Regeneration is a key London trait that has served it well throughout history and Londoners will always welcome comebacks and reboots as long as they have a sense of style and purpose. Music festivals that revive genuine good times are a soulful and relaxing way to spend a weekend, especially in sunny June. Superheroes can get in on the act too. Whether they are the dancing and pirouetting type in Covent Garden or the all-action CGI inhabitants of the Marvel universe, they can cheat death and inspire us over and over again.

Swan Lake – Royal Opera House
Swan Lake – Royal Opera House
The much beloved flagship ballet has been given a much-needed overhaul and is looking sleek, pin sharp and ready for the next two decades. Gone are the acres of diamanté and thick make up that seemed so essential back in the 80’s but now look bulky and restricting. The ensemble dancers still look ethereal and serene, but their poses and movements now have a natural flow. The secret of creating a new Swan Lake seems to be in the staging.

The music is untouchable and the dance steps iconic but imaginative sets can really breathe new life into a production as it has here. There’s plenty of star power on stage and people will be talking about seeing Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov dance together for years to come. There are some additional scenes at the beginning of Act I which flesh out the villainous character of Von Rothbart but the main body of work remains as captivating as ever.

http://www.roh.org.uk/productions/swan-lake-by-liam-scarlett

Mood Music – Old Vic Theatre
Mood Music – Old Vic Theatre
It must be distressing for anyone who earns their living through their voice not to have that voice heard when it comes to career direction and future projects. This is the predicament of many singers in the music business and it is overly predominant with female artistes. Joe Penhall’s play takes these attitudes to task in a series of well written dialogues and some very clever staging.

The drama centres on the relationship between young songwriter, Cat and her producer/erstwhile mentor, Bernard. Everything about their creative partnership is fine until Cat gets assertive about the songwriting process. Bernard assumes he will get credit and royalties just by being vaguely in charge but he is about to be rudely awakened. Legal battles and therapy follow in rapid succession and the dark side of a glamorous business is revealed.

https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2018/mood-music

Southport Weekender – Finsbury Park
Southport Weekender – Finsbury Park
A festival dedicated to dance music connoisseurs, this event is billed as one of the friendliest in London and with good reason. Veterans of the soul weekenders of yesteryear have stayed in touch which gives this Finsbury Park gathering something of a school reunion vibe.

Heading the bill will be some of the most discerning DJs in town with the emphasis being on good taste and a keen ear on what tunes keep the party rocking. There’s not much in the way of pyrotechnics or gimmicks as these artistes have a solid following with many having hosted mainstream radio shows. The lineup includes Masters At Work, Jazzie B, Trevor Nelson and David Rodigan. Headlining the live stage are none other than the legendary disco divas, Sister Sledge.

http://www.southportweekenderfestival.com

Deadpool 2 – Cinemas Londonwide
Dead pool 2 – Cinemas Londonwide
How far can a movie send up its whole reason for existence without self-parodying itself to death? Deadpool 2 is a Marvel film that is fully aware of its own ridiculousness and wants to let you in on the joke. The eponymous hero is full of witty banter and wisecracks even as the action gets more and more violent and kinetic, speaking directly to the audience about everything from realism in movies to political correctness.

In this respect, Deadpool is a Marvel fanboy’s dream come true as he provides an antidote to the scoffing of unbelievers by get his jokes in first. The plot is about the death of the hero’s girlfriend and how it affects Deadpool’s attitude to life. In true Marvel style, resurrection is always on the cards, but it seems like Deadpool likes to keep us guessing all the way to the end.

https://www.myvue.com/film/deadpool-2

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