August 4, 2011


He Who Dared: Dirk Bogarde

Dirk Bogarde, who died in 1999 but would have been 90 this year, was one of the most celebrated and enigmatic British actors of his generation. Although he started his career as a clean-cut matinee idol in films such as Doctor in the House (1954) and appeared in one of the definitive portraits of the "swinging sixties", John Schlesinger's Darling (1965), this season at the National Film Theatre, which continues until 30 August, reveals just how versatile a performer he could be. Notable examples include two unsettling films Harold Pinter scripted for Joseph Losey, The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967). Even more striking is Basil Dearden's ground-breaking thriller, Victim (1961), in which Bogarde plays a successful barrister brought down by attempts to blackmail him for being gay.


Mass Photography: Blackpool through the Camera

Blackpool, which has long been Britain's most popular seaside resort, has always attracted the attention of both local photographers and outsiders casting an amused, affectionate or satirical eye on the passing scene. In 1937, Humphrey Spender and Julian Trevelyan visited the town as part of a Mass Observation project to chart both the familiar and the surreal aspects of English life. It is in something of the same spirit that the German artist Nina Konnemann has put together this new exhibition of more than 100 images, which continues at the Grundy Art Gallery until 5 November, drawing on everything from the official archives to material she discovered on Flickr, the photosharing website. It also includes her own new video installation created from souvenir films of the Blackpool Illuminations.


Anna Christie

Eugene O'Neill's epic drama Anna Christie premiered in New York in 1921 and won a Pulitzer Prize the following year. This new production starring Jude Law, and running at the Donmar Warehouse from 4 August to 8 October, reveals just how challenging a work it remains. It opens in a bar, where a coal barge captain called Old Chris receives a letter from the daughter he has not seen for 15 years. They set off together on his barge, rescue four men from a shipwreck and she falls in love with one of them. But can she ever forgive the father who has neglected her, and can he and her lover stop trying to control her and learn to accept the truth about her traumatic and terrible past?


Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings

Born in Liverpool in 1949, Tony Cragg worked as a laboratory assistant testing different types of rubber while also studying art. He eventually came to realise that his drawings of the processes were more significant than the experiments themselves. Although he found fame as a sculptor in the 1970s with works in brightly coloured plastic, he soon shifted to materials such as bronze, glass, stainless steel and wood, all of which he subjects to an intense quasi-scientific style of investigation. This, his first British museum show for more than a decade (at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art until 6 November), brings together about 50 major works. Many are on such a vast scale that they have colonised the grounds around the gallery.


Broken Glass

The Gellburgs are a New York Jewish couple living in Brooklyn in 1938. Banker Phillip is obsessed with work and a desire to assimilate, yet his wife Sylvia is becoming incapacitated by newspaper reports from Germany about Kristallnacht. When Dr Harry Hyman is called in to offer Sylvia help, the relationship that develops between them seems likely to have devastating consequences. This acclaimed production of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, starring Tara Fitzgerald and Antony Sher, has already won an Olivier Award. It returns to the Tricycle Theatre from 10 August to 10 September before transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End for an extended run (14 September-10 December).

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