THE CRITICAL LIST

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The Independent Culture
All roads appear to lead to Hammersmith. The incisive American comic Will Durst is at Riverside Studios, charmingly disproving the notion that Americans have no sense of irony. Suede are at the Hammersmith Palais on Monday and Tuesday with the Do g Man Star tour and on Tuesday, Romeo and Juliet opens at the Lyric. The production marks the classical debut of Emily Woof (right) who has been an enormously successful solo performer in works like Sex III and Revolver. The director is Neil Bartlett, wh ose only previous Shakespeare was Twelfth Night but, given his track records in drama of passion, hopes are high.

Philip Franks has rounded up a cast made in heaven for the Duchess of Malfi, which begins previewing on Thursday at the Greenwich Theatre, London. Juliet Stevenson, Simon Russell Beale and Robert Glenister will tour and eventually come into the West End,but see it here before it gets impossible to get tickets.

Birmingham Royal Ballet is at Sadler's Wells in London this week displaying a range of work that leaves lesser companies gasping. They open on Tuesday with an impressive triple-bill of George Balanchine's The Prodigal Son, John Cranko's ever popular Pineapple Pole (music by Arthur Sullivan) and Matthew Hart's Street. Then on Thursday it's La Fille Mal Gardee. Sir Frederick Ashton's combination of seriously impressive choreography with cross-dressed clog-dancing should enchant the weary.

A generation has passed since the premature death of the French pioneer artist Yves Klein, but his work is still provocative. The Hayward Gallery retrospective from Thursday is Britain's largest showing of his work and covers everything from his International Klein Blue paintings to the anthropometries - paintings that used nude bodies as "living brushes".

With Airfix hairstyle (and I mean style) and terrific tan slacks, Australia's Bob Downe (left) is back. The Beige Sensation, the King of Kitsch, this one-man odyssey into the delicious depths of 1970s showbiz is touring. Catch him in Southampton on Saturday and Derby on Sunday.

Riverside Studios: 0181 7412255

Hammersmith Palais: 0181 748 2812

Lyric, Hammersmith: 0181 741 2311

Greenwich: 0181 858 7755

Sadler's Wells: 0171 278 8916

Southampton Gantry Theatre: 01703 229319

Derby Assembly Rooms: 01332 255 800

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