News

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

5 days in the life of ... Alex Jennings

The RSC actor juggles the roles of Benedick, Hamlet - and Dad

Dance Theatre Reviews: Tales of love and loathing

Dance Theatre: Human Being Arts Theatre

Classical music: So, what's the story so far?

Music on Radio 3

Theatre Review: A beautifully wrapped present of laughter

That Present Laughter has no real ending and that its plot dances on the spot may be Noel Coward's demonstration of the burden of Shakespeare's song: "Present mirth hath present laughter / What's to come is still unsure". On the other hand it might be a reminder that the day cannot be seized forever, that, as the ineffably vain celebrity actor Garry Essendine (42) is beginning to see, "Youth's a stuff will not endure".

Comrades (!), some pointers to a successful career

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Letter: Stritch magic

Sir: In his engrossing interview with the fabulous Elaine Stritch (22 November), David Benedict states that Noel Coward wrote Sail Away for her.

Interview: By George!

Why sex, Surrealism and Bessie Smith still work for George Melly. By John Walsh

It ain't over till the fat lady signs

Dame Joan Sutherland, the Sydney-born soprano whom the Italians once called 'La Stupenda', is back in Britain, reminiscing and signing copies of her new autobiography. Nick Kimberley went along to hear her in the flesh

Karen Krizanovich column

It's Saturday. Time to think about how you would like to spend the rest of your working life. For instance, wouldn't it be nice to have a cushy job? Somebody like you should be doing something more glamorous, more fun and, needless to add, something that actually pays the kind of money you're worth. Am I right? Aren't there times when you feel you get treated like a Roman soldier? I mean, those poor guys got paid in salt. Imagine the water retention at the weekends, bingeing on your wages until your sandals didn't fit.

TO BOLDLY GO

Madeira is a potential holiday destination that is often greeted by mirth and cries of 'my granny went there'. But away from the ever expanding tourist zone is a rocky, rugged volcanic island, with a temperate climate, rare plants, a luscious interior, and a certain charm that makes you want to go back and where the fish tastes divine

THEATRE The Cherry Orchard Birmingham Rep

They're late. Returning from Paris, the family's connecting flight from Johannesburg was delayed. Both the location and the mode of transportation will come as a shock to anyone expecting another standard production of Chekhov's masterpiece, but the last thing Janet Suzman's inspired production gives you is the standard line.

Arts: An innocent abroad

The new staging of Puccini's 'Manon Lescaut' at Glyndebourne is a lucid and exuberant affair. By Edward Seckerson

Books: Heartache revisited

DON'T ASK ME WHY by Tania Kindersley, Sceptre pounds 10

Obituary: Cecil Wilson

Cecil Wilson's dramatic and film criticism reflected the man: quiet, courteous, pointed but not stinging, sane not vain, reluctant to be taken in by the latest trend from Hollywood, Sweden or France and rarely caught going out on a critical limb; but a critic to trust.

Mao and Deng are dead, long live shopping

"He who does not get rich is a dumb bear," proclaimed Deng Xiaoping. I'm thinking of having it engraved on the waving Deng watch I bought in Hong Kong recently. My watch - the little Deng smiling up at me, his clock- work arm moving up and down - is a lot more emblematic than all those wailing apparatchiks at his funeral. Sometimes I think all Communism left behind was the misery, the corruption and the kitsch - Gorby toilet paper, busts of Lenin, Che berets, Mao on watches and on walls. "He who does not get rich is a dumb bear." They should have put the slogan on a tombstone for Deng instead of crumbling him up like an old potato chip or a stale fortune cookie.
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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?