News Fireman Christian McClean comforts colleague Alex Badcock (right) after they both finished the last ever shift at Clerkenwell fire station in London.

There were emotional scenes as firestations across the capital closed their doors

Leading article: Are zoos justified?

One of the advantages of the science of animal behaviour, which was founded 60 years ago by Niko Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz, is that it has let us understand something of the essence of wild creatures: how they go about their normal lives in their natural state. It has also correspondingly enabled us to see, for the first time, that some behaviours exhibited by the animals we keep in captivity are not normal at all. Indeed, as we report today in the case of chimpanzees, they can be examples of considerable distress, or even incipient madness; and the cause seems to be captivity itself.

Crazy for You, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

What better way to chase off the recession blues than with showgirls and cowboys? That's what Timothy Sheader's gloriously silly revival of Ken Ludwig's 1993 reinterpretation of Ira and George Gershwin's Girl Crazy tells us.

Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse, London<br/>The Globe Mysteries, Shakespeare's Globe, London<br/>Crazy for You, Regent's Park Open Air, London

This rarely staged O'Neill drama may teeter on the hokey &ndash; but Jude Law is simply electrifying

Civil war breaks out at mosque over eviction of blinded imam

A civil war has broken out at Britain's most prestigious mosque over the treatment of an imam who was blinded in an attack and is now being evicted by the mosque's authorities.

Regent's Business School London

Age: 14

London rents notch up inflation-busting rise

Inflation may have been running high but rents across the capital have been running even higher, rising well ahead of inflation for at least the past 18 months, according to the estate agency Savills.

The Beggar's Opera, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

With its bosky setting, there is no better venue in London for presenting a pastoral play than Regent's Park's Open Air Theatre. As such, it's also the ideal place for staging an anti-pastoral. The pointed and piquant counter-intuitiveness of such a project is proven by director Lucy Bailey and designer William Dudley's cunningly conceived and splendidly spirited production of John Gay's groundbreaking 1728 satire. Gay replaced the far-removed trappings of fashionable Italian opera with the criminals and prostitutes of contemporary London, swapping elaborately artificial arias for vernacular ballads set, ironically, to pre-existing airs.

Richard III, Old Vic, London<br/>Lullaby, Barbican Pit, London<br/>The Beggar's Opera, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

Spacey swivels between hand-twirls and hollering in Mendes's 'stagey' production

Lord of the Flies, Open Air Theatre, Regent&rsquo;s Park, London

Reviewed by Michael Coveney

Family-friendly festivals

Taking your children along can make the festival experience even more rewarding, says David Taylor

Cyclo-therapy: 'The Chilterns run begins just after 7am at Finchley Road Tube. By 8.15am, we&rsquo;re bowling along the remote lanes'

I've been taking a keen interest in the debate over the high-speed rail link that would cut right through the Chilterns. Not because I live in the Chilterns, but because I go there to cycle, and so magical is the landscape that I can fully understand why the plans have caused such an outbreak of Nimbyism.

Dickens museum will get &#163;2m facelift

Charles Dickens' former home is to receive a £2m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Terence Blacker: Beware, you townies in the country

It is time for town-dwellers to be very brave. We are about to venture into the perilous unknown. There is a place, according to no less an authority than the director-general of the National Trust, which is "alien" and "full of unfamiliar, unexpected things". Today's generation, Dame Fiona Reynolds has warned, "runs the risk of being terrified by the countryside".

The arty party descends on London &ndash; with money and champagne in full flow

The Frieze Art Fair has barely started but the dealers, creatives and A-listers started schmoozing days ago

Art in Residence: Redeveloped park terrace hosts exhibit

Curators Victoria Golembiovskaya and Wolfe Von Lenkiewicz, in collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4's New Sensations, will host an art exhibition starting next Sunday showcasing famous works by artists such as Paul Cezanne and Pablo Picasso.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride