Going out: OPENING THIS WEEK

JAZZ

Dave Holland Quintet (Ronnie Scott's, W1, 0171 439 0747, Mon-Sat). The most world-famous of British jazz musicians, now based in New York, returns to the club where Miles Davis nabbed him for his band 30 years ago. The new album, Points of View (ECM), is excellent, and the band - with saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibes player Steve Nelson, trombonist Robin Eubanks and the killer-diller drummer Billy Kilson - superb.

Tim Garland Quintet (Bristol Albert, 0117 966 1968, tonight). Really exciting, emotionally high-pitched, tenor sax player, with a great band including trumpeter Gerard Presencer and pianist Jason Rebello.

Scott Hamilton Quartet (Pizza Express, W1, 0171 439 8722, tonight & Mon). Old-school-sounding tenor player whose work on ballads is particularly pliant.

Byron Wallen's Sound Advice and Nikki Yeoh's Infinitum (Purcell Room, SE1, 0171 960 4242, tonight). Trumpeter Wallen and pianist Yeoh introduce a new British jazz season.

Ciyo Brown's Acoustic Roots/Ed Jones Group (Purcell Room, Sat) Brown's jazz, reggae and soul meets neo-bop tenorist Jones, with the great drummer Winston Clifford gracing both bands. Phil Johnson

DANCE

Miranda Pennell/Sean Tuan John (Place, 0171 387 0031, Tues & Wed). Double bill of two quirky new talents. Pennell's highly original Home Fires Burning creates sparky dance theatre within a pop-up house. It's shown with Lounge, Pennell's funny and stylish short film. Frederick's First Kiss is a fast, frenetic and often humorous duet by Sean Tuan John performed inside an arena of illuminated bottles.

Cherish the Ladies (Croydon Ashcroft, 0181 688 9291, today; Milton Keynes Stables, 01908 583928, Mon; Hastings White Rock, 01424 781000, Tues; Basingstoke Anvil, 01256 844244, Wed; Frome Merlin, 01373 465949, Thurs; Brighton Dome, 01273 709709, Sat). Forget Riverdance: this all-female Irish-American music-and-dance band was packing theatres in the US long before shamrock hit the coach parties over here. The soppy name is simply the title of an Irish jig. Jenny Gilbert

CINEMA

Different for Girls (15; in London from Fri). Acclaimed TV writer Tony Marchant scripts this unusual love story, in which a motorcycle courier (Rupert Graves) begins an affair with a transsexual taxi- driver (Steven Mackintosh). Richard Spence directs, and the supporting cast includes Miriam Margolyes and Saskia Reeves.

Junk Mail (15; in London from Fri). Robert Skjaerstad leads the cast of Pal Sletaune's black comedy-thriller about an anti-social Norwegian postman who becomes besotted with a deaf woman (Andrine Saether) who works in his local dry cleaner's. Screening with the short film Bite.

Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (no cert; in London from Fri). Ethereal fantasy from Canadian director Guy Maddin, in which a political prisoner returns to his homeland to find that his ostrich-farming sister (Shelley Duvall) has fallen madly in love with a haughty local mesmerist (RH Thomson). Matthew Sweet

OPERA

Il Trittico (Coliseum, WC2, 0171 632 8300, from Wed). New Patrick Mason production of all three Puccini one-acters - rarely done entire because they take so long.

Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (Lyric Hammersmith, 0181 741 2311, from Wed). Not really opera, but a staging of the Britten song cycle - engineered by Neil Bartlett as the opening event in a Hammersmith season of new music-theatre.

Falstaff (QEH, SE1, 0171 960 4242, from Fri). Verdi's farewell to the stage, recreated by Palace Opera, the small-scale company that plays Holland Park during the summer. Michael White

CONCERTS

St Matthew Passion (RFH, SE1, 0171 960 4242, 11am today). Retiring music director Sir David Willcocks takes his Bach Choir through its annual Easter ritual for the last time.

Nigel Kennedy/Lynn Harrell (RFH, Wed). Celebrity violin & cello duo in works by Bach, Ravel, Kodaly.

St Endellion Easter Festival (Cornwall, 01208 880298, all week). Richard Hickox's country retreat, culminating in St Matthew Passion on Fri & Sat, plus an unseasonal St Nicholas on Easter Sunday.

Blood on the Floor (QEH, SE1, 0171 960 4242, Mon). A lurid, jazz-based contribution to the South Bank's Fractured Lives series of music by Mark- Anthony Turnage. Played by Germany's answer to the London Sinfonietta, the Ensemble Modern.

Masterprize Final (Barbican, EC2, 0171 638 8891, Tues). Much-hyped finale of a competition to encourage tuneful music. Six composers get their scores played by the LSO and stand to win pounds 25,000. MW

ART

Going Modern and Being British (Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 01392 265818, Mon to 30 May). Modernist art in Devon in the first half of this century, far more interesting than it sounds to metropolitans. Did you know that more modernist houses were built in Devon than in any other country? And town planning for Exeter and Plymouth was truly radical. Other surprises include paintings by Jack Yeats, Stanley Spencer and the American abstract expressionist Mark Tobey. Tim Hilton

MISCELLANEOUS

The Bible: a Celebration of Easter (Barbican, EC2, 0171 638 8891, Fri to 13 Apr). Reinventing the notion of bible-readings, the Barbican hosts an Easter weekend of star-studded spoken-word events based on the King James version. In the beginning is Timothy West with Genesis and Exodus (Sat); the Good News of the Gospel of St John will be declaimed by Sir Ian McKellen and Daniel Evans, while the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes will be read by Josette Simon, Samantha Bond and Denis Quilley (Sun); and Sir Derek Jacobi and Fiona Shaw provide Revelations (Mon). There's also music - St Matthew Passion (Fri), and St John Passion (Sun) - and films, including Jesus of Montreal. Maeve Walsh

THEATRE

The Bullet (Donmar, WC2, 0171 369 1732, now previewing, opens Wed, to 2 May.) Among the best of the new generation of playwrights, Joe Penhall has established his own controversial niche by maintaining that what most of his contemporaries think of as cool (drugs, violence and shagging around) simply isn't. His latest follows 24 hours in the life of south London family. Neil Stuke plays the computer whizzkid son and Emily Woof his doctor girlfriend.

The Unexpected Man (The Pit, EC2, 0171 638 8891, previews from Wed, opens 15 Apr, to 9 May.) While the Broadway production of Art breaks box office records, Yasmina Reza's new play re-unites the Art-team with Matthew Warchus directing, Christopher Hampton translating and Mark Thompson designing. Two strangers meet on a train: Michael Gambon plays the novelist and Eileen Atkins, the lifelong fan. Robert Butler

ROCK

Chris Rea (Manchester Apollo, 0161 242 2560, Tues; Birmingham NIA Academy, 0121 780 4133, Wed; Bournemouth BIC, 01202 456456, Thurs). More growling blues-rock for the over-40s.

James (Manchester Apollo, 0161 242 2560, Fri & Sat; Glasgow Barrowlands, 0141 552 4601, 13 Apr; Doncaster Dome, 01302 370777, 14 Apr; Academy, SW9, 0171 924 9999, 17 April). Dust off your flowery T-shirt as the Mancunian proto-Britpoppers - an excellent live band, famed for their "oh sit down" chant - tout their Greatest Hits (Fontana).

The Breezeblock Blowout Tour (Manchester Sankeys Soap, 0161 237 5606, Mon; Edinburgh Venue, 0131 557 3073, Thurs; Belfast Queen's Univ, 01232 324803, 16 Apr; Brighton Concorde, 01273 494493, 23 Apr; Garage, N1, 0171 344 0044, 30 Apr). Another alternative Radio One roadshow, this time hosted by the frightening Mary Anne Hobbs, and featuring two different bands and a guest DJ on every date. Nicholas Barber

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