Pick of the week

Click to follow

The company which, 11 years ago, performed a chainsaw massacre on traditional circus art returns after a long absence with Game Over - a new show which should have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up and begging for mercy. Gone is the grungey, post-apocalyptic big top. In its place is an indoor arena thumping with surround-sound techno and walls drenched in super-sized film images. On stage Guy Carrara and Pierrot Bidon are up to their old tricks, performing an orgy of life-threatening circus, dance and theatre which includes the notorious globe of death.

Brixton Academy, London SW9, 7.30pm till late (0171-924 9999) pounds 17.50- pounds 20 from Wed



Two weeks of classical, jazz and modern music start in the city tonight with a free party. A procession of masks, costumes and banners will begin at The Circus and floods into the Royal Victoria Park where "junk" funksters Weapons of Sound will play alongside SheBoom, an all-female 21-piece drum orchestra from Glasgow. Bath's Balloon Fiesta and a final firework display should end the night with a bang.

Procession starts 6pm


Since The Bonfire of the Vanities, the world and his trophy wife have been having a go at young professionals. Now here's a chance for patrons of the arts to whip out a wad and get themselves a bit of interior decoration. They have 12 young British artists to choose from and exhibits include Jun Hasegawa's violent Manga cut-outs and Martin Maloney's celebrations of suburban life.

Karsten Shubert Gallery, 41/42 Foley St, London W1P (0171-631 0031) to 15 Jun


In the Sixties, Trisha Brown would suspend herself from trees, buildings and pillars to find new ways of moving. These days she performs in more conventional spaces, but her gravity-defying dances remain impressive. Known for her collaborations with other modern artists, the company's latest show includes the classic dance piece Set and Reset, featuring a score by Laurie "Oh Superman" Anderson and great designs by Robert Rauschenberg.

Theatre Royal, Brighton BN1 (01273 328488) 7.45pm, tonight and tomorrow


The famous festival of opera swings its tonsils into action tonight. Peter Sellars returns to direct Glyndebourne's first staging of Handel's Theodora. Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 (01273 813813) 5pm pounds 15-pounds 110

saturday 18


Now 97 years old, Hans Feibusch is the only known surviving artist of Hitler's 1937 "Degenerate Art" show. To this day he produces figurative works of great vitality.

Newport Art Gallery, South Wales (01633 840064) 9.30am-5.00pm


Spiritual Awareness, Self-Empowerment, Crystals, Mind Development: if you're a bit weary of your present self, why not go for a full New Age makeover this weekend? Visitors can seek out and purchase answers to Life's big questions among the 200 stalls. Top buys include an audio cassette journey into past lives, and aura readings by Aura Vision, which will probably detect a glow of desperation around most participants.

The Royal Horticultural Halls, Greycoat St, London SW1 (0171 938 3788)10.30am- 7.30pm


TV chef Michael Barry cooks traditional 18th-century recipes. Marquees will be laden with seafood and sausages, cheeses, ciders and English wine.

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent 10am-5pm Adults pounds 6, children pounds 3.70


The Barbican raises the red lantern of Chinese cinema this week with a mix of new films and some old pre-war classics. Tonight's comedy, In the Heat of the Sun, looks at the lives of teenagers in the Cultural Revolution.

The Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2

6pm (introduced by director Jiang Wen)

sunday 19


Time to brush the cobwebs off your trainers and head for Berwick-on-Tweed's annual celebration of foot power. Thousands of strollers and "several hundred dogs" will swarm through the open land and historic villages of the River Tweed Valley on walks ranging from a comfortable 12km to a bone- rattling 40km. Fancy dress, bagpipe-playing and team singing are encouraged. Participants can start the walk with a bacon butty and finish off with a pint from a beer tent.

Entry forms from Wallace Green, Berwick-upon Tweed, TD15 (01289 330044) 6.30am marchers start gathering


Top kite flyer Mark Coventry had to pull some strings on the international circuit to appear at this year's festival, and now he's back executing his graceful multi-kite displays. Visitors are encouraged to bring and fly their own kites or watch as aerial creations designed by artist George Peters are flown by professional teams.

The Lordshill Outdoor Recreation Ground, Redbridge Lane, Southampton (01703 847046) 10am-5.30pm


It's that time of the year when men with big scissors take fluffy bundles of springtime and turn them into bald, disgruntled sheep. In the grounds of Shugborough mansion, people will be able to see farm stockmen performing this essential task and help them to roll the fleece. Inside, visitors can fill up on refreshments or watch demonstrations of wool-carding, spinning and dyeing. But the highlight of the day has got to be the lamb racing. Hand-reared lambs dressed in racing colours will gambol through a sheep "Aintree", jumping the odd hay bale "hurdle". Spectators can have a flutter and pick up a badge if their lamb comes in first.

Shugborough, Milford, nr Stafford, 11am-5pm Adults pounds 3.50, children pounds 2.50 ESCAPE ARTISTS

Currently serving a life sentence, Lee Squires began his artistic career in Wayland prison, but it was only in the more open environment of Norwich's Britannia prison that he found a really liberating creative vigour and freedom and began to construct large scale sculptures. Unsuprisingly, his work explores the connection and disconnection between man and his environment, and examines themes of confinement. His more recent acrylic paintings can be seen as part of a new exhibition that is launched today in support of Escape Artists, a charity that aims to support prisoners' rehabilitation through the arts.

The Atrium Gallery, 3rd Floor Whiteleys, London W2 9am-12am


The only performing arts festival for children in Britain starts today. A specially created village of giant theatre tents will hold an unprecedented range of music, dance, drama, magic, dance, puppet and comedy workshops. Award-winning acts are travelling from as far afield as Canada and Australia to perform work especially tailored for youngsters aged between 3 and 14-years-old. Today, the Happy Tent presents The Chippolatas's adrenalin- fuelled circus, and the Full-On Theatre company, which is dramatising 10-minute potted classics such as James Joyce's Ulysses.

Inverleiths Park, (0131-553 7700) 9.30am-5pm, Day pass pounds 2, theatre ticket pounds 5 for adults, pounds 3 kids.


The physical comedian who was once rejected by Opportunity Knocks and now makes rubber bands look a bit wooden appears tonight alongside top stand-up Jeff Green and Page Three stunna Gayle Tuesday. Lee's painfully funny impressions range from everyday observations on alcohol-free lager to a surreal scene-stealer where he morphs into a plate of stale baked beans in a motorway service-station imploring to be eaten.

The Comedy Store, Oxendon Street, London SW1, 8pm pounds 10

tuesday 21


After the massive success of Gaudeamus, Lev Dodin's much-loved Maly Drama Theatre present the premiere of an epic new play. Claustrophobia looks at life for young people in modern-day Russia. Expect knockabout physical comdey, stunning ballet and some surreal, cinematic images in Dolin's treatment of this "typical Russian disease."

The Nottingham Playhouse, Wellington Circus, Nottingham (0115 941-9419) pounds 5.50


The hardy perennial will be opened today by Gaby Roslin and Bill Treacher - better known as EastEnders' Arfur. The old lag of the allotments will cut the ribbon on more than 20 individual show gardens which include a rose-tinted evocation of an English country garden in the 1930s and an exquisite Japanese Artists Garden. Bloomin lovely.

The Royal Hospital, Chelsea Embankment, London SW1 8am-8pm show open to non-members from Thur pounds 23-pounds 7 (0171- 344 4343)


The Deadwood stage arrives in the capital tonight, with a thigh-slapping Gemma Craven, kitted out in cowgirl tassles and peaked cap. Stephen McGann plays Wild Bill Hickcock and the musical is packed with rousing numbers like "Windy City" and "The Black Hills of Dakota". Whip crack away.

Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Ave, London EC1 (0171-278 8916) 7.30pm pounds 7.50- pounds 25.00


Master of the modern carbuncle Sir Richard Rogers discusses the politics of his art. From the Pompidou Centre in Paris to London's Lloyds building, his work has always aroused controversy. Find out how the architect responds to today's conservative commentators and his strategies for getting his daring work past the legions of planners, councils and money men.

Imperial College, Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 6.30pm pounds 6

wednesday 22


A major exhibition of one of the leading artists of the Impressionist movement opens today. Devoted to his work from the 1890s and 1900s, the show sidesteps earlier postcard favourites to investigate the artist's mature paintings, drawings and prints. In his later years, Degas developed an obsessional interest in key themes and these are reflected in the different rooms: the nude, the bather and the ballet dancer.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2 (0171-839 3321) to 26 August


Set during the Spanish Civil War, Jose Sanchis Sinisterra's passionate love story describes the romance between music-hall artists Paulino and Carmela. Although Ay Carmela! is a staple of the Spanish theatrical repetoire and was made into an acclaimed film by Carlos Saura, British productions are rare. Tonight audiences can enjoy Sinisterra's affecting mixture of humour and flamenco, and pick out Casualty's Nurse Sandra Nichol behind the fan of leading actress Maureen Beattie.

Contact Theatre Company, Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 (0161 274 3434) 7.30pm free preview night tonight


Shouldn't be difficult. Parents can bring their little darlings along for workshops throughout the morning which aim to introduce them to music through multi-cultural singing and percussion. Children will be equipped with tambourines, maracas, shakers, castanets, bells and triangles and left to give their trained teacher an ear bashing she'll never forget.

Watermans Arts Centre, Middlesex (0181-568 1176) 10am for 3/4-year-olds, 10.50am for under-2s and 11.45 for 2-year-olds


Glitz, glamour and outrageous camp stalk the catwalk tonight as Pride 96 goes in search of the city's most outrageous individual. Entrants should make Priscilla Queen of the Desert look like a dowdy old housewife. Celebrity judges (such as Gayle Tuesday, Michele Collins, Graham Norton) will also be looking for candidates with more interesting ambitions than an ersatz interest in charity work and young children.

Big Top, Preston Park, Brighton 7.30pm


A vast celebration of Indian arts and culture opens today with four days of free performances in Covent Garden. Spanning the dance and drama of four states, the shows include displays of Yakshagana Theatre, which dramatises Hindu epics and the sensuous Kuchipudi dance from Andhra Pradesh. Other spectaculars from the sub-continent include the Poikkai Kudhirai stilt theatre and traditional drumming from Kerala.

East Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2 12.15pm onwards


Brighton's garden of bookish delights has a fine crop of novelists and biographers this year. Tonight's Keats 200 gets the ball rolling tonight with poet Andrew Motion talking about his forthcoming biography of John Keats. Tommorow AS Byatt discusses her new novel, Tower of Babel and on Saturday Ray Monk will discuss Mr Apollinax, a new work dissecting writer and philosopher Betrand Russell.

Charleston, nr Firle, Lewes, Sussex (01323 811 626) 7.30pm tickets also available from The Dome (01273- 709 709) pounds 5


The renowned choreographer presents an unusual revival of his first piece, What The Body Does Not Remember. When it first apppeared in 1988, the work, described as "a brutal confrontation of dance and music" garnered international acclaim. This is a rare opportunity to see the artist (he is also a director, actor and photographer) in this country.

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield S1 (0114 276 0621) 8pm pounds 6.50-10.50