OPERA

In Figaro's Wedding, Mozart took the upstairs-downstairs farce of Beaumarchais's satire and made it into one of the most ebullient and popular operatic comedies of all time. The long-awaited revival of Graham Vick's stylish production (left) runs in repertory at the ENO until the beginning of March. Conductors Nicholas Kok and Alex Ingram take turns with the baton, and company principals Nerys Jones and John Connell sing the parts of the love sick Cherubino and blustering Dr Bartolo. Less well known is Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice, the company's next production, which opens in a fortnight. In the company's first new staging of this mythic piece of musico-theatre in 30 years, audiences will be able to relish an Orpheus sung by counter-tenor Michael Chance, and Eurydice by the great Lesley Garrett. The accaimed director/choreographer Martha Clarke will make her house debut. The ENO, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 (0171-632 8300). 'Figaro's Wedding' to 3 Mar, 'Orpheus' opens 3 Mar

CRAFT

Pottery doesn't have quite the glamour of, say, multi-media installation art. Only the most fashionable names, such as Clarice Cliff, ever seem to struggle out of clay-throwing obscurity and make it out into the public domain. But even a cursory glance at a new exhibition of work by pioneering artists Lucie Rie (below) and Hans Coper should convince visitors of the quiet revolution that went on behind the wheel in the 1950s.

Barbican Gallery, Silk Street, London (0171-638 4141) from Thur to 26 May

JAZZ

Courtney Pine, the great black hope of the modern British Jazz scene, plays Manchester this week. When Courtney "crossed-over" into the Top 40 with his 1987 debut album, Journey to the Urge Within, the young saxophonist convinced a whole generation that jazz wasn't just the preserve of beaten-up beatniks. It could also be an arena for earnest young men to wear black and stroke their nascent goatees into being. Since then, he's built a solid reputation as a serious jazzer, while letting his hair down every now and then to guest with the likes of Mick Jagger. After a year spent touring the world, Pine's concert next week looks set to introduce a few global sounds into the mix, as well as introducing two promising new additions to his band: hip-hop DJs Sparkii and Pogo.

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (0161-907 9000) Fri 8pm

FILM

Dark at the Hackney Empire (above) showcases exciting new work by Britain's young black actors and directors. Traditional storytelling blends with experimentation in films such as Backslang and the dance/ cinema piece, Cult Fiction. Hackney Empire, Mare St, London E8 (0181-985 2424) 8.30pm pounds 6

COMEDY

Like Courtney Pine, Ben Elton rose to prominence in the 1980s, first as the vitriolic scribe behind The Young Ones, then as a comedian in his own right, standing up to satirise the consumerism of "Fatcher's Britain". The angry young man went on to write for the likes of Jennifer Saunders and Harry Enfield, and created BlackAdder with writing partner Richard Curtis. Bored with such easy success, Elton turned his attention to novel-writing, drafting doorstop eco-thrillers before they were fashionable and winning a Gold Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association for the recent Popcorn. He remains unfashionably lefty in an Old Labour, Old Danger kind of way. And very funny. See him tonight in Poole as he continues his national tour. Poole Arts Centre, Kingland Rd, Poole, Dorset (01202-685 222) Fri 8pm pounds 13.50

ART

The first retrospective of a great and often-neglected modern artist opens at the Tate Gallery on Thursday. German painter Lovis Corinth was a founder of Expressionist art, and after an obscure childhood living in an East Prusian farming community, moved to Munich to express his distinctively modern sensibility. This led to gloriously sensual paintings (right) which dealt with everything from the Bible to war, mythology to landscape. The new exhibition includes more than 90 of these works.

The Tate, Millbank, London (0171-887 8000) Thur to 4 May, pounds 6

THEATRE

Phelim McDermott's autobiographical drama, 70 Hill Lane, garnered wonderful reviews from its brief appearance at the London Mime Festival. Now back in London, it continues a short run at BAC until the end of the week. The wildly inventive production (below) conjures houses, spooks, and even McDermott's granny from Sellotape, but the artful sticky-backed origami is certainly matched by the creator's skills as a comic writer and performer. The story follows the strange goings-on in McDermott's childhood home, when a benign poltergeist decides to move into the disused playroom. Visual theatre has never been better. BAC, Lavender Hill, London (0171-223 6557) 8pm (Sun 6pm) to 23 Feb

TALK

Go on the buses at the London Transport Museum on Monday, when curator Mark Dennison outlines the origin and development of the double-decker (above) which dates back to the 1840s. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden London (0171-379 6344) Mon 3pm

EVENTS

Party to the carnival rhythms of the Grand Union Orchestra on Monday. The band includes London-based musicians (right) from South Africa, Chile, St Lucia, Australia and India, serving up a spicy mix of global sounds that's guaranteed to get your feet tapping. A special family concert and workshop have been laid on for half-term, but book soon, because the band sold out early last year.

QEH, South Bank, London SE1 (0171-960 4242), Mon, Concert 11am, workshop 1pm, prices vary

HYPE ALERT

After last week's potato day, starch fans will hardly be able to control their excitement at the news that this is National Chip Week. It's not really known when chips became Britain's national dish, but a recipe for "thin potatoes cooked in oil" appeared in a cookery book as far back as 1854. It's enough to make you feel quite chipper.

Dedicated followers of fashion should head for the Imperial War Museum, where a new exhibition, Forties Fashion and the New Look - "the story of Forties fashion from make-do-and-mend to haute couture" is all the rage. Related events include Fashion on Film - with a showing of Roberta today, and The Women tomorrow (both at 3pm), and fashion shows and an "Easter Bonnet Event" promised for the future.

Lambeth Road, London SE1 (0171-416 5000) to 31 Aug

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