Day Planner

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Did you know that scientists are experimenting with direct transmissions of pictures to the brain? Well, that's what a new exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image would have us believe, anyway. Imag-ine looks at images of the future, from such real-life medical developments to filmic sci-fi. Step inside a cinematic time-machine and be transported from 1950s space monsters to today's Twelve Monkeys. Just think, if the men in white coats succeed, and it turns out that images can be lobbed straight into our lobes, it may be the last museum you ever get to go to.

MOMI, South Bank, London SE1, 10am-6pm. Adult pounds 5.95 child pounds 4


Twelve months can seem a long time if you're a fan of London's biennial International Theatre Festival. Luckily, the LIFT team has decided to fill this fallow year with a mini-season of performances and theatre workshops. , you can choose between pyrotechnics at Brockwell Park and Cordelia, a Danish re-working of King Lear at The Young Vic. Alternatively, take your under-fives along to the magical Houseworks in Brixton, where they can move between the cotton-wool room and the rain room, wriggle down secret passages and stagger around on moving floors.

Times and venues vary, for further information call LIFT box office (0171- 928 6363)


Bluffing puppet-boy blows his cover by growing an enormously long conk. This new children's production opens tonight.

Salisbury Playhouse (01722 320 333) 1pm and 7.15pm, pounds 7.50 adult, pounds 5.50 child

Saturday 15


Based in the remote coastal village of St Combs, artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion produce unsettling work. Often inspired by the flat, minimal landscape of north-east Scotland, their installations use light, warmth, scent and sound to awaken doubts as to what is natural and what artificial. In one gallery, video images of 80,000 battery hens flood the floor, while sinister brooder heaters warm spectators from above. In another, large-format photographs (above) are accompanied by scented text. A new exhibition that's definitely worth sniffing out.

The Arnolfini Gallery, Narrow Quay, Bristol, 10am-7pm


Senior valuers from Phillips Fine Art auctioneers will be present to tell you if that carriage clock is a 19th-century Paul Garnier or a No 2568459 from the Argos catalogue. Clear your mantlepiece, empty your attic and head for the salubrious surroundings of Geffrye Museum, with its beautiful grounds and herb garden.

Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Rd, London (0171-739 9893) 10am-4.30pm


The Household Division marches its footguards, Cavalry and massed bands along The Mall and up to Buckingham Palace to salute the Queen today. Army colours were originally used as rallying points for soldiers above the smoke and dust of battle. And the ceremony, first performed in 1755, was a means to acquaint the men with this vital information. Now it's all pomp and ceremony, of course, a rallying call to the tattered army of monarchists left in this country, and the swollen ranks of summer tourists.

The Mall, London, 11am-1pm

Sunday 16


Forty artists have exercised their fecund imaginations in an exhibition which deals with every sphere of child birth. Work ranges from microscopic visions of biological reproduction to Ping Qiu's curvaceous clay furnaces, which fill one room with the promise of "buns" baking in ovens. Most moving, perhaps, are the pictures which deal with infertility.

Riverside Studios, Crisp Road

London, 10am-7pm


On 16 June 1904, Dubliners James Joyce and Nora Barnacle went on their first date. The romance inspired the great Irish writer to pen Ulysses, and today Dublin will be packed with people celebrating the novel's most famous character, Leopold Bloom. Visitors can retrace his footsteps, indulging in Gorgonzola sandwiches and Burgundy wine, and can even buy a cake of Bloom's lemon soap. marks the start of a week of events which should have the city streaming with consciousness.

Joyce Museum, Sandy Cove, (2809265) and Centre, 35 North Grate, Dublin (8788547)


Beefy boys will be cutting quite a caber at these traditional Scottish games today, chucking shot putts around and tossing hammers. Away from the testosterone-charged athletics arena, visitors can watch strapping lassies highland dancing, or turn their ears to the annual pipe-band contest.

Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen (01224-522190), 10am-5pm Adults pounds 3.50, children pounds 1.50


Take a ride on the world-famous blue engine in Quainton today for just 30p. The Fat Controller will be overseeing other family events which include life-sized re-enactments of the Thomas stories and a magic show.

Quainton Road Station, Nr Aylesbury, Bucks 11am-6pm Adults pounds 6, children pounds 4

Monday 17


Albrecht Durer's armour-plated rhinoceros (above) must have sent shivers down the spines of his 16th-century admirers. Something between a zoologically accurate representation and a scaly dragon, the artist's 1515 print would have been the first time that many people had caught a glimpse of the alien animal. No doubt it reinforced the fear that monsters prowled the boundaries of the mapped world. This woodcut, and other favourites, such as Durer's intricate Adam and Eve and Erhard Schon's Devil playing the Bagpipes are on show in a travelling exhibition which reaches Canterbury today.

The Royal Museum and Art Gallery (01227 452747), Canterbury 10am-5pm


Konichi wa, and welcome to the hands-on, family-fun Japanese experience. Visitors to this exhibition can saturate themselves in oriental culture past and present by donning kimonos, designing miniature gardens and grinding, grating and rehydrating Japanese food, or visiting the Shinto shrine. If your knowledge of this country stretches only as far as your local Muji, here's your chance to dip into the art and design of Nippon.

Museum and Art Gallery, Paisley (0141-889 3151) 10am-5pm


As You Like It done as inventive director Julie-Anne Robinson likes it, that is with blues songs and chopped-about dialogue. The cast has shrunk to Orlando, Celia and Rosalind who play out a modern triangle, Celia loves Rosalind, who loves Orlando who loves himself. A triumphantly mischievous rewrite, beautifully acted. It works.

Southwark Playhouse, London (0171-620 3494)

Tuesday 18


An amazing 50,000 bottles of champagne, 2.5 tonnes of beef (perhaps not this year), 2.25 tonnes of fresh salmon and 4,500 lobsters are consumed annually at the Ascot races. Well-dressed women have been known to be copiously sick under the long tablecloths of the marquees, before finishing off further bowls of strawberries and cream. Bowler-hatted stewards repel commoners from the members' enclosure, and coach parties combust outside in the sunshine. It's the jewel in the crown of the great British Season. Oh, and if you peek through the wide-brimmed hats you might even see a few horses running about.

Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire Queen Anne Stakes starts today at 2.30pm, racing continues until Friday, 5.30pm prices vary, to book call 01344-876 456


Learn the A to Z on Samuel Johnson in a special lecture today. Two hundred and fifty years ago today, Johnson bound himself to nine years of exhausting lexicography by signing a contract to compile the first modern dictionary. This talk explores how the writer came to undertake such a mammoth task, examines the role of his famous patron, Boswell, and looks at contemporary reactions to the work when it was published.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London, 1.10pm


This summer's Festival of Minas serves up an exotic slice of Brazilian culture ranging from exhibitions to street circus, from ceramics to a "Chicken Shed" children's choir. , Brazil's leading contemporary dance group (below) combines South American exuberance with classical dance in a four-ballet performance at Sadler's Wells. The company, whose name means "Body Group", originally included six brothers and sisters from the Pederneiras family. Four are still with the company, including renowned choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras. Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London 7.30pm pounds 7.50-20

Wednesday 19


From out of the Cornish mist, Kneehigh Theatre conjures the sinister form of The Black Hunter (above) and his ravenous pack of demon dogs, ceaselessly searching for innocent souls. Directed by Bill Mitchell, this devilishly exciting and fiendishly funny tale is a Cornish Faust. The play follows a battle of good and evil through the rise and fall of Jan Tregeagle, a gentle shepherd tempted by power, wealth and earthly pleasures. Expect magic and spellbinding music by Jim Carey (shurely shome mistake?).

The Beaford Centre Gardens, Winkleigh, Devon 8.30pm pounds 4-pounds 7.50


Van the Man and Ray "Georgia on my Mind" Charles play Wembley tonight in a stonking double bill. Sing-a-long to "Bright Side of the Road" and "Brown-eyed Girl", and soak up the smooth piano from Charles's new album, Strong Love Affair. The only thing that could blight the evening is Morrison turning up in one of his legendary moods, but you can always growl along with him regardless.

Wembley Arena, London (0181-900 1234)

7.30pm pounds 22.50-pounds 25


The recent Flamenco revival both in Spain and abroad must be deeply satisfying to virtuoso guitarist Juan Martin. The acclaimed soloist is something of a Flamenco evangelist, and vowed some time ago to take Spain's fabulous guitar music to "the four corners of the world". To that end, he has formed his Flamenco Dance Company. With its dancers, flute, saxophone and "cante jondo", the group offers an explosive expression of today's flamenco. Middle Eastern percussion gives the traditional Spanish music the Moorish sounds of its musical roots.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London SE1 7.45pm pounds 10-15


Born in Northern Ireland, Nick Cohn's books include the prize-winning Heart of the World which explored the kaleidoscope of humanity in contemporary Manhattan, and the tongue-twistingly-titled Awopwopbopaloobop Alopbapboom. Hear him read in the agreeable surroundings of the Whisky Cafe tonight, with music specially chosen to enhance his work. Down a few doubles and let that title roll off your tongue. You should be able to guess what musical delights you have in store.

Filthy MacNasty's, 68 Amwell St, Islington, London EC1 8.30pm

Thursday 20


Revolutionary director Mike Alfreds has reinvented repertory theatre with the Cambridge-based company Method and Madness. Philip Osment's new piece, Flesh and Blood, joins Jude the Obscure and Private Lives at the Lyric this summer in a juicy and varied programme. Alfreds' marvellous staging of Jude is accompanied by passionate and powerful performances which are alive to every detail of Hardy's tale of hopes and dreams. And if the Wessex tragedy is not to your taste, you can always treat yourself to Noel Coward's exquisite comedy of bad manners on Tuesday next week.

Lyric Hammersmith, London (0181-741 2311) 7.30pm pounds 10


He's rich, he's ugly, he's drunk. Your Dad wants you to marry him. So runs the succinct and sexy publicity for Opera North's ravishing opera, The Duenna. Set in 18th-century Seville, the carnival atmosphere of the piece completely swept away audiences when it first appeared in 1992. A feast for eyes and ears, the opera blends 1940s melodies and flamenco in a colourful, English-sung production.

Theatre Royal Norwich (01603 630000) 7.30pm pounds 15-pounds 33


The laconic, upwardly-mobile American wit earned an Emmy for his comic graft on the David Letterman Show. Hall is a pro who knows how to work a room with his ironic and sometimes surreal humour. You may have witnessed him recently, looking suitably non-plussed as a panellist on Have I Got News For You. Catch him in his element tonight.

Cochrane Theatre, London (0171-242 7040) 8pm pounds 4-pounds 7.50


Tim Albery's provocative, 20th-century production of Nabucco, conducted by Mark Elder, whose Simon Boccanegra was a big hit at last year's festival.

The Royal Opera House, London (0171-304 4000) 7.30pm pounds 22-pounds 125


Before heading off to California to document the chilly swimming pools and ordered hedonism of the decadent 1970s, Hockney spent six months working on a series of etchings. His pictures are modern interpretations of Grimm's fairytales (below), such as Rapunzel and Rumpelstilskin. Drawn directly onto copper plate, Hockney's pictures are wonderfully sinister, transporting the atavistic fears of the fables into the semi-detached 20th century. Hockney found the tales "quite mad, when you think of it, and quite strange," and applied a number of different styles, switching between Breughel and Bosch, Uccello and Carpaccio. To this artistic melange he adds his own wry humour.

University of Derby, Western Rd, Derby 9.30am-6pm