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Previews Arts Ahead: January 26 — February 2

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

NEWCASTLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Side Gallery
Side
Looking for Lenin
Until March 25

By the end of 2016, none of the 5,500 statues of Lenin throughout Ukraine was still standing. To explore the meaning of this “decommunisation,” photographer Niels Ackermann and the journalist Sebastien Gobert travelled through the country in search of crumbled stone and fragments of metal. What began as a simple journey of curiosity became “an astonishing adventure through Ukraine in upheaval” in a country where Lenin's name“ still weighs heavily on the present and future of Ukraine.” So have the antics of the US-backed nazi clique currently in power in Kiev — wonder if they get a look in.
amber-online.com

CHICHESTER EXHIBITION
Leonard Rosoman: Painting Theatre
Pallant House Gallery
North Pallant
February 3-April 29

IN 1965, the London production of John Osborne's play A Patriot For Me about the 19th century gay spy Alfred Redl was denied a public licence for performance. The scene that most excited the censor was the Drag Ball, in which members of the upper echelons of Viennese society appear in drag. But painter Leonard Rosoman (1913-2012) found the play's exploration of gay life such a transformative experience that he created drawings, on show in this exhibition, which capture a moment in time when attitudes towards sexuality and censorship were on the cusp of change.
pallant.org.uk

LEEDS/TOURING OPERA
Madama Butterfly
Leeds Grand Theatre
Until February 16

French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels takes the role of Cio-Cio-San in Opera North's production of Puccini’s opera, a perennial audience-pleaser. Madama Butterfly tells the story of a young Japanese woman who sacrifices everything to marry Pinkerton, the dashing US naval officer. But, cruelly discarded when he returns to America, Butterfly is driven to a final and dramatic act of despair in an opera which features some of Puccini's most famous music including Un bel dì and the Humming Chorus. Tours to Salford, Nottingham and Newcastle after Leeds performances.
operanorth.co.uk

MANCHESTER THEATRE
Black Men Walking
Royal Exchange Theatre
St Ann's Square
Until February 3

“We walk. Though we are written into the landscape you don’t see us. We walked England before the English.” Thus Thomas, Matthew and Richard, who walk the first Saturday of every month. Walking and talking, but, out in the Peaks, they find themselves forced to walk backwards through 2,000 years before they can move forwards ... This story by Testament is part of Revolution Mix, a movement that is delivering the largest ever number of new black British stories nationally and it's inspired by the Black Men’s Walking Group. It promises to be a compelling and constantly surprising new show that turns a spotlight onto Britain’s missing histories.
royalexchange.co.uk

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