Voices
 

This week we’ve seen the best and worst sides of drunken excesses. What have we learnt? Just like in life: llamas good, racism bad.

Daniel Kitson now commands an impassioned following around the world

Comedy review: Daniel Kitson, Tree, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

When Daniel Kitson gave the Latitude Festival audience a tantalising glimpse of his new show this summer it was still very much a sapling. Two months later and Tree has put on branches and leaves, emerging into the gloom of a drizzly autumnal Manchester night as a mighty oak.

Bridget Christie – 'A Bic for Her'

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Awards stand up for stand-up

Stand-up has returned to dominate Edinburgh’s showcase comedy awards after a big year for mime in 2012, with one shortlisted comedian even bringing back mother-in-law jokes.

Edinburgh 2013: Tig Notaro - It may be her Fringe debut, but this is a comedy masterclass

Almost exactly a year ago, the American comedian Tig Notaro walked out onto the stage at LA's Largo Theatre and announced that she had breast cancer. The ensuing set went viral and topped the Billboard comedy chart thanks largely to Louis CK who declared it to be one of a handful of "truly masterful performances" he had seen in his 27 years of comedy.

Bo Burnham

My Edinburgh: Bo Burnham on changing venues and the Golden Age of the Fringe

What a shame. A lot has changed at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2010 (the last year I was here). Three years can do foul damage to things like comedy festivals and milk. I'm sure most of you reading this are too young to remember the year of 2010, but I can assure you, those were the good ol' days.

Stewart Lee performs as Baconface

Edinburgh 2013: Baconface- an in-joke for Stewart Lee devotees

B-b-b-b-baconface. It's hard not to think of Lady Gaga when you're watching someone perform with raw meat draped over their head, albeit with a Mexican wrestling helmet as a protective layer in between.

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: Women beware famous men at contentious women-only exhibition

Summerhall has been one of the hits of this year's Fringe, a complex of theatre shows and exhibitions in the former veterinary school.

James Acaster: Prompt, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

After a tumbleweed-inducing debut solo show last year, the 27-year-old Kettering boy has returned to the Fringe and imposed an effective rule of three on his whimsical stylings: judicious repetition, reinforcement and joined-up thinking.

A Sound British Adventure, Radio 4, Tuesday

I'm just going to tinker with my sonic screwdriver …

Alfie Brown: Soul for Sale, Underbelly, Edinburgh

Alfie Brown isn’t the only comedian at the Fringe berating his industry for catering to the lowest common denominator, but he may well be the one doing it with the least amount of grace.

My Edinburgh: Bridget Christie, Comedian

The Edinburgh Fringe is the best arts festival in the  world.  Performers from all over the  globe stage over 2,000 shows every day for a month. But my favourite thing to do is to eat four pickled eggs in a row and some chips on a bench on The Royal Mile.  Not when the fourth one has gone  off though, like last year. 

Jan Ravens in 'The Intervention' with her over-exposed son, Phil Nichol

Edinburgh Diary: Bottoms up, as the naked racist takes to the bottle

The Assembly Rooms on George Street has reopened after a £9.3m refurbishment and experienced Fringe hands are delighted to welcome the old lady back.

Stephen Mangan in Birthday

Alice Jones' Arts Diary: In the race to beat the Games, the Royal Court falls at the first hurdle

For most of Theatreland, it's business as usual as the Olympics kick off. Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi has gone dark for the duration, but the majority of stages, used to a summer slump, have not noticed the dreaded Games effect.

Observations: A glittering extreme makeover (with added Jamie Oliver) for a Fringe favourite

Tommy Sheppard, director of the new Assembly Rooms Edinburgh Fringe programme, proudly opens the door to a large ballroom decorated with an imposing crystal chandelier and some stunning, freshly painted cornices.

Hot seat: Bring a splash of colour to your dining room with these bright new chairs from Danish furniture-maker Hay. From £207, thelollipopshoppe.co.uk
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

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Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
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New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
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Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
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As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
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A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
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Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

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Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

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He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

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Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'