The Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.


Curve: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (11 - 26 February)
Creating a theatrical confection of romance, heartbreak and surprise, innovative company Kneehigh present a new adaptation of the cult French musical film.


Tate Britain: Watercolour (16 February - 21 August)
A celebration of the huge variety of ways that watercolour has been used, ranging from the works of Turner to Anish Kapoor.


ICA: Novel Women (16 February)
A discussion of gender politics in publishing and the literary world, with panelists including Arts Council Literature Director Antonia Byatt and Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC.


Barbican: The Blue Dragon (17 - 26 February)
Master choreographer and theatre-maker Robert Lepage returns to the stage with the tale of an artist in modern China.


Southbank Centre: London Philharmonic Ochestra (13 February)
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a programme of sweeping classics by French composers Ravel and Berlioz, including Mother Goose and Symphonie Fantastique.

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“Minoan pendant”: a new poem by Mark Granier

“Yes – I press my nose / to the pleasantly warm glass – / it’s a copy of one I saw / cased in the cool museum”

Yes – I press my nose
to the pleasantly warm glass –
it’s a copy of one I saw
cased in the cool museum –
gold beaten to honey, a grainy
oval dollop, flanked by two
slim symmetrical bees –

garland for a civilisation’s
rise and collapse, eye-dropped
five thousand years: a flash
of evening sun on a windscreen
or wing mirror – Heraklion’s
scooter-life buzzing and humming –

as I step in to browse, become
mesmerised by the warm
dark eyes of the woman
who gives her spiel and moves
softly and with such grace,
that, after leaving, I hesitate

a moment on the pavement
then re-enter with a question
I know not to ask, but ask
anyway, to hear her voice
soften even more as she smiles
and shakes her hair – no.

Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Haunt (Salmon).

This article first appeared in the 16 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Britain on the brink