The 10 best things… to do this week

From Frank Ocean to Louis CK: your at-a-glance guide to the next seven days in culture across the UK

Online

Stranger Things

Tapping into a generation’s endless thirst for 80s nostalgia, this eerie Netflix show brings together staples of the era (plucky kids! Smalltown weirdness! Winona bloody Ryder!) and creates something resembling the bastard offspring of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter. But rather than a wink-wink homage, it’s scary and moving enough to rank just as highly as the films and shows it counts as influences.

Exhibitions

Ragnar Kjartansson

Ragnar Kjartansson at Barbican Art Gallery.
Ragnar Kjartansson at Barbican Art Gallery. Photograph: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

There’s something about performance art that seems to value endurance. And not just on the part of the viewer – Marina Abramović’s 512 Hours lasted as long as the title suggests. Now Ragnar Kjartansson is halfway through Take Me Here By The Dishwasher: Memorial For A Marriage at the Barbican. A piece involving 10 singers performing for up to eight hours per day of the exhibition (possibly totalling 424 hours), it perfectly showcases the Icelander’s commitment to playful experimentation.

The Arts

Edinburgh international festival

Running concurrently to the fringe, 2016’s EIF is an embarrassment of theatre, dance, music, opera and talks, from The Glass Menagerie ; plinth’n’post-rock dance piece Monumental; an intimate cabaret from actor Alan Cumming singing “sappy songs”; and, tomorrow, vivid 3D projections on the castle to music from Mogwai.

Louis CK

Louis CK

While Louis CK’s semi-eponymous sitcom Louie was ambitious, experimental and frequently fascinating, you couldn’t call it side-splitting. As a standup, however, CK is one of the funniest people on the planet. Mining fame, family life and his own mental grime for laughs, he’s both gratifyingly silly and occasionally very wise. He’ll be in Edinburgh on Thursday, before embarking on a four-date London run.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie first came to wide attention after her TED talk We Should All Be Feminists was sampled by Beyoncé on 2014’s Flawless. But while she may be best known for providing accessible ins for potential gender equality enthusiasts, Adichie is, in fact, shaping up to be one of the most important novelists of her generation. She speaks as part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love this week, a two-month long celebration of passion, attachment and intimacy in all its forms.

Music

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

Few artists could convince half the internet to watch a live stream of an empty room, but few artists are Frank Ocean. The neo-R&B heavyweight trailed his followup to 2012’s Channel Orange in typically enigmatic style this week, but now – after various shelved release dates – Boys Don’t Cry should be arriving at some point today.

Bloodstock

Less well-known than its more commercial cousin Download, Bloodstock festival is now in its 11th year and caters for metal in all its variations – goth, black, death – as long as the band name is written in an indecipherable horror font. Heavily riffed titans Mastodon and Slayer headline this weekend at Catton Park in Walton-on-Trent.

Caught By The River Thames

An online network founded in 2007, Caught By The River was devised as a back-to-nature respite in an increasingly digitised world. If that sounds like an oxymoron, this spinoff fest might be more appealing, presenting IRL culture including the Super Furries and talks from Kate Tempest, Tim Burgess and more.

Theatre

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Bringing together three titans of British culture, Peter Hall’s production of Benjamin Britten’s opera based on the Shakespeare play returns to Glyndebourne.

Film

Suicide Squad

The warped Technicolor glamour of Jared Leto’s Joker and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn have been splashed all over the internet for what feels like years now (actually only 16 months), whetting appetites for the 79th (approximately) comic book movie to be released this year. Find out whether evil antihero tag-team Suicide Squad are as much fun as they look as the film finally hits cinemas.


The Guide

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