News

Sadly no reports of a Routemaster singing Wonderwall

Glyndebourne's <i>Vixen</i> is a flimsy affair

The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
L'Olimpiade, St John's, Smith Square, London
Jessye Norman, Royal Festival Hall, London
Bow Down, Old Municipal Market, Brighton

Glyndebourne's dreadlocks-and-driftwood Janacek misses the Slavic touch, while Harrison Birtwistle's 'opera' is simply loathsome

Album: Saint Etienne, Words and Music by Saint Etienne (Heavenly)

The handover between "Over the Border" - a semi-spoken memoir about the powerful hold of pop over the young mind - and "I've Got Your Music" encapsulates everything that's great about Saint Etienne: one minute they're singing about great pop, the next they're actually doing some.

How We Met: Chris Cox and Tim Minchin

'I get frustrated by how good he is, but it inspires me to do better'

Shock tactics aren’t required and Robert Jay doesn’t use them

James Cusick: Britain's most televised barrister dons the disguise of Captain Slow

His disguise works best when the person on the receiving end gets too comfortable

The Insider: How to freshen up your second-hand buys

Like your homewares pre-loved – but wary of whiffy flea-market and charity-shop buys? Don't be: take tips from the pros and do a Cinderella on scabby, shabby or stinky second-hand finds...

Angry Birds Land comes home to roost in Finland

Finland’s Särkänniemi Adventure Park has opened its doors for the summer season with a brand new addition, the world’s first Angry Birds themed attraction.

On song: Pauline Malefane rehearsing 'Venus and Adonis'

Poetry in motion from across the seas

Chanting, dancing, singing and stamping – welcome to the township take on the Bard. By Ivan Fallon

On song: Pauline Malefane rehearsing 'Venus and Adonis'

Poetry in motion as South Africans tackle Shakespeare

A Cape Town theatre company offers an exciting take on the Bard

Leading article: Better to maintain the mystery of Springfield

And so the mystery is solved. After 20-plus years and more than 500 episodes, the creator of The Simpsons has finally cracked and admitted that it was Springfield, Oregon, all along. Since the very beginning, fans have speculated as to which of the 34 US towns that bear the name – not to mention the one in Essex – could claim to be "the real Springfield", home of the world's most famous yellow family. Now they know.

Album: Klaus Florian Vogt, Helden (Sony Classical)

German tenor Klaus Florian Vogt has the appeal of a period film star – the granite chin, the mane of shoulder-length hair and legs that probably look great in swashbuckler's tights – and there's a sunlit, youthful spirit to his delivery that's entirely suitable for the heroic roles anthologised on Helden: soaring, ambitious, morally certain, with little of the gravitas, doubt and compromise one detects in more mature tenors.

Rebel Robb Stark

'Game of Thrones': It's like Tolkien, but with naughty bits

It's back on the box from tomorrow and Tim Lott explains why its blend of swords, sorcery and sex is such a winner

DVD: Puss in Boots (U)

"What can I say, I was a bad kitty," explains Antonio Banderas's outlaw mog at the start of this very enjoyable spin-off from the Shrek franchise.

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Damon Albarn on stage with Bobby Womack
Kristy Bamu was tortured and drowned in a bath on Christmas Day 2010

Pair jailed for 'witch' boy murder

A couple were jailed for life today for torturing and drowning a teenage boy they accused of being a witch.

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Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
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Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?