First Call, Last Call

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The Independent Culture
First Call

HAROLD PINTER'S (right) latest exercise in directing has just embarked upon a national tour. Exploring the underlying tensions within a post war family, Simon Gray's The Late Middle Classes is a comedy which aims to unmask the sober face of British bravado. Family tensions between a tennis-mad mother, an office ostrich father and their emotionally starved son are given a satirical edge. Vicar of Dibley sidekick James Fleet leads the cast.

Palace Theatre, Watford (01923-225671) to 10 Apr. Tour continues until 22 May

Last Call

DESPITE THE name, Rachel Stamp are a band of boys, but boys who wear a lot of make-up. They have emerged from the Welsh valleys and dare to be energetically different, although as yet they lack the recognition of Catatonia and Manic Street Preachers. Defiantly loud, glamorous and proudly offensive, Rachel Stamp have been compared to tripped-out fright rockers like New York Dolls and Aerosmith, put to a more laid-back vibe they share with Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Super Furry Animals. Well worth checking out.

The Garage, London N5 (0171-344 0044) 27 Mar