13 - 19 September day planner
Friday 13 September 1996
From the blogs
There are more empty shops on our high streets than ever before, says another report into the state ...
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
There is a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refle...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
San Franciscan photographers Aziz and Cucher have seen the future and it's not orange - it's beige and hairless. This beautiful, sexless cyber god (left) is just one of the digital pranksters' neo-classical icons of American ideals. To meet his plastic counterparts, head for The Photographer's Gallery where a series of stills explore contemporary consumerism, technophilia, and chilling developments in genetic engineering.
The Photographer's Gallery, 5 Gt Newport St, London (0171-831 1772) 11am- 6pm
Tonight's hog roast kicks off a weekend of Celtic celebrations in Machynlleth. For three days the town will be given up to medieval festivities, with musicians, jugglers, street entertainers, strolling minstrels and strolling farm animals. An evening of words and music at the Tabernacle tomorrow will be followed by a Sunday sports day and celebrity football match.
Gwyl Glyndwr times and venues vary, for further details contact Ron Stirrup (01654-703001)
Dancing Waters is not a Native American Indian or a little-known blues singer, but a giant fountain, powered by 2,000 swivelling nozzles and lit by lasers. Tonight's hose down marks the spectacular start of Techfest '96, an event designed to show that lab life is fun. Over the coming weekend, families can push buttons, twirl knobs, make boomerangs, build a robot, handle a lizard or dive into an inflatable star dome to find out about the constellations. If that sounds like a whole test tube of laughs, sign up for coming weekends of survival training, exotic botany and a geological field trip.
Dancing Waters at Duthie Park, Aberdeen 9pm tonight, for information on forthcoming events phone (01224 273161)
Biosphere 2 was an environment capsule in the Arizona desert which once housed a number of inhabitants for two years as a experiment in nuclear protection. Tonight, in a kind of Stars in Their Eyes architectural "happening", the Albany Theatre is transformed into that pod, and the audience into guinea pigs in a slice of experimental theatre (above). Judging by tonight's performance, the US government's response to nuclear meltdown will be music from DJ Crystal Tips and Taxi Val Mentek, with aerial diversion from the Concussion acrobats. We can all sleep a lot sounder in our bunkers now.
The Albany Theatre, Douglas Way, Deptford, London (0181-692 4446) 8pm pounds 5
ST JOHN AMBULANCE JAIL BREAK
It sounds like a charity concept dreamt up by Michael Howard: workers in the capital will be given a condemned man's breakfast at the Tower of London, then released by prison governor, Major General Field. Participants must travel as far as possible over a 24-hour period without spending any money, and be as inventive as possible about conning their way out of the city. Entry costs pounds 30, which includes breakfast, T-shirt, passport certificate and sponsorship forms. Anyone caught hitching with Group 4 will be disqualified - it'd be boring if it were that easy.
To reserve a place contact Lee Green, 1 Grosvenor Cres, London (0171-235 5231)
The RAF's premier fighter base hosts the UK's largest airshow today (above), with more than 100 aircraft flying in from around the world. Visitors can check out the raw power of giant bombers, or watch the aerial dexterity of The Red Arrows. Elsewhere, Formula One racing cars, military displays, vintage vehicles and a funfair offer alternatives to all that neck-cricking excitement.
Leuchars Air Base, 1 Tutor Rd, Fife, Scotland (01334 839 000) 8am-5pm pounds 5-pounds 8
MUSEUM OPEN DAY
Manchester celebrates National Archeology Day by throwing open its doors to amateur collectors of animal, vegetable and mineral matter. If you've unearthed a coin or found a fossil, take it along and the museum's curators will identify it for you.
University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester (0161-275 2634) 10.30am- 4pm
KIRKSTALL ABBEY FANTASIA
Leeds' programme of free summer events goes out with a bang tonight, with an evening of classical music followed by fireworks. The Northern Ballet Theatre Concert Orchestra will be serenading guests among the Cistercian ruins of the city's beautiful 12th-century abbey (above), which lie alongside the banks of the River Aire. Although the evening's entertainment is free, visitors must book tickets in advance.
Kirkstall Fantasia Tickets, Gateway Yorkshire, PO Box 244, Leeds. Gates open 6pm, concert starts 8pm
IRON BRIDGE GORGE MUSEUMS
Iron Bridge's seven museums, spread over six square miles, offer visitors the chance to explore the most important iron-producing area in the world, while taking in numerous other attractions such as a teddy bear shop, a Quaker burial ground, decorative tile works and Tar Tunnel (walk underground and see the natural bitumen oozing from the tunnel walls). This weekend, visitors can also enjoy a Victorian street theatre at Blist's Hill, the museum's open-air site, which promises escapology, Punch and Judy and a Musical Chimney Sweep.
Iron Bridge Gorge Museum, Ironbridge, Telford, Shropshire (01952-433 522) 10am-5pm. Ticket to all museums pounds 8.95, to Blist's Hill only pounds 6.20
If you're thinking of tying the knot, getting spliced or hitching your wagon to your other half, Shugborough Stately Home is the place to be this weekend. Experts will be on had to give advice on everything from flowers to the icing on the cake, while trade stalls and fashion shows will provide tips on how to be the best-bouffanted bride and most groomed groom.
Shugborough, Milford, Near Stafford (01889-881 388) 10.30am- 5pm pounds 2.50
STROLLING IN SALFORD
Discover Salford by joining up on one of the city's autumn guided walks. 's amble is a four-mile loop of the Clifton Country Park, which takes in Prestwich Forest and Philips Park. In coming weeks, keen ramblers can enjoy a tour in Lowry's footsteps, visit Salford Quays, and learn the basics of orienteering.
Clifton Park Visitor Centre, Salford, Manchester 1pm pounds 1 (0161-736 9448)
The nights are drawing in and it's tempting to tuck yourself up on the sofa and settle down to some serious TV - but hold your horses. At Twickenham's Bearcat Club there's a comedy line-up worth checking out, even on a Monday evening: Harry Hill, Phill Jupitus, Matthew Hardy and Ronnie Ancona - all funny people who'll talk you out of incipient SAD for a trifling fiver. Harry Hill, the fella with the collars and deep reserves of silliness, sold-out at the Edinburgh fest this summer and lands in London with a brand new set.
Bearcat Club, Twickenham, Middlesex (0181-891 1852) 9.15pm pounds 5
TRIBUTE TO THE BLUES BROTHERS
In the 1980s, every student had the poster, knew the lyrics, watched the vid and went to the party, these days the shady brothers get the West End blockbuster tribute treatment, touring all over the world in a show which keeps alive the creative flame of the late, great and overweight John Belushi. Tonight, the non-stop dancing hits Northampton. Sadsters should go ahead and don those suits and sunglasses.
Derngate, Northampton (01604 24811) 7.30pm pounds 11.50
Nick Broomfield's most recent documentary has yet to find a distributor, which is probably canny PR, but may also have something to do with the fact that it's called Fetishes and details the sexual predelictions of toilet-licking, rubber-clad S&M fans. You may or may not see that doc for a while, but today there's a chance to catch some vintage Broomfield at the NFT. In this 1975 film, the director exposed the scandalous workings of the now notorious police scheme to target potential young offenders. Makes bootcamps look like a wishy-washy liberal idea.
NFT2, South Bank, London SE1 (0171-928 3232) 6.15pm pounds 5.50
After Alice in Wonderland and Tess of the D'Ubervilles, the fashion for literary ballet continues with this new production by the Northern Ballet (below). Bram Stoker's Gothic romance comes to the stage courtesy of artistic director Christopher Gable, who has whittled down the creepy tale to three key characters and old Vlad himself. An original score has been written by Philip Feeney, and sets from Transylvania to Whitby are courtesy of Lez Brotherston, who recently shaped Adventures in Motion Pictures's good- looking Swan Lake. World premiere.
Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (01274 752 000) to 21 Sept 7.30pm pounds 7-22
There's a rare opportunity to hear South African writer Zoe Wicomb tonight, at Pitshanger Manor, a venue which this month celebrates all aspects of South African art and culture. Wicomb mingles readings of her own works (including "You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town") with work by other contemporary South African authors. Prose and poetry will be put in cultural context by Wicomb, who also lectures on literature at the University of the Western Cape.
Pitshanger Manor, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London (0181-567 1227) 8-10.30pm pounds 5
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
With the re-opening of the glorious new Victorian and early 20th-century gallery (above) this week, portrait-loving punters have been able to glide between paintings hung on glass walls, illuminated for the first time by natural light. 's lunchtime lecture by 20th-century curator Honor Clerk, will introduce new visitors to works such as Lord Leighton's portrait of Sir Richard Burton and Vanessa Bell's portrait of her sister, Virginia Woolf.
The National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place, London (0171-306 0056) 10am-6pm; lecture 1.10pm today
After a successful debut on the Edinburgh fringe, this stage adaptation of Melville's novella gets a direct transfer to London. The play tells the uncanny story of a Wall Street scrivener and his inexplicable retreat from work, life and finally existence. Knockabout comedy gives way to quiet tragedy as Bartleby's passive resistance uncovers the limits of liberal conscience. The production marks a return to form for Red Shift, a company whose stylised acting has won it as many enemies as fans over the years, but it's a short run, so see it while you can.
The Pleasance Theatre, North Road, London (0171-609 1800) 8pm pounds 5-pounds 10
MEN AND MASCULINITIES
Somewhere between the polar opposites of New Man and New Lad stands a bewildered chap uneasy about rising levels of oestrogen, drowning all traces of male existence by the end of the 21st-century. Still, that's a long way off, and there are plenty of other things to worry about for now, such as unemployment, violent crime and changing notions of fatherhood. This new season of visual art, film and debate looks at how accepted notions of masculinity are being challenged. Work by the Male Identity Group will be on show from today, including Michael Murphy's Boxing Boy (above). Produced by blokes from 26-63, it's a fascinating visual record of a gender in crisis.
Watermans Arts Centre, 40 High St, Brentford, Middx (0181-568 1176) 9.30am- 7pm
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Britten's score creates a forest you can almost hear breathing as Hippolyta, Lysander, Demetrius and Hermia get entangled in Shakespeare's enchanted comedy. After rave reviews Robert Carsen's very funny production (left) returns to the ENO with its winning mixture of lyricism and knockabout farce. Lillian Watson reprises her dazzling Titania, while American counter tenor David Daniels makes his London debut as Oberon. The Trinity Boys' Choir provides the fairy fodder.
London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London (0171-632 300) 7.30pm pounds 6.50- 50
FILM CULTURE The centenary of cinema rolls on with a new season of exhibitions and commissions at Glasgow's Tramway gallery. In Film Culture, artists Mark Lewis and Pierre Bismuth investigate two very different aspects of the moving image through film and installation. Lewis's A Sense of the End combines four short genre movies shot in Glasgow, spanning everything from the love story to spy thrillers. In contrast, Bismuth's Blind Film has as its centrepiece a 2m-high 1950s projector.
Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow 12noon-6pm
The late bete noir of the art world went into photography because "it seemed like a perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence". Mapplethorpe's own rather insane lifestyle, which produced amazing pictures, acres of newsprint and Republican revulsion, ended with his death from Aids in 1989. In the most extensive exhibition of his work ever mounted, visitors can follow his oeuvre from glam society photographs, through delicate floral pornography to the explicit sexual images on which his notoriety rests.
Hayward Gallery, Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-928 3144) 10am- 6pm pounds 5
MAGIC OF BACHARACH
The spirit of Bacharach hovers over the NEC tonight, where a special easy listening concert will be offering up a concert of wallpaper classics. The great air-brushed daddy of leisurewear knits may not be manning the keyboard, but Mark Rattray, Maggie Moon and others promise authentically smooth tunes.
The NEC, Birmingham (0121-212 3333) 8pm pounds 7.50-13.50
Opera North hunkers down for its winter season with six new productions, starting tonight with Puccini's tragic love story (below). American tenor Mark Nicolson is Pinkerton, the US naval officer who travels to Japan and marries child bride Cio-Cio San (Chinese soprano Chen Sue), abandons her, and returns with a new American bride. When it was first performed in 1904, Puccini's melodramatic tale of miscegenation and bigamy was a disaster, but revised, it has become one of the most popular weepies of all time. Even that old softy exploitnik Malcolm McLaren recorded an aria.
Grand Theatre, New Briggate, Leeds, (0113-245 9351) 7.15pm pounds 7.50-16.50
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