Summer 2022’s to do list: 100 films, books and shows to see

·24 min read
All a whirl: see Edgar Degas's Before the Performance, 1896, at the National Gallery's A Taste of Impressionism - Creative Commons CC by NC
All a whirl: see Edgar Degas's Before the Performance, 1896, at the National Gallery's A Taste of Impressionism - Creative Commons CC by NC


POP Adele

An emotional homecoming for pop’s biggest-selling star. Things have seemed a bit touch and go in Adele’s world of late, but huge London singalongs of Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You should help settle a few nerves. Hyde Park, London W2 (

ART Africa Fashion

Featuring photographs, music and textiles, as well as visual art, this thrilling exhibition shines a light on the dynamism of the African continent. It deserves to be a giant hit. V&A, London SW7 (, until April 16

POP Guns N’ Roses

LA’s loudest, lairiest and hairiest rockers bust out the anthems. The love/hate friction between axeman Slash and frontman Axl Rose maintains an electrifying edge of danger for the reformed hedonist heroes. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London N17 ( and touring until July 5

ART Howardena Pindell

Catch the first solo show at an English institution for this celebrated American abstract painter. Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (, until Oct 30

POP Wireless Festival

Taking place over two weekends in London and Birmingham, Wireless is the essential festival for fans of hip-hop and R’n’B. A superstar US rap bill includes Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, A$AP Rocky and Tyler, the Creator, with Britain’s Dave maintaining homegrown pride. Crystal Palace and Finsbury Park, London, and NEC Birmingham (, until July 10

POP Primal Scream

Bobby Gillespie’s psychedelic warriors celebrate 30 years of their masterful album Screamadelica. A mighty live ensemble bridge gaps between Stones-y rock’n’roll and sci-fi electronica, marshalled by their indefatigable frontman. Queen’s Park, Glasgow ( and touring to July 22

I scream, you scream: Bobby Gillespie performing at Glastonbury, 2022 - JON ROWLEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
I scream, you scream: Bobby Gillespie performing at Glastonbury, 2022 - JON ROWLEY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock


ART Lucian Freud: The Painter and His Family

Before the National Gallery’s exhibition celebrating the centenary of the artist’s birth, Martin Gayford, who once sat for him, curates a charming show at his grandfather Sigmund’s house, exploring his childhood, family and friends. Freud Museum, London NW3 (, until Jan 29 2023

DANCE Don Quixote

Having eight years ago created a new staging of Petipa’s Don Quixote for the Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta has just done the same for the company he now runs, Birmingham Royal Ballet. It’s much better than his previous attempt – and an absolute joy. Sadler’s Wells, London EC1 (, until July 9

COMEDY Brighton Comedy Garden

Dylan Moran, Sara Pascoe, Stewart Lee and Simon Amstell are among the household names at this sunny Glastonbury-style outdoor festival. Preston Park, Brighton (, until July 10


FILM Thor: Love and Thunder

More Marvel, with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman fighting shoulder to insanely buff shoulder, after the latter finds herself blessed with Norse thunder-god powers. In cinemas

POP Somerset House Summer Series

Among the acts performing in the courtyard of one of London’s most gorgeous Georgian buildings are American soul man John Legend, pop princess Mabel, Mercury Prize winner Arlo Parks and thoughtful grime rapper Ghetts. Somerset House, London WC2 (somerset, until July 17

THEATRE The Seagull

Jamie Lloyd’s staging of Chekhov has Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke (alongside castmate Indira Varma) as Nina, an aspiring actress journeying from idealism to despair. Harold Pinter Theatre, London SW1 (, until Sept 10

Emilia Clarke in The Seagull - Marc Brenne
Emilia Clarke in The Seagull - Marc Brenne


CLASSICAL York Early Music Festival

Sumptuous music from the high renaissance and early baroque, ranging from lofty sacred tunes by Palestrina to a recreation of a doge’s coronation in 1595. NCEM, York (, until July 16

POP TRNSMT festival

Scotland’s biggest music festival hosts local heroes Paolo Nutini and Lewis Capaldi, international stars the Strokes and Nile Rodgers, as well as Sam Fender, Foals and Wolf Alice. Glasgow Green (, until July 10

OPERA La donna del Lago

Buxton Festival mounts a rare production of Rossini’s piece based on The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott, directed by Jacopo Spirei and conducted by Adrian Kelly. Buxton Opera House (, until July 22

FILM Persuasion

Was Jane Austen the original Fleabag? This playful Netflix adaptation of the author’s last novel argues the case, with Dakota Johnson’s Anne Elliot monologuing to camera. In cinemas, then Netflix from July 15

CLASSICAL Cheltenham Festival

One of Britain’s most venerable classical festivals brings music to beautiful old venues, including Poulenc’s heart-wrenching Figure Humaine at Tewkesbury Abbey, and Mahler’s immense 8th Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral. Various venues, Cheltenham (, to July 16

POP Pearl Jam

Two chances to see the US grunge superstars (with support from the Pixies and Stereophonics). Hyde Park, London W2 (, until July 9


ART Mary Fedden

More than 110 cheerful artworks, including joyous still life and flower paintings, by the much-loved colourist who was married to the artist Julian Trevelyan. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath (, until Oct 16

Dreamlike: detail from Mary Fedden's Over the Sea to Skye, 2005 - PETER J STONE PHOTOGRAPHY
Dreamlike: detail from Mary Fedden's Over the Sea to Skye, 2005 - PETER J STONE PHOTOGRAPHY

TV Trom

Before BBC Four bites the dust, watch this Nordic noir set on the Faroe Islands. A journalist (Ulrich Thomsen) returns to the islands and is drawn into conflict with the local whaling industry. BBC Four

ART Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning

Mid-career survey, first seen in Milton Keynes, for which the Guyanese-born British artist has been nominated for the Turner Prize. Turner Contemporary, Margate (, to Sept 25


TV Murder in Provence

A sun-dappled detective drama set in Aix-en-Provence, starring Roger Allam as a French prosecutor (sans accent) and Nancy Carroll as his partner. Based on M L Longworth’s novels, it first aired on BritBox but is now getting a wider airing. ITV


COMEDY Kate Berlant

A rare UK visit for one of America’s most exciting young comics. Berlant’s stream-of-consciousness stand-up is utterly original. Soho Theatre, London W1 (, until July 16


THEATRE Patriots

Peter Morgan gave us The Audience, then The Crown, and now looks at a different power structure, following billionaire Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s 1990s rise and fatal fall from Putin’s favour. Tom Hollander stars. Rupert Goold directs the timeliest of new plays. Almeida Theatre, London N1 (, until Aug 20

THEATRE Bugsy Malone

The late Alan Parker had tears streaming down his cheeks watching Sean Holmes’s staging of his 1976 “child’s play” gangster film. With a super-large, super-young cast, it was enough of a logistical challenge even in London; now – incredibly – it’s on tour. Theatre Royal Bath (, until July 23 and touring


THEATRE Anything Goes

Kathleen Marshall’s triumphant staging of Cole Porter’s 1930s musical is back with a new cast, including Kerry Ellis, Denis Lawson and Simon Callow. Barbican Theatre, London EC2 (, until Sept 3

Joyous: Kathleen Marshall's production of Anything Goes - Marc Brenner
Joyous: Kathleen Marshall's production of Anything Goes - Marc Brenner


THEATRE Peaky Blinders: The Rise

“Get dressed up and fully immersed in Tommy Shelby’s world.” The hit TV series set in gangland Birmingham comes to the stage – and the audience gets to affect the outcome. Camden Garrison, London NW1 (, booking to Feb 12

OPERA Der Fliegende Holländer

Grange Park Opera presents Welsh superstar Bryn Terfel as the titular cursed Dutch sailor, in a “free staging” of Wagner’s opera. Grange Park Opera, West Horsley (, to July 16

THEATRE Jack Absolute Flies Again

Chocks away for a revamp of Sheridan’s 1775 comedy The Rivals – by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris. Caroline Quentin stars as Mrs Malaprop. Olivier Theatre, London SE1 (, to Sept 3


FILM The Gray Man

Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans are duelling mercenaries in a global cat-and-mouse chase, funded to the tune of $200 million by Netflix. Could this Russo Brothers spy thriller spark a franchise to rival Bourne? In cinemas, then Netflix from July 22

BOOKS After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz

Sarah Bernhardt, Colette, Josephine Baker and Virginia Woolf walk into a novel. This strange, spellbinding celebration of Woolf’s Orlando is the latest Booker contender from the hot-streak small press that discovered Ducks, Newburyport and A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride. Galley Beggar

JAZZ Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

In the shadow of August’s larger Edinburgh Festivals, this is an excellent showcase of Scottish jazz talent alongside Xhosa Cole, Yazz Ahmed, Nubya Garcia and others. Various venues, Edinburgh (, to July 24

ART Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours

The Ashmolean’s enviable collection of Pre-Raphaelite works on paper, from a back-of-an-envelope sketch to refined drawings in chalk, is the star of this exhibition, returning after a limited run last year. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (, until Nov 27

FILM The Railway Children Return

All back to Oakworth for a wartime sequel to the 1970 E Nesbit classic film, in which three Manchester evacuees help a young black American serviceman evade the racist US military police. In cinemas


After two years of socially-distanced caution, the Proms is back with a blockbuster bill. There’s Verdi’s shattering Requiem, Ethel Smyth’s opera The Wreckers, and dozens of international stars. Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (, until Sept 10

FILM A Chiara

In this intimately observed Italian treat from last year’s Cannes, played by a family of first-time actors, a 15-year-old Calabrian girl haltingly unearths her father’s underworld connections. In cinemas, then Mubi from Aug 26


THEATRE South Pacific

A UK tour for Daniel Evans’s glorious Chichester revival of the Second World War-set Rodgers & Hammerstein classic. Gina Beck plays Ensign Nellie, falling for a French plantation owner (Julian Ovenden) only to recoil on learning his first wife was Polynesian. Big themes, a light touch, a terrific company and matchless songs. Manchester Opera House (, until July 23 and then touring


POP George Ezra

The most wholesome and uplifting singer-songwriter in the land headlines his biggest ever show, packed with singalong goodness. All together now: “Hey pretty shining people…” Finsbury Park, London N4 (


THEATRE Much Ado About Nothing

Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan star as Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy of witty commitment-phobes and credulous bridegrooms. Simon Godwin directs, locating the action in 1930s Italy. National’s Lyttelton Theatre, London SE1 (, until Sept 10


THEATRE Crazy For You

In the 1992 musical dripping with Gershwin classics, Charlie Stemp plays a stage-struck youth putting on a show in Nevada to woo a ­theatre-owner’s daughter (Carly Anderson). Susan Stroman redirects her Broadway smash. Who could ask for anything more? Chichester Festival Theatre (, until Sept 4



The 25th anniversary production of Patrick Marber’s tale about entangled love, sex and betrayal at the dawn of the internet. The cast comprises Jack Farthing (Spencer), Ella Hunt (Dickinson), Nina ­Toussaint-White (Bodyguard), and Sam Troughton (Chernobyl). Clare Lizzimore directs. Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (, until Aug 13


POP Latitude Festival

This bucolic, bijou festival in Suffolk is like a family-friendly hipster Glastonbury. This year’s diversion from the comedy and book readings include Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi and the reliably anthemic Snow Patrol. Or you can walk in the woods or swim in the river. Henham Park, Suffolk (, until July 24

Anthemic: Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody - KI PRICE
Anthemic: Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody - KI PRICE

POP Bluedot Festival

Icelandic enchantress Björk plays her only UK show this year, accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra at this imaginative event blending science with music. You may feel torn between catching the instrumental psych rock of Mogwai or a talk by astronaut Tim Peake. Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire (, to July 24


DANCE Ballet Under the Stars

Set in the 17th-century walled gardens of the gorgeous Hatch House, these three evenings feature big names such as Royal Ballet principals Fumi Kaneko and Vadim Muntagirov and former Mariinsky star Xander Parish. Tickets include drinks and dinner. Hatch House, Wiltshire (, until July 24

THEATRE 101 Dalmatians

It’s third time lucky for this twice-postponed new musical of the famously Disneyfied 1956 children’s novel about Pongo and Missis and their pup-saving escapades. Kate Fleetwood plays Cruella de Vil. Timothy Sheader directs. Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London NW1 (, until Aug 28

OPERA Don Pasquale

Donizetti’s fast-paced comedy, full of cheery arias and lively ensembles, receives a sparkling production from Mariame Clément in his praised Glyndebourne staging. Rising star Ben Glassberg conducts. Glyndebourne Festival Opera, (, until Aug 27

COMEDY Ventnor Fringe

Reigning Taskmaster champ Lou Sanders, Angela Barnes and Ahir Shah join acrobats, drag queens and burlesque artists at this quirky festival on the Isle of Wight. Various venues, Ventnor (, until July 31

OPERA Little Women

Holland Park Opera’s refurbished outdoor (but covered) auditorium mounts the UK premiere of this 1998 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s evergreen coming-of-age novel, set to music by Mark Adamo. Holland Park Opera, London W8 (, to Aug 5

FILM Where the Crawdads Sing

Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones stars in an adaptation of Delia Owens’s bestselling mystery novel, about a neglected young North Carolina woman who is implicated in a murder. In cinemas

Sensation: Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing - Michele K. Short
Sensation: Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing - Michele K. Short


CLASSICAL Three Choirs Festival

Ralph Vaughan Williams was born 150 years ago in the West Country, so it’s fitting that this year’s festival in Hereford celebrates his music, alongside masterpieces by Dvořák, Elgar, Poulenc and Finzi. Various venues, Hereford (, until July 30

ART Tate Play

For parents of young children daunted by the length of the summer holidays, this free interactive work by artist Yayoi Kusama will be a must: visitors are invited to “obliterate” a bright white apartment with colourful circular stickers. Tate Modern, London SE1 (, until Aug 29


THEATRE Sister Act

Enjoyable musical adaptation of the Whoopi Goldberg film about an African-American singer in the witness protection scheme, which brings her into a strict, predominantly white convent. Beverley Knight stars as nun on the run Delores with Jennifer Saunders as Mother Superior and Clive Rowe as a copper. Eventim Apollo, London W6 (, until Aug 28 and touring


THEATRE The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

A new production based on Sally Cookson’s recent richly imaginative version of the C S Lewis classic, drawing visual inspiration from the fact that the child protagonists are wartime evacuees. Gillian Lynne Theatre, London WC2 (, until Jan 8


A new community opera from Garsington’s outreach programme: Roxanna Panufnik’s Dalia, with a libretto by Jessica Duchen, features 180 local performers in a story about a refugee Syrian girl who triumphs over adversity. Garsington Opera, nr Stokenchurch (, until July 31


FILM Fire of Love

Sara Dosa’s visually jaw-dropping documentary follows married vulcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft on their eventually fatal voyage into the unknown. In cinemas

POP Lady Gaga

After movie-star stints in A Star Is Born and House of Gucci, Stefani Germanotta gets back to the day job: blasting out eccentric bangers in outrageous costumes at the heart of one of the most extravagantly over the top productions ever seen. The Chromatica Ball is stadium pop at its best. Tottenham Stadium, London N17 ( until July 30

Rah, rah, ooh-la-la: Lady Gaga continues her world tour - Rich Fury
Rah, rah, ooh-la-la: Lady Gaga continues her world tour - Rich Fury

TV Surface

“What if you woke up one day and didn’t know your own secrets?” That’s the premise of this psychological thriller, in which Gugu Mbatha-Raw pieces her life back together after losing her memory. Apple TV+

FILM Hit the Road

Panah Panahi, son of the famed Iranian director Jafar, makes an exuberant debut with this glorious, funny-sad road movie about a family on a trek to the Turkish border. In cinemas

TV The Control Room

An emergency call handler for Glasgow’s ambulance service takes a desperate call from a woman who somehow knows his name, in this twisty thriller from the producers of Sherlock. BBC One, date TBC


ART A Taste for Impressionism

A celebration of those “pioneering” 19th-century Scottish collectors who snapped up avant-garde French art – sprinkled with a few of the fakes that blighted the market at the time. Can you spot them? Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh (, until Nov 13



Hear wonderful music in the beautifully mysterious landscape around Snape, with a summer series ranging from jazz to guitar sensation Miloš Karadaglić to Bruckner’s immense 7th symphony from the London Symphony Orchestra. Snape Maltings, near Aldeburgh (, until Aug 31


THEATRE Identical

Trevor Nunn does The Parent Trap – as a musical. This fresh adaptation of Erich Kästner’s twice-filmed 1949 novel, about twin sisters – separated at birth and reunited by chance at a summer camp 10 years later – has music and ­lyrics by Stiles and Drewe (Wind in the Willows). Nottingham Playhouse (nottingham, until Aug 14


FILM Bullet Train

All aboard a shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto stuffed with assassins, and Brad Pitt the prime target, in this action-comedy. Atomic Blonde’s David Leitch directs. ­Sandra Bullock plays Pitt’s boss. Cinemas

COMEDY Ciarán Dowd: King Rodolfo

Half Zorro, half Don Juan, swashbuckling idiot Don Rodolfo (played by Dowd) is one of the funniest comic creations of recent years. Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh (, until Aug 28

TV Marriage

After winning a deserved best actor Bafta for Time, Sean Bean returns in a portrait of a couple married for 30 years, alongside the always excellent Nicola Walker. BBC One, date TBC

Everyday drama: Nicola Walker and Sean Bean star in Marriage - Rory Mulvey
Everyday drama: Nicola Walker and Sean Bean star in Marriage - Rory Mulvey

THEATRE Great British Bake Off: The Musical

Bake Off gets the musical treatment with a score by the talents behind the excellent musical version of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾. Rachel Kavanaugh directs. Could be scrummy. Everyman, Cheltenham (everyman, until Aug 6

COMEDY Jordan Brookes: This Is Just What Happens

The self-professed “existentialist Michael McIntyre” won the Edinburgh Comedy Award with his last stand-up hour in 2019. This follow-up is keenly anticipated. Monkey Barrel, Edinburgh (, until Aug 28



Ian McKellen made a youthful splash at the Fringe in 1969; now, aged 83, he returns to launch the 400-seat Ashton Hall with a Hamlet (his third stab at the role) that combines his actorly felicity with the dance steps of Johan Christensen. Peter Schaufuss directs. Ashton Hall, Saint Stephen’s Theatre, Edinburgh (, until Aug 28

BOOKS The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The novelist behind the hit TV series The Undoing also wrote the smartest literary thriller of 2021, The Plot. Now comes a Succession-like tale of wealthy triplets who ­discover they have a secret fourth sibling. Faber


The Edinburgh International Festival is back and who better to get the theatrical party started than Alan Cumming, challenging assumptions about “Scotland’s national bard Robert Burns” with a mischievous dance-theatre collaboration with National Theatre of Scotland. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh ­(, until Aug 10



A prequel to the Predator franchise, filling in the story of when old gnasher-chops first came to Earth. It’s 1719, and Sioux actress Amber Midthunder plays a Comanche ­warrior caught in its cross-hairs. Disney+

TV The Sandman

One for Neil Gaiman fans. The Sandman is an adaptation of his comic-book series, blending myth, fantasy and historical drama. The cast includes Mark Hamill voicing the character of Merv Pumpkinhead. Netflix

Unearthly delights: Gwendoline Christie in The Sandman - Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix
Unearthly delights: Gwendoline Christie in The Sandman - Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix


An endlessly unfortunate woman discovers a tiny facility staffed by fantastical creatures where all human luck is forged, in the first feature from ex-Pixar chief John Lasseter’s Skydance Animation. Apple TV+


OPERA Poulenc Double Bill

Two contrasting one-act operas by Francis Poulenc: one, an intense show about a woman at the end of a relationship by telephone, La voix humaine; the other, the hilarious Les mamelles de Tirésias, featuring sex change and balloon breasts. Glyndebourne, near Lewes (, until Aug 28

POP Edinburgh Summer Sessions

Scotland’s capital hosts a week of shows, featuring US superstar Lionel Richie, soulful British singer Michael Kiwanuka, mellifluous Mancunians Simply Red, Welsh powerhouse Tom Jones, and local heroes Simple Minds and Travis. Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh (, until Aug 14


DANCE The Pulse

Boasting 60 acrobats and choir members, The Pulse – by circus and physical-theatre company Gravity & Other Myths – promises to be a son et lumière spectacular. Edinburgh Playhouse (, until Aug 9


COMEDY Jacqueline Novak: Get On Your Knees

A hit off-Broadway, this wickedly intelligent cod-lecture on what the papers coyly refer to as a “sex act” is delivered with unstoppable charisma by a star in the making. Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh (, until Aug 14


FILM Beast

Idris Elba has a roar-off against a rampaging lion on a South African game reserve, where his widower character has taken two teenage daughters to bond and heal. Cinemas

POP Coldplay

Perhaps the most reliably spectacular and passionately uplifting live band on the planet, Coldplay’s first UK tour in five years includes six shows at Wembley Stadium. Can the lasers, fireworks and special effects prove a match for Chris ­Martin’s effervescent charisma. Wembley Stadium, London HA9 ( and touring until Aug 24


UFOs, is it? The latest from Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), with Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, kept its premise secret until the new trailer, which makes extraterrestrial terror look like the order of the day. In cinemas

FILM Eiffel

Emma Mackey and Romain Duris co-star in a swoony French period film, which imagines a doomed romance between Gustave Eiffel – architect of the tower – and his childhood sweetheart. In cinemas


DANCE Coppélia

For the Edinburgh International Festival’s biggest dance premiere, Scottish Ballet take the light-hearted 1870 classic about a man who falls for a mannequin and yank it into the 21st century, to ponder existential questions about AI. Festival Theatre, Edinburgh (, until Aug 15

OPERA Salome

A new production of Strauss’s ­blistering opera based on Oscar Wilde’s biblical drama, with the Bergen Philharmonic conducted by Edward Gardner. Malin Byström takes on the demanding title role. Usher Hall, Edinburgh (


BOOKS Eden by Jim Crace

What happened in the Garden after Adam and Eve left? Crace has been twice Booker-shortlisted, most recently for Harvest (2013), about a medieval English village. Picador


FILM Where is Anne Frank

Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) applies his distinctive animated style to Anne Frank’s legacy, bringing back her imaginary friend Kitty amid the modern refugee crisis. In cinemas

Ari Folman's Where is Anne Frank
Ari Folman's Where is Anne Frank

FILM Fisherman’s Friends: One and All

Forget TikTok: the 2019 comedy about a harbourside singing troupe got to the sea-shanty revival first. This sequel finds the gang on a post-Glastonbury high, grappling with their new-found success. In cinemas

TV Bad Sisters

Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Motherland) created and stars in this dark comic thriller about five sisters bound together by the premature death of their parents. Apple TV+

FILM My Old School

The strange story of the Scottish schoolboy imposter Brandon Lee is retold in this documentary, with Alan Cumming as the lip-synching face of its coyly off-camera subject. In cinemas


DANCE An Untitled Love

Talented US choreographer Kyle Abraham dives into the back catalogue of Grammy-winning soul and R&B star D’Angelo. An “unforgett­able party” is promised. King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (, until Aug 21


JAZZ Curtis Stigers

The smoky-voiced jazz singer, who can also play a mean piano and write nicely ironic songs about the pains of the heart, follows his July gig at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival with four nights at Britain’s top jazz club. Ronnie Scott’s, London W1 (, until Aug 24; St Mary’s Church, Rye, Aug 26

TV House of the Dragon

Still pining for Game of Thrones? Here comes the prequel, set 200 years earlier and based on George R R Martin’s 2018 novel, Fire and Blood. Expect bloodshed, dragons and Matt Smith in an ice-blond wig. Sky Atlantic

There will be blood: Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans in Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon - HBO
There will be blood: Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans in Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon - HBO


THEATRE All’s Well That Ends Well

Fresh revival of this relative rarity for the RSC. Director Blanche ­McIntyre says “the fantasy relationships and fake identities in the play make it a perfect match for our social-media-addicted age”. Rosie Sheehy is lovesick Helena; Benjamin Westerby, errant Bertram. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (, until Oct 8


BOOKS The Last White Man by MohSin Hamid

The author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Exit West has a knack for turning hot-button issues into compelling thought-experiments, often with a sci-fi twist. In his new novel, a white man wakes up black. Hamish Hamilton

THEATRE Into the Woods

As not seen at the Old Vic – film-maker, stage-director and Python Terry Gilliam’s “cancelled” production of the Sondheim/Lapine classic opens at last. A multi-stranded fairy tale springs to life from a Victorian toy theatre; Audrey Brisson plays Cinderella, Julian Bleach is the Mysterious Man. Theatre Royal Bath (, until Sept 10

CLASSICAL Presteigne Festival

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, this small and lovely festival has commissioned 10 new pieces, and boasts terrific performers including the Carducci Quartet and oboist Nicholas Daniels. Various venues, Presteigne (, until Aug 30


POP The Big Feastival

Food and music collide at Blur bassist Alex James’s Cotswolds dairy farm. This year, you might accompany 1980s synth stars the Human League with a chunk of cheddar, load up on Babybel for pop singer Anne Marie and relish Stereophonics with some crumbly Caerphilly. Kingham, Oxfordshire (, until Aug 28

POP Reading and Leeds Festival

Summer’s end, traditionally celebrated by teenagers going feral after their A-level results. Another packed rock, pop and hip-hop line-up swaps headliners for events in the north and south of England, including Arctic Monkeys, Dave, Rage Against the Machine, Megan Thee Stallion, Wolf Alice, Bring Me the Horizon, Little Simz, Halsey, Bastille and many more. Reading and Leeds (, until Aug 28

All action: Little Simz performing at Glastonbury, 2022 - Jim Dyson
All action: Little Simz performing at Glastonbury, 2022 - Jim Dyson


BOOKS The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith

One-legged sleuth Cormoran Strike is back, two years after the last novel, Troubled Blood, which featured a male serial killer who dresses as a woman, and fuelled transphobia claims against the series’ pseudonymous author, J K Rowling. What surprises will the sixth novel have in store? Sphere

TV The Capture

Holliday Grainger returns in the second series of this edge-of-your-seat conspiracy thriller – a ratings hit when it launched in 2019 – which delves into the murky world of deepfake technology. Paapa Essiedu guest stars as an ambitious young politician. BBC One, date TBC

BOOKS The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell

“That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ Looking as if she were alive.” For her next trick, the author of Hamnet takes us into Browning’s famous poem, about the short-lived Lucrezia de Medici, whose husband is rumoured to have poisoned her, aged 16, in 1561. Tinder Press

Dominic Cavendish; Robbie Collin; Ivan Hewitt; Nicholas Kenyon; Neil McCormick; Iona McLaren; Mark Monahan; Tim Robey; Tristram Fane Saunders; Anita Singh; Alastair Sooke 

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