Things To Book, Watch & Listen To This Month
Things To Book, Watch & Listen To This Month

Things To Book, Watch & Listen To This Month

There are some exciting things happening in May. We’ve rounded up the very best, including an exhibition, a festival and a performance not to be missed…

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THE EXHIBITION: Radical Landscapes, Tate Liverpool

From rural raves in Castlemorton to anti-nuclear protests at Greenham Common, this new exhibition presents a radical view of the British landscape in art. Expanding on landscape art as being limited to paintings of lush green hills, this show reflects the diversity of the British landscape and the communities that inhabit it. In Rinkeni Pani (Beautiful Water), Delaine Le Bas explores her English-Romany heritage to engage with themes of trespass and climate change. Davinia-Ann Robinson’s installation Some Intimacy combines salvaged clay and sound to powerful effect. Visitors can immerse themselves in Gustav Metzger’s psychedelic installation Liquid Crystal Environment, which harnesses the natural energies of heat and light, and see over 150 paintings, sculptures, photographs and films by artists including Jeremy Deller, Ingrid Pollard, Tanoa Sasraku, Derek Jarman, Hurvin Anderson, Claude Cahun and Alan Lodge.

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4BB; 5th May-4th September


THE PLAY: Oklahoma!

This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen it before, re-orchestrated and reimagined for the 21st century. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Daniel Fish’s bold interpretation transfers to the Young Vic, direct from an acclaimed Broadway run and US tour. Oklahoma! tells the story of a community banding together against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Seventy-five years after Rodgers and Hammerstein reinvented the American musical, this visionary production is funny and sexy, provocative and probing, without changing a word of the original text.

Young Vic, Waterloo, SE1 8LZ; until 26th June


THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES SHOW: Downton Abbey: Behind The Lens

Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey: A New Era hit cinemas at the end of last month. The cinematic return reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa. In this new YouTube show, Clara Amfo presents Downton Abbey: Behind The Lens, a four-part digital series featuring interviews with the cast, filmmakers and heads of departments, delving into the secrets behind the filming of the new movie. A must for those who can’t get enough of the Crawley family.


THE PODCAST: Duchess – Series Three

Duchess is a popular podcast which sees the Duchess of Rutland – Emma Manners – explore the historic homes of Great Britain and meet the inspiring women who lead them today. Emma grew up far away from the aristocracy, but her life changed forever when she married the 11th Duke of Rutland  and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a duchess and custodian of one of Britain's most important buildings. In this podcast she travels to some of the UK’s most impressive homes, learns the tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls and gets to know the inspiring, powerful women who work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation. Fans of Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey will love this third series, which visits the likes of Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland and Cirencester Park.


THE NON-FICTION READ: From Cove To Coast: An Artist’s Year In Paint & Pen by Anna Koska

Highly respected illustrator Anna Koska is best known for her drawings of fish and fruit and is widely celebrated by food journalists and restaurateurs. In From Coast and Cove, a mindful, artistic journal, Anna celebrates the natural world of the English coastline throughout the seasons. Anna and her family moved from East Sussex to Devon in 2020 and she now finds inspiration for her artworks in the ebb and flow of the tide throughout the year, the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the shore and the creatures spotted in the air, on land and tucked away in rockpools. Beautifully observed, contemplative and deeply personal, Anna combines emotive and evocative tales of life beside the sea with her exquisitely detailed and intricate illustrations of the plants and wildlife found in the water and along the coastline.


THE MASTERCLASS: The School of Garden Inspiration

Petersham Nurseries is bringing back its series of masterclasses, The School of Garden Inspiration, at its Richmond home. The line-up of classes and workshops is centred around horticultural creativity, offering guidance and tips for both veteran and novice gardeners. Devised by Thomas Broom-Hughes, classes start this month, covering topics such as summer containers, slow gardening and houseplants. Kicking off the series on 16th May is ‘A Celebration of Roses’. The morning begins with an introduction to growing roses with resident rose expert Martin Ogden, covering everything from planting to pruning. Next, Thomas will introduce guests to the joys of arranging with homegrown roses and creating tablescapes. After a lunch of seasonal dishes the restaurant is famous for, the afternoon will be devoted to culinary demonstrations including how to make rose jam and rose harissa.

Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AB; various dates


THE FESTIVAL: Bath Festival

Bath Festival is back for 2022 with big names from the world of music, literature and comedy. Historian David Olusoga, comedian Phil Wang, Nobel Prize-winning author Abdulrazak Gurnah and saxophonist Jess Gillam are among those announced as part of this year’s line-up. The festival will be hosting events in some of the World Heritage city’s beautiful historic buildings, including the 18th-century Assembly Rooms, Bath Abbey and St Swithin’s Church. Following last year’s successful series of guided walking tours, three new themed walking tours have been created. There will also be workshops and, for the first time at the festival, proof parties where readers will be able to hear from rising stars of literature and go home with proof copies of their as-yet unpublished works.

Various locations; 13th-21st May


THE FILM: Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts

Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts is a unique and inventive feature documentary about the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Directed by the late, much celebrated Roger Michell (Notting Hill, The Duke) and produced by prolific British producer Kevin Loader (Nowhere Boy, The Lady in the Van), this new film is a nostalgic, uplifting and fresh modern chronicle of the extraordinary 70-year reign of Her Majesty The Queen, the longest-lived, longest-reigning British monarch and longest-serving female head of state in history. Ideal viewing ahead of the Platinum Jubilee next month.


THE SERIES: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Based on the beloved book by Audrey Niffenegger, HBO’s new drama The Time Traveler’s Wife stars Rose Leslie as Clare Abshire, Theo James as Henry DeTamble, Desmin Borges as Gomez and Natasha Lopez as Charisse. An intricate and magical love story, adapted by Steven Moffatt (the man behind Sherlock and the recent series of Dr Who), the series tells the story of Clare and Henry, and a marriage with a problem... time travel. If it’s anything like the 2009 film, which starred Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, we’re sure we’re in for a treat.


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