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Two old stagers find vigour in Brief Lives

In a soulless, drafty rehearsal hall just around the corner from Euston Station, Roy Dotrice is doing a reading as John Aubrey under the watchful eye of the director Patrick Garland. The bitchy 17th-century writer and antiquarian is a character that both men have come to know very well over years. The relationship began in

Will Obama face McCain? We’ll know after Super Tuesday

If the Democrats vote with their heads on Super Tuesday — 5 February— Barack Obama will survive the Clinton assault and go on to become the party candidate in November. He already appeals strongly to Independents and Republicans. In Iowa, Obama won 44 per cent of the Republicans who shifted registration to take part in

No better way to turn 70 than in the Darjeeling hills

Forty years ago I met a leading industrialist who had just returned from a visit to India, very depressed. He could see no future for a people who seemed to him fatalistically resigned to antimaterialism, mass poverty and the backward, corrupt, bureaucratically hamstrung state of their economy. ‘The problem with India,’ he said despairingly, ‘is

Forty years on from Tet: how the US won Vietnam

For the last few days they have been putting the flags and bunting up in the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in preparation for the nationwide celebrations which will mark the Lunar New Year or Tet. Forty years ago, on the night of 30–31 January 1968, the Liberation Army, as it is

The wages of beauty are loneliness

I am always struck, interviewing the planet’s most beautiful women, by the disconnection between their difficult love lives and dazzling looks. Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Elle Macpherson, Helena Christensen, Emmanuelle Béart, Inés Sastre, Diane Kruger, Sienna Miller — in my decade as an interviewer I have met dozens of these stars and supermodels, and almost