2018 Guide for Cultural Philistines – January


Did you spend 2017 having your ears chewed off by a selection of ‘friends’ insisting “you’ve just gotta see [enter acclaimed TV show here]”? Fear not former philistine; HND Insider is here to cover all your cultural needs for 2018. We’ll help you stay ahead of the windbags with a month by month guide to some of the most interesting cultural happenings this year, starting with…

January 2018

Forget resolutions you can’t keep, and simply turn up to or watch the things we outline below for a winning start to the year.


If you’re looking to up your cultural game in 2018, you’ll find the upcoming Planet Harmonik event at the Barbican will have even your hipster friends swooning in second-hand corduroy admiration. Mixing traditional Indonesian instruments with ancient philosophical concept Musica Universalis, the concert sees composer, instrument-maker and gamelan expert Aloysius Suwardi delivering his show for the first time outside of Indonesia. Either that or you could see Lady Gaga.


How does “an edgy vision of millennial lunacy” sound? That’s how Indiewire described upcoming film Like Me. This one’s so indie, it doesn’t even have a UK release date yet; it is slated for January 2018 in the US; we hope it arrives here sometime soon. The story sees a young woman preoccupied with the need to become ‘YouTube famous’; what follows is a low-budget, high-neon piece of experimental cinema.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for big screen glitz, Molly’s Game tells the true story of Molly Bloom – the woman responsible for running the “hottest private card game in LA and New York.” This film happens to be king of words Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, which means expect dialogue, dialogue and more dialogue. 


Sure, you could see The Lion King again, but aren’t we aiming a little higher in 2018? How does Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci sound? Until Tuesday, 9th January, the double-feature Italian opera is on show at the Royal Opera House in London. This unique production shares characters and location for each story, adding the director’s unique insight into the wider piece. But if opera sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry. There’s a cheat sheet here to help you get the most out of the performance.    


BBC drama McMafia has already started, so you may already be playing catch up with your buddies. This new drama is based on the best-selling book by journalist Misha Glenny and follows the son of a Russian mafia boss as he desperately seeks to sever ties to the criminal world. Expect a typically slick BBC production and some unfortunately hammy accents.

Now, sit back and bask in the warm glow of your friends’ admiration.


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