The Diary: your essential what’s on guide

Your indispensable guide to the best theatre, film, sport, restaurants and much more


Gael Garcia Bernal in Neruda

Gael Garcia Bernal in Neruda

Neruda, a biopic about the Chilean poet and politician directed by Pablo Larrain, who helmed last year’s Jackie (in which Natalie Portman played Jackie Kennedy), is out on Friday. Other films this week include the new film from Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion, and Raw, a highly-rated French horror film. In cinemas right now are Free Fire, a Boston-set shootout drama directed by Ben Wheatley, Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlet Johansson, and Graduation, the latest from the brilliant Romanian director Cristian Mungiu.


horses clear a fence in the 2016 grand national

Last year’s Grand National (Getty)

It’s a big week for sport, with the Masters Golf from Augusta teeing off on April 6, cricket’s County Championship starting on April 7  and the Grand National, at Aintree, taking place on April 8. Later this month, snooker’s World Championships returns to The Crucible, in Sheffield (April 15 – May 1) and Leicester City’s Champions League adventure continues – the Foxes play the first leg of their quarter final against Atlético Madrid in Spain on April 12.

Wine & Food

The Hyde’s Old Mock bourbon

Cocktail bar, The Hyde, has opened for business at London’s Royal Park Hotel, a boutique hotel housed in three renovated, mid-19th century Grade II listed townhouses. The bar’s calling card is its collection of rare whiskies and cognacs, including, a  Strathisla single malt from 1949 and Old Mock bourbon from 1916. A small plates menu is curated by head chef,  Matt McKiernan.


Flags I, a print by Jasper Johns (Collection of Johanna and Leslie Garfield)

Flags I, by Jasper Johns (Collection of Johanna and Leslie Garfield)

The American Dream: From Pop to the Present is currently up and running at the British Museum. The show traces American history since the 1960s through the work of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and more. The Fitzwilliam Museum, in Cambridge, is hosting a fascinating exhibition, Madonnas and the Miracles, that aims to illuminate ‘a hidden world of religious devotion in the Italian Renaissance home’, with a selection of jewellery, ceramics, books, sculptures and paintings on display. The show runs until June 4.


The Thinking Drinkers

Spectator Life columnists, The Thinking Drinkers, host a monthly booze and comedy session at the Museum of Comedy, in London. Every audience member will be plied with alcohol as Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham reveal the people, places and colourful history behind each drink – the next show is on April 6.


a scene from an american in paris

An American in Paris

Broadway hit, An American in Paris, the multi-award winning musical featuring the songs of George and Ira Gershwin, is in full swing at the Dominion Theatre, in the West End, having opened to rave reviews. Tickets can be booked here. In Stratford, the RSC’s new stagings of Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra have opened and The Wipers Times, a play by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman about the satirical newspaper written by soldiers at the Somme, is on at the Arts Theatre, London. Here’s are guide to six more plays to book ahead for.