London fireworks

Things we’re looking forward to in 2016

Now that the Christmas lights and new year hangovers have faded away, and it’s time to get back to work, uni or exams, January might be seeming a little bleak. But don’t worry- Arts Editor Fran Lowe is on hand to give you some things to look forward to for 2016…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Paul Thornley, Noma Dumezweni and Jamie Parker, the stars of the new play

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
As a self-confessed Harry Potter obsessive, I have to say that I’m delighted to finally have part of the franchise that I can classify under Arts, rather than Film or Lit. There has been so much hype about this already, what with tickets selling out almost immediately and the ‘scandal’ over Hermione being cast as black actress Noma Dumezweni (come on people, why was this even a thing?), and I feel that up until the show opens for previews in May, the excitement is just going to build and build. Jamie Parker, who is playing Harry Potter, told the Evening Standard that he “can’t wait to get started”, and nor can I. I remember finishing the final Harry Potter novel while on a school trip Florence, and ever since I found out how it all ends, I’ve felt a bit flat. I cannot wait to find out what’s going to happen next. Between this and the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in November, we’re in for a good year, Potter fans.

New Tate Modern

Artist’s impression of the new building set to open in June

The New Tate Modern

Set to open on June 16th 2016, the new building of the Tate Modern is really looking to change the way we see and interact with modern art. The new building is adding a massive 60% to the museum’s display space, so provides much potential for new additions to the collection from all over the world to be displayed in a unique space. What I’m particularly excited about though is the space that’s going to be devoted to performance art. I already love the work the Tate does on immersive art, particularly with some of the exhibitions they’ve had in the Turbine Hall (remember the slides? How good were they?), and I’m delighted that this space is remaining as it is, the central trunk of the museum. But, as their promo says, “Art changes, and so do we”- so, it’s only right to have a new space for all the new concepts. I’m so keen to get over there and get involved.

Summer 2016 at Shakespeare’s Globe
This year, the Globe has a new artistic director: Emma Rice, and I’m very excited to see what she’s got up her artsy sleeves. She’s filling her first season at the Globe with all the plays about magic and mysticism, and therefore is calling it ‘Wonder Season’- or #WonderSeason (yep, there’s a hashtag- looks like old Will Shakespeare is finally getting down with the kids). She’s doing all of my favourites: A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth… who wouldn’t be excited? They’re also doing Imogen, a ‘reclaiming’ of Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays. I studied it at university, and am really looking forward to seeing how it’s done- it’s one of those that doesn’t slot so easily into a genre category, and Shakespeare actually filches plot ideas from his own plays. I’m also due to go on a backstage tour of the Globe soon, so I will obviously report back!

Rio 2016
I’m calling this early as an Arts thing. Stay with me on this, as it’s a little tenuous. But remember when London 2012 was happening, and it became part of our lives, as well as just a sport thing? I’m expecting this even more from Rio 2016. The ‘look’ of the games is so much more than just the logo that goes on the brochures and uniforms- it’s what people visualize when they think ‘Rio’, and it’s how people will remember the games. The look of the games is part of what will inspire people, and it’s about the identity of the games and the identity of Rio itself. The graphic design for Rio is, if you ask me, much better than it was for London- it’s exciting, bright, vibrant… check it out here:

Also, you might think you won’t be able to watch much of the games because of the time difference. Rio de Janeiro is only actually two hours behind London time, so panic not! Despite struggling to believe that London 2012 was four whole years ago, I can’t wait for Olympic fever to take over the world again.

2016 might be set to have its issues. 10,000 character limit on Twitter? And will we ever get a 24-hour tube? But to see you through, rest assured that Arts will be here to give you something else to think about. Stay tuned!



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