October 6, 2011


Sigismund's Watch: A Tiny Catastrophe

Although Barbara Loftus' mother Hildegard fled to England from Nazi Germany in 1939, it was not until 1995 that she began to talk about her experiences and thereby opened a door for her daughter into her pre-war life and the world of a lost Europe. Loftus has created visual narratives in a variety of media - from traditional studio work to books and performed re-enactments - to address the issue of memories transmitted between generations separated by the Second World War. This exhibition at the Freud Museum, which continues until 13 November, brings together oil paintings with works on paper, all set in context with documentary images and quotations from the Weimar period.


Kalashnikov: In the Woods by the Lake

Although the Russian government has recently announced plans to stop purchasing Kalashnikovs, the AK-47 assault rifle remains one of the world's most infamous weapons. In this provocative new play, which receives its world premiere at the Oxford Playhouse (6-8 October) before going on tour to Guildford, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Canterbury and Colchester, a young journalist seeks out the legendary Soviet hero Mikhail Kalashnikov in his remote dacha in the woods. Though he seems at first to be welcomed by the General and his protective daughter, dark revelations soon emerge as night falls and the vodka begins to flow. The play's author, Fraser Grace, teaches playwriting at Anglia Ruskin University and won the John Whiting Award for Breakfast with Mugabe (Royal Shakespeare Company) in 2006.


St Ives

The Indiscipline of Painting: International abstraction from the 1960s to now

Abstract painting is sometimes seen as synonymous with a modernist moment that has long since passed, and which led the medium to stagnate in sterile self-reflection. This international group show brings together the work of 49 artists - including Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley and Frank Stella - to challenge this assumption and demonstrate how the languages of abstraction have been reinvented by different generations of artists over the past half-century, and continue to inspire those working today. A number of new commissions decisively refute the claim that we are witnessing the death of painting. The exhibition can be seen at Tate St Ives from 8 October until 3 January 2012, and then at the Mead Gallery in Warwick from 14 January to 10 March 2012.


White Gold: The true cost of cotton

Cotton is grown in over 80 countries and traded for more than $30 billion (£19.3 billion) a year. Yet countless people are exploited by this lucrative industry, with several of the world's top cotton-producing nations making extensive use of children in the field. This campaigning exhibition at the International Slavery Museum (until 2 September 2012) examines how the cotton supply chain works, how we as consumers are part of this chain and how we can make a difference. Mounted in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Foundation, it puts particular stress on the campaign to end the abuse of labour rights in the cotton industry of Uzbekistan.


The Killing of Sister George

Sister George is a saintly nurse in a popular radio series similar to The Archers. She is played by the abrasive June Buckridge (Meera Syal), a heavy drinker and smoker who has a rather cruel relationship with a younger woman. When the character is axed to boost ratings, Buckridge becomes increasingly impossible to work with - and the attempts of radio executive Mrs Mercy (Belinda Lang) to intervene only make matters worse. Frank Marcus' celebrated black comedy attracted huge attention on both sides of the Atlantic on its first outing in 1964, both for its award-winning performance by Beryl Reid and for its clear, if discreet, portrayal of lesbian life. This new production runs at the Arts Theatre until 29 October.

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