Guardian Culture

Culture news, comment, video and pictures from The Guardian
  1. The protagonist of this darkly funny new series is plagued by incessant sexual thoughts. We meet the woman whose extraordinary story it is based on

    Trying to navigate the world with a mind that renders almost everyone you see either naked or engaged in sexual congress is less fun than it may sound. It is exhausting, in fact, to spend a whole day in extreme cognitive dissonance about whether or not you want to be in flagrante delicto with a TV presenter, simply because she appeared on your screen that morning. Such is the mind of 24-year-old Marnie, the protagonist in Channel 4’s new primetime drama, Pure.

    The show explores a young woman’s experience with obsessive compulsive disorder. We join Marnie on a journey from a place of frightening inner chaos to a tentatively accepting one, when she is finally able to give a name to the way she thinks. After a calamitous event at her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary in the Scottish Borders, Marnie – played by newcomer Charly Clive – boards a coach to London with nothing in the way of a plan.

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  2. Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s timber-and-glass vision for a new Centre for Music in London aims for great heights – but might not exactly reach them

    Twisting pyramids seem to have become the accepted vernacular for London’s big cultural buildings, as plans for the new £288m Centre for Music were unveiled on Monday. Following in the footsteps of Tate Modern’s Switch House and the Aldwych student centre at the London School of Economics, the proposals for a new 2,000-seat concert hall take the form of a faceted ziggurat, rising from the roundabout site of the current Museum of London as an angular glass beacon.

    The design is the work of New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, architects of the High Line and the forthcoming Shed cultural centre in their home city, who plan to bring their trademark angular, switchback geometries to the Square Mile. The early concept images show the building rising up in a series of tilted, sweeping planes, the ground folding up and over in steps and ramps to form a great vertical filo pastry.

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  3. ★★★★★/★★ ☆☆☆

    Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
    In these two contrasting solo shows, Julie Mehretu’s great and tragic introspections speaks starker truths that Louise Bourgeois’s trite and silly images

    Now and then an artist comes along who turns every critical cliche on its head and proves the experts know nothing about where art is going. Julie Mehretu is one of those heroes. This Ethiopian-born, New York-based painter works in a style that has long been mocked and patronised by avant garde intellectuals as macho, pompous and even an instrument of US imperialism – a style that flourished in New York some 60 years ago. Mehretu is an abstract expressionist. And she is showing that the legacy of Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly can bite deep into the madness of our time.

    Mehretu takes on those titans at their own game of colossal ambition. Her 2017 diptych Howl consists of two abstract paintings 27 feet high and 32 feet wide that make Pollock’s One look teeny. Meanwhile, she has a show at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge that is smaller in size yet just as formidable and infectiously creative.

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  4. Evans wants to entertain ‘100% of the world’, though his new Virgin show is a blokey riot of badly disguised ads. Still, at least two of his pals bought new cars to listen live

    A week after Zoe Ball confidently took over his Radio 2 slot, Chris Evans launched his new breakfast show for Virgin Radio. Evans once owned the company, and, although Rupert Murdoch is now technically the ultimate boss (through the network’s current owner, News UK), the presenter sounded as if he is still in charge of everything.

    Evans took personal credit for persuading Richard Ashcroft to perform live throughout the first morning, starting with Lucky Man. Within minutes, Evans revealed that he had just agreed to do a live Sunday 10am-1pm show (up against Radio 2’s Steve Wright and Michael Ball) instead of the previously planned highlights-of-the-week compilation.

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  5. They have always lost out on romantic lead roles. But while glamour fades, talent endures – letting these supporting stars win the long game

    When the actor Paul Chahidi was leaving drama school, he met a seasoned agent. Suit and tie, leather chairs, schooner of white wine at 3pm. Old school. “He sat down, a bit too close to me,” Chahidi remembers, “and said: ‘Three things you should know about yourself – one, you’ve got a funny foreign name; two, you’re losing your hair; three, you’ll never play Romeo. But you can act – and with that we can go a long way.’” Chahidi was too surprised to take offence. “And it turned out he was right.”

    Star players often begin as winsome, floppy-haired Romeos or Juliets. But pretty doesn’t always endure – for longevity, look to the odd. “I was a character actor from the very beginning and not really sold as pretty,” Susan Sarandon told the Guardian in 2017, “which is probably what’s allowed me to survive as long as I have.”

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