What to watch, see and listen to in 2015: From Avengers and Shaun the Sheep to an exhibition about beards

Our pick of the upcoming films, music art and theatre.



David Oyelowo in Selma

6 February
This movie chronicles Martin Luther King’s epic march from Selma to Montgomery as part of the civil rights movement, which culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights act of 1965. English actor David Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King.


Eddie Marsden stars in Still Life

6 February
Eddie Marsden stars in this British drama about a council worker responsible for tracking down the families of people who have died alone. Marsden continues to show why he’s among the UK’s leading character actors in director Uberto Pasolini’s first English language film.



6 February
Aardman Animations, the creators of Wallace & Gromit, return to the big screen with a movie centred around Shaun the Sheep. Based on the CBBC series, this film promises to be a hit with both kids and parents alike.


Robert Downey Jr. is back

24 April
Joss Whedon returns for the second instalment in Marvel’s Avengers franchise. This time an evil robot from the future threatens to destroy pretty much everything; only Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk et al can stand in his way. Expect a mix of top notch CGI and a script tight as a snare drum.



Beards: The ultimate hipster affectation

Somerset House, 5 – 29 March
In recent years beards have gone from the ultimate symbol of rugged masculinity to irritating hipster affectation. This exhibition at Somerset House is sure to reassert facial hair as the pinnacle of manliness. Photographer Mr Elbank has taken over 80 portraits of men sporting impressive face-bushes for a project exploring the art of grooming. Subjects include models, actors, artists and unknown people from around the globe.


Paul Durand-Ruel, portrait by Renoir

National Gallery, 4 March – 31 May
Impressionism is arguably the most popular art movement of all time, but it wasn’t always that way. In the late 19th century, the likes of Monet, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley struggled to establish themselves until a young art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, took a chance on them. March’s Inventing Impressionism exhibition at the National Gallery features 85 masterpieces – including Renoir’s Dances and five from Monet’s Poplars series – all but one of which passed through the collector’s possession.


Marlene Dumas

Tate Modern, 5 February – 10 May
This Marlene Dumas exhibition leads a 2015 Tate programme dominated by female artists. Born in South Africa but based for most of her career in Amsterdam, “The Image as Burden” is the most comprehensive exhibition of her work ever held in the UK. The title refers to both the effect of an image-obsessed society on our psychological health and the responsibility of artists to depict truth through their work.


National Portrait Gallery, Feb 12 – 25 May
John Singer Sargent was one of the best painters of his generation, and one of the best connected people in the world around the late 19th and early 20th century. The only thing he liked doing more than making friends in high places was painting them. His portraits of friends and contemporaries, including Rodin, Monet, and Robert Louis Stevenson are to be featured in a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery next month. The paintings were rarely commissioned, so he was free to experiment with more intimate compositions than those normally found in formal portraiture.



Elbow head to Hammersmith

Apollo Hammersmith, 10-12 Feb
The anthemic Bury band are heading to Hammersmith where they’re likely to play hits from last year’s number one album The Take Off and Landing of Everything.


Gruff Rhys

Koko Camden, 11 Feb
The Super Furry Animals frontman has been preparing a secret project that he plans to perform as a one-off multimedia show. It tells the extraordinary story of his search for the grave of his distant relative who died looking for a mythical tribe of Welsh-speaking Native Americans over two centuries ago.


Legendary duo Underworld

Apollo Hammersmith, 6 March
The legendary techno duo were last seen soundtracking the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics but it’s been 20 years since the release of their debut album dubnobasswithmyheadman. To celebrate, a fully remastered version was released last year and they’re heading to west London to play the whole thing from start to finish for one night only.


Mercury Prize-nominated FKA Twigs

Roundhouse Camden, 19-20 Feb
FKA may stand for “formerly known as”, but she’s currently famed for being one of the most successful artists of last year following her experimental R&B debut LP1, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her two-night residency at the Roundhouse is sure to draw in the crowds as they’re her biggest shows to date.




Olivier Theatre, 12 February – TBC
Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor will follow up his incredible turn in 12 Years A Slave with a return to the stage in Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of 15th century morality play Everyman. Ejiofor plays the eponymous Everyman, a rich and greedy character who is bemused when Death shows up at his door. Death informs him his time is up and he has to go and meet the big man upstairs. Cue a robust and rather unsympathetic exploration of the character of man. The play marks the beginning of Rufus Norris’ tenure as artistic director of the National Theatre, and looks set to get him off to a flying start.


Ralph Fiennes in Man and Superman

Lyttelton Theatre, 17 Feb - 17 May
Ralph Fiennes returns to the National Theatre this February in George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. Written in 1903, the play centres on Jack Tanner, a rich, revolutionary bachelor charged with looking after the beautiful young heiress, Ann Whitfield. A philosophically-charged prototype for the modern rom-com, Man and Superman looks at the big questions through the prism of a dysfunctional love story.


Juliette Binoche plays Antigone

Barbican, 4 - 28 March
This March, international treasure Juliette Binoche plays Antigone in a contemporary version of Sophocles’ tragedy, with a new translation by TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Anne Carson. Known primarily for films including The English Patient and Chocolat, Binoche has also had a long and distinguished career as a stage actress, debuting 17 years ago in London in a production of Naked at the Almeida. She will be directed by Ivo Van Hove, whose production of A View From the Bridge last year won rave reviews at the Young Vic. One not to miss.

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