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

Martha Wainwright, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London

Much more than just a tribute act

Leading article: The day of the menagerie is over

Some traditions are very old and die very hard, and one of them is the menagerie.

Into the Woods, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

Into the Woods goes virtually site-specific with this sharp, spirited revival of Sondheim's 1987 musical. Offering a Freudian take on fairy tales as psychological rites-of-passage, the piece is inventively directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel in the sylvan setting of Regent Park's Open Air Theatre.

42nd Street, Festival Theatre, Chichester<br/>The Comedy of Errors, Regent's Park, London

A Thirties musical raises the spirits, but Shakespeare transposed to the Forties veers into panto

The Comedy of Errors, Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London

"Ephesus welcomes you" blares the huge poster on the stage in Regent's Park, suggesting we are tourists on a summer outing, not a bad way of defining the merry mayhem in Shakespeare's farcical comedy of mistaken identity in a town full of cozenage and odd behaviour.

The Late Middle Classes, Donmar, London <br />The Crucible, Regent's Park, London <br />Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Young Vic, Llondon

Simon Gray's study of a gay piano teacher and his pupil features a virtuoso performance by the child

The Crucible, Open Air Theatre, London

They might have kicked off the summer season in the park with something jollier: Seven Against Thebes, perhaps, or Long Day's Journey into Night. The way things are going in Regent's Park, it's only a matter of time.

Here comes summer: The cultural events of the season

From Glyndebourne to Gorillaz and Picasso to Pygmalion, there's something to suit every cultural taste in the coming months. Alice Jones presents an essential guide to the hottest tickets

Business Diary: 12/03/2010

Time to take on the CBI, British Tourism Week

Britons failed to take an average of seven days of their holiday entitlement over the last year, according to British Tourism Week.

Outside Edge (07/03/10)

Congratulations to 'Blue Peter' presenter Helen Skelton on becoming the first woman to paddle the 2,010-mile trip down the Amazon in a kayak – having never been in one before. She also broke records for the longest solo journey in a kayak, and the furthest distance paddled by a woman in 24 hours (75 miles) – all in aid of Sport Relief. Meanwhile good luck to Medwyn Williams of Anglesey, 67, who will try to sail to the Isle of Man in a 1,600lb pumpkin, complete with outboard motor, to raise money for Help the Heroes. But he seems utterly sane next to Miles Daisher of Idaho, who has pioneered "skyaking", sky-diving in a kayak on to water at 50mph from 13,000ft. He's really up chute creek.

London Zoo calls time on park's football fest

Proposal for World Cup jamboree in Regent's Park scrapped after zoo staff raise animal welfare concerns

Big screen plans for World Cup dropped

Plans to show World Cup games to thousands of fans in a central London park have been dropped, a spokesman for the mayor said today.

Pandora: Phillips waltzes away with kids' book deal

Ever since Arlene Phillips was unceremoniously dumped from Strictly Come Dancing in favour of that renowned dancing authority, Alesha Dixon, she hasn't put a dainty jazz slipper wrong.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?