THEATRE / Maiden stakes: Still big in London, it's a wow in Warsaw and Polanski's interested. Rick Richardson on Death and the Maiden, the world tour

SINCE the opening last month, people have been queueing at the Theatr Studio in Warsaw to see a new show imported from the West. It is the most expensive theatre ticket in Polish history, at around pounds 7. It is not a classic Broadway hit, nor is it a musical. 'This play is a theatrical world event concerning everyone everywhere,' says Gene Gutowski, who bought the Polish rights to the play after seeing it in London and New York. The play is Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, who was in Warsaw for the eastern European premiere.

Edinburgh Festival Day 17: Breaking the sound barrier: Andrei Serban has tapped the sounds of ancient Greece to plumb the subconscious depths of modern-day Romania. Kevin Jackson reports

LEGEND has it that on the eve of one crucial by-election of the Sixties, Harold Wilson was alarmed at the prospect of Labour voters staying home to watch television rather than turning out for the polls; so alarmed, indeed, that he began to fantasise about coercing the BBC into screening an evening of such excruciatingly boring fare that even the most apathetic households would be driven out to vote. After pondering the problem for a while, he hit on the perfect formula. 'An evening of Greek tragedy,' grinned the Prime Minister. 'In the original Greek.'

It's all so alien to me

TWO YEARS ago, after spending most of her adult life in London, my younger sister moved to the Hardyesque peace of a Dorset village. She now spends her days surrounded by cows and trees and is, by all accounts, blissfully happy.

FILM / Sigourney's mate worse than death

AT THE end of Alien (1979), Lieutenant Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) was left drifting through the universal dark, sleeping the hypersleep of the just. With her on board the space capsule was a cat, Jones. At the end of Aliens (1986), she was back where she started, looking more weary than before. With her this time were: a small girl, a wounded space marine, half an android and no alien. Or so she thought. Back on Earth, Hollywood thought otherwise, and dreamt up Alien3 . That's it: the trilogy is now complete - uneven, incoherent, often unpalatable, but still one of the great achievements in popular cinema. The last part is the worst, no question, but it isn't your average sequel; for these films contained many sequels within themselves, the same old story flicking round time and again, refusing to give up for dead. As each movie came and went, the heart of darkness kept pumping away: The horror] The horror] The horror]

INTERVIEW / A real horror show: The filming of Alien 3 was a nightmare for its director David Fincher. Mark Burman reports

'As I always say, things don't get clearer when you take the camera out of the box, they just get more confused.' The confusion in this case carries a hefty price tag and a lot of pain for first time director David Fincher. Alien 3 is a monster movie in more ways than one. It has devoured an entire phalanx of scriptwriters, two previous directors, one sacked cinematographer and a lot of 20th Century Fox's money, some dollars 50m in all. More importantly it failed to take the US box office by storm.

FILM / Death and the maiden

ALIEN3 (18) sets the seal on an extraordinary series of films, mainstream entertainment firmly in the tradition of I-can't-bear-to-look-but-I-can't-look-away which nevertheless touch on some incongruously ambitious themes. While, say, Tim Burton's Batman films sacrifice the dynamism of their genre to the look but not the reality of art cinema, first-time director David Fincher's Alien3 delivers images of an often extraordinary beauty without letting the adrenalin level of its narrative drop much below the maximum.
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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?