Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
A Bread Factory: Parts One & Two
A battle between grassroots culture and a corporate impression of it plays out in the fictional upstate New York town of Checkford, in Patrick Wang’s new two-part avant-garde epic. Both parts are on release now, alongside a retrospective of his other work to date.
The Real Charlie Chaplin
The talented documentarians Peter Middleton and James Spinney, who last graced the big screen with their sensational Notes on Blindness, are back with an exploration of the life of Charlie Chaplin. It uses beautifully restored archival material to explore the lighter and darker sides of one of the world’s most famous men.
Starring Andrea Riseborough, this directorial debut from Stacey Gregg explores grief and obsession through the lens of a woman, Laura, who is still mourning the loss of a young child. Laura begins to perceive eerie, perhaps supernatural, connections between her late daughter and Megan, the girl next door.
A shaggy dog story in every sense, and one that harks back to the days of wholesome Disney live-action animal yarns, this canine odd-couple movie stars Channing Tatum as a former army ranger tasked with returning a recalcitrant Belgian shepherd called Lulu to her former owner’s family. Catherine Bray
Going out: Gigs
20 February to 28 February; tour starts Glasgow
After honing her craft collaborating with dance acts such as Disclosure, Ryan Hemsworth and Rudimental, singer-songwriter Harnett (above) has blossomed into one of the UK’s best R&B vocalists. Her recent album Ready Is Always Too Late, which will be showcased on this delayed tour, was one of 2021’s slowburn success stories. Michael Cragg
24 February to 4 March; tour starts Nottingham
New Jersey indie-folk stalwarts the Lumineers have built a pretty solid career around their breakthrough debut single, 2012’s ubiquitous, thigh-slapping Ho Hey, scoring three top 10 albums in the UK alone. This tour of cavernous arenas is in support of January’s sun-dappled Brightside album. MC
Scottish National Jazz Orchestra With Joe Locke & Kenny Washington
Dundee, 24 February; Edinburgh, 25 February
Saxophonist Tommy Smith’s Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, one of the great international big band hosts US star guests Kenny Washington (vocals) and Joe Locke (vibraphone) on this Pop! Rock! Soul! programme, putting multi-horn jazz clout behind classic pop hits by Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Steely Dan and more. John Fordham
Cardiff, 25 February, then touring
The Welsh new-music ensemble tour a programme of premieres. There are first performances of Guto Pryderi Puw’s Popping Candy, Joseph Davies’s Collider and Carlijn Metselaar’s Forest Bathing, before two works new to Wales: Unsuk Chin’s Gougalon and Du Yun’s fierce, cataclysmic Impeccable Quake. Andrew Clements
Going Out: Art
Hayward Gallery, London, to 15 May
This long-lived super-artist brought the art movements of her youth kicking and screaming (if you are scared of spiders) into the 21st century. Bourgeois grew up in the France of Jean Cocteau and later collaborated with Tracey Emin. This show (above) focuses on her use of fabrics in her late works.
Surrealism Beyond Borders
Tate Modern, London, 24 February to 29 August
The surrealist movement was started by Parisian poets after the first world war but grew to inspire artists in Spain, Belgium, Britain and – as this exhibition shows – all over the world. This is a diverse collection of dreams and nightmares from Egypt to Mexico and beyond. Surrealism flourishes wherever life seems a bit … surreal.
The Arc, Winchester, to 15 May
During the surrealist era in the 1930s, British artists mixed its quirky freedom with homegrown romanticism. Ravilious, who died in the second world war, expressed this gentle style in everything from watercolours to Wedgwood pottery designs. His England is a white horse on a hillside seen from a train.
A Century of the Artist’s Studio
Whitechapel Gallery, London, to 29 May
In the early 20th century, Matisse made his studio one of his main subjects and his abstract visions put studio life at the heart of modernism. The caves where artists make their magic have been richly mythologised ever since. Picasso, Lisa Brice, Walead Beshty, Kerry James Marshall and more hang out here. Jonathan Jones
Going Out: Stage
Young Vic theatre, London, to 2 April
Kwame Kwei-Armah directs the world premiere of Anthony McCarten’s intense new drama about artists Warhol and Basquiat, in 80s New York. Starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope.
71 Coltman Street
Hull Truck theatre, to 12 March
Comic maestro Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) has written a new play to celebrate Hull Truck’s 50th anniversary – and it’s all about how this popular theatre first began. Miriam Gillinson
Crewe, 19 February; touring to 30 May
Devotees of his twice-weekly Parenting Hell podcast might imagine there is no Widdicombe musing – however trivial – they haven’t been privy to, but he’ll have doubtless kept back the cream of the bewildered-at-modern-life observational crop for this Covid-delayed nationwide tour. Rachel Aroesti
New theatre, Peterborough, 22 February; touring to 25 March
Strictly Come Dancing faves Karen Hauer and Gorka Márquez resume their UK-wide Firedance tour, two years after it was shut down thanks to you know what. Unlike other Strictly spin-offs, there’s no chat, just pure passion-fuelled performance in the story of two rival Latin dancers coming face to face in the ballroom. Lyndsey Winship
Staying In: Streaming
Sky Max/Now TV, Wednesday
This frenetic, late 80s-set comedy-drama from Perrier-nominated standup Sarah Kendall returns to chronicle the exploits of an Australian housewife with a very large fringe who ricochets between a life of luxury in London and a far less salubrious existence down under.
The sequel to the long-running Canadian drama may feature questing, kingdoms and endless sword fights, but this is no fantasy epic. Instead, think of it as a pec-heavy history lesson: characters include real figures such as explorer Leif Erikson and Norwegian king Harald Hardrada.
Having already experimented with interactive storytelling in the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch, Charlie Brooker returns to multiple choice with this cartoon for kids. Co-created with the BoJack Horseman team and executed with a headily nostalgic Looney Tunes-style aesthetic, there’s plenty to keep adults interested too.
Billy Connolly Does …
Filmed at the standup luminary’s Florida home, this autobiographical series merges archive footage with Connolly’s own reflections on his 50-year career. Not, of course, in a dull chronological fashion – instead each episode is organised around a theme, with the opener focusing on tales of wild debauchery. RA
Staying In: Games
Total War: Warhammer 3
More large-scale dark-fantasy strategy warfare (above) from a long-established series that’s as popular now as ever.
Martha Is Dead
Out Thur, PC. Xbox, PlayStation
An unusual, unsettling thriller game set against the backdrop of 1940s Tuscany, mixing the real-world horrors of war and loss with the supernatural.
Out Fri, PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4/5
This is likely to be one of the year’s best games: an uncompromising yet inviting fantasy collaboration between the Dark Souls creators and George RR Martin. Keza MacDonald
Staying In: Albums
Metronomy – Small World
After six albums of slippery arch-pop, Joseph Mount et al (above) return with a pared-back collection of songs exploring nature, simple pleasures and reconnecting with what’s important. Lead single It’s Good to Be Back harnesses a sliver of that old playful side, but with a stronger beating heart underneath.
Beach House – Once Twice Melody
On their eighth album, US dream-pop pioneers Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have crafted an 18-track album, handily split into four sections. Chapters one to three started emerging last November, allowing fans time to sit with songs whose elegant grandeur unfurls slowly and purposefully.
Kanye West – Donda 2
Out 22 February
Given the long delays to West’s 10th album, Donda, perhaps we should take the mooted release date of this sequel with a hefty pinch of salt. Executive produced by Future, the album is rumoured to feature A$AP Rocky, the Game, Travis Scott and, more disappointingly, Marilyn Manson.
Josef Salvat – Islands
While Australian-born, Paris-based Josef Salvat (below) has made two albums of sophisticated, melancholy pop, the independently-released Islands aims for all-caps fun. Out go the ballads and in comes Blinding Lights-esque sugar-rush synthpop (I’m Sorry), strutting sex-positive anthems (Promiscuity) and a new more-is-more carefree attitude (The Drum). MC
Staying In: Brain food
Podcasts claiming to improve your life are a dime a dozen but this NPR offering tackles some genuinely intriguing (and niche) topics with nuance and accessibility. Find out how to be more creative and how to face your money woes.
Modernist Journals Project
This month marks the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses and on the Modernist Journals Project site you can read the landmark novel in its original serialised form, alongside other formative periodicals such as Blast and Crisis.
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing
Netflix, out now
Not one for nervous flyers, this documentary by Rory Kennedy eloquently examines why two Boeing 747-Max aircraft fell from the sky in 2018 and 2019, killing 346 passengers and crew. A lesson in the tragedy of corporate greed. Ammar Kalia