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The Independent Culture
CINEMA

James and the Giant Peach (above) Visually arresting adaptation of the hugely inventive Roald Dahl fantasy. Featuring the voices of Susan Sarandon and Simon Callow, this enchanting film evokes excitement, humour and wonder in equal measure.

Flipper Conventional boy-meets-dolphin story which takes few risks but is a sound piece of storytelling and bound to fire the kids' imaginations.

La Regle du Jeu Jean Renoir's 1939 classic social comedy, set at a weekend party. Reality and fantasy clash as the guests indulge in petty rivalries and romantic intrigues. In rep, Riverside, London

THEATRE

The Memory of Water (above) Shelagh Stephenson's beautifully observed piece set at a funeral, where three sisters come to terms with the death of their mother and their dysfunctional pasts. Hampstead Theatre, London NW3

The Phoenician Women Kate Mitchell gives a stunning account of Euripides' play. It centres on the strife between Eteocles and Polyneices, the sons born from the incest of Oedipus and Jocasta. RSC, Barbican, London

Tom Jones The Henry Fielding classic comedy, the racy tale of a man who was born on the wrong side of the sheet(s) and now spends his time romping between the sheets. Theatre Royal, York

EXHIBITIONS

When English Art was Young (above) New works from artists under the age of 35 in an exhibition in which youthful efforts point to future excellence. Michael Parkin Gallery, Motcomb St, London SW1, to 13 Sept

Sonia Lawson Retrospective exhibition which shows the development of her art from the sinister canvases of the 1960s to the Watteau-derived, symbolist narratives of the 1980s and her recent, more serene imagery. Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax, to 1 Sept

Eve Arnold Snap-shot style photographs reveal more about her subjects' minds than outer appearances. A sensitive study of human behaviour. Barbican Centre, London EC2, to 18 Aug

POP

Patti Smith (above) Back in the mid-Seventies, she was the Grand Dame of punk existentialism. Twenty years on, she's back and, if less punky, is certainly still grand. After appearances earlier in the summer in poet guise, she's back this week with a band. Shepherd's Bush Empire, London W12, Wed & Thur

Betty Carter Given the recent departure of Ella Fitzgerald, Carter could claim to be the greatest jazz singer alive. Ronnie Scotts, London, Mon

Oasis The world's biggest Mancunian pop group promises to shatter the peace and harmony of Loch Lomond. Next weekend they do it again in Knebworth Park. Balloch Castle Country Park, Scotland

CLASSICAL

Glorious Gospel Wake up after Sunday lunch to The London Adventist Chorale, who sing spirituals about struggle and freedom, plus the world premiere of Who has Set Thy Glory by Shelton E Kilby III. Royal Albert Hall, London, Sun

Semele Handel (above) comes to the proms on Monday with a performance from his Semele. William Christie directs his own ensemble, Les Arts Florissantes, in one of Handel's most dramatic scores. Royal Albert Hall, London, Mon

Sounds from Sweden GoteborgsMusiken comes to the Snape Proms. Jerker Johansson conducts with Carolina Sandgren and Goran Marcusson. Snape Maltings Concert Hall, nr Aldeburgh, Suffolk, Wed 7.30pm.

COMEDY

Sean Lock (above) Previously second fiddle to Newman and Baddiel, Lock is now coming into his own. His act is made up of appealingly daft one-liners and surreal questions about the imponderables of life: "How do they get those Tubes down the escalators then?" BAC, London, Lavender Hill, SW11

Scott Capurro Waspish San Franciscan comedian with an uncanny ability to sting audiences. Big Top Comedy, Stockton International Festival Sun; then Edinburgh Festival 9-26 Aug

Lee Evans More wildly entertaining stuff from this supercharged physical comedian, who can't put a foot wrong at present. Gielgud Theatre, London W1, tonight

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