THE WEEK IN REVIEW

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The Independent Culture
THE PLAY

FLESH FLY

Ben Jonson's classic comedy, a savage satire on human greed and sickness, in Trevor Lloyd's new adaptation for Graeae, Europe's leading theatre company for disabled actors.

Paul Taylor was impressed. "A comic zest that is free from either sentimentality or brooding bitterness. An evening you won't forget in a hurry." "Proof, if any were needed that [disability] can be deployed with imagination and style," observed Time Out. "This is theatre at its most compelling. A classic has been made to speak with startling urgency and freshness," exclaimed the Telegraph.

Oval House, London (0181-582 7680) to Sun. Tues-Weds, West Yorkshire Playhouse (0113 244 2111); Thurs-Sat, Warwick Arts Centre (01203 524524)r.

A million miles away from special pleading. A tumultuous follow-up to the huge success of their production of Ubu.

Michael "The Last of the Mohicans" Mann goes back to the streets (LA) with a couple of obsessives: Al Pacino as a smart, lonely cop and Robert De Niro as the leader of a gang of thieves.

Adam Mars-Jones was lukewarm. Even the action set-piece "doesn't make the pulse race". "Our old Hollywood friend, Zen Buddyism... how little human drama there is," groaned the Financial Times. "Heat applies the heat," approved the Times. "The most spectacular B-movie ever made", proclaimed the Guardian. "The best American film of the '90s. That good," declared Time Out.

On general release, cert 15.

Overly stylised, long (around three hours) and disappointing. Don't believe the hype.

Peter Flannery's nine-part saga of political and emotional corruption follows four friends over three decades from1964, in other words, a dramatised biography of post-war Britain.

Thomas Sutcliffe found it "an uneven introduction [but] the bet may be winnable yet." "Utterly enthralling... beautifully acted and smoothly directed", cheered the Mail. "Undeniably gripping", said Time Out. "Wallace and Gromit without the humour", opined the Independent on Sunday. "The acting was uniformly excellent," enthused the Mail on Sunday. "Excellent", declared the Sunday Times.

9pm BBC2, Mondays

Commissioned 14 years ago and twice cancelled, this pounds 7m gamble, directed by Pedr "Martin Chuzzlewit" James, looks like it will pay off.

The Icelandic superstar played a four-night tour with an impeccably chic support act, the Brodsky String Quartet playing Shostakovich and friends.

Nick Coleman described it as "brilliant" and was tremendously impressed by her range and "startling passion". "What the show missed in traditional rabble-rousing dynamics was more than made up for by Bjork's inventive and energetic style of projection," applauded the Times. "Her reservoirs of imagination set her apart from every other star," marvelled the Guardian.

It's over, but the CDs remain.

More a recital than a pop concert, and why not?

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