Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
A comedy-horror movie starring Foo Fighters? Why not? Always amiable screen presences, Dave Grohl and the gang’s story here revolves round an attempt to record their 10th album in a house that may or may not be a portal to hell. Fair enough – after all, the devil has the best tunes.
Although Game of Thrones’ quality dipped a bit by the end, one of its eternally reliable pleasures remained the chance to bask in the supreme on-screen charisma of Peter Dinklage. It makes Joe Wright’s Cyrano, in which Dinklage stars as the eloquent swordsman and would-be lover, a must-see.
The final film from Notting Hill director Roger Michell, who died last year aged 65, The Duke is a very British, Ealing-style comedy caper based on the true story of the 1961 heist of a Goya from the National Gallery. Starring Jim Broadbent as the unlikely criminal mastermind, and Helen Mirren as his longsuffering wife.
Set in a residential home for at-risk teenagers, this Swiss drama from Fred Baillif uses non-professional actors with direct experience of this sort of care to create a vivid and intricately structured portrait of the impact of trauma and abuse.
Going Out: Gigs
Sons of Kemet
26 February, Roundhouse, London
Fusing Caribbean carnival music, UK garage, raw noise and free jazz, force-of-nature saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings’s Mobo-winning quartet stage their biggest gig yet. MCs D Double E and Kojey Radical, and poet Joshua Idehen join the core double-drums lineup and tuba phenomenon Theon Cross. John Fordham
3 to 6 March; tour starts Bristol
The famed Chicago rapper arrives in the UK for a whistlestop tour in support of 2020’s House EP. Created in a week during lockdown, and featuring input from the late Virgil Abloh, its typically dense lyrics cover everything from the prehistoric world to the horrors of the modelling industry. Michael Cragg
1 to 9 March; tour starts Manchester
Released in late 2020, London rapper Blane Muise’s second EP, Alias, unleashed some of that lockdown frustration via seven sweaty sex-positive anthems. After a couple of delays, she finally gets to unleash them, plus last year’s equally filthy BDE, on writhing crowds via this tour of mid-sized venues. MC
Tamara Stefanovich – 20 Sonatas
27 February, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
Three years ago, Stefanovich treated London to her survey of the piano étude in a day of dazzling recitals. This time her marathon focuses on the piano sonata, with three programmes contrasting keyboard works from the 18th and 20th centuries. It promises to be a musical journey of old and new delights, with Bach alongside Busoni; Scarlatti and Soler with Bartók; and Eisler and Ustvolskaya. Andrew Clements
Going Out: Stage
4 March, Weston Auditorium, Hatfield, then touring
Choreographer Nina Rajarani won the Place prize for dance in 2006, combining modern life and classical bharatanatyam dance. Her latest show, Sevens, looks to the spirit and the soul in stories of love, flirtation and moral questioning, with live musicians on stage including Rajarani’s vocalist husband Yadav Yadavan. Lyndsey Winship
After the End
Theatre Royal, Stratford East, to 26 March
Director Lyndsey Turner revives Dennis Kelly’s chilling play, set in a bunker after a nuclear attack. Starring Nick Blood and Amaka Okafor. Miriam Gillinson
Sorry, You’re Not a Winner
Theatre Royal Plymouth, to 12 March, then touring
Playwright Sam Bailey is a bright new talent. His latest work is about aspiration, home and friendship – and two childhood pals who find their lives careering off in different directions. MG
Touring to 5 June
This Isn’t for You, the new show from the thirtysomething Dublin standup and Mash Report regular, mines gleeful, acerbic gags from her own personal lockdown hell – one that involved a breakup, a decimated comedy industry and the OCD she has had since her teenage years. Rachel Aroesti
Going Out: Art
Weston Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to 19 June
A retrospective of drawings by this environmentally sensitive sculptor who has spent his career celebrating trees. Like Italy’s Arte Povera movement, Nash works with the organic, doing wild things with wood. His drawings of trees are romantic and mythic, meditating on seasonal changes from green plenty to bare winter branches.
Whistler’s Woman in White
Royal Academy of Arts, London, to 22 May
Irish model Joanna Hiffernan was at the centre of a revolutionary moment, posing for avant garde painters including Gustave Courbet and James Abbott McNeill Whistler when poetic symbolism and stark realism were battling it out for the soul of modern art. Was she one of the true creators of modernism?
Barbican Art Gallery, London, 3 March to 26 June
Britain seemed exhausted after the second world war but the period saw a spectacular renaissance of art. Raw unvarnished images of life by Bacon, Auerbach and Freud led the way. By the later 1950s Hamilton, Hockney and other Popsters were taking a more humorous view of modern manners. This has them all and more.
Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland, 1 March to 30 October
The songs of seals – or are they sirens luring sailors to their deaths? – haunt this fortress in a sound installation that exploits its seashore setting. Lindisfarne Castle looks too good to be true, a citadel on a lofty rock, and is in fact an Edwardian fake. Explore it to Rooney’s soundtrack.
Staying In: Streaming
28 February, BBC One/iPlayer
The fourth and final series of the aesthetically intense and irreverently gory thriller finds Jodie Comer’s Villanelle attempting a Christian rebirth. Unsurprisingly, for a sociopathic assassin, being virtuous doesn’t come particularly easily – especially when she’s still obsessing over Sandra Oh’s Eve.
3 March, Disney+
It’s scammer season for true-crime drama: first came Inventing Anna’s tale of a socialite grifter, now comes the spectacular rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, founder of fraudulent blood-testing company Theranos. Amanda Seyfried, William H Macy and Stephen Fry star.
Pieces of Her
4 March, Netflix
The always captivating Toni Collette leads this adaptation of Karin Slaughter’s 2018 thriller. When a gunman opens fire at a restaurant, Andy (Bella Heathcote) is shocked to discover her mother has all the skills of an action hero. But the startling revelations – and the danger – don’t stop there.
27 February, BBC One/iPlayer
Prepare to doff your flat caps: the Brummie gangster drama’s sixth series is also its swan song. With fascism on the rise in 1930s Britain and Sam Claflin’s Oswald Mosley back in a big way, the finale of this stylish and style-setting show will doubtless be its darkest. RA
Staying In: Games
Gran Turismo 7
Out 4 March, PS4/5
The self-titled “real driving simulator” returns with 420 authentically modelled cars and more than 90 circuits, as well as state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and a dynamic weather system that will affect the surface conditions in real time. Developer Polyphony Digital is also promising full use of the Dual-Sense controller’s haptic feedback technology, to ensure intricate control. Expect PS5 consoles to be in even shorter supply when it releases.
Out 3 March, PC, PS4/5
So far, the latest hack’n’slash adventure from Osaka-based studio PlatinumGames has managed to slip under the radar, but the team behind imaginative and visually astonishing titles such as Bayonetta and NieR:Automata should not be underestimated. It’s a co-op battler in which heavily armoured warriors fight their way up through the Tower of Babel using a range of highly customisable weapons. Expect pitiless, limb-chopping mayhem.
Staying In: Albums
SASAMI – Squeeze
The second album from LA multi-instrumentalist Sasami Ashworth is an experiment in mood-shifting. Over the space of 11 songs – some co-produced alongside prolific garage rocker Ty Segall – she leaps from plaintive country-pop a la Sheryl Crow (Call Me Home) to spit-flecked, pummelling art-metal (Skin a Rat).
Johnny Marr – Fever Dreams Pts 1–4
In recent years, the former Smiths guitarist has happily flitted between top-tier session musician – he’s appeared on songs by everyone from Girls Aloud to Crowded House to Billie Eilish – and solo artist. Fever Dreams, half of which was released in 2021, is Marr’s fourth, and best, studio album.
Avril Lavigne – Love Sux
Pop-punk veteran Lavigne returns to a music scene partying like it’s still 2002, all checkerboard sweatbands, skinny ties and angst. This seventh album ditches the windswept emotion of 2019’s Head Above Water in favour of pogoing, T-shirt slogan-ready anthems such as lead single Bite Me. Warning: this album features Machine Gun Kelly.
Brother Leo – Pop Poetry Pt 1
With 11 Top 10 hits under his belt in his native Sweden, Ola Svensson, AKA Brother Leo, makes his international debut with this six-track mini-album (part two is due in June). Featuring production from A-listers including Fred Again and Steve Mac, highlights include the effervescent Living in a Zoo and the saucy Naked. MC
Staying In: Brain food
The Dickens Code
Dan Brown eat your heart out: this academic project aims to decipher the fiendishly complex shorthand manuscripts produced by Charles Dickens and uncover the author’s working processes. Read three versions of texts that have already been translated on their website.
As the so-called culture wars rumble on, the latest casualties are books. This literary podcast takes a look at the worrying spate of books being banned in the US, talking to authors of prohibited texts such as Alison Bechdel and Kiese Leymon.
Freeze: Skating on the Edge
With the Winter Olympics having finished, this high-stakes documentary series follows skating hopefuls attempting to make it into the British squad. As chronic underfunding hampers their chances, the skaters go to extreme lengths for a shot at gold.