Arts and Entertainment

As a study in the personal trials and tribulations of life in the office, John Van Druten’s 1931 play is a little closer in style and banality to Ricky Gervais than to the advertising agency in Mad Men.

True Stories: Me and the dipper: At last, the pickpocket experience

We were sitting at the bar of a busy, reputable Soho drinking establishment. My girlfriend's handbag was lying on the floor, at the foot of her stool, well in view of both of us, when finally it happened. After four years of living in London, albeit indirectly, I had fallen prey to the pickpockets.

Travel: The mystery of the missing freeholder

Robert Poray and his girlfriend, Lyn Greenwood, planned to sell their London flats and buy a place together. That was two years ago. Ms Greenwood sold her flat, but Mr Poray is stuck with his, in Finchley, north London. It isn't that he has had trouble finding a buyer. In fact, he found two. The trouble is that he cannot find his freeholder.

Obituary: Rabbi Samuel Pinter

Samuel Pinter, rabbi, teacher, educationalist: born Vienna 18 February 1919; married (four sons, two daughters); died London 20 June 1994.

Murder trial jury moved to hotel

The jury in the trial of Robert Black, a van driver charged with murdering three girls, was last night at an hotel after failing to reach a verdict. The jury will resume its deliberations at Newcastle Crown Court today. He is accused of killing Susan Maxwell, 11, in 1982; Caroline Hogg, 5, in 1983; and Sarah Harper, 10, in March 1986.

'Ripper look-alike seen at snatch site': Murder told of suspicious man

A MAN resembling the Yorkshire Ripper was seen lurking near the spot where a 10-year- old girl was snatched before her death, a court heard yesterday.

Alleged killer 'stood in for driver'

A VAN DRIVER accused of murdering an 11-year-old girl while delivering advertising posters from London to Scotland only made the trip as a last-minute replacement, Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court was told yesterday.

Killing of girls 'every parent's nightmare': Man denies abduction and murder of three young girls in 'Midlands triangle'. Malcolm Pithers reports

THE MURDER of young girls on hot summer's days in the 1980s was 'every parent's nightmare', a court was told yesterday as the trial began in Newcastle upon Tyne of the man accused of three killings.

Orthodoxy is . . . a brand new Hillary wig: Straight or curly, nylon or real, traditional or trendy, a sheitel is the crowning glory of an orthodox Jewish woman's wardrobe. Jack Shamash reports

There's a big wedding coming up and you've bought the dress, the shoes and the matching handbag. So what's left? For many orthodox Jewish women the next stop would be a trip to the salon to buy a new sheitel - a wig.

Mel Calman: droll master of absurdity

WHEN Mel Calman died of a heart attack on Thursday night in a Leicester Square cinema, he was watching Al Pacino in Carlito's Way. Not many laughs there, although Pacino has recently shown, in other and less bloody movies, a gift for suggesting the defining characteristic of the little people who populated Calman's cartoons: a sort of gentle exasperation in the face of superior forces.

Man began death fire over noisy neighbours

A MAN whose life was made hell by his noisy drug-dealing neighbours finally snapped and set fire to their home, killing a three-year-old boy, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

Insurance tax hits a wide target: Estimate of an extra pounds 18 a year from consumers ignores impact on many types of common cover

THE AVERAGE cost of the new 3 per cent insurance tax will be 35 pence a week for a 'typical' family with motor, home contents and building cover, according to Kenneth Clarke.

Man sent for trial

Robert Black, 45, of Stamford Hill, north London, was committed for trial at Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court accused of murdering Susan Maxwell, 11, Caroline Hogg, 5, and Sarah Harper, 10, between 1982 and 1986.

Inside Parliament: Parties clash over hospital murders inquiry

The Beverly Allitt case became the focus of party political wrangling yesterday as John Smith, the Labour leader, repeatedly pressed the Prime Minister to institute a full public inquiry into the circumstances leading to the deaths of four children at a Lincolnshire hospital.

BOOK REVIEW / Eats bagels, will travel: 'Roots Schmoots' - Howard Jacobson: Viking, 16.99 pounds - Jonathan Freedland on Howard Jacobson's light-hearted search for a true Jewish identity

MOST COOKS would be insulted if you told them their food gave you heartburn. Not Jews. In Jewish cuisine indigestion is a compliment. The tradition is that a meal needn't taste great, just so long as you feel full afterwards. Perhaps Jews have a similar approach to literature, seeking to finish a book like they finish dinner: staggering for a chair, gasping: 'That's it, I can't take anymore.' But in Roots Schmoots Howard Jacobson has served up a literary Lean Cuisine. It doesn't taste low calorie - on the contrary, it tastes great, there's a delicacy on every page. But in the end you still feel hungry. If Jacobson was a kosher restaurant, he'd have his licence removed.

BOOK REVIEW / One faith, two worlds: 'Piety and Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism' - David Landau: Secker, 20 pounds

THE hermetic world of Jewish fundamentalism is an enigma to many Jews and non-Jews alike. The fundamentalists were, for example, against the recent controversial proposal by mainstream Orthodox Jews to erect an eruv in Barnet last month - much to the mystification of the many flag-waving non-Jews who also opposed the scheme. Their concept of reality may seem unreal and bizarre, yet they claim the adherence of multitudes worldwide. David Landau's odyssey through their culture offers a rare glimpse into a unique way of thinking.
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