April in London 2017

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Queer British Art

Duncan Grant, Bathing, 1911 (c) Tate

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Queer British Art
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Royal Greenwich Tall Ships
Canalway Cavalcade
Breakin' Convention
Guards At The Taj
Virgin London Marathon
The London Coffee Festival
Angels in America
Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria
Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races
Country Living Magazine Spring Fair
Game Changers: Another Way to Play
Moomin Adventures
Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition
The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: Bangarang
Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race
The Spring Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair
Sadler's Wells Family Weekend: Aracaladanza
Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square
The Philanthropist
Alice's Adventures Underground
The Big London Flea
Friday Late Spectacular: Macho?
The Royal Ballet: Jewels
Jude Law stars in Obsession
Vaisakhi Festival
Now Play This
The Royal Opera: The Exterminating Angel
Betroffenheit
Paul Auster's City Of Glass
My First Ballet: Cinderella
The Crucible
Fevered Sleep: Men & Girls Dance
Rag N Bone Man
Tea Dance at St Katharine Docks
The Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes
Depot Open Weekend: Secrets of the Underground
Mayerling
Country Living Magazine Spring Fair 2017
Be:Fit
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance: Material Men redux
Butlers and Banquets at Apsley House
 

 

Easter, the London Marathon and the Queen's birthday all feature in LondonTown's guide to April 2017 when Lenny Henry treads the boards at the Donmar and the Tate explores Queer British Art.

 
 

Moomin Adventures

A three-week Moomin-themed Easter festival.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 1st to 17th April 2017

 

Coinciding with Adventures in Moominland at the Southbank Centre, the Moomin come to Kew Gardens this April. Moomin Adventures is a three-week Moomin-themed Easter festival that sees the Moomin getting up to all sorts of mischief and fun. Among the activities will be an interactive Moomin trail, inviting young visitors to embark on a magical Moomin mission through Kew Gardens to find Hemulen's missing plants. There will also be a Moomin Festival Camp, where you can meet a real-life Moomin costumed character; Marvellous Moomin workshops, from den building to courgette planting; and face painting, providing the chance to get traditional Easter or Moomin themed design. There will also be a specially designed Kew Moomin App to enhance the experience.

 
 
 

The Royal Ballet: Jewels

George Balanchine's glimmering "triptych of abstract, musically sophisticated ballets" - Guardian.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 1st to 21st April 2017

 

George Balanchine's glittering ballet, inspired by the beauty of gem stones, was first performed in full by The Royal Ballet in 2007. Returning to the Royal Opera House a decade later, this production of Jewels features a number of debuts from across the company and set designs by Jean-Marc Puissant. The ballet uses three gem stones - emeralds, rubies and diamonds - as starting points to explore an array of musical and dance styles that are connected to Balanchine's own life and career.

 
 
 

Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races

England's two elite universities take to the water to battle it out once again.

Putney Bridge, Between Fulham and Putney, London, SW6 3JD

Tube: Putney Bridge Station

 

Dates: 02nd April 2017

 

One of London's oldest sporting events, first raced in 1829, The Boat Race sees England's two elite universities take to the water in a nail-biting rowing race between Putney Bridge and Mortlake Bridge in southwest London. Thousands of fans line the Thames each year to see Oxford battle against Cambridge. For spectators, there's a great view - and some great pubs - around Furnivall Gardens on the north side of the Thames near Hammersmith Bridge. Alternatively, you might like to watch from near the start at Putney Bridge, where the big screens on both banks allow spectators to monitor the race as it heads its way around the first bend. Nearby, at Bishop's Park behind the South Stand of Fulham football ground Craven Cottage, you'll find food stalls, family attractions and a large beer tent, while the banks of the river around Barnes are another popular spot. The warm-up starts with the reserve crew race between Isis and Goldie held before the main event but the build-up at the river bank starts well before, from 12noon at Bishop's Park and Furnivall Gardens.

 
 
 

Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race

Over 1,000 people buy tickets for the annual goat race, a farmyard take on the boat race.

Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 5AR

Tube: Whitechapel Station

 

Dates: Sunday 2nd April 2017

 

The stakes are high as Oxford and Cambridge once again come head-to-head in a nail-biting and highly competitive race. No, this isn't the famous Boat Race but the equally prestigious (okay, maybe not quite) Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race. Two feisty goats - one named Oxford, the other Cambridge - embark on the annual race, which takes place at Spitalfields City Farm on the same day as the Boat Race. In the build up to the big race there's live music, food and market stalls, beer and cocktail bars, arts and crafts stands as well as a bookie and sweepstake tent.

 
 
 

The Piano Brothers

The cutting-edge piano duo conclude this year's All About Piano! festival.

Cine Lumiere, Institut Francais Cultural Centre, 17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2DT

Tube: South Kensington Station, Gloucester Road Station

 

Dates: 02nd April 2017

 

The closing act of this year's All About Piano! festival, The Piano Brothers perform their own original compositions as well as arrangements of a range of diverse musical styles from Bernstein to Coldplay. The cutting-edge piano duo, Dominic Anthony Ferris and Elwin Hendrijanto, met eight years ago while studying at the Royal College of Music and have since become well known. Their recordings featured at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games and on the million-selling Elvis Presley album If I Can Dream and they were commissioned by Steinway to compose the soundtrack for a film on 'The Making of a Steinway Model B' inside the famous Hamburg factory.

 
 
 

The Philanthropist

Spend 24 hours in the lives of a group of young academics in Christopher Hampton's top class comedy.

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 3rd April to 22nd July 2017

 

Simon Callow directs an all-star cast in Christopher Hampton's comedy set in a fictitious English university town where out of touch academics anguish over relationships, anagrams and the meaning of life. Matt Berry, best known for his roles in The IT Crowd and The Mighty Boosh plays the floundering professor of philology, appearing alongside Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners), model-turned-actress Lily Cole, stand-up comedian Tom Rosenthal and Charlotte Ritchie, who'll be familiar to most from her TV roles as Melissa in Fresh Meat and as one half of two-hander Siblings.

 
 
 

Borough Talks

This new series of talks explores the key issues facing the food industry.

Borough Market, Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL

Tube: London Bridge Station, Borough Station

 

Dates: 4th April to 12th September 2017

 

Borough Market launches a new series of talks and debates in 2017, inviting some of the most well respected names from the world of food to take part in hour long discussions on key issues and topics currently facing the industry. Starting in April, the short series will span across literature, technology and sustainability, asking questions such as 'what is the true cost of the food we eat?'. The first in the series is 'Read, cook, live: the ingredients of a cookbook', which will shed light on what it takes to make a good cookbook. Taking part in the discussion will be Felicity Cloake, best known for her column in The Guardian; Monika Linton, founder of Brindisa and author of Brindisa: The True Food of Spain; and publishing director of the Octopus Group, Stephanie Jackson. Further events on the line-up include a look at how the media can help your food business and how to reduce the impact of food production. After each talk guests will be invited to enjoy a spread of food and drink curated to match each topic by Borough Market's traders.

 
 
 

The Spring Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair

A wealth of unusual period design, 20th century classics and eccentric accessories.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 4th to 9th Apr 2017

 

Held at The Marquee at Battersea Park in January, April and October each year, the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair is frequented by some of the most influential interior designers. Rose Uniacke attends every event and has brought clients including David and Victoria Beckham to previous fairs. Bringing together 150 exhibitors from the UK and Europe, there's a wealth of unusual period design, 20th century classics and eccentric accessories. Expect to find anything from vintage French wine glasses to valuable paintings by well-known contemporary artists like Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney.

 
 
 

Queer British Art

The first major exhibition in Britian to focus on queer British art.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station

 

Dates: 5th April to 1st October 2017

 

The year 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales, and Tate Britain isn't letting it go unnoticed. Putting on the first major exhibition in Britain to focus on queer British art, well known figures such as Oscar Wilde, and works by artists including John Singer Sargent, David Hockney and Francis Bacon, have been selected for Queer British Art. A combination of playful and political, erotic and domestic works, this exhibition explores how shifts in attitudes towards gender and sexuality found expression in the arts.

 
 
 

The London Coffee Festival

Over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls under one roof.

The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Tube: Aldgate East Station

 

Dates: 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Apr 2017

 

The London Coffee Festival returns with new features including an art competition linked to the theme of coffee. The four day festival kicks off with an espresso martini party and continues with coffee food pairing, a milk bar and latte art throwdown and the school of chocolate. The Coffee Masters competition also returns for another fast paced competition where sixteen world-class baristas compete for the much coveted title and a 5,000 cash prize. Across the Old Truman Brewery site over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs and art exhibitions are staged, all centred on the caffeinated drink. Visitors also gain access to Milk & Sugar, showcasing some of London's cutting edge fashion, design, art, lifestyle and wellbeing brands.

 
 
 

Carousel

Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins star in this musical about a doomed romance.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 7th April to 13th May 2017

 

Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins perform together for the first time in the West End as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical about a doomed romance. Carousel comes with a rousing songbook that includes If I Loved You, June Is Bustin' Out All Over and You'll Never Walk Alone. The semi-staged production is directed by Lonny Price - who was behind the critically acclaimed runs of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close - and features English National Opera's 40-piece orchestra and chorus.

 
 
 

Guards At The Taj

The first play to be staged at the refurbished Bush Theatre, back after a year out.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)

 

Dates: 7th April to 20th May 2017

 

Jamie Lloyd, who gave us The Ruling Class and Maids - part of his Trafalgar Transformed programme - directs the European premiere of Guards At The Taj, the first play staged at the remodelled Bush Theatre, back after a year of breaking out. So we can expect an excellent staging of Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph's award-winning comic drama about two Imperial guards, Humayun and Babur. Set in 17th century Agra, the two are ordered to keep watch as the majestic Tajmahal takes shape behind them.

 
 
 

Game Changers: Another Way to Play

A month-long celebration of games and play.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 7th April to 7th May 2017

 

Somerset House hosts a month-long celebration of games and play this April with special exhibition Game Changers: Another Way to Play. The month kicks off with popular gaming weekend Now Play This, which coincides with the London Games Festival and features a post-apocalyptic mini-golf course on the River Terrace, a ping-pong table that creates a work of art as you play, and a physical, team-based challenge to stop the bubonic plague. The main exhibition, meanwhile, offers visitors more of an in-depth look at the creative process of game design. From traditional games such as chess, billiards and mazes to the exciting new games of today, discover what influences designers and see how the games have evolved. There will also be games on hand for visitors to try for themselves.

 
 
 

Now Play This

More than 50 games to get involved with over one weekend.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 7th, 8th and 9th April 2017

 

The month-long Game Changers, a celebration of games and play at Somerset House, kicks off with popular gaming weekend Now Play This, presenting over 50 games to get involved with. Coinciding with the London Games Festival, this weekend of play features a post-apocalyptic mini-golf course on the River Terrace, a ping-pong table that creates a work of art as you play, and a physical, team-based challenge to stop the bubonic plague. The main exhibition, Game Changers, taking place throughout April, offers visitors a more in-depth look at the creative process of game design.

 
 
 

Friday Late Spectacular: Macho?

An exploration of the complexity of masculinity.

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

Tube: Euston Square Station, Euston Station, Warren Street Station

 

Dates: Friday 7th April 2017

 

The Wellcome Collection explores the complexity of masculinity with its next late-night event, Macho? Artists and experts will join drag kings and choirs to challenge the stereotype of being macho, from the celebratory to the damaging. The special late-night event will include Bromance, a rolling drag king cabaret and chance for visitors to create their own king persona; Real Men Used to Cry, with an expert discussing the myths about men and emotion; talks from the Domestic Violent Intervention Project and the Great Men Initiative, who are both working on tackling damaging manifestations of masculinity in our society; and a long table discussion on why femininity in a male body can be so threatening. There will also be a bar open all night.

 
 
 

Angels in America

A new staging of Tony Kushner's multi-award winning two-part play.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: From 11th April 2017

 

The National Theatre presents a new staging of Tony Kushner's multi-award winning two-part play, Angels in America, this April. The 1993 play won a Pulitzer, Tony and Drama Desk Award and was later adapted into a HBO miniseries. Now, Olivier and Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse) directs the new production. Set in America in the mid-1980s, in the midst of the AIDS crisis, the genre-busting play, which is made up of two parts - Millennium Approaches and Perestroika - tells the story of a straight and a gay couple as they tackle addiction, diagnosis and desperate illness. Andrew Garfield takes the role of Prior Walter while other cast members include Denise Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle and Russell Tovey.

 
 
 

Betroffenheit

"Human suffering transformed into heroic brilliance" - The Guardian

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th April 2017

 

After its successful UK premiere last spring - "human suffering transformed into heroic brilliance" ran The Guardian headline - Betroffenheit returns to the Sadler's Wells stage on 11th and 12th April 2017. Choreographer Crystal Pite and actor-playwright Jonathon Young join forces to examine the aftermath of Young's personal tragedy, the loss of his teenage daughter, touching on themes of loss, trauma, addiction and recovery.

 
 
 

My First Ballet: Cinderella

The English National Ballet stage a show especially for children.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station, Covent Garden Station, Temple Station

 

Dates: 11th to 22nd April 2017

 

English National Ballet has partnered with English National Ballet School to produce the My First Ballet series, a number of special performances aimed at children as young as three to introduce them to ballet through the magic of fairytales. Cinderella, the charming tale of rags-to-riches, is performed to music by Prokofiev and accompanied by narration. Tormented by her evil stepsisters, Cinderella dreams of the day she can escape and attend the Prince's enchanting ball. One night, when she's been abandoned for yet more cleaning, Cinderella is visited by her Fairy Godmother and her dreams begin to come true.

 
 
 

The Crucible

This new production draws parallels with Trump's America and Post Brexit UK.

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Surrey, London, TW9 1QJ

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 11th to 15th Apr 2017

 

Coronation Street's Charlie Condou stars as righteous Reverend Hale and Victoria Yeates, who plays Sister Winifred in BBC drama Call The Midwife, is Elizabeth Proctor in Arthur Miller's landmark political parable. This new production of The Crucible, a play about the corrosive power of suspicion in a small 17th century New England town, draws parallels with Trump's America and Post Brexit UK where truth is no longer an absolute. Staged in association with Les Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg, the play is directed by Douglas Rintoul, fresh from his recent sell-out production of Made in Dagenham.

 
 
 

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships

Around 30 Tall Ships sail down the Thames over the Easter weekend.

Cutty Sark Gardens, King William Walk, London, SE10 9HT

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)

 

Dates: 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Apr 2017

 

A huge Parade of Sail sees around 30 Tall Ships sail down the Thames in convoy on the Sunday of the Tall Ships Festival which runs over the Easter weekend, from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th April 2017. This year, the festival forms part of the Canadian Confederation 150th anniversary celebrations, with ships sailing from Greenwich to Quebec, passing through Sines, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bermuda and Boston. Over the five days there will be a series of activities in Greenwich, Woolwich and on the River Thames while on Sunday 16th April ships, street performers and a grand fireworks finale will take place. It's a wonderful family day out where children can board some of the ships usually off limits to the general public.

 
 
 

Fevered Sleep: Men & Girls Dance

This new production challenges the controversy surrounding adults dancing with children.

The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY

Tube: Euston Station, Euston Square Station

 

Dates: 13th to 22nd April 2017

 

You only have to Google 'Shia LeBouf Sia music video' to see the controversy a full grown man dancing with a girl causes. It's this mindset that performance company Fevered Sleep are challenging with their new dance show, Men & Girls Dance. Doing exactly that, the production sees men who dance professionally and girls from the local area who dance for fun team up to perform together, celebrating the rights of adults and children to be together, to play together and to dance together without arousing suspicion. It comes as part of Fevered Sleep's ambition to encourage audiences to think differently about the world and to start conversations.

 
 
 

Sadler's Wells Family Weekend: Aracaladanza

Dance weekend especially for children and their families.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April 2017

 

Multi award-winning dance company Aracaladanza takes Leonardo da Vinci's ideas about flight, drawing and human anatomy as inspiration for its new dance theatre production for families, Vuelos. Using wings, horses and playing with perspective, choreographer Enrique Cabrera creates a visually stunning dance that's especially appealing to children. Before and after the performance there are free Vuelos-inspired family craft activities using feathers, shapes, paper and colours, suitable for children aged 5 and grown-ups alike.

 
 
 

The Passion of Jesus

A recreation of the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: Friday 14th April 2017

 

Now a regular addition to Easter in London, The Passion of Jesus is a recreation of the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, put on for free for the public in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. Not to be outdone by the scores of Easter egg hunts and other events across the city, Trafalgar Square hosts this special adaptation giving viewers the chance to get to grips with the story at the heart of Easter. Featuring a cast of over a hundred, all donning period costumes, a donkey and horses, the 90-minute show attracts up to 20,000 people for each of its two performances at 12noon and 3.15pm and undoubtedly has a big impact on the watching crowds as they witness the tale of Christ's betrayal by Judas and his trial before Pontius Pilate.

 
 
 

Alice's Adventures Underground

The Olivier Award nominated production returns this year.

The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN

Tube: Waterloo Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 15th April to 10th September 2017

 

Les Enfants Terribles and ebp's Olivier Award nominated wonderland, a huge hit here at the the Vaults deep underneath Waterloo Station two years ago, returns. Invited down the rabbit hole in groups of 56, Alice's Adventures Underground presents each audience member with a choice of 'Eat Me' or 'Drink Me', which affects the way their show unfolds. Dependant on the path chosen, guests will then be led on a journey through some of 33 different rooms, each unique with a story to tell - expect to meet a number of familiar characters along the way and join in on one hell of a tea party. This impressive fusion of puppetry, music, storytelling and modern circus-theatre is dark yet humorous and puts the audience in the midst of the action. In production for three years, it's a must-visit this summer. And be sure to have a boogie with the walrus, champagne in hand, at the after party. Not suitable for children aged below 11, instead see Adventures in Wonderland for children aged five to 10.

 
 
 

Cardboard Citizens: Home Truths

One of nine plays exploring the history of housing.

The Bunker, 53a Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Tube: Borough Station

 

Dates: 17th April to 13th May 2017

 

Award-winning theatre company Cardboard Citizens celebrates 25 years of making work with and for homeless people with a season of new work at The Bunker in London this April. Nine new plays exploring the history of housing - from the slums of Victorian London to today's situation - are presented in three cycles. Working with leading UK playwrights, the plays vary from Heathcote Williams' true story of squatting in the 1970s to the ravages of Rachmanism in the 1950s and white flight in the 21st century.

 
 
 

Pierre Novellie Is Cool Peter

The comedian examines what is cool and what it means to be cool.

Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London, W1D 3NE

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 18th, 19th and 20th April 2017

 

Nominated for Best Club Comic at the 2016 Chortle Awards, a writer for Adam Buxton's Shed of Christmas who appeared with the Footlights at Cambridge University, Pierre Novellie examines what is cool and what it means to be cool in this character comedy show. Pierre Novellie is Cool Peter is, "a blistering hour of outsider observational comedy that is packed with brilliantly nerdy contemplations" says The Skinny.

 
 
 

Obsession

Jude Law stars in Ivo van Hove's adaptation of the 1943 social drama.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 19th April to 20th May 2017

 

Renowned director Ivo van Hove takes on Visconti's Obsession this spring, forming one part of a three production Toneelgroep Amsterdam residency at the Barbican. The month-long adaptation of the powerful 1943 social drama will be the headline event of the takeover and the first Toneelgroep show to star British actors, with Jude Law in the role of the magnetically handsome Gino. Based on James M Cain's novel The Postman Always Rings Twice, the story follows Gino as he encounters Giuseppe and his much younger, trapped wife, Giovanna. With Gino and Giovanna overwhelmingly attracted to one another, they begin an affair while also plotting to murder Giuseppe. However, in this story, passion can only lead to destruction.

 
 
 

Nuclear War

Prolific playwright Simon Stephens presents this new play about desire, death and time.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 19th April to 6th May 2017

 

Known for plays such as Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Carmen Disruption, Herons and Birdland, prolific playwright Simon Stephens now presents Nuclear War in a collaboration with Imogen Knight, who makes her directing debut. Staged in the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the story is very much under wraps but we do know it's about desire, death and time.

 
 
 

Rag N Bone Man

The Critic's Choice BRIT Award winner performs live.

Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT

Tube: Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)

 

Dates: Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th April 2017

 

Rory Graham, better known as Rag 'N' Bone Man, spent years on the fringes of the UK hip-hop scene but he has "struck gold" (NME) with his massive hit 'Human'. Winning the Critics' Choice BRIT award hasn't done anything to stand in the way of his rise to the top either. With a voice that is "truly a showstopper" (NME), a love of hip-hop that "bleeds into the music he makes" and an original take on blues, these sold out gigs at Shepherds Bush Empire are sure to be something special.

 
 
 

Paul Auster's City Of Glass

One of the great masterpieces of contemporary American fiction.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 20th April to 13th May 2017

 

One of the great masterpieces of contemporary American fiction, Paul Auster's City of Glass sets out in the guise of a mystery thriller but is really about the life-or-death psychological struggle of its main protagonist, Quinn. 59 Productions - the award-winning company behind the videos used in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games - HOME and Lyric Hammersmith present a new production featuring many of the visual techniques that have made 59 Productions "the leading purveyors of video for theatre in the world" (The Guardian). Cutting-edge projection-mapping, stagecraft, magic and illusion combine to immerse you in Quinn's increasingly dystopic and fragmented world.

 
 
 

The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui

Lenny Henry makes his Donmar Warehouse debut.

The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station

 

Dates: 21st April to 17th June 2017

 

Lenny Henry makes his Donmar Warehouse debut this April in Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Written by Brecht in 1941 in just three weeks, the play focuses on fictional Chicago mobster Arturo Ui (played by Henry) to create an allegory of Hitler's Nazi Germany. The play has been given a new translation by Pulitzer, Olivier and Tony Award-winning American playwright Bruce Norris.

 
 
 

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

The large-scale London exhibition returns with 500 of the best photos from around the world.

Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 21st April to 7th May 2017

 

In the year the World Photography Organisation marks the 10th anniversary of its awards, the large-scale London exhibition includes rarely seen work by Martin Parr, who receives the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize. His work is shown at Somerset House along with five hundred of the best professional and amateur contemporary photographs from around the world. Selected from 227,596 images, the winning, shortlisted and commended works cover everything from fashion to travel, portraiture to sport, photojournalism to architecture. In the professional competition shortlisted entries include Alessio Romenzi's images of Libyan forces in the Al Jiza neighbourhood.

 
 
 

Tea Dance at St Katharine Docks

A celebration of British National Tea Day.

St Katharine Docks, Tower Bridge Approach, St Katharine's Way, London, E1W 1LA

Tube: Tower Hill Station

 

Dates: Friday 21st April 2017

 

Bring your dancing shoes to St Katharine Docks and join the famous Rag Roof Players for a tea dance in celebration of British National Tea Day on Friday 21st April. This year it happens to coincide with Her Majesty's 91st Birthday - so you'll also get to hear a 62 gun salute being fired off from the nearby Tower of London at 1pm. There will be two dance sessions, from 12noon to 2pm and between 5pm and 7pm, where you can dance to vintage music from the 1920s to the 1950s. The popular World Food Market will be onsite from 11am to 3pm to help you... keep on dancing!

 
 
 

The Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes

A spectacular show of pomp and ceremony in honour of The Queen's birthday.

Tower Of London, Tower Hill, Hyde Park, London, EC3N 4AB

Tube: Tower Hill Station

 

Dates: Friday 21st April 2017

 

The Queen celebrates her 91st birthday in 2017 and on 21st April - The Queen's actual birthday, which she celebrates privately - the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London. The 41-gun Queen's Birthday Gun Salute in Hyde Park takes place at midday, there's a 21-gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62-gun salute at the Tower Of London at 1pm. It's a spectacular show of pomp and ceremony and it's also the only time when you will see horses legally at a full gallop in a Royal Park - with a ton and a half of cannon in tow. While the Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes are held to celebrate her actual birthday on 21st April, there are further celebrations for her official birthday in June which is marked by Trooping the Colour.

 
 
 

Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square

Free entertainment in the heart of London in honour of England's patron saint.

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: Saturday 22nd April 2017

 

London celebrates St George's Day, the feast day of the patron saint of England, with a free festival of food, music and family games in Trafalgar Square which is festooned in red and white for the occasion. It's an excuse to enjoy some good old fashioned homegrown recipes with cookery demos from celebrity chefs who'll prepare English dishes from past and present. Enjoy free entertainment on the main stage and food in the splendid banqueting area between the square's fountains. This year's London celebrations take place on Saturday 22nd April, the day before St George's Day which is on 23rd April each year.

 
 
 

Romeo And Juliet

The first production in Emma Rice's Summer of Love.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Tube: Mansion House Station

 

Dates: 22nd April to 9th July 2017

 

Commencing Emma Rice's Summer of Love season, which will be her final season as Artistic Director, Shakespeare's Globe stages a modern twist on Shakespeare's timeless romantic tale this summer with Daniel Kramer's Romeo and Juliet. Artistic Director of English National Opera, Kramer presents a wild and energetic take on the play, bringing to life the story of two disenchanted children from two opposing families who dare to choose love. There will also be a special midnight matinee of the production on Friday 30th June 2017.

 
 
 

Depot Open Weekend: Secrets of the Underground

The public are invited into the west London depot.

London Transport Museum Depot, 2 Museum Way, London, W3 9BQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April 2017

 

The London Transport Museum Depot in Acton hosts one of its popular Open Weekends in April, this time taking the theme Secrets of the Underground. One of the few occasions when the west London depot is open to the public, the event is a rare opportunity to see inside the working depot and will offer a programme of talks, interactive displays, tours and family activities. Hear stories from Hidden London, the museum's hugely popular series of disused Underground stations; listen to historian Oliver Green as he reveals the story behind the Kingsway Tramway Subway; and get a behind the scenes look at Crossrail, with talks about designing for underground spaces and stories from the engineers. There will also be miniature train layouts, family crafts, quirky artefacts, and street food and refreshments.

 
 
 

Virgin London Marathon

38,000 runners take to the streets of London to tackle the 26.2 mile route.

The Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station

 

Dates: Sunday 23rd April 2017

 

The largest fund raising event in the world, the London Marathon, returns to the capital in April. One of the top five international marathons, it sees around 38,000 runners - serious competitors, celebrities and charity fun runners - flood the streets of London to tackle the gruelling 26.2 mile route. Attracting thousands of spectators, the course comes alive to the sounds of bands, cheering crowds and pounding feet. The race kicks off at Greenwich Park and Blackheath with a loop around Charlton and Woolwich, continues through Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, crosses the Thames on Tower Bridge before circling Canary Wharf and the City ahead of the showpiece finish along the Embankment, past Parliament Square and onto The Mall in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.

 
 
 

The Big London Flea

More than 50 handpicked vintage traders come together under one roof.

Epic Dalston, Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8BH

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 

Dates: Sunday 23rd April 2017

 

North London's largest indoor vintage market, The Big London Flea, comes to EPIC Dalston this April. Taking over the ground floor of the former ABC cinema, the market brings together more than 50 handpicked vintage traders, ranging from veteran vintage sellers such as Spitalfields and Bermondsey markets to locals simply clearing out their loft. Browse salvaged, one-of-a-kind, and lost and found objects as well as handmade items, with everything from 20th century furniture to vintage clothes.

 
 
 

Mayerling

Kenneth Macmillan's harrowing tale returns to the Royal Opera House.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 23rd April to 13th May 2017

 

Kenneth Macmillan's harrowing tale of Crown Prince Rudolf's passage from a lonely youth, through a series of affairs, and finally to suicidal erotomania, returns to the Royal Opera House with all its edginess intact. Based on the true story of the Austrian heir and his lover's mysterious, violent deaths in 1889 and set to music by Franz Liszt, the two leads' descent into their frenzied madness is played with wonderful skill. The lucid poise of the role of the doomed Prince perfectly complements the fervid obsession of his young mistress. This is a demanding and ambitious ballet.

 
 
 

The Ferryman

Jez Butterworth and Sam Medes present this emotionally wrought family drama.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 24th April to 20th May 2017

 

Olivier Award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth, who will forever be remembered for Jerusalem, returns to the Royal Court with The Ferryman, an emotionally wrought family drama set in 1981 rural Derry. American Beauty's Sam Mendes directs the play, which beings as the Carney farmhouse in Northern Ireland prepares for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor. With such an impressive creative team, we advise booking before it sells out.

 
 
 

The Royal Opera: The Exterminating Angel

Thomas Ades conducts a "jaw-dropping lineup of operatic talent" in this UK premiere.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 24th April - 08th May 2017

 

Thomas Ades conducts a cast of world-class singers in the UK premiere of his latest opera, inspired by Luis Bunuel's iconic film in which guests are invited to an exclusive dinner after a night at the opera and find that they are unable to leave. The Exterminating Angel is inspired by the 1962 film El angel exterminador by the famed surrealist Luis Bunuel. His parable on the 'bourgeois condition' becomes an opera "stuffed with stars - and live sheep" (The Guardian).

 
 
 

The Treatment

A blistering contemporary satire about an enterprising young woman.

Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 24th April to 10th June 2017

 

Lyndsey Turner directs Aisling Loftus and Matthew Needham in Martin Crimp's The Treatment, a blistering contemporary satire about an enterprising young woman at a New York film studio. Aisling Loftus stars as Anne who learns to her chagrin that the rights to your life can be a dangerous commodity to exploit. Turner returns following her award-winning production of Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood's West End hit which premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2013.

 
 
 

Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic

The Turner Prize-winning artists unveils a new work.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Covent Garden Station

 

Dates: 26th April to 28th August 2017

 

Chris Ofili, the artist who famously won the Turner Prize in 1998 using elephant dung on his paintings, unveils a new work, his first foray into the medium of tapestry, in a free exhibition at the National Gallery. Head to the Sunley Room to see the work before it goes on permanent display in the Clothworkers' Hall. The hand-woven tapestry uses imagery which reflects Ofili's ongoing interest in classical mythology and the stories, magic, and colour of the Trinidadian landscape he inhabits.

 
 
 

While We're Here

A moving and melancholic romance about two lovers whose lives form different paths.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)

 

Dates: 26th April to 27th May 2017

 

Alice Hamilton directs Barney Norris' moving and melancholic romance about two lovers, Eddie and Carol, whose lives follow different paths until they meet again on a park bench in a town full of memories, and rake over the smouldering embers of their dormant desire. A co-production between Up In Arms, Bush Theatre and Farnham Maltings.

 
 
 

Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria

IWM London (Imperial War Museums), Lambeth Road, Elephant and Castle, London, SE1 6HZ

Tube: Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 27th April to 3rd September 2017

 

Part of Syria: A Conflict Explored - a series of exhibitions and events reflecting on the ongoing conflict in Syria - Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria at the Imperial War Museum is the first UK exhibition of photographs by the Russian documentary photographer. Bringing together colour prints and digital media, the exhibition will feature Assad's Syria and Europe Migration Crisis, two of Ponomarev's award-winning works in association with the New York Times, addressing the consequences of conflict in Syria. Syria: Story of a Conflict, an intimate display of objects and immersive film exploring the origins and impact of the conflict in Syria, will run concurrently with the exhibition from 27th April to 3rd September.

 
 
 

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair

The fair moves to Alexandra Palace for the first time.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, Islington, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th Apr 2017

 

As much a part of spring as daffodils and snowdrops, for Londoners spring also means the arrival of the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair which moves to Alexandra Palace this year. Features include a newcomers market, showcasing first-time crafters and makers, Q&A panel discussions where you can put your questions to experts and free stamp making and printing workshops. Garden designer Lucy Summers is creating a seaside themed spring garden with beach huts and a boat, and offering green-finger tips. Added to these are over 400 exhibitors, so leave time to browse the stalls packed with cushions, fabrics, clothes, bags, jewellery, homeware and plenty of other crafty goodies. See the LondonTown Competitions page to win one of five pairs of tickets to the show.

 
 
 

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair 2017

Get home and interior inspiration at this bright craft fair.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, Islington, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th Apr 2017

 

As much a part of spring as daffodils and snowdrops, for Londoners spring also means the arrival of the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair which moves to Alexandra Palace this year. That means more space for home and interiors inspiration, a newcomers market, showcasing first-time crafters and makers and a talk on growing, cutting and arranging flowers by farmer florist Georgie Newbery. New for spring 2017 is coffee, cake and crochet, the spring garden will host talks and demos on bee keeping and planting plus there will be lambs to feed. Added to these are over 400 exhibitors, so leave time to browse the stalls packed with cushions, fabrics, clothes, bags, jewellery, homeware and plenty of other crafty goodies. See our competitions page to win free tickets. SPECIAL LONDONTOWN TICKET OFFER: buy advance tickets for 13.50 instead of 18 at the door. A single 1.50 booking fee applies per order, not per ticket. To redeem the offer use code SM7.

 
 
 

Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths

This major exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Tube: King's Cross Station, Euston Station

 

Dates: 28th April to 29th August 2017

 

The British Library marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a major exhibition this year. Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths will shed new light on the world-changing events of this period, putting a focus on the experiences of ordinary Russians living through the extraordinary times. Uniting the personal and the political, the exhibition will tell the story of the Revolution through posters, letters, photographs, banners, weapons, uniform and film, portraying the hope, tragedy and myths at the heart of the seismic Revolution. It will begin with the reign of the last Tsar and explore the growth of revolutionary movements that brought about the transformation of Russian's traditional monarchy into the world's first Communist state. The Royal Academy of Arts also marks the anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a powerful new exhibition, Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932.

 
 
 

The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: Bangarang

Escape to Neverland with The Queen of Hoxton's summer-long rooftop party.

The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

Tube: Liverpool Street Station

 

Dates: 28th April to 7th October 2017

 

The Queen of Hoxton's seasonal rooftop parties have become a legendary addition to the capital's event calendar and this year is no different with a Viking-themed addition to see Londoners through winter and Neverland inspired offering for the summer. Launching at the end of April, Bangarang invites generation Peter Pan to a land where dreams are born and time is never planned. Forget adult responsibilities and run away to a world of imagination and escapism, where instead of growing up you can lounge in a seashell with mermaids, refill your glass at The Lost Boy's hideout bar and climb aboard the pirate ship to meet your fate. Sip on special cocktails such as the Mermaid Slushie, made with frozen prosecco, fruit juice and blue curacao; the Floating Fairy absinthe cocktail; or the Blue Lagoon, made with gin, lemon and blueberries. Mermaid shots served in clamshells will also be available as well as Never Never Land Ribs, a Bangarang Burger and Peter Pan Prawns. This is what dreams are made of.

 
 
 

Be:Fit

Discover how to be strong, fit and healthy at this three-day festival.

Old Billingsgate, 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, 16 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6DX

Tube: Monument Station, London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 28th, 29th and 30th April 2017

 

Women are invited to discover how to be strong, fit and healthy at the Be:Fit festival, which takes place at the Business Design Centre. The three-day event includes talks and workshops with health and fitness experts, workout classes, and yoga sessions. There will also be the chance to try London's best fitness classes at the Reebok Studio, browse the latest sportswear and find out how to eat smart. As well as the standard ticket, there's the option of buying the VIP ticket, which entitles visitors to treatments at the Beauty Lab, express manicures, a glass of Skinny Prosecco on arrival, hair braiding, Reebok sports bag, VIP goodies, fast track entry to the fitness sessions and talks, and much more.

 
 
 

Shobana Jeyasingh Dance: Material Men redux

Shobana Jeyasingh presents the London premiere of her latest work.

The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY

Tube: Euston Station, Euston Square Station

 

Dates: Friday 28th and Saturday 29th April 2017

 

Shobana Jeyasingh, choreographer and judge on BBC's Young Dancer, presents the London premiere of her latest work, Material Men redux, at The Place on 28th and 29th April 2017. An extended version of her Material Men, which got a standing ovation at the Southbank Centre in 2015, it combines the styles of two very different dancers. Combining classical Indian dance and hip hop, the dance explores the biographies of the two performers, Sooraj Subramaniam and Shailesh Bahoran, both part of the Indian diaspora who share a history rooted in colonial migration and plantation labour.

 
 
 

Canalway Cavalcade

Colourful waterway festival takes over Little Venice.

Little Venice, Maida Vale, Little Venice, London, W2 1TH

Tube: Warwick Avenue Station

 

Dates: 29th April, 30th April and 1st May 2017

 

Canalway Cavalcade is a distinctive waterway festival that has been taking place at Little Venice since 1983. Organised by Inland Waterways Association volunteers, there will be an array of boats, trade show stalls and boater gatherings at this festival for water lovers. As well as the boating activities, there will also be Morris dancing, competitions, food, family-friendly activities and a real ale bar, making it an enjoyable day out for families. Plus, with the location being quaint Little Venice, this creates the perfect opportunity for a gentle stroll and an enjoyable view alongside your lunch and ale.

 
 
 

Breakin' Convention

Celebration of hip hop includes live DJs, graffiti, workshops and dance performances.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April 2017

 

This annual three-day international festival of hip hop and dance theatre, curated by Sadler's Wells associate artist Jonzi D, is back for a 14th year in 2017. Breakin' Convention 2017 features performances from some of the world's greatest poppers, lockers, B-boys and B-girls including the "rubber-limbed" (The Guardian) Soweto Skeleton Movers from South Africa, Canadian dance duo Tentacle Tribe and leading hip hop crew Just Dance from South Korea. Taking place every May bank holiday weekend, this world-renowned celebration of hip hop dance culture takes over the space with live DJs, graffiti, workshops, performances, after parties and park jam.

 
 
 

Vaisakhi Festival

A colourful way to celebrate Sikh culture.

Trafalgar Square, Central, London, WC2N 5DS

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: Saturday 29th April 2017

 

This year, the official Vaisakhi Festival celebrations in London take place in Trafalgar Square in the heart of the city centre. A colourful way to celebrate Sikh culture, this fun, free event has traditional and modern Asian music and dancing, turban tying and an array of exotic culinary delights on offer. Live performances include music such as Shabad Kirtin (religious hymns), as well as modern dance music and DJs. In previous years crowds of 30,000 have attended the celebrations, which typically end with a final prayer for the good and well-being of the whole of humanity. Vegetarian food prepared by the Sikh community is usually on sale during the afternoon.

 
 
 

Butlers and Banquets at Apsley House

Learn all about the butler to the first Duke of Wellington.

Apsley House, 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London, W1J 7NT

Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station

 

Dates: 29th April, 30th April and 1st May 2017

 

Being the butler of a grand house is no easy job and through these special Butlers and Banquets tours of Apsley House you'll learn all about the butler to the original resident of No 1 London (as Apsley House is also known), the first Duke of Wellington, who famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. Pick up top tips on etiquette, from dressing a table to choosing a menu fit for the Duke. There will also be talks from the curator of Apsley House and you can view the Prussian Service, newly displayed for the first time in the Waterloo Gallery.

 
 
 

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