The Diary: Things to do in August

Your essential what’s on guide for the month ahead

EXHIBITIONS

Yellow odalisque, 1937 © Philadelphia Museum of Art

From August 5, the Royal Academy’s Matisse in the Studio exhibition explores the eclectic collection of treasures that the French artist amassed during his lifetime, and the influence it had on his art. Go here for our preview gallery.

Elsewhere, catch the acclaimed exhibition of Raphael drawings exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford, which closes on September 3, and The Encounter, at the National Portrait Gallery, which The Spectator review says ‘poses intriguing questions and is full of visual pleasures’.

CINEMA

The big screen at Somerset House (Getty)

For those keen to brave the great outdoors for some cinematic entertainment, head to Somerset House this month for the Film4 Summer Screen (August 10-23). Highlights of the season include Oscar-winner Moonlight, In Bruges, Donnie Darko and All the President’s Men, and go here for our list of other excellent outdoor cinemas in London.

For a cinema visit with guaranteed dry weather, new releases include Detroit, which retells the story of the civil unrest that rocked the city in the summer of 1967. Star Wars actor John Boyega stars. For more August film recommendations, go here.

DANCE

Romeo & Juliet

Romeo and Juliet performed by the English National Ballet, with choreography by Nureyev to Prokofiev’s score, is running at the Royal Festival Hall from August 1-5, while at Sadler’s Wells Paco Peña’s Flamenco Dance Company returns for a short run of performances from August 8-12.

COMEDY

Lloyd Griffith

At the Edinburgh Fringe, Lloyd Griffith will examine the phenomenon – and superficiality – of online dating in his show, in:Undated, at the Pleasance Dome. Check out our other comedy recommendations for the festival, which runs throughout the month, here. The Edinburgh Art Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival are also running this month, so our guide to the city’s best bars will come in handy.

THEATRE

The Stepmother

Sir Richard Eyre directs the The Stepmother, a dark 1924 drama of ­marriage and manipulation by the under-appreciated Githa Sowerby, at the Chichester Festival Theatre, from 11 August, while, in London, Five Guys Named Moe returns to the stage from August 29.

MUSIC

Green Man Festival

It’s the 15th birthday of the brilliant Green Man Festival, in the Brecon Beacons, which runs from August 17-20. Ryan Adams, The Shins and Thee Oh Sees are just three highlights of another stellar line-up. If you weren’t lucky enough to bag a ticket for this sold out festival, then give Reading (August 26-28) or V Festival (August 19-20) a go.

FOOD AND DRINK

The Gin Festival

The Tobacco Dock, in Docklands, hosts The Gin Festival, a celebration of the spirit with more than 100 different gins to try. The event, which runs from August 25-27, also includes gin masterclasses, the chance to meet gin distillers and live music.


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