NEED TO KNOW: What to do and see in London this week 15th - 21st July 2022

·3-min read
Lizzo’s new album, Special  (Atlantic Records )
Lizzo’s new album, Special (Atlantic Records )

THE ALBUM

Scuse me! It’s time to buckle up grrrls because it’s empowerment o’clock. Lizzo is dropping her appropriately titled new album, Special, this week and after the month we’ve had we’ve never been more ready for this juice.

Out 15 Jul

The album cover (Atlantic Records)
The album cover (Atlantic Records)

THE DOCUMENTARY

Fans of the late, great Anthony Bourdain: you’ll finally get your chance to catch the chef and world explorer’s acclaimed documentary, Roadrunner, nearly a year after it hit the big screen in the US. Few people had as big an impact on the food and travel industries as Bourdain, and now you can watch some of the best in the business open up about their esteemed colleague, woven in between footage of the journalist at his finest.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is on Netflix now.

On the road: Anthony Bourdain (AP)
On the road: Anthony Bourdain (AP)

THE BOOK

If Russell T Davies’ It’s a Sin was essential viewing, Jill Nalder’s memoir is required reading. As the inspiration behind the series, Nalder’s story, Love from the Pink Palace: Memories of Love, Loss and Cabaret through the Aids Crisis, reveals what it was like living through the devastation. Filled with joy, love, innocence and tragedy, it shouldn’t be read without a hanky.

£20 (Wildfire)

Love from the Pink Palace: Memories of Love, Loss and Cabaret through the Aids Crisis (Wildfire)
Love from the Pink Palace: Memories of Love, Loss and Cabaret through the Aids Crisis (Wildfire)

THE SHOW

The chic set’s favourite circus is back in town and headed for Camden’s Roundhouse. Yes, Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show has landed. The aim of the French couturier is simple: pack 50 years of pop culture into two hours. Think a more extra than extra, singing and dancing spectacle, and, of course, some larger-than-life costumes.

16 Jul to 28 Aug. Tickets from £15 (roundhouse.org.uk)

Hit the catwalk:  Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show (JPG)
Hit the catwalk: Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show (JPG)

THE EXHIBITION

A man of few words, Milton Avery was known to regularly quip, ‘Why talk when you can paint?’ Considered one of North America’s greatest 20th-century colourists, his first, long-overdue retrospective at the Royal Academy presents about 70 of his most celebrated works produced from the 1930s to the 1960s. From his portraits of loved ones to Maine and Cape Cod landscapes, colour lovers will be floored.

15 Jul to 16 Oct. Tickets £17 (royalacademy.org.uk)

Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944 (Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944)
Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944 (Milton Avery, Seated Girl with Dog, 1944)

THE ACTIVITY

If you’re one of the thousands of people who decided to buy and never use a chess set after watching The Queen’s Gambit, it’s time to buck up your ideas and get down to ChessFest in Trafalgar Square. Yes, you read that right, we are recommending you go to a chess festival. Why? Because there’ll be free lessons, life-size chess boards, the chance to challenge a grandmaster and if all else fails, many great pubs nearby.

17 Jul. Free (chess-fest.com)

Check, mate! (Alamy Stock Photo)
Check, mate! (Alamy Stock Photo)

THE GIG

Three years on from his tragic death, The Prodigy are playing their first London shows, at the O2 Brixton, without Keith Flint: marking 25 years since The Fat of the Land, the album that made him a cultural icon. There will likely be tears every night during ‘Firestarter’…

21-23 Jul. From £50 (academymusicgroup.com)

The fire starters (© PA)
The fire starters (© PA)

THE DOUBLE FEATURE

The Gray Man (2022) and Blue Valentine (2010)

This week we celebrate the return of Ryan Gosling, who has been missing from our screens for four years, but more visible in the past couple of weeks showing some seriously neon Ken get-up in his Barbie movie pap shots. This week he is back with cat and mouse spy/action blockbuster The Gray Man. Gosling plays a CIA mercenary who accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, igniting a global hunt with him as the target. Cue psychopathic pursuer Chris Evans…

Pair this with probably Gosling’s best movie to date: Blue Valentine. Director Derek Cianfrance, one of our great realists, put everything on the table for his first foray into the mainstream — a turbulent romance starring Gosling and Michelle Williams. The story jumps back and forth between their vibrant beginnings and the dark, damp corners of a marriage on the verge of collapse. Hopefully the Barbie movie will hold the same emotional gravitas.

Blue Valentine (Studio Canal)
Blue Valentine (Studio Canal)
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