Going out: Cinema
Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical Sing-Along
If you’ve got a home full of kids with festive cabin fever, get everybody out of the house and along to this special sing-along edition of the recent smash hit adaptation of the West End version of Matilda. It’s guaranteed to burn off enough energy to win back a couple of hours’ peace and quiet.
Berliner Philharmoniker Live: New Year’s Eve Concert 2022
Forget queueing in the rain for an overpriced club night – the cosiest way to see in the new year is snuggled up in the cinema, with the classiest ticket in town, surely. Conductor Kirill Petrenko oversees this mixture of Russian and Italian works played by the Berliner Philharmoniker, coming to you live via satellite link.
Where Are You, Adam?
Documentarian Alexander Zaporoshchenko has made the perfect film to kickstart those virtuous new year resolutions: a full cinematic immersion into the secluded rhythms and rituals of community life in the Dochiariou monastery on the western shore of Mount Athos, an Aegean peninsula dedicated entirely to Eastern Christian monasticism.
Peter von Kant
Denis Ménochet stars as Peter von Kant, in French director François Ozon’s gender-flipped riff on Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Ménochet plays the famous director who lives with (and constantly humiliates and belittles) his handsome assistant Karl (Stefan Crepon). Catherine Bray
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Going out: Gigs
Pet Shop Boys
West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, New Year’s Eve
After a rapturously received greatest hits tour, which peaked this summer with an anthem-heavy Glastonbury Other Stage headline slot, pop’s greatest duo (sorry PJ & Duncan) arrive in Edinburgh to help usher in the new year. Expect artful headwear, immaculate pop and an abundance of retina-scorching lasers. Michael Cragg
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Barbican Hall, London, 4 January; Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, 6 January; touring to 8 January
Alexandre Bloch is on the podium for the latest series of concerts from the cream of young instrumental talent. One of the grandest of orchestral showpieces, Strauss’s tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra dominates the programme; before that comes Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes, and Anna Clyne’s dance score, RIFT. Andrew Clements
Electric Lady Big Band play Jimi Hendrix
Ronnie Scott’s, London, 6 & 7 January
On the same stage where guitar legend Jimi Hendrix played the last gig of his life in 1970, Bristol bandleader Denny Ilett leads his Hendrix tribute band in edgily reverent celebrations of 1968’s Electric Ladyland album and much more. John Fordham
Phonox, London, New Year’s Day
If you’ve still got some energy left then allow Berlin-based producer and Mixmag’s DJ of the year (2018) TJ Hertz, AKA Objekt, to rid you of your remaining faculties. Playing the day shift from 4pm to 10pm, he then hands off to UK dance experimentalist Midland for the night. MC
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Going out: Art
Objects of Desire
Design Museum, London, to 19 February
Warm yourself up with this feast of surrealist fun. It explores the relationship between the surrealist movement and real, practical design – a truly strange conjunction. Who knew Dalí’s Lobster Telephone was made as an actual working phone for his patron Edward James? A riot of sensual sofas and fetishist fashion.
Estorick Collection, London, 6 January until 30 April
The most revered still-life painter of the 20th century makes a purged and simple start to the new year. Clear your head with his calm yet profound paintings of bottles, cups and jugs. He shapes the way we look at earlier still-lifes by Chardin or Zurbarán, and was arguably the first minimalist.
Turner in January
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, New Year’s Day to 31 Jan
Every new year, the Scottish National Gallery unleashes its Turner watercolours to transport you to southern cities and stormy mountains. Turner’s audacity and radical daring make his use of watercolour dazzling – and the very opposite of what some may expect of this safe-sounding medium. Stand back and watch his fireworks.
Factory International, Manchester, New Year’s Day to 29 January
One of the year’s big cultural events will be the opening of Manchester’s Factory International. Ahead of its completion, this artist installs First Breath, a light sculpture, at the site, which will send beams of illumination into the Manchester sky. As well as the new venue, it celebrates babies born this January. Jonathan Jones
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Going out: Stage
Young Vic, London, to 4 February
Set largely throughout Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, this new musical focuses on the personal sacrifices he had to make to pursue his politics. Starring Michael Luwoye, who played Hamilton on Broadway. Miriam Gillinson
Wolf and Owl Live
Manchester Opera House, 5 January; Royal Festival Hall, London, 6 & 7 January
Romesh Ranganathan (the introverted, slightly nerdy Owl) and Tom Davis (the loud and geezerish Wolf) transpose their enjoyably scrappy, very-nearly-formatless chat podcast to the stage. Witness the pair dole out more of their sweetly earnest life advice and, of course, shoot plenty of the proverbial. Rachel Aroesti
Varna International Ballet
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 2 & 3 January; Bristol Hippodrome, 5 & 6 January; touring to 15 March
Usually at this time of year there’d be a visit from one of the Russian touring ballet companies, but in light of world events that slot is now filled by this Bulgarian company from Varna – a city with longstanding ballet connections – performing classics The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle and Coppélia. Lyndsey Winship
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Lowry, Manchester, to 8 January, then touring
Neil Gaiman’s enthralling tale has been transformed into a theatrical feast – with jolts and joys aplenty – by writer Joel Horwood and director Katy Rudd. A man returns to the farmhouse where he once played and is swept back into his childhood. MG
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Staying in: Streaming
2 January, 9pm, ITV1
Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen joins forces with his real-life wife, the excellent Keeley Hawes, to bring to life the story of Labour MP John Stonehouse, who left his clothes on a Florida beach in 1974 in a failed attempt to fake his own death – the kind of bizarre true-crime tale that has pacy post-Christmas drama written all over it.
New Year’s Day, 9pm, BBC One & iPlayer
Juxtaposing kitchen-sink comedy with starkly brutal action, Sally Wainwright’s cop drama one of the best shows of this century. Now, after seven years away, it returns for a third and final series, with Sarah Lancashire’s Sgt Catherine Cawood struggling to protect her teenage grandson from the influence of his rapist-murderer father, Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).
Our Flag Means Death
4 January, 10pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
Fans of pirates, giddily anachronistic period sitcoms and New Zealand’s finest comedy talent, behold! This series about gentleman turned swashbuckler Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby) and his budding romance with Blackbeard (Taika Waititi) is an exercise in endearing silliness – and features more star cameos than you can shake a rusty sword at.
Taskmaster New Year’s Treat
New Year’s Day, 9pm, Channel 4 & All 4
This annual special of the challenge-based gameshow swaps out its usual comedian contestants for good-humoured celebrities. Joining Greg Davies and Little Alex Horne this year are Carol Vorderman, Mo Farah, Radio 1’s Greg James, musician Self Esteem and Chicken Shop Date host Amelia Dimoldenberg. RA
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Staying in: Games
Cult of the Lamb
Out now, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC
An underground hit, this darkly cute, humorous game about a resurrected sacrificial lamb has you managing a cult and slashing demons.
Out now, Nintendo Switch, PC
Run an apothecary in the Lakes, match your customers with the plants they need, and marvel as the premise spirals into a fascinating mystery. Keza MacDonald
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Staying in: Albums
Babyface Ray – Mob
Detroit’s Babyface Ray – whose ascension up the ranks was recently confirmed by his inclusion in rap bible XXL’s 2022 Freshman Class – follows up January’s Face with this second album. Like his debut, Mob deals in unwavering melancholia, but buffs it up with gleaming, oversized production flourishes.
Weezer – SZNZ: Winter
Having honoured his hair-metal heroes on last year’s Van Weezer, Rivers Cuomo and his band of perpetual dorks return with the final EP of their series paying homage to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Spring, Summer and Autumn are now joined by Winter, with seven songs celebrating the bleakest season.
Mike – Beware of the Monkey
Michael Bonema made his name on the New York underground rap scene via his trademark wooziness, his albums built around a patchwork of hazy soul samples and his slowed-down flow. On his latest record, however, there are glimpses of energy, not least on the excellent Sister Nancy collaboration, Stop Worry!.
Itzy – Cheshire
On this new EP, Itzy stake their claim as K-pop’s second-best girlband behind the globe-straddling Blackpink. Their debut English single, Boys Like You, skips playfully around a typically buoyant 00s pop confection, while the frenetic title track (sadly not an ode to the north-west county) switches from coy to bolshie in a nanosecond. MC
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Staying in: Brain food
The Mayfair Hotel Megabuild
Mon, 9pm, BBC Two2 January, 9pm, BBC Two
Grand Designs meets London’s luxury hotels: this series (above) takes viewers inside a seemingly impossible six-year renovation of Claridge’s, all while it remains open to guests. We begin with builders excavating the huge basement – by hand.
The Mindful Minute
With the arrival of the new year comes the pressure for new starts. Let meditation teacher Meryl Arnett guide you into a state of calm with her series, which mixes insightful discussion on techniques with guided practice.
Musicology channel Polyphonic blends striking archival footage with clear-sighted explainers on everything from the history of folk music in the Soviet Union to the genius of Bill Withers and the raucous story of disco. Ammar Kalia