Theatre NOW YOU KNOW Hampstead Theatre, London

The themes at the heart of Michael Frayn's latest play are secrecy and revelation - how the one can be the lubricant that enables us to rub along together, and how the other can be a potent destructive force. Now You Know is set in the offices of a campaign for freedom of information, all of whose staff have their own secrets, their own little worlds: there's Kevin in the mail-room, with the bag that is never opened, Liz, giggling behind her hand at her own private jokes, and Terry, the campaign's charismatic director, whose upfront, open manner hides some dark corners.

BOOK REVIEW / In Brief: The Dark Stuff - Nick Kent: Penguin, pounds 9.99

This long overdue collection from 'the living legend of rock journalism' comes Judy Garlanded with quotes about Kent from such celebrated interviewees as Morrissey and Lou Reed. It also boasts the considerable coup of an introduction by Iggy Pop, in which the author is described as 'a great palsied mantis'. If there is an element of fantasy in the idea of a rock journalist whose peer group was not other journalists but the stars he was writing about, no one feels the need to acknowledge it.

OPERA / Irresistible temptation: Stephen Johnson on Kent Opera's comeback with a new Prodigal Son at the Bath Festival

There were two triumphant returns at the Bath Festival last Friday. Britten's 'church parable' The Prodigal Son appeared again on stage, after what seems like a long period on the shelf, in what was certainly the most convincing performance I have ever heard or seen. Reborn along with it was Kent Opera, silent since its dissolution in 1989, but showing here that it is very much back with the living and still able to deliver the musical and theatrical goods.

Obituary: Walter Kent

Walter Kent, composer, songwriter: born New York City 29 November 1911; died Los Angeles 1 March 1994.

Not all of us are only interested in one thing: Heart Searching: Robert Adams wonders if he is alone in wanting to find a whole person, rather than a sex partner

READING some of these Heart Searching features makes me, as a man, feel that life holds nothing for me any more. Sentiments such as 'just as peculiar as the rest' (19 June) and 'lying seems to be endemic in these arrangements' (17 July) crop up - frequently with the word 'hopeless'. Always written from a female point of view, and in line with the 'seeking-the- earth' tone of many of the advertisements below. Who do these women think they are?

Bowls: Down and out

Tony O'Connell of Surrey B is down and on his way out of the EBA pairs semi-final, eventually beaten with his partner, John Birch, 21-8 by the Kent pairing of Gary Smith and Andy Thompson, the holders, at Worthing yesterday.

Cricket: A Taylor-made bet rewards Waugh

Australians 391-4 dec and 34-0 dec

The Sunday Preview: Jazz

Jazz on a Summer's Weekend (David Solomons Estate, Broomhill, Kent, 0892 515152, today). Country House jazz weekend starring Humphrey Lyttelton and band (2.30pm); valve-trombonist Bob Brookmeyer (5.30pm); Alan Cohen and the Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra (8pm); and the 1959 movie, Jazz on a Summer's Day (4pm).

Cricket: Kent duo stake their England claims

Sussex168 and 59-1

Cricket: Hooper fills Kent's void

Gloucestershire. .243 and 104-3

Remains of 'Gateway to the North' discovered: Demolished Euston Arch found in the garden of a Kent villa

REMAINS OF Euston Arch, demolished in 1962 after a fight that inspired the modern conservation movement, have been uncovered in a back garden in Kent.

Schools: Benenden, Kent

Term starts today at Benenden School, Kent. Prospective parents' mornings will take place on 16 January and 6 February. The Arts Festival will be held on 5 February. The school play, Noel and Cole: an original show depicting the lives and worlds of Noel Coward and Cole Porter, will be performed on 19 and 20 March.

Geldof cancels

Two Bob Geldof concerts have been cancelled after 57 tickets were sold for a 1,200-capacity venue in Maidstone, Kent. Sales were also poor at Folkestone. Geldof has been forced to scrap two other concerts because of low sales.

Forbidden Britain: Aristocratic allies found in row over footpaths: As ramblers prepare for Forbidden Britain Day tomorrow, Stephen Goodwin reports on a battle over footpaths on an estate in the South-east

THE activists of the Ramblers' Association are not normally given to praising the landed aristocracy but in the deceased fourth and fifth Marquesses of Camden the association's Tunbridge Wells group believe they have formidable allies.

OPERA / Opera de Lyon / Kent Nagano - Symphony Hall, Birmingham

A successful performance of opera in Symphony Hall is all a matter of good behaviour. Everyone from the tam-tam to the lead soprano can sound gorgeous, but it takes a deal of politeness to draw all the elements together into a convincing whole. If they are all determined to indulge themselves in the hall's acoustic, the drama in a piece becomes the first victim. Sadly, this is what tended to happen, particularly in the first act, with Opera de Lyon's Madama Butterfly. Kent Nagano's Puccini is elegant and neat, if occasionally breathless. He also knows when to pull the stops out. The trouble was that his orchestra responded with too much gusto. With the soloists in front of the band, a slight visual problem became an unnecessary acoustic one.
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