Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.


Tate Liverpool, René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle until 16 October

Catch the end of the first UK exhibition devoted to the Belgian surrealist in a decade. This exhibition brings together major works and those from Magritte's early commercial career- many previously unseen in the UK. A highlight is a selection of rarely seen photographs and films. Adult tickets are priced £9, with concessions at £7.10.


Soho Theatre, London W1D, Josie Long- The Future is Another Place 20 October

Long is from South East London and started doing stand-up comedy at 14 years old. She has achieved rapid success, winning the BBC New Comedy Awards at 17 and supporting Stewart Lee during his spring 2005 tour. The Future is Another Place began at the Edinburgh Fringe. In this intelligent and charming show Long uses anti-Tory material; however, rather than being overly ranty, she is upbeat and optimistic.


Hammersmith Apollo, London W6, Bon Iver 23 October

Performing on 23-24 October, catch Bon Iver's indie folk sound. Best known for his raw and emotive vocals, American singer-songwriter Justin Vernon founded the band in 2007. Fellow band members are Michael Noyce, Sean Carey and Matthew McCaughan. The band have recently released a self-titled album follwing their widely-acclaimed debut For Emma, Forever Ago of 2008.


The Banqueting Hall, London SW1, Bye Bye Kitty!!! 17 October

What is one of the first things you think of when someone mentions contemporary Japanese culture? Is it kawaii (cuteness, sometimes super-girly hyper-cuteness)? David Elliott, founding director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, urges that this stereotype detracts attentions from the real nature of modern Japanese art. He emphasises its intensely reflective, self-critical and often political stance. Elliott will discuss the Bye Bye Kitty!!! exhibition he curated at the Japan Society in New York earlier this year, which will be complimented by a discussion with sociologist and Japanese art specialist Adrian Favell. The event is free, but booking is essential.


National Theatre, London SE1, The Kitchen until 8 November

Set in London during the 1950s, Arnold Wesker's darkly funny play takes place in the kitchen of an huge West End restaurant. It is a hectic place where a range of intriging and dynamic characters work: chefs, waitresses and porters from across Europe. Peter is an upbeat young cook who strikes up an affair with married waitress Monique, but can their relationship survive? As part of the National Theatre Live, The Kitchen will be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide on 6 October.

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"On Crutches" and "At Thirty Three"

Two poems by Joe Dunthorne.

On Crutches

Are you trying to say
you never leapt from a spinny chair
into the backing singer’s arms
at the gender-neutral barber’s soft launch
yelling “for I am the centrifuge,
all densities find kin within me” at which point
she – ha! – totally caught you
then whispered something tender to your charming,
harmless mole and next thing
it was dawn in the playpark as you shoulder-rolled
in dismount from the tyre’s ecliptic swing
– shoeless, by now, you maniac – coming down weird
and hard on your ankle which shivered
but did not crack – ha! – ha! – and so, in fact,
I have no fucking idea
how you hurt yourself – probably in the shower –
you horrid, impossible man.


At thirty-three

I finally had the dream
where I made love to my mother.
I kept saying you are my mother
and she said I absolutely am
then she phoned my father
and told him everything.


Joe Dunthorne’s new novel, The Adulterants, will be published in February. His poems are published in Faber New Poets 5.

This article first appeared in the 25 May 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Why Islamic State targets Britain

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