THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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THE FILM

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CAMELOT

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LOAD

THE PLAY

HABEAS CORPUS

Robert Lepage makes his film debut writing and directing a thriller set in Quebec in 1952 during the shooting of Hitchcock's I Confess and in 1989 when Lothaire Bluteau searches for his brother.

Ryan Gilbey found it "a lot of fun" and praised its "alluring elegance ... a sensual achievement". "No cleverer film has come our way for some time," applauded the Guardian. "Impressive," admired Time Out. "Lepage delights with his playful imagination," saluted the Times. "Stylistic ingenuity in search of dramatic substance," worried the FT. "This glum, uninteresting parable," sniffed the Mail.

Cert 15, 100 minutes, Lumiere Cinema, London WC2 (0171-379 3014) and on selected release across the country.

Watch out for the forthcoming re-release of I Confess, but in the meantime, watch this.

In 1960, Lerner and Loewe followed My Fair Lady with this Arthurian epic. Frank Dunlop's new production stars Paul Nicholas, Samantha Janus, Robert Meadmore and Jason Donovan.

Edward Seckerson was underwhelmed: "I haven't seen so many string vests since the Romford Glee Club so memorably jousted with 1066 and All That." "As archaic as Chu Chin Chow. And without the tunes," growled the Times. "Over-scored, under-written ... the unmistakable air of the village hall," groaned the Standard. "Flaccid ... A long day's journey into knights," concluded the FT.

Final performances at Freemasons' Hall, London WC2 at 3pm and 7.30pm today as part of the Covent Garden festival.

The production is said to be a pre-West End try-out... I think not. Stay home and listen to the original cast recording.

The first album in five years from Metallica, the 1980s heavy metal band of choice whose so-called "Black" album shifted 14 million copies. Includes the single "Until It Sleeps".

Andy Gill enthused over "the only heavy metal band that adults can listen to without feeling their IQ diminishing." "Pretty f***ing cool," crowed Melody Maker. "Too often the hard thinking gets in the way of hard rocking" complained the Times. "As accessible as it is relentless," decided Q. "Errs on the side of self-indulgence," remarked Music Week. "A gripping journey," gasped the Mail.

Vertigo / Mercury 532 618

At 79 minutes, doom and gloom has rarely been this good value.

Alan Bennett's farce about the English and sex is revived by Sam Mendes with a Rolls-Royce cast including Cannes award-winner Brenda Blethyn, Jim Broadbent, Celia Imrie and Imelda Staunton.

Paul Taylor admired the "blissfully funny" play but questioned the staging (see above). "Magnificent ... like a Magill postcard crossed with Magritte," raved the Guardian. "A rare theatrical treat," agreed the Standard. "Had the audience laughing from first to last," approved the FT. "Loving pastiche that moves from the chorus of Greek tragedy to Betjeman," applauded the Telegraph.

At the Donmar Warehouse (0171-369 1732) until 27 July and selling out fast.

There are rumours of a West End transfer but some of the cast won't be available, so see it now.

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