The fun doesn’t stop just because Christmas is over! It’s 2017 and London has plenty to get the new year off to a good start, from the Magical Lantern Festival to the International Mime Festival and The Adventure Travel Show, it’s time to rediscover that lust for life…
Lead Image: Magical Lantern Festival London
1 Muted at The Bunker, until 7 January
Muted, a new musical by Interval Productions, was described by Stephen Fry as ‘stunning’ and by Mark Shenton (The Stage) as the British equivalent to Rent. Written by Sarah Henley, with music and lyrics by Tim Prottey-Jones and Tori Allen-Martin, Muted tells the story of teenager Michael Brookman, an exceptional singer whose band is on the brink of stardom. But after the sudden death of his mother, he quits the band and stops speaking entirely. Three years on, Michael still hasn’t uttered a word. The band’s shot at the big time finally comes along, but the record label wants Michael back as frontman. Michael’s ex-girlfriend attempts to bring Michael back from the edge, and in doing so unearths uncomfortable truths… Tickets £22.50.
53A Southwark Street, London Bridge SE1 1RU; bunkertheatre.com
2 The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair takes place at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square from 5-8 January. Into its fifth year, it attracts a global audience of collectors.
3 London Boat Show at ExCel
ExCel will once again host the iconic London Boat Show from 6-15 January, offering visitors a unique insight into what will be the most sought-after nautical products and upcoming watersports trends for the year ahead. Over 300 exhibitors will be on show, with some launching previously unseen creations.
4 Bowie by Duffy at Proud Chelsea
6 January-5 February
Proud Chelsea presents Bowie by Duffy, a celebration of the dynamic relationship between two of our greatest artistic innovators. This exhibition of original prints signed by the late Brian Duffy, running from 6 January-5 February, emphasise the longevity of David Bowie’s distinctive persona on the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday.
161 King’s Road SW3 5XP; proud.co.uk
5 Peter Pan: A New Adventure, Greenwich Theatre
Now until 8 January
News has reached us that everyone’s favourite villain, Anthony Spargo, will again be appearing in the Greenwich Theatre pantomime as Captain Hook in Peter Pan: A New Adventure. Spargo will be remembered – and still loudly hissed at – for his dastardly portrayal of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. The pantomime runs until 8 January.
Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk
6 Dazzle at gallery@oxo
Now until 10 January
Showcasing over 80 contemporary designers from across Europe, Dazzle is a jewellery exhibition that will have something for everyone. On now until January at gallery@oxo, there will be new names on the block alongside internationally acclaimed designers.
Bargehouse Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; dazzle-exhibitions.com
7 London International Mime Festival
9 January-4 February
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the London International Mime Festival runs over 34 days from 9 January, where 17 companies will give 120 performances at a host of London venues including the Barbican and Southbank Centre.
8 Thick Time by William Kentridge, Whitechapel Gallery
Now until 15 January
Known for his loud, expressionist drawings and films that explore the concept of time, history, colonialism and politics, William Kentridge is back with six huge installations that weave themes of revolution, exile and scientific advancement into music and drama. The Thick Time show is Kentridge’s first major public UK show in over 15 years and is one not to be missed. He explores the theory of time with a unique range of perspectives with nods to the universe and the history of life. Visit Whitechapel Gallery before this exhibition closes on 15 January and prepare to be blown away.
77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1 7QX; 020 7522 7888; whitechapelgallery.org
9 Antiques for Everyone at ExCel
Antiques for Everyone will be launching in London for the first time from 13-15 January at ExCel. The new fair will offer a huge range of choice within the art, antiques and interiors market to suit all tastes.
10 Winter Lights Festival, Canary Wharf
January’s dark evenings are set to be illuminated throughout Canary Wharf by angels, glowing graffiti and floating poetry, revealed by state-of-the-art light technology. For the third year running, the free Winter Lights Festival will bring spectacular artworks, installations and experiences to Canary Wharf, many of them interactive or responsive. As a collection the 30 pieces showcase works by some of the most inventive and exciting international artists working with Light Art today. In conjunction with the Winter Lights Festival 2017, an exhibition by artist Lillian Lijn featuring spectacular sculptural works using light will be on display in the Lobby of One Canada Square from 8 January to 17 March 2017.
11 The Collector, Greenwich Theatre
Top satire writer Henry Naylor – a leading member of ITV’s Spitting Image team – went to Afghanistan to research a hard-hitting comedy but came back a changed man to write his first serious drama, The Collector. Set in Mazrat Prison in Iraq, is a dark and challenging story about ordinary people debased by the situation in the Middle East. ‘The play is less about the politics and more about the effects of global events on ordinary people,’ said Henry. ‘The man running the prison wants to bring the West’s liberal values to Iraq but is gradually corrupted by the situation and allows guards in the camp to behave appallingly. He’s also helpless in face of the CIA and other agencies. The characters start as decent people trying to do their best but then get corrupted, and I think part of the appeal to audiences so far is people wondering, what would I do in that situation?’ Tickets £18.50.
Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk
12 Land & Sea III, Thackeray Gallery
17 January-3 February
Land & Sea III is a group exhibition of Thackeray Gallery Artists. The annual group show, running from 17 January until 3 February 2017, features new works by Gordon Bryce RSA RSW, Vanessa Gardiner, Anthony Garratt, Iwan Gwyn Parry RCA, Michael Honnor, Eleri Mills, Lewis Noble, Ann Oram RSW, Gareth Parry RCA, Matthew Snowden and Ethel Walker. While inspired by past masters, Thackeray Gallery’s artists have their own unique interpretations of the land and sea, creating contemporary, engaging land and seascapes. Their styles are varied from impasto oils and acrylics to watercolours painted on anything from gessoed panels, aluminium sheets, paper, linen, canvas, and reclaimed timber.
18 Thackeray Street, Kensington W8 5ET; 020 7937 5883; thackeraygallery.com
13 Moscow City Ballet presents Romeo & Juliet Overview
A classical treat has been announced for the Richmond Theatre in the form of the portrayal of Romeo and Juliet by the Moscow City Ballet. Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is the perfect marriage of a dramatic musical score with a passionate love story – every dancer’s dream. The choreography, interpretation and outstandingly athletic performances complement the famous tragic love story. According to some, Moscow City Ballet is currently at its artistic best, with outstanding principals, stunning soloists and a sublime corps de ballet too.
Little Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ; atgtickets.com
14 Beazley Designs of the Year at the new Design Museum
Now until 19 January
A coffee cup for astronauts, the David Bowie Blackstar album cover and a sexual health testing kit… Beazley Designs of the Year will form part of the opening programme of exhibitions at the Design Museum’s new home on Kensington High Street. Comprising over 70 nominations, the exhibition celebrates the best designs from around the world.
224-238 Kensington High Street W8 6AG; 020 3862 5900; designmuseum.org
15 The London Art Fair at Islington’s Business Design Centre
The London Art Fair, the UK’s premier fair for Modern British and contemporary art, returns to Islington’s Business Design Centre from 18-22 January. The 2017 Fair will see over 125 galleries showcase the very best contemporary and modern art from the UK and around the world.
16 Magical Lantern Festival London
19 January-26 February
It’s that time of year again. Time to embrace the bitter nights and head out to watch the night sky light up for the annual Chiswick Magical Lantern Festival extravaganza. Held at Chiswick House and Gardens, the Magical Lantern Festival is visually spectacular, incorporating an artistic installation of beautifully sculpted life-size and giant lanterns designed in various forms from animals and birds to buildings and abstract lantern designs of all shapes and sizes. The theme for this year is Explore the Silk Road. Adults from £16.50; kids from £10.50.
Chiswick House, Conservatory Yard W4 2QN; magicallanternuk/london
17 Adventure Travel Show, Olympia London
Olympia London is hosting the 21st year of the UK’s only event dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track – the Adventure Travel Show. With over 100 free talks to choose from, plus an adventure travel film festival, there is so much to inspire. Whatever your travel style – small group, volunteering, career break, trekking, diving, safari or cycling – you’re sure to find an adventure to suit you here. So if you love getting away from it all, then don’t miss your chance to immerse yourself in a whole weekend of adventure travel on 21-22 January.
Olympia London, Hammersmith Road W14 8UX; adventureshow.com
18 The France Show, Olympia
Every January the enduring British love affair with France is celebrated over three days at The France Show, which brings the best of France to Britain. As well as the widest selection of food and drink to buy and inspirational travel ideas, you’ll also get a genuine insight into the enviable French lifestyle. Organised by leading publisher Archant, The France Show is a firm fixture in the calendar of ardent Francophiles, while also attracting those curious about visiting France and buying French products. Open 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday. Tickets £16 on the door, £12 in advance.
19 Pablo Picasso’s portraits, National Portrait Gallery
Now until 5 February 2017
Pablo Picasso’s portraits epitomise the astonishing variety and innovation of his art. This major exhibition of over 80 works focuses on the artist’s portrayal of family, friends and lovers, and reveals his creative processes as he moved freely between drawing from life, humorous caricature and expressive painting from memory.
St Martin’s Place WC2H 0HE; 020 7306 0055; npg.org.uk
20 Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings & Drawings at Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Now until 12 February
Opening on 8 December, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery will present an exhibition of paintings and drawings by the late, great Zaha Hadid. Widely regarded as a pioneering and visionary architect, this exhibition, first conceived by Hadid herself, will reveal her as an artist with drawing at the very heart of her work. Admission free.
West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens W2 2AR; serpentinegalleries.org
21 Winter Show at Plus One Gallery, Battersea
24 January-25 February
Brooklyn-born artist Ben Schonzeit is a pioneer in photorealism. He’s a dab hand with the airbrush, and his paintings are often also enhanced by traditional brushstrokes, as with this example of acrylic on linen, Lake Placid Bouquet. Often on polyester canvas, his brightly coloured arrays of fruit, vegetables and flowers are intentionally slightly out of focus. Don’t miss the chance to invest in his work or that of the 41 other artists exhibiting at the Winter Show at the Plus One Gallery in Battersea, including sculpture and seascapes.
22 British and Continental Pictures & Prints auction at 25 Blythe Road
Fertile hunting ground for picture gems spanning 300 years, 25 Blythe Road’s British and Continental Picture auction on 25 January will be run by Harry Moore-Gwyn, who is an expert at spotting talent from all eras. The auction will be a combination of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and lithographs from the 18th century to the 20th century. 25 Blythe Road, an auction house consisting mainly of ex-Sotheby’s specialists, is an ideal place to start your collection as it features competitive pricing.
25 Blythe Road W14 0PD; 020 7806 5541; 25blytheroad.com
23 Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, Ben Brown Fine Arts
Now until 26 January
Running until 26 January, Ben Brown Fine Arts presents Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, a major exhibition devoted to the wonderful and whimsical work of the French artists. The two met in Paris in 1952 and began working and exploring the natural world together through sculpture. Whilst very distinct in their styles, together they created a world of fantasy and, in many ways, their work defies categorisation.
12 Brook’s Mews W1K 4DG; 020 7734 8888; benbrownfinearts.com
24 The Picture of Dorian Gray at Clapham Omnibus
Award-winning company Box Tale Soup presents Oscar Wilde’s story of evil and debauchery, The Picture of Dorian Gray, featuring puppetry and a powerful original soundtrack at Omnibus in Clapham Saturday 28 January at 7.30pm.
25 The Girls at Phoenix Theatre
From 28 January
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, The Girls, will open at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre on 28 January. The Girls is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital.
26 The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells, 6 December-29 January
Nothing quite says Christmas like a Matthew Bourne production at Sadler’s Wells, and his company New Adventures will be staging The Red Shoes there from 6 December-29 January. A beloved fairytale and Academy Award-winning film, The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world.
27 Patrick Hughes, 45 Park Lane
Now until 30 January
45 Park Lane welcomes world renowned British artist, Patrick Hughes, as part of its constantly changing programme of art exhibitions. Until 30 January we can all see why Hughes has achieved recognition for his lifelong exploration of perspective and visual paradox, showing why he is a leading light of contemporary British art.
45 Park Lane W1K 1PN; 020 7493 4545; dorchestercollection.com
28 Joe McElderry in Joseph at New Wimbledon Theatre
31 January-4 February
Joe McElderry, the X Factor star who more recently appeared in The Jump, will don a technicolour dreamcoat this month for the 2017 tour of Joseph. Coming to the New Wimbledon Theatre from Tuesday 31 January to Saturday 4 February, it’s a vibrant retelling of the biblical story that is not to be missed.
29 Saint Joan with Gemma Arterton, Donmar Warehouse
Now until 18 February
Gemma Arterton will star in Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Josie Rourke’s revival of Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan. Running until 18 February, this takes a new look at the legend of Joan: daughter, farm girl, visionary, patriot, soldier, leader, icon, radical, witch, heretic, saint… You decide.
41 Earlham Street WC2H 9LX; 0844 871 7624; donmarwarehouse.com
30 Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, now until 26 February
Amaluna, one of the most successful shows in Cirque du Soleil’s 20-year UK history, is currently running at the Royal Albert Hall featuring two brand new acts: a mesmerising performance from Unicycles and the astonishing Banquine, who will present the highest ever stunt performed without safety harnesses. Prepare for a tale of castaway romance, plus mind-blowing acrobatics – it’s showtime!
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com/tickets
31 Painters’ Painters, Saatchi Gallery
Now until 28 February
Featuring nine of the world’s most exciting and established artists, all handpicked by Charles Saatchi, Painters’ Painters runs at the Saatchi Gallery until 28 February. Exhibiting artists include Turner Prize nominee Dexter Dalwood, Richard Aldrich, whose work is influenced by everything from French philosophy to Kanye West, and David Brian Smith (work pictured below), who Tracey Emin says inspires her.
32 Am I Rembrandt? Dulwich Picture Galley
Now until March 2017
Am I Rembrandt? at the Dulwich Picture Galley explores how curators and conservators work together to investigate a painting’s authorship. X-ray and technical analysis of two paintings by Rembrandt – A Young Man, perhaps the Artist’s Son Titus, and the National Trust’s recently reattributed Self-portrait wearing a White Feathered Bonnet – will demonstrate how stylistically different works can be attributed to the same artist.
Gallery Road SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk
33 Wot u 🙂 about?, at Tate Britain
Now until 2 April
Wot u 🙂 about? is a new exhibition at Tate Britain, bringing together new works by the contemporary artist Rachel Maclean. The exhibition, on until 2 April, is focused on the commercialisation of data management, beauty and wellbeing, and presents a dark reality in a colour aesthetic.
34 Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity
Now until 17 April
Emma Hamilton will always be remembered as the mistress who captured the heart of the nation’s hero, Horatio Nelson. However, this is only one part of her extraordinary life. Hamilton captivated Europe with her beauty and achievements, and was feted by Kings and Queens. Yet, in the end, she was imprisoned for debt and died in exile in Calais. Her compelling story will be explored at the National Maritime Museum until 17 April 2017, through over 200 objects, many of which will be on show for the first time ever.
Park Row SE10 9NF; 020 8858 4422; rmg.co.uk/emmahamilton
35 Adventures in Moominland, Part of Nordic Matters at Southbank Centre
Now until 23 April 2017
The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914-2001) and The Moomins is brought to life in a major new immersive, interactive exhibition Adventures in Moominland. The exhibition features recreations of scenes from Moominland and over 40 original drawings and archive materials from Tove’s studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu. The show is part of Nordic Matters – a year-long exploration of Nordic art and culture at Southbank Centre running throughout 2017. Recommended for ages 7+.
Spirit Level at Southbank Centre‘s Royal Festival Hall
36 The Radical Eye, now until 7 May
Modernist photography from the Sir Elton John collection goes on show. Opening on 10 November and running over the festive period, Tate Modern presents a major new exhibition drawn from one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography. Featuring over 150 works from more than 60 artists, The Radical Eye consists entirely of rare vintage prints from the stunning collection of Sir Elton John, all created by the artists themselves.
Level 2, Switch House, Bankside SE1 9TG; tate.org.uk