WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO DO

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EVENTS

Twinkle, twinkle

Stars: If the glimpse of galaxies beyond our own provided by the comet Hale-Bopp has excited you, then the annual Fortean Times unconvention at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1, is for you. A "weekend of the weird, the wondrous and the wacky" includes Chuck Berry being beamed out from the Voyager spacecraft. 19th, 20th, 10.30am, pounds 15 one day/pounds 25 both (01789 490215).

To catch a view of the comet, which must be seen this week at the latest, Hampstead Heath is an ideal spot - look towards the north-west.

More stars: Today's premiere of The Saint is a celeb fest, with Kate Winslet, the Chemical Brothers, Duran Duran and Ian Wright among those attending. Call 0171-420 0000 for tickets at pounds 30-pounds 60, 6.30pm for 7.30pm, as the Sixties TV series gets the Hollywood treatment.

Yet more stars: The crew of Baywatch - David Hasselhoff, Donna D'Erico, Traci Bingham and David Chokachi are in town to promote the new series, which begins on ITV on Saturday (5.45pm). On Tuesday morning, the Royal Albert Docks becomes a mini-California as they shoot a scene that will be shown on National Lottery Live on Wednesday evening at 8pm (BBC1), on Thursday afternoon, they will be at Planet Hollywood between noon and 2pm for a competition to find a beach babe/boy and on Saturday, they'll be on Radio 4's Loose Ends at 10am.

THE ARTS

In season

Theatre: A translation by the late Angela Carter of a play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening, is premiered at the Harrogate Theatre, Oxford Street. Tues-Thurs, pounds 5.70-pounds 10.80, Fri-Sat pounds 6.70-pounds 12.40, Sat mat (on second Sat of run) pounds 4.70 (01423 502116).

Visual arts: For a chance to see beyond the limited picture painted by crime statistics, art students serving life-sentences at Wormwood Scrubs bring an exhibition of their work to the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith on Thursday. The exhibition is opened by the ex-Blockhead Ian Dury. Free. 10am-10pm, Fri 10am-4pm, W/E noon-10pm. Ends 27th. (0181 741 2251).

Dance (modern): Joaquin Cortes prepares to set fire to audiences across the country again with his Gipsy Passion tour, combining a traditional flamenco style with contemporary choreography, at the Royal Albert Hall this week (0171 420 1000/ 0171 344 4444).

TV: The latest testament to our seemingly insatiable desire for all things hospital-related, and the chance to give Channel 5 a try on Sunday at 7pm, is a documentary, Intensive Care, following the fortunes of all the people connected with a single hospital bed, which naturally can't avoid bringing into view the question of NHS funding.

Photography: The Edge of Madness features prints and murals by Tom Stoddart and Alaister Thain in the Main Foyer of the Royal Festival Hall, chronicling the four-year siege of Sarajevo, marked by General Mladic's comment "Shell them until they can't sleep, don't stop until they are on the edge of madness." To 18 May, free, 10am-10.30pm (0171 960 4242).

Film: A Welsh Trainspotting is how actor/documentary-maker Kevin Allen's directorial film debut, Twin Towns has been billed, with twin brothers (Rhys Ifans and Llyr Evans) on a quest for revenge. Just opened in England and Wales, you can catch it in Scotland and Northern Ireland next week.

Pop: Dance/trip-hop artist Tricky's tour kicks into gear. Tickets are selling fast for all concerts. Southampton Guildhall (14th), Shepherds Bush Empire (15th), Hackney Empire sold out (16th), Sheffield University The Foundry (18th), Liverpool's Royal Court (19th) and Leeds Town & Country Club (20th). Ends 21st (Norwich UEA). Doors open 7:30pm, pounds 10/pounds 11 London venues.

Talk: A coup for Books Etc and the Royal Festival Hall as Ralph Fiennes speaks out in the Chelsfield Room with his sister Sophie on Friday. Not about The English Patient, but on his mother's (Jennifer Lash) last novel Blood Ties (Bloomsbury), which has overtones of autobiography - hence the family presence. 7:30pm, returns only, pounds 5/pounds 2.50 concs (0171 960 4242).

SPORT AND LEISURE

Different ball game

Sport: Women's rugby football, with as much laddishness as the lads' version, if C4's Women with Balls documentary last year is to be believed, reaches a peak with the National Cup Final at the Harlequins ground, Twickenham, on Saturday. 2pm, pounds 5, pounds 4 students, pounds 2 u-16 (0181 892 0822 indivd/0181 994 0822 groups).

Travel: Head into the sunshine with Love in Springtime, a two-night cruise with Scandinavian Seaways. Choose from Harwich to Esdjerg, Denmark (dep 15 April), or Hamburg, Germany (dep 17 April). From pounds 99 a person, including cabin, breakfast, smorgasbord buffet, three-course dinner and a tour of your destination (0990 333111).

Travel (further): Mexico City is one place to be clear of the election. Quest Worldwide offers midweek departures at pounds 285 (plus pounds 20 tax) return price, ending with the end of April (0181 546 6000).

Music: Those looking for something different this week, should head for the Marching Band Championships at the Albert Hall on Saturday. Doors open at 11.45, pounds 14 on the door.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Heated debate

Seminar: 'Who's Afraid of Feminism? Seeing through the backlash', at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on Friday, addresses the Loaded-style and party-political backlash against the movement, "family values". Speakers include Ann Oakley, author of Sex, Gender and Society, and writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. 10am-5pm, The Mall, London. Tickets pounds 20, pounds 15 ICA mems and conc, pounds 7.50 minimalist mems (0171 930 3647).

Summit: G7 finance ministers meet for a weekend economic summit in Denver, Colorado, to discuss the consequences of EMU, international currency markets and the influence that the dollar has on inflation.

Politics: "Let the people decide", a song written in "a pop-rock style" for the Referendum Party - written with the best democratic traditions in mind, according to the publicity - is unveiled today by Reverend George Hargreaves.

Spring clean

This week is National Spring Cleaning Week, Tidy Britain Group's anti- litter campaign, with 2 million people involved annually. Or go for the opposite effect with the 'English Day of the Dead' on Sunday, an annual day of awareness organised by the National Death Centre with the Natural Death Handbook Awards for best Woodland Burial Grounds and Best Coffin Shops (0181 208 2853).

For those unable to take up our holiday offers, don't despair as 27 per cent of people in the UK haven't been abroad in the past 12 months.

Housewives in the North-west drink 53 per cent of the champagne consumed there - as opposed to only 47 per cent in Greater London. A good alternative destination?

James Aufenast, Catherine Jay

Dance (classical): Reversing the usual roles, after the film comes the ballet. Darcey Bussell, a better Juliet than Bayadere, and Igor Zalensky, dancing Kenneth MacMillan for the first time, are the big-name stars in his full-length version of Romeo and Juliet, starting at Covent Garden tomorrow. You'll have to hurry to get one of the few slip seats left for this classic of 20th-century choreography, danced to Prokofiev's rich symphonic score. 15th/18th, pounds 2; 16th pounds 2-pounds 12; 19th, Day seats/standing/returns only (0171-304 4000)

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