choice: the critics

FILM Ryan Gilbey

Crumb Terry Zwigoff's stark documentary captures the sort of everyday madness you don't find, well, everyday. He pokes around in the troubled psyche and family history of America's favourite far-out cartoonist, Robert Crumb (right), turning up a parade of bizarre anecdotes and disturbing insights. Like lifting a rock and watching the bugs scurry.

Once Were Warriors This harsh drama about Maori life in modern-day New Zealand is a violent slog - you're battered by the images as much as the put-upon wives are battered by their husbands. But there's no denying the ferocity of this cinematic assault, or the commitment and conscience behind it.

La Reine Margot It's out on video next month, but that's no excuse not to see it on the big screen. A French historical epic with a plot so knotted you'd need a Boy Scout to explain it to you, it's daffy enough to keep you laughing and shielding your eyes from the gore at the same time.


Flemings Over the last 30 years Flemings bank has been collecting Scottish art. The result, now on public display for the first time, is of sufficient quality and diversity to form in itself an impressive national collection of Scottish art. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Rites For anyone in search of the elusive holy grail of "cutting edge" art, this show gives a few clues. This, we are told, is what contemporary art is all about. It's not the whole story of course, but where it works, in pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Bill Viola and Mona Hatoum for example, it is certainly persuasive and engaging. Tate Gallery, London

Frank Auerbach For over 50 years, Auerbach has been making his pilgrimages to the National Gallery to study the Old Masters. The result: an intoxicating array of liberated forms in which the artist interprets Rubens (Samson and Delilah, left), Titian, Rembrandt and others. National Gallery, London

THEATRE David Benedict

Communicating Doors Julia McKenzie (right) temporarily abandons Stephen Sondheim to return to Alan Ayckbourn in his 46th play, aided and abetted by the excellent Adie Allen (far right) in this comedy about a woman going back in time to stop a murder. In preview, opens Monday, Gielgud Theatre, London (0171-494 5065)

Zenobia Nick Dear's disgracefully impressive CV includes the wonderful TV adaptation of Persuasion, RSC plays and opera libretti for Julian Grant and Jonathan Dove. The latter has written music for Dear's latest play which stars Penny Downie. In preview, opens Wed, Young Vic (0171-928 7230)

Blue Moon Three Sisters meets Blitz! in Michael Crompton's WWII musical stuffed with Forties classic songs. Its avoidance of "We'll Meet Again" is cause for applause. Chester Gateway Theatre (01244 340392)

CLUBS James Style

The best disco in town, Carwash, celebrates its sixth birthday in free champagne style. It starts at the usual West End venue before relocating, via courtesy coach, to the Ministry of Sound. Boogie till the break of dawn. Sat 10.30pm-8am, Le Scandale, Brewer St, London W1 (0171-355 1946) pounds 8

R&B mag, Touch, hosts A Touch of Touch: DJs Da Boogie Bunch run through the latest in soul, swing, jungle and hip hop, plus a smattering of classics. There are PAs from two much talked-of new acts: London's Troi and Scotland's Blackanised. Sat 10pm-5am, The Blue Note, Hoxton Sq, London N1 (0171-729 8440) pounds 8

Meanwhile back in the Auld country, Blackanised label mates N.T. run the very successful Blueprint with breakers, body-poppers and skateboard ramps. DJs Sace and Easy keep the pace lively working off four record decks at once. Wed, The Volcano, Benalder St, Glasgow (0141-337 1100) pounds 3

DANCE Louise Levene

The Kirov Today and tomorrow are your last chances to see Le Corsaire. It begins with a full-scale on-stage shipwreck and builds to a climax from there. Virtuoso dancing, slave girls and lascivious pashas people the ludicrous plot which is acted and danced with total conviction. Accept no substitutes. Coliseum, London

The Kirov's final week features more from the mixed bill of Fokine masterpieces: Firebird, Les Sylphides and Scheherezade and a last lingering look at La Bayadere (left) with its tormented temple dancer and her 32 sidekicks. Coliseum, London

English National Ballet English National Ballet brings us another week of Rudolf Nureyev's busy but boisterous production of Romeo and Juliet created for the company in 1977. Derek Deane's fast-improving company tackles the ensembles and colourful character roles with relish. RFH, London

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