All the cultural highlights from the coming weekend
It’s Academy Awards weekend, that time of year when the film industry obsesses over who will win what, and why.
But there’s more going on than just the Oscars. The Independent has compiled a guide to the best cultural activities and events taking place over the next few days, for our weekly Arts Agenda.
Critics and editors recommend a diverse range of options from the worlds of art, literature, film, music, stage and TV.
Arts editor Jessie Thompson heralds an exciting new project from feminist publisher Virago, and discusses the divisive Bake Off musical currently storming the West End. Features editor Adam White has good things to say about the new Scream film, which features Wednesday star Jenna Ortega.
Chief art critic Mark Hudson urges everyone to go and check out the Cézanne exhibition while there’s still a chance, and features writer Annabel Nugent walks us through the new concept album from Miley Cyrus. Last but not least, we have TV editor Ellie Harrison championing a thought-provoking new series about a flight disaster as well as the series finale of The Last of Us.
Art Anthony Caro: The Inspiration of Architecture
Unfailingly elegant even when executed in the roughest cast iron, Caro’s large-scale abstract sculptures make a surprisingly neat fit with Sir John Soane’s extraordinary and patently eccentric Georgian manor house. With his playful use of mirrors, curving ceilings and trompe-l’oeil painting, Soane was almost as much of a sculptor as Caro himself. Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery (Ealing, London W5), until 10 Sept
A last chance to see this uneven – but still essential – survey of one of art’s true greats. The monumental Bathers series, as well as some wonderful brooding late landscapes and still lives, make it amply clear why the reclusive Post-Impressionist became one of the great progenitors of Modernism and still inspires legions of artists today. Tate Modern, until 12 March
Sussex Landscape: Chalk, Wood and Water
This most proverbially “conservative” of English counties has proved a surprising stimulus for modern artists, from Turner to Wolfgang Tillmans in his radical contemporary photography. A
wealth of works from popular favourites such as Vanessa Bell, Eric Ravilious and Paul Nash explore Sussex’s distinctive rolling landscapes, which remain in many cases remarkably littlechanged. Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, to 23 April
Mark Hudson, chief art critic
Books Furies: Stories of the Wicked, Wild and Untamed
Who doesn’t feel a little frisson of excitement when stumbling upon one of Virago’s iconic green spines in a second-hand bookshop? Since its inception in 1973, the feminist publisher has championed the work of writers as wide-ranging as Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Taylor, Daphne du Maurier and Zora Neale Hurston.
To kickstart its 50th anniversary celebrations this year, it will publish a collection of new short stories inspired by words often used against women, from “hussy” to “she-devil”; authors include Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Linda Grant, Kamila Shamsie and Caroline O’Donoghue.
Enchantment by Katherine May
Katherine May’s last book, Wintering, helped to explain why we all want to go to ground when the days get dark and the weather gets cold. Her latest, in which she pursues a sense of wonder, could be regarded as its life-affirming sequel, encouraging you to slow down, look around and savour each day.
Jessie Thompson, arts editor
Critics haven’t been able to see this “Adam Driver fights a dinosaur” pic, which usually isn’t the best sign of quality. But I repeat: Adam Driver fights a dinosaur. He plays a pilot who travels through a time loop and crash-lands on planet Earth 65 million years ago. Somehow a plucky kid is there, too. Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, writers of A Quiet Place, direct. In cinemas now
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Arriving on Netflix after a few weeks in cinemas, this featurelength sequel to the Luther BBC series heightens the action of the original show while also boosting the sheer extravagance of the whole thing. It sees Idris Elba’s immaculately dressed Luther in pursuit of a serial killer (Andy Serkis) targeting “hypocritical” Londoners. Streaming on Netflix now
As much as its foundation is built upon generational trauma and survivor’s guilt, the Scream franchise has never forgotten to be resolutely fun. Scream VI, featuring returning stars Jenna Ortega, Courteney Cox and Hayden Panettiere, shifts the action to New York and takes full advantage of the city’s eerie claustrophobia. There are subway stabbings, ominous alleyways, and penthouse apartment chases.
The film is often a bit of a stealth remake of past Scream incarnations, but when the blueprint for this series (masked killer; lots of suspects; likeable heroes) is so bulletproof, it’s hard to complain. In cinemas now
Adam White, features editor
Music Album: Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation
Fresh off her surprise comeback hit “Flowers”, the pop star returns with a sunny eighth album – one that will hopefully usher in some warm weather with it. It’s been three years since Plastic Hearts saw Cyrus stride confidently into her “rock era”, and Endless Summer Vacation looks ready to offer fans another side of the singer. Or rather, two.
Cyrus recently said the new record is divided into “morning” and “night” themes, with the former capturing the “potential of new possibility” and the latter taking on a slinkier, sexier attitude. You can read our verdict on the record today, courtesy of music critic Helen Brown. Out now
Gig: Lizzo at O2 London
If you’re looking for something to brighten these dreary days, look no further than Lizzo in London. The four-time Grammy winner has taken her live tour to the UK, and it’s already picking up five-star reviews. Expect show-stopping costumes, virtuoso twerking, and impeccable flute-playing. Lizzo is nothing if not a versatile artist.
Grab a last-minute ticket and you might even see The Independent’s own Nicole Vassell in the crowd – or you can read her review the next morning. 15 & 16 March
Event: London Symphony Orchestra and Soweto Kinch present White Juju at Printworks
Another week, another Printworks event. This Thursday, the London Symphony Orchestra will join forces with Mobowinning, Mercury-nominated alto saxophonist and MC Soweto Kinch for an immersive performance of their 2022 political album White Juju. The record’s fusion of jazz, hip-hop and classical music will be accompanied by powerful sound, light, and video installations. It’s also worth mentioning that the iconic London venue will be closing its doors soon, so get there while you still can. 16 March
Annabel Nugent, features writer
Stage After the Act
This year marks two decades since the homophobic law known as Section 28, banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools, was finally repealed. As part of New Diorama’s bold new
season of work, a musical by Breach Theatre will explore the impact this law had on the lives of LGBT+ people.
It’s the company’s first show since the hit It’s True It’s True It’s True, about the 1612 trial of painter Artemisia Gentileschi’s rapist, and the company told The Independent they had found parallels with modern-day prejudice while making it. “A lot of the public debates that happened around gay rights are being almost resurrected around trans rights now,” said director Billy Barrett.
The Great British Bake Off Musical
A showstopper or a soggy bottom? The reviews for The Great British Bake Off Musical have been decidedly mixed, with some embracing its blend of silliness and sentimentality, others unconvinced by its relentless baking puns. Our review from Isobel Lewis lands somewhere in the middle, praising the music but finding the more serious moments misjudged. Either way, new British musicals don’t find their way to the West End that often, which makes this worth a look. Jessie Thompson, arts editor
MH370: The Plane that Disappeared
“Ambiguous loss is a trauma like no other,” the director of the new Netflix documentary MH370: The Plane that Disappeared told The Independent this week. The three-part series, about the Malaysia Airlines flight that seemed to vanish in 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, is a de facto study of the agony of grief – a pain made all the deeper by not knowing exactly what happened to those on the plane. Out now on Netflix
The Last of Us
After nine weeks of Pedro Pascal being dreamy, fleeting-but-beautiful queer love stories, and the odd staggering zombie, HBO’s epic video game adaptation is galloping to a close. After Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) traumatic ordeal with a cannibalistic religious group in the penultimate episode, she’s feeling pretty out of sorts in this grand finale. Emotions are running high, and so is the body count – but will our favourite pair make it to season two? On Sky Atlantic and Now TV from 2am on Monday
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
In Netflix’s first ever live-streamed broadcast, Chris Rock delivered a 60-minute stand-up set that’s been in the headlines all week. He took the opportunity to have his say on – you guessed it – the slap. He also cracked jokes about the Duchess of Sussex’s accusations of racism against the royal family. Our critic
thought the set was uninspired overall, but it might be worth watching just for the barbs and gossip that lie within. Out now on Netflix
Ellie Harrison, TV editor
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