Arts and Entertainment Steve Mason

On an evening where the big news of the week was still a live talking point, there was precious little sympathy in a famed back room in Glasgow. “Did you hear what Frankie Boyle said about Thatcher?” asked Steve Mason, sometime Beta Band singer and now the proud-owner of an alias-spattered solo career which has recently taken a turn for the incisively political. It’s the old gag about spending the public money earmarked for the late former PM’s funeral on spades, then “everyone in Scotland can dig a hole and deliver her to Satan in person.”

THEATRE / Northern exposure: Paul Taylor on Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love

As far as tourism goes, Brad Fraser's play could do for Edmonton, Alberta, roughly what the Bible did for Gomorrha. A programme note reveals that the city's 'premier attraction' is its shopping mall, but in its depiction of the kinkiness and extreme passion curdling under surface normality, this striking drama - snappily entitled Unidentifed Human Remains and the True Nature of Love - gives Canada's northernmost city some of the sick fascination of Lumberton, the small town in Blue Velvet. Sure, you'd like to drop in for a gawp but, as with Philip Larkin and China, only if you could come back the same day.

BR 'to lose 25 per cent of its freight business'

BRITISH RAIL will lose a quarter of its freight business in the two years between 1992 and 1994 because of the recession and the Government's onerous profit targets, the Commons transport committee was told yesterday.

Letter: High-speed freight through the tunnel

Sir: Christian Wolmar's article 'Tunnel of gloom for rail freight' (18 December) verges on the despondent. The Channel tunnel is no damp squib, but is forging ahead, on target and on budget.

MUSIC / Nash Ensemble - Purcell Room, SE1

Having produced two premieres in its opening concert, the Nash Ensemble's 20th-Century Series unveiled another pair of new works on Thursday. Commissioned with funds from IBM, surely amongst the most enlightened of today's music patrons, Colin Matthews's Three-Part Chaconne for string trio and piano, and Jonathan Harvey's Lotuses, for string trio plus a variety of flutes, were framed by early and late Britten. Ravel's Sonata for violin and cello, craftsmanly but difficult to love, added a French element to the programme.
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor