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Going out: Pick of the week

THEATRE by CLAIRE ALLFREE

Downstate

The American playwright Bruce Norris has a rep for lighting a match under the most explosive issues of the day and in Downstate (pictured above) he examines our attitudes towards child abusers, in a Steppenwolf production that transfers direct from Chicago. Until Apr 27, National Theatre, London, nationaltheatre.org.uk

Local Hero

The creative team behind Bill Forsyth’s 1983 film, including Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, have joined with the Lyceum’s David Greig for this new musical adaptation of one of Scotland’s best loved stories, in which a Texan magnate tries to buy up a village. Donald Trump is apparently a big fan. Until May 4, Lyceum, Edinburgh, lyceum.org.uk

Standing At The Sky’s Edge

Imagined as a brutalist utopia, and now undergoing renovation, the housing estate of Park Hill is a Sheffield icon. Its history is brought to life in this new musical featuring Sheffield local and Mercury nominated crooner Richard Hawley. Until April 6, Sheffield Crucible, sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

COMEDY by SHARON LOUGHER

Jason Manford — Muddle Class

You could see him take on Martin Freeman in Celebrity University Challenge for Comic Relief tonight or catch him live pondering class stereotypes. After all, isn’t that what catch up TV is for? Tonight, Kendal Leisure Centre; tomorrow, Pickaquoy Centre, Orkney; jasonmanford.com

Frankie Boyle

You can always rely on Frankie for some frank talking – a refreshing tonic in the times of Brexit and all its foggy obfuscation. He’ll have plenty to say in this latest run of Work In Progress dates. Tues until April 29, Leicester Square Theatre, London, leicestersquaretheatre.com

Glasgow International Comedy Festival

Jack Docherty, Reginald D. Hunter, Craig Hill and Jess Robinson are just some of the glittering, erm, glitterati heading to the city for this major festival of the laugh-worthy. Until March 31, various venues, Glasgow, glasgowcomedyfestival.com

EVENTS by SIMON GAGE

London St Patrick’s Day Festival

Bearing in mind it’s a saint’s day, there’ll be a whole lot of imbibing going on this weekend, not only across the UK but worldwide. Yes, St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, inspires the world to get another round in with major celebrations in London where 125,000 are expected to converge on Trafalgar Square. Wear green, and maybe take a bike, left. Until Sunday, various locations, London, visitlondon.com

BFI Flare

It’s the biggest LGBTQ+ film festival in the country and this year there’s a female focus with Gemma Arterton kicking off events with the opening movie Vita & Virginia about a famous lesbian love affair between writers Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki) and Vita Sackville-West (Gemma). Oh, and, apart from movies, there are some great parties. From Thursday to Sunday March 31, various venues, London, bfi.org.uk

York Literature Festival

Daisy Johnson, the youngest writer to be shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Everything Under, which turns classical myth on its head, kicks off this celebration of reading and writing. Until March 31, various venues, York, yorkliteraturefestival.co.uk

Holi

It’s the joyful Hindu coming-of-spring festival of sharing and love and, of course, colours, which means plenty of paint being thrown around. Wednesday, various locations, nationwide, holifestival.org

Marmalade Festival

It’s billed as the world’s original marmalade festival but we have money that says it’s the world’s only marmalade festival. Market stalls, talks, recipes, demos, all in beautiful surroundings. Make ours a rough cut or a grapefruit. Tomorrow, Dalemain Historic House and Gardens, Penrith, delemain.com

Stonehenge Spring Sunrise

Druids and pagans will be gathering at one of the wonders of the world ready for sunrise to mark the Vernal Equinox. They will be joined by regular folks looking for a spiritual experience as the sky fills with light and the crowd silences, all to welcome the coming spring and summer. Thursday, Stonehenge, Wiltshire, english-heritage.org.uk

GIGS by SHARON O’CONNELL

The Internet

LA’s alt.hip-hop collective Odd Future has spawned a load of impressive talent, including co-founder of this quintet, Syd whose music is a cool, seductive and spacey, soul-funk/pop hybrid. Thursday, O2 Academy, Brixton and touring, internet-band.com

Sharon Van Etten

The New Jersey singer/songwriter and guitarist’s current album, Remind Me Tomorrow is a big switcheroo — from stark, folk-edged rock to darkly electrifying synth pop — that’s delivered her a UK Number 30 hit. Expect drama. Thursday, The Mill, Birmingham and touring, sharonvanetten.com

B*witched

Fans of this Irish girl group — known for chart-clobbering C’est La Vie and their rather less triumphant part in The Big Reunion TV docu-series — will be clawing at their fitted T-shirts in frustration, as this show is a one-off. The double denim’s gone, but the gang will be giving it their best. Tomorrow, O2 Academy, Sheffield, academymusicgroup.com