Last month I wrote my first 'month in culture' post, and I must admit it was handy having notes to work from whilst planning my book-buying, cinema-going, etc! There are so many cultural elements to look forward to in a given month, and as someone who loves books, movies, theatre and film, I thought it would make sense for me to write about these things more often here on the blog. Here's what February has in store.
FilmsAfter the saturation of top class films we found in January (ah, awards season), the coming month sees much more of a mixed bag. I should point out here that I share the films I'm hoping to see, so there are several I won't touch on, mainly horror films such as The Forest and The Green Inferno (I'm a scaredy cat!), or movies that have been critically mauled and which look awful (Jem and the Holograms, Zoolander 2). That being said, there's still plenty to entertain at the movies this month!
Friday 5th sees the release of two very different films. On one hand we have the beautifulkly crafted, critically acclaimed Trumbo. Twentieth century American history is one of my favoruite eras to study, so I'm fascinated to delve into this film. On the other hand? Dad's Army! Having grown up watch the series I'll certainly check it out; I'm also a sucker for anything starring Bill Nighy.
There are two midweek releases in the following time, with both Deadpool (released February 10th) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (releasing February 12th) shunning a traditional Friday debut. On Friday 12th the festival circuit darling A Bigger Splash releases, alongside Will Smith's NFL drama Concussion and the children's film Oddball and the Penguins. As an utter penguin fan, I'll be seeking this one out!
On Friday 19th The Finest Hours, Freeheld, and the comedy How To Be Single all have their releases, and on Wednesday 24th Sacha Baron-Cohen's Grimsby is released (Rebel Wilson has been busy!).
Please note in the books section links are amazon affiliate links. Other links, and other book suppliers, are available. I like to be transparent on these things!
When Breath Becomes Air releases on the 4th, and looks heartbreaking, wise, challenging and wonderful. I predict a need for tissues aplenty. I'm also looking forward to reading West of Eden (also published on the 4th) - books about the golden age of Hollywood are always a favourite. On the 11th I'll be embracing my love of sweet, nourishing chicklit, with the publication of A Summer at Sea and The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After, as well as Marian Keyes' memoir, Making It Up As I Go Along.
Also published on the 11th is the beautiful Raptor: A Journey Through Birds, which looks awesome - I love learning about our special and diverse wildlife, so I'll be seeking this book out. All of that should keep me busy until later in the month, when on the 25th Hemsley and Hemsley's new cookbook, Good + Simple, releases, as well as the latest James Patterson, 15th Affair.
It's quite a big month for theatre! On the 1st Red Velvet opens officially at the Garrick, after a week or so of previews. I'm looking forward to going to the opening night of The End of Longing at the Playhouse on the 2nd. I'm excited to see a Matthew Perry penned play.
On the 12th both Uncle Vanya (Almeida) and Nell Gwynn (Apollo) have their full openings, and on the 15th Hand to God (Vaudeville) and Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (Lyric) debut. I adore Showstopper! and have seen then several times - I'll be hoping to catch them during this West End run.
On the 16th Mrs Henderson Presents opens at the Noel Coward (after previews from the 9th), and from the 17th the Dominion hosts the epic War of the Worlds (previews from February 8th). Phew!
Music / Events
Amaluna continues its residency at the Royal Albert Hall throughout February and is sure to be a big half-term hit with families. On February 5th Jason Derulo will be bringing his poppy-R'n'B stylings to the o2 which should be a fun night out! Later in the month the o2 will play host to the Brit awards on the 24th.
Over on the Southbank they have some great classical offerings. I'm intrigued by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment's Marin, Madness and Music programme on the 6th, part of the Changing Minds 2016 season. On the 13th the Royal Festival Hall plays host to a Mozart Masterpieces evening, which looks great fun! As much as I adore dsicovering new music, sometimes a good 'greatest hits' evening is just what's required. On the 29th I'll be aiming to be at the RFH again for a concert featuring the Purcell School Symphony Orchestra, and one of my favourite Romantic-era pieces, Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto.
Yet more awards! The Baftas are on Sunday 8th (and always a delight). The WGA awards happen on Saturday 13th, and the Brits music awards, as mentioned above, take place on Wednesday 24th. At the tailend of the month we have the Oscars - February 28th. As well as watching to see who takes home the prizes, I'll also be fascinated to see how host Chris Rock handles the furore surrounding this year's awards. He's such an incisive and intelligent comedian, I think his take could be brilliant.
So that's much of what I'm looking forward to. How about you?