News

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

COMEDY Billy Connolly Labatts Apollo, Hammersmith

Just in case a punter had inadvertently entered the Labatts Apollo on Monday still expecting to see the recently departed Riverdance, the stage backdrop was plastered with the sort of slogans not readily associated with the wholesome Irish dance troupe: "grey pubic hair", "sheep-shagging", "incontinence pants", and "itchy bum". There was no mistaking it; you could only be here for Billy Connolly.

Tax-case man is cleared

A businessman was cleared of corruptly providing a holiday for the Inland Revenue inspector Michael Allcock in return for tax favours.

Dutch coach's radical changes to engine room

VARSITY SPORTS: Oxford rowers experiment on the water while the Light Blues eye a hat-trick of victories on the rugby pitch

Babies by appointment

Profile: Lord WInston: Glenda Cooper on the fertility doctor who has been accused of playing God

THEATRE: Pericles; Riverside Studios, London

Staging Pericles is a project fraught with difficulties. The text as it has come down to us is outrageously corrupted and confused, so that much of the language is boring or nonsensical and the logic of the plot is hazy. All the same, the tale of Pericles' wanderings, with all its shipwrecks, deaths and mysterious rebirths, has a fundamental narrative drive, and there are a number of moving or funny scenes en route; so that you wish well to any director who has the nerve to try to solve the problems the play presents.

Asylum seekers were in need of council care

LAW REPORT: 16 October 1996

Asylum seekers win basic support

The Government's drive to restrict state help for asylum seekers was thrown into fresh disarray yesterday after a judge ruled that local councils must provide "the basic necessities of life" for destitute claimants awaiting decisions on refugee status.

Theatre Sarrasine Lyric, Hammersmith

Rome, 1758. Jean Ernest Sarrasine, a young French sculptor, visits the opera and falls obsessively in love with the voice and beauty of the star diva, La Zambinella, whom he pursues. The power of theatrical illusion and the youth's cultural ignorance have, however, led him to make a fatal error. La Zambinella is, in fact, a castrato and the kept boy of a cardinal whose henchmen, at the climax, butcher the outraged hero.

Theatre: Jude the Obscure, Lyric Hammersmith, London

Mike Alfreds strips bare Hardy's tale of marital woe and thwarted ambition and risks farcical overload in the pursuit of tragic simplicity. By Paul Taylor

Theatre: Pick of the Week

Jude the Obscure / Private Lives

Theatre: La Dolce Vita Lyric Hammersmith

One of the many ways in which you can distinguish an artist from a mere showman or a prestidigitator or a dauber is that the artist truly loves the world of which he despairs. Federico Fellini was such an artist. His seminal movie, La Dolce Vita, a huge international success as well as the cause of heated debate when first released 30 years ago, can never be dismissed as anything so crass as an expose of metropolitan decadence because its hero's picaresque progress through the cafe society of Rome is underpinned by such tender tristesse. The artist does nothing so bald as to editorialise. He comes at it obliquely, yet he burrows deep.

Ministers retreat over asylum costs

NICHOLAS TIMMINS

Benefits challenge

Benefits challenge

Asylum seekers 'under threat' of starving

NICHOLAS TIMMINS

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