THEATRE / Maiden stakes: Still big in London, it's a wow in Warsaw and Polanski's interested. Rick Richardson on Death and the Maiden, the world tour

SINCE the opening last month, people have been queueing at the Theatr Studio in Warsaw to see a new show imported from the West. It is the most expensive theatre ticket in Polish history, at around pounds 7. It is not a classic Broadway hit, nor is it a musical. 'This play is a theatrical world event concerning everyone everywhere,' says Gene Gutowski, who bought the Polish rights to the play after seeing it in London and New York. The play is Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, who was in Warsaw for the eastern European premiere.

Edinburgh Festival Day 17: Breaking the sound barrier: Andrei Serban has tapped the sounds of ancient Greece to plumb the subconscious depths of modern-day Romania. Kevin Jackson reports

LEGEND has it that on the eve of one crucial by-election of the Sixties, Harold Wilson was alarmed at the prospect of Labour voters staying home to watch television rather than turning out for the polls; so alarmed, indeed, that he began to fantasise about coercing the BBC into screening an evening of such excruciatingly boring fare that even the most apathetic households would be driven out to vote. After pondering the problem for a while, he hit on the perfect formula. 'An evening of Greek tragedy,' grinned the Prime Minister. 'In the original Greek.'

It's all so alien to me

TWO YEARS ago, after spending most of her adult life in London, my younger sister moved to the Hardyesque peace of a Dorset village. She now spends her days surrounded by cows and trees and is, by all accounts, blissfully happy.

FILM / Sigourney's mate worse than death

AT THE end of Alien (1979), Lieutenant Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) was left drifting through the universal dark, sleeping the hypersleep of the just. With her on board the space capsule was a cat, Jones. At the end of Aliens (1986), she was back where she started, looking more weary than before. With her this time were: a small girl, a wounded space marine, half an android and no alien. Or so she thought. Back on Earth, Hollywood thought otherwise, and dreamt up Alien3 . That's it: the trilogy is now complete - uneven, incoherent, often unpalatable, but still one of the great achievements in popular cinema. The last part is the worst, no question, but it isn't your average sequel; for these films contained many sequels within themselves, the same old story flicking round time and again, refusing to give up for dead. As each movie came and went, the heart of darkness kept pumping away: The horror] The horror] The horror]

INTERVIEW / A real horror show: The filming of Alien 3 was a nightmare for its director David Fincher. Mark Burman reports

'As I always say, things don't get clearer when you take the camera out of the box, they just get more confused.' The confusion in this case carries a hefty price tag and a lot of pain for first time director David Fincher. Alien 3 is a monster movie in more ways than one. It has devoured an entire phalanx of scriptwriters, two previous directors, one sacked cinematographer and a lot of 20th Century Fox's money, some dollars 50m in all. More importantly it failed to take the US box office by storm.

FILM / Death and the maiden

ALIEN3 (18) sets the seal on an extraordinary series of films, mainstream entertainment firmly in the tradition of I-can't-bear-to-look-but-I-can't-look-away which nevertheless touch on some incongruously ambitious themes. While, say, Tim Burton's Batman films sacrifice the dynamism of their genre to the look but not the reality of art cinema, first-time director David Fincher's Alien3 delivers images of an often extraordinary beauty without letting the adrenalin level of its narrative drop much below the maximum.
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