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The Members' Room at Tate Britain, SW1

The new Members’ Room at Tate Britain, a product of the recent £45 million refurbishment, has a wow factor to rival that of its Modern younger sibling, celebrating instead the Neoclassical character and charm of the original building. Architects Caruso St John have exposed the Upper Rotunda balcony and Dome closed off since the 1920s, made accessible by a whimsical spiral staircase, inspired perhaps by ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The circular space is totally unique, very roomy and faintly wacky. The 14-metre long bar serves sandwiches, snacks, hot and cold drinks and alcohol. A good place to relax after taking in an exhibition although it should be noted that service was a bit disorganized, and access to the area was not restricted to members only.

Film review: Interstellar

Watchable sci-fi lite space adventure from Christopher Nolan. America is a giant 1930s style dustbowl and mankind is facing famine. Matthew McConaughey plays an ex-NASA pilot turned farmer who chances upon a secret plan to save everyone and so dumps his kids for the chance of some real action. Disappointing script, riddled with holes. Read The Death of Grass by John Christopher for a more subversive take on famine and the end of civilisation.

Late Turner: Painting Set Free at Tate Britain, SW1

An excellent review of the visionary artist’s late years from 1835, at the ripe age of 60, until his death in 1851; detailing a period of heightened creativity for Turner, and his thirst for innovation, with an eye to the past. The exhibition is a definite crowd pleaser. But, back in the day, Turner had the critics up in arms by pushing the boundaries of painting towards abstraction. This is an unmissable opportunity to see his late works up close, while they shed light on his inscrutable character: I was awestruck by the sublime ‘Sunset with Sea Monsters’(1845), moved by the tragic ‘A Disaster at Sea’ (1835) and rather appalled at the series of Whaling pictures (1845-6). Ends 25 January 2015.

Here Lies Love at the National Theatre

There are good tunes and good performances in Here Lies Love.  And while the story may lack depth, this version of the life of Imelda Marcus is entertaining and engaging.   But in trying to create an “experience” David Byrne and Alex Timbers have created a staging which distracts rather than enthrals.  The gallery of the double decked audience spends the fast paced ninety minutes staring down at…

Turner Prize 2014, Tate Britain

God. What a deeply disappointing affair this is. Four talking heads look up their own backsides (or in the case of James Richards someone else’s backside). First year art school stuff. Avoid. Go instead to see the some real Turners, also on at the Tate B.