18 Days Remaining

Saturday 17th
posted by Morning Star in Arts

Star critics cherry-pick some of the best on offer in the weeks to come

Common Ground
Spike Island
Cumberland Road
Until June 18
Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s work explores the impact of globalisation, power structures, militarism and denied histories and a central focus of Common Ground is her film Estate: A Reverie, which tracks the long drawn-out closure of the Haggerston Estate in East London and the utopian promise of social housing it once offered. It reveals the spirited everyday humanity and resilience of overlooked residents and explores the complex relationships between people and their living conditions in which they find themselves.

Ode To Leeds
West Yorkshire Playhouse
Quarry Hill
Until July 1
This coming-of-age story is a celebration of Leeds, language and an ode to the art that changed its writer Zodwa Nyoni’s life as part of the spoken-word group Leeds Young Authors. It tells the story of five young poets from the city who are selected to compete at the world’s most prestigious international poetry slam competition in New York. Their words light fires to show the world who they are and what they can be. But the determination to be crowned international slam champions threatens to overwhelm everything and, as the competition draws closer, the poets are forced to discover not just their voices but what they must find the courage to say in a poignant and uplifting blend of music and words.

National Theatre
Upper Ground, SE1
Until August 5
Billed as “an epic tale of England’s lost land,” Common is set against the background of the industrial revolution, with factory smoke belching out of the cities. The common land, belonging to all, is disappearing and DC Moore’s play has protagonist Mary — “the best liar, rogue, thief and faker in this whole septic isle” — returning home and getting swept up in the battle for her former abode in what’s described as a dark tale with comic undertones. With outstanding actors Anne-Marie Duff and Cush Jumbo in the lead roles, this should be well worth seeking out.

Raphael: The Drawings
Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
 Until September 3
Raphael’s drawing has had a transformative effect on European art over centuries and this exhibition of 120 of his works shows how exploration and experimentation shaped his breathtakingly accomplished  output. Among  works on show are the exquisite Study for the Three Graces and Heads and Hands of two Apostles (pictured), considered to be the finest drawing Raphael ever made.