The latest on books and the arts


Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.

Sean Lock
Sean Lock, whose pre-tour warm-up gigs will begin this week in London. Photograph: Getty Images.


Murder in the Library, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1, 18 Jan – 12 May 

The British Library’s new exhibition about crime writing, which accounts for approximately a third of all British fiction books, will take you on a captivating journey through the evolution of this popular genre. It will explore the genre's origins in the early 19th century through to contemporary "Nordic Noir", without forgetting the most prominent crime writers including Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle.

This fascinating exhibition will showcase manuscripts, books, rare audio recordings, artworks, as well as intriguing artefacts from the library's British and North American collections.

Classical Music

The Opus Ones, Peter Donohoe, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, 16 January

Warwick Arts Centre at the University of Warwick invites world renowned British pianist Peter Donohoe to take to its stage with a performance of music from the early part of the careers of some of the best known composers. Donohoe has devised an evening devoted to the works of Tchaikovsky, Bartók, Prokofiev, Schumann and Berg.

The audience is promised “power, tenderness, and the perennially fresh touch of one of the supreme virtuosos of our time”. Donohoe begins the evening with a pre-concert talk.


Work In Progress, Sean Lock, Leicester square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, Leicester Square, London WC2, 11 Jan – 16 Jan (except 14 Jan)

Sean Lock is taking a break from his  television appearances to begin a stand-up comedy tour. The shows at the Leicester Square Theatre are in preparation for a national tour which will commence later this year. The comedian, whose TV credits include team captain on 8 Out Of 10 Cats as well as QI and Argumental, will perform a string of shows at this venue in January and February.


The Johnny Cash Story, The Lowry Theatre, 8 The Quays, Salford, 13 January

For fans of the film Walk The Line, this one-night-only show is unmissable. Roger Dean, who has been playing Johnny Cash for most of his life after first performing The Tennessee Flat Top Box on BBC television aged 14, will be entertaining with a collection of the star’s best known songs. From Big River to Ring of Fire and I Walk The Line, the show charts Cash’s rise to fame from humble Arkansas beginnings.


The Silence of the Sea, Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London SW1, 14 Jan – 2 Feb (previews start from 10 January)

A novella originally written by Vercors, The Silence of the Sea has been reimagined by Anthony Weigh for the stage. A soldier is sent to the home of an old man and his niece. The pair, with no option but to allow him in, resist him with a silence that will become their most forceful strength.

This “exquisitely constructed human drama”, whose cast features Finbar Lynch among others, sheds new light on the original play and observes “an excruciating dilemma faced by both the occupier and the occupied”.

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