frédéric Pierrot as Jérôme Séguret, Jenna Thiam as Léna Séguret in ‘The Returned’

Grace Dent on TV: The Returned, Channel 4

It's the undead with subtitles. Only they don't explain why zombies like pasta so much

Album review: Daughn Gibson, Me Moan (Sub Pop)

Daughn Gibson is possessed of a brooding, Scott Walker-esque baritone, and a lyrical imagination to match. The songs on Me Moan are steeped in sinister intimations of bad desires, wanderlust and dark secrets, essayed with varying degrees of intelligibility over arrangements that mostly eschew the commonplace.

Debbie Harry in Glasgow last night

Video: Last action heroes - The films of Smith, Cruise and Pitt

Watch the videos below to see the latest films from Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Brad Pitt, as well as some other recent action flicks from the three.

Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live

Music review: Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy Live, Royal Festival Hall, London

“We want people to take it in the spirit it was written,” says John Lennon, talking about Double Fantasy, over footage of the Beatle and his wife strolling through Central Park in 1980, “with love and a lot of sweat.”

Invisible Ink: No 178 - The Vanishing Fantastics

What do the following names have in common? Winston Churchill, Raymond Chandler, John Lennon, Muriel Spark, JB Priestley, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, Daphne Du Maurier, Noël Coward?

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

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
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture