9 SEPTEMBER 1972, Page 23

Arts choice

• Theatre: The National Theatre's current best are its two American pieces, O'Neill's harrowing Long Day's Journey Into Night and the 1928 newspaper comedy, The Front Page (Old Vic); the RSC is at its best in 'a nineteenth-century Othello (Aldwych) and an inspired revival of Boucicault's London Assurance (New); two plays about university dons and their personal-relationship problems, The Philanthropist (May Fair) and Batley (Criterion) are worth seeing; and the revival of Coward's Private Lives, with Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens, begins Previewing September 14 (Queen's).

• Cinema: The talking-point pictures in London just now are John Huston's Fat City (Columbia); the musical Cabaret, with Liza Minnelli (Prince Charles); Kubrick's Clockwork Orange (Warner West End); of course The Godfather with Brando as the Mafia man (ABC 1, Empire, Paramount and Universal); and the top-value double-bill of The Last Picture Show with Five Easy Pieces (Odeon, Kensington).

• Music: The Proms approach their last week (final night is September 16) and on sell-out nights you can always listen on Radio 3. Things to note are the Munich Philharmonic concerts under Rudolf Kempe (this Saturday and Monday), and Erich Leinsdorff conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Choral Society in Beethoven's Ninth, preceded by the prelude 4.o Tristan and Isolde (next Friday).

• Television: A might-have-been look at what the Nazis would have done to Britain provides a three-hour documentary, If Britain Had Fallen, on Tuesday (BBC 1); David Frost, in New York, chairs a transatlantic discussion of drug problems, also on Tuesday (ITV); there's yet another beauty contest, Miss Great Britain (ITV) on Wednesday, when also yer actual Alf returns in Till Death Us Do Part, and Softly Softly comes back, too (both BBC 1); a Kurosawa season in "World Cinema" begins on Thursday with The Seven Samurai (BBC 2); and Maggie Smith plays the title role in Shaw's The Millionairess in "Play of the Month" on Friday (BBC 1).