Thursday, April 25

From Ripley to Beyoncé’s country album: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment | Culture


Going out: Cinema

Mothers’ Instinct
Out now
This ripe 1950s-set melodrama stars Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway as a pair of suburban housewives whose friendship is fatally compromised by an accident involving one of their young sons. The latest chapter of Hathaway’s welcome run of vampier turns.

The Sweet East
Out now
Debut director Sean Price Williams takes us on a picaresque road trip down the east coast of the US in which drifter protagonist Lillian (Talia Ryder) encounters a series of objectionable sorts, ranging from a Humbert Humbert-esque academic (Simon Rex) to a try-hard rich kid posing as an anarchist (Earl Cave).

Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire
Out now
Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Kaylee Hottle reprise their roles from Godzilla vs Kong (2021) in this new instalment, which sees the big lizard and angry ape face a common enemy in the form of the Skar King, a sort of large orangutan-looking beast.

Disco Boy
Out now
Boasting a score by Vitalic, Giacomo Abbruzzese’s directorial debut is based on an encounter he once had in a nightclub with a dancer who had also worked as a soldier. Exploring the connections between the two disciplines, the film stars the intensely watchable Franz Rogowski (Passages). Catherine Bray


Going out: Gigs

Slippy customers … Underworld’s Rick Smith and Karl Hyde. Photograph: Jon Gorrigan

Underworld
3 to 13 April; tour starts Edinburgh
Edging closer to their 40th year as Underworld, electronica and house mavericks Rick Smith and Karl Hyde show no signs of slowing down. Recent single Fen Violet, a thrilling collab with newcomer Kettama, sounds as vital as ever, and should slot in nicely alongside their rave classics. MC

Mika
4 to 9 April; tour starts Brighton
Despite a drop off in popularity since his 2007 peak, natural showman Mika has kept busy, be it judging on Italy’s X Factor, France’s The Voice or Channel 4’s The Piano. Last year he released his first album in French, and this Apocalypse Calypso jaunt celebrates his full discography. Michael Cragg

Paul Dunmall/Nikki Yeoh and guests
Eastside Jazz Club, Birmingham, 4 April
By often joining lyrical folk music and the edgy dissonances of Coltrane-inspired improv, the British saxophonist Paul Dunmall has marked out his own space in contemporary music. Accompanying his hand-picked band here is the fine pianist Nikki Yeoh, whose influences run from John Cage to Hermeto Pascoal. John Fordham

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 3 April
Sibelius gets the period-instrument treatment from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as Maxim Emelyanychev conducts the Fifth Symphony. It’s preceded by Glinka’s Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila and Rachmaninov’s tone poem The Rock, before the first suite from Grieg’s incidental music to Peer Gynt. Andrew Clements

Going out: Art

Golden age … Betty Parsons’s Untitled, 1972. Photograph: Michael Brzezinski/Courtesy: Alison Jacques/Alexander Gray Associates © The Betty Parsons Foundation

Betty Parsons
Alison Jacques, London, to 27 April
Gallerist Betty Parsons was one of the shapers of New York in its 20th-century golden age. She exhibited the wayward genius Jackson Pollock among other modern greats. But she was also an artist, painting constantly in her spare time. Does she deserve her own place in the pantheon?

Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron
National Portrait Gallery, London, to 16 June
Photography does not have to look real. It can be an ethereal playground of desire and fantasy. That was how the Victorian pioneer Julia Margaret Cameron used her camera, setting up fabulist scenarios with friends. A century later, Woodman took up similar ideas in her studio in Providence, Rhode Island.

Before and After Coal
National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait, Edinburgh, to 15 September
In the 40th anniversary of the 1984 miners’ strike, this exhibition of warm photographic reportage reveals the lives of Scotland’s mining communities both in the last days of a large-scale coal industry, and since its demise. The work of American photographer Milton Rogovin is updated by artist Nicky Bird.

Freya Dooley
Site Gallery, Sheffield, to 26 May
Welsh artist Dooley, who is based in Cardiff, takes music as her starting point in this multimedia show. She explores the idea of the “false note”, both as a mistake in a musical performance and an image of bad communication that leads to a breakdown of human trust or understanding. Jonathan Jones

Going out: Stage

Bureaucratic nightmare … Don’t. Make. Tea at Soho theatre.

Don’t. Make. Tea
Soho theatre, London, to 6 April; touring to 19 April
This dark satire ridicules the bureaucratic lengths people with disabilities are put through. Created by Birds of Paradise, makers of My Left/Right Foot: The Musical, all performances are accessible with BSL interpretation, creative captions and audio descriptions. KW

Moving Parts: Newcastle puppetry festival
Various venues, to 7 April
From the giant puppet animals roaming free in Beasts on the Street to Lachlan Werner’s raucous ventriloquism in Voices of Evil, the Moving Parts festival is ablaze with wild imagination. Tickets are cheap (many between £4 and £12), so take a risk on whatever beautifully designed oddity takes your fancy. Kate Wyver

Tadiwa Mahlunge
Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh, 30 March
Zimbabwe-born, Cardiff-bred, London-based Mahlunge is furiously focused: on impressing his mum, on making money, on perfecting his conscientiously profane material and on extracting love from audiences (his gawky charisma comes in handy there). Watch him strive in Inhibition Exhibition is his hit Edinburgh show from last year. Rachel Aroesti

House of JoJo
Oxford, 30 March; Leeds, 31 March; Cheltenham, 4 to 6 April; touring to 2 June
Of all the Strictly stars, Johannes Radebe arguably puts on the best show. His irresistible personality and effusive warmth, his all-out dancing, and the blend of Latin, ballroom and African styles look set to make this new tour as gloriously joyful as his previous shows. Lyndsey Winship


Staying in: Streaming

On the case … Colin Farrell as John Sugar in Sugar. Photograph: Jason LaVeris/Apple TV+

Sugar
Apple TV+, 5 April
Another noirish fish-out-of-water mystery, but this time the protagonist isn’t pulling all the strings. Colin Farrell is John Sugar, a private detective hired to track down the missing granddaughter of a big Hollywood producer. But he soon unearths some dark secrets from his new employer’s past – and begins to seriously question why he’s been given the job in the first place.

Ripley
Netflix, 4 April
Andrew Scott has already made one iconic literary character his own (Sherlock’s Moriarty), so hopes are sky high for his Andrew Scott’s take on the eponymous conman from Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 thriller The Talented Mr Ripley in this new adaptation from screenplay whiz Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Gangs of New York).

This Town
BBC One & iPlayer, 31 March, 9pm
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight returns to TV to tell a more modern but still simmeringly violent Brummie tale. This Town – AKA Birmingham, 1981 – follows Dante, an awkward young man attempting to come of age amid brutal unrest, before finding solace, meaning and an escape route in the trailblazing local music scene.

Tish
BBC Four & iPlayer, 1 April, 9pm
Newcastle photographer Tish Murtha documented the deprived communities she knew with lively grace, but was never properly appreciated prior to her death in 2013. Seize the chance to see this beautiful documentary from last year, in which Murtha’s daughter pieces together the details of her remarkable mother’s life and career, with help from the latter’s own meticulous archive. RA


Staying in: Games

Nine lives? … Felix the Cat. Photograph: Limited Run Games

Felix the Cat
Out now, PS4/5, Nintendo Switch
Count this among the year’s least likely re-releases: the early 90s NES and Game Boy game about the strutting, jumping cat (above) is getting a second life.

Withering Rooms
Out 2 April, all platforms
A horror game set in a truly revolting Victorian mansion that remixes itself every night. It’s full of awful apparitions, but find the right tools and you can fight back. Keza MacDonald


Staying in: Albums

Keep on trucking … Sheryl Crow.

Beyoncé – Act II: Cowboy Carter
Out now
The follow-up to Act I, 2022’s Renaissance, sees Beyoncé swap that celebratory album’s house and disco for country and Americana. While huge transatlantic No 1 single Texas Hold ’Em is a playful, thigh-slapping hoedown, the stormy ballad 16 Carriages explores Beyoncé’s overworked childhood.

Tia Kofi – Read My Lips
Out now
A veteran of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Tia Kofi released their first single in 2021 and has worked with Little Boots, Brian Higgins and Tom Aspaul. On debut LP Read My Lips, they continue to blend empowering synth-pop (the stomping title track), with ridiculous party-starters such as Guest List.

Gesaffelstein – Gamma
Out now
Having collaborated with the likes of the Weeknd, Pharrell and Lil Nas X, Frenchman Mike Lévy, AKA Gesaffelstein, is one of music’s most in-demand producers. He follows up 2019’s guest-stacked Hyperion with a more solo affair, led by the darkly unfurling electro mood piece Hard Dreams.

Sheryl Crow – Evolution
Out now
Having previously declared 2019’s Threads would be her final album, Crow returns with this 12th record. Written “from a deep soul place”, Evolution, which was produced by Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Turnstile), features at least one Crow classic in the shape of the country-rock toe-tapper Do It Again. MC


Staying in: Brain food

Life of the Record
Podcast
Featuring interviews with formative US guitar bands such as Pixies, Melvins and Big Star, this fascinating series pieces together oral histories of how their most well-known albums were made. Expect “creative differences”.

The 100 Fights That Shaped Action Cinema
Vulture
The entertainment magazine Vulture recently released its first-ever digital issue, an action movie special that features this exhaustive list. It illuminates the evolution of fight scenes on film, from an 1890s brawl between two cats to Jackie Chan’s 80s choreography and John Wick on a rampage.

The Antisocial Network: Memes to Mayhem
Netflix, 5 April
Adding to the vast number of podcasts and TV shows aiming to explain the 6 January Capitol riots, this doc takes a different approach, examining how online communities fostered conspiracy theories that drew in participants. Ammar Kalia



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