Happy New Year!
Here at Grazia HQ we cannot wait to plan the year ahead. We're already eagerly anticipating must-see exhibitions, new film releases and the return of our favourite television series.
Still seeking inspiration? We've turned our deskside chatter into a definitive round-up of the things we're looking forward to most this year. Have a read and start pencilling these need-to-remember dates down in your newly purchased 2017 diaries.
Stranger Things Series 2
Bring on the Netflix binges
I have to admit I was pretty late to the Stranger Things party. Sci-fi has never really been my bag. But then there I was - 2am on a Tuesday morning, devouring the hit Netflix show in one sitting, not giving a damn I had to get up just hours later for work. I won’t spoil it for anyone that hasn’t watched it yet - PS: WATCH IT! - but this show completely lived up to the hype, and more. Winona Ryder (‘nuff said).
The coolest crop of kids on TV. A killer ‘80s synth soundtrack and a storyline that keeps you hooked until the very end. OF COURSE there would be another series (reportedly returning in July). Sorry to my mates in advance, but if it’s a choice between a summer minibreak and back-to-back episodes of ST S2, there’s no contest.
Until then, BRB while I google some fan conspiracy theories…
Emma Firth - Freelance Writer
Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Is one of your New Year's resolutions to read more?
Arundhati Roy wrote one of my favourite books of all time: The Good of Small Things. Partially auto-biographical, it is the most beautiful piece of literature I have ever – and am confident, will ever – read.
Thank goodness it received worldwide acclaim, won the 1997 Booker Prize for Fiction, was listed as the New York Times Notable Books of the Year that year, and became one of the five best books according to Time that year too. Because if not, it might not have made it onto a university literature course ten years later where I had no choice but to read it. (I had tried a few years earlier but given up after Page Two because, well, I was young and foolish back then.)
In spite of the novel's success, however, Arundhati has not written another since. IMAGINE MY SADNESS. She is, in fact, now best-known as a political activist. Having won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2004, Time 100 listed her amongst the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. In view of this, Arundhati's novel writing has been left un-inked for the last 20 years... until now.
This June will see the publication of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati's second novel. To say I could throw up with excitement is, believe it or not, a dramatic understatement. I would never want to wish away any of life's precious time, but I do sort of wish June would, hmm, pay us a visit right now. Because in it is the arrival of what I am certain will be my second favourite book of all time.
Edwina Langley - Freelance Writer
Haim’s second album
The sister act are set to make a comeback this year
Whether I’d love them quite so much if I wasn’t one of three sisters myself is beside the point: it’s been more than three years since the Haim girls arrived with their debut Days Are Gone, all shimmering guitars and great hair, which feels like about five centuries ago in music terms. After teasing news of a follow-up album, they’ve now pushed the release date back to sometime in 2017.
Here’s hoping there’s a Taylor Swift collaboration in there somewhere - and speaking of which, we’re way overdue new music from Swifty, who has always been so scrupulously regimented with her release dates. Will this be the year she does a Beyoncé?
Haim’s second album will be released later this year, date TBA
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Hands up who's looking forward to the next instalment?
I’m not ashamed to say that since The Force Awakens arrived in 2015, my years have been implicitly organised around the Star Wars release calendar. Episode VIII doesn’t have a title yet, but according to Adam Driver (aka Kylo Ren, a definite contender for the Best Hair in the Galaxy award) has already hinted that the latest instalment will have a darker feel.
After the sad death of franchise legend Carrie Fisher, there’s something of a question mark hanging over VIII – it will be one of Carrie’s final performances, and it’s not yet clear how future films will accommodate her loss. On a brighter note, though, we all need that John Boyega – Oscar Isaac (the other contender for Best Hair) bromance back in our lives. Guys, it’s been too long.
Star Wars: Episode VIII arrives in cinemas on 15 December 2017
Katie Rosseinsky - Digital Writer
NORTH: Identity, Fashion, Photography
The exhibition will take place from 6 January to 19 March
As a Yorkshire girl born and bred, I’ve often questioned why there has never been an exhibition which really delves into the north of England’s influence on fashion and visual culture.
To me, the cultural influences of the north are undeniable from our recent nostalgic re-invention of eighties-inspired athleisure to the lasting impact of Manchester's music scene - the region’s homespun aesthetic and leverage deserves to be celebrated. So of course I was thrilled to see that NORTH: Identity, Fashion, Photography was in the works.
Photograph by Alice Hawkins, Derrin Crawford & Demi Leigh Cruickshank in 'The Liver Birds' LOVE magazine, Liverpool, 2012
The exhibition, co-curated by Editor-In-Large of SHOWstudio Lou Stoppard and Manchester-based academic Adam Murray, explores the impact that the North of England’s music scene, club culture and hard-to-pin style has had on the fashion sphere.
The exhibition will unpick the cultural codes and aesthetic we associate with the north and in turn debunk any myths or social constructs the media conveys.
Expect to find the work of image-makers Alasdair McLellan, Corinne Day and Nick Knight alongside pieces from influential designers Raf Simons and Paul Smith, as the exhibition explores how the north first entered fashion discourse.
Raf Simons AW 2003 Image courtesy of Raf Simons
The display also aims to de-construct northern identity through memorable magazine spreads which include photographer Glen Luchford’s early prints.
Here’s to proving it’s not so grim up north after all.
The exhibition runs from 6 January to 19 March at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
Danielle Fowler - Junior Digital Writer
Angels in America at the National Theatre
I am a huge fan of the theatre, and there is a buzz around one show in particular this year that is almost palpable.
Set in 1980s New York, Angels in America is the hotly-anticipated revival of critically-acclaimed play written by Tony Kushner about the AIDS crisis under Reagan administration. The social commentary tells the story of six people whose lives intertwine, and deals with the politics of gay sex, religion, life and death, and heaven and hell.
A play in two parts – and with several adaptations already existing (including a TV miniseries starring Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson) – this is the first time both parts will be fused together in a mammoth endeavour.
The play’s talented cast includes Andrew Garfield (The Social Network and The Amazing Spider-Man), Denise Gough (People Places and Things), Nathan Lane (The Producers), James McArdle (The Young Chekhov Season) and Russell Tovey (Being Human).
Angels in America is directed by the incomparable Olivier and Tony Award winning director Marianne Elliot, whose other work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse – two shows I adored. Much like Elliot’s previous work, the iconic story of Angels in America will be brought to life on the stage with impressive set-design and elaborate physical theatre.
Previews of the most talked-about show of 2017 will begin on 11 April.
The 'Comoran Strike' Screen Adaptation
2017 is set to be a great year for television
To satisfy my fondness for crime fiction à la Agatha Christie, a TV series is set to grace our screens this year that has all the ingredients to make a great murder mystery - and happens to be an adaptation of a book series I loved.
The presently untitled ‘Strike Series’ will be based on JK Rowling’s bestselling three-part book series, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The BBC series will star War and Peace actor Tom Burke as Comoran Strike – the war veteran turned private detective – and Holliday Grainger (from Great Expectations and The Finest Hours) as Strike’s secretary Robin Ellacott.
Each novel – The Cuckoos Calling, The Silkworm, and Career of Evil – centres around a different crime which Strike, with the help of Robin, must solve. No tricks or gimmicks here, just the classic charming formula traditional to the cosy whodunits of the golden age, translated into the bustle of the modern-day metropolis that is London. Not forgetting to mention that I feel the casting director has screnshotted my imagination when selecting Burke and Grainger to portray the titular character and his sidekick...reader expectations are so far fulfilled.
Each novel will be split into two or three hour-long episodes, and although filming for The Cuckoo’s Calling began in London last autumn there is yet an official release date to put in our diaries (though I'm guessing it'll be around wintertime).
If you haven’t already read the books you might want to get started, as, not one to do things by halves, Rowling is already writing more...I can tell this is going to be a highlight of the television calendar.
Ellie Wiseman - Digital Graduate Trainee
READ MORE: How To Make Your New Year's Resolutions Last