Voices

To buy a ticket for a hotly tipped play, within seconds of booking opening, requires perseverance and nerve as websites falter, payments vanish and a confirmation finally limps through. The goal is to see a top cast, whose fluency and fluidity is testament to years of determination – getting to drama school, being noticed at the end-of-year shows, getting an audition, getting a part and nailing it.  

Constance Briscoe arrives at Southwark Crown Court

Top judge Constance Briscoe 'lied to police in order to bring down Chris Huhne', court hears

Ms Briscoe is accused of misleading officers, tampering with an official statement and then submitting a fake document to try to get herself out of trouble

Andrea Leadsom is the head of Fresh Start Group

Civil war erupts amongst Tory eurosceptics as the moderate 'Fresh Start Group' attacks 95 MPs who wrote to Cameron demanding vetos

Anti-European Tory backbenchers were yesterday accused by their more moderate Eurosceptic colleagues of running a “side-show” that is distracting from attempts at serious EU reform.

Two men and three teenage boys convicted at Old Bailey of 18 rapes and a string of other offences

Peterborough sex gang: Five guilty of raping and sexually assaulting underage girls

Two men and three teenage boys convicted at Old Bailey of 18 rapes and a string of other offences

Pope Francis addresses ambassadors to the Holy See at the Vatican on January 13, 2014

Vatican faces UN grilling over child sex abuse

Holy See will be questioned on Thursday over its implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

A US Federal judge has ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma

US federal judge rules Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

Judge Kern said the state's law is "arbitrary and irrational"

The trend for mephedrone-type drugs is more prevalent among university-age users and older teens

Rejecting the EU plan to regulate legal highs is yet another lost battle in the UK's war on drugs

This proposal would have reduced the income of dealers, and the danger to users

Nigeria's anti-gay laws: Homosexuals rounded up and beaten, rights groups claim

Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was passed on Monday

The two students were asked to cover their t-shirts at an LSE freshers fair

Student and women's groups write open letter to UN condemning gender segregation in UK universities

Students and women’s groups have written an open letter to the UN to condemn gender segregation at British universities.

A woman has launched a legal battle to

Woman's High Court fight to 'harvest' seriously ill partner's sperm

The unnamed woman said she and her fiancé had discussed having children before he sank into a vegetative state

George Osborne delivered a warning that the EU should undergo reform, halting decline by backing business and curbing welfare spending

George Osborne sounds 'reform or decline' ultimatum to EU

Chancellor suggested UK was ready to press ahead with smaller group of like-minded countries under 'enhanced co-operation'

Sperm samples frozen and preserved in a tank of Liquid Nitrogen

Test case: Woman launches legal fight to 'harvest' sperm from sick partner

Man is being kept alive medically after devastating series of heart attacks and could die at any time, High Court told

Outlook: Dimon in the rough between investors and regulators

Outlook The gloss long ago came off Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan who steered a nimble course through the financial crisis only to get repeatedly tripped up in its aftermath.

A new cocktail of drugs will be used to kill Dennis McGuire

Ohio judge rules death row inmate is ‘not entitled to a pain free execution’

Convicted murderer and rapist, Dennis McGuire, will be put to death using a new cocktail of drugs that could leave him writhing in agony

World renowned lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC to defend Sussex students from exclusion

One of the most famous human rights barristers in the world will be defending three students potentially facing expulsion from their university.

Kanye West is a suspect in another battery investigation after he allegedly punched an 18-year-old boy for hurling racial abuse at his fiancée, Kim Kardashian.

Kanye West allegedly punches 18-year-old boy for hurling racial slurs at Kim Kardashian

West is already facing charges of battery after a separate altercation with a photographer, Daniel Ramos, at LAX Airport last summer

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick