Five things to do or see this month

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The Tin Drum
Bristol Old Vic; Truro’s Hall for Cornwall and Shoreditch Town Hall in November

Gunther Grass’s classic postwar novel gets the musical treatment from Kneehigh theatre company. Three year old Oscar (portrayed here by a puppet) refuses to grow and communicates only by beating his drum as a protest against the turmoil in his family life and his home city of Danzig. Charles Hazlewood’s innovative score combines electronica with songs reminiscent of pre-war German cabaret.

The Spark

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You’ve got to hand it to Enter Shikari, these four friends from Hatfield. Few bands from the British alternative scene have managed to achieve such dizzying heights of acclaim and success while still maintaining such fresh ideas, social awareness and playful sense of humour.


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Mudbound is a film about war, racism, brutality and change. It is also a film about family, love and work. With great performances from the cast which includes Carey Mulligan and Mary J Blige, the film beautifully weaves between World War Two and the post-war period in the US South.

Portrait of the Artist: Käthe Kollwitz

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Käthe Kollwitz was a leading German artist, whose work spanned the end of the 19th century and both World Wars.

Not as well known in Britain as her male contempories Otto Dix and George Grosz, she comes from the same socially critical tradition and her keen interest in politics is reflected in all her work.

In the exhibition powerful woodcuts and prints depict the realities of hunger, motherhood, death and bereavement and offer us an insight into the experience and struggle of working people during one of Germany’s most turbulent periods.

Opera: Passion, Power and Politics

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Any attempt to root opera in a broader social, political and cultural context is to be welcomed. The leitmotiv (so to speak) of this new exhibition, staged in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, is the link between an opera and the city of its first performance. It starts with Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea in Venice in 1642, and ends with Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in Moscow in 1934.


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The 1967 Detroit rebellion erupted in the thick of the Civil Rights Movement as a result of police racism, poor housing and lack of decent jobs. Director Kathryn Bigelow says she was inspired to tell the story after the 2014 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri.

The film is a hard-edged action-thriller, packed with expensive looking set pieces. It is another example of Hollywood’s continuing preoccupation with race and resistance.