The fun doesn’t stop just because Christmas is over! It’s 2018 and London has plenty to get the new year off to a good start, from Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party to the International Mime Festival and London’s best new theatre
Lead Image: Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party
1 Christmas by the River, London Bridge
Until 3 January
With an impressive sprinkling of chalet-style stalls packed with everything from pretty trinkets and tree decorations to cockle-warming drinks and comfort food, Christmas by the River is not to be missed. Head to Doughnut Time for mouth-watering sweet treats and stock up on thoughtfully designed cashmere scarves at The Little Tibet.
London Bridge SE1 2DB; visitlondon.com
2 Ink, Duke of York’s Theatre
Until 6 January
Fleet Street. 1969. A young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asks the impossible and launches The Sun’s first editor’s quest: to give the people what they want – no matter the cost. Following a sell-out season at the Almeida, Ink – written by James Graham (This House) and directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III) – transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season from 9 September. With a cast featuring Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Matilda) and Richard Coyle (The Associate, The Lover), this ruthless, red-topped new play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper.
St Martin’s Lane WC2N 4BG; 0844 871 7623; inktheplay.com
3 Alice in Winterland at Rose Theatre
Until 7 January
Adapted and directed by Ciaran McConville from Lewis Carroll’s timeless tale, Alice in Winterland will enchant children and grown ups alike. The brand new production – which features professional actors as well as members of the Rose Youth Theatre – follows curious Alice as she embarks on a quest to save Winterland – a mysterious world of ice and imagination. Tickets start at £15.
24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL; rosetheatrekingston.org
4 Mischief Movie Night at Mischief Theatre
Until 7 January
The West End hit show has returned for another season of laughs and suspense. Mischief Movie Night is an improvised live show including cast members Josh Elliot as Not Sure, Dave Hearn as Uncertain, Harry Kershaw as No Idea, Henry Lewis as Don’t Know Yet, Ellie Morris as Couldn’t Tell You, Charlie Russell as TBC, Jonathan Sayer as Who Knows and Henry Shields as Guess Who. They will be joined onstage by musicians Chris Ash and Richard Baker. Tickets are priced at £17.50pp.
Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport Street WC2H 7JB; mischieftheatre.co.uk
5 Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum
Until 7 January
Set against the stunning backdrop of one of London’s best-loved landmarks, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink will be open to skaters throughout the winter period. Perfect for families, friends and couples alike to spend some time on the ice getting during the holidays and beyond (when no doubt we’ll all need to skate off a mince pie or several…).
Cromwell Road, Kensington SW7 5BD; nhmskating.com
6 La Caravane at Somerset House
Until 7 January
Somerset House and 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair present Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane, a homecoming exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works. The exhibition will be the first UK solo show of his work in seven years, fusing North African culture with familiar Western imagery and iconography.
Somerset House WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
7 Iconoclasts: Art out of the Mainstream, Saatchi Gallery
Until 7 January
Saatchi Gallery presents Iconoclasts: Art out of the Mainstream, a major new exhibition featuring the work of 13 contemporary artists. Iconoclasts explores the experimental and often transformational practices of a small group of groundbreaking artists, inviting us to engage anew with what modern day iconoclasm might be. By using a myriad of unusual image-making practices – from branding imagery onto human skin to sculpting curving structures out of crow feathers – these artists are breaking the mould, ushering in a new age of artistic defiance.
8 Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition, Oxo Tower Wharf
Until 7 January
Dazzle Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition returns to London for the 36th year and its 5th year at gallery@oxo. Get your Christmas shopping done early at Dazzle’s Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition, which champions innovation and experimentation, showing a mix of exciting new talent hand picked from graduate shows alongside established international designers. This year is no different for innovation, experimentation and pushing the sector’s boundaries working with new mediums such as 3D printing.
Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank SE1 9PH; dazzle-exhibitions.co.uk
9 Sir John Hurt season, BFI Southbank
In honour of the late great Sir John Hurt, BFI Southbank will host a dedicated film and television season, marking one year since the beloved actor passed away. John Hurt holds a significant place in film history and made an outstanding contribution to British film and television during his extensive career.
10 Re:Solutions at Juju’s Bar & Stage, Old Truman Brewery
Re:Solutions Festival invites wellness worshippers to join them in a celebration of health and wellbeing featuring thought-provoking speakers, health and fitness gurus, conscious food concessions and mindful meditation. Taking place at Juju’s Bar & Stage at the Old Truman Brewery, the festival is packed with a program of events from the likes of Sunday Assembly, Soul Sisters Fitness from Adidas Studio, Swing Patrol, Sambroso Sambroso and more for an ultra-cool, inspirational, motivating and fabulously fun kick start to the new year. Prices start at £25 for three classes, £42 for five classes and £90 for 10 classes. Early bird offer available with 10% off classes booked before 31 December.
15 Hanbury Street E1 6QR; jujusbarandstage.com
11 Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party
9 January-14 April
Stanley Webber (Toby Jones) is the only lodger at Meg (Zoë Wanamaker) and Petey Boles’ (Peter Wight) sleepy seaside boarding house. The unsettling arrival of enigmatic strangers Goldberg (Stephen Mangan) and McCann (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) disrupts the humdrum lives of the inhabitants and their friend Lulu (Pearl Mackie), and mundanity soon becomes menace when a seemingly innocent birthday party turns into a disturbing nightmare. Truth and alliances hastily shift in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, a brilliantly mysterious dark-comic masterpiece about the absurd terrors of the everyday.
The Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street SW1Y 4DN; thebirthdayparty.london
12 London Boat Show at ExCel
ExCel will once again host the iconic London Boat Show, which offers visitors a unique insight into what will be the most sought-after nautical products and upcoming watersports trends for the year ahead. Re-defined and re-imagined, this year’s world-famous show is set to be better than ever. Climb aboard classic boats and modern yachts, pick up the latest marine technology, spend quality time with some sailing legends and you can even get on the water indoors. Tickets from £15 (or £10 for late entry).
13 The London International Mime Festival, various venues
10 January-3 February
The London International Mime Festival, directed by Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig, is a unique event in the theatre calendar. The annual showcase of the very best and newest contemporary visual theatre embraces cutting edge circus, dance, physical theatre, juggling, object manipulation, physical comedy and productions that interweave theatre and film. The 2018 festival features 11 UK and 4 London premieres in 16 productions from Belgium, Finland, France, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK, performing at venues across London including the Soho Theatre.
14 The Mitfords, Greenwich Theatre
The six Mitford sisters lived in the 20th century and much of their varied lives are synchronous with major events that defined that time. Diana was married to Oswald Mosley and a lifelong fascist. Unity was a great close friend of Hitler’s. Jessica was a dyed-in-the-wool communist. Deborah became Duchess of Devonshire. Nancy was a well-loved novelist. Gail Louw’s astonishing one-woman tour de force follows four of the Mitford Sisters through the world-changing events of the 20th century. 7.30pm. Tickets £11.
Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk
15 Nature’s Alchemy at bo.lee, Peckham
Until 13 January
Following a four year search for a permanent space, bo.lee gallery has finally put down roots on in Peckham. The gallery is celebrating its new space with Nature’s Alchemy, a group exhibition featuring artists who use materials such as mud, blood and ash to explore patterns and symbolism found within nature. Alongside Land Art pioneer and Turner Prize winner Richard Long, and Royal Academicians Cornelia Parker MBE, David Mach and Peter Randall-Page, the exhibition will showcase works by mid-career artists whose use of natural materials evoke cycles of life and death. Open Weds-Sat 11am-6pm. Other times by appointment only.
222 Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4NL; bo-lee.co.uk
16 Kate Bellm at LAMB Arts, Mayfair
Until 13 January
Kate Bellm is one of the UK’s most exciting photographers and her new exhibition, Night Sky Rising at LAMB Arts in Mayfair, explores the wild beauty of nature through a surreal lens. Bellm is best known for her fashion photography and nudes, and Night Sky Rising will feature several nude portraits as well as photographs taken all over the world, from Iceland to New Zealand.
LAMB Arts, 10 White Horse Street W1J 7LJ; lamb-arts.com
17 #nofilter at Resolution 2018 Festival
#nofilter is a new piece of contemporary dance theatre that packs a punch! Part of Resolution festival at The Place in Euston, this fast-paced series of images, movement and dialogue ponders the curious and fantastical traits of millennial life; avocado on toast, cankle insecurity, Boomerang obsession… Comedic and relevant, #nofilter is loud, zesty and at times touchingly tender. Part of a trio of works starting at 8pm. £16. Resolution 2018 Festival runs from Friday 12 January until Friday 23 February.
17 Duke’s Road, Euston WC1H 9PY; theplace.org.uk
18 Winter Lights Festival, Canary Wharf
Lumiere London may be over, but January’s dark evenings continue to be illuminated with Canary Wharf Winter Light Festival, which features light graffiti, interactive light bubbles and flora light drawings. For the fourth year running, the spectacle will showcase over 30 works from some of the most innovative artists across the globe working in light art today, including several UK firsts. New commissions this year include Dazzling Dodecahedron, a beautiful 3D installation that you can enter and enjoy the total rainbow spectrum of colour, by UK artist Amberlights, as well as Halo, a giant halo suspended above the fountain in Cabot Square by Dutch artists Venividimultiplex. The illuminations can be discovered in an array of different locations, simply pick up a map when you arrive or download one from the website. 5pm-10pm. Free.
19 A History of Drawing, Camberwell College of Arts
16 January-16 February
A History of Drawing surveys the practice and teaching of drawing at Camberwell College of Arts over an 80 year period. Featuring the work of over 60 artists, this exhibition celebrates Camberwell’s past, and will shape making and critical debates about drawing for the future. The exhibition is characterised by an outward-looking approach as artists have increasingly explored drawing’s uses in fields beyond that of fine art, incorporating new technologies, politics and science.
45-65 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UF; arts.ac.uk/camberwell
20 Amadeus, National Theatre
From 19 January
Following a sell-out run last year, Amadeus returns to the Olivier Theatre at the National in 2018. Vienna: the music capital of the world. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrives determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent – or destroy it.
21 Fast & Furious Live, O2 Arena
Get ready to experience like never before the adrenaline-fuelled thrills of one of the top movie franchises built on speed. Fast & Furious Live, the all-new, ground-breaking arena show, takes audiences closer than ever to the films. Featuring the most advanced theatrical technology and all the famous hero cars from across eight action-packed feature films, this new Fast & Furious story unfolds before your own eyes.
22 Adventure Travel Show, Olympia London
Olympia London is hosting the 22nd year of the UK’s only event dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track – the Adventure Travel Show. Discover the hottest new destinations, gain top tips and advice from the experts, uncover hidden travel gems, enhance your skills with the Travel Photography, Travel Writing and the Adventure Planning Seminar (there are over 100 free talks to choose from), or immerse yourself in the Adventure Travel Film Festival. Day ticket £8, weekend ticket £12.
Olympia London, Hammersmith Road W14 8UX; adventureshow.com
23 Austentatious, Piccadilly Theatre
23 January and 13 February
In need of a laugh during the cold, dark winter season? Enjoy an improvised comedy play, starring a cast of the country’s sharpest comic performers, who conjure up a ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel. Whether you’ve read all of Jane Austin’s novels or none, Austentatious, a Jane Austen Comedy Play, is entertaining for all. With live music and intricate costumes, the show will be one you’ll never forget. Tickets start at £15.
16 Denman Street W1D 7DY; austentatiousimpro.com
24 Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair, Battersea Park
Once the Christmas decorations are packed away and the dreary days of mid-winter stretch ahead, where to turn to for some cheerful interior inspiration? For a decorative pick-me-up or a full-on new decorating project for the home, the event of choice for design professionals and buyers in the know is the winter edition of the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in Battersea Park – a luxurious feast of fine and fun period design, augmented every January by the colourful specialist rug and textile fair, LARTA.
Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park SW11 4NJ; decorativefair.com
25 Marianna Rothen at The Little Black Gallery, Chelsea
23 January-24 February
Shadows in Paradise by Marianna Rothen is her first London solo exhibition, taking place at The Little Black Gallery in Chelsea. The photographs in Shadows in Paradise reference three films: Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Robert Altman’s Three Women and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. In Rothen’s female-helmed dream world her characters find themselves and lose themselves.
13A Park Walk SW10 0AJ; thelittleblackgallery.com
26 The France Show, Olympia
The France Show is the UK’s greatest celebration of France. Over the weekend, you can watch cookery demonstrations by top chefs like Michelin-starred Daniel Galmiche and the king of cakes, Eric Lanlard; enjoy talks by actress and author Celia Imrie, celebrity interior designer Anna Ryder Richardson and crime writer Peter May; catch journalist Ned Boulting revisiting his favourite moments from the Tour de France; take part in champagne and wine tastings with Susy Atkins; pick up great travel ideas and language tips; or browse thousands of properties for sale at the UK’s largest French Property Exhibition. Buy early-bird tickets for just £6 now here .
27 Big Garden Birdwatch, nationwide
Over the three days of 27-29 January make sure you join in with the Big Garden Birdwatch, where the RSPB are encouraging us to spend time watching and jotting down all the different species you see. It’s a great thing to do with the family, while providing valuable research for the great work that the RSPB do.
For information packs see visit rspb.org.uk
28 Space Descent VR, Science Museum
Until 26 January 2018
Let astronaut Tim Peake guide you through a thrilling, high-speed journey back to Earth in Space Descent VR, an immersive virtual reality experience at the Science Museum. Created by the award-winning Alchemy VR for the Science Museum Group, Space Descent VR puts you inside the descent module of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for the unique opportunity to experience the 360° 3D view as it makes the dangerous 400km journey back to Earth from the International Space Station. ‘It really is breath-taking – and that comes from someone who has spent an awful lot of time using VR systems while training for my first mission,’ said Tim Peake. Tickets £7.
29 LA SOIRÉE, Aldwych Theatre
Until 3 February
Bringing a high-octane mix of cabaret, modern burlesque and scandalous circus frolics to the Aldwych Theatre, LA SOIRÉE is a must-see. From eye-watering stunts to saucy hula hooping sequences, it’s outrageously entertaining, though not for the faint-hearted. Pushing the boundaries of comedy and theatre, this playful production will see off the winter blues.
49 Aldwych WC2B 4DF; la-soiree.com
30 Pam Glew at The Exhibitionist Hotel
Until 15 February
Known for playing with our notion of the identity of women in society, idols, patriotism and cultural heritage, Pam Glew’s latest exhibition – Nocturnes – reignites her dialogue around themes of sustainability vs waste, light vs dark and beauty vs deconstruction using her familiar stitch, paint, bleach and dye to potent effect. Fascinated by the simplicity of the design, she sees the Kimono as a ‘brilliant design icon’. This is the first show in which she has made ‘garments’ not to be worn, but rather flag kimonos that tap into themes around technical skill, power and sustainability.
The Exhibitionist Hotel, 8-10 Queensbury Place SW7 2EA; pamglew.co.uk
31 Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Until 24 February
Set in the frosty surrounds of Canada Square Park, Ice Rink Canary Wharf is open until Saturday 24 February. Gather friends and family for day of excitement on and off the ice. With both skating and refreshments you’ll ever want to leave Canary Wharf. With a rink-side bar serving tempting tipples, an enchanting skate path under a canopy of trees and a dedicated area for little ones, it makes for the ultimate winter day out.
Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf E14 5AB; icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk
32 John Brookes: The Man who Made the Modern Garden
Until 24 February 2018
John Brookes is the landscape designer who introduced Modernism to British garden design. The author of over 25 books (including The Room Outside, one of the most influential garden books of modern times), John Brookes MBE has inspired generations of garden and landscape designers in Britain and around the world, designing gardens, both public and private in North America, South America, Japan, South Africa and Europe. An early pioneer of Modernism in the design of private gardens, typified by his ‘Grid’, Brookes has introduced structure and geometry, from the iconic courtyard of Penguin Books to the ‘sexy curves’ of spaces inspired by his Brazilian hero, Burle Marx. Tickets £10.
Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7LB; gardenmuseum.org.uk
33 Barnum at Menier Chocolate Factory
Until 3 March
Barnum tells the story of P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth. The joyful and moving musical portrait of the nineteenth century’s greatest show-biz legend, Barnum is sure to entertain all types of guests this December. Director Gordon Greenberg and musical director Alex parker have a beautiful and dynamic show taking you on the P.T. Barnum’s journey. Gordon Greenberg’s production opens on 5 December and runs until 3 March 2018. Tickets start at £39.50.
53 Southwark Street SE1 1RU; menierchocolatefactory.com
34 The Exorcist at Phoenix Theatre
Until 10 March 2018
Ian McKellen will feature in the West End premiere of The Exorcist as the voice of the Demon. The stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s iconic best-selling novel will be unleashed onto the London stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted by John Pielmeier. When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young Regan’s strange symptoms, her desperate mother Chris turns to a local priest for help. But before Father Damien can tackle what’s before him, he must overcome his own shaken beliefs, as this fight is for more than just one girl’s soul… The film adaptation of The Exorcist sparked unprecedented worldwide controversy when it was released in cinemas in 1973, seeing audiences petrified to the point of passing out. Ages 18+. Tickets £15-£65.
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road WC2H 0JP; atgtickets.com
35 Girl from the North Country, Noel Coward Theatre
Until 24 March
Duluth, Minnesota, 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for. And, when a preacher selling bibles and a boxer looking for a comeback show up in the middle of the night, things start to spiral beyond the point of no return… Catch Girl from the North Country at the Noel Coward Theatre.
36 National Theatre Posters at the Wolfson Gallery
Until 31 March 2018
National Theatre Posters, curated by design critic and writer Rick Poynor, is open now in the National Theatre’s Wolfson Gallery, exploring poster design at the National Theatre from 1963 to the present. The exhibition will trace the changes in process, design and function over the past 50 years.
Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PX; nationaltheatre.org.uk
37 Ferrari: Under the Skin at The Design Museum
Until 15 April 2018
Ferrari: Under the Skin is a major exhibition at The Design Museum, examining the fascinating history of one of motoring’s most iconic brands. The show, created in collaboration with Ferrari, celebrates 70 years of precision design, from the launch of the very first Ferrari car in 1947 to the latest car in production. See important cars in the flesh, such as one that won the British Grand Prix in 1952 driven by Alberto Ascari, a sports racing car that won the Goodwood TT and a selection of client cars. The exhibition also affords a rare insight into the life of Enzo Ferrarri, paying tribute to his passion for racing, something that ultimately gave rise to the brand.
224-238 Kensington High Street W8 6AG; designmuseum.org
38 Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the Apollo
Until 21 April 2018
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a new feel-good musical featuring catchy songs written by The Feeling singer-songwriter, Dan Gillespie Sells, and writer Tom MacRae. The show, directed by Jonathan Butterell, tells the inspiring tale of Jamie, a 16 year-old boy who lives on a council estate in Sheffield who overcomes prejudice and bullying to step into the spotlight and become a sensation. Inspired by the BBC Three documentary, Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, the show recently won Best Musical Production at the UK Theatre Awards 2017. Booking until 21 April 2018.
31 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7ES; EverybodysTalkingAboutJamie.co.uk
39 The Ferryman, Gielgud Theatre
Until May 2018
Direct from a record-breaking sold out run at the Royal Court Theatre, Jez Butterworth’s epic play The Ferryman transfers to the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, running until 6 January 2018. Starring Paddy Considine and directed by Sam Mendes, The Ferryman is set in rural Derry, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. A hard day of work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead – but this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.
Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho W1D 6AR theferrymanplay.com
40 Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017, Greenwich
Until 22 July 2018
Russian photographer Artem Mironov beat thousands of photographers from around the world to be declared Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017. His photograph, The Rho Ophiuchi Clouds, will take pride of place at the corresponding exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Now in its ninth year, the competition received over 3,800 entries from over 90 countries. The best of these exceptional photographs are showcased in a free exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
41 Diana: Her Fashion Story, Kensington Palace
From the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour and elegance of her later life, Diana captivated the world’s attention as a trendsetter. Now, 20 years on from her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story presents an extraordinary collection of garments – from the glittering ball gowns of the 80s to the chic Catherine Walker Suits and tailored shift dresses of Diana’s 90s ‘working wardrobe’. Tickets are £16.50 (concs £13.70) for visits until 28 February 2017. From 1 March 2017, tickets are £19 (concs £15). Kids go free (must be accompanied by an adult).
Kensington Gardens W8 4PX; hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace