Film: Star Trek Into Darkness

Filmmaker JJ Abrams is living the geek dream – growing up loving Stars Trek and Wars and sci-fi in general, he is now directing new installments to the very films he was weaned on. With this follow-up to his 2009 Trek reinvention, he promised bigger, bolder and more ambitious – and has delivered in spades.

Into Darkness is everything that a blockbuster action spectacle should be – funny and yet with serious dramatic stakes; epic in scale and yet intimate; with pulse-quickening action set pieces alongside a genuinely emotionally engaging story.

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg | 12A | 127mins | Out now 

Film: The Great Gatsby

A stellar cast, one of the most outlandish, extravagant directors in the movies, Baz Luhrmann, and F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel – what could go wrong? A six month release delay worried, but it’s crunch time now for Baz’s epic summer event movie. Fingers crossed. See our review here next week.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton | 12A | 147mins | On General release May 16


Film: Fast and Furious 6

It’s vehicular warfare in this sixth installment in the tits ‘n’ cars going really, really fast franchise. How they got this far with a series so lacking in depth is surprising, but this new offering does deliver all the miles per hour stunts and high-speed automotive carnage you’d expect (as well as Vin Diesel, The Rock, etc) and a bunch of it was filmed in London, too. 

On general release May 17

Theatre: Merrily We Roll Along

Bittersweet, hauntingly melodic, touching and witty, this production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1981 Broadway flop – about the deteriorating 19-year-old friendship between movie producer Franklin Shepard and his collaborator – is unmissable for those wanting more from a musical than a band’s back catalogue. LK

Harold Pinter Theatre Panton Street, SW1Y 4DN.
Until July 27. £10+  
Tube | Piccadilly Circus


Theatre: Ballo

Having snatched a Best New Opera Olivier Award for La Boheme in 2011, Aussie-born director Adam Spreadbury-Maher continues making his artform accessible with this irreverent take on Giuseppe Verdi’s A Masked Ball for OperaUpClose. It’s a fun way to enjoy opera free from the usual formality (and expense). LK

King’s Head Theatre Upper Street, N1 1QN.
Until May 25. £10+ 
Tube | Angel

Comedy: Eddie Pepitone – Electrified

A balled-up rage of anger, frustration and dismay, channelled through his comedic mind, Eddie is a stand-up star. Corporate’s lack of morals, the debasing of US culture through sitcom moronity, the dismantling of the working class, and the wonder that can be found in a kitten’s purr. Philosophical, sweet and passionate.

Soho Theatre 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE.
Until May 25. £10+  
Tube | Tott Crt Rd


Exhibition: George Bellows – Modern American Life

This is the first retrospective of US realist painter George Bellows (1882-1925) to be held in the UK and it boasts 70 works that look at American life in the 20th century. Bellows had a fascination with New York and its urban landscape, people and developments focus heavily in this wonderful exhibition. 

Royal Academy of Arts W1J OBD.
Until June 9. £11 
Tube | Piccadilly Circus


Photos: Tristram Kenton; Mindy Tucker; Grace Harper Brighouse