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October 2020 / Diary / by Ali Howard

Culture Fix: October 2020

London’s hottest happenings.


Noone’s Dance, 2020, Oil on canvas

EXHIBITION
Zümrütoglu: Atonal Drift
9 October-14 November, JD Malat

Hailed by some as the ‘Turkish Francis Bacon’, this 1970-born artist is making waves in the international art scene – but for now, he’s ours. Expect a series of paintings and sculpture that explore the ‘dissonant and disharmonious body’, with Zümrütoğlu’s trademark figurative abstraction as its core. The artist cites Western literature, philosophy and music as influences, and he isn’t afraid to wade into the dark side of human existence – whilst pushing corporeal boundaries. Think highly expressive and colourful canvasses featuring fleshy, swirling strokes in thickly applied oils, alongside ceramic forms that offer a visceral shock and border the grotesque.

30 Davies Street, W1K (020 3746 6830; jdmalat.com)


Theatre
Talking Heads
Until 31 October, Bridge Theatre

In an age of social distancing it seems a natural progression that the monologue should be having a moment. Alan Bennett’s beloved series both reached new audiences and rekindled our nostalgia during lockdown. The BBC One remake of these disparate but interconnecting stories of domesticity, isolation, and suppressed emotions, conversely, proved a much-needed lift. Now, eight of the actors featured, including Maxine Peake, Kristin Scott-Thomas, and Imelda Staunton, will be reviving their solo performances – only this time it’s on the stage. Expect a reduced capacity auditorium at the Tower Bridge based playhouse, but nonetheless, an electrifying one.

3 Potters Fields Park, SE1 (0333 320 0052; bridgetheatre.co.uk)


Book
The Botanical City
By Hélèna Dove and Harry Adès

While London’s tourists are often advised to look up – so as not to miss the incredible architecture overhead – this book encourages us city dwellers to look down, and all around us, at the wealth of wild plants growing right on our doorstep. Created in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and featuring beautiful illustrations lifted from a rare 18th century book in Kew’s library called Flora Londinensis, it offers one insightful botanical – and specifically urban – journey of discovery. If you don’t know your sneezewort from your bastard balm, you soon will.

£25 (hoxtonminipress.com)