December in London 2016

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Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

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Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics
The Little Match Girl
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Status Quo: The Last Night Of The Electrics Tour
Santa Run Battersea Park
Great Christmas Pudding Race
Madness
The Kite Runner
Much Ado About Nothing (Or Love's Labour's Won)
Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
Rent
Million Dollar Quartet
Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow
Johann Johannsson
Ronnie Scott's at The Jazz Cafe
Evelina London Zip
Costumed Twilight Tour of 18 Stafford Terrace
Jurassic Park at the Natural History Museum
The Winter Film Club
Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall
London Illustration Fair
Eifman Ballet Saint Petersburg
Adventures in Moominland
A Peninsula Christmas
Matthew Kelly in Dick Whittington
 

© BBC/Mark Eilbeck

All the annual festive favourites return to London in December 2016 as well as the first Pantomime to be staged at the London Palladium in 29 years and Matthew Bourne's take on classic fairytale, The Red Shoes.

 
 

Pete Tong Presents Ibiza Classics

Ibiza Classics by the master of dance music and the 60-piece Heritage Orchestra.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: Thursday 1st December 2016

 

Following the huge success of the BBC Radio 1 Ibiza Prom at the Royal Albert Hall last summer, Pete Tong will bring Ibiza Classics along with the 60-piece Heritage Orchestra to The O2 this December. The veteran British DJ presents a line-up of live artists, including Jess Glynne, to perform a homage to the dance tracks which put the Balearic isle on the map. Expect reinterpetations of classic dancefloor fillers like Rhythm is Rhythm's 'Strings of Life' and Stardust's 'Music Sounds Better with You'. "Finally, a chance to cut some moves, to 'stack some shelves'" said The Guardian ahead of Tong's Proms performance. We say: with Pete Tong you can't go wrong.

 
 
 

Robert Rauschenberg

The artist's six-decade career is represented at Tate Modern.

Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street, London, SE1 9TG

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station

 

Dates: 1st December 2016 to 2nd April 2017

 

American artist Robert Rauschenberg blazed a new trail for art in the second half of the 20th century, moving between painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, installation and performance. His six-decade career is represented at Tate Modern by major works including his early experiments at Black Mountain College, a hotbed for innovation in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and his first collaborations with fellow artists and friends John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, David Tudor and Cy Twombly. A rare chance to see loans that seldom travel, the exhibition has a selection of his Combines, hybrids between painting and sculpture, as well as Rauschenberg's graphic screenprints which signal his early commitment to political activism.

 
 
 

The Winter Film Club

Rooftop Film Club moves indoors for the winter season.

Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST

Tube: Denmark Hill Station

 

Dates: 1st to 23rd December 2016

 

The Rooftop Film Club moves indoors for the winter season, screening everything from new releases to Christmas favourites in Peckham's abandoned Electric Theatre - found within the Bussey Building. The Winter Film Club will screen the likes of Love Actually, Absolutely Fabulous, Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie and Miracle on 34th Street in the stunning Edwardian cinema, which first opened to the public in September 1908. Settle down in a deck chair with headphones on, liquid refreshments and tempting snacks to enjoy classic films in one of London's unique settings.

 
 
 

London Illustration Fair

More than 65 illustrators, designers, print makers and publishers.

Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Dec 2016

 

The London Illustration Fair marks its fourth anniversary this December, taking over the Bargehouse, a four-storey warehouse by the Oxo Tower on the South Bank. The fair will showcase the work of the Doodle Man, East London Printmakers and over 65 illustrators, designers, print makers, publishers and crafty businesses for a three-day illustration extravaganza. Exhibiting alongside the artist-led stands will also be a line-up of handpicked creative partners and a packed programme of workshops, artist-led talks and workshops, live DJs and a fully stocked winter-warming bar.

 
 
 

Mary Stuart

Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams take the lead roles in this historical adaptation.

Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London, N1 1TA

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 2nd December 2016 to 21st January 2017

 

Following critical acclaimed productions of Uncle Vanya and Oresteia, associate director of the Almeida Theatre Robert Icke now presents an adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart. Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams trade the play's central roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, deciding with a toss of a coin ahead of each performance. With two queens - one in power, one in prison - Schiller's political tragedy goes behind the scenes of some of British history's most crucial days.

 
 
 

Evelina London Zip

The fastest way to travel across the Thames?

St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7EH

Tube: Westminster Station

 

Dates: Friday 2nd December 2016

 

The first ever zip wire across the Thames will see people zipping over the water at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, and you could be one of them. One lucky adrenalin junkie can win a place on the zip wire, visit www.supportevelina.org.uk/zip before 4pm on Tuesday 22nd November to enter. The zip wire will take three days and 30 specialist firefighters to build, taking travellers 52 metres up, covering 463 metres over the water from St Thomas' Hospital to Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament. This fun event has a serious side - to raise funds for Evelina London Children's Hospital - which is also supported by a two-day Christmas market in the gardens of St Thomas' Hospital from 1st to 2nd December.

 
 
 

Sleeping Beauty

Maureen Lipman is the Wicked Fairy in this year's Richmond Theatre panto.

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

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 02nd December - 08th January 2017

 

Olivier Award winner Maureen Lipman plays the Wicked Fairy opposite CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis as Chester the Jester in the timeless story of a princess, who is cursed to slip into an eternal slumber unless a handsome prince can wake her with his kiss. Expect fairytale costumes, big song and dance numbers and plenty of audience participation in Richmond Theatre's pantomime production of Sleeping Beauty, a much loved annual tradition for so many families in south west London.

 
 
 

A Peninsula Christmas

An enchanted forest, tepee snug bar, Christmas market and Santa's grotto.

Gateway Pavilion, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0SQ

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 3rd to 22nd December 2016

 

Secret Productions, the team behind the Wilderness Festival, have created the first ever Winter Festival for Greenwich Peninsula. The east London site gets its very own enchanted forest with LED blossoms and a lit, arched entrance made out of willow. Within it is the hidden Amphitheatre, a place to dance, laugh and hear the eclectic line-up of artists and performers throughout December. The Tepee Snug Bar opens until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, welcoming you in with its open fires and hot hog roasts. Visit Santa in his Grotto of Wonderment and browse for gifts at the Christmas Market selling luxurious leathers, jewellery and accessories as well as ostrich burgers, wood-fired pizzas and homemade cakes. Nearby, NOW Gallery displays The Seasonal Staircase, a cascade of floral and seasonal fruit to celebrate the season.

 
 
 

Santa Run Battersea Park

Hundreds of Santa running? Must be making room for all those mince pies.

Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: Saturday 3rd December 2016

 

Join hundreds of other Santas on a festive run through Battersea Park before relaxing afterwards with mulled wine and Christmas cake. No previous experience is needed for this fantastically festive day. Simply register online, turn up on the day, collect your free Santa outfit and tackle the 6km run. The spirit of the event is to be decided solely by the participants, meaning you can decide to walk, jog or run as fast or as slow as you like. It's not only a fun run and a good spectacle, the event also raises money for charity. If you've ever fancied a fun run through London whilst dressed as Father Christmas (and let's face it, who hasn't?) then this is the one for you.

 
 
 

Great Christmas Pudding Race

Runners dressed as puddings dodge flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

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

 

Dates: Saturday 3rd December 2016

 

You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! The race has been going on every year since 1980 and it raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street entertainers putting on some diverting shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores.

 
 
 

Crafty Fox Christmas Market

Buy unique, design-led items directly from the makers.

The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LQ

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2016

 

'Christmas shopping with soul' is how the organisers of the Crafty Fox Christmas Market are selling it and they're not wrong. With numerous markets taking place throughout December, the market provides the chance to buy unique, design-led items directly from the makers, providing the perfect opportunity to snap up some original Christmas presents. From steel and wooden jewellery to clothing, books, prints and toys, there's something for all of your loved ones. The market can be found at The Dogstar, Brixton on 3rd and 4th December, the Museum of London Docklands on 8th December, the Bussey Building, Peckham on 10th and 11th December, and the Geffrye Museum on 15th December.

 
 
 

Hedda Gabler

Ruth Wilson plays the title role in Ivo van Hove's modern production.

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

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 5th December 2016 to 11th February 2017

 

Ruth Wilson, who so memorably played anti-heroine Alice Morgan in BBC drama Luther, stars in the title role as Ivo van Hove directs a new modern production of Henrik Ibsen's play about a newly married woman who longs to be free. In this new version by Patrick Marber, Ruth Wilson (who not only made an impression in Luther but also in The Affair) returns to the National Theatre alongside a strong cast which includes Rafe Spall (Constellations), Chukwudi Iwuji, Kate Duchene, Eva Magyar, Sinead Matthews and Kyle Soller, currently appearing as Francis in the BBC's period drama Poldark.

 
 
 

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

The dance master takes on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's film and Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale.

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

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 6th December 2016 to 29th January 2017

 

Dance master Matthew Bourne takes on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's film and Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale to create new ballet production The Red Shoes, being staged at Sadler's Wells this December. A beloved fairytale and Academy Award-winning movie, the story has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with a tale of obsession, possession and one girl's dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. This adaptation will be set to a new score arranged by Terry Davies, using the music of Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann.

 
 
 

Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

Follow the Victorian doorkeeper who knows all of the secrets of the great Hall.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 6th to 24th December 2016

 

Children can explore the grand Royal Albert Hall through an hour-long interactive festive adventure culminating in a visit to Father Christmas's grotto. You'll be led by a Victorian doorkeeper who knows all of the Hall's secrets. Together you will solve puzzles and follow clues to find the key to Father Christmas's grotto where children aged two and above will receive a special present. As well as meeting the man in red, kids can enjoy making festive cards and decorations in the craft corner. For more ideas on where to see Father Christmas see our feature on Santa's Grottos in London.

 
 
 

Eifman Ballet Saint Petersburg: Up & Down

Ballet set in the Jazz Age and based on the F Scott Fitzgerald novel Tender Is The Night.

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: 6th to 10th Dec 2016

 

Eifman Ballet company celebrates its 40th anniversary with the UK premiere of Artistic Director Boris Eifman's ballet Up & Down based on the F Scott Fitzgerald novel Tender Is The Night. Set in the Jazz Age, the piece is danced to the invigorating music of George Gershwin, Franz Schubert and Alban Berg. The story follows the rise and fall of a promising young psychoanalyst and one of his patients; presenting the bizarre kaleidoscope of obsessions, fears and fragments of patients' minds. Win tickets to see Up & Down, details on our Competitions page.

 
 
 

Living With The Lights On

This one man show sees Mark Lockyer share his personal story as an actor.

The Young Vic, 66 The Cut, London, SE1 8LZ

Tube: Southwark Station, Waterloo Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 7th to 23rd December 2016

 

Returning to The Young Vic for a limited run, one man show Living With The Lights Onsees Mark Lockyer share his personal story of an actor living life on the edge. From his on-stage meltdown as Mercutio at the RSC to his fiery relationships and ultimate recovery, the true story is hilarious, gripping and completely bonkers.

 
 
 

Luv

A riotous celebration of the absurd lengths people go to when they're in love.

Park Theatre, 11 Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP

Tube: Finsbury Park Station

 

Dates: 7th December 2016 to 7th January 2017

 

First premiered on Broadway in 1964, Murray Schisgal's Luv now comes to the Park Theatre. The laugh-out-loud comedy is a 1960s riotous celebration of the absurd lengths people go to when struck down with the affection known as love. Having reunited one fateful night, old school pals Milt and Harry uncover each other's miserable life stories before coming up with a plan to find their happily-ever-afters.

 
 
 

Jorja Smith

The Walsall born singer is up for a MOBO for Best Song for 'Blue Lights'.

Omeara, 6 O'Meara Street, Union Street, London, SE1 1TE

Tube: Borough Station

 

Dates: 07th December 2016

 

Gritty soul and R&B from the 19 year old Walsall born singer Jorja Smith as she goes on her debut UK tour with a full live band. Fresh from supporting Nao on her UK tour, Jorja comes to new London concert venue Omeara and then heads straight to the MOBOs where she has been nominated for Best Song for 'Blue Lights', "a fantastically introspective and clever piece of songwriting" says the NME. Since releasing 'Blue Lights', Jorja has released the classically inspired 'A Prince' which featured the vocal talents of Maverick Sabre and then the soulful Cadenza produced 'Where Did I Go?' which Drake proclaimed was his favourite track of the moment in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

 
 
 

Costumed Twilight Tour of 18 Stafford Terrace

Voyeuristic insight into the lives of the Punch cartoonist and his family.

18 Stafford Terrace, 18 Stafford Terrace, London, W8 7BH

Tube: High Street Kensington Station

 

Dates: Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th December 2016

 

If you're looking for an alternative to the usual theatre/pub/restaurant night out you may well enjoy one of the Twillight Tours of the Kensington home of Punch cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne Linley. Running for just two nights in December, these evening events offer more than a standard tour of Linley Sambourne House. You'll be treated to a voyeuristic insight into the lives of the artist, his wife Marion, their two children and their live-in servants by actors performing as members of the Sambourne family, using the family diaries to create an evening of Victorian intrigue and drama. The atmospheric interiors of this unique historic home make it an ideal backdrop to a historic yarn on a winter's night, and you can tuck into mulled wine and mince pies to make it all the more festive. Booking is essential.

 
 
 

Rent

The 20th anniversary of the award winning rock musical, on Broadway for 12 years.

St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 8th December 2016 to 28th January 2017

 

The St James Theatre celebrates the 20th anniversary of Rent in 2016 with a strictly limited season of the legendary, multi award-winning musical. The recipient of four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the ground breaking rock musical ran on Broadway for 12 years and tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York City's East Village during the thriving days of Bohemian excess. This will be a rare opportunity to see one of the most successful musicals of all time.

 
 
 

Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow

Turning Hackney Showroom into a snowy cinema showing seasonal favourites.

Hackney Showroom, Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT

Tube: Manor House Station

 

Dates: 8th to 18th December 2016

 

This year Pop Up Screens heads east for their winter screenings, taking up residency at the Hackney Showroom where they're hosting a snow-filled world of film, accessed through a magic wardrobe. Transforming the former print works into a winter wonderland, the Cinema in the Snow line up includes Elf, Love Actually, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone and other festive flicks. Hot Chocolate, brownies, popcorn and mulled wine will be on offer and you can bet on a white Christmas here - on entering through the wardrobe, visitors will be greeted by falling snow.

 
 
 

Much Ado About Nothing (Or Love's Labour's Won)

First chance for Londoners to see the Chichester Festival Theatre production.

Haymarket Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

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

 

Dates: 9th December 2016 to 18th March 2017

 

The Royal Shakespeare Company's hugely acclaimed 2014 pairing of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (or Love's Labour's Won) arrives in London this Christmas. From 9th December 2016 until 18th March 2017, Edward Bennett and Lisa Dillon star in Christopher Luscombe's elegant, effervescent productions at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. This is the first chance Londoners get to see the Chichester Festival Theatre production of Shakespeare's comedy of combative courtship, which pits world-weary Benedick against spiky Beatrice against the backdrop of a post-First World War house party.

 
 
 

Johann Johannsson

The Icelandic composer premieres material he penned for new sci-fi film Arrival.

Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station, Moorgate Station

 

Dates: Friday 9th December 2016

 

Icelandic musician and composer Johann Johannsson, best known for soundtracks to films like The Theory of Everything, Sicario and The Miners' Hymns, performed at the Barbican in 2014, returns to London to premiere material from new sci-fi film Arrival. Johannsson will also play upcoming soundtracks for Danish documentary Good Things Await, music from his new album, Orphee, as well as new soundtrack work and material from across his career. Jozef van Wissem, who won the Cannes Soundtrack Award for Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, opens the concert for what promises to be a very special night.

 
 
 

Richard Ashcroft

Former frontman of The Verve fills The O2 with his solo material.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: Friday 9th December 2016

 

The guitarist and singer-songwriter, who most will know as the lead singer of 1990s band The Verve, fills The O2 with his solo alternative-rock material. Following well received shows at London's Roundhouse and Manchester's Albert Hall, which sold out in just 25 minutes, Richard Ashcroft comes to the 20 thousand capacity 02 on 9th December. Recently revisiting the spotlight, Richard stopped by Chris Evans' BBC Radio 2 show where he performed a four song acoustic set, including new single 'Hold On' and a cover of Prince's 'Little Red Corvette', both from new album These People on Friday.

 
 
 

Dick Whittington

Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips stars alongside Matthew Kelly and Tim Vine.

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

Tube: Wimbledon Station

 

Dates: 9th December 2016 to 15th January 2017

 

Choreographer and former Strictly judge, Arlene Phillips, Matthew Kelly and Tim Vine star in New Wimbledon Theatre's Christmas pantomime about a poor boy who travels to London seeking fame and fortune. Arlene will be making her pantomime debut as Fairy Bowbells in Dick Whittington alongside Matthew who plays Sarah the Cook and Tim who stars at Idle Jack, returning to Wimbledon after playing Buttons alongside Linda Gray and Matthew Kelly - who appeared as one of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella in 2014.

 
 
 

The Little Match Girl

Magical ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story.

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

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 10th to 30th December 2016

 

A snowy stage sets the scene for an icy cold Christmas Eve, where the Little Match Girl paces the emptying streets, shivering and desperate, trying to sell her matches. This magical production based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, adapted by celebrated director and choreographer Arthur Pita, returns following a sell-out season last year as the Sadler's Wells Christmas show at the Lilian Baylis theatre. Classically based dance moves are performed against a clever set by Yann Seabra and a score by Frank Moon which uses pre-recorded and live sound. The story may not be the most cheerful but a trip to the moon prompts a fun-filled episode with an astronaut and a miniature space shuttle - more than enough to keep the over 5s enthralled.

 
 
 

Madness

The ska septet fronted by Suggs plays their first arena tour in two years.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: Saturday 10th December 2016

 

Hailing from Camden, the ska septet reigned through the 70s and 80s with their upbeat singles including House of Fun, Nightboat to Cairo and One Step Beyond, and continue to perform with their most recognised line-up led by Graham 'Suggs' McPherson. They've played on the roof of Buckingham Palace and at Alexandra Palace but in 2016 they're at one of London's biggest and best concert venues, The O2. This one-night-only gig on Saturday 10th December brings their 'Can't Touch Us Now' tour, their first arena tour in two years, to The O2.

 
 
 

Cinderella

The first pantomime to be staged at the London Palladium in 29 years.

London Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TF

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 9th December 2016 to 15th January 2017

 

Paul O'Grady, Julian Clary, Amanda Holden and Nigel Havers lead an all-star cast as Cinderella, the best rags-to-riches fairy tale there is, comes to the London Palladium this December. Not only do we get Paul O'Grady as The Wicked Stepmother and Amanda Holden as The Fairy Godmother, Lee Mead plays Prince Charming and Natasha J Barnes takes on the title role of Cinderella, with Suzie Chard and Wendy Sommerville as The Wicked Stepsisters. It's the first pantomime to be staged at the famous West End theatre in 29 years, co-directed by Michael Harrison, the producer behind blockbuster hits such as Gypsy and Mrs Henderson Presents, and award-winning choreographer Andrew Wright known for Singin' In The Rain and Mrs Henderson Presents.

 
 
 

Art

Yasmina Reza's study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance is revived 20 years on.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station, Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 10th December 2016 to 18th February 2017

 

The Old Vic revives one of the most acclaimed plays of recent times this Christmas, staging Yasmina Reza's Art. Recipient of the Moliere, Evening Standard, Olivier and Tony Awards, Reza's play premiered in London 20 years ago and provides a dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance. This production will be translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Matthew Warchus, and it will reunite the entire original team from the 1994 play.

 
 
 

Status Quo: The Last Night Of The Electrics Tour

The rock band turn up the volume for their final full-on electric show.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: Sunday 11th December 2016

 

Classic rock from Status Quo as Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andy Bown, John 'Rhino' Edwards and Leon Cave bring their live show to the massive O2 arena, just as they did this time last year, but this time it's for their final full-on electric show. Making what has become something of an annual pilgrimage to The O2, the Quo will play a rundown of their biggest hits, new and old. Support comes from American rock band REO Speedwagon and The Lounge Kittens.

 
 
 

Love's Labour's Lost

Royal Shakespeare Company pairs two comedies at Haymarket Theatre Royal.

Haymarket Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT

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

 

Dates: 9th December 2016 to 18th March 2017

 

Edward Bennett returns as Berowne and Benedick and Lisa Dillon co-stars as Rosaline and Beatrice as the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2014 pairing of Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing (or Love's Labour's Won) comes to London this Christmas. It's summer 1914, the King and his friends pledge to avoid the company of women for three years but their resolve is tested by the arrival of the Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting in Shakespeare's sparkling comedy of duelling sexes. Christopher Luscombe directs the RSC productions, with country house designs by Simon Higlett and music by Nigel Hess.

 
 
 

Jurassic Park at the Natural History Museum

See Speilberg's giant hit film with Dippy the Diplodocus looking over your shoulder.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station, Gloucester Road Station

 

Dates: Monday 12th December 2016

 

Pop-up cinema experts Rooftop Film Club give you the chance to see Speilberg's giant hit film, Jurassic Park, with Dippy the Diplodocus overlooking your shoulder. For the first time ever the Natural History Museum is opening up its Hintze Hall out of hours to screen the epic dinosaur movie. Not only that, the evening starts off with a private view of the museum's popular Dino Walk. Grab some Proper Corn popcorn before taking a seat for knuckle biting adventure. After the initial date sold out in just 48 hours, they added two more screenings on the 12th December at 7pm and 10pm, proving how popular dinosaurs are... and not just with the under 10s. It's also a final chance to see London's best loved dinosaur, who has been greeting visitors for over 100 years. Controversially, a blue whale skeleton will be put in its place when it leaves the Museum in January 2017, before starting a UK tour in 2018.

 
 
 

Placebo

The alternative rock outfit celebrates 20 years since their debut album.

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

Tube: Wembley Park Station

 

Dates: Thursday 15th December 2016

 

Lead by singer-guitarist Brian Molko, the alternative rock outfit performs songs from the repertoire as they celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album. Androgyny's favourite son (or daughter) Brian Molko brings his band Placebo to the Wembley Arena for a one off gig to conclude their European tour, which started back in October in Denmark. Born in the glam-friendly Brit-pop aftermath and heavily indebted to David Bowie, Suede and Nirvana, Placebo have perfected the art of "romanticising emotional pain through grindingly bleak electro-rock" (The Guardian). Their catchy riffs, tortured vocals and enduring angst goes down extremely well in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland - where Molko is deemed a god - and with more than 10 million worldwide album sales to their name, Placebo remain one of the most successful groups of their generation.

 
 
 

Adventures in Moominland

The Southbank Centre presents a walk-through insight into Tove Jansson and The Moomins.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 16th December 2016 to 23rd April 2017

 

The world of acclaimed Finnish author Tove Jansson and The Moomins is brought to life in immersive, interactive exhibition Adventures in Moominland. Through original illustration, artworks, 3D models, letters and personal items, the exhibition presents new insights into Jansson's life and the influences behind her work. More interactive than a traditional museum exhibition, the walk-though display features theatrical sets, a script by Laura Dockrill and narration by Sandi Toksvig. Glimpse into Tove's studio in Helsinki and her family island of Klovharu, where she lived for almost thirty years. Recommended for ages 7 and over.

 
 
 

Million Dollar Quartet

The real-life tale of the night Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together.

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, Covent Garden, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 17th December - 02nd January 2017

 

Martin Kemp stars in the story of how the world's first supergroup came together when Million Dollar Quartet comes to the Royal Festival Hall this December. This is the real-life tale of the night in December 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis were brought together by Sun Records' founder Sam Phillips for an impromptu jam in Memphis which would make music history. Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott's Tony Award-winning musical is directed by Eric Schaeffer and features over 20 of the greatest rock 'n' roll, gospel, R&B and country hits of all time. For a feel-good night in London, you can't get much better than Million Dollar Quartet, which blends themes of fame, friendship, professional jealousy and, of course, incredible music.

 
 
 

Ronnie Scott's at The Jazz Cafe

One legendary London jazz venue comes to another for five nights.

The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG

Tube: Camden Town Station, Camden Town Station

 

Dates: 18th to 22nd Dec 2016

 

One legendary London jazz venue teams up with another as Ronnie Scott's comes to The Jazz Cafe in Camden for a five-night pop-up residency from 18th to 22nd December. They'll showcase the talents of Absolute Earth Wind & Fire by Serpentine Fire, followed by a UK triple bill of Ben Jones, Richard Spaven Trio and Blue Lab Beats, a Grime influenced jazz hip-hop duo making waves on the London scene. From 18th to 20th December, we're treated to the return of a legendary residency by the James Taylor Quartet whose acid-jazz era Christmas residency here almost 20 years ago was one of the capital's hottest tickets.

 
 
 

The James Taylor Quartet

James Taylor plays jazz, soul and funk with his quartet.

The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG

Tube: Camden Town Station, Camden Town Station

 

Dates: 20th, 21st and 22nd December 2016

 

The internationally-acclaimed Hammond organ player, James Taylor, performs a blend of jazz, soul and funk with his quartet. Something of a fixture at Ronnie Scott's, the band recently released live album 'Bumpin' On Frith Street', recorded at the famous Soho club. These December concerts are part of a special five-night Christmas residency, from 18th to 22nd December 2016, for Ronnie Scott's at the Jazz Cafe, newly refreshed following a recent refurbishment.

 
 
 

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseini's haunting tale of friendship and betrayal.

Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA

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

 

Dates: 21st December 2016 to 11th March 2017

 

Adapted by Matthew Spangler from the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner charts the heartrending story of friends Amir and Hassan, whose childhood innocence is tainted forever by an incident during a kite-flying tournament. Directed by Giles Croft, this West End stage adaptation at Wyndham's Theatre stars former Casualty actor Ben Turner as the central character, Amir. Hosseini told the Evening Standard, the stage version is 'very different' to the film: "What is appealing is it lets you put a lot more of the book and text on the stage."

 
 
 

The Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty

An enchanted world of princesses, fairy godmothers and magic spells.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 21st December 2016 to 14th March 2017

 

The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet's history - it was the first production at its new home in Covent Garden after World War II, and Margot Fonteyn danced the lead role. In this production, 70 years after it was first staged, the classical beauty of Marius Petipa's original choreography presents an enchanted world of princesses, fairy godmothers, magic spells and a charming prince. The ballet includes many memorable moments including technically demanding choreography and a dazzling ballet that, like the fairytale it brings to life, lasts through the ages.

 
 
 

Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

Brave swimmers take to the Serpentine lake on Christmas Day.

Serpentine Boating Lake, The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: Sunday 25th December 2016

 

This lot are a hardy bunch but tradition is tradition and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have been plunging themselves into the Serpentine lake's icy waters every Christmas Day since 1864. At temperatures of below four degrees Celsius in winter, the swimmers will want to get a wiggle on so it's lucky that they are all in hot pursuit of the prestigious Peter Pan Cup. The name of the 100-yard race dates back to 1904 when J.M Barrie, the creator of the boy who refused to grow up, presented the first cup. While most of us are still tucked up in bed or delving into our stocking the competitors line up (and pretend not to shiver) for their 9am start, a jolly crowd gathers to witness the spectacle. It's a great way to get some fresh air on Christmas morning and you'll feel like you've earned your post-lunch snooze. Behind you, Hyde Park offers a wonderful wintry landscape and, if you want to continue the Peter Pan theme, why not nip across to see the famous statue in Kensington Gardens. It was so cold and snowy in 2010 that the race had to be cancelled - although some intrepid souls still broke holes in the ice in order to have a quick dip.

 
 
 

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