What happens when nature takes its course

2nd May 2003 at 01:00
Castles, collections and crafts collaborate to take centre stage in this week's selection by Heather Neill

First love

Fans of Dodie Smith's rites-of-passage novel I Capture the Castle will be delighted by the cinematic version. The story, set in the Thirties, is unashamedly romantic, but the portrayal of first love, finding independence and learning that adults sometimes need to be taken in hand, ring true. Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai) and her ravishing sister Rose (Rose Byrne) live in a dilapidated castle with their eccentric father (Bill Nighy), a once-successful novelist suffering from writer's block, and Topaz, their young stepmother, a bohemian artist. The arrival of new American landlords, rich, young and personable, seems to offer a possible route out of their penny-pinching existence, but Rose's plot to trap the older brother in marriage has unforeseen consequences. On general release.

Roscoe remembered

William Roscoe wrote the children's poem The Butterfly's Ball, said to have been a favourite of King George III, but he was also an artist, botanist, anti-slavery campaigner, philanthropist and politician.

Liverpool, bidding to be European Capital of Culture 2008, regards him as a local hero and is celebrating his 250th birthday with an exhibition, William Roscoe: Founder of Liverpool Culture, at the Central Library. On show will be a copy of one of the surviving 39 copies of Audubon's Birds of America (once owned by the great man), and examples of Roscoe's own botanical drawings. Information: www.liverpoolculture.com.

Jacobean May day

Students from Britain's leading drama schools will perform scenes from Shakespeare and other Elizabethan and Jacobean playwrights during the 2003 William Poel Festival on May 5 at Shakespeare's Globe. The students will have spent the weekend in workshops with the Globe's Masters of Voice, Movement and Verse, and will present dialogues from plays such as King John and Jonson's The Alchemist. The main theatre season will begin with Richard II on May 8. Tickets: 020 7401 9919.

Outdoors inside

The Millennium Galleries in Sheffield bring woodland art indoors in Fuelling a Revolution: the woods that founded the steel industry which focuses on sketches, models and photographs of pieces by artists permanently in situ in four local woodlands. Ian Boyle works with dry stone walling, Jason Thomson explores the relationship between ancient woodland and the steel industry, Karen Gillan worked with Bankwood, Herding and Hemsworth primary schools to develop the design for a gateway, while storyteller Shonaleigh takes inspiration from woodland. The Craft and Design Gallery until June 22. Information: www.sheffieldgalleries.org.uk.

Lost potential

Little Lil is a one-woman play written by Jo Emery, who spent a number of years teaching in a Tower Hamlets secondary school. Lil is a bright east London schoolgirl whose hard work and enthusiasm are countered by dreadful difficulties at home. Hen and Chickens Theatre, Highbury, London. May 6-10. Tickets: 020 7704 2001.

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