From left, Naomi Wirthner, Anna Calder-Marshall and Josh Hamilton. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
©Catherine Ashmore

Evening at the Talk House, National Theatre (Dorfman), London — ‘Casually grotesque’

Wallace Shawn’s new play takes aim at 21st-century amorality

The Life of a Song

Bob Dylan backstage at the Manchester Free Trade Hall concert in 1966 ©Redferns
Bob Dylan’s tumbling, cascading 1965 hit was originally written as a vengeful stream of ‘vomit’ directed at an antagonist
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Ike TURNER; Ike TURNER's Kings Of Rhythm, back row l to r Jackie Brenston, Raymond Hill, Eddie jones, Fred Sample, Billy Gayles. front row l to r Jesse Knight Jr., Ike Turner, Eugene Wahsington., 1956, Collection Gilles PTtard (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)
The 1951 hit from Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats is often considered to be the first rock ’n’ roll record. But is that really the case?
Martyn Jacques and Laura Caldow. Photo: Tom Arber
©Tom Arber

Lulu: A Murder Ballad, Linbury Studio Theatre, London — ‘Menacing’

A powerful, murky retelling of Lulu’s sorry tale

Ben Jones in 'Ben Hur'. Photo: Mark Douet
©Mark Douet

Ben Hur, Tricycle Theatre, London — ‘Innocently daft’

A likeable comedy featuring all manner of theatrical nonsense

Metropolitan Opera's 'La bohème'. Photo: Marty Sohl
©Marty Sohl

La bohème, Metropolitan Opera, New York — ‘Hyper-lavish, super-kitschy’

An over-pretty, overpopulated, musically uneven production

Simon Trpčeski

Simon Trpčeski, Barbican, London — ‘Elegance was a watchword’

The pianist played an all-Chopin programme with great sensitivity

Archibald Motley's 'The Boys in the Back Room (Card Players)' (1934)

Archibald Motley, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York — ‘A virtuoso of ambivalence’

The African-American painter’s works deserve this retrospective

Royal Swedish Opera's 'La bohème'. Photo: Emma Svensson
©Emma Svensson

La bohème, Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm — ‘A roaring success’

Puccini’s opera is given a Scandinavian setting and characters

Nigel Barrett and Jess Latowicki in 'The Body'. Photo: Richard Davenport
©Richard Davenport

The Body, Barbican (Pit), London — ‘Eccentric and eerie’

This strange, unsettling piece explores what it means to be alive

China National Peking Opera Company’s ' Farewell My Concubine'

Farewell My Concubine, Sadler’s Wells, London — ‘Eye-popping’

China National Peking Opera Company’s production is dazzling

Carson Elrod in 'Important Hats of the Twentieth Century'. Photo: Joan Marcus
©Joan Marcus

Important Hats of the Twentieth Century, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York — ‘Witty, inventive’

A curious drama powered by a metal time-travel hat