Something for the Weekend: James Acaster, Rufus Wainwright, Ben Affleck and more
- Deborah Chu
- 9 July 2020
Eurovision comes to the Stonehaven Folk Festival and Helen McCrory graces the NT stage this weekend
As summer rolls into town, the green shoots of normal life are beginning to emerge. Shops and beer gardens are now opening, and families are starting to reunite after endless months of separation. Caution and social distancing remains the name of the game though, as the virus is still very much part of our lives, and it's going to take a sustained collective effort until it's finally eradicated.
That being said, one happy bit of news this week (Good news? What's that?) was the extremely belated announcement of a £1.57 billion emergency support package to help protect theatres, galleries, museums and indie cinemas up and down the UK. Our thanks must go, first and foremost, to the people in the arts sector who have worked so hard and campaigned tirelessly to keep these vital places open during this difficult time.
Until the blessed day that these venues are able to open their doors safely once again, keep staying in with us here at The List. This weekend sees the launch of Stonehaven Folk Festival's online edition (Sat 11–Sun 12 Jul), which sees old favourites and new acts come together in an exciting roster of concerts, ceilidh, workshops, sessions and the Tradition Bearers Concert. The festival will also be hosting the world's first virtual World Paper'n'Comb competition, with the theme of 'Eurovision Song Contest,' so here's to hoping we get some excellent renditions of Iceland's entry – the surefire winner for 2020, had COVID not robbed them of their crown.
The laughs keep coming at the NextUp Comedy Festival (until Fri 31 Jul) as well, and this weekend we've got sets from Anna Mann (the creation of character comic Colin Hoult (Fri 10 Jul), Kiri Pritchard-McLean (Sat 11 Jul) and Josie Long, whose show Tender was one of our stand-out moments of the 2019 Fringe. Saturday Night Live at the Stand (Sat 11 Jul) also have a strong roster of funny folk up this weekend, featuring the likes of Rosco McLelland, Stu Murphy, Bylgja Babylons, Marc Jennings and Ashley Storrie. Or head over to the Hilarity Charity Gala (Sun 12 Jul), which sees the likes of Nish Kumar and James Acaster peddle their gags in support of Wolverhampton's Central Youth Theatre.
This weekend sees American-Canadian pop troubadour Rufus Wainwright (Sat 11 Jul) launch his latest album Unfollow the Rules with a virtual record release party. His online audience will get to enjoy an interactive concert, receive a tour of his home in Laurel Canyon and be plied with exclusive merch. Virtual music festival Finsperry (Sat 11 Jul) also kicks off with a dynamic roster of indie-pop names, including the likes of APRE, Red Rum Club and Alfie Templeman, and with proceeds from ticket sales going directly to NHS charities.
The Royal Albert Home series continues going from strength to strength, as artists broadcast from the safety of their homes to ours in order to raise money for this iconic venue. This weekend sees acclaimed musician and composer Nitin Sawhney (Fri 10 Jul) perform a special session that draws from works across his acclaimed catalogue, which includes 1999's Beyond Skin and 2008's London Undersound. Next up is Philly electronic duo Marian Hill (Sat 11 Jul) taking to the digital stage to perform songs off their latest EP, Was It Not. For your classical music fix, tune in to the RSNO's Sunday Sounds (Sun 12 Jul), a weekly programme of live streamed performances by RSNO musicians from their homes.
Stage and Screen
The streaming gods keep giving and giving in our time of need, with a plethora of new TV and film releases hitting our small screens this week. Highlights include Lynn + Lucy ★★★★☆, a provocative British drama about a friendship that's put to the test; gruelling Netflix six-parter Stateless ★★★★☆, which follows the bleak inner workings of a detention centre; Spandau Ballet-centric mockumentary The Kemps ★★★★☆; and Mark Ruffalo star vehicle Dark Waters ★★★☆☆.
This week's edition of National Theatre at Home is their acclaimed production of Terrence Rattigan's play Deep Blue Sea, starring Scottish actress and Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory and Tom Burke as the toxic lovers. Our film experts this week have also raved about Columbian drama Litigante ★★★★☆ and Ben Affleck's strong performance in Finding the Way Back ★★★★☆, which pairs sporting highs and addiction lows to admirable effect.
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