Table of Contents
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Firestarter notwithstanding, here is the week’s hottest release. It stars Michelle Yeoh as a mum caught up in all manner of action-packed multiple universe hijinks, with Stephanie Hsu as her rebellious daughter. Directed by the Daniels duo, this will not be a run-of-the-mill superhero flick – after all, these are the directors who brought us Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse in 2016’s Swiss Army Man.
She’s a firestarter, a twisted firestarter! Stephen King’s 1980 novel about a supernaturally flammable youngster has been adapted for the big screen before with teeny tiny Drew Barrymore as the eponymous pyrokinetic problem child. For this new Blumhouse version we get Ryan Kiera Armstrong, with Zac Efron as her freaked-out father.
The acclaimed director Gaspar Noé is celebrated as a taboo-busting provocateur, but with Vortex the former enfant terrible offers what is in some ways his most shocking film: a nuanced, reflective and formally innovative exploration of love struggling to endure harsh mortality. With superb performances from Françoise Lebrun and the legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento.
This Much I Know to Be True
Nick Cave has been profiled on screen before, including in the excellent 20,000 Days on Earth (2014) from Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, but this new documentary by Andrew Dominik has seven years of new material to cover. Besides, it’s hardly possible to really have too much of one of our most intriguing living songwriters. Catherine Bray
15 to 23 May; tour starts Glasgow
After finally getting her commercial dues – recent album Crash was a UK No 1, and peaked inside the Top 10 in the US – Charli XCX (above) brings her coterie of avant-pop to the country’s large-scale venues. Expect flashing images, ludicrous bangers and to sweat profusely.
XOYO, London, 18 May
Initially arriving in London from his native Birmingham to study film, rapper-singer Wesley Joseph switched to music after he started making beats on his laptop in a makeshift bedroom studio. His blend of jazz-flecked, Jorja Smith-assisted R&B and bass-rattling hip-hop experiments still carry that cinematic flair, however. Michael Cragg
Tord Gustavsen Trio
17 to 21 May; tour starts Milton Keynes
Norwegian pianist-composer Tord Gustavsen is one of the most enduringly popular of European contemporary jazz musicians, quietly mingling gospel and classical music, blues and lyrical improv. His long partnership with percussionist Jarle Vespestad remains uncanny empathic, and new bassist Steinar Raknes brings a fresh muscularity to this UK tour. John Fordham
La Voix Humaine
Secret venue, Bath, 16 to 19 May
Music and books, Bath festival’s twin themes, come together in Francis Poulenc’s monodrama, with its text by Jean Cocteau. David Pountney’s staging will be in a flat in the city – only ticket holders will be told of the secret location – with the audience confronted at close quarters. Soprano Claire Booth is Elle, the woman abandoned by her lover and contemplating suicide. Andrew Clements
Tate Britain, London, 19 May to 16 Oct
A welcome retrospective for a surreal and whimsical poet of everyday stuff. Parker’s installation of an exploded shed, its fragments arrested as they hurtle through space (above), is a defining image of modern British art. Other exhibits range from an embroidered Magna Carta to an ethereal cloud of metal.
Counted | Scotland’s Census 2022
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, to 25 Sep
Photography past and present reveals the faces of Scotland to mark this year’s Scottish census. As the survey maps a changing population, the show compares images of contemporary Scotland and its people by Kieran Dodds, Arpita Shah and more, with photographs of Victorian Scotland by Thomas Annan and Hill & Adamson.
In the Air
Wellcome Collection, London, 19 May to 16 Oct
Tacita Dean and Dryden Goodwin are among the artists in the Wellcome Collection’s latest foray across scientific and cultural lines, mixing facts and poetic visions to tell a history of the air. It starts with fossils and arrives in the present with urban pollution.
Hastings Contemporary, to 25 Sep
You can’t find many places that are saltier with the sea than the Stade in Hastings, where fishing boats are pulled up just outside this gallery. So an exhibition of art about sailing on those wild waters, from JMW Turner to Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling, should roar here. Jonathan Jones
Battersea Arts Centre, London, 19 & 26 May
Having taken an extended break, Kettering’s finest (above) is back. Hecklers Welcome encourages audience contributions – a high-stakes premise that will doubtless result in a show that’s both raucous and revelatory. Rachel Aroesti
My Fair Lady
London Coliseum, to 27 August
A hotly anticipated West End transfer for Bartlett Sher’s award-winning New York Lincoln Center production. Starring the brilliant Amara Okereke alongside Harry Hadden-Paton and Vanessa Redgrave. Miriam Gillinson
Hope Mill theatre, Manchester, to 5 June
Ruthie Henshall stars in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s lavish musical about an ailing woman who falls in love with a beautiful young soldier. MG
Sadler’s Wells, London, 18 to 21 May
This triple bill from Britain’s oldest dance company includes the premiere of Ben Duke’s meta dance-comedy about mortality, plus work by US dancemaker Alonzo King. Lyndsey Winship
The Time Traveler’s Wife
16 May, 9pm, Sky Atlantic and Now TV
Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat feels like the perfect person to adapt Audrey Niffenegger’s epic, fuzzily romantic fantasy (above) about a man genetically predisposed to hurtling through time at the drop of a hat (or, rather, all his clothes). Downton’s Rose Leslie plays the titular spouse, destined to spend a lifetime waiting for love.
Conversations with Friends
15 May, 10pm, BBC Three and iPlayer
After the pandemic phenomenon that was Normal People, the BBC is returning to Sally Rooney with an adaptation of the author’s cool and compulsively readable debut novel about a Dublin-based love quadrangle. Fans of steamy sex scenes and sad eyes are in for another treat.
20 May, Amazon Prime Video
JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek are a sweetly devoted husband and wife with a backyard portal to another planet in this extremely out-there sci-fi. The couple have kept their benign space-hopping under the radar for years, but the appearance of a mysterious man sees their secret hobby transform into a wild and terrifying trip.
Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood
16 May, 9pm, BBC One and iPlayer
During the early days of lockdown, Louis Theroux became one of fitness coach-turned-national PE teacher Joe Wicks’s legion of devotees. Now, the documentarian has produced an intimate film about Wicks’s difficult early life, involving a heroin-addicted father and mother who had severe OCD. RA
The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood enlist Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner for their looser, more freewheeling spin-off band (above). Their debut album – produced by Nigel Godrich – veers from You Will Never Work in Television Again’s howling agit‑rock to Free in The Knowledge’s atmospheric balladry.
Kendrick Lamar – Mr Morale & the Big Steppers
First teased in August 2021, the Pulitzer prize winner’s follow-up to 2017’s Damn is reportedly his last forprogressive rap label Top Dawg Entertainment. It caps a busy few years, with recent collaborations including Beyoncé, 2 Chainz and Baby Keem. Lamar headlines Glastonbury’s Sunday slot next month.
Sasha Alex Sloan – I Blame the World
The artist formerly known as Sasha Sloan returns with her second album of heartfelt soft-pop. The follow-up to 2020’s Only Child, I Blame The World attempts to navigate our New Normal (also the title of her recent single) via the surprisingly propulsive title track and sad singalong anthem, WTF.
Florence + the Machine – Dance Fever
Influenced by everything from clubbing to The Wicker Man via 70s Iggy Pop, this fifth album from Florence Welch et al Florence Welch signifies a return to the OTT enormo-pop of old following 2018’s relatively muted High as Hope. Recent single Free feels like the perfect soundtrack to escaping via a festival field. MC
Darren McGarvey’s Addictions
Rapper and activist McGarvey (above) has produced some of the most incisive documentaries on class and poverty in Britain in recent years. His latest series confronts Scotland’s issues with addiction, taking a personal approach in sharing his own experiences.
BBC 6 Music DJ Jamz Supernova begins the second season of her reliably informative podcast on self-care and career development. Among her weekly guests are her partner Sam Interface, who talks about maintaining relationships alongside a creative career.
Resembling a posh version of MTV’s Cribs, Architectural Digest’s Inside series provides an illuminating glimpse into celebrities’ homes. There is clutter like Ashley Tisdale’s fake book wall, as well as personal inspiration in Shonda Rhimes’s writing space. Ammar Kalia