Diary August 2015Dance, exhibition, film, music & Theatre



Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Alice Look celebrates the literary heroine’s influence around the world. Far from her depiction in John Tenniel’s original illustrations, Alice wears Tropézienne sandals and a sundress in Provence and a Kanga in East Africa, while in Japan, an entire subculture is devoted to emulating her Victorian style. Until 1st November at the V&A Museum of Childhood

EXHIBITION Joseph Cornell: wanderlust

Poised somewhere between Surrealism, Pop and outsider art, American self-taught artist Joseph Cornell’s miniature creations defy categorisation. Wanderlust features 80 assemblages, collages and films that embody his fascination with the natural world, astronomy, cinema and European culture. Most beguiling are the shadow boxes containing miniature sculptures and ephemera from dime stores and bookshops, depicting everything from constellations to exotic birds, all created in Cornell’s New York basement. Until 27th September at the Royal Academy of Arts

EXHIBITION The London Open 2015

From more than 2,100 applicants, 48 artists have been selected for Whitechapel Gallery’s triennial show The London Open. Rachel Whiteread, Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry and Anthony Gormley all showed their early work at this open-submission exhibition, now in its 83rd year. Highlights include a fully functioning fish counter by multimedia artist (and fishmonger) Sam Curtis; a brick sculpture built on site by father-daughter team bricklayer Brian Watts and artist Demelza Watts; and Nelmarie Du Preez’s video installation of a knife-wielding robotic arm. Until 6th September at Whitechapel Gallery

THEATRE Three Days in the Country

Tsarist Russia in the sedate days of the 19th century: what could be more delightful for an aristocratic family than an idyllic break on a country estate? But the peace is disturbed by the arrival of a young tutor whose handsome looks stir feelings of love and belonging – which threaten to turn the old order upside down. Adapted by Patrick Marber (Closer) from Ivan Turgenev’s 1855 play A Month in the Country, the play is a comedy with substance, providing a welcome return to the stage for screen star John Simm alongside Mark Gatiss, of Game of Thrones and Wolf Hall Fame. Until 21st October at the national Theatre

DANCE Baila Brazil

As intoxicating as a night of Caipirinhas, this show by Brazilian troupe Balé de Rua is a lively blend of music, dance and history. The company – one woman and 13 men – recreates the sounds and sights of the favela on stage in an unpredictable carnival of Samba, capoeira, hip-hop and even ballet. These are athletes equipped with power and speed, yet also an immense capacity for transmitting emotion – in particular the pure joy of dance as they virtually defy the laws of physics. From 5th to 15th August at the Royal Festival Hall

FILM Ricki and the Flash

Strapping on an electric guitar, Meryl Streep plays Ricki Rendazzo, a rock star who is as much a failure in her personal life as she is a success with her hand, the Flash. In this comedy/drama directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) and written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), Ricki s determined to as last do right by her daughter, Julie (played by Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real-life daughter). Coming to Ricki’s aid is ex-husband Pete-Kevin Kline, reunited with his Sophie’s Choice co-star – and new love interest (and bandmate) Greg, played by ‘80s pop idol Rick Springfield. Opens on 7th August in the UK


Estrella Morente grew up with the traditions of flamenco, but she’s far from wedded to rigid notions of authenticity. On her recent album Autorretrato, she collaborated with a range of artists including Composer Michael Nyman and jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Her impassioned performance is sure to be a highlight’s of this year’s Meltdown festival, curated by David Byrne. 17th August at the Royal Festival Hall

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