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

LETTER: Time for romance

From Mr Tony Brandon

Obituary: Jim Hepburn

Jim Hepburn moved in Bohemian and artistic circles but always retained the image of the classic English gentleman. None the less he managed to pioneer tap-dancing on the London stage, flew bombers in the Second World War and became the second person to circumnavigate the globe from east to west.

Unbuttoning the master

Philip Hoare's intimate life of Noel Coward is out this week. Here, he describes the joys and frustrations of separating the man from the legend

Michael Thornton

In his diary on 12 October 1995 John Walsh stated that author Michael Thornton had written a letter to Gay Times complaining that he was not referred to in Philip Hoare's recent biography of Noel Coward despite being widely known to be Coward's last lover.

Music; Philharmonia, RFH, London YMSO, Barbican, London

When Samuel Barber presented his new Second Symphony to the American Air Force, who had commissioned it, there was some consternation. The USAF, Barber was told, was a progressive force, so where were the new instruments, the new techniques? In France today, I am told, big business takes a similar view: a forward-looking firm wants forward-looking music - and isn't the modern French constitution founded on the idea of revolution?

Cabaret; MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Comedy Theatre, London

At the start of his latest album, Such Sweet Sorrow, Michael Feinstein wings in on the middle eight of "Let's Face the Music and Dance", sounding for all the world like this time it's got to be Hollywood or bust. Drama, romance, glamour, satiny strings, shapely horns and saxes - too, too fabulous. But that's not his style. Life is a cabaret, old chum - as if we could ever forget. We like him just the way he is, sweet and low down, coaxing, crooning, swinging, indulging his and our passion for those national treasures of the American popular songbook. And if these weren't for the most part theatre songs, we'd all feel more at home in some fancy lounge bar or supper club, just him and us and no proscenium to come between us. We would, wouldn't we?

For King's Head and country

Edward VIII did it in 1931. You could still do it today. Martin Hoyle mingles with the crowds signing up to join the Cavalcade

Typewriters: the key facts

1 There remains only one typewriter ribbon manufacturer in England. Situated in Lancashire, it is an off-shoot of Ramsbotham's Jubilee Lamp- black (1897) Ltd.


Jeremy Clyde and Gabrielle Drake (right) head a splendid cast in Noel Coward's vast historical epic Cavalcade, in the first professional production in London since 1930. The spectacle opens on New Year's Eve 1900, moving through the Boer War and the Great War into the jazz age and, finally, another New Year's Eve in 1930. Featuring magnificent historical scenes and several classic Coward musical interludes, Cavalcade tells the story of two very different London families.

And now for something completely different

Classical Music

Noel Coward's early life is basis for Venom

Theatre Review

I have heard the mermaids singing


Peace is hell, darling

THEATRE; Absolute Hell National Theatre, London

Theatre : Dandy, but not quite fine

THE travels of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya continue: from Anthony Hopkins's Clwyd to Louis Malle's Manhattan, and now to Derrywhere Field Day's touring production opened last week.

LEADING ARTICLE: An angry watershed in British culture

Noel Coward said of himself that he had "a talent to amuse". John Osborne, who died on Christmas Eve, had a talent to attack. He elevated vituperation into an art form. Latterly, his vitriol poured out in journalism and autobiography. But, as a p laywright, no one could ever take away his star part in the year of the greatest upheaval in recent British history: 1956.
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam