Hello, Hollowegians. We’re in the Christmas and New year hangover period, and you need something to focus on and look forward to. I’m not going to try and persuade you to buy a gym membership that you’ll only use for a week, or go on a diet (my breakfasts still consist of mince pies and cheese, and that’s absolutely okay). I’m here to sell 2013 to you in terms of the arts, and have compiled a list of events to wet your appetite. I know we were all a bit miffed to discover that London isn’t just a stroll down the hill, but at about £8 for a travelcard you can’t go wrong. The train gets in at Waterloo. That’s a 15minute walk away from the Southbank. And that’s the BEST PLACE EVER.
Art galleries. Museums. Go. I like going alone, because then I can fulfil my favourite fantasy role of an intense and mysterious student, who concentrates on cultural delights rather than frittering my loan away in Oxford St.
The National Gallery’s exhibition ‘Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present’:
Thisruns until January 20th, and explores early photography from the mid-19th century, contemporary photographs, alongside historical paintings. It presents how photographers use fine art traditions to explore the possibilities of their own art. I love paintings but adore photographs, and will be going this week. It’s £6 for the exhibition, but the gallery is beautiful in itself, so make a day of it.
The Tate Modern, ‘Lichtenstein: A Retrospective’:
This first full-scale retrospective of this artist in over twenty years, brings together 125 of his most definitive paintings and sculptures and will reassess his enduring legacy. It’s £12, but this is iconic. Do it before you blow your loan. In general, the V&A is amazing. Oh, and if you’ve got any link to the North-East, make sure you find Don McCullin in Photography. His work often focuses on the unemployed and impoverished, and ‘Winter, man going to the early shift, steel works, Hartlepool’ made me cry. I hit the pinnacle of my ‘intense student’ fantasy that day.
The Globe, 2013:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and Macbeth will sit at the heart of it, alongside three new plays. This summer, save your money and be a groundling (the atmosphere’s better and if your seat is behind one of the pillars, you’re fucked anyway). Afterwards, go to ‘Tas Pide’, a Turkish restaurant just round the corner. The food’s sublime and there’s live music.
The National Theatre, Maxim:
Gorky’s ‘Children of the Sun’ opens at the Lyttelton Theatre, from March 2013. Highly political and set in 19th century Russia, it explores how unaware the privileged intellectual elite are of those below them. Given the current economic and social climate, I hope its director draws some parallels.
The Old Vic:
Tennessee Williams’s powerful and poetic, ‘Sweet Bird of Youth’ runs from 1st June – 31st August, and Kim Cattrall features as a fading Hollywood legend ravaged by the bitterness of failure and despair. If she focuses on the critics’ reaction to ‘Sex and the City 2’, she should be extremely convincing. Williams paints a vivid and haunting portrait of the destruction of dreams in his writing, and I look forward to this interpretation.
The Vue, Staines:
Film next. No need for London this time; Staines may leave a lot to be desired in general, but its Vue cinema is pretty nice. And Nandos is 100yrds away. Right, first up, the big cannon: ‘Les Miserables’ opens Jan. 11th, and if it lives up to its emotionally devastating trailer, I’ll be a wreck that not even half a peri-peri chicken can put back together. January 18th delivers Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’, a spaghetti western that focuses on slavery, and will no doubt feature all the blood in the world. Early reviews are good, and hopefully Tarantino’s back for the better. February heralds british acting royalty Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren teaming up to play legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, writer Alma Reville, in a behind-the-scenes look at their marriage during the making of ‘Psycho’.
Summer blockbuster season features a plethora of huge action films; ‘Iron Man 3’, ‘Star Trek Into The Darkness’, ‘Man of Steel’ (Superman), and ‘Wolverine.’ However, there’s also a tantalising offering in the form of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Directed by Baz Luhrmann and a budget standing at $120 million, it’s sure to be a sumptuous visual spectacle. For a bit of light humour there’s ‘Monsters University’, a prequel to ‘Monsters Inc.’ that I’m far too excited about than a near 20 year old should be. Final word: if you haven’t already, go and see ‘The Hobbit.’ In the words of my 6 year old cousin; ‘If you admire nice things you’ll like it.’ I’d say that was the only review you need.