Culture In & Culture Out

Rebecca Eves’ picks of the latest books, DVDs, music and television to enjoy at home, and arts and cultural highlights from around the region this month

Culture In

Book: 4 3 2 1

Bestselling, award-winning author Paul Auster hasn’t released a novel for seven years. His return, 4 3 2 1, promises ‘a sweeping and surprising story of birth-right and possibility, of love and of life itself’. It’s a four-for-one deal, telling four parallel lives of one man, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, starting from his birth in Newark, New Jersey, on March 3, 1947.

Out now
www.paul-auster.com 

Music: Listen Without Prejudice 25

In 1990, the now sadly missed George Michael followed up his enormously successful debut solo album, Faith, with the four-times platinum Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. The remastered original is joined by a previously unreleased MTV Unpluggedperformance and other extras. The reissue was moved back to coincide with the broadcast of documentary film Freedom, a project that the star was working on before his death.

Out March 3
www.georgemichael.com 

DVD: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Viewers have come to expect the peculiar from Tim Burton, and this film certainly delivers that. The outstanding Eva Green helps to bring the bestselling-novel to the screen as Miss Peregrine, head of a children’s home with a difference. This film is fantastical and magical, but it certainly has a darker, more chilling edge that makes it unsuitable for younger children (and nervous adults!).

Out February 6
www.fox.co.uk 

TV: James Martin’s French Adventure

Pictured here with Keith Floyd’s original 2CV car, James Martin is retracing the steps of his food hero and friend in the car he owned for 16 years. He’ll also be revisiting the places that influenced his own culinary career as he travels across France, stopping to produce his versions of the iconic dishes he finds on the way, such as moules marinière and French onion soup.

Starts January 30
www.itv.com

 

Culture Out

Musical: The Wedding Singer

Based on the 1998 film starring Adam Sandler, this energetic stage production of The Wedding Singer features two X Factor alumni, Cassie Compton and Ray Quinn, alongside Avenue Q and Legally Blonde star Jon Robyns as the jilted singer who has abandoned his ideas of being a rock star and whose heartbreak puts his wedding-based career on the rocks. Will he be redeemed by his waitress friend Julia?

Feb 21-25
http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire/ 

Exhibition: Only in England

This exhibition explores the connection between two influential photographers. Tony Ray-Jones captured the eccentricities of English social customs in the late 1960s – work which inspired Martin Parr to shoot a collection entitled The Non-Conformists in the 1970s. Both sets of images are humorous, with a melancholic note, allowing viewers to recall or discover a bygone era.

Feb 25-May 7
www.thebowesmueum.org.uk 

Play: Pride and Prejudice

With its immortal first line and searing social satire, Jane Austen’s most famous work is always worth revisiting, even after 200 years and countless adaptations. This Deborah Bruce production features a script from Simon Reade, and star turns from Felicity Montagu as the demanding, anxious Mrs Bennet and Matthew Kelly as the long-suffering Mr Bennet.

Feb 14-18
www.theatreroyal.co.uk 

Children’s theatre: Mavis Sparkle

Created with children aged four upwards in mind, this magical production is an exciting combination of illusion, animation and mesmerising performances. With a little help from her cheeky cuckoo clock, Spike the hedgehog and a mischievous mop bucket, the show follows Mavis’s journey north to see nature’s great light spectacular.

Feb 24
www.artscentrewashington.co.uk 

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