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55 Things to Do in London: February 2020

The best things to do in London this February from Kew Gardens Orchid Festival to Alice’s Adventures Under Ground at Royal Opera House, VAULT Festival in Waterloo and the Wellness Summit 2020 in Canary Wharf

Lead Image: Kew Orchid Festival (photo: Jeff Eden)

1 Ingmar Bergman’s Persona at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
21 January-23 February

The world premiere of Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA launches as the inaugural production of returning season at Hammersmith’s newly reopened multi-arts venue, Riverside Studios. The new theatrical adaptation, created for the stage by visionary director Paul Schoolman, tells the story of Elizabet, a renowned stage actress who suffers a psychological breakdown and relapses into silence. She is sent to a remote summer beach house with Sister Alma, the nurse assigned to her recovery. Can Alma coax Elizabet out of her silence? Starring Olivier Award winner Alice Krige and South African powerhouse of talent Nobunhle Ketelo – with William Close And The Earth Harp Collective – PERSONA explores the meaning of ‘reality’, via truth, lies, manipulation and identity. Tickets £12.50-£40.
101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith W6 9BN; riversidestudios.co.uk

2 The Morning After at Above The Stag, Vauxhall
22 January-1 March
In The Morning After, Thomas wakes up surprised and naked in a young man’s bed, and memories of last night’s one-night-stand come flooding back… When the boy’s mother joins them for breakfast – in bed – it becomes clear that this is a family that doesn’t do privacy. Or, it turns out, goodbyes… Sweet, sexy and silly, The Morning After is a sunny comedy for winter, written by Peter Quilter, whose play End of the Rainbow was adapted into the recent hit film Judy. Directed by Andrew Beckett, whose previous shows include Above The Stag’s pantomimes and the Offie Award-winning production of Grindr: The Opera. Tickets £15-£25.
72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall SE1 7TP; abovethestag.org.uk

3 Filthy Lucre: Whistler’s Peacock Room Reimagined at the V&A
25 January-3 May
Filthy Lucre, an installation by American artist Darren Waterston, opens in the Porter Room at the V&A on 25 January. The installation is an immersive interpretation of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room, a sumptuous 19th-century dining room once housed just a stone’s throw away from the V&A. In Waterston’s re-imagining, the Peacock Room is transformed into a magnificent ruin, crumbling under the weight of material decadence to highlight the tension between art and money, ego and patronage. Initially invited by his friend and patron Frederick Leyland to consult on the room’s colour scheme, Whistler proceeded to redesign the room while Leyland was away from London, causing a huge row that ended up splashed across the tabloids. Entrance to the installation is free.
Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 2RL; vam.ac.uk

4 VAULT Festival, Waterloo
28 January-22 March
VAULT Festival returns to the tunnels under Waterloo station this month with eight weeks of the best new theatre and comedy, immersive experiences, cabaret, live performance and late-night parties. London’s biggest, boldest and most diverse arts festival has more than 500 shows on the bill, with 64% of works being female-led, 33% by the LGBTQ+ community and 25% by BAME artists. This year, VAULT Festival will bring global stories to London, with Freedom Hi exploring the ongoing Hong Kong protests against China’s Extradition Bill; and Far Gone, inspired by writer John Rwothomach’s experience of nearly being kidnapped by a guerrilla rebel group in Uganda; Santi & Naz, a queer love story set against the backdrop of partition in India. Other highlights include Supernova, a hilarious pop-culture romp about dating when dealing with depression; Tinted, a story about disability and the Me Too movement; and Beach Body Ready, which sticks two fingers up at the media’s beauty standards. The festival takes place in 18 spaces across Waterloo and the South Bank, with the central hub remaining underground in The Vaults on Leake Street.
vaultfestival.com

5 Tribute Ink at the National Army Museum, Chelsea
31 January-17 April
The Royal British Legion’s unique exhibition, Tribute Ink, brings to life the powerful and poignant stories behind the tattoos of people in the Armed Forces. Tribute Ink showcases how the military community use tattoos to commemorate comrades and loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country. The exhibition explores how serving personnel also use the art of tattooing to mark their service, achievements and sense of belonging to the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force. Renowned photographer, Charlie Clift was given unprecedented access to military-inspired locations, from RAF Aircraft Hangars to the decks of Royal Navy vessels, to capture service personnel and veterans for Tribute Ink. The images in the exhibition are designed to immerse visitors in the powerful personal stories behind the tattoos. Alongside Clift’s photographs are life-sized replicas of some of the tattoos, which have been meticulously transferred onto 3D sculptures.
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HT; rbl.org.uk

6 Charles Merser & Co. Open Day, Temple
1 February
Charles Merser & Co – London’s only rum blending house – welcomes guests at its four-storey townhouse for free rum tasting and tours on Saturday 1 February. Once a bustling trade in 17th century London, rum blending houses disappeared in the capital for over 100 years, until Charles Merser & Co. began operating in Temple three months ago. The fully restored four-storey townhouse is hosting its first open day, where you can enjoy rum tastings and a chance to see how the brand blends, marries and bottles a range of delicious Caribbean rums. Attendees will need to look out for the sign of The Post & Hound on Essex Street – the discreet marker of Charles Merser & Co that harks back to a time when many Londoners were illiterate and would find their way to merchant houses by means of symbols. 2pm-6pm. Free entry. No RSVP required. Over 18s only.
44 Essex Street, Temple WC2R 3JF; charlesmerser.com

7 Crafty Fox Market Samples & Seconds Sale, Elephant & Castle
1 February

Crafty Fox Market is celebrating its 10th year of shaking up the craft market scene this year, kicking off with a Samples & Seconds Sale at Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant & Castle’s sustainable food market. This one day event offers discount prices on one-off samples, end of line products and slight seconds from more than 35 of the UK’s best makers, from jewellery and ceramics to clever kidsware. There will also be a free Valentine’s themed craft event with folding paper artist Origami 4 Fun (11am-2pm, drop-in, all levels). 11am-5pm.
42 Newington Causeway SE1 6DR; craftyfoxmarket.co.uk

8 The Chapel of Love at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly
1-29 February

Fortnum & Mason is launching an immersive The Chapel of Love pop-up on the Lower Ground Floor this February. London’s first-ever in-store wedding installation, where couples can get married, engaged, celebrate an anniversary or renew their vows, is being installed especially for the season of love. Stretching from the Lower Ground to the Second Floor, the design incorporates the iconic Fortnum’s clock, illuminated stained-glass windows and a chiming wedding bell, complete with a neon pink Chapel of Love sign. Not just for Valentine’s Day or couples, the Chapel of Love is open for all to visit for the whole of February. Fortnum’s is also hosting a competition on Instagram where you could win the ultimate Pampering Package. Just follow Fortnum’s on Instagram and tag your loved one with #fortnums for the chance to win (entries close on 3 February, more here).
181 Piccadilly W1A 1ER; fortnumandmason.com

9 Watch the Superbowl at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly and Old Park Lane
2 February
Hard Rock Cafe is offering offer game day menus and deals to guests who reserve a table to watch the Superbowl. Hard Rock Cafe will screen every tackle, turnover and touchdown, along with the hit halftime performance straight from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Expect entertainment, competitions and games, plus a special visit from Hard Rock’s Big Game Cheerleaders. The hot ticket includes a choice of three menu items from The Big Game Super Selection menu, which is packed with fan-favourites including nachos, wings, sliders, cheese fries and more, as well as two bottle beer specials, all for a set price of £50. The Big Game will be screened at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus (click here to book) and Hard Rock Cafe Old Park Lane (click here to book).
225-229 Piccadilly W1J 9HR & 150 Old Park Lane W1K 1QZ; hardrockcafe.com

10 Alice’s Adventures Under Ground at Royal Opera House
3-9 February 
The surreal world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice – both in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – is given an extra twist in Gerald Barry’s fun, furious, frantic and utterly fantastic operatic treatment. At less than an hour for the whole opera, this short, sharp shot of mayhem is ideal as a family treat. Antony McDonald directs this new production – the first ever staging of this musically virtuoso opera – with more than a touch of the Victorian toy theatre. From the Red Queen to the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter, you’ll meet a kaleidoscope of colourful characters in this joyful, headlong rush into a world gone deliciously mad. Tickets £3-£60.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street WC2E 9DD; roh.org.uk

11 Greek Tasting Journey at The Real Greek, London Bridge
5 February
The Real Greek will host a multi-course Greek tasting journey celebrating the very best of Greek food and drink. Father Epiphanios, a celebrated Greek monk, chef, author and winemaker, will fly in to for the exclusive event, alongside Greece’s leading chefs from the acclaimed Athenian restaurant, Cookoovaya. Their rustic, homely cooking is a celebration of contemporary Greek dining, and their involvement in The Real Greek menu for this event promises to use Greek seasonal ingredients for authentically Aegean food with a generous sharing ethos at heart. From 6pm. Tickets £50pp. To book email promotions@therealgreek.com.
The Real Greek Tower Bridge, Duchess Walk, Bridgemaster’s House SE1 2UP; therealgreek.com

12 MÁM by Michael Keegan-Dolan / Teaċ Daṁsa at Sadler’s Wells, Clerkenwell
5-7 February 
Following the critically acclaimed Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Michael Keegan-Dolan returns to Sadler’s Wells with a new production, MÁM. The Irish word mám, which describes the pass that connects two sides of a mountain, provides the inspiration for this new work. Bringing together the Irish concertina player Cormac Begley, the music collective s t a r g a z e and 12 dancers from around the world, MÁM is a meeting place between soloist and ensemble, classical and traditional, the local and universal. A free post-show talk takes place on Friday 7 February. 7.30pm. Tickets £15-£50.
Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell EC1R 4TN; sadlerswells.com

13 Hospital Rooms at South London Gallery Fire Station, Peckham
5-23 February
Artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White founded Hospital Rooms to transform mental health hospitals with contemporary art commissions and projects. Artists are invited to work closely with patients, staff and the NHS Trust to create exceptional and unique site specific work. In this exhibition, Hospital Rooms presents a display of artworks by artists Sonia Boyce, Harold Offeh, Jessica Voorsanger, Michael O’Reilly, Remi Rough and Tim A Shaw, as well as documentation from a recent project with the artists at Croydon Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Bethlem Hospital.
Fire Station, 82 Peckham Road SE15 5LQ; southlondongallery.org

14 Slices of Time at NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula
5 February-17 April
As part of its on-going Design Commission, NOW Gallery has selected Emmanuelle Moureaux – who has been seducing audiences with her colourful works from Paris to Tokyo – to present a large-scale installation in the UK for the first time. Inspired by the gallery’s location on the Greenwich Peninsula, near to Prime Meridian, Moureaux has composed of layers of numbers in 100 shades of colours and white to express the flow of time. Each layer of numbers reflects the now, the past and the future, and the exhibition will be a round representation of a moment, a slice of time – the earth floating in the gallery space. The installation will also offer visitors the time to remember a significant date – write down your chosen date and why it is important in coloured pen, and stick the piece of paper along a timeline on the window of the gallery to create a kaleidoscope of colour.
The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square SE10 0SQ; nowgallery.co.uk

15 Revenge at Greenwich Theatre
6-8 February
Louise Jameson (EastEnders, Doctor Who, Bergerac) will direct a new stage production of Robin Hawdon’s suspense-filled thriller, Revenge, opening at Greenwich Theatre this month. Revenge tells the story of Bill Crayshaw MP, who leads a charmed life – hailed in the corridors of Parliament, lauded in business, and loved at home – until he returns from a business trip to find his party agent has been killed. Was it a tragic accident, or something more sinister? Mary Stewart is determined to find out, and she seems prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to discover the truth. But what is her motive? Journalism, blackmail, seduction or… revenge? Performances 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 3pm). Tickets £16.
Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10 8ES; greenwichtheatre.org.uk

16 Russian State Ballet of Siberia at New Wimbledon Theatre
6-8 February
The Russian State Ballet of Siberia will perform three ballets at New Wimbledon Theatre this month. On Thursday 6 February it’s Coppélia, a charming tale of mistaken identity and confused lovers set in a doll maker’s workshop, followed by Sleeping Beauty, the classic story of love, innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score, on Friday 7 February. Finally, on Saturday 8 February, it’s Swan Lake, the most romantic ballet of all time, where the black swan and the swan queen battle for the prince’s heart. Tickets from £13.
93 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG; atgtickets.com

17 Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience, South Bank
7 February-21 May
The Van Gogh Museum’s blockbuster Meet Vincent van Gogh Experience is an interactive and multisensory experience that allows you to follow in the footsteps of the world’s most iconic artist. The fragile nature of Van Gogh’s original works prevents them from travelling beyond the Museum walls, but this experience ensures the collection can continue to enrich and inspire audiences across the world. Upon entering the experience, a fully-automated audio-guide, breathtaking projections, interactive installations, state-of-the-art set-work and a compelling narrative will transport you through the most important phases of Vincent’s life: from his childhood in the Netherlands to the streets and studios of Paris, the golden countryside of Arles, his asylum in St. Rémy and the wheat field where he fatally wounded himself. Tickets £18-£21.
99 Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PP; meetvincent.com

18 Guinness Six Nations Scotland vs England Screening at Twickenham Stadium
8 February
Where better to enjoy the excitement of the Guinness Six Nations than at England’s home of rugby, Twickenham Stadium? Don’t let the fact that the England vs Scotland game is being played at Murrayfield spoil your fun – just head to the Clubhouse Bar & Kitchen at Twickenham Stadium to watch the game on multiple screens. And not just that, you can watch Ireland v Wales too. The Clubhouse Bar & Kitchen opens at 1pm for the Six Nations double screening, with IRE v WAL kicking off and 2.15pm and ENG v SCO at 4.45pm. Tickets cost £20, including a burger & chips and live music for an hour after the final whistle. The bar closes at 7.30pm.
200 Whitton Road, Twickenham TW2 7BA; twickenhamstadium.com

19 Brown’s Hotel’s Mayfair Art Walks
8 February
Hosted by BBC Art Correspondent and art curator Maeve Doyle, Brown’s Hotel’s bespoke walking art tours of Mayfair are designed for aspiring artists and contemporary critics alike. Doyle will lead the way around Mayfair’s well-known and hidden galleries, before joining you for a glass of champagne and a three-course lunch at Charlie’s, the new restaurant at Brown’s led by Chef Adam Byatt. Prior to the tour, you can enjoy tea or coffee in The Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel. Tickets are £85pp and the tours are bookable through Brown’s Hotel reservations via reservations.browns@roccofortehotels.com, or call 020 7518 4172. From 10.30am. The next Art Walk takes place on Saturday 28 March.
Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BP; roccofortehotels.com

20 Kew Orchid Festival 2020: Indonesia, Kew Gardens
8 February-8 March
Kew’s 25th annual orchid festival will celebrate the incredible wildlife and vibrant culture of Indonesia. An archipelago of more than 17,504 islands, Indonesia’s landscape is as diverse as the flora and fauna that inhabit it, from tropical rainforests to spectacular volcanoes. The Princess of Wales Conservatory will be transformed into an immersive paradise where beautiful orchid displays will represent various aspects of Indonesian wildlife and culture, from bright orange orangutans to an erupting volcano. There will also be a programme of specially curated evening events, Orchids: After Hours (running 13, 14, 26, 27 February & 5, 6 March from 6.30pm-10pm), with live gamelan music, traditional dancers, and an interactive look at how Kew is fighting the extinction crisis. Entry to the festival is included in the standard ticket to the gardens but visitors must book a timed ticket slot online in advance.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew TW9 3AB; kew.org

21 Frock Me! Vintage Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall
9 February
Frock Me! vintage fair, established in 1997, returns to the magnificent setting of Chelsea Old Town Hall for its first fair of 2020. The show will host over 60 of the best dealers in vintage fashion, textiles and accessories with fashion from the early 1900s, alongside vintage designer labels from Biba, Ossie Clark, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and more. Popular among fashion designers and costumiers, the fair is considered one of the best spots to shop for vintage in London. 11am-5pm. Entry £5.
Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road SW3 5EE; frockmevintagefashion.com

22 The Wonder Factory, Dalston
Until 9 February
The Wonder Factory is an Instagrammer’s dream. The interactive pop-up art exhibition, located in a 6,000 sq ft commercial space in Dalston, features 15 uniquely decorated rooms full of brightly coloured interactive installations. Highlights include a 250 sq ft marshmallow swimming pool, an outer space-themed mirror room full of lights to create the illusion of an infinite star field, an indoor beach with beach huts and candy pink sand, an orchard of blossom trees bearing coloured macaroons as their fruit, a three-meter wall of touch LED lamps that you can create works of art on, a confetti cyclone room, and a corridor filled with balloons levitating on streams of air. Tickets £23. Open Thursday-Sunday 12pm- 8pm (9am-9pm on weekends).
Unit B, Dalston Works E8 2FQ; thewonderfactory.co.uk

23 Eat, Laugh + Sleep at Mama London, Bethnal Green
9 February-8 March
Mama London, an accessible boutique hotel by Mama Shelter that opened its doors in September last year, is launching an all new comedy programme to brighten up Sunday evenings. Eat, Laugh + Sleep launches on Sunday 9 February with a limited offer deal – if guests dine at the hotel restaurant and the bill comes to £90, they will get one bedroom complimentary stay that same evening! On the 9th, Tom Ward, who was signed by Comedy Central and supported Jack Whitehall on tour last year, will take to the stage, alongside Eshaan Akbar, who regularly appears on Mock The Week and Frankie Boyle’s New World Order. Tom has been making a name for himself with his inventive style incorporating his voice-over talents and improvisation, while Eshaan’s comedy is all about demystifying Islam and making it OK to laugh about culture and religion. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Entry is free (click here to reserve your spot).
437 Hackney Road E2 8PP; mamashelter.com

24 Into a Land of Pure Magic: Paintings of Circus Life by Nell Gifford at Olympia Auctions
10-28 February
In tribute to the late Nell Gifford (1973-2019) and indomitable attitude to life, Into a Land of Pure Magic is the perfect embodiment of that most showbiz of phrases, ‘the show must go on’. Gifford’s watercolours of circus scenes feature explosions of paint, scattered spots and specks and glowing luminous pools of coloured light, immersing the viewer into her most loved arena – the circus ring. Her nimbly depicted horses and performers are a beautiful testament to the enduring spirit of one of our greatest ever circus performers. The works will be exhibited from 20-27 February and auctioned online from 10-28 February. For further information email puremagic@olympiaauctions.com.
25 Blythe Road, Olympia W14 0PD; olympiaauctions.com

25 The Sixteen: Acis & Galatea at Cadogan Hall, Belgravia
11 February
The Sixteen will perform Handel’s Acis & Galatea at Cadogan Hall this month. Handel’s pastoral opera is a tale of love, tragedy and liberation, with the eternal love between mortal shepherd Acis and goddess Galatea doomed by Polyphemus, the jealous cyclops. Staying true to the premiere in 1718, The Sixteen will use a small selection of singers and instrumentalists in this intimate concert performance (five singers and nine instrumentalists). 7.30pm. Tickets £16-£45.
5 Sloane Terrace, Belgravia SW1X 9DQ; cadoganhall.com

26 New Light Concerts Presents: Anna Pancaldi at Beckenham Place Mansion
12 February

The evenings bring so much to do in London, which is great for the 9-to-5ers, but what about the self-employed, the night workers, the elderly and the stay-at-home parents? What about the daytime? Singer-songwriters Susie Butt and Anna Pancaldi feel your pain, and so they are launching a series of gorgeous, intimate daytime concerts in south London. Taking place in the beautiful Georgian surrounds of Beckenham Place Mansion, the child-friendly series will offer the finest music, artistry and stories straight from the artists. Influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Carol King. The mansion is open daily to the public as an arts, cultural and community centre with café. 12pm-2pm. Tickets £8 (click here to book).
The Mansion, Beckenham Place Park BR3 1SY; facebook.com/events

27 CROOKS 1926 at King William IV, Elephant and Castle
12 February-29 March 
Plunge deep into the gritty, criminal underworld of 1920s London at COLAB’s new immersive experience, CROOKS 1926. Game mechanics collide with a pulsing, hair-raising narrative giving audiences the chance to throw themselves into one family’s brutal battle for supremacy in the immersive theatre company’s most ambitious project to date. In a world where nothing is certain, violence is rampant, and deals are made to be broken, the audience will have complete autonomy to shape their own thrilling experience. While some might to choose to orchestrate a grand territorial takeover of London or broker an alliance with The West End Boys, others might ‘go it alone’ by scheming with a devious traitor – no two shows will be the same. COLAB, the group behind The Great Gatsby Immersive Experience, debuts CROOKS 1926 at their brand new permanent space. Tickets £28.
16 Harper Road, Elephant and Castle SE1 6AD; colabtheatre.co.uk

28 Champagne Tasting Experience at bubbledogs, Fitzrovia
13 February
bubbledogs, the Champagne bar in Fitzrovia by award-winning sommelier Sandia Chang, is inviting guests to gather around the tasting table for an exclusive exploration of Blanc de Blancs in this month’s Champagne Tasting Experience. You’ll be introduced to the champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes, journeying through the vineyards located between Cremant and Mesnil-sur-Oger in Cote de Blancs, which yield the best examples of this style. Each session will include four glasses of the finest grower champagne, a selection of bar snacks to complement the bubbles and detailed tasting notes on each wine with an exclusive one-off discount to purchase bottles on the evening. Tickets are £60pp. 6.30pm-8.30pm.
70 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia W1T 4QG; bubbledogs.co.uk

29 T.Rextasy at Churchill Theatre, Bromley
13 February
T.Rextasy, the world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T.Rex, will perform T.Rex’s biggest hits on Thursday 13 February. From Love to Boogie and Telegram Sam, to Jeepster and 20th Century Boy, T.Rextasy celebrates one of the most flamboyant and charismatic stars of the original glam rock era, who will be inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame later this year. T.Rextasy, who have now been performing around the world for over 25 years – outliving Marc’s very own T.Rex – has been described by many as ‘beyond the boundaries of tribute’. If you would like to know exactly what a Marc Bolan concert was like in the 70s, this show is for you! Tickets from £29.50.
Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA; churchilltheatre.co.uk

30 Environmental Crisis Exhibition: Science and Art at Gerald Moore Gallery, Eltham
13 February-14 March
With the Environmental Crisis such a prevalent subject, the Gerald Moore Gallery in Eltham sent an open call to artists to respond to this issue. The responses focused on the major impacts we face: climate change, degraded air quality, deforestation, animal extinction, land and sea pollution, soil erosion and biodiversity losses. Out of 324 artists from around the world, 50 were shortlisted by students to exhibit. The works range from sculpture, photography, installation, video, painting and performance. There will also be a series of talks, debates, performances and workshops alongside the exhibition. Open Tues 4pm-8pm and Sat 10am-4pm.
Mottingham Lane, Eltham SE9 4RW; geraldmooregallery.org

31 Acosta Danza Up Close at Royal Opera House
13-24 February 
Carlos Acosta’s own dance company, drawn from the best of Cuba’s dancers, performs a distinctive repertory that combines national and international flavours in technique, choreography and music. As a Sadler’s Wells International Associate Company, Acosta Danza is no stranger to London, and on this occasion the company will be seen in a distinctive light through a programme of intimate works, the scale and mood if which is perfectly attuned to the performing space of the Linbury Theatre. Tickets £35.
Bow Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9DD; roh.org.uk

32 The Official England Rugby Dinner at Twickenham Stadium
14 February
Help raise money for the Injured Players Foundation and enjoy a fantastic alternative to the typical Valentine’s Day date at the Official England Rugby Dinner at Twickenham Stadium. The event, taking place just days after England play Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations, will be a rare and exciting opportunity to mix with rugby royalty before they face Ireland at Twickenham. Tickets include a pitch-side drinks reception (weather dependant), a three-course dinner and cheese course created by Executive Head Chef Thomas Rhodes, all-inclusive beer, wine and soft drinks throughout the evening, and a number of Q&As with the players. The evening will raise funds for the RFU Injured Players Foundation. Tickets from £299pp (click here to book). A platinum ticket option, securing you a seat on a table with England players, is also available.
200 Whitton Road, Twickenham TW2 7BA; twickenhamstadium.com

33 Valentine’s at The Natural History Museum, South Kensington
14 February
Take inspiration from the animal kingdom to impress your other half this Valentine’s Day. Have you ever shown someone how much you like them by choreographing an elaborate dance routine, or by moulting your entire head? No? Then head to The Natural History Museum and watch and learn. Over the course of the evening, you can enjoy a beginners’ salsa classes, the museum’s LGBTQ+ natural history trail, screen printing with exclusive Valentine designs, science stations including Lovebugs, Love Birds and You’re my Lobster: the crustacean station, a complimentary ticket to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, and loads of other activities and talks. All this and live music and cocktails too! Tickets £35 (members £31.50). 7pm-10.30pm.
Cromwell Road, Kensington SW7 5BD; thelunacinema.com

34 Mini Mode Global Kids Fashion Week at St Mary’s Church, Marylebone
14-15 February
London Fashion Week isn’t just for grown ups. Mini Mode Global Kids Fashion Week, founded by UK childrenswear designer Amanda Rabor and now entering its fifth season, has firmly established itself on the UK fashion calendar. Mini Mode provides a spotlight on kids’ fashion, showcasing talented childrenswear designers from around the world. This year, you can check out collections from UK brands like of A*Dee, House of Juniors, ISCREAM and Bellos Boutique, as well as Billieblush from France, Présent de l’ondée from Japan and BEBEBEBE from Korea. The Industry Show will showcase AW2020 collections on Friday 14 February, while two Consumer Shows (open to the public) will feature SS2020 buy-now collections, as well as children’s entertainment, a pop-up shop and mini makeovers on Saturday 15 February.
Wyndam Place, York Street, Marylebone W1H 1PQ; mini-mode.co.uk

35 FAME by Teiji Hayama at Unit London, Mayfair
Until 15 February
FAME, the first London solo exhibition by the critically acclaimed Japanese artist Teiji Hayama, introduces a new body of oil paintings examining what it means to be famous in the digital age. Hayama, a Central Saint Martin alumni, introduces a new body of 17 specially created oil paintings depicting some of Hollywood’s most historic and glamorous faces, including David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, but he presents them in a way that emphasises their imprisonment within the digital world, subjected to an exhausting existence under the spotlight. The exhibition also coincides with the launch of a new interactive and sustainable digital catalogue at Unit London, allowing guests the chance to unlock an exclusive Teiji Hayama AR filter on Instagram via a QR code.
3 Hanover Square, Mayfair W1S 1HD; theunitldn.com

36 Hip Hop Saved My Valentine’s with Romesh Ranganathan at Omeara, Southwark
15 February
Award-winning comedian Romesh Ranganathan will host his first Hip Hop Fancy Dress Party – HipHop Saved My Valentine’s – at Omeara in SE1 on Valentine’s Weekend. An ode to his HHSML Podcast, the event will take you through the years of the genre with a soundtrack provided by DJs and turntablists including, Jaguar Skills, DJ Yoda, Kiss FM’s MK, Martin 2 Smoove, and some very special guests on the night. Room 2 will be hosted by BBC Radio 1xtra’s Nadia Jae, Half-Cast Podcast Host Chuckie Online and R&B expert and Hip Hop Karaoke founder Rob Pursey. Hosted live by Romesh himself, all profits from the party will be in aid of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Tickets £15 in advance. Dress Code: Old school hiphop fancy dress (think chains, Adidas tracksuits, throwback sneakers, PIMP Hats etc).
6 O’meara Street, Southwark SE1 1TE; omearalondon.com

37 Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs at Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
15 February-1 November
252 million years ago, in a period called the Permian, Earth was dominated by fearsome sabre-toothed predators, giant insects and bizarre-looking sharks. The Permian ended with a mass extinction that destroyed 90% of all life, paving the way for the planet’s next great rulers – the dinosaurs. This fascinating, family-friendly exhibition – produced by Gondwana Studios and travelling to the UK for the first time – offers an insight into this mysterious time period, with fossil skeletons, full-size models and animatronics bringing the Permian back to life. You can also sift through interactive dig pits and get creative in an art area. Kids £5, adults £9 (family ticket £20).
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ; horniman.ac.uk 

38 Battersea Power Station Light Festival
Until 16 February
Battersea Power Station is brightening up the dark winter evenings with four spectacular light installations never seen before in the UK. making their UK debut. Commissioned by the Light Art Collection, the experts behind the Amsterdam Light Festival, the four light installations include Action Reaction 2.0 by Sjimme Veenhuis (a large screen with 1,000 buttons that light up in different colours when pressed); Talking Heads by Viktor Vicsek (two heads that show countless emotions and facial expressions through colour); Eternal Sundown by Mads Vegas (where 140 filtered fluorescent tubes maintain an abstract sunset colour spectrum from sunset to dawn); and This It Is, Be Here Now by Tropism Art & Science Collective (an interactive neon sign that lures you in with its provoking message and loud rustling noises). Free.
Circus West Village, Battersea SW11 8AH; batterseapowerstation.co.uk 

39 Pride and Prejudice at Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich
19-22 February 
The Dulwich Players present a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s much-loved classic Pride and Prejudice this month. Enjoy Elizabeth’s straight-talking, Mr Bennet’s dry wit, Darcy’s arrogance and Mr Collins’ pomposity – along with Mrs Bennet’s increasingly fragile nerves as she seeks to marry off her errant daughters. Newly adapted by Rebecca Dallaway and Hannah Tomlinson, and brimming with Austen’s sparkling original lines, this version is fast-paced, funny and full of charm. This evergreen exploration of love, marriage, society and family – and the pitfalls of pride and prejudice – has never been more enjoyable. 8pm. Tickets £12 (available online, on the door, or from Art Stationers in Dulwich Village).
Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College SE21 7LD; dulwichplayers.org

40 The London Classic Car Show at Olympia, Kensington
20‐23 February
The London Classic Car Show, the capital’s premier classic car event, parks up in its new home of Olympia, London, this February. Not only will visiting classic car collectors and connoisseurs have the opportunity to view more than 500 desirable cars, they will also be treated to a brand‐new selection of carefully curated features and celebrations of some of the most exotic and exquisite marques from the decades. This year sees the introduction of an exciting new Car Stories stage, hosted by classic motoring expert Max Girardo and featuring six of the most iconic cars in the world including the 1987 Rothmans Porsche 962C, the Maserati 250F driven by Sir Stirling Moss in 1954, and the Lotus 49 rebuilt by Adrian Newey. Tickets from £25.
thelondonclassiccarshow.co.uk

41 Bloomberg New Contemporaries at South London Gallery, Camberwell
Until 23 February
New Contemporaries is an organisation that works to support emerging art practice, and throughout its 70-year history, it has played a key role in bringing many big names to public attention – Damien Hirst, Paula Rego and David Hockney are among the star-studded alumni. Bloomberg New Contemporaries, hosted by South London Gallery, will feature 45 of the UK’s most exciting emerging artists from arts education, providing an intriguing opportunity to see the next generation of contemporary artists.
65 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UH; newcontemporaries.org.uk 

42 Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security at Science Museum, Kensington
Until 23 February
Catch the last couple of months of this fascinating exhibition at the Science Museum, which uncovers the remarkable world of code-breaking, ciphers and secret communications. From the trenches of the First World War to the latest in cyber security, the exhibition traces over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through fascinating artefacts such as hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum Group’s and GCHQ’s historic collections. As a result, it’s a must for the aspiring James Bonds and Bond Girls amongst us. This is free to enter.
Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD; sciencemuseum.org.uk 

43 British Surrealism at Dulwich Picture Gallery
26 February-17 May
British Surrealism at Dulwich Picture Gallery is a major exhibition marking 100 years since the birth of surrealism. Championing the British artists that contributed to the iconic movement, the gallery will showcase more than over 70 eclectic works from 42 artists, including Leonora Carrington, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Paul Nash, as well as lesser known figures such as Marion Adnams, Conroy Maddox, Reuben Mednikoff and Grace Pailthorpe. While you’re there, look in on Journeys, a display that shines a new light on works from the Gallery’s Collection and seeks to question the nature of migration from the 17th century to today (included in the admission price). Tickets £16.50.
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

44 Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects at Somerset House
27 February-1 March
Collect, the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design, returns for its 16th year. This year, Collect brings together international galleries from across the globe, each curating their own displays to sell work made in the last five years by the world’s leading contemporary artists and designers. With artists represented from over 25 nations – from Sweden to Uganda and Japan – the breadth of work on show ranges from ceramics, glass, metal, wood and textiles to non-traditional materials and experimental techniques. In addition to the main fair, Collect Open offers a platform for 12 new ambitious craft-led installations by individual artists and collectives, which will be showcased around Somerset House, as well as the annual Collect talks programme. Tickets £23.
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA; craftscouncil.org.uk

45 V&A’s Friday Late: Eyes
28 February

Friday Late at the V&A celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture using the V&A collection and building as its inspiration. For the first time, Friday Late will be programmed across three seasons spanning the year and will explore subjects of The Body, Endeavour and Illusions, with live performances, film screenings, installations, debates, DJ sets and workshops. From now until April it’s The Body, questioning how our bodies can shape contemporary notions of identity. Following the first Friday Late on 31 January, which focused on hands, the February Late, taking place on the 28th, will focus on eyes. Guests will be asked to consider how our eyes can deceive us, and how we’ve been conditioned to view the world under our own lens.
Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7 2RL; vam.ac.uk

46 Wellness Summit 2020, Canary Wharf
29 February
A brand-new wellness summit, curated by Miss Jones & CW PA Club, comes to London this month. Combining fitness, relaxation, beauty and discovery all under one roof at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf, the event will showcase some of the capital’s top brands. Guests can curate their own unique schedules, with as many as 14 classes available led by some of London’s best fitness experts from the likes of Barry’s Bootcamp, Third Space and Ten Fitness & Pilates, plus pampering opportunities courtesy of Blow ltd, Le Salon and Essential Therapie, as well as a variety of meditation classes. Craft workshops and panel discussions will also feature. Tickets £10-£60 (click here to book).
43 Bank Street, Canary Wharf E14 5NX; wellnesssummit2020.sched.com

47 Cirque du Soleil Luzia at Royal Albert Hall
Until 1 March
Cirque du Soleil return to the Royal Albert Hall with Luzia, a dazzling luminous spectacle playing in Europe for the first time. Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light (‘luz’ in Spanish) quenches the spirit, and rain (‘lluvia’) soothes the soul. The show is like a waking dream, taking audiences from an old movie set to an undersea world, and from a cenote to a city alleyway, passing smoothly from an urban setting to the natural world, from the past to the present via fascinating Mexican mythology and traditions. Breathtaking acrobatic performances feature as standard, and water has been integrated into this year’s performances adding a level of acrobatic complexity never-before-seen under the Big Top at Cirque du Soleil. Tickets from £39.75.
Kensington Gore, Kensington SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com

48 WOW: City Lights and Woodland Shade at Japan House London, Kensington
Until 22 March
Japan House London welcomes the mesmerising digital displays of multidisciplinary visual design studio WOW this month. Their first UK solo exhibition features two installations looking at both the urban future and timelessness of rural Japan. WOW’s Tokyo Light Odyssey presents a mind-bending 360-degree re-imagining of Japan’s capital city by night, heralding 2020 and the year when the world looks to Tokyo for the Olympics. At once familiar – with neon lights emanating from train stations and convenience store logos floating in the darkness – the artists use omni-directional motion graphics to contort the known world and present a new interpretation of the cityscape. Then there’s POPPO, an excursion into the folk art of Japan’s countryside with three different installations focusing on kokeshi (wooden dolls) and O-taka poppo (carved wooden figures in the shape of hawks). Touch screens allow you to carve your own kokeshi doll and digitize them to become part of the exhibition, displayed on the walls of the gallery. Free to attend.
101-111 Kensington High Street W8 5SA; japanhouselondon.uk

49 Colour Pressures at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
Until 31 March 

Colour Pressures by the Edinburgh based contemporary artist Paul Muzni is currently running at the newly reopened multi-arts venue Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Muzni, who trained at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and The Slade School of Art in London, takes an abstract approach to his landscapes and life forms, creating vibrant, colourful pieces. A free evening viewing of Colour Pressures will take place on Monday 3 February from 6.30pm-8.30pm, with drinks, canapes and a talk from Muzni himself (click here to confirm your space). Paul’s artworks are all for sale.
Atrium & Studio 4, 101 Queen Caroline St, Hammersmith W6 9BN; riversidestudios.co.uk

50 The Clash: London Calling at Museum of London, Barbican
Until 19 April
The Clash’s groundbreaking London Calling was an album that rocked the music scene, serving as an anthem for London and for music lovers globally – and now you can go behind the scenes of its making. Released as a double album in the UK in December 1979 and in the US in January 1980, the Museum of London is celebrating the album’s 50th anniversary by showcasing personal objects, images, music and memories from the band’s history – some never seen before – in a free display. London Calling was driven by a fierce desire for social justice, and the album’s music and lyrics remain as relevant today as they were on release. Items on display include Paul Simonon’s broken Fender Precision Bass, smashed on stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979, and Joe Strummer’s notebook from the period when the London Calling album was rehearsed and recorded. The exclusive exhibition also examines how the capital influenced The Clash as they became the most popular British band of the 20th century. Free entry.
150 London Wall, Barbican EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk

51 Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 
Until 26 April 
Winning images from the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year Competition are now on display at the National Maritime Museum. Hungarian photographer László Francsics won the prestigious Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2019 award, securing the £10,000 top prize and pride of place for his photo at the exhibition. Other other categories and special prizes include a remarkable panorama taken from the top of the mountain Offersøykammen, showcasing the Aurora Borealis over the Lofoten Islands in Norway by Nicolai Brügger; an atmospheric image depicting photographer Ben Bush with his dog Floyd surrounded by Mars, Saturn and the galactic core of the Milky Way galaxy; and an extraordinary sequence of images of Mars following the progress of the great global dust storm by Andy Casely. Adults £10, kids £5.
Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

52 Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
Until 3 May 2020
One of the hottest exhibitions in town, take advantage of the stillness of London during the holidays to check out Tutankhamun – your last chance to see these glittering world heritage artefacts before they permanently return to Egypt. Commemorating 100 years since the groundbreaking discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, there are more than 150 pieces on display at Saatchi Gallery – three times the quantity that has travelled in previous exhibitions. More than 60 of these are travelling outside Egypt for the first time. Tickets from £24.50 for adults and £16.50 for children.
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road SW3 4RY; saatchigallery.com

53 Magic Goes Wrong at the Vaudeville Theatre, Strand
Until 31 May
Magic Goes Wrong is the latest production from Mischief Theatre, the Olivier award-winning company behind The Play That Goes Wrong. Created with magic legends Penn & Teller, the original Mischief company plays a hapless gang of magicians presenting a charity event to raise funds for their unfortunate contemporaries who have been injured while practising their craft. But as the accidents spiral out of control, so does their fundraising target. While there may be one too many bumps of the head in part one of Magic Goes Wrong, part two will have you grinning despite yourself as you’re swept along by the warm-hearted gang of misfits. The Mind Mangler in particular, played by Henry Lewis, is quite brilliant. Tickets from £20.
404 Strand WC2R 0NH; magicgoeswrong.com 

54 Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience
Until 30 August
The team behind Somnai, one of 2018’s most raved-about immersive experiences, returned earlier this year with a new gig – Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience. Prolific composer Jeff Wayne has partnered with cutting-edge ‘layered reality’ company dotdotdot to re-imagine his Musical Work into a multi-sensory experience of immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality holograms and other cutting-edge technology. You’ll be thrust you right into the centre of the of HG Wells’ Victorian England and the Martian invasion of 1898, where you’ll be able to smell the grass and feel the chill of the story’s famous Horsell Common, and physically feel the ground shake as the first cylinder lands. Tickets from £49.50.
56 Leadenhall Street EC3A 2BJ; dotdot.london/TWOTW

55 ABBA: Super Troupers, The Exhibition at The O2
Until 31 August
Let’s be honest, we’ve all sung along to Mamma Mia at some point in our lives and now you can celebrate ABBA’s incredible musical legacy at the O2 with this very special immersive exhibition. ABBA: Super Troupers, which has been conceptualised and curated by Jude Kelly MBE, former artistic director at The Southbank Centre, documents the Swedish band’s stellar rise to fame through personal items, photographs, costumes and lyrics. Tickets £20. ABBA superfans might want to double-up and head for the epic mammamiatheparty.com, located just around the corner in the O2.
Peninsula Square, North Greenwich SE10 ODX; theo2.co.uk 



 

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