VELAZQUEZ IN SEVILLE
A small exhibition about the early years of the Seville artist Diego Velzquez (1599-1560) before he left for Madrid at the age of 23. Fifty works, 20 by the man himself.
Iain Gale admired works by "one of the greatest artists" but harboured doubts about the exhibition as a whole. "In the blending of the natural and the supernatural ... in the underplayed expression of emotion, [he] proved himself capable of handling fervour," cheered the Observer. "Sufficient excuse for the trip to Edinburgh. His precocious mastery ... still astonishes," gasped the FT.
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, to 20 Oct. It will not tour.
Don't expect a Cezanne-scale blockbuster, but among this curious collection there are truly wondrous pictures.
Vanessa Williams, James Caan and a lot of hardware and bullets co-star in Charles Russell's blockbuster, with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a marshal in the witness protection programme.
Adam Mars-Jones admired James Caan, who has the edge in "walking, talking, smiling ... but even in action sequences he shows Arnie up." "Uncool contrivance ... sheer contempt for the audience," warned Time Out. "Bumps along from one arbitrary set-piece to the next," yawned the FT. "Proficient dross," agreed the Guardian. "Perfunctory ... a dishevelled B-movie," growled the Times.
At virtually every screen that isn't showing Independence Day.
For Arnie's fan club only...
who have shelled out $142,240,971 on it thus far.
At 48, Mikhail Baryshnikov is back with the 11-strong White Oak Dance Project, including Jamie Bishton and Rob Besserer, performing a mixed bill by Mark Morris, Limon, Cunningham and others.
Louise Levene was entranced. "More an incarnation of the choreographer's vision than a mere performer ... like a darting flame that seems to burn undiminished." "Retains the dazzling technical perfection from his days as a classical dancer ... Dancing doesn't get any better than this," agreed the Times. "Still the greatest dancer on the planet," concurred the Telegraph.
Last performance tonight at the Coliseum, London WC2 (0171-632 8300).
Never mind that some of the choreography is lightweight: besiege the box-office for returns.
Alan Ayckbourn directs his revised version of his 1983 parody of country- house thrillers - complete with variable endings - with a strong cast including Janet Dibley, Juliet Mills and Jon Strickland.
Paul Taylor didn't believe a word of it. "Why the author wanted to revise such weak stuff is the abiding mystery." "Janet Dibley has a hilarious time ... Not a lot less satisfying than the Christie denouements," chuckled the Times. "Proves to be, if not a major discovery, an eminently agreeable piece greatly enjoyed by a shirt-sleeved audience," admired the Guardian.
At the new Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (01723 370541), to 14 Sept, followed by a season at Chichester.
Nice performances, shame about the show. Quite some way from Ayckbourn's considerable best.
WHITE OAK DANCE PROJECT
IT COULD BE ANY ONE OF US