THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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The Independent Culture
THE OPERA THE MAKROPULOS CASE

OVERVIEW The passionate story of Emilia Marty who has taken the elixir of life and at the age of 337, returns to Prague as a great singer. Anja Silja plays Emilia in a new production by director Nikolaus Lehnhoff and designer Tobias Hoheisel conducted by Andrew Davies.

CRITICAL VIEW The widely admired design was (rightly) seen as central to the evening's success. The Evening Standard praised the 'eloquence and poignant grandeur' of the conducting. The Financial Times wrote a paean of praise to Anja Silja who 'radiates charisma, danger and black humour'. The Guardian summed it up: 'opera at its best'

ON VIEW Tonight and 11 further performances in repertoire at Glyndebourne until Aug 24.

OUR VIEW A production of enormous passion and great clarity with a magnificent central performance by Anja Silja. Great music, great theatre. Rush to the phone.

THE MUSICAL FAME

OVERVIEW The musical of the TV series of the phoney but successful 1980 film in which a bunch of kids join the New York High School of Performing Arts in search of showbiz careers and, unsurprisingly, fame. Lyrics include: 'I want to do The Lion in Winter / Brecht and Harold Pinter.'

CRITICAL VIEW Jack Tinker in the Daily Mail was puzzled by the 'songs which are almost unsingable and dialogue which spits itself out of the mind before it reaches the mouth'. The Daily Telegraph described it as 'a tidal wave of cliches and sentimentality'. The Financial Times was more succinct: 'Trite schlock'.

ON VIEW Cambridge Theatre 0171-494 5040 (or listen the film soundtrack in the comfort of your own home).

OUR VIEW As breathtaking as the celebrities littering the first-night (Chris Eubank and Michael Winner). How to choreograph your way out of a disaster.

THE GIG WET WET WET

OVERVIEW Once upon a time there was a singer called Mark McLoughlin and his band called Vortex Motion. A name change and13 years later, Marti Pellow and Wet, Wet, Wet have success, sales and stardom guaranteed thanks to 'Love Is All Around' in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

CRITICAL VIEW Despite the attempt of an unusually good-natured feature in 'Q' magazine, The Guardian summed up the response of the music press en masse: 'The Wets would give Sir Cliff a run for his money, with a brew of syrupy melodies and carefully unthreatening funkiness which has been pureed remorselessly into aural blancmange'.

ON VIEW The tour is over but the albums remain. Watch out for appearances by Marti lookalike John Finch, winner of ITV's 'Stars in Their Eyes'.

OUR VIEW They deserve cheers for giving the (overwhelmingly female) fans exactly what they want, and for being hilarious. Sweet, self-mocking, cunningly formulaic pop.

THE INCIDENT 'LORD OF THE FLIES'

OVERVIEW High Society meets Jaws in the latest Hugh Grant vehicle in which a self- mocking toff hooks up with a load of trouble. Liz Hurley plays a naive innocent who stays home to organise a pounds 2m cosmetics contract modelling every shade except Divine Brown while her coiffed boyfriend tries to drive a hard bargain with Beverley Hills Cop.

CRITICAL VIEW What they said: 'Hugh zips back' Daily Mirror. 'The most exposed actor in America' A studio executive. 'Studios fear boycott at box-office' Daily Mail. What they didn't say: 'Guaranteed more coverage than Christo' Campaign. 'Men just can't help acting on Impulse' Perfume Monthly.

ON VIEW On general release. Rumours of a Liz Hurley cover version of 'Stand By Your Man' unsubstantiated.

OUR VIEW Derek Malcolm of The Guardian predicted a career boost for Hugh Grant. Unlikely given Hollywood's conservatism. If all else fails, he could always apply for the presenter's job on Top Gear.

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