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Musical 'nuns' go camping with Julie and Von Trapps

IN THE immortal words of Julie Andrews, let's start at the very beginning.

Football: The World According To King Kev

1979

Staying In: Net Gains - The Sound of Music

netgains@independent.co.uk

Is Christmas a nightmare?

DEBATE

Andrews' singing career is over

MORE than a year after an unsuccessful throat operation, Julie Andrews has resigned herself to the unthinkable - that she will never sing again.

Obituary: Robert Wells

"CHESTNUTS ROASTING on an open fire / Jack Frost nipping at your nose / Yuletide carols being sung by a choir / And folks dressed up like Eskimos." Mel Torme found those four lines pencilled on a writing pad when he dropped into the San Fernando Valley home of his friend and songwriting partner Robert Wells one torrid July afternoon in 1945.

Film: We were all in glitter, looking at the stars

Todd Haynes missed glam. But not Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Hence `Velvet Goldmine'.

Obituary: Ken Platt

" 'ALLO, I won't take me coat off, I'm not stoppin'!" One of the great comedy catchphrases of yesteryear and, like all great catchphrases, one that immediately conjures up in the mind's television screen the comedian who coined it. Ken Platt opened his every appearance with the same saying, and it will be remembered by all who heard or saw him say those 10 wonderful words.

Books: A Mike Leigh heroine

MAD ELAINE by Helen Stevenson, Anchor pounds 9.99

Music: One out of three's pretty good

WHEN PUCCINI first resolved to write a Trittico of three one- acters to be run together on the same night, his publisher dismissed the idea as crazy - or words to that effect in Italian - and history has tended to agree. The triptych is rarely done complete; it makes a long night; and although the components could be said to mimic the cohering architecture of a concert score - a meaty opening drama, a contemplative slow movement and brisk scherzo-finale - they never in practice fit together, not least because their quality is so uneven. The scherzo, Gianni Schicchi, is comedy of genius, no question there. But Il Tabarro, the drama, is equivocal, and Suor Angelica, the middle movement, dire - unless you enjoy sentimental tosh about singing nuns that plays like The Sound of Music minus Julie Andrews.

`Sound of Music' star may never sing again after throat problems

ONCE she set the hills alive with the sound of music. Now Julie Andrews, star of the celebrated 1960s film, may never sing in public again.

Hills are alive to Trapp family row

The family inspired the film The Sound of Music, but 60 years after they escaped the Nazi takeover of Austria, the Von Trapps are no longer singing from the same hymn sheet.

Film: Not in front of the adults

Is it just me asks Pete Stanton or is sex a cringe-making no-go subject for everyone as soon as the parents are around?

THE MONDAY INTERVIEW : STEVE BACKLEY: Spear carrier demands centre stage

An unheralded Olympic silver in the javelin is spurring the success Steve Backley seeks in Athens, he tells Mike Rowbottom

The country where worst things happen

THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS by Arundhati Roy Flamingo pounds 15.99
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Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

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Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

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Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

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The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

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Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

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Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

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It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
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Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

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Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public