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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

More pleasure, more babies

Orgasm may play a vital role in women's ability to conceive, says Annabel Ferriman
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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz