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What’s coming up: February 2020 in film, in print, on TV, and on stage

Films

Perhaps the most anticipated film in February is Birds of Prey, the Suicide Squad spin-off, which says a lot about the quality and quantity of choice this month. Starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the film follows her metamorphosis into a crazed vigilante following her split from The Joker. The UK release of Parasite (dir. Bong Joon Ho) is on the 7th, it’s expected to win big at the BAFTAs and Oscars, having already been successful at the Golden Globes and SAG awards, the film is likely to make history. If this is all you watch this month, you’ll be doing something right. 

If you’re after some nostalgia, don’t miss Waiting for Anya by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo. First published in 1990, the story is based in the small French village of Lescun, which is invaded by German forces during WWII. Sonic The Hedgehog movie also opens this month, unveiling a new look for the character…again. If you didn’t get enough of Will Ferrell in Elf this Christmas, he stars in Downhill, released this month, a film about a family who are forced to reevaluate their lives following an avalanche in the Alps. 

Naturally, given that February is the month of love there are plenty of…horror movies? The Lodge starring Richard Armitage follows the terrifying events that ensue after a family retreat to their (naturally) remote winter cabin. It’s not all scare-fare though, there are plenty of light-hearted cheesy films to give you butterflies this Valentine’s Day! First up is The Photograph, wherein a famous photographer (Issa Rae) falls in love with a journalist (Lakeith Stanfield) – sounds like a sure favourite for The Beaver team. We couldn’t end this section without a reminder not to miss Lara Jean (Lana Condor) getting her own love letter in the highly anticipated sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018), To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

TV Shows 

February is not generous in the way of television, but we will be seeing of second seasons of Altered Carbon, Narcos Mexico, and Umbrella Academy

Plays

We’re going to have intense FOMO this month, with much incredible theatre to choose from. Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming star in Beckett’s surreal masterpiece Endgame at the Old Vic. Taken together Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, opening this month at the New Vic, Endgame seems to signal that London’s theatre world has fallen in love with the surreal. Nora: A Doll’s House strikes a balance between rich drama and feminist activism. Rounding out the moon with a classic, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest comes to The Turbine Theatre with a two-man cast. 

David Mitchell makes his West End debut in The Upstart Crow, a stage adaptation of the British sitcom of the same name. Following its sold-out premiere in 2018, Poet in da Corner returns for a limited run at the Royal Court Theatre.

The Prince of Egypt will be playing at the Dominion Theatre with musical features from Stephen Schwartz (Wicked). If musicals are your thing, be sure to catch Pretty Women: The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre. 

For something closer to home, The Haystack, written by LSE alumni Al Blyth, premiered on 31 January at the Hampstead Theatre and explores the controversy surrounding digital surveillance. Even closer to home: LSE Drama Soc will be putting on their third play of the year, Noël Coward’s Private Lives, on the 17th, 18th, and 20th in The Venue.

Albums

There are many celebrated artists releasing new albums this month, including Green Day with Father of All…, La Roux with Supervision, and Tame Impala with The Slow Rush. South Korean k-pop group BTS will also be releasing their fourth album, Map of the Soul

Houston funk-soul trio Khruanghin have joined Leon Bridges for Texas Sun. Considering the EP started production in 2018, this highly anticipated album faces equally high expectations. 

Books

If you’re after a book to take your mind off those deadlines, A Good Neighbourhood by New York Times bestselling author Therese Anne Fowler might be a good place to start, especially if the topics of racism, justice, and conservative religion capture your interests. With a similar take to Girl, Woman Other — last year’s Booker Prize Winner — A Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry prioritises the voices of a number of women, including activists, queer women, and enslaved women.

Diane Keaton returns to the shelves with a heartfelt memoir of her relationship with her brother in Brother & Sister, exploring how sibling’s life trajectories diverge. Sticking with the topic of family, Mazes of Power by Juliette Wade is described as “the debut work of sociological science fiction” which follows a deadly battle for succession. 

If you’re after some intrigue, look out for Christina McDonald’s Behind Every Lie, a shocking page-turner full of family secrets. 

On another note, a different sort of grand debut is happening in February: the Review section’s very own podcast in collaboration with Beaver Sound: The Last Dam Word. Keep an eye out on Facebook and lend us your ears! 

All Beaver Sound podcasts are available to listen to from wherever you get your podcasts. 

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