Five things to get or see this month

Issue section: 

The White Guard - Posh - Paris Opera Ballet - Petropolis - James Brown tribute

The White Guard
National Theatre, London, Until 7 July

Against the thunderous backdrop of revolution in Russia, the Turbin household shelters a motley group of exiled aristocrats, hiding from the Reds.

The play promises an orgy of vodka quaffing, guitar plucking, anarchic ensemble action - the last hurrah of a pampered elite that the Bolsheviks are determined to consign to history. And fortunately there's no scarlet pimpernel in sight.

Royal Court Theatre, London, Until 22 May

Snobbery, cruelty and violence echo through this satire, a piece of theatre clearly programmed and aimed at damaging the Tory party, whatever the demographic of the stalls.

Modelled on the infamous Bullingdon Club, which once counted Boris Johnson and David Cameron among its members, the men of the "Riot Club" jostle to outdo each other.

Class politics explode on the Royal Court stage as these privileged few feel their entitlements slipping away from them.

La Danse Paris Opera Ballet
Film, out now

Veteran US documentary maker Fredrick Wiseman has turned his camera back on to a ballet company, this time the Paris Opera Ballet. He records everything from the fundraising and gruelling rehearsals to the sequin sewing, set building and the people who sweep up when it's all over - no detail of the life of this institution is missed.

Promises to be an utterly absorbing film.

Film, 14 May

This short film, made by Greenpeace in Canada, is a mesmerising look at the tar sands in Alberta - the world's second largest oil reserve, covering an area bigger than England. Tar sands are one of the dirtiest forms of fossil fuel, responsible for some 5 percent of Canada's greenhouse gases.

The sheer scale of the industrial development to extract capitalism's vital fuel against the beauty of the vast wilderness is staggering.

An African Tribute to James Brown
Royal Festival Hall, London, Friday 21 May

This huge show is back in Britain this month.

Pee Wee Ellis was James Brown's musical director. He brings together South African singers The Mahotella Queens, Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré and the Mercury Award nominated Ty to pay tribute to the godfather of soul.