Everything everywhere all at once
Firestarter notwithstanding, here’s the hottest release of the week. It stars Michelle Yeoh as a mother caught up in all sorts of action-packed multi-universe diversions, with Stephanie Hsu as her rebellious daughter. Directed by the Daniels duo, this won’t be your average superhero movie – after all, it was the directors who brought us Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse in 2016’s Swiss Army Man.
It’s a fire starter, a crooked fire starter! Stephen King’s 1980 novel about a supernaturally inflammable youngster has already been adapted for the big screen starring toddler Drew Barrymore as the eponymous pyrokinetic problem child. For this new release from Blumhouse, we get Ryan Kiera Armstrong, with Zac Efron as her freaked-out dad.
Acclaimed director Gaspar Noé is celebrated as a taboo-busting provocateur, but with Vortex, the former enfant terrible delivers what is in some ways his most shocking film: a nuanced, thoughtful and formally innovative exploration of the love that struggling to endure harsh mortality. With superb performances from Françoise Lebrun and legendary Italian horror director Dario Argento.
what i know to be true
Nick Cave has been featured on screen before, notably in Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s excellent 20,000 Days on Earth (2014), but this new documentary from Andrew Dominik has seven years of new material to cover. Plus, it’s hardly possible to really have too much of one of our most intriguing living songwriters. Catherine Bray
15 to May 23; the tour starts in Glasgow
After finally securing commercial rights – recent album Crash was a No. 1 in the UK and peaked in the Top 10 in the US – Charli XCX (above) brings her avant-pop coterie in major theaters across the country. Expect flashing images, ridiculous firecrackers and profuse sweating.
XOYO, LondonMay 18
Originally arriving in London from his native Birmingham to study film, rapper-singer Wesley Joseph transitioned into music after starting making beats on his laptop in a makeshift bedroom studio. However, his mix of jazz-flecked, Jorja Smith-assisted R&B and hip-hop experiments on bass still has that cinematic flair. Michael Cragg
Trio Tord Gustavsen
17 to May 21; tour begins Milton Keynes
Norwegian pianist-composer Tord Gustavsen is one of Europe’s most popular contemporary jazz musicians, quietly blending gospel and classical music, blues and lyrical improvisation. His long partnership with percussionist Jarle Vespestad remains oddly empathetic, and new bassist Steinar Raknes brings new muscle to this UK tour. John Fordham
The Human Voice
Secret place, Bath, May 16 to 19
Music and books, twin themes of the Bath Festival, come together in Francis Poulenc’s monodrama, with text by Jean Cocteau. David Pountney’s staging will take place in an apartment in the city – only ticket holders will be told of the secret location – with the audience confronted up close. Soprano Claire Booth is Elle, the woman abandoned by her lover and contemplating suicide. Andrew Clements
Tate Britain, London, May 19 to 16 Oct.
A welcome retrospective for a surrealist and whimsical everyday poet. Parker’s installation of an exploded hangar, the fragments of which are 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 | Scottish Census 2022
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, at 25 Sep
Photography then and now reveals the faces of Scotland in 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, May 19 at 16 Oct
Tacita Dean and Dryden Goodwin are among the artists in the Wellcome Collection’s latest foray across scientific and cultural lines, blending fact and poetic vision to tell a story from the air. It starts with fossils and comes into the present with urban pollution.
Hastings Contemporary, at 25 Sep
You can’t find many places saltier with the sea than the Stade at Hastings, where the fishing boats stop just outside this gallery. So an art exhibit on sailing these wild waters, from JMW Turner to Cecily Brown and Maggi Hambling, should roar here. jonathan jones
Battersea Arts Centre, London, May 19 & 26
After an extended break, the best of Kettering (above) is back. Hecklers Welcome encourages audience input – a high-stakes premise that will no doubt result in a show that is both loud and revealing. Rachel Aroesti
my lovely lady
London Coliseum, to August 27
A highly anticipated transfer to the West End for Bartlett Sher’s award-winning New York Lincoln Center production. With the brilliant Amara Okereke alongside Harry Hadden-Paton and Vanessa Redgrave. Miriam Gillinson
Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, to June 5
Ruthie Henshall stars in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s lavish musical about a sick woman who falls in love with a handsome young soldier. MG
Sadler’s Wells, London, 18 to May 21
This triple program from Britain’s oldest dance company includes the premiere of Ben Duke’s dancing meta-comedy about mortality, as well as works by American dancer Alonzo King. Lyndsey Winship
The Time Traveler’s Wife
May 16, 9 p.m., Sky Atlantic and Now TV
Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat feels like the perfect person to adapt Audrey Niffenegger’s epic, romantic fantasy (above) about a man genetically predisposed to rushing through time (or rather, all of his clothes). Downton’s Rose Leslie plays the titular bride, destined to spend her life waiting for love.
Conversations with friends
May 15, 10 p.m., BBC 3 and iPlayer
After the pandemic phenomenon that was Normal People, the BBC returns to Sally Rooney with an adaptation of the author’s cool, compulsively readable debut novel about a Dublin-based love quadrangle. Fans of steamy sex scenes and sad eyes are in for a treat.
May 20, Amazon Prime Video
JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek are an adorably devoted husband and wife with a backyard portal to another planet in this wildly outlandish sci-fi. The pair have kept their benign space jump under the radar for years, but the appearance of a mysterious man sees their secret hobby turn into a wild and terrifying journey.
Joe Wicks: Facing my childhood
May 16, 9 p.m., BBC One and iPlayer
During the early days of lockdown, Louis Theroux became one of Joe Wicks’ legion followers, fitness trainer turned national physical education teacher. Now, the documentarian has produced an intimate film about Wicks’ rocky early life, involving a heroin-addicted father and mother who suffered from severe OCD. AR
The smile – A light to attract attention
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood tap Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner for their looser, freer spin-off band (above). Their debut album – produced by Nigel Godrich – ranges from the screaming agit-rock of You Will Never Work in Television Again to the atmospheric ballad of Free in The Knowledge.
Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale and Big Steps
First teased in August 2021, the Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to 2017’s Damn would be his last for progressive rap label Top Dawg Entertainment. It caps off a busy few years, with recent collaborations such as Beyoncé, 2 Chainz and Baby Keem. Lamar will headline 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 sequel to 2020’s Only Child, I Blame The World attempts to navigate our new normal (also the title of its recent single) via the surprisingly propulsive title track and sad-to-sing-along anthem, WTF.
Florence + the machine – Dance fever
Influenced by everything from clubbing to The Wicker Man to ’70s Iggy Pop, this fifth album from Florence Welch and al Florence Welch signifies a return to the OTT huge-pop of yore after 2018’s High as Hope, relatively muted. Recent single Free sounds like the perfect soundtrack for escaping via festival ground. CM
Addictions by Darren McGarvey
Rapper and activist McGarvey (above) has produced some of the most incisive documentaries about class and poverty in Britain in recent years. Her latest series confronts addiction issues in Scotland, taking a personal approach by sharing her own experiences.
BBC 6 Music DJ Jamz Supernova begins the second season of his reliable informative podcast on self-care and career development. Among his weekly guests are his partner Sam Interface, who talks about maintaining relationships alongside a creative career.
Looking like a chic take on MTV’s Cribs, Architectural Digest’s Inside series offers illuminating insight into celebrity homes. There’s clutter like Ashley Tisdale’s faux book wall, as well as personal inspiration in Shonda Rhimes’ writing space. Ammar Kalia