49 Things to Do In London: May 2018

Lead image: Isaac Lee-Baker & Dreda Blow Jane Eyre. See it at Sadler’s Wells (photo: Guy Farrow)

1 Vegan Nights, Shoreditch
3 May
Vegan Nights returns to 93 Feet East in Shoreditch this month, bringing the best of the UK’s vegan scene together with more than 20 street-food traders including Biff’s Jack Shack, Eat Chay and What the Pitta. As well as an exciting DJ line up and new alfresco areas, the latest addition to the evening is a new space for live artists, courtesy of CookDaily Culture, and Spicebox’s Curry-oke is back by popular demand, while Orang Utan, Flip 80/20, and Dee’s Table will all be cooking up a storm. 5pm-11pm. Early Bird tickets available for £5, £7 thereafter.
150 Brick Lane, Shoreditch E1 6QL. Click here for tickets

2 Fashion Re-Told, Knightsbridge
Until 13 May
Harrods is partnering with the NSPCC to launch Fashion Re-Told, a luxury charity fashion pop-up, this weekend. Fashion Retold sells new, nearly new and pre-loved high-end fashion items, donated by Harrods – NSPCC’s longstanding charity partner – Harrods employees, members of the public and NSPCC ambassadors. The pop-up will feature both menswear and womenswear with pre-loved donations from top brands like Celine, Tom Ford, Chloe, Miu Miu, Victoria Beckham, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Loewe and more. Proceeds from the event will go directly towards helping NSPCC’s operations, helping children in the local London area. Cadogan has donated the premises on Sloane Street for the store. Open 11am-7pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm-6pm on Sundays.
196 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge SW1X 9QXharrods.com

3 Free Film Festivals, various locations
Throughout May
FFF moves around various locations across south east London, this month calling at Herne Hill and New Cross & Deptford. Herne Hill’s highlights include at 48 Hour Film Competition at the Prince Regent Pub on 5 May at 12pm and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Judith Kerr Primary School on 25 May at 9pm. New Cross & Deptford’s highlights include Lewisham At Home at the Stephen Lawrence Centre on 3 May at 7pm and the Sing – outdoor bike powered with Electric Pedals in Pepys Park on 4 May at 8.30pm. All films are free entry on a first-come-first-served basis.

4 National Theatre Connections, Bush Theatre
2-5 May
Theatre companies from the west London area will be performing a series of plays at the Bush Theatre in May as part of National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people. National Theatre Connections is one of the UK’s largest celebrations of youth theatre. Plays are commissioned for and about young people, from some of the best contemporary playwrights, and performed by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland. In 2018, National Theatre Connections is working with up to 270 youth theatres and schools to stage 10 newly commissioned plays, adding to the 160 plays the National Theatre have commissioned for young people since 1995.
7 Uxbridge Road, Shepherd’s Bush W12 8LJ; bushtheatre.co.uk

5 Neverland London’s Fulham Beach Club
From 3 May
London’s only Thameside beach is back with views of the Thames, Cabana’s, daybeds, alfresco dining, BBQs and games galore. Opening on 3 May, Neverland London’s Fulham Beach Club will be a chic beach-club paradise two bespoke bars serving up cocktails, beer and bottomless brunch, Jimmy Garcia’s pop-up restaurant, the BBQ Club, beachfront parties with live DJs sets, Saturday yoga sessions and activities including putting pong (thing beer-pong-meets-golf) and shuffle board. Open every Wednesday to Sunday throughout the summer. Entry £5. Sign up for a memberships for perks including queue-jump access, discounts on food, drink and events. Private hire bookings available.
Albert Wharf, Fulham SW6 2TY; neverlandlondon.com

6 Battersea Circus Garden, part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe
4-13 May
In 1768, on an abandoned patch of land near London’s Waterloo, showman, entrepreneur and equestrian rider Philip Astley drew out a circle in the ground, filled it with astounding physical acts – jugglers, acrobats, clowns, strong men and bareback riders – and what we now know as circus was born. This spring, as part of the celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of the invention of this art form, the Circus Garden will transform a small park tucked away behind Clapham Junction into a circus mecca. Over the first fortnight of May, Shillington Park in SW11 will be temporarily renamed Battersea Circus Garden and play home to a pop up venue, The Big Top. Wandsworth Arts Fringe runs from 4-20 May.

7 Audrey Hepburn Auction: The Personal Collection Part III, Christie’s
2-9 May
Christie’s online sale Audrey Hepburn: The Personal Collection Part III will open for bidding on 2 May, closing on 9 May. Comprising 212 lots, the sale is now available to view online. Following the success of Part I and II in autumn 2017, Part III continues Christie’s celebration of this globally renowned and adored film and stage actress, fashion legend and humanitarian, in what would have been her 90th year. The sale will provide a further opportunity for fans, collectors and admirers to delve into Audrey Hepburn’s personal world, both on and off screen, through the objects she collected, used and loved; from jewellery, fashion and accessories, to correspondence, film memorabilia and professional photography by leading photographers of the day.
8 King Street, St James’s SW1Y 6QT; christies.com

8 Birdsong at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
Until 5 May
Marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Birdsong is the critically acclaimed stage show based on the world famous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In pre-war France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire. This compelling production has been seen by over 200,000 people, and now it is your chance to experience this stunning piece of theatre live on stage. The cast will be headed by Tom Kay and Madeleine Knight as Wraysford and Azaire respectively. Kay starred to great acclaim in a recent production of Journey’s End, performed on a First World War battlefield at Ypres.
Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA; churchilltheatre.co.uk 

9 Sony World Photography Awards, Somerset House 
Until 6 May
Now in its 11th year, Sony World Photography Awards is one of the world’s largest and most diverse photography awards, spanning four different competitions (Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus) and is completely free to enter. 2018 has seen record entries to the fair, with nearly 320,000 images submitted from over 200 countries and territories. This year, until 6 May, the exhibition is curated by Mike Trow, ex-Picture Editor of British Vogue and will cover the entire ground floor exhibition space of Somerset House. This picture was taken by Kyaw Win Hlaing at Mount Bromo, which is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif in East Java, Indonesia. The name of Bromo derived from Javaneses pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

10 David Milne: Modern Painting at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 7 May
Dulwich Picture Gallery presents the first major UK exhibition of one of Canada’s greatest modern painters, David Milne, bringing together 90 oil paintings and watercolours alongside drawings and photographs never shown before in the UK, to reveal an artist of true originality and vision. Through periods of intense experimentation, often working in solitude in the wild, Milne developed an extraordinary body of landscapes, fusing influences from Monet, Matisse and Cezanne into a bold modernist language of his own.
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

11 United in Love Exhibition at Alon Zakaim Fine Art, Mayfair
Until 8 May 
United in Love, is the first joint venture from former international model turned photographer Natalie Goldstein and Simon Docherty, leading music and media executive and music publisher. The exhibition at Alon Zakaim Fine Art will feature twelve photographic works in two sizes, in limited editions of 12. Goldstein’s influence from Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts can clearly be seen with the portrayal of muscular, athletic bodies in monumental poses. Yet tempered with her own innate style, as can be seen with use of natural fibres, feathers and body art to enhance and shield the body at the same time. The photographic images were directed by Goldstein with the help of the choreographer Liane McRae from the Royal Ballet and the Royal Academy of Dance, and produced by Docherty.
5-7 Dover Street W1S 4LD; unitedinlove.co.uk

12 London Craft Week, across London
9-13 May
London Craft Week takes people on a journey of discovery into the capital’s most creative spaces – from the smallest off-the-beaten-track atelier to the storied livery halls of ancient makers’ guilds and the Houses of Parliament – as hundreds of locations around London give themselves over to the celebration of craftsmanship. The packed calendar of events includes behind-the-scenes demonstrations, hands-on craft workshops and a programme of talks, interviews and discussions featuring some of the most fascinating individuals in craft today. You can learn the intricacies of Swiss horology, British millinery and Danish ceramics, blend your own fragrances, print your own books or make your own tableware!

13 The Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead
10-13 May
The Affordable Art Fair returns to Hampstead Heath with an exciting showcase of the best in emerging and established creative talent, priced from just £100 up to £6,000. As well as showcasing the latest art trends for 2018, the fair will shine a spotlight on work using the most innovative techniques in infrared photography and 3D live scanning, as well as celebrating the amazing life stories of professional lawyers and footballers who have since found new identities as artists. Highlights include innovative new installations including Mella Shaw’s Harvest, which highlights the negative effects of plastic pollution in a particularly relevant political climate, and a workshop hosted by celebrated ceramicist Nam Tran, offering you the chance to create you own ‘Wabi-Sabi’ inspired work. Tickets £10-£25 (concs £8 – £13).
Hampstead Heath, Lower Fairground Site NW3 1TH; affordableartfair.com

14 The Bowie Experience at Churchill Theatre, Bromley
11 May
The Bowie Experience is a breathtaking concert celebrating the music of the world’s greatest pop icon David Bowie. A must see for all Bowie fans, the latest production promises an unforgettable journey of sound and vision, featuring all the hits from A to Ziggy. Bowie Experience continues to amaze audiences with an astounding attention to detail, bringing the golden years of David Bowie to theatres across the globe. So, put on your red shoes and Let’s Dance! The show will be playing at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on 11 May.
Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA; churchilltheatre.co.uk

15 Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy at Pleasance Theatre, Islington
Until 13 May
I didn’t come over to hurt people, but to help. I don’t have some evil plan, I’m not that smart. I couldn’t have even found Iraq on a map before I joined the Army! Fresh from a sell-out run at this year’s VAULT Festival, where it was awarded a Highly Commended accolade, Wound Up Theatre bring their hilarious play Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy to Pleasance London to launch the theatre’s brand new 80-seat Downstairs. This comical, heart-breaking and compassionate play contributes to the vital discussion around the experiences of disenfranchised young people in modern Britain. Tickets from £15.
Carpenters Mews, North Road N7 9EF; pleasance.co.uk

16 Art Deco Fair, Eltham Palace
12-13 May
The Art Deco Fair, held twice a year at Eltham Palace since 2002, returns this month with an abundance of vintage stalls to satisfy the most ardent shopper. Surround yourself with Art Deco decadence and sample the splendour of the thrilling 30s while taking an opulent journey into Eltham Palace’s past. Look out for traders like Hilary Conquy, who has been exhibiting at the fair for the past four years selling costume jewellery dating from 1900-1940, with the odd Christian Dior piece. There’s also Stephen Hazell-Smith, who sells Swedish glass from Orrefors, Kosta and Stromberg Hytten of the Art Deco period.
Court Yard, Eltham SE9 5QE; english-heritage.org.uk

17 Dulwich Festival, various venues 
11-20 May
Dulwich Festival, which turns 25 this year, sees the community come together with more than 250 artists opening their doors, guided walking tours, poetry and more. Highlights include an illustrated lecture from historian and author Jane at Dulwich Picture Gallery on 11 May; John Hinton’s latest family-oriented show, the Ensonglopedia of Science, at Alleyn’s School on 15 May; indie folk band, Joe Innes and the Cavalcade, performing on 12 May at The Crown & Greyhound; and influential poetry group The Last Poets closing the show at Dulwich College on 20 May.

18 A Substitute for Life, Clapham Omnibus
15-17 May
Tim Hardy plays Francis Kenworthy in Simon Brett’s riveting one-man play, A Substitute for Life. Born to affluence in the middle of the 19th century, Francis has always used his love of books as a means of insulating himself from real life. But books can’t protect him when a family accident brings him face to face with reality. Can he escape the violent outcome that seems inevitable? There shows will be followed by discussions with author, actor and director. Tickets £12.
1 Clapham Common North Side SW4 0QW; omnibus-clapham.org

19 Northern Ballet’s adaptation of Jane Eyre at Sadler’s Wells
15-19 May
Join one of literature’s most iconic heroines on a journey of courage, romance and tragedy with Northern Ballet’s adaptation of Jane Eyre. Based on the classical and ever-popular novel by Charlotte Brontë, Northern Ballet will bring this beautiful love story to life at London Sadler’s Wells next month for the first time with performances from 15-19 May. The ultimate tale of romance, jealousy and dark secrets, Jane Eyre is the story of one woman’s indomitable spirit overcoming all boundaries.
Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell EC1R 4TN; sadlerswells.com

20 Photo London, Somerset House
17-20 May
Photo London returns to Somerset House to showcase world-class photography from the capital’s museums, auction houses, galleries and burgeoning creative communities in east and south London. The world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public will come together to celebrate the medium through a public programme of special exhibitions, installations, talks and more. There will also be a number of Awards announced, including Photo London Master of Photography and the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers Award.

21 Chelsea Football Club Legends Match
18 May
Chelsea Football Club is hosting a special Legends match against Inter Forever at Stamford Bridge on Friday 18 May. The game will bring together members of Chelsea’s triple trophy-winning team of 1998 with a collection of Inter’s finest players, meaning we will see the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Wise and player-manager Gianluca Vialli going head to head with Javier Zanetti, Jurgen Klinsmann and Youri Djorkaeff. It is now two decades since the Blues lifted the League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup all in the same year, so CFC is excited to bring that team back together to take on the Inter Forever side, who will be marking a 20th anniversary of their own – lifting the UEFA Cup in 1998. All proceeds from the game will go towards the Chelsea Foundation, which boasts one of the most extensive community programmes in sport. Tickets from £20 for adults (£10 concs). Kick-off 7.45pm.
For tickets see chelseafc.com

22 Friday Late – The May Fayre, Handel and Hendrix in London
18 May
Handel and Hendrix in London has an evening of live music, theatrical performances and interactive activities to celebrate a forgotten part of London’s history for Museums at Night. The event is inspired by the annual celebration that took place near Brook Street during the 18th century. By then, it had attracted various showmen, jugglers, fencers and numerous fairground attractions, as well as a reputation for immorality and lawlessness. On the first floor, in Handel’s Music Room, Baroque musicians Charles MacDougall (tenor) and Katarzyna Kowalik (harpsichord) will reveal a narrative celebrating the coming of spring using some of Handel’s greatest operatic pieces. Up on the third floor, where Hendrix lived in 1969, English songstress Olivia Chaney will perform a very special acoustic set in Jimi’s bedroom. 7pm.
25 Brook Street W1K 4HB; handelhendrix.org

23 Midcentury East, Haggerston
20 May
Celebrated interiors show Midcentury Modern heads to Haggerston this month for Midcentury East, in association with Elle Decoration UK. Soak up the atmosphere and chat to the experts with more than 50 top midcentury dealers selling a range of furniture, ceramics, glass, wooden, metal smalls, vintage posters, art, Danish silver jewellery, lighting and rare Berber rugs (as used by Aalto and Eames). Celebs and bloggers mix with design junkies, architects, developers, bankers, accountants and vintage pundits at this much-loved show spread throughout Haggerston School, the Brutalist building designed by Erno Goldfinger in the 60s (Goldfinger was the architect James Bond writer Ian Fleming based his tallest baddie on after they fell out as neighbours in Hampstead, FYI). 10am-4pm. Tickets £9 in advance online or £10 on the door on the day. Afternoon tickets, 2 for £10 (entry from 2-4pm, offer available online only).
Weymouth Terrace E2 8LS; modernshows.com

24 Urban Village Fete, Greenwich Peninsula
20 May
Greenwich Peninsula, the largest emerging neighbourhood within the capital, welcomes back the Urban Village Fete, an alternative, contemporary twist on the traditional summer fete curated by Hemingway Design. The is a free one-day music and arts event that features a range of unique pop-ups, walkabout entertainment, curated designer marketplaces, London’s best street food vendors, art and design workshops for all ages and a series of talks hosted by BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms. For music lovers, Gilles Peterson will headline the main stage, with Touching Base, Jazz Re:freshed, Ruby Savage, William LV and more DJing throughout the day. 11am-7pm.
Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0SQ; weareurbanvillage.co.uk

25 London Saxophone Festival, various locations
21-27 May
This month sees the launch of the inaugural London Saxophone Festival, a celebration of all things sax, taking place at a range of venues across the capital. This week-long series of events will involve performances from world class musicians, workshops, film and exhibitions. The festival will feature some boundary breaking players at the very top of their game.

26 RHS Chelsea Flower Show
22-26 May

The unsurpassable Chelsea Flower Show returns with more than 100 thrilling floral displays. The Great Pavilion, a 12,000 sq ft marquee big enough to park 500 London buses, will again be the jewel in the Chelsea Flower Show crown, featuring the very best from the world’s finest nurseries, growers and florists. This year there will also be health and wellbeing gardens, showing how plants and green spaces can improve lives; Space to Grow Gardens with ideas for smaller, urban gardens; and the Chelsea Late Event on Friday night, giving even more visitors chance to see the show with bands, an artisan food market and wandering artists.
London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea SW3 4SR; rhs.org.uk

27 Edward Bawden retrospective at Dulwich Picture Gallery
23 May-9 September
Dulwich Picture Gallery will present a major retrospective of work by the celebrated British artist and designer, Edward Bawden RA CBE (1903-89). It will be the most wide-ranging exhibition since Bawden’s death, and the first to look at every aspect of his 60-year career, showcasing a number of previously unseen works from the Bawden family’s private collection as well as 18 rarely seen war portraits, displayed together for the first time. Widely respected as an innovative graphic designer, book illustrator and printmaker, Edward Bawden is best known today for his monumental linocuts and for the witty designs he made for companies like Shell and Fortnum & Mason.
Gallery Road SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

28 Norman Ackroyd: Travels with Copper and Wax at One Paved Court, Richmond
Until 26 May
One Paved Court, an independent contemporary art space in the heart of Richmond, is delighted to announce a new exhibition Travels with Copper and Wax by Norman Ackroyd, one of Britain’s leading landscape artists working in watercolour and etching. The show coincides with the artist’s 80th birthday. Travels with Copper and Wax offers a rare opportunity for visitors to view Ackroyd’s early and recent etchings together, giving a unique insight into his work. The exhibition will bring together two distinct areas of his work – ‘intimate English landscapes’ from the early 1990s, and his more recent dramatic monochrome landscapes based on the harsh coastlines, outcrops of rock and wild seas of the north of Scotland and the west of Ireland.
1 Paved Court, Richmond TW9 1LZ; onepavedcourt.co.uk

29 Magali Reus: As Mist, Description Exhibition at the South London Gallery, Camberwell
Until 27 May
This is one to get excited about. London-based Dutch artist Magali Reus’s first major institutional solo exhibition in London comprises an entirely new body of work, framed by architectural interventions designed specifically for the South London Gallery’s main space. Reus’s interest in material as evidence of process is articulated in interlinked series of sculptures through the use of complex casting, moulding and weaving techniques, pitting the aggressive emptiness of manufacture against the slow diligence of handwork. The exhibition has been commissioned and produced by Bergen Kunsthall and the South London Gallery.
65-67 Peckham Road SE5 8UH; southlondongallery.org

30 Jam on the Rye, Peckham
28 May
Kerb presents Jam on the Rye on Bank Holiday Monday, a brand new one-day celebration of sound system culture and the best of London street food on Peckham Rye. Expect a mix of reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz across three stages. The Main Stage will be presented by Reggae Roast and headlined by David Rodigan, Horace Andy (Live) and Mungo’s HiFi; the second stage will be hosted by south London promoters Wormfood; and the third will play host to KERB’s second KERB Talks, a panel discussion on London’s sounds system culture and local talent.  The street food line up will include Breddos, White Men Can’t Jerk and Only Jerkin’, and like all KERB events, this one’s for everyone from Baby Boomers to boom-boxers. 11.30am-10.30pm. Tickets from £20.
Strakers Road SE15 3UA; kerbfood.com/jamonrye

31 John Copeland: Your Heaven Looks Just Like My Hell Exhibition at the Newport Street Gallery, Lambeth
Until 28 May
Newport Street Gallery presents an exhibition of work by American artist John Copeland. Copeland’s first UK solo exhibition features 25 paintings, dating from 2009 to 2017, taken from the Murderme collection. Veering between representation and abstraction, Copeland’s paintings feature tactile, impasto surfaces, rendered in oil and acrylic paint. Professing an interest in ‘any arrangement that involves interaction between the figures’, Copeland often situates his subjects in social settings – around a table, playfully balanced on one another’s shoulders, or surveying a painting as a group. The figures remain, however, deeply ambiguous, and are set against abstract backgrounds populated by curious, amorphous shapes.
Newport Street, Lambeth SE11 6AJ; newportstreetgallery.com

32 Ian Cheng Exhibition at Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park
Until 28 May
This spring, the Serpentine invites you to your first encounter with a sentient artwork named BOB (Bag Of Beliefs). A litter of BOBs will begin their lives in parallel on 6 March. Each BOB may become interested in you, love you, hate you, mistake you for someone else, learn from you, or ignore you. And you, in turn, may permanently influence a BOB’s behaviour, beliefs, and emotional life. BOB is the creation of American artist Ian Cheng and will sit at the heart of his first solo UK exhibition, transforming the Serpentine Gallery into a space that is not unlike an animal sanctuary for new forms of 21st-century life. Growing and evolving at all hours of the day and night, BOBs will not be exhibited for your viewing pleasure – you will be exhibited to them.
Kensington Gardens W2 3XA; serpentinegalleries.org

33 London History Day, various locations
31 May
London History Day returns for its second year with more than 70 of London’s museums, galleries and cultural spaces offering behind-the-scenes tours, rarely-seen exhibits and one-off events. The theme for London History Day 2018 – touching on the pioneering spirit and heroism of those who battled for women’s right to vote – is Courage. Take a free guided walk down the Strand with King’s College London Archives, highlighting the history of women’s suffrage in the area; hear the fascinating stories of Chelsea Pensioners past and present at Royal Hospital Chelsea; or join a behind-the-scenes tour of The Old Vic and encounter 200 years of theatrical history in London. There’s plenty for kids too, with a special Meet a Scientist session at The Francis Crick Institute, the chance to dress up at the London Fire Brigade pop-up museum and more.

34 Under Cover: A Secret History Of Cross – Dressers Exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery, Soho
Until 3 June
Drawn from the extensive personal archives of filmmaker and photography collector Sébastien Lifshitz, this exhibition of amateur ‘found’ photographs from Europe and the US explores gender non-conformity and cross-dressing. Dating from 1880 onwards, the photos are mostly of unnamed and unknown figures and as such offer an unauthorised view into the worlds of individuals and groups choosing to defy gender conventions. Lifshitz’s initial collecting impulse was a fascination with the vernacular documentation of cross-dressing; his criteria to accumulate photographs, which showed men dressing as women and vice versa. Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers celebrates the collective inventiveness and liberation that the seemingly simple act of dressing differently provides. The exhibition was originally produced by the Rencontres d’Arles.
16-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW; thephotographersgallery.org.uk

35 Rediscover: Tiepolo’s ‘Joseph Receiving Pharaoh’s Ring’ at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Until 3 June
From 20 March, Rediscover: Tiepolo’s ‘Joseph Receiving Pharaoh’s Ring’ is on show at Dulwich Picture Gallery. The painting has been away from the Gallery for conservation since October 2015. This is the first opportunity to see the painting newly conserved, alongside the technical research carried out along the way: including X-rays and paint analysis. You can expect to look at a single painting from every possible angle, learning more about its artist, subject, meaning and making. It will reveal incredible details and the layers beneath the surface of the painting.
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

36 Absolute Hell at the National Theatre
Until 16 June
Bomb-blasted London. A Soho den in the hangover from World War II – Rodney Ackland’s extraordinarily provocative play, Absolute Hell, was condemned as ‘a libel on the British people’ when first performed in 1952. Now it emerges at the National Theatre as an intoxicating plunge into post-war Soho. Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the NT to direct a large ensemble in this new production.
Upper Ground, Lambeth SE1 9PX; nationaltheatre.org.uk

37 Macbeth at the National Theatre
Until 23 June
The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. The National Theatre is presenting the famous Shakespeare production of Macbeth. Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy is directed by Rufus Norris 25 years after his last Shakespeare production. Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively.
Olivier Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank SE1 9PX; nationaltheatre.org.uk

38 Fatberg! at Museum of London
Until 1 July
The Museum of London will showcase the last remaining piece of the Whitechapel fatberg as part of a display titled Fatberg! opening on 9 February. Fatberg! will address how fatbergs are created, the processes of obtaining and displaying such an object and how the rest of the fatberg was recycled. The display will tie in with the museum’s season of events and displays, City Now City Future which examines the challenges, initiatives and innovations taking place within our cities.
150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk

39 Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
Until 22 July
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.
Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich SE10 8XJ; rmg.co.uk

40 The Simon & Garfunkel Story at Lyric Theatre, Soho
Until 23 July
The Simon & Garfunkel Story as it extends its acclaimed West End run with Philip Murray Warson (One Man Two Guvnors) to join, starring as Paul Simon alongside previously announced Charles Blyth as Art Garfunkel. Revealing the incredible journey shared by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, the audience follows their meteoric rise. From Simon and Garfunkel‘s humble beginnings, right through their worldwide successes and bitter break-up, culminating with a stunning recreation of their 1981 Central Park reformation concert, audiences can re-live the moments that justified their ten Grammy Awards and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.
29 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7ES; thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com

41 Bat Out Of Hell at the Dominion Theatre, Fitzrovia
Until 28 July
The West End run of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical, winner of the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical 2017, is opening this month. Performances will begin at the Dominion Theatre in London on 2 April, with a Gala Night on Thursday 19 April. The cast will be led by Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017. The show wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in 2017, and has been seen by nearly 500,000 people so far. The show has received the most nominations for a musical in the 2018 WhatsOnStage Awards, with eight nominations.
268-269 Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia W1T 7AQ; nederlander.co.uk

42 Relatum – Stage at Serpentine Galleries, Hyde Park
Until 29 July
The Serpentine continues its exploration of public art with a sculptural commission by artist Lee Ufan named Relatum – Stage. Lee Ufan came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major theoretical and practical proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha group. The first contemporary art movement in Japan to gain international recognition, Mono-ha rejected Western notions of representation, focusing on the relationships between materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention. Ufan’s minimalist works, which use only two materials, steel and stone, are characteristic of this school of thought. Comprised of two angled, mirrored, steel sheets and two different-sized stones, Relatum – Stage will merge the natural and industrial in a poetic installation that reflects the surrounds of the park.
Kensington Gardens W2 3XA; serpentinegalleries.org

43 All Too Human at the Tate Britain, Westminster
Until 27 August
Get down to the Tate Britain this month to see the exhibition that everyone is talking about, All Too Human. It celebrates the painters in Britain who strove to represent human figures, their relationships and surroundings in the most intimate of ways. It features artists including Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon alongside rarely seen work from their contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. Many of them lived or live in London, drawn to the multicultural capital from around the world. Three important works by Francis Bacon will be shown in the UK for the first time in at least three decades.
Millbank, Westminster SW1P 4RG; tate.org.uk

44 Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie at County Hall
Until 16 September
This new production of Agatha Christie’s classic courtroom drama by Eleanor Lloyd Productions and Rebecca Stafford Productions is set in County Hall’s ornate Chamber. Director Lucy Bailey places the audience in the thick of the action, with some even watching from the jury box, as this gripping tale of justice, passion and betrayal unfolds around them. Leonard Vole is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth. The stakes are high. Will Leonard survive the shocking witness testimony? Will he be able to convince the jury of his innocence and escape the hangman’s noose? This production has proved so popular that its run has been extended until September. Tickets £10-£95 (VIP Jury Tickets include access to a private bar area, a complimentary programme and 2 complimentary drinks.
Belvedere Road, South Bank SE1 7PB; witnesscountyhall.com

45 The Great British Seaside at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Until 30 September
On 23 March the National Maritime Museum opens a major photography exhibition celebrating the nation’s love affair with the seaside. Featuring over 100 works by four of Britain’s most celebrated photographers – Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts – The Great British Seaside: Photography from the 1960s to the present, explores our changing relationship with the seaside over the last six decades. The Great British Seaside documents a quintessentially British experience. It covers the country’s beaches from Brighton to Blackpool and captures the traditions, customs and eccentricities associated with them. Through the work of some of Britain’s most celebrated photographers, the exhibition will showcase photography from their archive collections, as well as negative contact sheets and footage.
Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

46 Special Forces: In the Shadows at the National Army Museum, Chelsea
Until 18 November
Extreme training. Secret missions. Total dedication. Explore the hidden world of the Special Forces. This major exhibition presents ideas of security and secrecy through the lens of the Special Forces. Discover who these soldiers are, the skills they need, and the operations they’ve undertaken at home and abroad. The exhibition looks at the work of these units as well as the skills and dedication needed to make the cut. Tickets are £8.
Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HT; nam.ac.uk

47 Dream On at V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green
Until 20 January 2019
Dream on is a new exhibition which explores dreams, the unconscious and an imaginary world between sleep and wakefulness. iI weaves together several elements. Looking at our relationship to objects and the power we invest in them the exhibition plays with the notion that objects come to life when we are not looking, much like our dreams when we fall asleep. The artists at the exhibit include Christie Brown Katherine Tulloh, Madeleine Waller, the children of St George’s Hospital Tooting, and the primary school children from Lauriston School Hackney.
Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PA; vam.ac.uk

48 Mat Collishaw Exhibition at the Queen’s House, Greenwich
Until 23 September
Works by celebrated British contemporary artist Mat Collishaw are now on display in the Queen’s House in Greenwich. The new exhibition focuses on his photographic Insecticide series (2006-2014) and a second phase, to launch in September, will reveal a new commission in response to the iconic Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I, which his works hang alongside. Known for his visual explorations of humanity’s darker side, Collishaw’s works often reference myth and art history. In Insecticide, butterflies – symbols of the fragility of life – are crushed and enlarged to an exaggerated scale. The intense detail, lighting and simple motif of a figure set against a dark background is something shared by these photographs and Elizabethan portraiture. The velvety wings and iridescent tones of the Insecticides echo the sumptuous texture of Queen Elizabeth’s dress and its opulent embellishment. Free admission. Open daily 10am-5pm.
Romney Road, Greenwich SE10 9NF; rmg.co.uk

49 Diana: Her Fashion Story, Kensington Palace
Until November
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’. The exhibition re-opened after a refresh on 26 April 2018, and now contains new items including the flak vest, denim shirt and Armani chinos selected for her high-profile visit to the landmine fields of Angola in 1997. Adult tickets £16-£19.50.
Kensington Gardens W8 4PX; hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace


Like what you see?

Sign up to The Resident newsletter for even more news, views and things to do in London, delivered direct to your inbox once a week