Environment Nadhim Zahawi (right) is an adviser to the Prime Minister

Nadhim Zahawi says 'massive, irreversible damage' is being caused

THEATRE / Macbeth, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon

Macbeth shall sleep no more. But, for the audience, the difficulty lies in keeping their eyes open during Tim Albery's sedentary new production.

Theatre / Three Hours After Marriage RSC, Stratford

As you enter Stratford's Swan Theatre, you may feel you've blundered into some kinky outpost of the Pitt Rivers Museum. The stage is piled high with cabinets of curiosities (prehistoric skeletons; human hands hatching from eggs etc) and the cranky decor is a collector's item in that it is entirely composed of collector's items, such as the table with elephant trunk legs and the stove in the shape of a smoke-belching dragon.

NEC clears Howarth to stand for Labour

Labour's ruling National Executive Committee yesterday cleared the way for Alan Howarth, the MP who defected from the Tories last October, to seek a seat for the next election.

LEADING ARTICLE : Democracy is gagged by the language of party unity

Elections everywhere. Tomorrow, the first round of the parliamentary contest in Italy. In a month, Israel votes, which helps to explain the intensity of Operation Grapes of Wrath. In June, Russia elects a new president, quite possibly a Communist. Later in the year, the American public chooses between Bill and Bob - as well as taking part in the biannual returns to Congress. Here, Tory mortality and Northern Irish events permitting, there could be a general election within months.

Obituary: Jacquetta Hawkes

It was at the age of nine, and while still at her dame school, that Jacquetta Hawkes wrote an essay announcing her intention to become an archaeologist.

Heseltine calls on reluctant Tories to comply with vote

PATRICIA WYNN DAVIES

ROBERTO ALAGNA COMPETITION WINNERS

IN THE Review of 22 Oct, we ran a competition to win 20 CD copies of Roberto Alagna's new record, Popular Tenor Arias, and asked in what role he made his debut at Covent Garden. The answer was Rudolfo, in Puccini's La Boheme, and the first 20 correct entries out of the bag were sent by:

Faust, furious and surprisingly funny

For many, Goethe's 'Faust' is about as 'high' as high art gets. But Howard Brenton, with a new translation for the RSC, celebrates its wicked sense of humour

Theatre; RICHARD III; Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Richard III contains a wonderful example of political stage-management in the scene in which Richard, as prearranged with Buckingham, makes a big public relations spectacle of piously refusing the crown. In Steven Pimlott's arresting new production at Stratford, the blatant fraudulence of this exercise is comically heightened by presenting it to us (though not to the audience on stage) as a piece of naked theatre. The bishops who flank Richard, those "Two props of virtue for a Christian prince", are quite clearly the same youths who played the hired assassins of Clarence, and they can be seen pulling their episcopal clobber out of a theatrical wicker skip and making up in hand mirrors. This is in-yer-face bogusness, and it's characteristic of an interpretation that often achieves its bracing impact by pushing ideas to a self-conscious extreme.

theatre Lord of the Flies, RSC The Other Place Paul Taylor says the boys are great, but what might Britten have made of it?

Paul Taylor says the boys are great, but what might Britten have made of it?

No flies on the RSC

CHOICE

Police to question coach-crash driver faces police questioned

The driver of the coach involved in the crash on Wednesday in which eight people died will be interviewed today by police over possible driving offences related to the accident.

Theatre: JULIUS CAESAR RSC Stratford upon Avon

The temptation to ditch the scarlet togas and buy in a job lot of grey suits must have been fairly formidable when John Major let loose the dogs of the leadership war. Bar the installation of phone lines in case of a second ballot, much of what we've had to endure these last weeks is there, brilliantly, in Julius Caesar, albeit in a society where they knifed you in the back with a knife: resentful envy and stark ambition out to dress up political assassination as high-minded concern for the health of the state; the strategic posing as the natural air of former, tragically discarded greatness...

Theatre: THE CHERRY ORCHARD RSC Stratford upon Avon

Adrian Noble's glorious production of The Cherry Orchard lets you see the wood for the trees - indeed, the wood and the trees - though there isn't a branch of cherry blossom (or a samovar) in sight. At first glance, it looks as though Richard Hudson's set, with the boards of the Swan's largely bare thrust-stage and a number of the female costumes rendered in the same pallid shade of eau de nil, might be too chicly minimalist for the play's good. Not much here, you felt, to exert the removal men in the last act. Quickly, though, as Madame Ranyevskaya's entourage takes pre-dawn repossession of the house and bustles up to the theatre's various vertically-stacked balconies, it becomes apparent that this clear, uncluttered look will beautifully serve the production's rich imaginative lucidity.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee