The Week in Review

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The Independent Culture
THE FILM

THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME

International man of mystery Austin Powers returns for further spoofing of the Bond movies. Heather Graham replaces Liz Hurley.

"If we've got to have junk, then let it be junk as lively and ludicrous as this," wrote Anthony Quinn. "Operates on much the same principle as the pre-frontal lobotomy - and the gags vary from the inspired to the expired," wrote the FT. "Relentlessly bright, repulsively brash, revoltingly brainless mishmash," sniffed the Evening Standard. "Myers has grown in confidence as a performer... more's the pity," sneered the Daily Mail.

More fun than Star Wars, less fun than the original Austin Powers film.

On general release. Certificate 12. 99 minutes

THE BALLET

SWAN LAKE

Vladimir Vasiliev's new treatment for the Bolshoi Ballet. A re- reading of both plot and music, with Anastasia Volochkova as the Swan Princess.

"As acceptable as the Grigorovich version it replaces, although nowhere near as good as the older production Grigorovich killed off," opined John Percival.

"Links all the weaknesses of traditional stagings to all the foolishness of a man seeking novelty for novelty's sake," spat The Daily Telegraph.

"The orchestra played Tchaikovsky, but their hearts did not sound in it - nor did Tchaikovsky's," perceived the Financial Times.

Purists will complain, but the rest will enjoy the performances of the principals.

The Bolshoi's season ends today with Don Quixote. Tickets: 0171-632 8300

THE PLAY

EASY VIRTUE

Maria Aitken's production of Noel Coward's drawing-room drama. Greta Scacchi stars as an alluring American divorcee.

This is an "assured and entertaining revival" which "Greta Scacchi seizes with sardonic aplomb," beamed Paul Taylor. "A rather fascinating study of modernists facing down the bores. The verdict: Gorgeous Greta glitters in brave Coward," marvelled the Daily Mail. "There's little of Coward's scintillating wit on show. In fact, the characters' small talk seems infernally tedious," moaned The Daily Telegraph.

The force of the play may not be what it was, but Greta Scacchi shines.

At the Festival Theatre, Chichester until 2 October. Booking: 01243 781312

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