April in London 2018

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Virgin London Marathon

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Virgin London Marathon
Sam Smith
Eliades Ochoa
The Encounter
The London Coffee Festival
Viviana Durante Company - Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time
Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical
Mood Music
Monet and Architecture
The Moderate Soprano
Fashioned From Nature
Rodin and the art of ancient Greece
Roundhouse CircusFest
Cirque Berserk!
Margarita Rumble
RHS London Orchid Show and Plant Fair
Cecilia Bengolea & Francois Chaignaud: DFS
BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days
Hamlet at Shakespeare's Globe
Now Play This
The National Wedding Show
Concrete Dreams
Concrete Lates
Chineke! Orchestra
Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams
Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley: Spring
English National Ballet
Live at Television Centre Festival
Bluebird Cafe is at Live at Television Centre Festival
St George's Day
Vaisakhi Festival


Don't be fooled, Easter falls on 1st April in 2018. It's the London Marathon on 22nd and Chess returns to the West End for the first time since 1986.

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Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical

The award winning musical returns to London's West End.

Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7AQ

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 02nd April - 05th January 2019


It wowed audiences and won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and now Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical is back, appearing at the Dominion Theatre from 2nd April 2018. Jay Scheib directs the high-octane rock'n'roll musical based on Meat Loaf's 1977 album, about a rebellious youth called Strat, who falls in love with the daughter of the despotic leader of a post-cataclysmic city. The songbook includes tracks from Bat Out Of Hell, one of the best-selling albums of all time which sold over 50 million copies worldwide. Well known songs include the massive hit I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) and the anthemic title track. "Impressive staging, clever production and a back catalogue of hits ensure the Meat Loaf musical is a smash hit" said the Manchester Evening News.


Roundhouse CircusFest

Daring and diverse, punky and poetic, subversive and socially aware - this is the future of circus.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 03rd April - 06th May 2018


In the 250th anniversary year of the invention of modern circus, CircusFest is back at the Roundhouse in 2018. With more than three weeks of international contemporary circus, it will focus on the future of circus: daring and diverse, punky and poetic, subversive and socially aware. From spectacular showcase to intimate affairs, it will demonstrate how circus collides with theatre, dance, live art, film and even virtual reality. Headlining shows this year are the world premiere of Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine from the Pirates of the Carabina and the UK premiere of Groupe Bekkrell's punk show The Bekkrell Effect. Further highlights include Ellie Dubois' award-winning Edinburgh smash hit No Show, a V&A Late highlighting the 250th anniversary of circus and its future, and the European premiere of The Richochet Project's Said and Done. It's a true spectacle of this ever-popular physical and visual art form.


The Moderate Soprano

David Hare's play tells of the passion of the founder of Glyndebourne opera.

Duke of York's Theatre, St Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4BG

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


Dates: 05th April - 30th June 2018


Hampstead Theatre's 2015 hit The Moderate Soprano transfers to the West End in April 2018. David Hare's play tells of the passion of the Glyndebourne opera festival founder whose admiration for the works of Wagner leads him to embark on an ambitious project: the construction of an Opera House on his estate in Sussex. It's the story of a love affair between unlikely bedfellows, in the face of scrutiny, sacrifice and war in Germany. Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll reprise their roles of Glyndebourne founder John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay. Jeremy Herrin also returns to direct the play which has a brand new set and costume designs by the multi award-winning theatre and opera designer, Bob Crowley.


Underground Bingo Academy

A bingo revolution, bringing the game to a younger, cooler crowd.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station


Dates: 04th - 28th April 2018


After the success of the Social Bingo Academy in Camden, the same bingo pioneering team are taking over the Vaults underneath Waterloo with the Underground Bingo Academy. Running every Thursday, Friday and Saturday for one month, it's part of a bingo revolution that aims to bring the game to a whole new wave of younger, vibrant players who may have previously been scared and intimidated by halls full of master players. The academy will teach these would-be bingo enthusiasts the ropes, from dabbing numbers to new-age bingo lingo. There will also be food, booze and plenty of fun.


Cheek by Jowl: Pericles

The renowned French ensemble gives Pericles an arresting interpretation.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 06th - 21st April 2018


Renowned French ensemble Cheek By Jowl presents its first Shakespeare production in the French language, performed with English surtitles: Pericles. Last seen here at the Barbican in the explosive Ubu Roi in 2014, Cheek by Jowl gives Pericles an arresting interpretation as the leader of Athens navigates stormy seas, pirates, brothels, incest, shipwrecks, human traffickers and tournaments. This Barbican co-production, staged in the Silke Street Theatre, comes to London as part of a UK and international tour directed by Declan Donnellan. During the run there is a Weekend Lab with Assistant Director Marcus Roche.


Sam Smith

The British soul singer plays his four massive gigs at London's O2.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 06th - 10th April 2018


London-based singer-songwriter Sam Smith fist made waves in the music industry when he featured on Disclosure's track Latch in late 2012 and Naughty Boy's La La La in May 2013. Since then he's transitioned into a solo career, come up with the theme tune for a Bond film and now releases his latest album, The Thrill Of It All. He's certainly come a long way since his debut single, Money on My Mind, which took inspiration from Major Lazer's Pon De Floor to create an undoubtedly catchy chorus. This 2018 UK Arena Tour includes his biggest headline shows to date and ends with four dates in London at The O2.


Underbelly Festival

The fantastic fringe festival returns to the South Bank, presenting over 70 shows for their 10th birthday.

Underbelly Festival, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 03rd April - 27th September 2020


The unrivalled Underbelly Festival returns to the South Bank, between the Southbank Centre and London Eye, from 6th April 2018 and they're pulling out all the stops, presenting over 70 shows for their 10th birthday. In a temporary theatre - surrounded by street food and one of London's biggest outdoor bars - you'll find London's largest programme of affordable comedy, circus, cabaret and children's shows. Festival highlights this year include a six week residency by Circus Abyssinia which makes its London premiere with Ethiopian Dreams. There's more high flying circus with Circolombia, comedy from Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel as well as big names like Nina Conti and James Acaster. Children will enjoy Aliens Love Underpants and The Amazing Bubble Man but for something completely different go see The Thinking Drinkers: History of Alcohol or Festival of the Spoken Nerd: You Can't Polish A Nerd.


RHS London Orchid Show and Plant Fair

Gold medal winning garden designers and virtual reality experiences with orchids.

Royal Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, Westminster, London, SW1P 2PE

Tube: St James's Park Station , Victoria Station


Dates: 07th - 08th April 2020


Beautiful exotic orchids and spring plants go on display at the RHS London Orchid Show at the Royal Horticultural Halls. Gold medal winning designer Kate Gould, who is creating 'The West End Garden' in the new Space to Grow category at this year's Chelsea Flower Show will be there. She's joined by Johnathan Snow, who is making his RHS Chelsea debut, and design duo Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge, who will discuss the creative journey behind their garden. Garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair will produce a remix of the BBC Radio 2 'Feel Good Garden' he designed alongside presenter Zoe Ball at Chelsea last year. As well as an orchid painting masterclass you can see orchid pollinators in virtual reality and experience orchids through the eyes of an insect.


Now Play This

Try your hand at new games formed from real life situations.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 03rd - 05th April 2020


A celebration of games and play at Somerset House, popular gaming weekend Now Play This presents over 50 games to get involved with. Coinciding with the city-wide, ten-day London Games Festival, this weekend of play features a game by BAFTA-winning artist Dan Hett which puts you in control of situations arising in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing. Following Operation Brexit - widely shared via social media at last year's Games Festival - Yara El-Sherbini presents Roadmap to Peace where two roads of Scalextric replicate roads in Israel and Palestine. You can also draw your own designs, experience dozens of different games, including two outdoor ones, take part in drop-in workshops, get an insight into the patterns, processes and particularities of game making and explore the idea of place - the theme for this year's event - from international borders to identity.


Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams

African acrobatic spectacular from Ethiopia makes its London premiere.

Underbelly Festival, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 06th April - 20th May 2018


Circus Abyssinia, an African acrobatic spectacular from Ethiopia, makes its London premiere at the Underbelly Festival but if you saw Giffords Circus in London last summer, juggling brothers Bibi and Bichu and their troupe will be familiar old friends. Cal McCrystal, who works with Giffords and who directed Iolanthe performed by the English National Opera in spring 2018, has written Ethiopian Dreams, a tale inspired by the cast's childhood dreams of becoming circus performers. The cast of 14 makes the story come alive through synchronised acrobatics, juggling, contortion and dance, cloth spinning, Cyr Wheel, clowning and the astonishing eight strong double Chinese Pole act, as seen on ITV's Royal Variety Performance.


Monet and Architecture

From villages to modern cities, buildings played an important role in Monet's pictures.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

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


Dates: 09th April - 29th July 2018


Monet maybe best known for his paintings of lilies - impressionistic images of the floating flowers immediately spring to mind - but buildings played important and unexpected roles in his pictures. With Monet & Architecture the National Gallery presents the great French master in a new light. The first exhibition devoted to Monet's relationship with architecture, it shows over 70 works of the built environment from villages to modern cities - including the Houses of Parliament, Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges in London. Bridges and buildings of suburban Paris are displayed along with strikingly modern paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare, ending with his monumental series of Rouen Cathedral.


Chineke! Orchestra

The orchestra plays a special opening night concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 09th April 2018


Chineke! Orchestra, whose debut concert was one of the last in Queen Elizabeth Hall before it closed for refurbishment in September 2015, play the first concert to mark the reopening of the Southbank Centre's concert hall. The concert programme features the world premiere of a new commission by Daniel Kidane based on Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech, marking 50 years to the day of his burial, and performed by Roderick Williams. Britten's celebratory The Building of the House, conducted at the opening concert of the QEH in 1967, and in Beethoven's Symphony No.4 also feature.


Concrete Dreams

An immersive audio-visual backstage journey through the newly reopened Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 10th - 29th April 2018


Take an immersive audio-visual backstage journey with Concrete Dreams, a free tour which marks the reopening of Queen Elizabeth Hall. Step through the artists' entrance to follow in the footsteps of the legendary artists who performed here including David Bowie and Pink Floyd. Poetry recordings, film footage and print materials recall the stars who've performed here since the 1960s and early '70s including Deep Purple, London Sinfonietta, Imrat Khan, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Daniel Barenboim. After collecting your stage pass, you'll be given backstage access to the working scene dock, visiting an artists' lounge, the dressing rooms and ending with a surprise finale.


Arcade Fire

The Canadian indie-rockers come to London as part of a huge tour.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, Earls Court, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: 11th - 13th April 2018


Canadian indie-rockers Arcade Fire come to Wembley Arena in April 2018 as part of a huge UK and Ireland tour. They'll be playing 'in the round' at each venue - a format that proved popular at London's York Hall where the band played a run of intimate gigs in summer 2017. With new album Everything Now - "a record about information overload" - showing "an emphatic return" to "lofty standards" (NME), Arcade Fire still has the ability to light up a gig with their rousing, anthemic art-rock records.


The London Coffee Festival

Over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, cocktails, music and art.

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

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 23rd - 26th July 2020


The four day London Coffee Festival returns with coffee, cocktails, music and art all linked to the theme of coffee. The festival includes live roasting demonstrations, an espresso martini party, coffee food pairing, a milk bar, latte art and the school of chocolate. 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.


English National Ballet: Voices Of America

A mixed bill from American choreographers, including a premiere by William Forsythe.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 12th - 21st April 2018


English National Ballet return to Sadler's Wells in 2018 with a mixed bill of American-style neo-classic ballet. Voices of America brings together works from three generations of American choreographers, including the world premiere of a new creation by William Forsythe. Having not devised anything for a UK ballet company for more than 20 years, this is an exclusive piece for the English National Ballet. As well as the premiere, Forsythe's Approximate Sonata 2016, originally created in 1996, will be performed having recently been reworked while other pieces in the bill include Jerome Robbins' 1951 ballet The Cage and Aszure Barton's Fantastic Beings.


Live at Television Centre Festival

The first big public event since the downsizing of the BBC at White City.

Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, London, W12 7RJ

Tube: Wood Lane Station , White City Station


Dates: 12th - 14th April 2018


A free three-day food festival in the forecourt of Television Centre presents the first big public event since the downsizing of the BBC and redevelopment at White City. As well as food from Bluebird Cafe, Homeslice, Kricket, Patty & Bun, Butterscotch and tacos and margaritas by Bad Sports there'll be interactive workshops, pop-ups and DJs as part of a music programme curated by YOYO's Seb Chew. On top of all this there's a special live performance of BBC theme tunes by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Test out sample menus from some of the restaurants due to open permanent sites here at Television Centre and sip on a fruity cocktail from Soho House.


Royal Opera: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Antonio Pappano conducts Shostakovich's masterpiece, not seen at the Royal Opera House for more than a decade.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 12th - 27th April 2018


Antonio Pappano conducts Shostakovich's masterpiece Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in April, not seen at the Royal Opera House for more than a decade. Richard Jones's production, combining tragedy with satirical humour, has been described by the Financial Times as "ingeniously conceived and devastatingly executed" and by The Independent as "a benchmark alchemy of music and theatre". Boris Ismailov, who scolds his daughter-in-law Katerina, dreams of seducing her. The unredeemable Boris brutally attacks Katerina's lover Sergey and returns after his death to haunt her.


Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley: Spring

Five jugglers and four dancers explore colour in this cross-art form show.

Artsdepot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, London, N12 0GA

Tube: Woodside Park Station


Dates: 12th April 2018


Coming to artsdepot as part of CircusFest, Gandini Juggling and choreographer Alexander Whitley are joining forces to create an adventurous, cross-art form show. Spring, an enquiry into colour and the perception of colour, sees five jugglers and four dancers challenge each other and exchange skills. It's set against Guy Hoare's pop-art lighting which opens the show with the three primary colours - red, blue and yellow - and set to Gabriel Prokofiev's darkly futuristic score.


Concrete Lates

New monthly night bringing club culture to the foyer spaces of Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Southbank Centre: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 13th April 2018


With Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room reopening in April 2018, the Southbank Centre introduces a new monthly club night bringing club culture to the foyer spaces which have been reconfigured to accommodate 1,000-capacity gigs. The inaugural Concrete Lates on Friday 13th April presents an evening of international techno inspired by the current Andreas Gursky retrospective at the Hayward Gallery. Produced in collaboration with Boiler Room and inspired by German artist Gursky's love of the genre, visitors hear sets from rising female techno stars Pan Daijing and JASSS, and a live performance from Bristol-based duo Giant Swan. The evening also features one-off late-night entry into the Hayward Gallery (until 1am), where a newly commissioned ambient mix by Pan Daijing accompanies the artwork on display.


The Encounter

Complicite combines traditional story telling with cutting-edge technology.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 14th April - 05th May 2018


First performed here at the Barbican in 2016 and following a hit Broadway run and international tour, The Encounter, by Complicite Theatre Company returns this spring. In a fusion of noise and narrative, the solo show combines traditional story telling with cutting-edge technology. Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, it sees Simon McBurney transform audiences into the humid depths of the Amazon. It's 1969 and Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, has found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. The encounter will change his life and bring the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.


The National Theatre at The Old Vic 1963-1976

NT celebrates its early years at the 200 year old Old Vic theatre.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 14th April - 23rd June 2018


The National Theatre celebrates The Old Vic's 200th birthday with a new exhibition this spring. The historic Lambeth theatre first opened its doors in 1818 and then in 1963 the National Theatre was established, spending its first 13 years at The Old Vic. Led by Sir Laurence Olivier, the NT established a company of young and emerging actors, playwrights, designers and movement directors, who would go on to significantly impact British theatre and the development of the 20th century. Celebrating these early years, The National Theatre at The Old Vic 1963-1976 will feature a specially commissioned work by sound artist Jesc Bunyard, who has created a new piece inspired by archive materials from this period of time.


The National Wedding Show

Getting hitched? Check out 300 experts, planners and brands from the world of weddings under one roof.

ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Canning Town Station


Dates: 14th - 15th April 2018


With over 300 experts, planners and brands from the world of weddings under one roof, The National Wedding Show has everything you need to plan the big day. Coming to Olympia in February and ExCeL in April, the event helps you find things you never knew you needed for your big day. There are the invitations to sort out, table settings, photographs, menus and cake to think of, not to mention the all-important dress. It's all been thought of here. You can check out hundreds of exhibitors, see make-over demonstrations, interviews with top designers and catwalk shows four times daily - new dresses from Vera Wang and Ted Baker will be showcased this year. Get expert advice on everything from venues and vicars to cake and cards all under one roof. Everything you need, in fact, to achieve the highest levels of perfection for Your Special Day. There's even a Grooms' Room, providing a haven for the men visiting the show; a Champagne Bar, where visitors can take some time out and toast each other; and a Money Matters Theatre, where guests can discover new technology that can help budget for the big day.

Competition: LondonTown.com has teamed up with the National Wedding Show to offer two lucky readers a pair of tickets to the show. Go to the LondonTown Competitions page for details on how to enter. Entrants must be received by Friday 6th April 2018.


Viviana Durante Company - Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time

Ballerina Viviana Durante directs Kenneth MacMillan's earliest works to mark 25 years since his death.

Barbican The Pit, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 18th - 21st April 2018


Italian ballerina Viviana Durante directs a programme of Kenneth MacMillan's earliest works at the Barbican's Pit. Having worked with MacMillan at The Royal Ballet, Durante has both danced and revived his creations. To celebrate his legacy and to mark 25 years since his death, she selects extracts from House of Birds and Danses Concertantes and presents Laiderette in full. Together, they highlight the boldness, insight, complexity, wit and relevance of MacMillan's choreography. Performed by artists from Ballet Black, Scottish Ballet and The Royal Ballet, including principals Lauren Cuthbertson, Francesca Hayward and Edward Watson, each contains a passionate pas de deux, another famous MacMillan forte.


Absolute Hell

Joe Hill-Gibbins directs Rodney Ackland's plunge into post-war Soho.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 18th April - 16th June 2018


Thirty years after the rediscovery of Absolute Hell Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the National Theatre to direct Rodney Ackland's plunge into post-war Soho, full of despair, longing and a need to escape. Branded 'a libel on the British people' on its first airing in 1952 under the title 'The Pink Room', the play was panned. Revised and rewritten but no less shocking, Absolute Hell, as it was re-titled, premiered at Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre in 1988 at a time when the world was ready for it. For this current staging Joe Hill-Gibbins, known for his bold productions, is likely to remain true to Ackland's provocative original.


Cirque Berserk!

30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil motorcyclists.

Harold Pinter Theatre, 6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 19th April - 07th May 2018


Combining contemporary circus skills with thrilling stunt action, Cirque Berserk is a danger-filled spectacle that promises to amaze audiences of all ages. Acts include the "off the scale awesome" (Daily Telegraph) Globe of Death with three motorcyclists speeding at over 60mph inside a steel cage. The troupe (the brain-child of Martin 'Zippo' Burton and theatre producer Julius Green) includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and clowns as well as death-defying stunt men. Coming to the West End for three weeks, the show is part of circus250.com, a worldwide celebration of 250 years of the circus, championed by Sir Peter Blake.


La Linea

The 10 day London Latin Music Festival brings live music to venues across London.


Dates: 15th April - 04th May 2020


There are around 145,000 Latin Americans in the capital and La Linea, the 10 day London Latin Music Festival which takes place in April, will make them feel right at home. In quite a coup, former Buena Vista Social Club frontman Eliades Ochoa returns to the UK for the first time since the band's farewell tour in 2015. There's the UK premiere of a tribute to Latin American composers in Hollywood, Sonorama, with music from the likes of Juan García Esquivel, Lalo Schifrin and Maria Greve in a big brass and electronic reinvention led by Mexico-City based composer and performer Camilo Lara. Global phenomenon Mexrrissey premiere their brand new show 'La Reina is Dead' at the Barbican. Also look out for Latin beats by Chilean-French singer Ana Tijoux, Iranian/Cuban quartet Ariwo, Senegalese outfit Orchestra Baobab, and Catalonian supergroup La Pegatina.


Mood Music

In a claustrophobic recording studio, two songwriters engage in verbal warfare over their music.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station


Dates: 21st April - 30th June 2018


The Old Vic celebrates its 200th birthday this spring with Mood Music, a new play by Joe Penhall who wrote the award-winning West End musical Sunny Afternoon. He reunites with long-term collaborator, the Notting Hill director Roger Michell who worked with Penhall on 2012's Birthday at the Royal Court. In the world premiere of Penhall's drama, set in a claustrophobic London recording studio, two songwriters engage in verbal warfare over their music. They're flanked by their lawyers and psychotherapists as we learn about the creative process and raging narcissism.


Fashioned From Nature

This blockbuster exhibition looks at the complex relationship between fashion and nature.

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 21st April - 27th January 2019


The latest in a series of major fashion exhibitions at the V&A, Fashioned from Nature looks at the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world. Tracing back to 1600, it will explore how fashionable dress continuously draws on the beauty of nature for inspiration and how pieces by the likes of Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy reflect this. The exhibition will also delve into how fashion's processes and constant demand for raw materials can have a damaging effect on the environment. Pieces on display include Emma Watson's Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles, an upcycled dress by Christopher Raeburn, and an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds.


The Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes

The Queen's 92nd birthday is marked publicly by the gun salutes.

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: 22nd April 2019


The Queen celebrates her 92nd birthday in 2018 and on 21st April - The Queen's actual birthday, which she celebrates privately - the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in London. The 41-gun Queen's Birthday Gun Salute in Hyde Park takes place at midday, followed an hour later by a 62-gun salute at the Tower Of London. 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

Women get a special spotlight at the free festival celebrating 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: 18th April 2020


The centenary of the women's right to vote is combined with this year's official Mayor of London's St George's Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square on 21st April 2018. To mark 100 years since the suffragettes proved victorious, a Victorian music hall show plays tributes to popular female artists from London's past as part of the patriotic celebrations on the Saturday closest to 23rd April, the actual feast day of England's dragon-slaying patron saint. The square is decorated in red and white for the festival with stalls selling traditional English food while live music is played by a 25-piece brass band, pop and folk groups. Enjoy free children's art workshops, old fashioned rides, stilt walkers, a special show presented by the Lions Part theatre company as well as Pearly Kings and Queens and a friendly dragon at the centre of it all.


Virgin London Marathon

40,000 runners take to the streets of London.

The Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station


Dates: 04th October 2020


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 40,000 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.


Cecilia Bengolea & Francois Chaignaud: DFS

Modern dance piece mixing Jamaican dance hall and medieval music.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 23rd - 24th April 2018


Bringing their research together, award-winning choreographers Cecilia Bengolea and Francois Chaignaud invited three ballerinas and dancehall specialists to join them in the exploration of song and dance where pointe shoes and trainers share the dance floor to dance and sing on equal footing. Sadler's Wells presents the UK premiere of DFS for which Bengolea travelled to Jamaica to immerse herself in Kingston's dance scene while Chaignaud studied traditional medieval vocal polyphony. The result is a modern dance piece which mixes Jamaican dance hall and medieval music.


Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Award winning photos of everything from travel to portraiture, photojournalism to architecture.

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

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 17th April - 04th May 2020


The World Photography Organisation stages a large-scale London exhibition showing the winning and shortlisted images of the 11th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House. Five hundred of the best professional and amateur contemporary photographs from around the world are selected, capturing everything from fashion to travel, portraiture to sport and photojournalism to architecture. The award is worth $25,000 to the winner and the exhibition includes new works by the photographer who receives the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award which was given to Martin Parr last year.


Awful Auntie

The stage version of David Walliams' book is thrilling fun for everyone over five.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station


Dates: 24th - 28th April 2018


The Birmingham Stage Company, who recently completed a record-breaking tour of David Walliams' Gangsta Granny, now turn their attention to Walliams' Awful Auntie. Awfully thrilling fun for everyone over five, the stage show tells the story of Stella, who set off to visit London with her parents. Waking up from a coma three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened. But not everything Aunt Alberta tells her turns out to be true in this tale of frights, fights and friendship. Featuring a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost.


Eliades Ochoa

The former Buena Vista Social Club frontman makes his UK solo debut.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 25th April 2018


One of the most important Cuban musicians of all time, the former Buena Vista Social Club frontman, Eliades Ochoa, makes his solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall, fronting his own band. A winner of several Latin Grammy nominations and awards, Ochoa will be playing a special set adding hot brass into the swinging guitar and conga mix. A principal performer in the worldwide sold-out Adiós Tour with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, this is the first time he'll play in London since that farewell tour in 2015. His appearance is part of the London Latin Music Festival, La Linea, a 10 day festival taking place at various venues across London, featuring everything from traditional Cuban music to ska and electronica.



Michelle Terry stages her first production since becoming artistic director of the Globe.

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

Tube: Mansion House Station


Dates: 25th April - 26th August 2018


The new Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe, Michelle Terry, opens her tenure at the famous London theatre with Hamlet, taking up her new role as the Globe comes of age and reaches its twenty-first year. Playing alongside Hamlet from May 2018 will be As You Like It. Both written around 1599, the year the original Globe was built, these plays speak to each other. An ensemble of artists including Federay Holmes, Bettrys Jones, Jack Laskey, Nadia Nadarajah and Michelle Terry herself, explores these well-thumbed and popular plays in parallel and as if for the first time.


Country Living Magazine Spring Fair

Home and interiors inspiration as well as crafty talks and workshops.

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

Tube: Bounds Green Station


Dates: 28th - 31st March 2019


As much a part of spring as daffodils and snowdrops, for Londoners spring also means the arrival of the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair at Alexandra Palace. Full of home and interiors inspiration, the show hosts over 400 exhibitors who set up stalls packed with cushions, fabrics, clothes, bags, jewellery, homeware and plenty of other crafty goodies. There's a newcomers market, showcasing first-time crafters, workshops and talks on topics like flower arranging, bee keeping and block printing. So not only can you give your home and wardrobe a spring clean but you can also try your hand at something new.



The first West End revival since the original 1986 production.

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: 26th April - 02nd June 2018


Laurence Connor directs the first West End revival since the original 1986 production, which starred Elaine Paige, of Chess. The famous eighties musical written by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, with Tim Rice, tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s. his new West End production, presented at the London Coliseum features English National Opera's award-winning orchestra and chorus. It's directed by Laurence Connor, whose recent credits include School of Rock and Miss Saigon, Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar. Choreography is by Stephen Mear.


Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Connecting Rodin, the art of antiquity and sculptures on the Parthenon.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station , Russell Square Station, Holborn Station


Dates: 26th April - 29th July 2018


French sculptor Auguste Rodin, one of the greatest and most innovative sculptors of the modern era, took his inspiration from the art of antiquity. He regularly travelled to London and visited the British Museum to sketch. So it's entirely appropriate that this is where Rodin and the art of ancient Greece, an exhibition staged in collaboration with the Musee Rodin, is being held. Visitors can see how Rodin admired the art of antiquity, particularly the works of Phidias who carved the sculptures on the Parthenon.


Prosecco Springs

Four days of prosecco, Italian food and live music.

Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, London, E2 9DY

Tube: Bethnal Green Underground Station


Dates: 26th - 29th April 2018


London already has festivals dedicated to wine, beer and coffee and now it's the turn of prosecco with Prosecco Springs. The four-day event returns for its second year in 2018, bringing together Italian food, live music and, of course, lashings of prosecco at Oval Space. Top producers of the tipple will be on hand to discuss their produce and answer any prosecco-related questions you may have. Expert sommeliers from the East London Wine School will also be in attendance to host a series of masterclasses where you can learn about the process from grape to glass as well as discover different types of prosecco and how to pair it with food. Visitors will also be able to feast on Italian dishes while enjoying a soundtrack of live music.


BalletBoyz: Fourteen Days

Four choreographers and four composers take two weeks to create dynamic new dance pieces.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 26th - 28th April 2018


Four choreographers and four composers are given just 14 days to create new dance pieces for the all-male ensemble, BalletBoyz, as Fourteen Days - which opened to acclaim at Sadler's Wells in October 2017 - returns. Javier De Frutos, Strictly judge and West End star Craig Revel Horwood, Ivan Perez and Christopher Wheeldon have teamed up with composers Scott Walker, Charlotte Harding, Joby Talbot and Keaton Henson to create the new pieces. The award winning Fallen forms the second half of the evening, choreographed by Russell Maliphant and set to a powerful score by French film composer Armand Amar.


London Burlesque Festival

The festival celebrates its 12th birthday in 2018.

Shaw Theatre, 100-110 Euston Road, Soho, London, NW1 2AJ

Tube: Euston Station , King's Cross Station


Dates: 27th April - 02nd June 2018


With the welcome news that Madame JoJo's is due to reopen in 2018, burlesque in London is enjoying a revival. Flying the flag for a saucy striptease, the London Burlesque Festival celebrates its 12th birthday in 2018. Brought to you by the infamous King of Burlesque, Chaz Royal, the man behind the hilariously named 'Pavabotti - The Naked Tenor', the festival showcases the very best in burlesque, glitz, vaudeville and sizzling striptease. Taking place at Shaw Theatre, the festival opens and closes with glittering ceremonies with five shows in between by the winners from the World Burlesque Games as well as a Tattoo & Twisted Revue - alternative artists of the underbelly performing scene. If you crave suspenders, stockings, whips, lace, red lips, lascivious ladies, pert posteriors and a bit of a slap 'n' tickle then this is the event for your diary.



This bruising drama sees a formidable mother struggle to cope after her husband's death.

Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 28th April - 03rd June 2018


Laurie Sansom stars in Barney Norris' bruising drama set on a family farm outside Winchester, where a formidable mother struggles to cope in the aftermath of her husband's passing. When her daughter's boyfriend gatecrashes the reminiscence, flush with money from a job at an oil refinery, the family's simple dream of living off the land comes under threat.


Classic Car Boot Sale

The festival returns with an impressive collection of classic cars and vintage goods.

Granary Square, Good's Way, South Bank, London, N1C 4AA

Tube: King's Cross Station


Dates: 28th - 29th April 2018


The Classic Car Boot Sale returns to King's Cross this weekend, moving to Granary Square with an impressive collection of classic cars and vintage goods. Curated by the Vintage Festival team, the event sees over 100 petrol heads park up their classic cars and vintage vehicles to trade fine vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia from their boots. Further goods on sale will include vinyl records and accessories. There will also be street food, booze, music, dance and walkabout entertainment.


Margarita Rumble

More than 15 bars and restaurants compete for the title of Best Margarita in London.

The Yard, 89 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2BF

Tube: Old Street Station


Dates: 28th April 2018


Party like there's no manana at the Margarita Rumble where mixologists from more than 15 specially curated bars and restaurants compete for the title of Best Margarita in London. Guests will be able to sample margaritas by the likes of Cafe Pacifico, Trapeze, Barrio Bars, Cabana Brixton, Whistling Shop, Benitos Hat, Simmons and The BootLegger and vote for their favourite, all while enjoying live Mexican music and food by talented chef James Cochran, owner of B.Y.O.C in SoHo and EC3 in Aldgate.


Vaisakhi Festival

A colourful way to welcome in the Sikh New Year.

Trafalgar Square, Central, London, WC2N 5DS

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


Dates: 27th April 2019


Each year the official Vaisakhi Festival celebrations in London take place in Trafalgar Square in the heart of the city centre. A colourful way to welcome in the Sikh New Year, this fun, free event is a celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture. There's traditional and modern Asian music and dancing, turban tying and an array of exotic culinary delights on offer. Live performances include music such as Kirtan (spiritual music), 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. Have a go at sports, arts events and fun activities for children and sample vegetarian food prepared by the Sikh community and on sale during the afternoon.





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