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
From the creator of Peaky Blinders, Taboo stars Tom Hardy as James Delaney, a man changed and haunted by his experiences in Africa, where he was presumed to have died. He returns to London to find his father dead, his country at war with France and the US, and himself embroiled in conspiracy, murder and betrayal. This eight-episode series is executive produced by Hardy and Ridley Scott.
Starts January 7
Book: The Noise of Time
Out in paperback this month, The Noise of Time is the first novel from Julian Barnes since his bestselling, Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending. It’s a fictionalised account of the life of composer Shostakovich, starting in Stalinist Russia when the protagonist waits to be taken away for interrogation, trial and possibly, execution. This is a story about what happens when art collides with power.
Out January 5
DVD: Bridget Jones’s Baby
Bridget is back: a little older, a little wiser, but still Bridget. In this, the third film of the series, Bridget is single again and after a couple of dalliances, finds herself pregnant. But who’s the father: Mark Darcy, or dashing new suitor, Jack? This is a memorable return to the world of Bridget Jones, with plenty of references to the original films, and lots of laugh-out-loud moments – the journey to the hospital had me crying with laughter.
Out January 30
CD: Return to Ommadawn
Musical legend Mike Oldfield is bringing a new album out that returns to his acoustic roots. Oldfield went back to his fans to find out which direction he should take, and discovered that Ommadawn was the most popular choice to get a sequel. The Return is
completely Oldfield’s work – there are no special guest appearances here – he plays all of the 20-plus instruments on the two parts himself.
Out January 20
Exhibitions: Brick History and North East Lego Landmarks
The Centre for Life has two Lego-based exhibitions starting in January. Brick History features some of the key moments from the past in Lego, with 50 models depicting the likes of the Moon landing, the sinking of the Titanic and even the Big Bang. North East Lego Landmarks has been created by local Lego builder Steve Mayes, featuring miniature versions of landmarks such as the Angel of the North and the Centre for Life itself.
January 14-April 23
History: Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 but there will be a series of events in Newcastle this January and February. The programme includes an exhibition on Anne Frank at St Nicholas Cathedral and a lecture from Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger, as well as films, concerts, a play and workshops. A commemorative event will take place on January 26 at Newcastle University.
January 9-February 7
Music: Royal Northern Sinfonia
Performing a programme of English and French music, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and their director/violinist Kyra Humphreys are
aiming to dispel some of the January blues. The selection of music includes Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring from Delius and Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto featuring oboist Steven Hudson. Tickets cost £18.
Ballet: Hansel and Gretel
Magical and witty, this Scottish Ballet production of the Grimm Brothers’ classic fairy tale sees Hansel and Gretel embark on an exciting adventure to find all their friends who have disappeared from their town. They meet a bewitching ballerina who isn’t all she seems. With toys that come to life and an enchanting soundtrack, this will be an unforgettable show. Tickets from £14.50.