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Film Ryan Gilbey

WHIT STILLMAN is a maker of anthropological comedies. His previous features, Metropolitan and Barcelona, focused on the attempts of the intellectual middle-classes to control their environment through a manipulation of codes and etiquette which could reasonably be described as Jamesian. His new film, The Last Days of Disco (left), continues the theme. Very dry, very funny.

On general release

The Truman Show has some great ideas. Never mind that it's not as clever or as unsettling as it should have been; there are still things here to treasure. For instance, Jim Carrey's marvellously understated performance as Truman Burbank, a man whose entire life has been the subject of the world's top-rated television show - without his knowledge. The basic idea is similar to Muriel Spark's 1957 debut novel, The Comforters, in which a woman discovers that she is trapped in a novel. But the premise has modern embellishments - the fear of exposure is contrasted with our paradoxical hunger for fame.

On general release

Theatre Dominic Cavendish

THE RIGHT SIZE'S exuberant staging of Bertolt Brecht's Mr Puntila and His Man Matti (below) - the undisputed hit of this year's Edinburgh Festival - finally arrives in London tonight. In this comedy about a drunken landowner and his disgruntled chauffeur, Hamish McColl and Sean Foley beautifully tailor their inimitable double-act to the satire, raising laughs without losing the anti-capitalist sting.

Almeida, London N1 (0171-359 4404) 7.30pm

The English Shakespeare Company whip their Antony and Cleopatra into town, just as Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman start up at the National. Here, Cathy Tyson and Tim Woodward make an engagingly hard-nosed couple in Michael Bogdanov's brash, modern-day account, which runs in rep with a less welcome As You Like It.

Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181-985 2424) 7.30pm

Art Richard Ingleby

REBECCA SALTER makes dense, layered, deeply evocative abstract paintings (right), though I'm never quite certain what they are evocative of as something about them seems to shift continually. They are beautiful pictures and not nearly as minimal as they might look at first glance.

Rebecca Salter, Jill George Gallery, London W1 (0171-439 7319) to 13 Nov

A welcome reappraisal of Bessie MacNicol, one of the forgotten figures of late-19th-century Scottish painting. She was a direct contemporary of the celebrated "Glasgow Boys", but has never quite enjoyed the same fame. This exhibition, and a new book by Ailsa Tanner, should help to redress the balance.

Ewan Mundy Fine Art, Glasgow (0141-248 9755) to 29 Oct

Literature Judith Palmer

AT THE Cheltenham Literature Festival, Glaswegian writer Jackie Kay teams up with jazz quintet Spiral Staircase to read from her new novel, Trumpet. It is based on the amazing true story of a woman musician who managed to pass herself off her whole life as a smokey old jazzman. Kay, who has also written a haunting biography of Bessie Smith, reads poems with Sixties Mersey Beat man Adrian Henri. Other poets to catch today include Jean Binta Breeze, Ruth Padel, and the gloriously loopy Selima Hill, who writes divine character studies of paranoid wives and lonely women farmers. Meanwhile, historian Asa Briggs talks about revolution, and Chris Patten (right) dishes the dirt on his years as Governor of Hong Kong.

Padel & Hill 4.30pm; Patten 6pm; Briggs 7.15pm; Kay & Henri 8.45pm. Cheltenham Festival of Literature (01242 227979) festival runs to 18 Oct

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