Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
New year, new Scream. Back after a gap of 11 years (if you don’t count the so-so TV show), this sequel/reboot combines a nostalgia fix – in the form of re-appearances from surviving original Scream characters – with modern anxieties such as: what if Ghostface hacked into the smart home apps linked to your mobile?
An arthouse essential, Memoria follows Tilda Swinton’s Jessica Holland as she attempts to trace the source of a mysterious noise in the jungles of Colombia. Fans of Apichatpong Weerasethakul will thrill to this unique director’s typically confident and singular approach, but this is also a great starting point for those new to his work.
Director Andrea Arnold is probably better known for fiction than documentary (see: American Honey, Red Road, Fish Tank …) but her fiction always has a bracing, documentary feel. It makes sense then, that her new documentary about the life of a dairy cow has lyrical, fictive qualities.
Going Out: Gigs
Ronnie Scott’s, London, 17 January
Yazz Ahmed (above) lists performing with Radiohead and Lee “Scratch” Perry on her CV, but the British-Bahraini trumpeter-composer’s blossoming as a global-jazz bandleader – splicing electronics, dancefloor grooves, Miles Davis, Kenny Wheeler, Arabic music, and much more – broadens the creative music-making of an already eclectic career. John Fordham
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 19 & 20 January
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor designate returns to the orchestra for the first time since his appointment was announced last September. Kazuki Yamada conducts Strauss, Mozart and Mahler, with Fatma Said as the soprano soloist in concert arias by Mozart, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Andrew Clements
15 January to 19 January; tour starts Sunderland
With work continuing on her fourth album, the ubiquitous-in-2013 Emeli Sandé heads out on a short UK tour in support of recent single Look What You’ve Done. The 19 Jan London date at the Roundhouse is part of In the Round festival, which also features the likes of Goat Girl and Richard Dawson.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
18 to 22 January; tour starts London
Why not ease yourself into 2022 with a blast of post-punk noise from Canada’s 10-piece sonic experimentalists? Last year’s seventh album, G_d’s Pee at State’s End! – their fourth since regrouping in 2012 – continues their love affair with epic song suites saturated in oppressive bleakness, but there are hints of light, too. Michael Cragg
Going Out: Stage
Bristol Old Vic, 20 January to 12 February
Tom Morris directs Mark Rylance (above) in an oh-so-welcome return to the stage. Rylance plays the maverick Doctor Semmelweis, who is haunted by the ghosts of dead mothers – and determined to introduce radical change. But will the medical establishment back him?
London international mime festival
Various London venues, to 6 February
Following an online-only outing last year, London’s annual festival of visual theatre – including dance, mime, circus and farce – returns. Featuring Sean Gandini’s contemporary juggling and Barely Methodical Troupe’s spellbinding circus-theatre show Kin. Miriam Gillinson
Wild Card: Akeim Toussaint Buck
Sadler’s Wells: Lilian Baylis Studio, 20 January & 21 February
Jamaican-born dance artist Akeim Toussaint Buck takes over Sadler’s Wells’ studio theatre to curate an evening of dance, live music and spoken word by artists all concerned with social change. London duo Fubunation, dancer Alethia Antonia and Toussaint Buck himself will examine race, identity, oppression, trauma and joy. Lyndsey Winship
Live at the Empire With Guz Khan
Hackney Empire, London, 21 January
The Coventry comic and Man Like Mobeen star helms a high-calibre east London night featuring Dane Baptiste, Suzi Ruffell, Maisie Adam and Brett Goldstein, who has recently enjoyed a vertiginous rise to comedy stardom thanks to his Emmy-winning turn as fiery footballer Roy Kent in Ted Lasso. Rachel Aroesti
Going Out: Art
Tate Britain, 21 January to 8 May
Research at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit and information from a network of online collaborators inspired this California-based artist’s new multi-channel video installation that investigates capitalism, consumerism and the 21st-century workplace – not exactly escapist stuff. The labour practices and marketing techniques of Amazon take centre stage.
Goldsmiths CCA, London, 21 January to 3 April
The art of the memorial has never been more contested. In a time of impasssioned arguments about statues and how to remember the pandemic’s victims, this exhibition invites some of the most radical artists around to rethink the monument. Monster Chetwynd, Mark Wallinger and Jeremy Deller are among the iconoclasts.
Astronomy Photographer of the Year
National Maritime Museum, London, to 7 August
This is the time of year when clear winter skies make for perfect views of the stars and many people wonder if it’s worth braving the cold to dust down that old telescope. This exhibition celebrates truly dedicated enthusiasts of all ages and their mesmerising photos of nebulae and other wonders.
White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, 19 January to 19 February
One of the great themes of painting is explored here without using a paintbrush. Wang Gongxin ponders the subtleties of light and shadow in art – and their contrasting use in European and Chinese painting traditions – through video, kinetic installations and marble sculpture. Swaying lightbulbs and troughs of dyed water create luminous nuance. Jonathan Jones
Staying In: Streaming
Out 21 January, Netflix
An unlikely life of crime plus domestic strife usually equals binge-worthy Netflix drama– and this nail-biting Missouri-set show starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney alongside Julia Garner (above), is no exception.Returning for the first half of a fourth and final series, closure and potentially even comeuppance are on the horizon.
Out 19 January, Disney+
Fictional 90s girl bands: your time is now. Hot on the platform heels of Tina Fey’s Girls5Eva, comes another comedy drama about four middle-aged women rebooting their careers – in this case, once-respected rap group the Nasty Bitches. Promisingly, real-life music biz veterans Eve and Brandy both star.
Out 21 January, Apple TV+
With a premise involving the death of a baby, an uncanny nanny and what is known as a “reborn doll”, this inordinately creepy series from M Night Shyamalan counts Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro as fans. Expect more intricate plot twists and bone-chilling horror as it returns for a third series.
As We See It
Out 21 January, Amazon Prime Video
Based on a hit Israeli series, this new comedy drama from Friday Night Lights creator Jason Katims revolves around three housemates with autism. Katims’s son has Asperger’s and the three lead actors all identify as being on the spectrum: signs the show should be full of valuable insight. Rachel Aroesti
Staying In: Games
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Extraction
Out 20 January, PC, PS4, PS5, Amazon Luna, Google Stadia and Xbox
The phenomenal series of tactical military shooters goes off-piste here, pitting you and your teammates against alien parasites rather than terrorists
Out 20 January, PC
A historical strategy game that’s a bit more up close and personal than the zoomed-out war games of, say, Age of Empires. Directly command a squad of Praetorians, and choose a path through a dramatic story. Keza MacDonald
Staying In: Albums
Orlando Weeks – Hop Up
While 2020’s A Quickening, the former Maccabees frontman’s debut solo album, was suffused with jittering tension, this streamlined, sunlit follow-up is being billed as “joyful, loveful, playful, blue-sky music”. It’s there on the soft electronic pulse of Look Who’s Talking Now and 80s synth workout Bigger.
Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!
The 27-year-old rapper, producer and Odd Future acolyte was working on a project called The People Could Fly when the pandemic hit. Acclimatising to the new global situation, he switched to Sick!, a 10-track album that offers up more of his inscrutable, freewheeling style, but with tinges of hope on the nostalgic single 201.
Cat Power – Covers
For her 11th album, indie troubadour Chan Marshall returns to her love of interpretation, completing a trilogy of covers albums following 2000’s The Covers Record and 2008’s Jukebox. Here she tackles everything from Frank Ocean to Nick Cave to Billie Holiday, plus her own 2006 classic Hate, now reworked as Unhate.
Bonobo – Fragments
Used to creating his records, including 2017’s critical and commercial breakthrough Migration, on the move, Sussex-born producer and DJ Simon Green, AKA Bonobo, had to contend with sudden stasis on its follow-up. Inspired by nature and old UK bass records, he slowly found his groove, with bucolic moments rubbing up against rave anthems. MC
Staying In : Brain food
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
Amazon Prime Video
In the three-and-a-half years since chef and broadcaster Anthony Bourdain’s tragic death, none have managed to replicate his uniquely emotive and intuitive reporting of food cultures. This film from director Morgan Neville examines the man’s genius.
Harvard fellow Hazami Barmada hosts the fourth season of this podcast examining humanitarian causes and interviewing the activists who have devoted their lives to them. Episodes look at tackling food insecurity, colourism, undocumented statuses and more.
Cambridge University senior lecturer Hester Lees-Jeffries leads this bite-sized and interactive close-reading group for Shakespeare’s texts via daily blog posts on her faculty website and Twitter. Currently tackling Macbeth, take a deep dive into the Bard’s ingenious plotting. Ammar Kalia