Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
Paris, 13th District
The French auteur Jacques Audiard is back, and on lighter form than his searing prison drama A Prophet. In this beautifully shot black-and-white contemporary romance, modern Parisians try their best to figure out their love lives and lives in general. Call it the thinking viewer’s Emily in Paris.
The Phantom of the Open
Mark Rylance tees up a feelgood underdog golfing story that’s sure to score a hole in one with British audiences craving something lighter after all those heavy awards-season films earlier in the year. Based on a true story and directed by the likable actor-turned-director Craig Roberts, it also features Sally Hawkins.
A new horror film from the reliably excellent Ti West is always cause for excitement, but this one has a particularly alluring premise for fans of the genre: starring Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth and Brittany Snow, it follows a group of adult movie stars as they journey to a remote location to film their latest opus.
The first film ever to win all three of the top prizes at the Sundance film festival, this restrained drama is based on the true story of a woman who becomes an entrepreneur against the odds, following her husband’s disappearance during the late-90s war in Kosovo. Catherine Bray
Going Out: Gigs
Bill Laurance & The Royal Academy of Music Big Band
Ronnie Scott’s Club, London 21 March, 6.30pm & 10.30pm
Keyboardist Bill Laurance, co-founder of the Grammy-winning jazz-funk band Snarky Puppy and imaginative genre-splicing composer, shares Jazzwise magazine’s 25th-birthday celebrations with a punchy big band – and an agenda of Snarky hits, early originals, and new testaments to his cinematic use of jazz, global, and classical music. John Fordham
23 March to 2 April; tour starts Manchester
Nearly a decade after a viral performance on Letterman sent the band – and leg-waggling frontman Samuel T Herring – into orbit, their modus operandi hasn’t really changed. New single King of Sweden continues their love of heart-on-sleeve synth-led art-rock, adding another hands-in-the-air live favourite to the Future Islands canon.
19 to 29 March; tour starts Brighton
Since winning the 2021 Brits Rising Star award, pop newcomer Griff has scored a Top 20 single with Black Hole, landed a Top 5 with debut mixtape One Foot in Front of the Other and shared some chips with Taylor Swift. This delayed UK tour could well be the last chance to catch her in smallish venues.
BBCSO Total Immersion: Frank Zappa
Barbican Hall, London, 19 March
The latest of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s all-day specials is devoted to the unclassifiable, freewheeling genius of Frank Zappa. This celebration focuses on his ensemble and orchestral works, including a performance of his final album, The Yellow Shark, alongside some of the modernist scores by Stravinsky, Webern and Varèse that influenced him so much. Andrew Clements
Going Out: Stage
The Burnt City
Woolwich Works, 22 March to 28 August
Immersive theatre maestros Punchdrunk return to London for the first time since 2014 with its largest ever production. Unfolding over two Grade II-listed buildings in Greenwich, it’s a futuristic version of the fall of Troy. Epic. Miriam Gillinson
Tron theatre, Glasgow, to 26 March
A visually arresting take on Kafka’s darkly captivating story, about a man who wakes up to discover he is a giant insect. This international co-production show received stellar reviews before closing early in lockdown. MG
Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham, 24 March; The Quay, Sudbury, 25 March
A slow-burn success story, Ruffell is the kind of seasoned, self-assured standup whose well-honed skills make her a hugely comforting presence on stage. Drawing on her working-class Portsmouth childhood and her experiences of being gay, the 36-year-old makes class and sexuality the cornerstones of her matey and giddily silly routines. Rachel Aroesti
Barbican Hall, London, 24 March to 27 March, then touring
The pioneering ballet company celebrates 20 years of putting Black and Asian dancers in the spotlight with a new ballet, Say It Loud, charting the story of the company itself. Plus a premiere from South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma called Black Sun, with music from Kano producer Mikey J Asante. Lyndsey Winship
Going Out: Art
Kyōsai: The Israel Goldman Collection
Royal Academy of Arts, London, to 19 June
Japanese art had a revolutionary golden age in the early 1800s that culminated in Hokusai’s 1831 masterpiece The Great Wave. But what happened next? This exhibition makes the case for Kawanabe Kyōsai, who carried on making fantastical images of ghosts and courtesans to his death in 1889, as a modern great.
Six Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust
Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, to 6 June
The people in these paintings are dignified and advanced in years but they lived through the worst hell in history. Jenny Saville’s portrait of Ziggi Shipper is the boldest, seeing him through a brown and grey wash that suggests old photos of that abyss.
Tate Britain, 21 March to 22 January
The sprawling assemblages of Hew Locke can fill Tate Britain’s central hall without trying, and his ramshackle collage aesthetic should play effectively against its cold classical architecture. The history of empire suggested by the building may give him good ammunition, but he can be a bit scattergun in throwing stuff together.
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, 22 March to 30 October
A celebration of the notable art collector Alice de Rothschild, whose brother Ferdinand built Waddesdon Manor as a neo-Renaissance chateau in the 19th century. This survey of her life and passions is packed with beautiful things. Jonathan Jones
Staying In: Streaming
Then Barbara Met Alan
9pm, 21 March, BBC Two and iPlayer
From disability advocate and screen-writing king Jack Thorne, and deaf actor Genevieve Barr, comes this docudrama about disabled cabaret performers Barbara Lisicki and Alan Holdsworth, whose protests against patronising coverage and government cuts changed the lives of disabled people.
25 March, Netflix
Shonda Rhimes’ fantastical period romp returns after the colossal success of its height-of-lockdown debut, which made overnight stars of leads Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page. Season two switches focus to eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony, with new love interest Kate Sharma continuing the show’s refreshingly inclusive approach to race.
25 March, Apple TV+
Adapted from Min Jin Lee’s bestselling novel of the same name, this epic 20th-century saga chronicles four generations of a Korean family who emigrate to Japan. Named after a Japanese arcade game, its characters’ lives are buffeted by chance in a world as unpredictable as a slot machine.
8pm, 20 March, BBC One and iPlayer
David Attenborough narrates this series about animals fighting for their children’s survival. Puma mothers must swerve male attention, twin baby elephants battle mud, and cheetahs fend off hyenas. RA
Staying In: Games
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass
Another outing for the game that has entertained millions of families over the past few years, featuring remastered tracks from the N64, Wii, Game Boy and every other classic Nintendo console.
Out March 25, PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X
This paranormal action game has you running and fighting in the streets of a deserted Tokyo. Essentially, a game about punching ghosts.
Staying In: Albums
Rosalía – Motomami
Split into two moods – the “moto” half the aggressive flipside to the softer “mami” – Spanish superstar Rosalía’s long-awaited third album can give you whiplash. While Saoko and the ludicrous Chicken Teriyaki gleefully play with reggaeton’s limits, Como Un G, co-written with James Blake, lets the wound left by a broken relationship slowly bleed out.
Charli XCX – Crash
Swapping the PC Music-assisted hyperpop of her last few releases in favour of a more chart-friendly concoction (Beg for You’s TikTok-focused UK garage, for example), Charli XCX returns with her gleaming fifth album. Originally billed as “the Janet album”, the influence of Miss Jackson (if you’re nasty) can be heard on sweaty recent single Baby.
Midlake – For the Sake of Bethel Woods
Nine years after their fourth album, Antiphon, Texan quintet Midlake return from years spent on solo projects and interior design with their most musically diverse offering. While 1970s-influenced folk-rock is still their foundation, songs like the six-minute Noble meander gracefully around sighing electronics and fractured guitars.
Babeheaven – Sink Into Me
West London’s alt-pop practitioners Babeheaven make music for lonely 4am bus journeys. Their debut album, 2020’s tellingly titled Home for Now, reflected life locked in, and while this atmospheric follow-up continues that sense of disconnection, songs like swirling highlight The Hours, for example, offer up glimmers of hope. MC
Staying In: Brain food
Authentic: The Story of Tablo
Host Dexter Thomas Jr charts the strange story of Korean rapper Tablo in this fascinating podcast. Touted as a hip-hop pioneer, Tablo’s career was derailed in 2010 when a conspiracy theory about his background took hold on the internet.
This addictive YouTube series from tech magazine Wired assembles a range of chatty experts to tackle Twitter users’ most asked questions. Among the highlights are a sleep expert explaining why naps make us more tired.
Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives
Another fast-paced docuseries filled with larger-than-life characters from Chris Smith, the director of Netflix’s viral 2019 Fyre festival film, this four-parter follows the fortunes of a vegan restaurateur who ends up on the run with $2m stolen from her staff.