First Call, Last Call

First Call

RAYMOND BRIGG'S The Snowman was first made famous by the hit single "Walking in the Air", sung by munchkin soprano Aled Jones, and now a new stage adaptation comes to London which is sure to be better than the usual Christmas panto fare. Based on the beautiful children's story, with music and lyrics by Howard Blake, it explores the magic of Christmas when a young boy builds himself a snowman which comes to life to take him on a fantastic journey.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Kingsway, London WC2 (0171-314 8800) opens 9 December.

Last Call

THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH (right) have shown that middle-of-the-road pop can be both sassy and smart. Serious music critics have been quick to dismiss them as mere purveyors of catchy tunes, and missed the fact they also produce sharp commentaries on modern times. They are currently in the charts with a song about our fascination with body-size and shape.

National Indoor Arena, Birmingham (0121-780 4133) 14 April 1999; Wembley Arena, London (0181-902 0902) 17 & 18 April; Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff (01222 224488) 20 April; SECC Glasgow (0141-287 7777) 22 April;

Manchester Evening News Arena (0115-912 9189) 24 April