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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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
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Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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Who does your club need in the transfer window?

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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