Going out: Cinema
Ticket to Paradise
Sometimes it feels like Hollywood is just playing the same old hits – but, sometimes, it’s great news! Who could resist a traditional romcom starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts as exes attempting to meddle in the love life of their daughter? Original? No. Welcome? Yes.
A talented young wannabe comic artist (Daniel Zolghadri) decides to chase his dreams by moving out of his parents’ comfortable, middle-class home and into one of the most disgusting apartments ever committed to celluloid, in this hilarious but also revolting debut from director Owen Kline. A genuine riot.
There are only a handful of stars, in or out of the world of music, with the wattage of the man known variously as Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke – that is to say, the one, the only, David Bowie. It’s forgivable, then, that this doc about him clocks in at 2h 14m: there’s almost too much brilliance to be explored.
At film festivals there is always one notorious entry that has critics raising their eyebrows or speaking in hushed tones about its shock value. At Cannes in 2021, that film was Bloody Oranges, a wild and transgressive French comedy that isn’t especially tasteful but is worth watching, featuring social climbing lawyers, sex maniacs and tax evasion. And no, it’s not about the UK government. Catherine Bray
Going out: Gigs
5 Seconds of Summer
Royal Albert Hall, London, 22 September
To help launch their fifth album, 5SOS5, the Australian pop-rock princes will play the hallowed Albert Hall as part of – hello 2020/21! – a global livestream. Promising songs from the new album, the gig will also feature reimagined versions of their hits alongside an orchestra and choir. Michael Cragg
Vale of Glamorgan festival
Various venues, Cardiff, 22-30 September
Two major works by John Luther Adams provide the highlights of south Wales’s new-music festival. The Carducci Quartet give the European premiere of Adams’s Lines Made By Walking, while in Cardiff’s Bute Park a massed percussion ensemble will perform his Inuksuit, inspired by the Arctic megaliths of the Inuit. Andrew Clements
Sage Gateshead, 21 September; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 22 September
Discovered as a street busker in the 90s, and hailed as a successor to Billie Holiday and Édith Piaf soon after, the beguiling singer-songwriter – one of modern music’s great interpreters of poetic lyrics – tours the UK, celebrating the reissue of her 2004 platinum album, Careless Love. John Fordham
20-29 September; tour starts Newcastle upon Tyne
The three-time Grammy winner arrives in the UK in support of July’s ninth album, Self-Explanatory, a gently nostalgic take on 90s R&B. But it will be the run of 00s classics – So Sick, Closer, Miss Independent – that should get the biggest reaction on this eight-date tour. MC
Going out: Art
The Lindisfarne Gospels
Laing Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 17 September to 3 December
A masterpiece of early medieval art is coming home. This richly wrought illuminated manuscript was created at Lindisfarne, the offshore north-eastern religious centre that would later by raided by the Vikings. Now it’s being loaned by the British Library for an exhibition that revives the mystery of its abstract flourishes.
Tate Modern, London, 20 September to 16 April
Delicate white plaster sculptures were this Prague-born Slovakian artist’s way of rebelling against communist rule. In 1960s Czechoslovakia (as it then was) Bartuszová started casting abstract plaster shapes from children’s party balloons. The resulting objects are ethereal phantoms of liberty. Bartuszová, working in Košice, kept surrealism alive and dreaming.
Michael Armitage With Seyni Awa Camara
White Cube Bermondsey, London, 21 September to 30 October
Quite why Armitage hasn’t won the Turner prize yet is anyone’s guess as he unveils yet more seductive, comical, complex paintings. A 21st-century Gauguin, Armitage cunningly subverts exotic colonial daydreams with fine irony. Here his powerful works are juxtaposed with sculptures by the Senegalese artist Seyni Awa Camara.
The Arc, Winchester, to 16 November
Nature was inspiring artists long before the climate crisis. The best record of what the Earth was like before industry is in paintings by the likes of Bruegel, Constable and Bellini. Here modern artists including Andy Goldsworthy, Elisabeth Frink, David Nash and Maggi Hambling continue that love affair with nature. Jonathan Jones
Going out: Stage
The Royal Ballet
Cast, Doncaster, 23 & 24 September
It’s rare for the Royal Ballet to perform outside London (apart from tours abroad), so this is a coup for Doncaster and a treat for northern ballet fans. There will be two gala performances featuring excerpts from ballets both classic and modern, performed by some of the country’s finest dancers. Lyndsey Winship
National Theatre: Olivier, London, to 5 November
Lyndsey Turner directs Arthur Miller’s boiling cauldron of a play, about a town engulfed in suspicion and fear. Brendan Cowell plays the unyielding John Proctor and Erin Doherty (The Crown) the ferocious Abigail Williams. Miriam Gilinson
Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Sheffield Theatres: Playhouse, 23 September to 15 October
Talented comic writer Tom Basden adapts Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s farcical examination of police power. Daniel Rigby plays the arrested fraudster who turns his questioning into a disturbingly comical affair. MG
17-24 September, tour starts Southampton
With the recent cancellation of Jerry Sadowitz, the comedy world got a little colder for acts who make artful offensiveness their USP. Now touring the UK, the often brilliant, always brutal Doug Stanhope is back to test the temperature of the times – and his audience’s stomachs. Brian Logan
Staying in: Streaming
21 September, Sky Atlantic and Now
Much of 2020 now seems like a fever dream, but this five-part series promises to take us back, and behind No 10’s closed doors. Director Michael Winterbottom is well qualified, and Kenneth Branagh looks to have nailed Johnson’s shambling gait – but is it all too soon?
18 September, BBC One and iPlayer
Hopefully you’ve caught up with series one of this Northern Ireland-set thriller because – spoiler incoming – we now know the identity of legendary assassin Goliath, and DCI Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) knew all along. When a crooked accountant is murdered and his gold goes missing it adds another layer of lies to unravel. Or maintain.
Star Wars: Andor
21 September, Disney+
Diego Luna reprises his role as thief-turned-Rebel Alliance hero Cassian Andor, in this Rogue One prequel series, set five years earlier. Also back is writer-director Tony Gilroy, the master of intrigue behind the Bourne trilogy and Michael Clayton, so expect your Star Wars lore delivered with a side of cerebral spycraft.
23 September, Apple TV+
When Sidney Poitier died in January, obituarists struggled to sum up his immense legacy. This reflective, wide-ranging documentary may actually succeed. It is produced by Oprah Winfrey – who knows a thing or two about being a Black American icon – and features contributions from the likes of Denzel Washington and Spike Lee. Ellen E Jones
Staying in: Games
Return to Monkey Island
Out now, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch
The original creator of the pirate comedy classic, Ron Gilbert, returns with a brand-new point-and-click adventure. Expect bizarre puzzles, surreal jokes and insult swordfighting.
Out 20 September, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
This characterful and stylish pixel-art cyberpunk game about a vigilante hacker has major 90s vibes. Keza MacDonald
Staying in: Albums
Rina Sawayama – Hold the Girl
Taking inspiration from Lady Gaga, Shania Twain and the Corrs, this second album from the Japanese-British pop superstar welds pin-sharp lyrics about identity, family and trauma on to gold-plated melodies. This Hell, for example, is a country-tinged, line-dancing classic about flipping a finger at homophobes.
Mura Masa – Demon Time
Two years after veering towards scratchy, lo-fi indie on second album RYC, producer Alex Crossan returns with the self-consciously fun follow-up, whose playful side was all over recent single Bbycakes.
Blackpink – Born Pink
K-pop’s biggest girlband, AKA Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa, return with their second album, the follow-up to 2020’s The Album, which peaked at No 2 on both sides of the Atlantic. Lead single Pink Venom is typical Blackpink, all chant-like hooks, odd tempo shifts and a gleaming chorus that quickly worms its way into your brain.
The Mars Volta – The Mars Volta
Inspired by singer-songwriter Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s experiences with the Church of Scientology, the seventh album from the progressive rock duo – their first since splitting in 2013 – is also their most direct. MC
Staying in: Brain food
Sensationalists: The Bad Boys and Girls of British Art
20 September, BBC Two
September marks the 25th anniversary of the Royal Academy exhibition that launched the controversial careers of the Young British Artists including Tracey Emin. This three-part series details the genesis of the show, starting in the art schools of 80s Britain.
The Sunshine Place
Founded in 1960s Santa Monica as an experimental rehab facility, beach compound Synanon transformed into a cult promising it could cure all ailments. This dramatic series tells the story of its downfall through the testimony of its residents.
Great Art Explained
Curator James Payne fronts this informative video series, tackling famous paintings and artistic movements throughout history. There’s the usual entries on the Mona Lisa and The Scream, as well as insights into Edward Hopper’s influence on Hollywood. Ammar Kalia