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Early years in Liverpool gave him the perfect voice for John Lennon in the animated ‘Yellow Submarine’ film

Back on stage, the forgotten Rattigan

His reputation languished after the arrival of the Angry Young Men in the 1950s. But the National Theatre's production of 'After The Dance' promises to right a theatrical wrong, says Paul Taylor

Bedroom Farce, Duke of York's Theatre, London

As this comedy shows, Alan Ayckbourn realised in 1977 that the legacy of the Seventies was not just sex but solipsism.

Party Of The Week: Actresses take the lead for the Almeida

The actresses Kim Cattrall, Fiona Shaw and Natascha McElhone attended the Almeida's fundraising gala, which this year raised £115,000 for the theatre.

Private Lives, Vaudeville, London<br/>A Day at the Racists, Finborough, London <br/>Moonfleece, Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London

A starrily-cast Noel Coward farce fails to strike the right balance between gaiety and bad behaviour

Book Of A Lifetime: A Moment's Liberty, By Virginia Woolf

For half a century I have been hooked on diaries – my own and other people's. I began to keep a journal in 1959. I wrote my first entry on my first night at boarding school, by torchlight, underneath the blankets. My inspiration was the diary of Samuel Pepys. I had been given a copy, "suitably edited", for my 11th birthday.

Sonny Rollins, Barbican Hall, London

He blew like the legend he is &ndash; so why am I blubbing?

Opening Doors And Windows, By James Roose-Evans

The theatre world is littered with self-styled gurus and shamans, but it is rare to find a director who is also an Anglican priest. In this charming and insightful memoir, 82-year-old James Roose-Evans takes us on a spiritual and creative journey from his literally tortured adolescence (he was prone to self-flagellation) to the twin heights of ordination in Hereford cathedral and Broadway success.

Pains of Youth, National Theatre, London

Camus thought that, in philosophy, suicide is "the only problem". It may not be the sole preoccupation of the six bored, sexually entangled medical students in the 1920s Vienna of Ferdinand Bruckner's brilliantly odd 1923 play Pains of Youth. But it is seen as one of only two alternatives open to the young in a post-First World War Austria of widespread social disillusion and personal instability. The play receives a very rare revival now in a Cottesloe production by Katie Mitchell that will, I suspect, divide critics in the manner that is traditional with this controversial director's work. I thought the play blackly exhilarating in its ruthless (often mordantly amusing) anatomy of anomie. I thought the strategic take-it-or-leave-it stealth production (as usual with Mitchell, one might have chanced upon a tribe that is so mesmerically intent on its own practices that it has not noticed the "concealed" observer) arrestingly pivoted at that point where the different leylines of painful tragicomedy exruciatingly cross.

Timing, King's Head, London

The funny side of heartbreak

Terence Blacker: Is Britain really so unhappy?

Now we're only five places above South Korea in the contentment charts

Troy Kennedy Martin: Innovative writer who created 'Z Cars' and wrote 'Edge of Darkness' and 'The Italian Job'

When Troy Kennedy Martin created Z Cars in 1962, he brought to British television screens for the first time an image of the police very different from the homely one depicted in Dixon of Dock Green. The result was a warts-and-all portrayal in which the guardians of the law were seen as not infallible – and no angels.

Adrian Hamilton: Why do we feel we must turn Chekhov into Noel Coward?

There's a problem in 'versions' rather than translations of foreign plays

Private funeral for Danny La Rue

The funeral of female impersonator Danny La Rue, described as a "true showbusiness legend", has taken place.

Cultural Life: Sian Phillips, actress

'I've just seen four plays in London in three-and-a-half days'

Death and the King's, Horseman, National Theatre, London

Fear not, there are no more war horses invading the National Theatre. Instead, the horseman of the dead king on the outskirts of a Nigerian city in the twilight of British colonialism, in the shadow of a distant war, is preparing to follow his Yoruba leader to the grave in an act of tribal ritualism.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain