First Call, Last Call

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The Independent Culture
First Call

HAVING PREVIOUSLY wowed audiences with its hit show, Alegria, Cirque du Soleil returns to Britain. Coming perilously close to real danger, the talented performers are wrapped up in an explosion of colour and amazing costumes. The traditional clowns and ringmaster are mixed with unusual acts such as the elfin Russian who keeps 20 hoops spinning around her waist while standing on one leg, and the gymnast who swings in a giant steel cube, attached by just one hand.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 (0171-565 5000) opens 5 Jan

Last Call

IN AMERICA, gangsta rap has long since lost its power to shock. Now it's a "mellow and spiritual vibe" even for Snoop Doggy Dogg (right). Having burst in to the British charts at the beginning of the Nineties with his witty rap style - one video showed him trawling through the streets as a dog - the Snoop is back on track following a quiet period after a brush with the law. Currently working on a new album, we will soon see whether his brand of gangsta rap retains any bite.

Subterrania, 36 Acklam Road, London W1 (0181-960 4590) 24 Nov