A COUPLE of months ago, Sir Ian McKellen took a bold step in announcing that he may never act in London again - some of the capital's theatres "betray the soul of acting," he said. As a result, Leeds is currently blessed with one of Britain's finest classical actors. In Noel Coward's Present Laughter, McKellen portrays a great actor who gives his finest performances off-stage in his whirlwind social life. Malcolm Sutherland directs.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds (0113-244 2111) opens 10 Dec
ONCE BLESSED with a die-hard following, Bristol hip-hop crew Massive Attack (right) look to be losing their fanatical fan base. After some well-publicised angst, and having taken time out to produce their third album, Mezzanine, which met with mixed reviews, Massive Attack have denied rumours of a split. Even so, with their clutch of seminal tracks, the band will have no trouble attracting a hip crowd to their forthcoming gigs.
Sheffield Arena (01142 565656) 3 Dec; Cardiff International Arena (01222 224488) 7 Dec; Birmingham NEC (0121-780 4133) 9 Dec, Bournemouth IC (01202 456456) 12 Dec