July 7, 2011


Maurizio Anzeri

The Italian-born, London-based artist Maurizio Anzeri works with an unusual combination of found photographs and embroidery. For this exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (until 2 October), he uses portraits from the 1930s and 1940s collected at flea markets and sews intricately patterned threads on to the surface. The paradoxical and frequently disquieting result is that certain facial features are both hidden and heightened. Running in parallel with the show is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the influential animator and film-maker Robert Breer (until 25 September) and a selection of photographs, paintings, films and sculpture by US artist Mariah Robertson, who uses darkroom techniques in decline since the advent of digital processes (until 30 October).


Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits

This exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (until 23 October) presents more than 70 photographs, most of them exquisite vintage prints displayed for the first time, from the remarkable archive of the John Kobal Foundation to form a celebration of Hollywood's "Golden Age" from 1920 to 1960. However talented and charismatic they were on screen, stars such as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe became international style icons only through the power of carefully controlled portraiture. Film historian John Kobal played a key role in the rediscovery of the great Hollywood studio photographers. His collection includes some 22,000 original negatives of star portraits, scene stills, production and publicity shots.


A Woman Killed with Kindness

Written in 1603, Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness is a startling domestic thriller, one of the first tragedies ever written about ordinary people and among the most powerful plays of a noteworthy era. The story interweaves intrigue, adultery, cruelty, enforced prostitution and a powerful sense of our terrible inability "to call back yesterday". It also strips bare, with unsparing realism, two women's lives as they fight for their emotional survival in a rural wilderness dominated by men, money and stern morality. Acclaimed and controversial director Katie Mitchell offers a radical interpretation of this fast-moving, frightening and erotic drama, which runs in repertory at the Lyttleton Theatre from 12 July to 11 September.


Intelligent Movement: A Celebration of Hip-Hop Culture

For a long weekend this month (14 to 17 July), street culture will take over the whole of London's Southbank Centre. The finals of the Street Dance XXL UK Championships will be held in the Royal Festival Hall (17 July) for later broadcasting as part of Channel 4's 10-day Street Summer season in August. The Electric Boogaloos, choreographers of Michael Jackson's Beat It and Thriller videos, will perform and give master classes in popping, locking and rocking, the styles they invented, while b.supreme: Ladies of Britain showcases the best of women in hip hop. Histories of hip hop will be supplied by theatre icon Benji Reid and award-winning recording artist Akala, who traces rapping back through jazz and reggae to the griots of the medieval Malian empire. There will also be late-night parties, an evening of hip hop-inspired poetry and an international hip hop dance battle.


Mirror Teeth

Jane is a housewife. James sells guns. They live in a large English city and are terrified of ethnic youths who might well be wearing hoods or carrying knives. At least all seems well in their own household - until their sexually frustrated 18-year-old daughter Jenny brings home her new boyfriend, Kwesi Abalo. Mirror Teeth, Nick Gill's sharp, smart and often hilarious dramatic dissection of contemporary anxieties and prejudices, continues at the Finborough Theatre until 30 July as part of its Vibrant 2011 annual festival of work by playwrights that the venue has discovered or developed.

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