COMEDY

Leicester's a funny place to take a holiday, and never more so than during its comedy festival. So why not take the plunge and visit the city next week, when it will be offering a range of comic heroes from middle-of-the-road stalwarts Bobby Davro and Barry Cryer to more exotic flowers, such as Sandra Bernhard, Hugh Lennon and his Hypno-Dog and, of course, Greg Lucas, whose photo-artistry (left) proves that the camera lies compulsively and hilariously. Lucas's show, Accidents Will Happen, runs from 12 February, but you can see an exhibition of his work in the Phoenix Arts Cafe everyday throughout the festival. Elsewhere, Edinburgh luminaries Dylan Moran (Perrier-winning Oirish blarn-merchant), Bill Bailey (hairy prog-rocker) and The Pod (beautiful sexless cyber-children) will be doing their best to make you crack a smile. And if they fail, why not see if you can do better? Comic in residence Ian McMillan will be running a workshop on Friday at 2pm at the city's Beaumont Leys Library.

Venues and times vary, Festival Hotline: 0891-100 702. See offer, p67

PHOTOGRAPHY

New Yorker Bruce Gilden's study of Haiti first started in 1984. Since then, he has visited the Caribbean island 16 times. He was there during the Duvalierist regime, witnessed the erosion of Papa Doc's power-base and documented the elections of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In Haiti, the first showing of Gilden's work in this country (right), the photographer portrays a nation which oscillates between extremes of apathy and passion, cruelty and fatalism. Although poetic, his photographs mirror the island's brutal history and continuing poverty. It is a fascinating study of a country said to be 80 per cent Catholic and 100 per cent voodoo. Royal Photographic Society, The Octagon, Milsom St, Bath (01225 462841) today to 31 Mar

FILM

Set in the louche world of 1920s Berlin, Asphalt is one of the great silent Expressionist films of the European avant-garde. A restored print is being shown on Sunday with a new score by Richard McLaughlin.

Arts Cinema, Cambridge (01223 504444) 3pm pounds 3.20

KITSCH

In the arcane world of adult ventriloquy David Strassman (right, with friend) is currently top dog. The one-armed bandit studied his art at high school (this is America we're talking about, remember) before sticking his arm up everything from cutesy Ted E Bear to vile Chuck Wood. Thanks to help from boffin friends at Nasa, Strassman's wooden troupe sing, dance and even throw up. His solo show opens, for one week only, in the West End on Tuesday and is worth a visit for the startling sight of a trio of tap-dancing dinosaurs singing "Bohemian Rhapsody", if nothing else. Apollo Theatre, London (0171-494 5070) 8pm pounds 15-23.50

ART

Yoko Ono will always be famous first as a rock wife and second as an artist - better known for her love-ins with Lennon than for works such as her film No 4 Bottoms, a sequence of 365 backsides. She was, however, not only an experimental artist in her own right but a leading light in the anti-elitist and anti-institutional Flexus movement of the 1960s. During that time, Ono held bizarre performance soirees in her New York loft and would create artworks by asking visitors to burn a canvas with their cigarettes (or by cutting off her clothes as she sat on the floor). The participatory nature of her art and its free interpretation contributed directly to Fluxus, which receives a retrospective at the Royal Festival Hall this month. RFH, South Bank, London (0171-921 0600) to 23 Mar

HYPE ALERT

Chas & Dave will be serving up a steaming load of jellied eels at Christchurch's Regent Centre on Sunday. Apparently, it's to celebrate the fact that they've been rabbiting on for 25 years. This week also sees the opening of Elvis The Musical at Woking Theatre. The show follows the singer's career from quiffed youngster to soldier film-star to ravaged Vegas has-been. But if you've seen the episode of Father Ted in which Ted, Jack and Dougal do the three ages of Elvis for the All Priests Lookalike Competition, then it won't be anything new.

A new exhibition called Hairdressing opens later in the month at London's Diorama gallery. The show examines the idea of hairstyles as "an outward sign of a psychological state".

DANCE

Things have come a long way since blushing audiences averted their eyes from the bulge in the ballet dancer's tights, as dancer Javier de Frutos proves. Now touring the country with his solo show, Transatlantic, de Frutos performs butt-naked, sometimes achieving a moving, sculptural sinuous grace, sometimes pretending to lip-synch with his spotlit bum. Despite the shock value of such stunts, De Frutos's show is less about nudity than his own odyssey through America, a reflection on "The Dream" which counterpoints the country's seductive optimism with the dancer's uncertainty and pain. Arnolfini, Narrow Quay, Bristol (0117-9299191) today 8pm pounds 7. Choreographic workshop tomorrow 12pm-4.30pm pounds 5

THEATRE

Ever wondered how the universe began? Well, IOU theatre is willing to demonstrate the facts of life with a large tablecloth, two zips and a rubber glove (right). The company's show, Cold Fusion, combines an operatic score with a cast that ranges from gods to amoebae. It should cause a big bang when it begins touring venues in the south and east of England from today. Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham (01476 593966) 8pm pounds 6

POP

The fabulous, attitudinal PJ Harvey goes all multi-media in Manchester next week with Dance Hall at Louse Point, a show which sees her joining forces with John Parish and Mark Bruce's contemporary dance company. Nia Centre, Manchester (0161-227 9254) 3-4 Feb

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