OPENING THIS WEEK

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CINEMA

A Time to Kill (15; nationwide from Fri). John Grisham's first novel becomes the latest in a series of blockbusters based on his work. When Samuel L Jackson takes revenge on the racists who attacked his daughter, he ends up in court in between lawyers Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey and Matthew McConaughey.

Emma (U; nationwide from Fri). Gwyneth Paltrow is Jane Austen's vivacious matchmaker, with support from Alan Cumming and Ewan McGregor, in the film about which everyone in America has been saying, "It's a bit like Clueless, isn't it?" See Paltrow profile, Review, page 23.

Le Mepris (15; Everyman, NW3, 0171 435 1525, from Fri). Brigitte Bardot cheats on her screenwriter husband Michel Piccoli in Godard's semi-autobiographical exploration of marriage and the movies, originally released in 1963. Ryan Gilbey

JAZZ

Elvin Jones Jazz Machine (Ronnie Scott's, W1, 0171 439 0747, Mon to 22 Sept). Legendary Coltrane-quartet drummer whose fiery style changed the way the drums were played forever. He celebrates his 69th birthday on the opening night.

Tina May (King's Lynn Corn Exchange, 01553 764864, Mon). Stylish jazz diva accompanied by the BBC Big Band.

Gary Baldwin (Birmingham Ronnie Scott's, 0121 643 4525, Mon & Tues). Hammond organ grooves from the ex-Tommy Chase sideman who features on Portishead's Dummy.

Annie Ross (The Green Room, Cafe Royal, W1, 0171 437 9090, Tues to 28 Sept). Poised and rhythmically precise vocalist whose lyrical inventions (putting words to tenor sax solos) way back in the early Fifties helped form a whole new genre of jazz singing. Phil Johnson

ROCK

Top of the Pops (Wembley Arena, 0181 900 1234, Fri & Sat). Moving the TV programme to Friday night was a bad idea, but staging these concerts is a good one. Each is like a festival, except with proper toilets and no weather worries. Friday is indie night, with Bjork, Ocean Colour Scene, Cast, Terrorvision, Kula Shaker and Sleeper; Saturday is pop night, with East 17, Boyzone, Ant & Dec, Louise, Outhere Bros, Michelle Gayle, Peter Andre and 3T.

Skunk Anansie (Astoria, W1, 0171 434 0403, Wed & Thurs). The angry young things kick up a stink with their new single "All I Want".

Steely Dan (Wembley Arena, 0181 900 1234, 9 &10 Sept; Birmingham NEC, 0121 780 4133, 12 Sept). Well, it worked for the Eagles ... another polished 1970s Californian rock act returns.

Billy Bragg (Roundhouse, NW1, 0171 344 0044, Mon). After five years, Bragg is back with a new album and a new baby. Just don't mention New Labour. Nicholas Barber

THEATRE

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Almeida, N1, 0171 359 4404, previews Wed, opens 25 Sept, to 26 Oct). The Almeida's impressive new season for the autumn opens with David Suchet and Diana Rigg savaging each other as the history professor and his wife in Edward Albee's 1962 classic. The director is Howard Davies.

Kindertransport (Vaudeville, WC2 0171 836 9987, Mon to Nov). The Soho Theatre Company's 1993 fringe success about three generations of a Jewish family, revived at Watford earlier this year, now reaches the West End with Diana Quick and Jean Boht. Robert Butler

COMEDY

Rhona Cameron (The Drill Hall, WC1, 0171 637 8270, Tues to 28 Sept). Extended London season for Gaytime TV's own Queen of Scots. Ben Thompson

OPERA

La Traviata (Coliseum, WC2, 0171 632 8300, Thurs to 15 Nov). English National Opera opens its 1996/97 season conventionally, with a new production by Jonathan Miller. American conductor Stephen Mercurio makes his British debut.

British Youth Opera (Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 0131 529 6000, Wed- Sat). The talent-spotting company for singers straight from college, with tandem productions of Mozart's Magic Flute and Britten's Albert Herring.

Don Giovanni (Cardiff New Theatre, 01222 878889, from Sat). New production by RSC director Katie Mitchell, conducted by Carlo Rizzi.

La Boheme (Royal Opera House, WC2, 0171 304 4000, Sat to 14 Oct). Amanda Roocroft warms her tiny hands on Luis Lima. Michael White

CONCERTS

The Proms (Royal Albert Hall, 0171 589 8212, to Sat). Final week, with the glamorous Chicago Symphony on Thurs (with Daniel Barenboim) and Fri (Georg Solti doing the traditional, peroratory Beethoven 9th). The Last Night, Sat, brings a new commission from Danish composer Poul Ruders, plus the usual flag- waving nonsense.

Vale of Glamorgan Festival (various South Wales venues, 01446 794848, to Sat).The soft-option contemporary festival, with a focus on music from the Baltic States.

Bridgewater Hall (Manchester, 0161 834 1712, Wed & Thurs). Manchester's answer - and likely rival - to Birmingham Symphony Hall opens with two grand concerts by its resident Halle Orchestra: Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, plus a George Benjamin premiere, Wed; John Adams & Thomas Ades premieres, Thurs. MW

DANCE

Swan Lake (Piccadilly, 0171 369 1734, previews Mon & Tues, opens Wed, to Jan 1997). Matthew Bourne's triumphant reworking for his company, Adventures in Motion Pictures, has given Tchaikovsky's brilliant but well-trodden score another 100 years of life. Catch the original cast at the start of this limited West End run, including the mesmerising Adam Cooper as the Swan. Jenny Gilbert

ART

Jerwood Painting Prize (Lethaby Galleries, Southampton Row, WC1, 0372 462190, Tues to 22 Sept). Group show by the seven candidates for the pounds 30,000 prize, whose winner will be announced tomorrow. The contenders are Glenn Brown, Clem Crosby, Jules de Goede, Anthony Green, John Hubbard, Jason Martin and John McClean. My money is on McClean.

Young British Artists VI (Saatchi Gallery, NW8, 0171 624 8299, Thurs to 24 Nov). Last in the series of Saatchi's bulk-buying exercises. Artists are Jordan Baseman, Daniel Coombs, Claude Heath, John Isaacs and Nina Saunders. Tim Hilton

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