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Patients and doctors were conspicuous in their absence

The Sonnets: 17

By William Shakespeare

Summer (15)

Kenneth Glenaan's low-key drama is almost tremulous with sincerity. Robert Carlyle stars as a troubled dyslexic looking after his wheelchair-bound friend (Steve Evets) and looking back on a youthful delinquency that's haunted him ever since. Rachael Blake plays the sweetheart he contrived to lose. Some decent performances but not enough that's distinctive to earn a recommendation.

Doctor defends Body Worlds exhibition

Gunther von Hagens, the controversial scientist who preserves human corpses using the technique of plastination and displays them to the public has defended his latest exhibition ahead of its opening today.

Rain man, Apollo Theatre, London

You'd get a poor idea of the possibilities of theatre as an art form from the movie star Josh Hartnett's dull, undistinguished performance. It's his co-star, Adam Godley, who shows you what real acting is in this production, slickly and skilfully directed by Terry Johnson.

Old People, children and Animals, Contact Theatre, Manchester

I've never been given a small furry bear to sit on my knee at a performance before but it made itself useful, kindly balancing my notebook and holding my pen. Neither do I remember being part of a theatrical experience beginning with a squawking parrot and featuring a clutch of mechanical fluffy white bunnies which, by the end of the evening, have morphed into real floppy-eared rabbits. But Old People, Children and Animals, created by Quarantine and co-produced by Manchester's Contact and Glasgow's Tramway, really isn't a show like any other, taking place inside a marquee decked out like a circus tent.

Beale's Best In Show: Oxfam (Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R)

I'm not entirely sure that I like this week's Best in Show. But I suspect that's actually the point.

Could Stoli spread to Britain? City watchdog says the system stops insurance with strangers

A law from 1774 shuts off most of the angles for American-style abuses, finds James Moore

Leading article: Signs of a power failure

Energy prices are on the rise. Npower raised its tariffs for gas and electricity two weeks ago and EDF Energy did the same this week. Given that the sector generally seems to act in unison on price, it is considered only a matter of time before the other four big British energy firms follow. This led to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, calling in the energy regulator, Ofgem, this week to account for the price rises.

Last Night's TV: This is no country for funny old men

Wonderland: The Secret Life of Norman Wisdom Aged 92 3/4, BBC2

Market Report: Vodafone talked up by bullish broker notes

In a pallid blue-chip index, there were very few winners as weak US economic growth data had investors running for cover. Vodafone, the mobile telecoms group, was one of only a handful of stocks to close in the black as a raft of broker upgrades saw the shares close 1.5p better at 134.25p.

Ubu the King, Barbican Pit, London

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's chocolate mousse!

Miles Kington: Those latest buzzwords made accessible

The last thing you used to want was people reading your diary. A blog totally reverses the situation
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'