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CLASSICAL

Despite the glamorous, strapless image, child prodigy Anne

Sophie Mutter (left) is maturing into a classy performer. Audiences have a chance to see the virtuoso violinist in action next week when Sir Colin Davis conducts the soloist in Brahms' Violin Concerto in D and Symphony No 3. The concert is the first in a series by the London Symphony Orchestra which commemorates the centenary of the composer's death. The programme offers an opportunity to enjoy all Brahms' symphonies and major orchestral music alongside his greatest choral and vocal works. Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2 (0171-638 8891) Wed, Thur

PHOTOGRAPHY

Confronted by the particular responsibilities of the earnest photo-journalist - to represent the world truthfully, to document reality unflinchingly, to tell it like it is - David Shrigley decided there was plenty more fun to be had with a camera, and opted instead for a playful, flexible approach to his environment. In his first solo exhibition in London, the graduate of Glasgow School of Art presents a series of prints (right) which illustrate a bizarre but not unrecognisable social landscape. In one, a red neon sign reading "Slum" glows from a bedroom window, in another, a yellow frisbee lies in a children's playground inscribed with the legend "landmine". Shrigley's absurdist interventions resonate with a perverse humour which doesn't exclude a keen empathy for his subjects. Given these lateral annotations, it's no surprise to find that Shrigley has tried his hand at cartooning. At his new show, visitors will have a chance to judge these other works taken from numerous self-published books, with intriguing titles such as Drawings Done While On the Phone to an Idiot. Photographers Gallery, Great Newport St, London (0171-831 1772) Mon-Sat 11am-6pm. To 8 Mar

JAZZ

Feeling a bit SAD? Why not perk yourself up with a drop of skazz? No, it's not filthy bootleg liquor, but the latest mutation in the world of jazz/ ska, performed in Dorset by Caribbean combo, Jazz Jamaica. Regent Centre, High St, Christchurch, Dorset (01202 499 148) Fri 8pm pounds 8

LITERATURE

Where better to hear acclaimed author AL Kennedy anatomise her work than at London's Old Operating Theatre? The author's first novel, Looking for the Possible Dance, wielded language with surgical precision, conjuring lucid descriptions of tender, everyday relationships, before erupting into a moment of spectacularly visceral violence. Since then, the Scottish writer has shown a predeliction for the short story, bringing out collections such as Now That You're Back to further critical praise. Published this week, Original Bliss, is another selection of fictional fragments, and this time it's love and desire that go under the knife. A melange of "dark romance", "unspoken desires and "unspeakable perversions", the book also dissects the "possibilities of love", so you can probably read it without that calming draught of medicinal laudanum.

Old Operating Theatre, St Thomas St, London (0171-828 6003) Thur 7.30pm pounds 4.50

ART

American artist Mark Dion installs himself at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery tomorrow with an exhibition which is not so much eco-friendly as eco-quizzical, questioning the way we humans create and institutionalise models of the "natural order". While self-styled "amateur naturalists" use methods more commonly associated with scientific investigation, Dion takes a rather less morbid approach to scientific taxonomies than, say, our own "amateur vivisectionist", Damien Hirst. A tableau investigating the sombre subject of extinction, for example, pictures Mickey Mouse researching his theories on Disney evolution in a laboratory full of specimen jars stuffed, rather pathetically, with preserved cartoon characters. Elsewhere, Dion pursues his theme in photographs (above), and films such as the 1989 Artful History: A Restoration Comedy. Dion's first solo British show will be the last staged at Ikon's present site, before the gallery moves to swanky new premises at Brindley Place. Ikon Gallery, 58-72 John Bright Street, B'ham (0121-643 2254) from tomorrow

THEATRE

Film lovers have of late lost all their mirth at the thought of a four-and-a-half-hour verbatim version of Hamlet brought to the screen by none other than Kenneth "Dead Again" Branagh. But fret not, for the West Yorkshire Playhouse promises a thrillingly succinct staging of the play in its new season. Michael Maloney (who incidentally cropped up in Branagh's In the Bleak Midwinter, but is, nonetheless a powerful actor) plays the frantic Dane (right) in an intense production by Philip Franks, whose Duchess of Malfi went down a storm in the West End last year. The production kicks off a strong line-up from the Leeds venue - look out in the next couple of months for a multi-media production of Iain Bank's cult novel, The Wasp Factory, Nichola McAuliffe in a one-woman show, and new work from poet Tony Harrison.

The West Yorkshire Playhouse, Quarry Hill, Leeds (0113-244 2111). Hamlet from Thur to 1 Mar

EVENTS

Piping hot haggis piped to the table by the hottest pipers in town... that's what many Scots will be hoping for tonight when they pay tribute to man of letters and national hero, Robert Burns. Every year the country erupts in a rash of formal suppers and dinners serving the ancient dish of haggis. Only when the poet's "Ode to a Haggis" has been recited can guests slice open their sheep's stomach and tuck into the mixture of offal, oatmeal and suet inside. Luckily, it's quite a long poem.

HYPE ALERT

Divine David lost a few mates in clone town recently when he counselled body-obsessed gay peers to "go to the gym less and the library more". "I've grown out of the gay scene," explains the performance artist in his treacly northern accent. "It's become very bland, more of a lifestyle really. It's so tame. I don't want to look like a sheep and join the new army, I'd rather do my own thing." This week he does just that in The Divine David Untitled... Naturally, a piece of devised theatre running in the Albany's Theatre Not Cabaret season. The one-man, character-driven show is part autobiographical, part fantasy, and entirely fascinated with death. "It's a very wonderful thing we all have in common," deadpans David, "we're all going to die". Brought up in Blackpool, David used to trot off to the end of the pier to see the likes of Mary Hopkins, Ken Dodd and The Bachelors ("quite appropriate, really") before making his debut at local working-men's clubs. Tonight, he simply asks "are you alive enough to be offended?"

Albany Theatre, Douglas Way, Deptford, London (0181-692 4446) from Wed 8pm pounds 6

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