Making his Mark

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The Independent Culture
Making his Mark

Where is Woking? The cry goes up among the dance groupies as they are forced to make the trek south in search of the ultimate dance experience. Mark Morris, international superstar and choreographic genius, begins his UK tour at the Woking Dance Umbrella. Morris's previous British visits have been confined to the Edinburgh Festival, and the fact that a six- stop tour of the country should exclude the capital is fuelling the old argument about London's need for a purpose-built dance house. Well yes, but why shouldn't Woking be allowed a little fun? Instead of dragging themselves to Sadler's Wells, the discerning folk of Woking and Guildford can enjoy an evening of dance and be home in time for Question Time. The Woking Dance Umbrella continues for three weeks with visits from the extraordinary abled/disabled dance troupe Candoco, V-Tol, Nahid Siddiqui, Laurie Booth and Scottish Ballet. Morris's company will be dancing "New Love Song Waltzes" (Brahms), "Three Preludes" (Gershwin), "Going Away Party" (Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys) and "Grand Duo" (Lou Harrison).

New Victoria Theatre, Victoria Way, Woking (0483 761144); 16-18 Mar

People power

It will not be Nigel Kennedy in chef's whites, at the new Royal Festival Hall restaurant, but Kennedy lookalike Gary Rhodes (right). His career, as a skating hairdo and media chef, reached its pinnacle with a televised food fight with Eric Cantona of Manchester United. The new restaurant, People's Palace, is tricksy city. Among the gimmicks: a "Club Table" for single diners, who are encouraged to "make new acquaintances by conversing with a neighbouring single diner" and (what an honour) "invited to write their own bills".

The People's Palace, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, SE1 (071-928 9999) opens 15 March