The Weekly Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.

Theatre

Gate Theatre: Fatherland (10 February to 12 March)
Caroline Steinbeis directs the world premiere of the Australian playwright Tom Holloway's new work. When her mother goes away for an overnight conference, Angela is left alone with her father, a man who "loves too deeply". What starts out as an innocent evening of ice cream and DVDs soon descends into dangerous territory.

Film

Never Let Me Go (released 11 February)
The highly anticipated adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. After leaving Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic boarding school, three friends discover the sinister truth about their fate. The NS film critic Ryan Gilbey discusses the film in his blog.

Music

Royal Festival Hall: Philharmonia Orchestra (10 February)
Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts two of Bartók's most important works, Cantana Profana and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste, along with Stravinsky's iconic The Rite of Spring. There is a pre-concert talk at 6pm.

Exhibition

Tate Modern: "Out of Place" (11 February to 17 April)
Four artists from diverse cultural backgrounds consider the relationship between the physical environment and the powerful social and political forces that prevail in their countries.

Dance

Royal Opera House (ROH2): Ballet Black (9-12 February)
Celebrating their tenth anniversary, this company of classically trained black and Asian dancers returns to the Linbury Studio to present a programme of old and new works.

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Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May

Our sincerest thanks to the pop star for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to a very boring awards show.

Now, your mole cannot claim to be an expert on the cutting edge of culture, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on in 2017, it’s that the Brit Awards are more old hat than my press cap. 

Repeatedly excluding the genres and artists that make British music genuinely innovative, the Brits instead likes to spend its time rewarding such dangerous up-and-coming acts as Robbie Williams. And it’s hosted by Dermot O’Leary.

Which is why the regular audience must have been genuinely baffled to see a hint of political edge entering the ceremony this year. Following an extremely #makeuthink music video released earlier this week, Katy Perry took to the stage to perform her single “Chained to the Rhythm” amongst a sea of suburban houses. Your mole, for one, doesn’t think there are enough model villages at popular award ceremonies these days.

But while Katy sang of “stumbling around like a wasted zombie”, and her house-clad dancers fell off the edge of the stage, two enormous skeleton puppets entered the performance in... familiar outfits.

As our Prime Minister likes to ask, remind you of anyone?

How about now?

Wow. Satire.

The mole would like to extend its sincerest lukewarm thanks to Katy Perry for bringing one fleeting moment of edge to one of the most vanilla, status-quo-preserving awards ceremonies in existence. 

I'm a mole, innit.