Harrowing: Anne Sophie Duprels, Mungo Reoch, and Dan Stephenson

Classical review: Madama Butterfly - Head down to the park to see a stunning Butterfly take flight

Paul Higgins's staging of Madama Butterfly is not easy to watch, and nor should it be.

My life in travel: DJ Yoda

'I loved the sunsets in Ibiza so much, I filmed my latest video there'

Book review: Rook, By Jane Rusbridge

Excavating buried pasts to soothe unhappy souls

Evergreen: At 71, Streisand’s voice is still heady and throat-catching

Pop review: Barbra Streisand at London's O2 - What every diva needs; hits, fans and a Mummy's boy

About half way into Barbra Streisand Live, the star, sparkling in her spangly tuxedo, launched into a 10-minute "Ask Barbra" session. It is six years since she last played in London, and fans had been given the chance to fill in a card, on arrival, with a question for their heroine. One got the sense that these had been judiciously edited. "Barbra, how are you so beautiful?" enquired one. Barbra refused to reveal her magic formula, and displayed no false modesty, tipping the card back into the box from whence it came. This was not an evening for non-believers.

Television choices: Return of the living dead, this time with added brains

TV pick of the week: The Returned

Neon Neon

Music review: Neon Neon, Village Underground, London

Bands often talk about breaking the expected boundaries of the rock concert. Usually, this means that a) the lead singer jumps off the stage and walks through the crowd, or b) really expensive pyro. So when a band really does snap you out of that rock-show routine, it’s a grin-inducing luxury.

Solange Knowles performing at the Field Day Festival in Victoria Park, east London

Festival review: Field Day, Victoria Park, London

After seven years, east London’s trendiest music event appears to have finally got to grips with festival site logistics. There are significantly more bars, toilets and refreshment stands, and the stages seem to be located according to genre; meaning fewer cross-site dashes to catch complementary acts.

Theatre review: How to Host a Dinner Party, Brighton Fringe

The Sussex company Park Bench Dance Theatre’s show opens with two barefoot, smartly dressed women shuffling on to a empty stage with a dining table. They disappear again and return with some chairs. A long and wordless tussle ensues in which identical dining chairs are shifted and swapped, shunted and dragged, and swapped and shifted again.

Rod Stewart, rock’s great lothario

Time is on Rod Stewart's side as his first album in20 years goes straight to number one in UK charts

Rod Stewart's first album of self-penned songs in 20 years has gone straight to the top of the UK album charts.

Jared Leto:
Solid sound, wonderful portability but at a stately price: the Beats by Dre Pill

A week with: Beats by Dre Pill

Dre hits the speakers market

Lana Del Rey's distinctive Hipstamatic pop proves irresistible

Music review: Lana Del Rey, Academy, Birmingham

Accompanied by two faux-stone lions, a plastic palm tree and art-deco frames for the video screens, Liberace would feel at home in Birmingham tonight. Instead, the chintz and fevered anticipation are for a less theatrical performer. Having enjoyed a meteoric rise on the back of 2011’s viral hit "Video Games", the artist previously known as the winsome Lizzy Grant has struggled to match that pace.

Simone James as Melody and Fisayo Akinade as Jim in Neighbors at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
part of the High Tide Theatre Festival

Theatre review: High Tide Festival, Halesworth

The Suffolk town of Halesworth might look idyllic but don’t be fooled, there’s darkness lurking behind the half-timbered facades. This year’s High Tide festival of new writing tackles everything from heroin addiction to Hillsborough, bullying to black actors in “blackface”. You couldn’t accuse it of being twee, although you might wish for a bit of light relief. Small-scale doesn’t have to equal issues-driven.

Invisible Ink: No 172 - Perry Rhodan

What's the most successful science fiction story series ever written? How about one that has sold over a billion copies so far, plus various spinoffs, and has influenced a generation of writers? Perry Rhodan was created in 1961 by KH Scheer and Clark Darlton, and was conceived as a 30-volume epic booklet series with a single story arc, back in the days when you could attempt such a thing.

Toy story: Gretel and Sandman in Liam Scarlett’s Grimm tale

Dance review: Hansel and Gretel - Something very nasty beneath the woodshed

The reason fairy stories have endured in the collective consciousness is not just that successive generations have been offered them as childhood fare. It's that they give a manageable shape and form to our deepest adult fears. So it should come as no surprise that Liam Scarlett, whose last ballet tackled the murky world of the painter Walter Sickert and his possible identity as Jack the Ripper, is now peering into the darkest corners of a Grimm Brothers' tale.

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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own