What We’re Looking Forward to this Autumn: Part 1

From Tim Burton's new tv series to an exhibition of trailblazing female artists, from Paul Mescal in A Streetcar Named Desire to Alan Rickman's Diaries, we reveal what we can't wait to read, watch and do this autumn.

A Little Bird Cezanne Tate Modern Still Life with a Fruit Dish by Cezanne


Lucian Freud, Girl with Roses, 1947-48. Oil on canvas. 105.5 x 74.5cm. Courtesy of the British Council Collection. © The Lucian Freud Archive. All Rights Reserved 2022 / Bridgeman Images

Two of the biggest blockbusters shows this autumn are: Lucian Freud: New Perspectives at the National Gallery from 1st October, to mark the 100th anniversary his birth and Cezanne at Tate Modern from 5th October, including 20 works that have never been seen in the UK before.  For a more female perspective, we recommend Body Politics, on the work of Carolee Schneemann, one of the leading proponents of performance art for over six decades, at the Barbican from 8th September.  The mesmerising Hannah Starkey has her first major survey exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery from 20th October and make your way to the Royal Academy for Making Modernism, an exhibition on the trailblazing women hidden from the history of 20th Century Modernism from 12th November.

Film & TV

Kicking off on 21st September is This England on Sky/Atlantic, a six episode drama directed by Michael Winterbottom in which Kenneth Branagh wears a blond wig and prosthetics (right) to play Boris Johnson in the first few months being PM.  On September 23rd, don’t miss a new Apple TV documentary produced by Oprah Winfrey on the groundbreaking actor and civil rights campaigner, Sidney Poitier.  Released in cinemas the same day is Catherine Called Birdy, written and directed by Lena Dunham, it is inspired by the 1994 children’s novel and told through the diary entries of Birdy, a kick-ass 14-year-old girl in the year 1290.  It is out on Amazon Prime 7th October. David O. Russell’s latest film, Amsterdam is based on the true story of three friends accused of murder in the 1930s.  It stars Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, Anya Taylor-Joy, Taylor Swift, Robert De Niro and Chris Rock and is out 4th November.  Check out the trailer – it has a great cast and looks quirky and very funny.

A Little Bird This England

She Said is the film based on the book by two New York Time reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize for their work investigating Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults.  Starring Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Samantha Morton and Patricia Clarkson, it is released November 18th.  Peter Morgan’s The Crown returns for a fifth season in November with Imelda Staunton as The Queen and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, this time in the 1990s. Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis star in A Spy Among Friends, a spy drama out in November on ITVX based on the bestselling book by Ben Macintyre about the Kim Philby affair. And finally, we’re looking forward to Tim Burton’s tv debut Wednesday out this autumn on Netflix (date tbd).  Catherine Zeta-Jones is Morticia Addams in this Addams Family revival which puts teenage daughter, Wednesday, centre-stage.

Theatre & Festivals

Probably the hottest ticket of the autumn is to see Paul Mescal in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida (the play runs from December 10th but tickets go on sale to the public on September 6th).  Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Frecknall takes on the Tennessee Williams masterpiece with Lydia Wilson (The Duchess of Malfi) as Blanche, Mescal as Stanley and Anjana Vasan (We Are Lady Parts) as Stella. Helen Hunt stars in Eureka Day, the European premiere of Jonathan Spector’s award-winning comedy about a public health scare at a California school.  Playing at the Old Vic, 6th September to 31st October.  Dominic Cooke directs David Tennant, Sharon Small and Elliot Levey in Good, which shows how a liberal-minded professor is swept along in Nazi Germany. At the Harold Pinter theatre, 6th October 6th to 24th December.  And The London Literary Festival at the Southbank Centre, 20th – 30th October has a starry lineup including Greta Thunberg, George Saunders, Graham Norton and Minnie Driver.

A Little Bird Paul Mescal

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