Go out: Cinema
The iron claw
This drama is based on the true story of the Von Erich brothers, competitive wrestlers in the 1980s, whose domineering father (Holt McCallany) was also a former wrestler eager to live his dreams through his children. Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson and newcomer Stanley Simons play the brothers, in a cast as delightful as we’ll see all year.
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) reminds us here that it began in galleries, with a four-hour non-narrative portrait of the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, along with impressions of the city during the pandemic. The film is based on a book by McQueen’s partner, Bianca Stigter.
your fat friend
Documentary filmmaker Jeanie Finlay is known for showcasing people whose perspectives are outside the mainstream. This time, it’s the turn of fat activist Aubrey Gordon, who over the course of six years goes from anonymous blogger to New York Times best-selling author, challenging the ways society rejects or accepts fat.
London teenager Ash (Stephen Odubola) is trying to raise money to send his mother to rehab and support his 14-year-old sister. Soon, he finds himself caught up in a world of street cell phone theft, which leads to jewelry store robberies, in documentary filmmaker George Amponsah’s feature debut. Catherine Bray
Go out: Events
10 to February 17; the tour begins Dublin
The Icelandic TikTok favorite arrives in the UK on the back of critical acclaim and a Grammy nomination for her second album Bewitched, which combines Norah Jones-style classicism with modern lyrical themes to devastating effect. Michael Crag
New piano concertos
Royal Festival Hall, London, fifteen & February 16th
The Festival Hall premieres two piano concertos this week. First, Alice Sara Ott is the soloist, before the following night Javier Perianes joins the London Philharmonic to present Francisco Coll’s fantasy for piano and orchestra, City Without a Dream. andres clementes
fifteen to February 25; The tour begins in London.
While work on her debut album continues (there was a mixtape in 2022), Natasha Woods, aka Dylan, is trying out new songs. She expects last year’s OTT rocker Rebel Child and new Taylor Swift-esque single The Alibi to be added to the tracklist. MC
Blue Spirits by John Etheridge
Wool Jazz, Colchester, February 14th
One of the UK’s most stylistically versatile and entertaining guitarists, Etheridge has worked with French violin legend Stéphane Grappelli, jazz-fusionists Soft Machine and classical virtuoso John Williams, among others. This funky trio with organ and drums lively confirms Etheridge’s deep and lasting roots in the blues. John Fordham
Go out: Art
Landscapes of the soul
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, February 14th to 2 June
Michael Armitage’s sensual, Gauguin-like paintings of African forests and Alberta Whittle’s explorations of places scarred by the history of slavery are among the contemporary interpretations of landscape art here. Hurvin Anderson, Isaac Julien and Njideka Akunyili Crosby also participate in a show that takes an inquisitive look at a traditional genre.
Barbican Art Gallery, London, February 13 to May 26
Tracey Emin is among the artists whose radical uses of fabric are celebrated here. Since artists began experimenting with everyday materials in the 1960s, textiles have been part of the language of modern art. Judy Chicago, Cecilia Vicuña, and many more help make a compelling argument.
Tate St Ives, 10 February to 6 Can
Fragments of color like sun-kissed icicles or flashes of the northern lights evoke the Arctic region in Pieski’s beautiful installations. This Sami artist, who lives and works in Finland, uses and reinvents traditional crafts, including tassel making, to keep her history and culture alive as she rails against the death of northern nature.
Pallant House, Chichester, February 10 to April 21
Hajallie makes tough but sensitive drawings with a steady hand. That sounds safe, but his self-portraits are markedly political, as he single-handedly questions and corrects the colonial legacy and prejudices he sees in British art, replacing white male portraits with his own image in a show called Penned Into History. jonathan jones
Go out: Scenery
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: carnations
Sadler’s Wells, London, 14 to February 22
One of the late choreographer Pina Bausch’s most surprising works, and for someone who created so many surprising moments in theater, that’s saying a lot. Nelken means carnations, and there are 8,000 of them (made of silk) carpeting the stage. A piece of great beauty and pathos. Lyndsey Winship
National Theatre: Lyttelton, London, until March 27
Fresh from captivating television audiences in the brilliant crime drama Truelove, Lindsay Duncan stars in a revival of Dodie Smith’s heartwarming comedy, which first premiered in 1938. The play depicts three generations of a family, all brought together in a golden wedding anniversary.
Shed: exploded view
Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, until March 2
Winner of the prestigious Bruntwood Award, Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s passionate and powerful work follows three couples over 30 years, with domestic violence at the heart of each story. Miriam Gillinson
Various locations, Bristol, 14 to February 18ruario
Impeccably structured jokes are all well and good, but physical buffoonery is still where the laughs reside. This annual celebration of visual comedy and silent cinema delves into the archives: Adam Hills praises Buster Keaton and Hugh Bonneville presents a trio of 1920s film classics. Raquel Aroesti
Stay in: Transmission
The new look
AppleTV+, February 14th
The intensely high-pressure, ego-indulgent world of haute couture has long been a breeding ground for real-life characters, which means this series chronicling the post-World War II rivalry between Christian Dior and Coco Chanel It has excellent raw material to work with. Stars Juliette Binoche, Ben Mendelsohn and John Malkovich will make sure not a single piece goes to waste.
Alice and Jack
Channel 4, February 14th9 p.m.
Hot on the heels of the new adaptation of One Day comes another story of cosmically thwarted romance between two almost soulmates. Andrea Riseborough’s Alice has a one-night stand with Domhnall Gleeson’s Jack: what follows is a complicated entanglement that ultimately concludes with Alice’s disappearance, until years later when she returns prematurely.
bring the drama
BBC Two and iPlayer, February 14th9 p.m.
Between baking, pottery making, singing, tattooing, hair styling and painting, at this stage there are few creative skills that haven’t been gamified into a feel-good reality format. Now we can add acting to the list, thanks to this new series hosted by Bill Bailey, which tests the talent and mettle of eight budding actors.
The Vince Staples Show
Netflix, February 15
Vince Staples is one of the most restless and creative rappers today; He now he comes to revolutionize comedy. Set in his hometown of Long Beach, California, this new comedy builds on Staples’ cult status: He plays a “somewhat famous, somewhat rich” musician whose daily life is beset by a series of absurd crises. RA
Stay in: Games
Mario vs Donkey Kong
Outside February 16thChange
Another remake, this time of the acclaimed 2004 Game Boy Advance puzzler, in which Mario must fight his oversized primate enemy in a toy factory. Delicious updated visuals and a cooperative mode add to the charm.
Tomb Raider remastered
Outside February 14thSwitch, PC, PS, Xbox
A restored collection of the first three titles in the famous action-adventure series, complete with expansion packs and secret levels. Without a doubt, the perfect Valentine’s gift for those nostalgic for Lara Croft. Keith Stuart
Stay in: Albums
Usher – Coming Home
Timed to coincide with his Super Bowl halftime performance, enduring R&B lover Usher (above) releases his first solo album since 2016’s perfectly titled Hard II Love. Recorded in Atlanta with artists including Lil Jon, The-Dream and Jermaine Dupri, presents the immaculate 2023 slow jam Good Good.
Zara Larsson – Venus
The outspoken Swedish pop star follows up 2021’s Poster Girl with this fourth album. With collaborations with heavy hitters like MNEK and David Guetta, Venus wastes no time when it comes to hit quotas, as evidenced by recent single You Love Who You Love.
Declan McKenna – What happened to the beach?
Considered by its creator to be less intense than its predecessor, McKenna’s third album dials down the heaviness in favor of experimental indie seemingly influenced by MGMT and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The former’s psych sound weaves in and out of the dreamy lead single, Sympathy.
Shygirl – Shy Club
Honoring her club roots, London-based sonic experimentalist Shygirl releases this dancefloor-ready EP. Featuring sweat-soaked collaborations with producers SG Lewis, Kingdom and Boys Noize, as well as vocalists Cosha and Empress Of, Club Shy is the perfect stopgap before 2022’s follow-up album, Nymph. MC
Go out: Brain food
Law and disorder
Retired judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn, barrister Baroness Helena Kennedy and former chancellor Charlie Falconer lead this series which looks at the week’s news through the lens of the law. Expect passionate disagreements about Prince Harry, privacy and more.
Australian high school teacher Eddie Woo is a master at making math accessible. His classroom clips explain everything from basic probability to advanced geometry through clear instructions and whiteboard demonstrations. Perfect for both students and curious adults.
Eight numbers to understand China
BBC World Service, February 11th09:30
To mark the lunar new year this week, presenter Celia Hatton delves into China’s complex history through the formative numbers that have shaped it. Despite her clumsy conceit, Ella Hatton covers vast ground from marriage to the zodiac. Ammar Kalia