PICK OF THE SHOWS.
BIRMINGHAM Royal Ballet begins its latest home season with the three comic ballets Card Game, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and Elite Syncopations. They are three witty classics from John Cranko, George Balanchine and Kenneth MacMillan. The latter pits characters in brilliantly coloured costumes in a dance competition, accompanied by an on-stage rag-time band playing favourites from Scott Joplin. And in Card Game, the sly Joker banishes the proud Queen as the other cards try for a straight flush. ? HORRIBLE HISTORIES, Tuesday-February 22, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, 024 7655 3055.
THE brand new show Barmy Britain takes us all the way from battling Boudicca and Vikings through the Tudors to Queen Victoria and the First World War. In fact, it's the whole horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in - and with new 3D effects. ? THE SOOTY SHOW, Sunday, Artrix, Bromsgrove, 01527 577330.
SOOTY plays two shows at the Artrix, at 11am and 2.30pm, complete with his friends Sweep, Soo and Richard Cadell. It's the yellow bear's birthday party but things aren't going to plan. Sooty and Sweep get messy baking the cake and Soo can't decide which dress to wear. With party guests Butch the bulldog and Ramsbottom the snake.