Things to look forward to in 2021, from musical movies to exciting new books



From dazzling musical theater adaptations to mind-blowing exhibits and (fingers crossed) a return to festivals, here’s what we look forward to over the next 12 months …

The magic of musical cinema

Everybody’s talking about Jamie will be worth the wait

/ 20th century studios

My gospel feelings about the Mamma Mia movies make me a sucker for any movie based on a musical (I erased Cats from my memory), so the film schedule for 2021 fills me with joy. After delays in 2020, it looks like this is the year we finally see the big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights and Steven Spielberg’s glitzy West Side Story remake. Of course, the theaters have been a nightmare and nothing is certain – another highly anticipated musical film, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, has been indefinitely delayed by Disney – but these films will be an antidote to wait for when they arrive. JT

Exciting new novels

There’s plenty to look forward to in fiction in 2021: The most anticipated title is Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, about an AI robot called Klara that longs for connection. Edward St Aubyn’s Double Blind follows three friends and their circle through a year of transformation, First Person Singular is another collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami, while Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s second novel, Long Island Compromise, explores the collapse of the American Dream. We can expect more self-fiction from Rachel Cusk in second place, then from O, William! Elizabeth Strout sounds like a move away from Olive. At the top of the debut list are Lisa Taddeo’s Animal and Raven Leilani’s Luster. KL

Shiny books on screen

Lily James stars in new adaptation of the Pursuit of Love

/ Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited / Robert Viglasky

It’s a big year for the on-screen book adaptations, which kicks off with a lavish adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, complemented by gorgeous 1930s costumes and a first-class cast starring Lily James , Emily Beecham and Andrew Scott. Nicole Kidman will direct a miniseries based on Nine Perfect Strangers, the latest novel by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, while BLL showrunner David E. Kelley will turn his attention to another national thriller, this both located in London. Her portrayal of Sarah Vaughan’s Anatomy of a Scandal, starring Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Friend, is currently filming in the capital and is set to land on Netflix in 2021. Apple TV has announced a star-studded version of Mick Herron’s Slow Horses, featuring Gary Oldman, Jonathan Pryce and Kristin Scott Thomas, and if you liked Normal People, you’ll be happy to hear that the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations With Friends goes into production this year. KR

Exhibitions that change life

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms Head to Tate Modern

/ Yayoi Kusama

After a year of swerving every time another human approaches within 6 feet, the intense impact of getting closer and becoming intimate with strangers is going to be mind-blowing. Luckily performance art queen Marina Abramovic has her Royal Academy show After Life at the end of the year in September, otherwise we’d all lose the plot. Several of his flagship works will be staged by young artists, as well as new pieces produced for the show. If you want to escape this world completely, take a look at Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms at Tate Modern from late March – two of the breathtakingly beautiful installations by the iconic Japanese artist, which make you feel like you are float in a different universe. ND

The hesitant return of festivals

The things we would do to drink lukewarm cider in a field right now. We were robbed of such delicacies last year, but there is half-hearted optimism about the outlook for this summer. Glasto’s Emily Eavis said that while things are still on the table, “we are doing all we can” to plan for a successful comeback in 2021. Many blockbuster events have confirmed the lineups – like Reading and Leeds, Download and Isle of Wight – and discussions of mass test participants have, at the very least, provided some possible leads. For now, it’s about going through every passable part of our body and seeing what happens. I

Hitting some new music

Much has been written about the quality of music that has been our savior in 2020. Hopefully 2021 doesn’t need to be saved to such an apocalyptic extent, but if it does then there is. quite a few albums in the works that could be up to the task. One of the main contenders is rock ‘n’ roll superhero Dave Grohl, who returns with the Foo Fighters’ latest record, Medicine at Midnight, on February 5. And don’t miss the 20-year-old Arlo Parks endorsed by Billie Eilish (Collapsed at midnight, January 29), the Northampton chief provocateur, rapper Slowthai (Tyron, February 5) or the south London noiseniks Shame (Drunk Tank). Pink, January 15). I

A big blockbuster

Fingers crossed that No Time To Die finally arrives in the cinema


While the quality of films released in 2020 was unaffected by the pandemic (well done Saint Maud, Shirley, Rocks et al), it was a hopeless time for theaters. Cineworld and Picturehouse were among the high-profile closings, citing a lack of blockbusters to attract crowds of ticket buyers. Christopher Nolan’s budgeted $ 200 million Tenet was a much-needed boost when it finally arrived in August, and with studio executives seemingly less finicky now, 2021 is expected to see the arrival of huge films on. big screen. The greatest of all? Daniel Craig’s much-delayed return as James Bond in No Time To Die, landing April 2 (fingers crossed). I

New life breathed into buildings

Too many of our large buildings were closed last year, their spaces and treasures echoing only the falling dust. This year we are delighted to see what happens at the Courtauld Gallery, when it reopens after a redevelopment of over £ 50million to create a home worthy of one of Britain’s greatest art collections. This year also sees the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of this London icon, the Royal Albert Hall – for much of this year the exterior has been under wraps for close scrutiny, not to mention the deafening silence, but on March 29 a program of festivities begins with a festive concert. And if you don’t have enough of the interior of the house, the House Museum – the old museum known as Geffrye – reopens in the spring after a major renovation. ND

Our favorite TV

Kelly Macdonald joins the Line of Duty cast

/ BBC / World Productions

A slew of our favorite TVs are back for 2021, with a second Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK set set to counter the January blues with much needed sparkle and a new lineup of fabulous queens. With Liz Hurley, Dawn French, and Gemma Collins lined up as special guests, it’s guaranteed to be a riot. A few months later, the AC-12 gang will be back for the sixth season of Line of Duty, ready to lock up some more twisted brass and (fingers crossed) uncover the true identity of the elusive crime boss H. The third round of Sex Education is set to land on Netflix later this year, with Jason Isaacs and Jemima Kirke joining the cast. While waiting for the pandemic, we could also be blessed with a new series of Derry Girls and Succession. KR

The stars of the West End

Sunday in the park with George has been rescheduled for 2021

/ Matthieu murphy

The country – no, the world – isn’t really going to heal until we can sit in a crowded auditorium and watch someone in a sparkly costume sing a number at 11 a.m. as glitter falls from the ceiling. Thank goodness so – all is well – several new big musicals are slated to open in the West End in the spring. At that point, many producers believe that the vaccination program will be in full swing and the public will be able to attend performances without social distancing. Personally, I can’t wait to see the full-bodied catharsis of Frozen the Musical – let 2020 go, everyone – and Jake Gyllenhaal star on Sunday in the park with George, both rescheduled for 2021. We’ll also see the highly anticipated arrival. from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Cinderella, Arinze Kene in Get Up Stand Up: The Bob Marley Musical and a musical adaptation of Back to the Future. My fingers are fabulously crossed. JT


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