What to see this week in the UK

Culture highlights of the week

What to see this week in the UK

Clockwise from top left ... Joker; Dance International Glasgow; Carla Bley; Judy.Composite: Warner Bros; AP; Orpheas Emirzas; Rex/Shutterstock

From Joker to Hogarth, here's our pick of the best films, concerts, exhibitions, theatre and dance over the next seven days by , , , , , and

Main image:Clockwise from top left ...

Joker; Dance International Glasgow; Carla Bley; Judy.Composite: Warner Bros; AP; Orpheas Emirzas; Rex/Shutterstock

Five of the best ... films

Joker (15)

(Todd Phillips, 2019, Can/US) 122 mins

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Where to start with this? Originally starting out as a last throw of the dice to reinvigorate the flailing DC Comics film series, Todd Phillips's Joker origin story has morphed into an art-cinema award-winner - the Venice Golden Lion doesn't come easily - and now full-on moral panic over its adoption by the "incel" movement. Can it survive all that, simply as a film?

Now is the chance to find out.

Judy (12A)

(Rupert Goold, 2019, UK) 118 mins

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Renee Zellweger has emerged as a potential Oscar winner for her committed lead performance in this middleweight biopic of Hollywood's favourite tragic heroine. Garland spent almost her entire life as entertainment industry royalty, and this film - directed by experienced Brit theatre director Rupert Goold - focuses on her final few weeks in London.

Hitsville: The Making of Motown (12A)

(Gabe and Benjamin Turner, 2019, US) 112 mins

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An officially sanctioned portrait of the celebrated Detroit music factory, founded by Berry Gordy in 1959 and which quickly became a giant of the music industry and a haven for black artists across generations: the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye ... you name them. Incorporating interviews with Gordy as well as a string of music greats, this film provides key insights into Motown's success.

The Goldfinch (15)

(John Crowley, 2019, US) 149 mins

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Donna Tartt's celebrated 2013 novel finally makes it to the big screen, with Brooklyn director John Crowley on board and Ansel Elgort in the lead role of Theo, the kid who is caught up in an art museum bombing during which his mother is killed and which he purloins the celebrated masterwork of the title.

One Child Nation (15)

(Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang, 2019, US) 89 mins

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A sobering insight into one of the less well-traversed legacies of China's cultural revolution: the strict limits on childbirth numbers in an attempt to control population growth and prevent the return of China's deadly famines.

Starting in 1979, and not officially ended until 2015, the practice had a crushing demographic and social fallout. Directors Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang mix the public and personal to highly consequential effect. AP

Five of the best ... rock & pop

DJ Sherelle.

Photograph: PR

Boiler Room festival

Live music broadcaster Boiler Room branches out into festival curation with this four-day, Peckham-based multi-genre blowout. Billed as "intimate, raw and in-the-round", each day shines a light on emerging artists - there are no traditional headliners - loosely associated with jazz, rap, bass and club music. Highlights include gonzo rappers NiNE8 Collective and speed-freak DJ Sherelle.
Various venues, SE15 Wednesday 9 to 12 October

WHP Presents

It's been quite the few weeks for Manchester's premiere dance venue.

Last month it hosted sets from the likes of Aphex Twin, Disclosure and Skream, while this week it entertains two US heavyweights in the shape of house great MK and the increasingly ubiquitous producer-DJ-professional celebrity troll Diplo. Gorgon City will be on hand with some quality bops, too.
The Depot, Manchester, Friday 11 October

Easy Life

Leicester quintet Easy Life revel in being unclassifiable, but when pushed by NME recently they did offer up this clue as to their sound:"Your favourite old jazz record mixed with the dirty wonders of modern production techniques." That comes to fruition on their current single, Earth, a sort of shape-shifting, climate-crisis love song.
Oxford, Tuesday 8; Glasgow, Wednesday 9; Newcastle upon Tyne, Thursday 10;
touring to 25 October


French house pioneer Vincent Fenton, AKA French Kiwi Juice or just FKJ for short, has built up a real reputation in the live arena. Sure any old DJ can trigger loops on music software Ableton, but Fenton does that while moving from keyboards to drums to guitar to - and why not? - the saxophone.

Expect to be amazed, and frustrated you messed about during music lessons at school.
O2 Academy Brixton, SW9, Thursday 10; Albert Hall, Manchester, Friday 11 MC

Carla Bley Trio

The infallible musical trio led by reputed octogenarian US composer-pianist Carla Bley - with bass guitarist Steve Swallow and UK sax star Andy Sheppard - always seem to be playing the distilled essence of an even richer jazz story going on in their heads. They play that quirky edit on these two rare UK gigs.
Kings Place, N1, Monday 7; Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, Tuesday 8 October


Three of the best ... classical concerts

What to see this week in the UK Cheryl Frances-Hoad. Photograph: Mat Smith

Oxford lieder festival

"Tales of Beyond: Magic, Myths and Mortals" is the title of the 18th Oxford lieder festival, the annual celebration of vocal music. Alongside the recitals, the theme is explored in lectures and storytelling from a range of folk traditions.

The main focus, as usual, is on 19th- and early 20th-century song. Oxford lieder has now appointed its first associate composer, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, whose music will be featured over the next three years; her setting of extracts from Beowulf, in Seamus Heaney's translation, is included in a recital on the opening afternoon.
Various venues, Friday 11 to 26 October

The Silver Lake

Kurt Weill's "play with music" was his last work performed in Germany before he emigrated in 1933. Although The Silver Lake is sometimes claimed as Weill's masterpiece, performances have been rare, because of the work's ambitious mix of words and music.

English Touring Opera's staging, its first of Weill, is directed by James Conway and conducted by James Holmes, and stars Ronald Samm, David Webb and Luci Briginshaw alongside choirs drawn from the venues' local areas.
Hackney Empire, E8, Saturday 5 & Monday 7 October; touring to 15 November


Verdi's operas are a relatively recent addition at Glyndebourne. But after productions of La Traviata and Falstaff, it now adds Rigoletto to its repertory, in a production by Christiane Lutz presented first by Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Nikoloz Lagvilava takes the title role, with Vuvu Mpofu as Gilda and Matteo Lippi as the Duke.
Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes, Friday 11 October to 2 November; touring to 7 December


Five of the best ... exhibitions

What to see this week in the UK William Hogarth's An Election I, 1754. Photograph: (C) The Trustees of Sir John Soane's Museum

Gauguin Portraits

The first self-conscious modernist was not Picasso or Matisse but Paul Gauguin. He embraced abstract art boldly when others were still edging delicately towards it.

The colours in his paintings are purely expressive and his studies of people daringly stylised. This should be a rich and strange encounter with a prophet of poetic mystery.
The National Gallery, WC2 Monday 7 October to 26 January

Hogarth: Place and Progress

London is still recognisable as the city where Hogarth's rakes, thieves, murderers and politicians rose and fell in his paintings and engravings of "modern moral subjects". This exhibition brings together his great visual narratives in a Georgian museum a stone's throw from the Bloomsbury location of Gin Lane.
Sir John Soane's Museum, WC2, Wednesday 9 October to 5 January

Elizabeth Peyton

The portraits of Elizabeth Peyton are lyrically sensual homages to famous faces.

She turns fan art into high culture. Whether she is painting Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Frida Kahlo or the Queen, her real theme is not so much the real person as the fantasies we lavish on them. That makes her a must for the NPG's remorseless campaign to redefine itself as a cool contemporary global gallery.
National Portrait Gallery, WC2, to 5 January

Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art

Max Beckmann's painting Die Nacht (The Night) imagines the darkness of the 20th century through a vision of a grotesque cabaret of sado-masochism.

This exhibition is more celebratory, seeing nightlife from Vienna to Harlem as an energetic driver of modern art. It is a rich theme. Dada started at Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire, Picasso took drugs at the Lapin Agile, and Andy Warhol made Studio 54 Warholian.
Barbican Art Gallery, EC2, to 19 January

Rembrandt in Print

You can make a case that Rembrandt's prints are even greater than his paintings.

The way he etches texture with gathered lines and creates huge areas of inky blackness is astonishingly adventurous. There's not much in modern art more radical than the near-abstract darkness of his Three Crosses or the pathos of Ecce Homo. This is where expressionism started.
The Holburne Museum, Bath, to 5 January


Five of the best ... theatre shows

What to see this week in the UK Preludes. Photograph: Scott Rylander


This is your last chance to catch this word-of-mouth hit musical. It is written by Dave Malloy, a true original, best known for penning Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812.

The show is about the Russian composer Rachmaninov, who plunged into depression at the height of his fame but was saved by hypnotherapy. Alex Sutton's production mesmerises: a theatrical trip for the senses.
Southwark Playhouse, SE1 to 12 October


Another month, another intriguing opening at the Almeida. This time, Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster/King Charles III) has adapted Maxim Gorky's not-so-well-known dark comedy Vassa.

It is about a family and a country on the brink of huge upheaval. Director Tinuke Craig makes her Almeida debut; Samantha Bond plays matriarch Vassa.
Almeida Theatre, N1, Sat to 23 November

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Martin McDonagh is perhaps best known for the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri but he is also one hell of a playwright. His work is a dizzying combination of tender, funny and brutal.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is set in Galway, where 40-year-old Maureen lives with her manipulative mother Mag. Will Maureen find the escape she pines for in the shape of new suitor Pato Dooley? Maggie McCarthy and Siobhan O'Kelly star.
Hull Truck Theatre, to 26; Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch, 30 October to 16 November

Roundabout festival

Paines Plough's celebrated pop-up theatre Roundabout springs up at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

It will host a run of Edinburgh hits, including Charley Miles's insightful new play Daughterhood and Nathan Bryon's family adventure story Dexter and Winter's Detective Agency. There's also grime- and hip-hop-inspired gig theatre, improv, burlesque and beatboxing.
Theatre Royal Stratford East, E15, Thursday 10 to 26 October

The Niceties


2016. Two women meet to review a university history paper.

The question: has the nation reached the moment for radical revolution? A cerebral conversation turns into a passionate debate about race, and a private conversation triggers a very public battle. Following a hit run off-Broadway, Eleanor Burgess's pertinent play receives its European premiere.

Janie Dee, best known for her musical prowess, stars alongside Moronke Akinola.
Finborough Theatre, SW10, to 26 October MG

Three of the best ... dance shows

What to see this week in the UK Dance Umbrella festival. Photograph: Laurent Philippe/PR Company Handout

Dance Umbrella

October has somehow become the month of leftfield dance festivals, from Birmingham (Fierce) to Nottingham (Nottdance) to Liverpool (Leap).

But leading the pack is the brilliant Dance Umbrella, which opens with Franco-Austrian artist Gisele Vienne's Crowd (Sadler's Wells, EC1, Tue & Wed), inspired by early-90s clubbing in East Berlin.
Various venues, London Tuesday 8 to 27 October

Dance International Glasgow

An intriguing lineup of forward-thinking dance and performance includes Trajal Harrell, whose work has more layers than Jennifer Aniston's Friends haircut, and Louise Ahl, AKA Ultimate Dancer, with a piece of "feminist alchemy" lasting just over six hours.
Various venues, to 26 October

The Royal Ballet: New Pam Tanowitz

Critics went crazy for US choreographer Pam Tanowitz's London debut in May with her version of TS Eliot's Four Quartets.

Now she gets her first Royal Ballet commission in a triple bill also featuring Merce Cunningham's Cross Currents.
Royal Opera House: Linbury Theatre, WC2, Thursday 10 & Friday 11



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