From West Side Story to The Witcher: A Complete Guide to This Week’s Entertainment | Culture


Illustration: Lalalimola / The Guardian

To go out: Movie theater

West Side Story
Outside now
Steven Spielberg takes up the classic musical (above), pitting the Sharks against the Jets in 1950s New York City. His Cursed Lovers are played by Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, but the real draw here is the lavish and deep musical entertainment. .

Being the Ricardos
Outside now
A biopic of actor Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy seems like offbeat territory for politically-minded writer-director Aaron Sorkin, but when we remember Ball was under investigation for his supposed membership in the Communist Party, everything starts to make sense. Featured Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

Clifford the big red dog
Outside now
A family adventure on thematic terrain similar to Being the Ricardos in some ways, as the gigantic dog Clifford is subjected to a witch hunt by nebulous authority figures.

Outside now
Here’s an unconventional trip to the movies for anyone who sighs that the three films above don’t do much to advance originality in the seventh art. Noomi Rapace plays an Icelandic woman who adopts a half-human, half-lamb hybrid in this particular thriller. Catherine bray

To go out: Concerts

Bat for eyelashes
Alternative Christmas Message… Bat for Lashes. Photography: Logan White

Bat for eyelashes, Dec 17
Natasha Khan, AKA alt-pop star Bat for Lashes (below), throws her own Christmas party. The livestream promises interpretations of his songs performed with a string quartet, as well as special guests. There will also be “original costumes” on display, so bring out your smallest Christmas sweater. MC

Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Trio
Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, Dec 11, 2019, 7 p.m., 10 p.m.
Jazz, folk and classical reed player Tim Garland formed the Lighthouse Trio in the 2000s with future British pianist Gwilym Simcock and eclectic drummer Asaf Sirkis. Garland brings this supergroup together again for a unique celebration of these adventures. John fordham

Barbican x boiler room
Barbican Hall, London, Dec 12
Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Berwyn is joined in this lineup of emerging British talent by multi-instrumentalist Mansur Brown and ’90s R&B inspired newcomer Ojerime. Also keep an eye out for genre-destroying rapper Nayana Iz. Michael cragg

Vespers of 1610
Barbican Hall, London, December 14
There are a myriad of ways to interpret Monteverdi’s choral masterpiece, but few rival the free energy and originality of Christina Pluhar and her group L’Arpeggiata. Now they’re bringing their unique rendition of Vespers to the Barbican, using only one singer for each part, and improvisation is a vital part of their performance. André Clement

To go out: Art

Brent Stirton Burns Capital of the World
Part of the Burns Capital of the World series by Brent Stirton. Photography: Brent Stirton

Pictet Prize
V&A, London, Dec 16 to Jan. 9
As the climate crisis intensifies, this World Photography Prize rightly takes “Fire” as its theme. But this is not just an exhibition of disaster reporting – or conventional photojournalism. Christian Marclay, Sally Mann, Brent Stirton (artwork above) and others mix reality and fantasy.

Alvin baltrop
Modern Art Bury Street, London, to January 22
Powerful monochrome photographs of gay life around the crumbling piers of the Hudson River in the 1970s and 1980s in New York City. Baltrop captures casual sexual encounters against a backdrop of rusty metal and decaying warehouses. His funny and lyrical images only now receive their due, after his death.

Exhibition open 2021
Gallagher and Turner gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, as of January 22
The lockdown has led many to take up art, so this is a chance to see the creativity he discovered in the North East of England. It’s everything from a clay creature called Ugly Bird by sculptor Julia Roxburgh to Steve Dales’ intriguing painting of toes sticking out of a blue silk sheet. Jonathan jones

To go out: Stage

The best of enemies
Young Vic, London, to January 22
No panto here! Instead, a new piece of political power James Graham. Set in 1960s America, it focuses on an electric series of televised debates between conservative William F Buckley Jr and liberal Gore Vidal. The star of Charles Edwards and David Harewood.

She loves Me
Crucible Theater, Sheffield, January 15
This Christmas musical from the songwriters of Fiddler on the Roof is directed by musical maestro Robert Hastie. The story takes place in a perfume shop in a Hungarian city: is it a whiff of romance in the air? Myriam Gillinson

Live at Christmas
Birmingham Town Hall, Dec 14; The Forum, Bath, Dec 15
For stand-up fans and lovers of efficient cultural consumption, a festive spectacle featuring four of the country’s best comics. David O’Doherty and Lou Sanders offer an inimitable strangeness, Phil Wang fuses the cerebral with the scatological, while John Robins exploits uncomfortable emotions for laughs. Rachel Aroesti

Edinburgh International Conference Center, Dec 17 & Dec. 18
The brilliant and surprising ballerina Natalia Osipova stars in a contemporary version of Carmen by choreographer Didy Veldman, joined by Jason Kittelberger and Isaac Hernández. Lyndsey Winship

Stay in - Samedi Mag illo
Illustration: Lalalimola / The Guardian

Stay at home: Diffusion

Weird couple… Olivia Colman and David Thewlis in Landscapers. Photograph: Stefania Rosini / Sky / PA

Available now, Sky Go and now
Olivia Colman and David Thewlis have spent the past 16 years escaping murder in this dark, comedic drama (above), inspired by a true double murder long hidden in a Mansfield garden. Directed by the talented Will Sharpe, expect more than just a ghoulish caper from real crime.

David Baddiel: Social media, anger and us
Dec 13, 9 p.m., BBC Two
After focusing on unsavory internet interactions during his recent tour, Trolls: Not the Dolls, Baddiel dives deep into hate online, undoes the culture and the real repercussions of social media talk. It doesn’t get a lot of answers, but the comic is certainly asking the right questions.

I literally just told you
Dec 16, 10 p.m., Canal 4
Designed by Richard Bacon and presented by Jimmy Carr, this new game show won’t be based on the same tired old general culture questions; To win, contestants will also be asked about events since the show began filming, from jokes to celebrity cameos.

The witcher
Dec 17, Netflix
Streaming platforms seem obsessed with fantastic adaptations – and part of that is due to the phenomenal success of The Witcher. Henry Cavill’s titular monster hunter returns for more quests in this drama based on the books of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. RA

Stay at home: Games

Marine waste
That sinking feeling… Trash Sailors. Photography: tinyBuildGames

Marine waste
Released Thursday, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
You and a few friends try to keep a run down raft afloat while crazy things happen in this hand drawn sailing game (above). Potentially a real friendship ruin, just like real sailing.

Start up panic
Available now, PC, Android, iOS
It’s almost a new year! Quit your job, become your own boss and start a business from your bedroom! All is well until the world’s tech CEOs start sabotaging you in this absorbing little simulation game. Keza MacDonald

Stay at home: Albums

Electric dreamer… Jlin. Photograph: 22FeetTribal / Mahdumita Nandi

Jlin – embryo
Outside now
Electronic music contortionist Jlin (above) has had about 18 busy months. She recorded a set for the Met Museum in New York, worked with Martin Gore and remixed Beethoven. As work continues on her third album, she has created this four-track EP.

WRLD juice – Fight demons
Outside now
Released alongside Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss, a documentary retracing the life and tragic death of the Chicago rapper (below) in 2019, Fighting Demons marks the second posthumous exit from his estate and offers an uncomfortable glimpse into his life. .

Angelthe – Ninety-Five
Outside now
Huge in her native Belgium and France, singer-songwriter Angèle caught the world’s attention last year with Fever, her sleek single with Dua Lipa. She returns with her second album, led by the sophisticated Brussels synthpop Je T’Aime.

Green Day – The BBC Sessions
Outside now
The evergreen pop-punkers looted the BBC archives for this 16-track review of their live sessions at Maida Vale studios. It covers their early Dookie career from 1994 to the more experimental Warning of the 2000s. MC

Stay at home: Brain food

Welcome to Earth.
Welcome to Earth. Photography: Disney

Decorate the trademark
Christmas is just around the corner and that means gorging on Christmas movies straight from TV. This wacky podcast sees its three hosts reviewing trashy holiday movies to reveal their inner wisdom – like the time travel ethic in A Christmas Treasure.

Why do movies tilt the camera like that
Beloved of film noir and, for some reason, Thor’s first film, the wobbly Dutch camera angle used to represent danger is central to this fascinating explanation by Vox. We learn how it was born from expressionist art.

Welcome to earth
Available now, Disney +
Will Smith leaves the film studio and makes his best impression of Bear Grylls in this travelogue, produced by Darren Aronofsky. He travels through some of the most extreme landscapes on the planet, from volcanic terrain to the tropics. Ammar Kalia


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