Artbeat: weekly arts diary

27th April 2001 at 01:00

The British Museum's exhibition, Cleopatra of Egypt: from history to myth , is packing in a public already familiar with the glamour of the Egyptian queen and impressed by the enormous publicity her name still attracts. What visitors see is a rather conventional exhibition consisting of statues, coins and other artefacts which provide a few historical insights, but no conclusive proof about the central figure.nbsp;The overall effect of the exhibition is of a confusing arrangement of objects but perhaps events, such as the A-level study day on May 2 or the Cleopatra course on May 11- 12, will provide some much needed enlightenment. Education information: 020 7323 85118854.

Six Essex schools are preparing to take part in a full-scale production of Carmen on June 7 and 8 at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford. London Opera Players have been teaching 150 pupils in a series of workshops and will join them to play the main roles in Bizet's best-known work. Tickets: 01245 606505.

An account of preparations for the National Theatre's production of Hamlet , starring Simon Russell Beale, could be just the thing to give theatre studies students an insight into putting on a major Shakespearean tragedy. Jonathan Croall's book, generously illustrated with black and white photographs and published by the National Theatre at pound;7, is available from the NT bookshop (orders: 020 7452 3456). Meanwhile, winners of the Shakespeare's Globe competition for young reviewers of Hamlet on Screen may be found at its website: www.shakespearesglobe.com

The West Yorkshire Playhouse is about to leap into African life. The premiere of Yaa Asantewaa - Warrior Queen promises to be a spectacular celebration of the life of Nana Yaa Asantewaa, a woman who led an army against the British in Ghana in 1900. The 25 dancers and drummers of Adzido Pan-African Dance Ensemble, the African and Caribbean Music Circuit, Black Voices and the Pan-African Orchestra of Ghana will all contribute to the production. A tour is planned after the Playhouse run, April 28 to May 19. Tickets: 0113 213 7700.

A full version of this appears in this week's Friday magazine

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