Natalie Li provides a guide to events coming up in the next six months
Despite a 7% slash in grants to the arts last year in the UK, there's lots to look forward to. Unconventional theatre settings, night-time fun at the museum, and Hollywood stars on the London stage. Plus the two most talked about films of the year
The actor and vocalist heads to the UK this spring, with songs from his critically well-received album, 20/20 Experience, which has sold more than 3.5 million worldwide. The album has reached platinum status in three other countries as well as gold status in nine others.
March/April, across the UK
Manic Street Preachers
The Welsh trio kick off their UK comeback tour in Leeds (ending in London) with songs from their current album Rewind the Film, and a selection from their previous ten studio albums. They will preview tracks from their next album Futurology, which the band have described as an "electro stomp".
March/April, across the UK
Strauss' 150th anniversary 2014
The 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss will be celebrated across the world in 2014. To mark the birth of the German composer the Philharmonia Orchestra will perform at the Royal Festival Hall. Highlights include Strauss' Don Juan and his one-act opera Salome (27 February); an afternoon concert of A Hero's Taleon (23 March), and Till Eulenspiegel (5 June).
Southbank, London, Feb-June
The Wolf of Wall Street
This black comedy has been widely lauded as Martin Scorsese's best offering since Goodfellas. Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured below) plays real-life New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort in this debauched rise-and-fall tale of life in the financial world of nineties New York.
Nationwide, out now.
12 Years A Slave
Steve McQueen's brutal depiction of slavery in pre-Civil War America has already won best film drama at the Golden Globes this year and is set to be one of the most-talked about films of 2014. This adaptation is taken from the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a freeborn black American family man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and shipped to the South and sold to the owner of a plantation in 1841.
Back in selected cinemas more than nine decades after its original release, this silent comedy film sees Buster Keaton playing Johnny Gray, a train driver stuck between two warring armies. This 4K digital restoration is worth catching while you can.
Museums at Night
Museums, galleries and heritage sites will throw open their doors after hours in an event funded by the Arts Council England. This year expect more nationwide site performance art, live music, poetry reading, talks and treasure trails. A chance to discover new exhibitions and engage in a range of fun and quirky activities.
Nationwide, 15-17 May
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
This first major, theatrically-staged exhibition devoted to the French fashion designer will feature his avant-garde creations which have earned him a place in history. It will include iconic costumes for film and performance from the early 1970s to the present day. Expect to see Madonna's infamous conical bra and corsets worn during her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour and stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue.
Barbican, Art Gallery, London
9 April-17 August
Discoveries: Art, Science and Exploration from University of Cambridge Museums
Little-known treasures will be displayed in the extraordinary interiors of Two Temple Place on London's Embankment, bringing together the fascinating collections from all eight University of Cambridge museums. The exhibition is about the idea of 'discovery', displaying objects that span millennia; from artworks to scientific artefacts, historic instruments to rare zoological specimens.
Two Temple Place, London
31 January - 27 April
Theatre & dance
A Streetcar Named Desire
Former X-Files star Gillian Anderson makes her return to London theatre as she takes on Tennessee William's fragile and complex Blanche DuBois. The play follows Blanche's breakdown after she moves in with her sister and is tormented by her violent brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. The Young Vic will also welcome Olivier award-winning stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson as she plays Winnie in Samuel Beckett's surreal masterpiece Happy Days, directed by Natalie Abrahami (until March 8).
The Young Vic, London
Wayne McGregor: The Art of Fugue
Contemporary ballet meets baroque music as award-winning British choreographer and director Wayne McGregor fuses his latest work, The Art of Fugue, for The Royal Ballet to the music of Bach arranged by Michael Berkeley. McGregor is internationally renowned for his physically testing choreography and groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, visual art, technology, science and music.
Royal Opera House, London
Shakespeare's dark tragedy takes a new twist as theatre collective Rift bring the story to a secret location from dusk till dawn. Defying traditional staging, audiences can watch as witches conjure up evil in an underground car park, and even bed down in Macbeth's castle on the 27th floor of a tower block. Leave the imagination bit to the organisers, this enthralling and ambitious staging simply requires stamina.
Secret location tbc
4 April - 31 May, London