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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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
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape