Six cultural highlights of 2017

This year looks to be a bumper one for the arts, with no shortage of blockbuster films, riveting reads and fantastic festivals on the horizon. We take a look at 6 cultural highlights 2017 has in store...


AA Gill – Lines in the Sand: Collected Journalism
Out 9 February

When Adrian Anthony Gill died in December, British journalism lost one of its most entertaining writers. Whether reviewing restaurants for The Sunday Times or tearing apart Morrissey’s autobiography, he was eternally controversial and unapologetically brutal. He offended everyone from Clare Balding to the Welsh, but you can’t accuse the man of ever being anything other than completely honest. This collection of the best of his journalistic writing is hugely entertaining and an incredibly funny testament to his prowess.


America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s 
25 February to 4 June. Royal Academy of Arts, London

There’s going to be a lot of focus on America this year, as Donald Trump’s presidency gets into full swing and the country goes through what could be one of its most radical shifts for decades. With that in mind, the Royal Academy’s retrospective of Depression-era American painting couldn’t be better timed. Forty-five paintings from an eclectic bunch of greats will grace the walls of Burlington House, including Jackson Pollock, Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe. This unmissable exhibition also includes Grant Wood’s iconic American Gothic, marking the first time his masterpiece has ever left the US. 


Angels in America
Part One: Millennium Approaches, 11 April to 19 August. Part Two: Perestroika, 24 April to 19 August. Lyttleton Theatre, London

Tony Kushner’s two-part play has won both a TONY and a Pulitzer for its powerful story of a gay couple in 80s New York, struggling against the rising spectre of AIDS and the conservative politics of that time. Director Marianne Elliot (War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) brings the play to the Lyttleton Theatre with a cast that includes Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane and Russell Tovey. Tickets are available individually or for both parts combined, and both parts will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the NT Live season in July.


The Great British Food Festival 
21 April to 24 September. Various locations

The only thing better than eating amazing food is eating amazing food in an amazing setting and that’s exactly what the Great British Food Festival offers. Touring around the country, each of the festival’s nine stops is in the grounds of a stunning stately home, from Stonyhurst College in Lancashire to the wonderful Knebworth Hall. There are demonstrations from top chefs, artisan markets, baking talks from Great British Bake Off competitors, foraging walks and activities for everyone from the very young upwards. Visit their site for the full list of dates and venues.


Bob Dylan 
3 to 9 May. Various locations

The newly crowned (if slightly apathetic) winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature returns to the UK this May in support of his 37th album ‘Fallen Angels’. Dylan and his band will stop off at Cardiff, Bournemouth, Nottingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and London, giving fans plenty of opportunities to catch one of the greatest ever songwriters in the flesh. 


Murder on the Orient Express 
From 22 November. Nationwide

Kenneth Branagh has assembled a star-studded cast for his adaptation of Agatha Christie’s most enduring mystery. The English thespian will be on both sides of the camera, directing as well as starring as renowned Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, following in the footsteps of David Suchet, Alfred Molina, Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney. Joining Branagh are Johnny Depp, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Colman, and Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley.