1 ) Famous Sons
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines…
Yes, Trainspotting is back. Director Danny Boyle enticed the stars of his iconic 1996 film to make a sequel, and Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Edinburgh on a mission to salve his conscience by finally paying his old mates their share of the loot.“What am I supposed to buy with that? A time machine?” rages Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), as he gets £4,000 in a brown envelope.
Born in Kingston on Thames and a pupil at Tiffin School till he left at 16 to be an actor, Miller did well after Trainspotting, marrying Angelina Jolie the same year.
Sequels can be tricky but Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian gives T2 four stars, dubbing it “a scabrous and brutal black comedy about middle-aged male disappointment and fear of death”.
Trainspotting 2 is out on general release on Friday 27 January.
Two other famous local sons, Wimbledon twins Will and Matt Ritson and their band Formation, fast becoming poster boys for millennials with their blend of disco grooves, punk attitude and social conscience, release their single ‘A Friend’ tomorrow. Inspired by artists as eclectic as David Bowie and the Beastie Boys, watch out for Formation’s debut album Look at the Powerful People which is due on March 24.
2 ) La La Land: a Hit or a Miss?
It’s got a record-equalling 14 Oscar nominations and 93% approval ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, but is smash hit film La La Land all it’s cracked up to be? Culture Vulture thought not, and I explain why in my review here.
Staff at Lady Wimbledon Towers are still arguing hotly, so to settle the matter we asked you, dear readers. You replied to our Twitter Poll with a resounding “maybe no, but probably yes”. Thank you.
La La Land remains on general release.
3 ) Musicals: a Hit AND a Miss
Lady Wimbledon’s newly recruited musical theatre correspondent Ken Bailey always sees a show twice to make sure he appreciated it properly. He gives a whole-hearted recommendation to Maury Yeston’s offbeat gem Death Takes A Holiday, which opened last week at the Charing Cross Theatre. “It is a wonderful, romantic musical with the Grim Reaper falling in love with his latest victim. The acting and singing was glorious. The set was clean and simple, but utterly effective,” writes Ken.
However, he found Promises Promises at the Southwark Playhouse disappointing. “The show, based on Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, came in at almost three hours and needed to be slicker. Today, the theme of men seeing women as sex objects is far from great.”
4 ) Beer and Rugby
Wimbledon Brewery is holding family-friendly screenings of all England’s Six Nations rugby games in the bar at its headquarters in Prince George’s Road, Colliers Wood. Entry costs £20 for adults, and includes two free pints and a burger from the independent butcher Moen’s. The doors open at 2.30pm, a couple of hours before kickoff, for free brewery tours and tastings. Children are welcome accompanied by an adult. First up, England vs France on February 4: book tickets at wimbledonbrewery.com/events-tours.
5 ) Chinese New Year Celebrations
Families: don’t miss the Chinese New Year of the Rooster celebrations in central London on Sunday 29 January. It’s the biggest party outside Asia. The Culture Vultures go every year to eat delicious Chinese street food, throw firecrackers, rattle drums and to catch a glimpse of a lucky dancing dragon feasting on lettuce in the crammed alleyways of Soho’s Chinatown.
6 ) Round Up
Australia Late: hands on art night at the National Gallery from 6pm, Friday January 27, with a mix of free and paid for art activities. Find out more on nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/calendar/australia.
Mayor of Merton’s Winter Warmer – a celebration of Merton music making in aid of the Mayor’s charities, 6pm – 9pm, Saturday 28 January at St Mark’s Academy, Mitcham.
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