Culture Diary w/c 31-01-2022


Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the North of England and the rest of the UK – and loads of it’s free!

Monday – Last Chance to See: Dracula: The Untold Story, via Liverpool & Everyman Playhouse – £10

While the world has largely opened up, it remains a relief to know that a diverse breadth of online entertainment continues to be offered for those nights when we just don’t fancy being part of a crowd. And, until the 23.30 this evening, we can turn to Dracula: The Untold story, from Imitating the Dog and Leeds Playhouse, where it was filmed on location with home-streaming in mind. This new take on Stoker’s gothic classic finds Mina Harker at its centre. Transported to New Year’s Eve 1965, Mina tells of how she has used her preternatural precognition to wage a war on history’s would be murderers.

Tuesday – Current Transmissions @ ICA, London – FREE

A week-long exhibition of new work in audio, moving image and interactive media, Current Transmissions puts the spotlight on a new generation of creative thinkers, makers and producers. No doubt including work reflecting on a tumultuous two years (this second iteration follows the ICA’s inaugural 2020 showcase), expect innovation and social commentary across multiple genres.

Read: A Conversation With Filmmaker Cassandra Kyeyune

Wednesday – Drive My Car 19.30 @ FACT Liverpool –£12.20

In many best of 2021 lists, Drive My Car won best screenplay at Cannes and has been selected as the Japanese entry competing at the coming Oscars for Best International Feature. Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami adapted by director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, we follow mourning theatre actor Yûsuke, grappling with the loss of his wife and an unresolved betrayal. Meanwhile, in Misaki, Yûsuke has a new chauffeur, and a sounding board for his anguish. A story of what ifs, and the unknowability of the lives of others, Drive My Car eclipses its lightweight borrowed lyric of a title.

Thursday – Africa Oye Hip Hop Showcase 20.00 @ Liverpool Philharmonic – £10

Hip-Hop showcase to suit all tastes. From Liverpool to the African Continent, expect emerging artists, established home-grown talent, such as No Fakin’ and L100, and politically-infused Saudi Arabia-born, north London-based rapper Awate (whose tracks include titles like Broken Britain and Hostile Environment).


Friday – RUSH: A Joyous Jamaican Journey 19.30 @ the Liverpool Playhouse – £10-£22

As well as those answering the UK’s call for workers amid a post-war labour shortage, the Windrush brought with it new culture. Specifically: ska, rock steady, calypso, gospel, lovers rock, dancehall and Reggae. RUSH: A Joyous Jamaican Journey tells the story of this influx through song, featuring the music of Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Lord Kitchener, Millie Small and more.

Last Chance To See: Light Sensitive Area Ahead: Gareth Kemp @ Bridewell Studios and Gallery, Liverpool – FREE

Inspired by Donald Judd’s 15 Untitled works in Concrete (1980–1984), photographed in the desert at Marfa, Texas, this exhibition (a new body of work which includes sculpture, neon, paintings and, cryptically, interventions) tackles aspects of ‘scale, flatness, space and light, colour and vastness’. Bringing a bit of Texas heat, Kemp’s abstract works promise an oasis amid a grey UK winter.


Curator Tour: Future Ages Will Wonder 13.00 @ FACT Liverpool FREE

FACT’s group show, Future Ages Will Wonder, ponders ‘new ways of understanding who we are and where we belong’. Join curator Annie Jael Kwan for a guided tour of this exhibition of works by nine international artists and artist groups. Great opportunity to engage with this complex but rewarding show.

Saturday – Arooj Aftab @ Leaf, Liverpool 19.30 @ Leaf, Liverpool – £16

Brooklyn-based Pakistani vocalist, composer, and producer Arooj Aftab’s fusion of jazz, minimalism, and neo-Sufi arrives in Liverpool tonight. Touring her second long player, the very well-received Vulture Prince, expect exquisitely fashioned gems pushing at the edges of genre and expectation.


Thao-Nguyen Phan @ Tate St. Ives – £10.50

With its history and location pointing to a great association with names such as Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, and Patrick Heron (indeed, Hepworth is celebrated with an exhibition here later in the year), it is refreshing to see a greater degree of diversity alongside such British modernists. In 2022 these include Ad Minoliti and Thao-Nguyen Phan (representing Latin America and Vietnam, respectively). The latter’s work employs storytelling, mythology and folklore, to address issues of industrialisation, food security and the environment in her homeland.

See On Our Radar: Art Exhibitions 2022 

Sunday – Jules et Jim @ BFI Southbank, London – 12.50/15.50/18.30 

Continuing their Truffaut season, BFI move on to the 1962 love triangle drama, Jules et Jim. It stars Henri Serre and Oskar Werner as the titular lifelong friends, each besotted with Jeanne Moreau’s Catherine. More an analysis of the complexities of love and friendship than traditional romance, and as tragic as it is effervescent, the iconic film celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media: Dracula: The Untold Story promo; Drive My Car trailer; Rush: A Joyous Jamaican Journey promo; installation shot @ FACT, Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, by Rob Battersby; Thao-Nguyen Phan

Posted on 31/01/2022 by thedoublenegative