From Titane to Wolf Alice: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment

Whether it’s Cronenbergian serial-killer thrills or the Mercury-winners’ triumphant live return, our critics have your plans for the week covered

Going Out - Saturday Mag illo

Going Out: Cinema

Out now
Yowsa! The shot in the arm that cinema needs right now, Julia Ducournau’s Titane – starring Agathe Rousselle as a serial killer on the run – builds on the work of directors such as David Cronenberg, to deliver a juicy, pulsating, auto-erotic thriller that is not for the faint of heart.

Cinderella: Met Opera 2022
Out now
Start 2022 as you mean to go on by springing out of bed on New Year’s Day, doubtless fresh-faced and free from hangover, and treating yourself to this 90-minute adaptation of Jules Massenet’s operatic version of the classic fairytale, live from the New York Metropolitan Opera. Isabel Leonard stars as the eponymous heroine.

The Electric Life of Louis Wain
Out now
Even if you’ve never heard of the prolific artist Louis Wain, you’ve likely seen his work at some point – his distinctive anthropomorphic cat pictures have a magic all of their own. This quirky biopic explores the man behind the kitties, with Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.

The Humans
Out now
Writer-director Stephen Karam adapts his Tony-winning play to tremendous effect, as the Blake family gather in downtown Manhattan to celebrate Thanksgiving in a prewar apartment block that has seen better days. The stellar cast includes Amy Schumer, Richard Jenkins and Steven Yeun. Catherine Bray

* * *

Going Out: Gigs

Being Frank ... Joji.
Being Frank ... Joji. Photograph: Music PR handout

O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, 6 & 7 Januaryi
Lo-fi R&B practitioner Joji started life as hugely popular YouTube prankster Filthy Frank, before releasing comedy songs as Pink Guy. In late 2017 he switched focus to more serious output as Joji, a move that has paid off, with these two shows celebrating 2020’s Top 10 album, Nectar.

Wolf Alice
5 to 31 January; starts Glasgow
Released last summer to unanimous acclaim, Wolf Alice’s swaggering, chart-topping third album, Blue Weekend, finally gets its chance to shine in big venues across the country. Full of polished, widescreen alt-rock, it is a record crafted for festival headline slots, so think of these shows as just the warm-up. Michael Cragg

Unsuk Chin
Barbican Hall, London, 6 January
The first performance of Unsuk Chin’s second violin concerto, Scherben der Stille (Shards of Silence), with Leonidas Kavakos as soloist, opens the London Symphony Orchestra’s concert. Simon Rattle conducts, and follows with Sibelius’s Seventh Symphony and the suite from Bartók’s ballet score, The Miraculous Mandarin. Andrew Clements

Scott Hamilton
Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, 1 to 7 January
When the swinging Hamilton was born in 1954, John Coltrane was turning traditional jazz-sax thinking inside out. But if the American once seemed out of step with progress, his musicality has won over successive generations of fans. His regular London trio join for this new year trip. John Fordham

* * *

Going Out: Art

Spinning around ... Spirals (2005) by Louise Bourgeois.
Spinning around ... Spirals (2005) by Louise Bourgeois. Photograph: Marcus leith/Marcus Leith

Artist Rooms: Louise Bourgeois
Tate Liverpool, to 16 January
An outstanding selection of works by the artist who dragged surrealism into the 21st century. Bourgeois can unsettle with a stuffed figure, terrorise with a drawing. She helped invent the art of our time with her poetic installations. Yet her work is full of memories of a lost world.

Late Constable
Royal Academy of Arts, London, to 13 February
The blast of a winter’s day comes into the art gallery in this brilliant exhibition. Constable’s later years were chilly indeed. Yet the melancholy artist created his most romantic and expressive works, unforgettable woodlands, wild seas, and skies etched in pain. A contemplative treat for the start of the year.

Rachel Kneebone
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, to 24 April
If you fancy a bracing new year walk, the epic, memorable landscape of Yorkshire Sculpture Park makes for a great outing. And, as well as strolling the paths and meadows, you can see the sensual, disturbing art of this sculptor who creates swarms of naked Rodinesque bodies in white porcelain.

British Museum, London, to 20 February
Party on with hallucinogenic pottery and ecstatic funeral shrouds in this eye-opening trip through millennia of South American art. More than 2,000 years ago, the Nasca people not only drew vast hummingbirds and spiders in the earth but depicted severed heads, drugged musicians and doomed prisoners on portable objects. A delight. Jonathan Jones

* * *

Going Out: Stage

Fair plié ... Russian State Ballet of Siberia.
Fair plié ... Russian State Ballet of Siberia. Photograph: PR handout undefined

Russian State Ballet of Siberia
St David’s Hall, Cardiff, 2 January; touring to 26 March
This troupe (above) may not be in the premier league of Russian ballet, but they bring classical dance to more places in the UK than anyone else, so get your tutu fix here, accompanied by live orchestra. Lyndsey Winship

Spring Awakening
Almeida Theatre, London, to 22 January
Rupert Goold directs the Tony- and Olivier-winning musical about a group of teenagers growing up inside – and outside – the classroom. Dazzling, devastating theatre. Miriam Gillinson

Stewart Lee
Leicester Square Theatre, London, 4 to 13 January; touring to 3 July
Reprising his cancelled tour, Snowflake/Tornado, the standup returns to glance sideways at the culture wars. Don’t expect liberal echo-chamber back-patting; do expect exasperated riffs on other comedians. Rachel Aroesti

Sleeping Beauty
Kings Theatre, Edinburgh, to 16 January
In tribute to the longstanding panto clown, Andy Gray, Allan Stewart and Grant Stott revive their rip-roaring double act, which is as stupendously silly as ever. MG

* * *

Staying In: Streaming

Peake performance ... Anne.
Peake performance ... Anne. Photograph: Justin Slee/Justin Slee/ITV

Anne Williams’s son Kevin was 15 when he died in the Hillsborough disaster: she would spend the rest of her life fighting for justice for him and the other Liverpool fans who were killed on that day. Maxine Peake (above) plays her in a drama honouring her indomitable activism.

Toast of Tinseltown
BBC iPlayer
There’s something distinctly old Soho about Steven Toast, the mustachioed thesp with the imperious boom (naturally – he’s played by Matt Berry). Yet in his latest outing he is swapping dusty pubs for gleaming studios: will Hollywood provide this gloriously out-of-touch snob with the recognition he definitely doesn’t deserve?

The Tourist
BBC iPlayer
Memory-loss thrillers are having a moment: following the Connie Nielsen/Christopher Eccleston drama Close to Me comes this outback-set mystery from the creators of Baptiste. A British man (Jamie Dornan) wakes up in hospital not knowing who he is; unfortunately, the nefarious figures from his past haven’t forgotten.

This wildly evocative high school sitcom sees Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine relive the abject trauma of early adolescence by playing their 13-year-old selves amid a sea of real teenagers. Now, it’s waving an agonisingly awkward farewell with a final Covid-delayed batch of episodes. RA

* * *

Staying In: Games

Meet cute ... Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Meet cute ... Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Photograph: Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Nintendo Switch
New year, new start, right? Over the past few months, players have been doing amazing things with Animal Crossing’s new content and updates (above), so there is no shortage of inspiration to refresh your virtual island. If you have not played for a while, now’s the time to return.

Grand Theft Auto Online
PlayStation, Xbox, PC
If you can deal with the sheer violent anarchy of GTA, Rockstar recently released a new storyline featuring Grand Theft Auto V star Franklin, now a celebrity fixer, in which you have to track down unreleased music from actual Dr Dre. Keza MacDonald

* * *

Staying In: Albums

Moses Sumney – Live from Blackalachia
Out now
Recorded last summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, this one-take, 14-track live album captures the musical polymath (below) performing for an audience of trees with “grasshoppers our background singers”. Sumney also directed the accompanying film, Blackalachia, featuring songs taken from 2017’s Aromanticism and last year’s Græ.

Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined
Out now
Glenn-Copeland’s cult 1986 electronic opus Keyboard Fantasies (above) – reissued to huge acclaim in 2016 – is reworked by the likes of Bon Iver, Blood Orange and Kelsey Lu. Haunted and hollow, Arca’s piano-based remix of the courageous Let Us Dance is a standout.

Itzy – It’z Itzy
Out now
After making inroads in America, the K-pop girl band have now set their sights on Japan. This excellently titled compilation, which features reworkings of their biggest singles in Japanese, also comes with a selection of their eye-popping, choreographed videos.

Spector – Now Or Whenever
Out 7 January
Living up to their Twitter bio of “Part-time rock band”, London art-rock quartet Spector return with their third album proper since forming in 2011. Now or Whenever’s five singles so far glide between No One Knows Better’s galloping indie disco and I’m Not Crying You’re Crying’s 80s pocket symphony. MC

* * *

Staying In: Brain food

Having a pop art ... Andy Warhol.
Having a pop art ... Andy Warhol. Photograph: na/BBC/Getty

Andy Warhol’s America
BBC Two, 6 January
This wide-ranging three-part documentary (above) examines how Andy Warhol’s development of pop art intersected with the history of the 20th-century US. We open on his rise to fame and the canny analysis of US consumerism in his early works.

Stuff You Should Know
Airing since 2008, this acclaimed podcast from hosts Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark is showing no sign of running out of things we should be learning about. Episodes take a lighthearted approach to everything from hysteria to dentistry.
Celebrating the art of written correspondence, this archive from the creator of Letters of Note posts the intriguing letterhead designs of famous figures. Among the curios are Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Bros and artist Ray Johnson’s serpentine scrawl. Ammar Kalia

Staying In - Saturday Mag illo

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