Friday Arts Diary

Our cultural picks for the week ahead.

New Statesman
Iron Maiden will amaze fans at the O2 this weekend Image: Getty

Music

Iron Maiden, O2, London August 3rd and 4th

Iron Maiden, the British heavy metal legends return to the UK this week as part of their “Maiden England Tour”. “It somehow seems right to finish up back home in England and have the final show celebration on home-turf” say the 80s rock legends, as they prepare to electrify audiences with ear-melting guitar riffs and extraordinary pyrotechnics. Fans will expect them to play everything from some of their earlier, best-selling albums, right up to their 2010 release The Final Frontier.

 

Theatre

Evita, The Lowry, Manchester, July 29th- August 10th

Opening this week, and continuing until August 10, the Lowry in Manchester is hosting Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita. This performance, following the life of Eva Peron, charismatic wife of former Argentinean dictator Juan Peron, promises to be spectacular. Featuring the platinum selling artist Marti Pellow, and undeniably famous classics such as Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Mancunian musical lovers will be jumping at the chance to see this dazzling performance.

 

Film

Paradise Hope, directed by Ulrich Seidl, opening August 2nd

This unsettling exploration of female sexuality completes Austrian filmmaker’s Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy. Paradise: Hope, tells the story of Melanie, a 13-year old with weight issues, sent to a strict diet camp in the Austrian countryside while her parents enjoy holidaying in Kenya. While at the camp, Melanie falls in love with the doctor of the camp, a man 40 years her senior, a man all too willing to engage her in adolescent flirting. The film veers from excruciatingly inappropriate scenes, looking to provoke and even disturb to those with a lighter comedic edge. This meticulously crafted and well shot drama is a must see.  

 

Festival

Edinburgh Fringe, August 2nd-26th

It’s that time of year again. The Edinburgh Fringe starts this weekend, and there is no way we could sum it all up in a few sentences. Featuring comedy, cabaret, exhibitions, music, spoken word, theatre, dance, musicals and even children shows, the Fringe has something for everyone and more. If we were forced to pick one performance, Reginald D Hunter wouldn’t be far off. Controversial, provocative, hilarious, memorable, honest, Hunter ticks all the boxes of a great comedian, explaining his rise to fame in the last decade.  He’s “sharp enough to burst balloons” say the Independent, “His presence and intelligence make him one of the most brilliantly unpredictable comics" remark Sunday Times. Put the Fringe, and Reginald D Hunter, to the very top of your diary.

 

Art

Grad, 2-4a Little Portland Street, London, until Saturday August 31st

See USSR presented by Grad, and opening this week in London, features a series of intriguing and authentic pieces of Soviet Propaganda from the 1930s. Commissioned by Intourist, the Soviet agency overseeing foreign travel, some of the posters deliberately construct an image of the USSR that the Western intellectual would find interesting. Culture, music, sport, beautiful scenery, health resorts and more are sold to foreigners, in a sophisticated, bold and colourful style while the exhibition also features the far more familiar pieces of propaganda that Soviet citizens themselves were subjected to. This free exhibition offers those interested in both art, and history, a hugely absorbing and compelling experience.