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.

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Independent Travel
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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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
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003