Arts and Entertainment From left to right, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright

You only needed to watch the animated trailer for Darkside – that's right, a trailer, with images, for radio. What madness is this? – to know it was going to be totally off its box. A toy farmer stood staring at the skies; giant angle grinders sliced up the earth; a figure sat on a hospital bed with a massive propeller where his head should be.

The Crafty Art of Playmaking, by Alan Ayckbourn

Alan Ayckbourn proves he is a dramatist to be taken seriously

Damsels in Distress, Duchess Theatre, London

Remember the joy of rep?

Double Act: a life of Tom Stoppard, by Ira Nadel

How Tomas turned into our wonderful Tom

Obituary: Carl Toms

CARL TOMS, one of the great post-war stage designers, looked as handsome and elegant as one of his creations.

Comment: Tune in to Radio Einstein - a relatively new station

THEY SAID it would never work. Too minority, they told us. Too elitist. Yet, a matter of months after Tariq Ali, Michael Nyman and a group of like-minded intellectuals announced our intention to launch Radio Einstein, a radio station for the north London intelligentsia, our first schedules are fitting into place.

The Information on: Tom Stoppard's `Jumpers'

What Is It?

Philosophical Notes: Towards a fairer share of dishwashing

ONE OF my college house-mates, Greg, use to refuse to divide anything by lot. He objected that this procedure discriminates against what he called "the unlucky people". Steadfast randomisers reply to this that "unlucky" fails to select a natural class of people. The fact that someone is Indian today is a good enough reason to believe he will also be Indian tomorrow. But being unlucky today provides no grounds for predicting being unlucky tomorrow.

Who's In The house: Stoic splendour

No prefabs or concrete playgrounds here. But how do Stowe School's residents find life among the sweeping landscapes and Palladian architecture?

The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

The Merchant of Venice (Cottesloe, National Theatre, London)

Focus: Battle of the bashes

Hosts are testing the loyalty of friends by ensuring their summer soirees clash with rival dos. Party-going was never so fraught

The Independent Recommends - The Five Best Plays

The Five Best Plays

Comment: Sex - the anti-social force that challenges all the rules

Natasha Walter's Notebook

The Information On: `The Real Thing'

What Is It

CRITICS ' CHOICE

Art

Radio: Heard the one about deaf people?

Every so often - not very often - you hear someone banging on about the golden days of radio, although the word they come up with in this context is "romance". It's even in the title of one of Garrison Keillor's novels, Radio Romance, about a station called WLT (what do those acronyms for American radio stations stand for? Why do they have so many Ws and Ks in them?) in Minneapolis. Not that Keillor doesn't strip some of the romance off the medium. He has the proprietor of WLT moaning to himself: "Over thousands of years, man had won a measure of privacy, graduating from tent to hut to a home with a lock, and now, with the purchase of a radio, man could return to cave-dwelling days when you were easy prey to every bore in the tribe, every toothless jojo who wanted to deposit his life story all over you."
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Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high