The Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.


Globe Theatre London, SE1: Doctor Faustus (until 2 October) Christopher Marlowe's epic tragedy makes its first appearance at the London Theatre. Paul Hilton plays the scheming doctor, who makes a pact with the devil. Mephistopheles is Arthur Darvill, best known as Rory in Doctor Who. Expect poetry, comedy and flying dragons.


Gladstone Park, London, NW10: Gladstonebury Festival (19 June)
Not got a ticket for Glastonbury this year? Then Gladstonebury, in North London may go some way to console you. There will be live music, including The Future Shape of Sound, and The Penny Black Remedy, chainsaw sculpture, juggling, barbecues, beer tents, and the notorious "Woofstock" dog show. And free entry too.


Shepherd's Bush Empire, W12: Bo Burnham 18 (June)
Returning for a victory lap after his acclaimed performance at Edinburgh last year, funny-boy Burnham is wowing audiences and winning over the critics with his self-conscious musical/comedy japery.


Various locations, London: Stake Land
Director Jim Mickle has created a torrid, dread-laden atmosphere in this post-apocalyptic vampire horror. Involving nuns, Christian armies and pregnancy, this unusual vision of dystopia is also somehow emotionally engaging, a rare quality in the genre.


Tate Britain, Millbank, SW1P: The Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World (Until 4 September)
Led by one-man renaissance, Wyndham Lewis, the Vorticists explored the relationship between art and the increasing mechanisation of Britain in the early 20th Century. They produced expressive works that bridged the gap between Cubism and Futurism.

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The mizzly tones of Source FM

Drewzy (male, fortysomething) composedly, gently, talks of “time condensing like dew on a damp Cornish window”.

A mizzly Thursday in Falmouth and the community radio presenters Drewzy and the Robot are playing a Fat Larry’s Band single they picked up in a local charity shop. Drewzy (male, fortysomething) composedly, gently, talks of “time condensing like dew on a damp Cornish window”, and selects a Taiwanese folk song about muntjacs co-operating with the rifles of hunters. The robot (possibly the same person using an electronic voice-changer with a volume booster, but I wouldn’t swear to it) is particularly testy today about his co-host’s music choices (“I don’t like any of it”), the pair of them broadcasting from inside two converted shipping containers off the Tregenver Road.

I am told the Source can have an audience of up to 5,500 across Falmouth and Penryn, although when I fan-mail Drewzy about this he replies: “In my mind it is just me, the listener (singular), and the robot.” Which is doubtless why on air he achieves such epigrammatic fluency – a kind of democratic ease characteristic of a lot of the station’s 60-plus volunteer presenters, some regular, some spookily quiescent, only appearing now and again. There’s Pirate Pete, who recently bewailed the scarcity of pop songs written in celebration of Pancake Day (too true); there’s the Cornish Cream slot (“showcasing artists . . . who have gone to the trouble of recording their efforts”), on which a guest recently complained that her Brazilian lover made her a compilation CD, only to disappear before itemising the bloody tracks (we’ve all been there).

But even more mysterious than the identity of Drewzy’s sweetly sour robot is the Lazy Prophet, apparently diagnosed with PTSD and refusing medication. His presenter profile states, “I’ve spent the last year in almost total isolation and reclusion observing the way we do things as a species.”

That, and allowing his energies to ascend to a whole new plateau, constructing a two-hour Sunday-morning set – no speaking: just a mash-up of movie moments, music, animal and nature sounds – so expert that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in fact someone like the La’s Salinger-esque Lee Mavers, escaped from Liverpool. I’m tempted to stake out the shipping containers.

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The legacy of Europe's worst battle