Was there really much in common between that consummate, wax-moustachioed showman Salvador Dali and the cerebral, secretive Marcel Duchamp, founding father of conceptual art, and inventor of the idea of the ready-made? Things will be a little easier next year, when the Royal Academy finally expands into the space once occupied by the old Museum of Mankind on its 250th birthday.
English National Ballet's Romeo and Juliet is full of things that don't fit. Rudolf Nureyev's production has bright ideas that don't find satisfying theatrical shape, while this revival has been squeezed onto the ballet-unfriendly stage of the Royal Festival Hall. The revival marks the 40th anniversary of Nureyev's 1977 staging.
Just as the Park Theatre is presenting the posthumous premiere of Kevin Elyot's play Twilight Song, the King's Head offers us the first London revival of the dramatist's debut piece, originally seen at the Bush in 1982. Adam Spreadbury-Maher's production headlines the theatre's 2017 Queer Season.
This huge show is both a visual presentation and a densely worked, heavily documented argument. It is the story of the emergence of the black art of America during the fraught, politically contested era of 1963 and on. It takes in movements, key historical moments across the nation – the death of Martin Luther King (his soaring voice greets us as we walk into the first room), the Watts riots in Los Angeles, the emergence of the Black Panthers – and it shows us the art which emerged as a direct consequence of the struggle to create a black voice, a black identity.
Adjacent to its Parisian headquarters, Chloé has unveiled a new cultural space, a five-floor home which will see a programme of exhibitions and events showcasing the company's 65-year history. The first temporary exhibition, 'Femininities' – which is open now – focuses on Guy Bourdin, the photographer behind the greatest number of editorials featuring Chloé clothes. Scroll through to see a preview of the imagery in the exhibition and prepare for many more unseen images and clothing from the archive if you have the chance to see the exhibition in Paris.
Daniel Kehlman is not a name to conjure with in this countr,y but in his native Germany his novels have apparently knocked J K Rowling and Dan Brown off the top of the best seller lists. The production began life at the Ustinov Theatre in Bath, where Laurence Boswell has demonstrated an extraordinary flair for picking up on European talent barely known over here. The American actor F Murray Abraham – Oscar winner for Salieri in Amadeus and the CIA black ops director in several seasons of Homeland – has been lured back to the British stage for the first time since he starred as Shylock for the RSC a decade ago.
London’s Victoria and Albert museum has played host to some of the greatest fashion exhibitions of the past decade; from 2013’s David Bowie (which sold 311,956 tickets), The Hollywood Costume show in 2012 (251,738 tickets) and, of course, Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty expo that raked in half a million visitors.
“Wow, that’s brilliant,” exclaims a tourist, cooing over my boyfriend’s easel, as we stand side-by-side painting the view outside’s Mayfair’s Connaught hotel. Who knew that a five-star art course would be the activity that pushed my previously happy relationship to the brink? In contrast, Terence, my beloved, spent his teens mooning moodily about an art room, and has been known to whip out a sketch pad while on hols.
For centuries, humanity has relied on the science community to tell the objective truth about the world around us. In her new book, Inferior, science journalist Angela Saini paints a disturbing picture of just how deeply sexist notions have been woven into the fabric of scientific research – and how they are still being perpetuated within the science community today. Armed with a heavy arsenal of data, Saini provides a gripping and much-needed account of how even the most impartial fields of scientific study have for centuries fallen prey to the biases of the patriarchal foundations they have been built upon.
Megan Hunter’s debut, The End We Start From, begins with a woman in labour growling like an “unpredictable animal” as her waters break, “the pool of myself spreading slowly past my toes”. Mother nature acting in solidarity, “unprecedented” floodwaters – the result of an unexplained environmental crisis – submerge the British capital: “London. Hunter’s strange and haunting novella-cum-prose poem – it’s composed of short, staccato paragraphs of narrative interspersed with extracts from creation myths – charts the first year of Z’s life through his mother’s eyes.
Feria de Londres takes place from 27th-28th May at Potters Fields Park, London. Field Day takes place on Saturday 3rd June in Victoria Park, east London. This, coupled with the festival's unorthodox location – Brighton City Airport – makes it an experience you're unlikely to forget in a hurry.
If you haven’t heard about Convicted, then let us tell you: it’s what the group on the next table in the pub are debating, it’s what everyone on the bus is listening to, it’s the podcast that went straight to the top of the iTunes chart in its first week. After its success (it’s now holding steady at number two), people inevitably started calling Convicted the "new Serial " – the addictive season one broke podcast records (it’s been downloaded over 80 million times) and resulted in its subject, Adnan Syed, being able to appeal for a retrial on his conviction for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The subject of her podcast is Richard Nicolas, who's been in prison since 1996 and therefore has never used the internet or heard a podcast.
According to Hokusai (1760-1849), nothing he drew until he reached the age of 70 was worthy of notice. Then came a commission to create a series of thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, one of which, The Great Wave is his single most instantly recognisable achievement, and the work after which this show is named. The show itself, exhibited in the lightless upstairs exhibition space carved out of the old Reading Room of the British Museum, is the Hokusai story from start to finish, and for once this hot, unattractive, twisty-turny environment feels well managed.
Gavin Lind is a brave comedian. Lind has been on the receiving end of some pretty spectacular heckling in the past, so it’ll take a lot for this audience to top that, he says. Perhaps the most extraordinary heckle of all was last year at his Edinburgh Fringe show, when one woman gave the audience the middle finger while walking across the front of the stage, before calling him a misogynist and saying, “I’m glad you're f***ing gay”.
Ross Ericson was roused to pen and perform this powerful, personal and affecting one-man play by his anger at a 2014 Daily Mail article by Michael Gove decrying unpatriotic “left-wing academics” peddling “myths” about the First World War. Ironically, Gove may not entirely disapprove of the outcome of Ericson’s ire, should he deign to watch it, for while patriotism may not be much to the fore in this compelling one-hour production, honour – quiet, unassuming, everyman honour – shines through.
The Young Vic’s auditorium has been reconfigured as a sort of planetarium for this highly compelling revival, directed by Joe Wright, of Brecht’s play about the conflict between free inquiry and official ideology and about the ethical responsibility of the scientist. A sense of dislocation – a playing around with centre and periphery – is apt for a piece about a scientist who confirmed Copernicus’s heliocentric theories and demoted the earth from it supposedly starring role in the universe, incurring the wrath of the Catholic Church. The set-up here allows the production to achieve both a bracing informality (at the start of both halves, the actors mix freely with the public to the pounding music of Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers and a very unforced handling of the alienation devices whereby it reminds us that we are watching a construction designed to make us think rather an emotionally indulgent slice of life.
“You can trace back the all-male norm right go back to ancient Greece and then into Shakespeare’s time,” the theatre director George Mann tells me. Mann’s Medea, is the latest bold new production taking the British theatre scene by storm by utilising an all-female cast at Bristol Old Vic. Director Phyllida Lloyd spoke of some audience members being “quite condescending” and “outraged at the audacity” of the “unashamed feminist mission” of her all-female Julius Caesar, the first of her now considered landscape-altering Shakespeare Trilogy at Donmar King’s Cross, which also include Henry IV and The Tempest.