THE CRITICAL LIST: THIS WEEK'S RECOMMENDATIONS

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The Independent Culture
The film

The heroine of Muriel's Wedding is an ugly duckling searching for the ideal husband. A big hit in Australia (where it was made) and doing well in the US, it is tipped as one of the cinematic surprises of 1995. Another antipodean offering, Once Were Warriors, is the first Maori work to have made it to an international arthouse audience as well as being the top grossing film of all time in New Zealand.

The concert

In The Ring Reduced (Tues 9.30pm C4), the all-American Reduced Shakespeare Company (with a little help from composer Michael Berkeley, percussion, keyboards and accordion) boils Wagner's mighty mythic tetralogy down from 16 hours and 33 characters to just 24 minutes, a cast of three and a lobster (don't ask). Covent Garden, watch out.

Sympatico, now showing at the Royal Court, is the first play in 11 years from Sam Shepard. The American playwright's poetic effusions tend to combine strong-silent heroics with an atmosphere of sub-existentialist rootlessness. Shepard says that he likes to write while he drives - it keeps his sentences short.

`Sympatico' is at the Royal Court, London SW1, to 13 May

The play

The exhibition

At 80, the artist Bernard Meadows remains one of the most active survivors of the post-war so-called "Geometry of Fear" school - the group of artists whose angular expressionism briefly brought British sculpture to international prominence.

`Bernard Meadows Sculpture and Works on Paper', Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 12 April-29 May

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