Day planner 23 - 29 August

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NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL

Notting Hill Gate once again becomes a throbbing cacophony of riotous colour and crazy sounds. All the familiar reasons for not missing the carnival (above) are here again: live stages from Radio 1, Kiss FM and South Africa Square, vibrating static and Soca sound systems, steel bands and hundreds of wild fantasy costume bands. Whirling Jumbees, Mas' storytelling bands, the sweet smell of weed and sweat, hot patties, coldJamaican rum, gold, silver and psychedelic lycra. This is the one time when London lets go and dances with abandon. It's party-time in a big, multi- cultural way.

Info: 0181-964 0544. Today and tomorrow.

Today

THE VILLAGE CHARITY MARDI GRAS 1996

Manchester's Gay Village becomes a hot mecca of fun and dancing as the city is subsumed into one vast fundraising party (below), aiming to raise pounds 100,000 for HIV/ Aids charities in the North West. Nonstop entertainment and appearances including Boy George, Jimmy Somerville, M-People and Marc Almond. And at the Vigil of Remembrance and Celebration, a poignant reminder of those lives lost and those living with HIV/Aids.

Info line: 0161-237 3131: The Village Charity, 25 Richmond Street, Manchester. To 26 Aug

THE 19TH ARUNDEL FESTIVAL

At the theatrical heart of the festival this year is a superb production of Hamlet by the Oxford Stage Company. An American theme permeates the events with the music of Cole Porter, Thelonius Monk, a New Orleans Jazz night with George Melly, and songs from West Side Story. Classical highlights include a piano recital by Joanna MacGregor.

To 1 Sept. Festival box-office, the Mary Gate, Arundel: 01903 883474

THE 15TH GLASTONBURY CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL

Heaven for children, fun for Peter Pan-type adults and a welcome galaxy of entertainments for frazzled bank-holiday parents. Tip the Wink Puppet show, Indian story-telling and dance, Palfi the Laughologist clown, custard pies, jugglers, theatre and workshops in drumming and mask-making.

To 26 Aug. Abbey Park Playground, Glastonbury. 10.30am-5.00pm. Children pounds 3.50/day, pounds 12 for 4 days. Adults and under-5s, pounds 2.50/day. Children's World: 01458 832925.

Saturday 24

REZ EVENT V

Rezerection, famous for its pulsating all-nighters, is throwing another dance night of happy hardcore, house and garage, drum and bass, trance and techno. Live acts include LTJ Bukem, a pioneer of the drum-and-bass scene, while Juan Atkins, the godfather of techno, pumps out some kickin' DJing. Check it out, party animals.

8pm-8am. Royal Highland Showground, Edinburgh (01661 844449)

THE PARENTS

In a moving and playful manner, Hull-born photographer Colin Gray reflects on his parents and the themes of domestic ritual, failing health and old age (above). In one photo, Gray magnifies his parents' fragile, ageing bodies, and in another, he exposes their interiors in poignant X-ray scans.

To 22 Sept. Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Kingston upon Hull. (01482 613902). Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 1.30-4.30pm. Non-residents: pounds 1

CHELMSFORD SPECTACULAR

Fish out those flares and boogie on down to Hot Chocolate, Suzi Quatro and Mud. To Mon, Hyland's Park, Chelmsford, Essex (01245 495028)

Sunday 25

TEDDIES 96 FESTIVAL

Thousands of teddies are up for grabs, plus the launch of the world's first CD-ROM for teddy bears.

12noon-5pm. Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London. Tickets pounds 4.00 adults, pounds 2.00 children. Info: 01273 697974

SCULPTURE PICNIC TRAIL

Exercise, beautiful Pennine countryside, family-bonding, art and care for the environment in perfect harmony under one blue sky. A two-mile ramble with scarecrows pointing the way, takes you past sculptures made by local children from recycled items. Let nature nurture your spirit.

Holme Styes Wood, Hade Edge, Holmfirth, West Yorks. (Info: 01484 681262)

CRYSTAL PALACE CLASSICAL GALA NIGHT

Bring a hamper or plastic bag and a bottle of champagne or cheap plonk and relax by the lake to favourites such as the William Tell Overture and the Waltz from Swan Lake.

7.30pm, lawn tickets pounds 12.50, half-price for children. Lakeside Proms Box Office: 0171-403 3331 or Churchill Theatre Box Office: 0181-313 0527

THE GREAT BRITISH POPPY CHAIN

An attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records takes place today as a 75-mile-long poppy chain will be laid along the Norfolk coast between Cromer and Great Yarmouth.

Info: Royal British Legion (0171- 973 7200)

DOCKYARD FESTIVAL

A re-creation of the epic 1805 Battle of Trafalgar takes place alongside the HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship, in Portsmouth Dockyard today. Also on show are the Mary Rose and the HMS Warrior 1860.

Part of the Dockyard Festival, Portsmouth 10am-7.30pm. One-day passes: adults pounds 8, senior citizens pounds 6, children pounds 4.

Monday 26

WEST INDIAN CARNIVAL

Notting Hill Carnival's vibrant sister in Leeds makes its mark for the 29th year. At 10pm, the last lap-dance culminates in the West Indian Centre where Reasons, a West Indian band, and Gabby, a Calypsonian singer, pump out addictive rhythmic sounds.

Gateway, Leeds, Yorkshire (0113-242 5242)

CITY ADVENTURES

Evelyn Glennie (below) is a ball of energy who plays percussion with flying hair and bare feet. This is the world premiere of City Adventures, an anarchic, jazz-inspired concerto which evokes the turbulence of urban living. Composed by Geoffrey Burgon, best known for TV scores such as Brideshead Revisted, its exuberance will hold the children's attention. Part of a Proms Family Concert, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London 11.30am (0171-589 8212), pounds 4-pounds 18.

FOURTH NATIONAL SEDAN-CHAIR-CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Lancastrians host an unusual sporting event. In Georgian style, two extremely chivalrous men carry a woman in a replica 18th-century sedan chair over an 80-yard course (above). After a number of exhausting heats, "sudden death" races decide the eventual winners. Part of the Georgian Legacy Festival, Lancaster Tourism (01524 582394)

SUMMER ANTIQUES AND COLLECTORS FAIR

A paradise for obsessive collectors, furtive bargain-hunters and keen- eyed antique buyers. Individual collectors and commercial galleries from all over Europe.

Wembley Exhibition Centre, Hall 3, Empire Way, London. 11am - 4pm. pounds 2.50. Enquiries: 01444 400570.

MONASTIC LIFE

If you want a new habit for the bank- holiday, then become a monk for the day. Monastic life in the 15th century is re-created with a Latin Mass, Chapter Meeting and mid-day meal held in silence. Whitby Abbey, Whitby, North Yorkshire (01947 603568)

Tuesday 27

SWEAT, BAROQUE AND ROLL

The highly-acclaimed Scottish Ballet performs three enthralling pieces in this tour (below). Troy Game involves sweating males in skimpy Greek costumes giving a tongue-in-cheek display of male prowess. Haydn Pieces is a fusion of contemporary and classical dance, choreographed by Mark Baldwin, who danced with the Rambert Dance Company. Four Seasons, set to Vivaldi's music, premieres tonight. By Robert Cohan, the founder choreographer of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre, this piece expresses the four seasons, or qualities of life. Spring is usefulness and youth. Summer is young adulthood and love. Autumn is the middle years and a sense of community, while Winter is older age and reflection on one's life.

To 31 Aug, then on tour to 28 Sept. Glasgow Theatre Royal (0141-332 9000)

WAYS WITH WORDS

A busy and stimulating literature festival in the stunning setting of Dartington Hall, Devon, by the River Dart. More than 100 writers will be speaking, including Michele Roberts, Marina Warner, Roy Hattersley and Nicholas Evans. PD James reveals why she chose crime, Helen Dunmore on women behaving badly, John Cole on politics, Terry Waite on how words sustained him during his captivity, Angela Neustatter on journalistic ethics, and Hilary Mantel on Louis de Bernieres. There are theme days, including a science day when Paul Simons, producer of Weather Watch, talks about weird weather and how it affects our behaviour, and a sports day, on which Cliff Morgan, Welsh rugby hero, speaks about his life.

To 2 Sept. For info call 01803 867311. Dartington Hall, Devon. Tickets: pounds 3.

THEY SHOOT HORSES DON'T THEY?

This is the story of a Hollywood-style dance-marathon held during the great Depression of America in the 1930s. Times are hard, but the contestants have the chance to win $1,000 to buy food and shelter - if they can survive the assault on their hearts and feet and become the last exhausted couple left standing. Ed Wilson directs a cast of 60 children in this tale of endurance, taken from a novel by Horace McCoy, and adapted for stage by Ray Herman.

Bloomsbury Theatre, Gordon Street, London WC1 (0171-388 8822). To 14 Sept. 7.45pm, pounds 8-pounds 12.50.

THE STRAWBERRY THE CLOWN SHOW

Based on a traditional French clown character, Fraser Hooper, a physical theatre/mime artist, gives a hilarious performance. 2pm, Albany Theatre, Douglas Way, Deptford (0181-692 4446), pounds 2 adults, pounds 1 children

Wednesday 28

1996 WORLD TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Chris Boardman, bronze winner in this year's Olympic games as well as the 1994 world champion, and Graeme Obree, world pursuit champion and slightly mad Scot who built a bike using washing-machine parts, will be racing today in Manchester Velodrome where more than 30 countries are competing. With shaved legs for better aerodynamic performance, helmets and lycra, these state-of-the-art cyclists are man and machine moulded into one.

National Cycling Centre, Manchester Velodrome, Stuart Street, Manchester (0161-230 2309) to 1 Sept

BILLBOARDS

A tour by The Joffrey Ballet which has received oozing eulogies in America such as "juicy, energised and delightful" (New York Newsday) and a "sizzling romp" (Chicago Sun Times). This is a ballet set to the music of pop star Prince. The funk-master was so overwhelmed with the ballet company that he had a chin-wag with the artistic director, Gerald Arpino. In Purple Rain, a woman dressed in white dances a solo, in Thunder, a sexual cartoon evolves, while Slide features raunchy moves.

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London. (0171-960 4204) tickets pounds 10 plus, to 8 Sept

ACIS AND GALATEA

We find ourselves in mythological times. Acis is a shepherd who has fallen hook-and-crook in love with the nymph Galatea. However, a violent Cyclops fancies her, and bashes his rival, Acis, to death. Galatea (below) is naturally rather upset, but she has godly powers and transforms the soul of her lover into a river. The river flows through the beautiful countryside offering refreshment to all and reminding everyone of Acis's love for Galatea. The Threshold Theatre Co re-creates Handel's tale of love and obsession.

To 1 Sept. BAC, Lavender Hill, Battersea, London (0171-223 2223). Tickets from pounds 6. Tues-Sat 8pm. Sun 10m. Tues: pay what you can. Wed and Thurs pounds 9/pounds 5 (concs), Fri-Sun pounds 12, pounds 6 (concs)

MR MEN IN MUSIC LAND

Meet your favourite Mr Men and Little Misses and help them to find the missing musical notes and repair a music machine.

Nottingham Royal Centre (0115-948 2626) 2pm, pounds 5.50.

ONE STEP OUT FROM THE WOMB

The work of Japanese artist Lisa Keiko Kirton, consists of a series of photographs which depict the changes to a canvas left outside in the elements.

To 7 Sept. Diorama Arts Centre, 34 Osnaburgh Street, London NW1 (0171- 916 5467) Mon-Sat, 11am-6pm

Thursday 29

MARIANNE FAITHFULL

She's still around, darlings. Renowned for being an ex-girlfriend of Mick Jagger, Faithfull is still famous for her Marlboro voice. She begins an international tour tonight, An Evening in The Weimar Republic, which coincides with the release of her new album, 20th Century Blues, her best since the 1970s rock classic, Broken English. Fascinated with the stark songs of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, she evokes 1920s Germany in Mack the Knife, Alabama Song and Falling in Love Again. Nearing 50, Faithfull shows no signs of burning out. A survivor, she's sure to give a gutsy performance.

Almeida to 3 Sept; 10 Sept, Corn Exchange, Cambridge; 12-14 Sept Ronnie Scotts, Birmingham

THE ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, PT II

The Electric Light Orchestra was a marvellous teenage floor-filler in the 1970s, when leather-clad boys, air guitars at the ready, stomped away to "Don't Bring Me Down". The bearded Brummies brought classical instruments to rock, and it worked. Lead singer, Jeff Lynne, left and in 1989, Bev Bevan, the drummer, formed the Electric Light Orchestra Pt II, keeping hold of four of the original band members. Relive hit singles such as "Evil Woman", "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and "Roll Over Beethhoven". 7.45pm. pounds 15.00. Civic Centre, Market Square, Aylesbury, Bucks (01296 86009)

VOULEZ VOUS

In a village in Cumbria today, ramblers descend from the mountains, fishermen leave their rods at the lakeside and lovers scuttle from their B&Bs. They don their sparkly boob tubes and spangly flares and wend their way to a tiny theatre in Kendal to pay homage to the 1970s. Abba - well, almost (above) - has come to the hills and everyone forgets about "Money, Money, Money", and becomes a "Dancing Queen" for the night.

8pm, The Brewery Arts Centre, Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria (01539 725133) pounds 9-10

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