Arts and Entertainment

A boy enters a palace of a hundred rooms where an assassin may lurk behind every door and shadowy figures are reflected in a Hall of Mirrors.  An astonishing treasure lies at its heart, but powerful enemies are at the gates.

Theatre / THE STEWARD OF CHRISTENDOM - Royal Court, London

Sebastian Barry wrote The Steward of Christendom as a way of discovering and coming to terms with his great-grandfather, Thomas Dunne - the last Catholic head of the Dublin Metropolitan Police before Irish Independence in 1922, a loyal servant of the British and hence not, as Barry writes in the programme, a comfortable ancestor.

Your heritage, by post

The middle-classes want aristocratic style. The aristocrats want middle-class money. Thanks to mail order, business can be conducted at a discreet distance. By Serena Mackesy


It can hardly have escaped your attention that the place to be right now, books-wise, is north of the border. The Edinburgh Book Festival comes to an end on Monday, just as an even more alluring event hoves into view. The Atholl Festival ("A Jacobite Pageant") begins on Saturday 2 Sept, catering for the spiritual, physical and intellectual sides of its punters with a vigour few other culture-fests can match.

how to be an extra

Sydney Gilman turns around in his stall seat in the Palace Theatre, Manchester, and looks blank for a moment. "What do you mean by extras?" he asks. "We're Cavalcaders."

Into the monkey's jaws

Firdaus Kanga on a magic realist blockbuster; Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra Faber, pounds 15.99

Gingrichism of the week. 2

Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, tells the National League of Cities how public shame might be employed to tackle America's social problems:

Maori rage wrecks NZ treaty celebrations

Radical Maoris, angry about a government plan for the final settlement of their land claims that they regard as a trick, yesterday wrecked New Zealand's national-day celebrations at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, with violent protests. The Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, called off the ceremonies, in which he and other ministers were to have paid tribute to Maori-European co-operation, after police said they could not guarantee his safety.

BOOKS / Artists of the Lives: This extract from a new book considers 'The Future of Political Biography' in an anti-heroic age, and argues for nothing less than a literary revolution

WHAT IS WRONG with British political biography? The obvious answer is very little. 'Read no history, nothing but biography', wrote Disraeli, 'for that is life without theory.' In a nation traditionally suspicious of theory, many people seem to agree. Since the 1970s there has been a remarkable outpouring of 20th-century British biography - characterised by close attention to unpublished papers, the more or less systematic use of interview and a large number of reference notes.

Bottom line: Wates for the bulls

WATES City of London should be commended on still being around, unlike other City specialists, even to think about the next property cycle.

Woman savaged by zoo chimp 'not angry'

(First Edition)

Leading Article: Ordinary enough for humility

WAS Winston Churchill a racist? Is Britain, as the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have said, 'an ordinary little nation'? These questions bobbed up last week in the wake of a Spectator article on Churchill by Andrew Roberts, and a snippet from an interview with Dr Carey in the uncorrected proofs of a book. They are interesting questions, even if the obvious answer to both of them is yes. To take one of several examples of Churchill's quoted views, Indians were the 'beastliest people in the world, next to the Germans' - difficult to argue from that that he took people as he found them, despite race, colour or creed. And while 'ordinariness' is a more difficult term to quantify, Britain is certainly more ordinary now than in its extraordinary imperial heyday.

Stockings sold

Apair of Queen Victoria's black silk stockings sold for pounds 1,127 at Sotheby's in London. The buyer was Alan East, a Staffordshire publican who intends to display them in his bar.

Landseer stag scene sets price record

IN 1888, Christie's sold Sir Edwin Landseer's Scene in Braemar - Highland Deer for 4,950 guineas; yesterday, Christie's sold it for pounds 793,500, writes Dalya Alberge.

Who cares about 1.2 million irate Scots?

HERE IS a story about culture and pride and democracy, about local government and the state, about money and muck. Here, first of all, is a story about water.

Letter: Duchess in limbo

Sir: So, the export of the marble effigy of the Duchess of Nemours, much-loved cousin of Queen Victoria, is to be blocked and may end up in a British museum (Diary, 17 March). This is hardly cause for celebration.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn