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.
It's September 2003 and Rory Stewart, a thirty year old former British diplomat (now an MP), finds himself posted to serve as the governor of the Maysan province in the south of the newly liberated Iraq. In an Evelyn Waugh novel, Stewart would have been elevated to this position through a farcical case of mistaken identity and turn out to be constitutionally unsuited to the role. When Iraq was invaded, he submitted his CV and – on receiving no reply – struck out for Baghdad to search for a job on the spot.
The audience meets the Shaun-Hastings couple in their home, an artist and Member of the Canadian Parliament respectively. Said tormentor, Curtis (David Leopold), seems so ordinary, like any other teenager, and it's this lack of monstrosity which sends Debora (Lucy Robinson) over the edge. Despite the idea behind their structured handling of grief (they share photographs, school awards, and two horribly juxtaposed letters, written by Debora and Curtis respectively), all are there under false pretences.
The man everybody expected to be come a champion boxer has lost his killer instinct. Hope Theatre Company has for the past decade been presenting work that promotes equality and celebrates diversity. A bigger clue was that the previous play, Away From Home, by this writer/actor Rob Ward was about a rent boy and a gay Premiership footballer.
Betroffenheit is an overwhelming theatrical experience, a stark exploration of grief and addiction. Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, this dance-theatre hybrid is raw, funny and profoundly, tenderly human. Young wrote and stars in the production, directed and choreographed by Pite.
“There is something timeless, terrifying and marvellous about Carousel,” observes Ethan Mordden in his fine programme note for Lonny Price's rather ravishing semi-staged revival of this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic – a show that kicks off the third season of musicals co-produced by English National Opera and the GradeLinnit company. Aficionados of the form tend to agree with Rodgers that nothing surpasses this score, premiered in 1945, in the R&H canon for sheer beauty. There is controversy, though, in Hammerstein's book, which gives a New England setting to the dark saturnine Hungarian play Liliom, whose protagonist, a fairground barker, beats his wife, dies in a failed robbery, burns in hell for 16 years and then screws up his one chance of salvation when granted a day back on earth.
Head to the capital for a cracking Easter bank holiday, with plenty of free events for the whole family to enjoy.