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Arts ahead 09.07.17

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!
Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens, W2
To September 10
Grayson Perry’s new show, which has free entry, touches on many themes including popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape. Working in a variety of traditional media such as ceramics, cast iron, bronze, printmaking and tapestry, Perry combines delicately crafted objects with scenes of contemporary life, with subject matter drawn from his own childhood and life as a transvestite, as well as wider social issues ranging from class and politics to sex and religion.

Girl from the North Country
Old Vic Theatre
The Cut, SE1
July 8-October 7
Set in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934, award-winning writer Conor McPherson’s new play — which he also directs — tells the tale of a community living on a knife-edge huddled together in the local guesthouse. Its owner owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife is losing her mind and their daughter is carrying a child no-one will account for. When a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return in a  production where the iconic songbook of Bob Dylan is woven into into a play full of hope, heartbreak and soul.

Liars of Earth
Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts
Long Gallery, National Glass Centre Liberty Way
Until October 8
Chad McCail’s near 100-foot-long drawing Liars of Earth, in which ordinary people are able to overturn the malign rule of monstrous giants, is a parable with a political twist in the tale. Across a vast landscape that encompasses all of the institutions that shape us, McCail explores how we can combine forces to work together and defeat those who would rule over us. His epic work asks how we might live together in the 21st century to share our resources more equally and to create a new way of life.

The Wakes
Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival
Tolpuddle Village
July 16
The Wakes, a six-piece band from Glasgow, are one of the headliners at this year’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival. Inspired by the stories of their city, culture and love of music, they craft songs born from political and social struggle, of protest and of heartache — and the joys of life shaped by the history of Scotland, Ireland and beyond. Their fusion of traditional instrumentation with a contemporary sound, dubbed folk’n’roll, ensures that their live shows are up there with the best.


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