#27 - "Simply Overwhelming" - Ten Days, Six Nights (BMW Live) and Wolfgang Tillmans

Tate Modern

The Tate Tanks stand as a metaphor for the whole of Tate Modern which stands as a metaphor for the wider art world. They are simply overwhelming. What can you put in them to match their empty, industrial grandeur? The tremulous answer here is a rolling programme of works in different media for ten days and six nights. On opening day, music and light installations and affectless humans moving around dangling sculptures looked thin, though I liked the pot plants that turn the lobby into a living room. Fujiko Nakaya’s lovely mist sculpture on the terrace matches witty Doris Salcedo’s Turbine Hall Shibboleth in witty lateral thinking. Upstairs, the Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition overwhelms too with its multifarious bleakness.

#26 - Arguably the most exciting show in town - The Kid Stays in the Picture

Royal Court Theatre

Godfather producer Robert Evans’s autobiography is necessarily self-aggrandising. He’s seen stellar success, coke addiction, catastrophic failure, and loved and lost Ali McGraw. I disliked the schmaltz, swagger and technical tricksiness of Simon McBurney’s dramatization before realising it’s arguably the most exciting show in town – a rich, layered portrait of a man and an industry over nine decades, part montage, part collage. Evans is played by Heather Burns, Christian Camargo and by Danny Huston growling in silhouette behind a screen. Even as Evans implodes the production celebrates imaginative chutzpah. It’s telling that he – and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson – chose to tell it on stage, not screen.

#25 - "Angry or obliquely sad" - The American Dream: Pop to the Present

British Museum

How extraordinary to see this show of American prints from Pop onwards alongside the smaller RA survey of 1930s US paintings and the Tate’s Rauschenberg show. Here, we see wit (Oldenburg’s plug, Dine’s pubic paintbrushes) retreat into pure abstraction or sour into something more angry or obliquely sad: Ed Ruscha’s Ghost station makes a fitting full stop. Such a sweeping survey is necessarily piecemeal – the section on feminism feels tacked on – but it’s a delight to see many of the works assembled here. I could have looked at Robert Longo’s Cindy and Eric all day. What will the American art of the next ten years look like?

#24 - "Clumsily engineered and overblown" - Seventeen

Lyric Hammersmith

Actors aged around 70 play kids of 17 in Matthew Whittet’s none-too convincing play, where the emphasis is more on manic energy than cross-generational revelation. It’s the day after A-levels and schoolfriends Mike, Jess, Tom and Emilia – plus two unwelcome adherents - meet in a playground to get pissed. There are some moving moments among the revelations about the group’s dynamic and parental outside, but the social relationships feel clumsily engineered and the physical action overblown. Dennis Potter achieved more in Blue Remembered Hills. Kudos, though, to the cast, who make up in energy what the whole production lacks in subtlety.

#23 - "Cloth-eared, clod-hopping but essential" - My Country; a work in progress

National Theatre

After the Brexit vote, NT boss Rufus Norris sent interviewers to talk to voters: Carol Ann Duffy has their verbatim snippets spoken by representatives of (some) British regions at the behest of Brittania, who also voices Tory big beasts and Nigel Farage. Yes it’s cloth-eared, clod-hopping, even insulting at times – Welshmen sing, Scots drink Scotch – but this was an essential thing for the National to do, and its fragmentary nature is not only deliberate but illustrative. It makes you relive and re-examine the whole painful process again, surely not for the last time. And if it doesn’t have any answers – well, we’re learning that’s also not uncommon, aren’t we?

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