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There were severe delays on the District line and hold-ups on the Hammersmith & Circle line

Theatre: Angela Carter cinderella

Improbable Theatre is the sort of company that could turn the act of squeezing a tube of toothpaste into a memorable theatrical experience. Each of the shows staged during the last three years by this triumvirate of talent - Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson - has been startlingly different but informed by the same homespun ethic. Angela Carter Cinderella, their festive season offering, will probably bear certain resemblances to their visually exquisite "junk opera" Shockheaded Peter, the Sellotape-wrapped memory play, 70 Hill Lane, and the improvised biodrama, Lifegame. But beyond that, it's anyone's guess (the show is being devised up until the last minute). The outre artistic director of the Lyric Hammersmith, Neil Bartlett, is also on board for this journey to 19th-century pantoland, informed by Angela Carter's psychosexual account of everyone's favourite unloved step-daughter.

Capital faces transport chaos

Capital faces transport chaos

FIRST CALL

Following the huge success of their album Fresco, M-People have announced an extensive UK arena tour. The R&B soul sensations, featuring the distinctive vocals of Heather Small, will showcase their new album, The Best of M-People, which is released on 2 Nov and features three new tracks alongside old favourites like "Search for the Hero" and "Moving On Up". There will also be a new single to add to the repertoire, "Testify", which is released on Monday.

Blacks-only school fights closure order

THE NATION of Islam is fighting to stave off the closure of an unregistered school that it runs in West London. The NoI operates the Star Chamber Academy school, based in three rooms at the Simba community centre in Shepherd's Bush. It is attended by 60 pupils aged between five and 16.

Merivale ahead

MERIVALE MOORE, the property investment company, increased profits from pounds 858,000 to pounds 3.66m in the year to 30 July, with the help of a successful pounds 2m negligence claim against a firm of chartered surveyors.

Councils reap benefits of illegal parking

Mark Rowe examines the 'urban myth' of ticket targets

The school that rose again from the ashes

Pupils were once uncontrollable, now they pass exams, writes Ben Russell

It's little things that can make the difference in urban renewal

CITIES are improving. Dashing late one evening from a meeting in the centre of Birmingham to the railway station last week, I noticed that there were still people going to and fro long after the shops in the pedestrianised streets had closed. There was a welcoming bustle of activity. This was no longer the bleak city centre I used to know. London is much more satisfying than it was 15 to 20 years ago. Now that Leicester Square, for instance, is closed to traffic, I am glad to recommend it to visitors; in the old days I was ashamed of the place.

Law Report: Part-time worker's claim did not depend on sex

Law Report: 17 march 1998: Jesuthasan v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham; Court of Appeal (Lady Justice Butler-Sloss, Lord Justice Swinton Thomas and Lord Justice Mummery) 26 February 1998.

See Forkbeard Fantasy

The wonderfully inventive Forkbeard Fantasy who delighted audiences last year with The Fall of the House of the Usherettes return to the Lyric Studio with their new show The Barbers of Surreal (left) from 2 March. Set in a beauty parlour where the traditional skills of hairdressing have been enhanced by recent breakthroughs in genetic engineering, the piece promises to take the company to new heights of lunacy. Just why, for example, is the Egg Shampoo behaving strangely? The yolk, will no doubt be on you.

THEATRE: Her Sister's Tongue; Lyric Hammersmith, London

"Our play is about love, so if you were expecting a play about sardines you'll be disappointed." Think how much easier life would be if every playwright followed Janet Goddard's example and started with a character stepping forward to tell the audience what to expect. If only Beckett or Pinter had bothered to follow her advice, we wouldn't have had to toil through all those texts trying to tease out the theses behind their great works.

Refugees not entitled to cash

Chaotic arrangements for caring for destitute asylum seekers were set to continue yesterday after a judge rejected a London council's bid to be allowed to make cash benefits to those denied state benefits.

Smith joins Labour's first estate

Baroness Smith, widow of the late Labour leader, opening a new street yesterday named after her husband.

Blunkett wins powers to close failing schools

The Secretary of State for Education will be given new powers to close failing schools in an education Bill to be included in this week's Queen's Speech.

Review: Theatre; Out Cry Lyric Hammersmith, London

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