The Way of the World
If you live in a world of extravagant parties, outrageous fashion and scandalous gossip, image is everything. So when Mirabell, a man with a distinctly dubious reputation for wine, women and song, decides to go after the girl of his dreams, he knows it won't be easy. Apart from anything else, he'll need the consent of the formidable and bitter Lady Wishfort, who has very different plans for her niece Millamant. Fortunately, Mirabell can fall back on a formidable range of natural talents - deceit, slander and seduction - to achieve his ends. Lyndsey Turner's strikingly fresh staging of William Congreve's classic Restoration comedy about morals and money, first performed in 1700, runs at the Crucible Theatre from 2 to 25 February.
Gary Hume: Flashback
English artist Gary Hume is perhaps best known for his pictures on aluminium panels, using pre-mixed paints purchased from a hardware store, often in startling combinations of bright colours. He is now the subject of the third of the Arts Council's Flashback shows, specially designed to bring out of their collections the early work of artists who have gone on to achieve international fame (the first two were devoted to Bridget Riley and Anish Kapoor). Juxtaposing painting and sculpture, the exhibition can be seen at the Leeds Art Gallery until 15 April, before moving on to the Wolverhampton Art Gallery (from 28 April to 7 July), the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (14 July to 23 September) and finally the Aberdeen Art Gallery (13 October to 19 January 2013).
The Russell Maliphant Company - The Rodin Project
Russell Maliphant has been widely acclaimed as one of the boldest and most innovative of contemporary choreographers, and his recent AfterLight won a Critics' Circle National Dance Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. On 5 February, as part of British Dance Edition London 2012, Sadler's Wells is presenting a special showing of his new dance piece inspired by the works of the great French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, which will return to the same venue in October. In his bid to create a worthy tribute, Maliphant has collaborated with a group of extraordinary performers, using a movement vocabulary influenced by popping, breaking and contemporary dance, and integrated with the choreographer's own distinctive stress on dynamics, form and flow. The Russian composer Alexander Zekke has provided a specially commissioned score.
David Shrigley: Brain Activity
Although he was trained as a fine artist and has worked in media ranging from photography to opera libretti, David Shrigley is best known for his humourous drawings that offer witty and wry observations on everyday life. These are notable for a deliberately crude graphic style that gives his work an immediate impact, while simultaneously providing sharp commentary on the absurdities of human relationships. This exhibition, his first major survey show in London, takes over all the upper galleries of the Hayward Gallery until 13 May, does full justice to the range of his diverse practice and includes a number of site-specific installations. Notable works include outsized ceramic boots and a sculpture in the form of a stuffed dog that declares "I am dead".
The Pitchfork Disney
It's not quite clear what happened to Presley and Haley ten years ago, but they've been living alone in their dead parents' house ever since. Their safe isolation is suddenly shattered by the arrival of Cosmo Disney, who confronts them with the scariest question of all: what exactly happened to their parents? When The Pitchfork Disney premiered in 1991, its barrage of barbaric and magical imagery and its catastrophic air of violence and sexual tension left audiences breathless, intoxicated and occasionally fleeing in terror. Now Philip Ridley's play feels almost uncannily prophetic. Director Edward Dick offers a dazzling new interpretation at the Arcola Theatre until 17 March.