9 - 15 August day planner

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HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN

"I don't want a holiday in the sun/ I wanna go to the new Belsen", but you could settle for Blackpool, home to this three-day punk festival. Most of the usual mob is here: Sham 69 and the Anti-Nowhere League, along with headliners X-Ray Specs, The Buzzcocks, and the Damned. However, the whole festival does beg the question whether the Pistols were extraordinarily prescient about the audience in the next line of the song: "I wanna see some history, now I got a reasonable economy..."

Winter Gardens, Blackpool (01225 447770) to 11 Aug

PORTOBELLO FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been twinned with Cannes for the last 27 years, and finally they are hosting their own film festival. Its theme is London - Stuff from the Streets. There are professional film- makers like Paul Smith, showing Eating Hedgehog with Trainspotting's Ewen Bremer, as well as lower-budget shorts such as the latter-day Holy Grail quest, Claustrofoamia (above) and Girl at a Bus Stop, about, er, a girl at a bus stop.

Various venues (0181-964 8747) to 11 Aug

THE IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE OF BEING

Subtitled "Dialogues Between Anthropology and Photography", this exhibition contains rare books and original prints of African and Asian peoples, as well as specially commissioned installations by three British artists of Afro-Caribbean and Asian origins. It examines the study of the body as a window on the soul, and the 19th-century understanding of other races.

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton (01273 603005) to 15 Sept

Saturday 10

SACROSANCT

With all these long sunny, summer days, the pallid denizens of gothdom require every excuse they can get to stay inside. Well, they're in luck this weekend, with a two-day goth-out at London's Astoria. Pasty-faced youths will be flocking to see headliners Rosetta Stone today, who are very much like what the Sisters of Mercy used to be like, except without the redeeming sense of humour. Tomorrow's leg of the gloom-fest features Vendemmian.

Astoria, London, WC2 (0171-434 0404) from 3pm

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

And about as far as one can reasonably get from a goth festival, nearby Covent Garden hosts a beach volleyball competition (below). With a 30cm- deep real sand beach, there is a knockout competition, a celebrity match, fizzy pop promotions, and even the chance, if you're very lucky, of getting a knockabout yourself.

Covent Garden Market, London WC2 from 10am today & 9am tomorrow, free

JUST DESSERTS

"And while we're in the mood, cold jelly and custard..." The eternal question of which is the best ever pudding will be settled once and for all this weekend, at Staffordshire's Shugborough Hall. The cook will be creating spotted dick, jam roly-poly, Trentham tart, blancmanges and the like, then giving visitors the chance to assess them. From the recipes, port-wine jelly is heavily tipped, and all of the puddings are guaranteed to add to the waistline: the quantities of cream that they require could be best described as "traditional".

Shugborough Estate, Milford, Staffordshire (01889 881388) 11am - 5pm

JOUSTING

There's Tudor fun to be had at Hever Castle in Kent this weekend. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn will be ambling down to watch a little light jousting this afternoon, when the Knights of Royal England will be competing for the hand of a fair maiden. There will be full-gallop charges at the tilt, and riding the quintian, as well as a display of medieval weapon skills from foot soldiers. Tomorrow sees an archery show by the Kent Bowmen, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the longbow, although they will be facing off a battalion of foot soldiers rather than a crack artillery brigade, which would perhaps demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the longbow. Speed shooting will also be featured - to qualify for the army, a bowman had to be able to shoot at least 12 arrows a minute.

Hever Castle, Hever, Kent (01732 865224) today 2pm, tomorrow 2.30pm

Sunday 11

SCRUFFTS

As Samuel L Jackson says in Pulp Fiction, "Dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way". At Scruffts, the only national dog show exclusively for mongrels and cross-breeds, personality can go all the way to winning an award. Organizers from the RSPCA point out, "It's not a beauty contest", and awards for "dog most like owner" demonstrate that fun rather than elitism is the order of the day here. At this Sixth annual competition, 3,000 people are expected to attend from all over the UK, and are welcome to enter their dogs in the various categories this morning.

RSPCA Milbrook Animal Centre, Cobham, Surrey (01403 264181), registration from 9am

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL

The 50th Edinburgh Festival opens today, and once again there are cornucopian delights on offer. The Film Festival has a Tarkovsky tribute (including the magnificent Ivan's Childhood), a scene-by-scene dissection by David Cronenberg of his film Crash, and Jarvis Cocker on Pulp's videos; the International Festival features Robert Lepage's work on Hamlet, Robert Wilson's version of Orlando, and a production of Uncle Vanya directed by Peter Stein, while the Fringe sees collections of students massacring innocent musicals.

Various venues (Film Festival: 0131-229 2550; International Festival: 0131-225 5756; Fringe: 0131-226 5138) to 31 Aug

BLACULA

The NFT's Blaxploitation season continues with this bizarre, low-budget take on Bram Stoker's novel. When African Prince Mamuwalde is cursed by Dracula he is turned into Blacula, condemned to scour the streets of LA looking for his long-lost princess... and blood.

National Film Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (0171-928 3232) 8.45pm

Monday 12

LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR

Gene Wilder (below), star of The Producers (for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination), Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Woman in Red, and See No Evil, Hear No Evil, comes to Guildford in the latest addition to the current vogue for Neil Simon, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. The play is largely autobiographical, about the time when Simon was a script-writer for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, along with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey (01483 440000) 7.45pm

EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Early Music Festival kicks off today with two concerts: a performance of Bach's Solo Violin Partita in E, with his solo Cello Suite in C minor, and the Globe's musicians performing a selection of Elizabethan and Jacobean music, which will include music from Shakespeare's plays. There is a programme of supporting entertainment: the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer sees masques and revels before today's shows, and later in the festival there will be medieval entertainments.

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London, SE1 (0171-960 4242) from 5.45pm

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

This multi-media exhibition celebrates the life and work of underground literary hero Charles Bukowski. Consisting of photographs of the writer by Michael Montfort and Joan Gannij, also showing are Barbet Schroeder's The Bukowski Tapes, a series of informal interviews filmed during the making of Barfly. There are also artefacts such as racing cards and clothing, and a performance of Love for $17.50.

Elms Lesters, Flitcroft Street, London WC2 (0171-836 6747) from 12noon

FOLEY ARTIST

The Tate continues its programme of "Art Now" with Tacita Dean's exploration of sound-making in film. The exhibition's concern is with the relationship between sound and narrative, and includes a series of sounds played on a large magnetic tape machine, together with a dubbing chart, enabling visitors to identify the sounds and find their place in the narrative. It promises to provide a fascinating and creative insight into this highly specialised and skilled artform.

Tate Gallery, London SW1 (0171-887 8000) to 10 Nov

Tuesday 13

HOLLAND PARK OPERA

Opening tonight is Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, performed by Opera Holland Park. Originally set in Boston, Massachusetts, because of the political sensitivity of the piece, it tells the story of an assassination attempt on the life of King Gustav III of Sweden. During the performances of the piece, the performers will be judged for the prestigious Holland Park American Express Prize, which is given to an outstanding performer, no matter how small their role.

Holland Park Theatre, London (0171-602 7856) to 17 Aug

THE ARTISTIC HOUSE

Fifty years after his death, this is the first exhibition of the work of the Arts and Crafts architect MH Baillie Scott. His artistic vision was a holistic one, where house, interior decoration, and garden were in total harmony. He said, "The house we differentiate from the ordinary house as `artistic', bases its claims not on its frillings and adornments, but on the very essence of its structure." As there are few of his original drawings still extant, this exhibition is based aroundnewly commissioned photographs of the houses he designed.

Geffrye Museum, London E2 (0171-739 9893) to 3 Nov

CLAES OLDENBURG'S MULTIPLES

This touring section of the Hayward Gallery's Oldenburg retrospective focuses on his multiples: repeated works of art created with mass-production techniques. One work here is a series of life-masks cast in jelly: Oldenburg was fascinated by the idea of edible art. Unfortunately, at one showing of the series recently, a visitor was also fascinated with edible art, and bit all the noses off. Featured also are London Knees - a pair of latex knees painted with coloured polyurethane - a three-ply cardboard pretzel, and the cast aluminium Profiterole (above).

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (01233 352124) to 22 Sept

SHAFT

More Blaxploitation in the story of Shaft, "the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks".

National Film Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (0171-928 3232) 8.45pm

Wednesday 14

SCRATCH

Described in Nineties newspeak as "not a gig, not a club, but an eclectic, experimental space for exponents of adventurous musical fusions", visitors can expect most of the varying shades of dance music: drum 'n' bass, ambient, techno, trance, and so on. Basically, it's a club with a bit of cinema to kick off with and a few live instruments thrown in for good measure.

The Spitz, London E1 (0171-439 6422) 7pm

NEW ARCHITECTURE

This pioneering exhibition features the work of young architects. In a profession where practitioners may spend a great deal of time and effort for relatively little recognition, the RIBA is offering architectural practices from 10 countries the chance for wider exposure. The work seen here is, potentially, the architecture of tomorrow: the show attempts to draw out the ideas and themes of a new generation of architects.

RIBA Centre, London W1 (0171-580 5533) to 21 Sept

HIT MAN

A remake of Get Carter - Michael Caine's movie was made only a year before - this sleazy tale of revenge (below right) is also part of the hip Blaxploitation season.

National Film Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (0171 928 3232) 8.45pm

IT COULD BE ANY ONE OF US

With all the ingredients of a traditional whodunnit - a dark house, a stormy night, a body - and all the ingredients of a classic Ayckbourn - multiple endings, and a clueless character called Norris, It Could Be Any One of Us is not to be missed. Starring the excellent Richard Derrington, and Juliet Mills (John Mills's daughter), the comedy-thriller is directed by Ayckbourn himself.

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough (01723 370541) to 14 Sept

Thursday 15

TROCADERO

The remodelled Trocadero opens today as a haven for techno-junkies. Attractions include: Segaworld, a virtual theme park meaninglessly described as futuractive, and delights such as Europe's largest video wall, the design of which is based on the concept of a 21st-century space mothership (above). Plans are also afoot for a 3D Imax cinema to open early next year, so flock to the Troc: turn on, plug in, drop out.

Trocadero, Piccadilly Circus, London W1 (0171-439 1791)

WHEELS ON FIRE

On one hand a sex symbol, on the other, an icon of pollution and death. The car has a unique place in art, from the high to the populist. The exhibition contains painting, sculpture and photography, and covers everything from the Beach Boys to the Gulf War, to joy-riding. As well as the barbed wit of the artists, the witlessness of car advertising is also here, in all its irony-free glory.

City Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (01782 202173) to 22 Sept

FOLKLORE

A world of entertainment comes to Billingham this week, with the 32nd International Folklore Festival. Performers from as far away as Togo, Latvia and Argentina join groups from the UK such as The Waggoners' Folk Dance Band for this eight-day, all-singing, all-dancing, folk-fest.

Various venues in Billingham (info 01642 363327) to 17 Aug

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