Going out: Cinema
The Good Boss
A fabulously appealing Javier Bardem performance anchors this Spanish comedy (above) that takes aim at the worst excesses of matey modern workplace culture – and what happens when all that corporate bonhomie goes south.
Blending elements of classic Italian neorealism with the milieu of The Sopranos, writer-director Jonas Carpignano gives a neat twist to the standard coming-of-age film with the simple premise: what if you suddenly had reason to think your dad was a criminal? As the eponymous disillusioned 15-year-old, Swamy Rotolo is one to watch.
There are very few people in life who ever manage to coin a catchphrase as famous as “you cannot be serious!”, but for those who know little about tennis ace and so-called “superbrat” John McEnroe beyond the legendary meltdowns, this doc from Barney Douglas provides an insightful primer, while fans will revel in revealing interviews with the man himself.
The Railway Children Return
If you just can’t face Minions: The Rise of Gru, you could do worse than this amiable British throwback to an amiable British throwback. With a likable young cast and the welcome return of Jenny Agutter, those too young to have seen the 1970 adaptation or read the 1905 book needn’t worry: this is a self-contained adventure about plucky kids doing the right thing. Catherine Bray
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Going out: Gigs
Sun Ra Arkestra/Jean Carne/Norman Connors/Gary Bartz
Royal Festival Hall, London, 16 July
A star-packed extravaganza of legendary jazz genre-benders, including the six decade-old Sun Ra Arkestra, with its Afrofuturist theatricality and free-jazz fearlessness, vocal diva Jean Carne – a collaborator with giants from Stevie Wonder to Duke Ellington – soul-jazz saxist Gary Bartz (above), and the influential drummer-producer Norman Connors. John Fordham
17 to 21 July; tour starts Bexhill-on-Sea
Ahead of their appearance at Latitude festival, the US alt-rock stalwarts play a handful of headline shows. Recent album, The Golden Casket saw a return to form for the Washington sextetafter 2015’s patchy Strangers to Ourselves, but everyone will be waiting with baited breath for 2004’s classic, Float On. Michael Cragg
Holland Park, London, 22 July to 5 August
Since it was premiered in 1998, Mark Adamo’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel has received more performances than any other contemporary opera, but it’s only now reaching the UK. Opera Holland Park’s production is directed by Ella Marchment and conducted by Sian Edwards, with Charlotte Badham as Jo, and Kitty Whately, Harriet Eyley and Elizabeth Karani as her sisters. Andrew Clements
The Kid Laroi
17 to 22 July; tour starts Birmingham
Australian singer and rapper Charlton Howard, who landed a US No 1 last summer with the Justin Bieber-assisted Stay at the tender age of 18, finally arrives in the UK as part of his delayed European tour. Expect to hear a smattering of new songs lifted from his forthcoming debut album, Kids Are Growing Up. MC
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Going out: Art
Freud Museum, London, to 29 January
The great painter and his grandfather come together in this exhibition (above) that explores the younger Freud’s relationships with his family. Sigmund Freud, the Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, was Lucian’s paternal grandfather. Both came to Britain as refugees from Nazism. What better place to put Freud’s depictions of family on the couch?
Pace Gallery, London, to 5 August
Paper sharks, drawings of turtles, a tiny boat mapped on the floor … this exhibition recreates feelings of isolation, wonder and fear at being cast adrift. It explores Katchadourian’s obssession with Survive the Savage Sea, a 1973 memoir by Dougal Robertson about a family enduring a month in a lifeboat.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year
National Museum Wales, Cardiff, to 29 August
This hugely popular competition reveals how digital photography has democratised beauty. Entrants of all ages show images of consummate professionalism taken everywhere from remote rainforests and seas to wildlife parks. Laurent Ballesta’s award-winning underwater photographs are perhaps the most visionary revelations here, giving real personality to fish and crustaceans.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, to 25 September
Colourfully daubed and moulded with joyful sloppiness, a ragged army of ceramic people fill the the gallery. Silver, who previously created The Dig, an installation of a fictional archaeological site with Artangel, has recently thrown himself into throwing clay. The results echo German expressionism in their striving for raw humanity. Jonathan Jones
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Going out: Stage
Henham Park, nr Southwold, 21 to 24 July
The music may be the main event, but you could easily spend a highly enjoyable weekend at Latitude without hearing a single note. That’s because the festival is also famous for its extensive and judiciously curated comedy lineup: this year’s highlights include Aisling Bea, Tim Key (above), Russell Howard and Kiri Pritchard-McLean. Rachel Aroesti
Much Ado About Nothing
National Theatre: Lyttelton, London, to 10 September
Director Simon Godwin has transported the Bard’s bickering Beatrice and Benedick to the 1930s Italian riviera. It should be as sharp as anything with Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan at the heart of things.
Billy Elliot the Musical
Curve Theatre, Leicester, to 20 August
Leicester’s Nikolai Foster directs a brand new version of Elton John and Lee Hall’s cracking musical. Set against the 80s’ miners’ strikes, it will perhaps have even stronger currency after the phenomenal success of the BBC’s Sherwood. Miriam Gilinson
Folk Dance Remixed
Greenwich Park, London, 22 July
Fusing folk dance and hip-hop in a show called Step Hop House, this quirky collective bring together folk dances from around the world, including African and Bollywood styles, English folk, maypole, clogging and street dance. A family-friendly festival with ceilidh dancing for everyone in between performances. Lindsey Winship
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Staying in: Streaming
17 July, 10.15pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
Pamela Adlon’s heavily autobiographical comedy drama about life as a single mother of three emotionally volatile daughters (above) is peerless in its encapsulation of the messy, bittersweet nature of modern motherhood. The fifth and final season continues in that vein, with eldest child Max leaving home and youngest Duke reconnecting with her father.
20 July, 10.05pm, BBC Two & iPlayer
This 30-minute adaptation of Lucy Kirkwood’s devastating, rage-inducing recent play – originally written as a “howl” against the normalisation of violence against women – stars Zawe Ashton and Hayley Squires as two women called Mary who meet at a police station where they are both reporting a sexual assault.
22 July, Apple TV+
The tear-jerking, life-affirming adoption dramedy returns for a third series. After years of waiting, hoping and doubting, Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) are finally matched with two children – but, not unsurprisingly, a whole new struggle is just beginning.
Britain’s Tourette’s Mystery: Scarlett Moffatt Investigates
19 July, 10pm, Channel 4 & All4
Medical referrals for teenagers with tics have jumped by 5,000% over the past 18 months, a strange, shocking and potentially social media-related increase that clearly warrants a closer look. Gogglebox star turned I’m a Celeb champ Moffatt – who began experiencing tics herself when she was 12 – meets those affected. RA
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Staying in: Games
Out 21 July, PC
Fans of early 1990s low-polygon shooters such as Star Fox and Panzer Dragoon should definitely seek out this visually impressive “on-rails” blaster (above) from indie developer Ben Hickling. The stylised environments, filled with pastel-coloured buildings and rocky mountain vistas, are beautifully designed while the fast-paced blasting action takes us right back to the glory days of the Sega Saturn.
Out 19 July, PC, PS5
The world has been waiting for a cyberpunk thriller told from the perspective of a street cat, and finally, we have one. You play as the eponymous wanderer looking to solve a mystery in a neon-soaked metropolis. Interactions are pleasingly feline with plenty of acrobatic traversal, and the animation will have cat lovers purring. Keith Stuart
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Staying in: Albums
Lizzo – Special
Led by the TikTok-slaying, funk-tinged single About Damn Time, the fourth album from Lizzo (above) looks set to capitalise on the success of 2019’s breakthrough, Cuz I Love You. Taking no chances, the album features contributions from pop production heavyweights Max Martin, Benny Blanco and Ricky Reed.
Interpol – The Other Side of Make-Believe
With the three members scattered around the globe as lockdown hit, Interpol were forced to start the demos for their seventh album remotely. Slowly the band regrouped in north London to record with super-producers Flood and Alan Moulder, with the more intimate results a mix of heavy, jet-black art-rock and glimmers of something more positive.
Beabadoobee – Beatopia
Since exploding on to TikTok in 2019, 22-year-old Filipino-British singer-songwriter Beatrice Laus has been back to the 90s. While her debut, 2020’s Fake It Flowers, channelled America’s post-grunge landscape, this follow-up adds electronic textures to her late-90s indie.
Mabel – About Last Night …
Three years after her platinum-selling debut, Mabel returns with this loose concept album built around a big night out. While last summer’s synthpop workout Let Them Know revels in hedonism, recent singles Overthinking and Let Love Go, the latter a buoyant disco bop, work through some of the heavier, post‑hangover emotions. MC
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Staying in: Brain food
Hallyu is the term invented to describe the global rise of Korean culture and in this insightful podcast (above), journalist Brandon Choe chats with Korean stars to unpack the country’s latest exports – from Squid Game to Money Heist: Korea.
For those wanting to take up a new creative (and messy) skill, look to ceramicist Florian Gadsby. Through a series of beautifully shot videos, learn how to throw step-by-step, or simply relax to some ASMR-inducing clips.
My Name Is Ricardo P Lloyd
From 18 July, BBC Sounds
The actor investigates the barriers to diverse representation in British theatre and film in this engaging audio documentary. Drawing on his own experiences, Lloyd asks academics and performers why so much British talent ends up in the US. Ammar Kalia