From Napoleon to Doctor Who: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment | Culture

From Napoleon to Doctor Who: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment | Culture

Going out: Cinema

Out now
Ridley Scott’s Napoleon biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix is less po-faced historical epic than it is deadpan character study. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of battles and skirmishes – but his love life proves just as lively, with Vanessa Kirby delivering a sultry turn as the defiantly unfaithful Joséphine de Beauharnais.

The Eternal Daughter
Out now
Starring Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton, as both halves of a mother-daughter relationship, this minor-key, atmospheric and deeply personal film from Joanna Hogg (Exhibition, The Souvenir) is set in a near-deserted hotel, where the pair have come to reconnect. Highly recommended.

Out now
Co-written by Frozen writer-director Jennifer Lee, whether Wish can replicate the success of the ice-bound box-office juggernaut remains to be seen, but it’s set to be the big family film this Christmas, with a golden-era Disney-style plot, and an appealing voice cast (Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk).

Out now
The Glasgow-based British-Nigerian writer-director and playwright Adura Onashile makes her feature debut with this understated drama about Grace (Déborah Lukumuena), a young mum and her 11-year-old daughter living in a Glasgow tower block. The film wowed audiences at the Sundance film festival earlier this year. Catherine Bray

Going out: Gigs

Pop star Raye sits in front of a pile of musical equipment.In stereo … pop star Raye. Photograph: D Abc/Callum Walker Hutchinson

29 November to 7 December; tour starts Bridlington
It’s been a pretty spectacular year for the genre hopping singer-songwriter, scoring a No 1 single, nabbing a Mercury nomination and supporting SZA in the US. She returns to the UK for a lap of honour, bringing her blend of pop, R&B, jazz and soul with her. Michael Cragg

30 November to 11 December; tour starts London
US agit-pop practitioner Ashnikko creates weird and wonderful worlds via pummelling soundscapes anchored by outre lyrics about things like environmental catastrophe and threatened civilisations. Expect that world to emerge in glorious 3D on this showcase for summer’s UK Top 10 debut hit Weedkiller. MC

Tony Kofi
Peggy’s Skylight, Nottingham, 25 November; Seven Arts, Leeds, 30 November
The gifted Tony Kofi dreamed of playing saxophone in a coma following a roof fall as a teenage carpenter – a baptism that has turned him into an exciting multi-stylistic UK jazz star for three decades since. He’s with his funky organ band in Nottingham, and with the eclectic harpist Alina Bzezhinska in Leeds. John Fordham

Symphony Orchestra of India
Coventry, 29 November; London, 30 November; Birmingham, 1 December; touring to 8 December
India’s only professional orchestra embarks on its second British tour. Among the soloists are Pável Kolesnikov playing Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto, and Zakir Hussain (tabla), Niladri Kumar (sitar) and Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri) in the first European performances of Hussain’s own Triple Concerto. Andrew Clements

Going out: Art

A man reading a newspaper while sitting on a toilet.Eating the Wall Street Journal by Pope.L. Photograph: MoMA, New York

South London Gallery, to 11 February
Race and gender are given physical expression in the art of Pope.L. This show promises a visceral encounter with an artist whose performances and sculptures have been subverting the US since the 1970s. It includes the flour-covered tower on which he once sat reading the Wall Street Journal.

Impressionists on Paper
Royal Academy, London, 25 November to 10 March
The lush pastels of Degas are among the highlights of this survey of drawings and watercolours by the late-19th-century French avant garde. It argues the impressionists and post-impressionists are scintillating on paper as well as canvas – and with works by Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and more, who would argue?

David Panos
NN Contemporary Art, Northampton to 20 January
A film installation that revels in Northampton’s goth side; this is a city rich in gothic buildings from the Victorian era. Jarman award winner David Panos puts their atmospheric arches and vaults together with another local product – the band Bauhaus, who launched modern goth music with Bela Lugosi’s Dead.

City of Rivers
Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, to 3 November
This epic exhibition with more than 300 objects explores the waterways of Sheffield and their impact on the city and its history. There are paintings of the city’s river life during the Industrial Revolution and contemporary responses by artists and poets. With Alison Churchill, Ruth Levene, Joe Scarborough and more. Jonathan Jones

Going out: Stage

A dancer dressed in white lies down on a black shiny floor.Reflective moments … Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan
Sadler’s Wells, London, 30 November to 2 December
It’s the 50th anniversary of this company, which draws on Asian, western, classical, folk and modern dance. They’re marking the occasion with the UK premiere of Lunar Halo, set to the music of Sigur Rós – the band’s soundscapes are a perfect match for Cloud Gate’s dreamy dancing. Lyndsey Winship

The Homecoming
Young Vic, 27 November to 27 January
Director Matthew Dunster’s revival of Harold Pinter’s intense domestic drama. Son Teddy returns home to east London with his new wife – and a simmering power struggle ensues. Chernobyl’s Jared Harris stars. Miriam Gillinson

Curve theatre, Leicester, 27 Nov to 13 Jan
A locally produced revival of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, starring Martha Kirby as Eva Perón. Directed by Nikolai Foster, hopefully with his trademark intensity and compassion. MG

Mo Gilligan + Friends
Eventim Apollo, London, 27 November; Utilita Arena, Birmingham, 7 December
The standup turned TV staple shines a light on the Black comedy circuit – where he honed his craft – with this mixed-bill tour, which has featured his Gogglebox pal Babatunde Aléshé, Strictly’s Eddie Kadi and up-and-comer Kyrah Gray. If you miss these dates, the show will be back on the road in late 2024. Rachel Aroesti

Staying In - Saturday Mag illo

Staying in: Streaming

The Doctor and Rose standing in a night-time street.Back on call … The Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Yasmin Finney) in Doctor Who: The Star Beast. Photograph: Sally Mais/BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/Disney

Doctor Who
BBC One & iPlayer, 25 November, 6.30pm
Before Russell T Davies cracks on with a new era of the indefatigable sci-fi series, he warms up with three specials celebrating the show’s 60th anniversary. Expect a mix of nostalgia and novelty with David Tennant and Yasmin Finney (above), plus cameos from Neil Patrick Harris and Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th doctor.

The Artful Dodger
Disney+, 29 November
This new twist (apologies) on the Dickens classic stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster as the titular Jack Dawkins, an erstwhile precocious pickpocket now working as an apparently bona fide surgeon in Australia. But when Fagin (David Thewlis) makes contact, Dawkins soon finds himself with a familiar case of sticky fingers.

Reservation Dogs
Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s experimental, fun and profound comedy about Indigenous teens in Oklahoma was built around the idea of loss – the group’s friend Daniel took his own life a year before the opening episode – and now we must prepare to bid farewell to the show itself, as it returns for a third and final season.

Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator
BBC Two & iPlayer, 27 November, 9pm
This three-parter aims to unpick themes of power, ambition and strategy from the ever-timely tale of Caesar’s rise and fall, deep diving into the political style that revolutionised the Roman empire and provided a template for generations of future fascists. RA

Staying in: Games

A metallic monster holds a sword, in an industrial setting. Robin’s hood … Gangs of Sherwood. Photograph: Nacon

Gangs of Sherwood
Out 30 November, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox
Robin Hood, but make it steampunk: this four-player co-operative action game has you blowing up the Sheriff of Nottingham in a fantasy industrial England.

Train Valley 2
Out now, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
This hidden gem is well worth checking out when it finally comes out on to consoles: solve puzzles by building track and managing routes in an endearing virtual train set. Keza MacDonald

Staying in: Albums

The four band members stand together in a golden light.Growing for gold … Spector’s new album is all grown up. Photograph: Scott Gallagher

Spector – Here Come the Early Nights
Out now
On this fourth album, the indie stalwarts grapple with ageing. According to singer Fred Macpherson, it touches on “hair loss, moving house, and not being able to go clubbing with a baby”, and musically it references everyone from Abba to Nick Cave.

Busta Rhymes – Blockbusta
Out now
The rapid-fire rap legend returns with this follow-up to 2020’s Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God. Executive produced by experienced banger merchants Timbaland, Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz, Blockbusta continues Busta’s propensity for playful party-starters as showcased by the Bia-assisted Beach Ball.

Various – Light in the Attic & Friends
Out now
Light in the Attic celebrates its 22-year history with a compilation of covers of songs the label helped revive. Highlights include Iggy Pop and Zig Zags covering funk great Betty Davis, father and daughter Ethan and Maya Hawke tackling Willie Nelson, and Angel Olsen paying homage to folk singer Karen Dalton.

Take That – This Life
Out now
On their first studio album in six years, enduring manband Take That channel a more sun-kissed, 70s MOR sound, all bar-room piano, layered falsetto and overgrown facial hair. Lead single Windows is classic Barlow, slowly building to a gorgeous chorus that screams permanent residency on the Radio 2 A-list. MC

Staying in: Brain food

Peaceful illustration of teenagers standing by a river.Inbetweeners … teens share their experiences on the Grown podcast.

The second season of this podcast that delves into the late teenage years when we find ourselves nearing adulthood is typically charming, hearing from teens themselves about their sibling relationships, prom nights and body image.

The School of Life
Philosopher Alain de Botton’s School of Life is less academic and more of an aspirational resource, best used for uplifting advice. Its short videos outline basic principles on everything from cultivating resilience to getting better sleep.

American Symphony
Netflix, 29 November
Grammy and Oscar-winner Jon Batiste and his partner, author Suleika Jaouad, are the focus of this touching film, charting their creative life while Batiste aims to create his genre-breaking debut symphony and Jaouad undergoes gruelling cancer treatment Ammar Kalia

Recommended For You