The Rotters’ Club
BBC2, starts Wednesday 26 January, 9pm
Based on Jonathan Coe’s excellent novel, this new TV series looks at the entangled lives of several families in 1970s Birmingham. Teenagers come of age against a background of electricity blackouts, strikes in local car plants, the growth of the National Front and the emergence of punk. Meanwhile, parents struggle with failed relationships, secret loves and the loss of certainties in a fast-changing world.
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Released Friday 21 January
This film of US soul musician Ray Charles’ life contains a stunning performance from Jamie Fox in the title role. Ray’s music was seen by many to cut across segregation. Black and white might not be able to sit together at dinner, but they could all listen to the same radio stations.
In the late 1960s Ray supported Martin Luther King’s struggle. But he was reluctant to march with King. “I wouldn’t have known when to duck when they started throwing broken bottles at my head,” he joked.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Stage adaptation and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Runs until 5 February
Phone 0113 213 7700
Go see this brilliant show! It’s “the best thing ever”, according to our nearly seven year old. The use of revolving scenery, projectors, trap doors and drop scenes is stunning.
It’s a treat for those who want something more than “he’s behind you” pantomimes. The effects are scary enough for you to put your hands over your eyes—but not so scary as to give you nightmares.