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Arts and culture with a twist

Give your brain a workout this January by exploring what it means to be human, giving mime a go or seeing the extraordinary Flaming Lips in concert. James Gill picks this month’s cultural highlights
Arts and culture with a twist
January 12, 2017   |    James Gill

FILM

Manchester By The Sea

Casey Affleck was earmarked as a special talent following his breakout turn in 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. His eerie charisma dominated Andrew Dominik’s Western. He may not be a film star like older brother Ben, but he’s the frontrunner to win the Best Actor Oscar this year, thanks to his part as a grieving handyman in Kenneth Lonergan’s haunting tale of love and loss.
Out 13 Jan

THEATRE

London International Mime Festival

Let’s be honest, mime is not for everyone. But in the hands of the masters, it’s a sight to behold. This celebration spans seven London venues and includes physical theatre, circus, mask work, puppetry and object theatre. Tickets are selling fast. If you get lost en route to a show, just don’t ask for directions from the chap in the striped T-shirt pretending to carry a tray of drinks.
Until 4 Feb, mimelondon.com

MUSIC

The Flaming Lips

Seeing The Flaming Lips live is more than just another gig. Thanks to their penchant for elaborate performances, you’re likely to find balloons, giant hand mannequins, lighting effects, projections, confetti, dancers dressed as giant animals and lead singer Wayne Coyne launching into a political tirade. Oh, and they’re also responsible for some of the best psychedelic indie rock hits of the past 30 years.
O2 Academy Brixton, 21 Jan, £42

FESTIVAL

Belief and Beyond Belief

This year-long festival sees the Southbank Centre and the London Philharmonic Orchestra team up to explore what it means to be human. You’ll find debates on the meaning of life, a talk on how to be a shaman and a performance of Beethoven’s beloved Fidelio. And that’s just January. If your goal in 2017 is to contemplate the meaning of society, you’d do well to decamp to the Southbank.
southbankcentre.co.uk, various prices

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