Cilla: The Musical
Kara Lily Hayworth tackles the role of national treasure Priscilla White, AKA Cilla Black, in this stage reworking of ITV’s Bafta-nominated biopic.
At Empire theatre, Liverpool, 7-16 September, then touring
Oh, What a Lovely War!
Joan Littlewood’s darkly satirical first world war musical, performed as a jovial end-of-pier show, comes to the Oldham Coliseum theatre from 8 to 30 September.
The Real Thing
Tom Stoppard’s play – first staged in 1982 – arrives at the Cambridge Arts theatre. Professional posh person Laurence Fox stars in an emotionally intense tale of life imitating art, which explores whether or not the love found in a passionate affair is – you guessed it – the real thing.
At Cambridge Arts theatre, 6-16 September, then touring to 4 November
Art and exhibitions
Taking place across Hull city centre, this arts festival aims to bring out the fun and playful aspects of freedom via some fairly baffling installations, including DJ Frietmachine’s dancing potatoes and Haircuts by Children, in which some kids go to work on a brave adult’s barnet as a way of musing on our trust in the future. Or something.
At various venues, Hull, 1-3 September
Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?
Featuring 200 objects ranging from hard-hitting posters to illuminated pharmacy signs, this new exhibition explores the role that graphic design plays in helping spread healthcare messages around the world. Pieces range from Aids advocacy group Act Up’s famous SILENCE = DEATH pink triangle posters to images such as the one above, which brightens the walls of a hospital in Barcelona.
At the Wellcome Collection, NW1, 7 September to 14 January
Set in the Lake District town of Penrith, the C-Art festival aims to promote Cumbria’s contemporary arts via exhibitions and installations. Highlights include Richard Dedomenici’s Redux Project, which involves re-creating Withnail and I, while Beastie allows kids to create their own stories.
At various venues, Penrith, 8-17 September
True Faith explores the enduring influence of New Order and Joy Division’s music over the art world, featuring works by Julian Schnabel, Jeremy Deller and Kathryn Bigelow, alongside Peter Saville’s iconic artwork, including his cover for New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies album.
Manchester Art Gallery to 3 September
Manchester Psych festival
Do you enjoy noodly guitar solos, large print outfits and the word “trippy” used to describe visuals? Then you’re in luck, because Manchester Psych festival – taking place across three venues – offers all that and more. Performers include shoegaze band Sulk, Anglophile US folkie Ryley Walker, indie pop rabble Teleman and hirsute Japanese noise merchants Bo Ningen.
At various venues, Manchester, 2 September
Festival No 6
With last year’s festival beset by the sort of rainfall that required tractors to shift cars from muddy car parks, the organisers will be hoping for even five minutes of sunshine to grace Portmeirion this time around. The weather did at least push people away from the main stage – which this year features Bloc Party, Laura Mvula and Wild Beasts – and into the festival’s more interesting nooks and crannies. Fancy a spot of hip-hop karaoke or a ukelele workshop? Then this “bespoke banquet of music, arts and culture” is the one for you.
At various venues, Portmeirion, 7-10 September
Clowns are awful. Like, genuinely, properly, my-god-what-is-that terrifying. Stephen King knew this when he wrote It in 1986, while Tim Curry scared most of the western world as Pennywise in the 1990 mini-series. Now Bill Skarsgård has stepped into the character’s oversized shoes to scare a whole new generation. The trailers promise jumps, scares and more expertly applied makeup than a YouTube tutorial.
In cinemas from 8 September