Brighton Festival

On what promises to be a scorching Bank Holiday Weekend, where better to go than Brighton for some fish and chips and a serious dose of culture from this festival guest directed by David Shrigley. Highlights this weekend include baroque brilliance from Vox Luminis, Simon Butteriss reading Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, and Hofesh Schecter’s Grand Finale.

5-27 May, various locations, Brighton

BBC Symphony Orchestra/Rustioni: Ravel, Fairouz, Ghedini, Respighi

Daniele Rustioni conducts this wonderfully exotic programme which is bookended by Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Ouverture de féere and Respighi’s Pini di Roma. In the middle we are treated to two UK Premieres: Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto played by Israeli virtuoso Avi Avital, and Musica Notturna by Giorgio Ghedini.

9 May, Barbican Centre, London

The Steve Williamson Trio with Tomorrow’s Warriors Quartet

Steve Williamson is one of the UK’s most unique compositional voices, and on top of that is one of the greatest saxophonists alive today.  In this free concert, utilising the Queen Elizabeth Hall’s new foyer, he’ll be examining the cross-over between contemporary music and progressive jazz.

11 May, Southbank Centre, London

Trio HLK with Evelyn Glennie

This young trio of innovative contemporary jazz artists joins forces with Dame Evelyn Glennie, the UK’s foremost percussionist, to launch their debut album, Standard Time. They create brand new frameworks and fill them with virtuosic, explosive improvisation.

13 May, The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Artists at Work

This exhibition, exploring artists in the studio, brings together a selection of drawings from the sixteenth to the twentieth century to present the ways in which artists depict themselves and others at work.

Until 15 July, The Courtauld Gallery, London


Part of Michelle Terry’s inaugural season as Artistic Director, she has cast herself in the title role, amongst plenty of other gender swapping. It plays alongside As You Like It, also written around 1599 when the original Globe was built, with the same cast.

Until 26 August, Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Courtney Zoffness: ‘Peanuts aren’t nuts’

Courtney Zoffness has won this year’s Sunday Times Short Story Award. The second woman, after Hilary Mantel, to win the £30,000 prize, Zoffness’s story explores the relationship between a high school student and her biology teacher, arrested on child-predatory charges. In an interview with The Time’s Andrew Holgate, Zoffness commented, “I’m the mysterious dark horse, aren’t I?”

Available to read online

Roland Philipps: ‘ Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean’

Another volume on the Cambridge Five, this time by first-time writer and publisher of John Murray, Roland Philipps. A Spy Named Orphan interrogates the full character of Donald Maclean from childhood to his communist circles at Cambridge. It will also be the first biography of Maclean to consider new MI5 documents to be released in September.

Available online and in bookshops nationwide

Rachel Cusk: ‘Kudos’

The third in novelist Rachel Cusk’s defining ‘Faye’ Trilogy (Outline, 2014, and Transit, 2016). In Kudos, Cusk’s narrator Faye – a middle-aged, divorced writer – flies to southern Europe for a literary conference. In Cusk’s quietly daring brand of autofiction her protagonist becomes an ear piece for other people’s stories.

Available online and in bookshops nationwide

Lean on Pete

Andrew Haig, the British director of companion pieces 45 Years (2015) and Weekend (2011), relocates to Portland, Oregon to tell the story of a displaced teenager enticed by the rituals of horse training. Lean on Pete is getting attention for its unforced naturalism and emotional heft and stars Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi and Chloë Sevigny.

In cinemas nationwide