What We’re Looking Forward to in 2021

No. 299, 29th April 2020. iPad painting by David Hockney

So apart from the obvious (vaccinations, freedom, holidays!), there are a lot of things that we’re looking forward to this year.  From the first issue of Vogue Scandinavia this Spring to the very-delayed James Bond film No Time to Die (at last!) to a new Adele album.  Read on for much, much more.

If you loved Adam Kay’s bestselling memoir, This Is Going To Hurt, about his trial and tribulations being a junior doctor like we did, then you’ll be looking forward to the BBC 2 dramatisation starring Ben Whishaw as Adam in a new eight-part series airing early this year. Another book getting the tv treatment is Nancy Mitford’s classic The Pursuit of Love on BBC and Amazon, directed by Emily Mortimer and starring Lily James, Dominic West and Andrew Scott.  If you liked The Undoing, then keep your eyes peeled for Nine Perfect Strangers by Big Little Lies Author Liane Moriarty.  We have to admit that we didn’t love the book ourselves but the drama will star Nicole Kidman as the mysterious Russian woman running a luxury wellness retreat and with Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans also starring, it will be well worth checking out on Sky Atlantic. Later in the year will also see the release of the Friends reunion, a new HBO series with Kate Winslet (below) playing a detective in The Mare of Easttown, the much-anticipated tv adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People in a 12 part series and finally, both Sex Education and Succession return for their third series.
In the art world, it’s likely that a lot of exhibitions are going to be shifting dates but at the moment the V&A’s Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser about the origins, adaptations and reinventions of Lewis Caroll’s classic is still scheduled to open on March 27th.  Two days later on the 29th March, Yoyoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms at Tate Modern opens which is bound to be hugely popular.  Two shows which were due to open earlier – Francis Bacon’s Man and Beast, spanning his 50 year career and the V&A’s Epic Iran with more than 300 objects from over 5,000 years – will both hopefully open sometime in the Spring.   Meanwhile, later in the year, we’re looking forward to David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy and later on Marina Abramovic at the Royal Academy, The Making of Rodin at Tate Modern and the retrospective of Paula Rego at Tate Britain.
Theatre too will be changing their release dates but hopefully still coming this year will be Michael Grandage’s musical adaptation of FrozenDavid Tennant in Dominic Cooke’s revival of CP Taylor’s play Good at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical version of Cinderella, Back to the Future and 101 Dalmations musicals, Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Life of Pi produced by Cameron Mackintosh and a rumoured but not confirmed return of Jerusalem with original star Mark Rylance.

We hope to be reading a lot this year and there are some great titles coming. Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel since he won the Nobel prize for Literature in 2017 is Klara and the Sun about an artificial friend waiting in a shop to be bought by a human (Faber, March).   Edmund de Waal tells the story of a a belle époque family and their private art collection in Letters to the Camondo (Chatto, April).  Zadie Smith rewrites the story of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath Prologues to London’s Kilburn High Road in The Wife of Willesden (Hamish Hamilton, June). Colm Tóibín’s new book, The Magician, is about the German novelist Thomas Mann living in exile in LA during WWII (Viking, September) and if you liked Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Ketteridge books then her new novel O, William! is out in September (Viking).

Films we can’t wait to see include The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson inspired by The New Yorker and starring Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan and Léa Seydoux. Timothée Chalamet also stars in the remake of Dunethere’s a new Fantastic Beasts film being released and Tom Cruise returns in Top Gun: Maverick.  And Peter Jackson’s new Beatles documentary, Get Back sounds like a don’t-miss with over 56 hours of unseen footage.

What we're looking forward to in 2021
— Francesca
6th January 2021

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