Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
One of the greatest corporate satires of all-time, rereleased in a sparkling new 4k restoration? I’d buy that for a dollar! The Paul Verhoeven sci-fi classic (above) is as deliciously, startlingly violent as ever. Age cannot wither RoboCop!
Creepy children have inspired all sorts of spooky stories, from The Midwich Cuckoos to The Sixth Sense. In this Norwegian thriller from writer-director Eskil Vogt, the kids who discover they have possibly dangerous powers are played with a rare skill that makes everything feel that bit more plausible – and thus unnerving.
If ever there was a match made in biopic heaven between film-maker and subject matter, it has to be director Terence Davies – a masterful storyteller with a particularly keen eye for repression, class difference and the tragedies of happenstance – with the war poet Siegfried Sassoon.
You know that bit at the end of Get Out when Daniel Kaluuya’s hero character thinks the cops have shown up – and he’s terrified? Emergency is a one-crazy-night-at-college romp that’s informed by a similar dynamic, asking: what would happen if the kids in films such as Superbad or Booksmart had good reason to be genuinely terrified of the police? Catherine Bray
Going Out: Gigs
21 to 26 May; tour starts Birmingham
Talent show contestant turned YouTuber turned Taylor Swift collaborator Todrick Hall (below) brings his high-gloss pop to the UK. Alongside 2019’s catchphrase catnip hit Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels, expect a smattering of songs from next month’s 80s–influenced fifth album, Algorhythm.
Abba Arena, London, 27 May to 4 Dec
Housed in a purpose-built arena and featuring virtual “Abbatars” of the Swedish greats as they were in 1977, this unusual residency is part technology expo and part Abba-themed club night. Why not splash out on a “dance booth” ticket, affording you all the space you’ll need once Dancing Queen kicks in? Michael Cragg
Glyndebourne Opera House, nr Lewes, 21 May to 24 June
Glyndebourne’s summer season opens with the first full-scale professional staging in more than 70 years of Ethel Smyth’s best-known stage work. Melly Still’s production uses the original French version of the libretto and is conducted by Robin Ticciati, with Karis Tucker and Rodrigo Porras Garulo as the doomed lovers, Thirza and Marc. Andrew Clements
Manchester jazz festival
Band on the Wall, Escape to Freight Island and various venues, to 29 May
The innovative, admired, and now 26-year-old Manchester jazz festival has started a 10-day run, with stars including Mercury-nominated UK saxophonist Nubya Garcia, a powerful blender of contemporary jazz, African and Caribbean music (26 May); and Ethiopian global-jazz great Mulatu Astatke (27 May). John Fordham
Going Out: Art
Grosvenor Gallery, London, to 28 May
The artist also known as Vic Reeves reveals an unexpectedly pastoral side to his imagination in this exhibition of new paintings (above). The comic known for his disconcerting surrealism has been painting birds. Not birds doing bizarre stuff or having enigmatic conversations in speech bubbles. Just birds, perching on branches.
Temple of Peace, Cardiff, to 18 June; Woolwich Public Market, London, to 24 July; touring to Belfast and Edinburgh
This ecstatic installation will have you seeing intense colours, crystal caverns and who knows what else inside your head. It’s a marriage of art and science that sees flashing lights stimulate your visual brain when you look at them with eyes closed. Everyone experiences it differently: a delight.
STATUS need a world interlude
Modern Institute, Glasgow, to 18 June
Four quirky talents combine in this group show. Sue Tomkins makes cut-up texts and Michael Wilkinson paints Merseyside sunsets. Eva Rothschild has created an eerie dark wall of vinyl that turns out to be a curtain dividing the gallery. Colour genius Jim Lambie shows pink washing machines.
Timothy Taylor, London, to 25 June
Is this American great a pop artist? His laconic, deceptively simple style is rooted in the fine art magazine illustrations of 1950s New York. His paintings have a lot in common with Warhol’s early drawings. But while Warhol became fascinated by reproduced images, Katz kept on looking and painting, beautifully. Jonathan Jones
Going Out: Stage
The House of Shades
Almeida theatre, London, to 18 June
Beth Steel’s ambitious new play is set against the shifting industrial landscape of working-class Britain. Anne-Marie Duff plays the matriarch at the heart of this sweeping family drama.
Home, Manchester, to 28 May; touring to 25 June
Masters of creating playful and probing devised theatre, female collective RashDash – who have all recently had babies – return with this “fever dream” show about motherhood. Miriam Gillinson
Theatre at the Mill, Stillington, nr York, 23 May to 10 Jun; touring to 28 July
Profound and experimental, but rarely at the expense of laughs, Kitson has spent two decades establishing himself as a singular comic force. Such is his cult standing that he can bill his new show, Outside, as “relatively rickety” and still ensure it’s a blisteringly hot ticket. Rachel Aroesti
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 27 & 28 May
Natalia Osipova embodies Prosper Mérimée’s fiery heroine in a new dance work by Didy Veldman. In a dual narrative, we see the performers play their characters but also watch their backstage relationships play out. Isaac Hernández and Osipova’s real-life partner Jason Kittelberger also star. Lindsey Winship
Staying In: Streaming
27 May, Disney+
This miniseries (above) was originally intended as a spin-off film to be directed by Stephen Daldry. Picking up a decade after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, it sees Ewan McGregor’s Jedi master reunite with his one-time protege Anakin Skywalker, now Sith Lord Darth Vader.
22 May, 9pm, Channel 4 & All4
A troubled detective with an inappropriately personal interest in his latest case is not exactly a novel premise for a TV series – especially when James Nesbitt is playing the protagonist in question. But Suspect’s real pull comes from its starry supporting cast, which includes Anne-Marie Duff, Richard E Grant and Joely Richardson.
27 May, Netflix
“Every ending has a beginning”, according to the tagline of the penultimate outing of the 80s-set sci-fi streaming sensation. In season four its protagonists are grappling with an opportunity to end the Upside Down’s horror once and for all.
The Flight Attendant
26 May, Sky Max & Now
The first series of this stylish thriller had twisty mystery baked into its premise: heavy-drinking air steward Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) wakes to find her one-night-stand brutally murdered. To keep up the intrigue, season two takes an even more surreal approach: now a CIA asset, Cassie is haunted by a sinister doppelganger. RA
Staying In: Games
Sniper Elite 5
Out 26 May, PC, Xbox, PlayStation
Fight your way through occupied France as a lone sniper in 1944, in this stealth shooter (above) – if you can stomach its troublingly graphic slow-motion kill-cam.
Out 24 May, PC
Lonely and atmospheric, this space game has you dismantling and salvaging parts from derelict spaceships (and trying not to make everything explode in the process). Keza Macdonald
Staying In: Albums
Harry Styles – Harry’s House
Having made the transition from boyband heart-throb to authentic artist on 2019’s Fine Line, Harry Styles (above) returns with solo album number three. While lead single As It Was – a UK and US No 1 – hints at a more electronic sound, there are still plenty of acoustic, singer-songwriterly confections on this 13-track opus.
Lykke Li – Eyeye
After dabbling in crisp R&B and trap on 2018’s aptly titled So Sad So Sexy, the Swedish alt-pop practitioner strips everything back for her fifth album. Recorded in her LA bedroom under a set of self-imposed rules – no click tracks, no headphones, and no digital instruments – it promises to interrogate every facet of heartbreak.
Flume – Palaces
Influenced by a post-world tour move to a remote coastal town, Australian producer Harley Streton’s third album weaves snatches of delicate field recordings around rib-rattling shards of electronic discord. The apocalyptic party vibes are assisted by the likes of Danny L Harle, Caroline Polachek and Damon Albarn.
Uffie – Sunshine Factory
Twelve years after her cult classic debut, the bratty, French house-adjacent Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, Uffie (below) returns with the official follow-up. While that early playfulness is evident on recent single Sophia, she also effortlessly settles into laid-back, bleached out alt-pop on Cool. MC
Staying In: Brain food
Lucy Worsley Investigates
24 May, BBC Two & iPlayer
Historian Lucy Worsley puts her usual period costumes aside for a more sobering look at the past in this four-part series. Each episode re-examines a society-shifting moment in British history, beginning with the 16th century’s horrifying witch trials.
Ta-da! It’s Windows
From Netflix’s “tudum” to the Mac synth stab, startup sounds are a strange facet of our digital lives. This Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast two-part special delves into the intriguing history of Windows themes, from Brian Eno to the orchestra.
British Library Sounds
Boasting more than 50,000 files of music, interviews and field recordings, the British Library’s Sounds collection is a treasure trove for audiophiles. Recently updated gems include the oral history of British jazz and the English Folk Music Collection. Ammar Kalia