May in London 2020

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Rhys Ifans stars in To Kill A Mockingbird

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Rhys Ifans stars in To Kill A Mockingbird
The Watsons
101 Dalmatians
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's A Bunch of Amateurs
Photo London
Jinjo Crew is part of Breakin' Convention
All Points East
Canalway Cavalcade
The MoonWalk London
Ross Noble: Humournoid
Open Air Theatre
Arctic: Culture and Climate
Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street
Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature
Foodies Festival, Syon Park
The Last Word

© Rankin

Rhys Ifans is Atticus Finch as To Kill A Mockingbird comes to London in May 2020, Pet Shop Boys bring their greatest hits to The O2 and the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre season begins with a brand new musical of 101 Dalmatians.

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On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100

The V&A celebrates the significant contribution that RAD has made to British ballet.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 01st May - 06th February 2021


In 2020, the V&A celebrates the significant contribution that the Royal Academy of Dance has made to the development of British ballet over the past hundred years. On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 sees the museum explore the company's history through a display of costumes, designs and photographs from the RAD's archive and the V&A's Theatre & Performance Collection. Highlights include original ballet costumes and accessories worn by RAD founders and Presidents along with audio-visual footages, original photographs, letter, programmes and posters.


Breakin' Convention

The world's greatest poppers, lockers, B-boys and B-girls appear at the two-day festival.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 02nd - 03rd May 2020


Taking place every May bank holiday weekend, the annual two-day international festival of hip hop and dance theatre, curated by Sadler's Wells associate artist Jonzi D, is back for a 17th year in 2020. Featuring performances from some of the world's greatest poppers, lockers, B-boys and B-girls, the line-up for this year's Breakin' Convention includes the return of South Korea's Jinjo Crew, "experts at whipping a packed house into a frenzied appreciation" (The Times), and France's Geometrie Variable, who explore a style resembling the inner mechanics of a timepiece. UK-based Spoken Movement, which was part of Dance Elargie: Dance Expanded here in October 2019, also joins the line-up. The festival takes over the whole Sadler's Wells space with dance workshops, graffiti, DJs and freestyle sessions taking place all over the building.


Canalway Cavalcade

The distinctive waterway festival returns for another year.

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

Tube: Warwick Avenue Station


Dates: 02nd - 03rd May 2020


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, a real ale bar and family-friendly activities 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.


Ross Noble: Humournoid

Improvisational comedy and random musings from the popular comedian.

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

Tube: Oxford Circus Station


Dates: 03rd May 2020


Known for his improvisational comedy and random musings, Ross Noble returns to London with his brand-new UK tour, Humournoid. A radio and TV regular with appearances on BBC's QI and Have I Got News for You and Radio 4's Just a Minute and Britain in Bits, the comedian is renowned for his surreal and offbeat humour, and he will no doubt have the audience at the London Palladium howling with laughter.


Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

Go behind the scenes of the design process of the most innovative trainers on the market.

Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG

Tube: High Street Kensington Station


Dates: 06th May - 04th December 2020


Looking at their role as both a style statement and a high-tech fitness accessory, the Design Museum puts trainers in the spotlight with its new exhibition, Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street. With designs by the likes of Nike, Adidas and Puma as well as Colette and Comme des Garcons on display, the exhibition explores how sneakers have transformed our relationship with sportswear and developed into one of the biggest industries in the world - the reselling market worth is $2 billion. Visitors can go behind the scenes of the industry to explore the design process for the most innovative footwear including self-lacing, 3D printed and 100% recyclable trainers.


The Watsons

Laura Wade's pithy comedy adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel comes to the West End.

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

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 08th May - 26th September 2020


Adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel and "joyously directed" (Evening Standard) by Samuel West, The Watsons comes to the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre from Chichester via a hugely successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. "Jane Austen has never been quite as much fun as this before" said The Times review of Laura Wade's pithy comedy. The playwright herself appears to take on a role as halfway through the action a writer called Laura disguised as a maid interrupts the action. A "meta-theatrical free-for-all" (Standard), this "self-referential comedy... keeps you guessing until the last second" (The Times).


Photo London

One of the biggest photography events of the year.

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

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 14th - 17th May 2020


A line-up of the world's top galleries come to Somerset House for four days in May when Photo London returns to the capital for a sixth year. Renowned as one of the biggest photography events of the year, the showcase is not only a selling fair but also includes special exhibitions, installations and a curated programme of talks and presentations along with daily sixty minute tours giving knowledgeable insight into the fair. The 2020 line-up is yet to be announced.


101 Dalmatians

Open Air Theatre commissions a brand new musical with a cast of canine characters played by puppets.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 16th May - 21st June 2020


Opening the 2020 summer season at the outdoor theatre in Regent's Park, 101 Dalmatians is the first musical to be commissioned by the Open Air Theatre. Based on Dodie Smith's much loved story about the crazed Cruella De Ville who wants to use the fur of spotty puppies to make a coat, the production is directed by Timothy Sheader, with puppetry by Toby Olie, the War Horse puppeteer who co-directed The Elephantom. For this production Toby is designing and directing the cast of canine characters. With a book by Zinnie Harris and music and lyrics by Douglas Hodge and set and costume design by Katrina Lindsay (responsible for the costume designs in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) the strong creative team includes choreographer Liam Steel with musical supervision and orchestrations by Sarah Travis and musical direction by Tarek Merchant.


The MoonWalk London

A bold and bright night-time walk to raise money for a breast cancer charity.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, Battersea, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station


Dates: 16th May 2020


A colourful night-time power walking marathon, where the participants bare their colourfully decorated bras, the MoonWalk is a fun way to raise money for Walk the Walk - a breast cancer charity supporting medical research and care. This year there's a carnival theme so you can expect the walkers to stride out in some outrageous outfits and flamboyant underwear done up in feathers and sequins. Those that set out from Clapham Common get a fantastic evening tour past London's architectural highlights as well as the satisfaction of raising money for charity.


Open Air Theatre

An annual highlight on London's summer calendar with a whole season of al fresco performances.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 16th May - 19th September 2020


A mainstay of summer in London, the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre opens its gates for another season of al fresco drama in 2020, opening with their first newly commissioned musical, 101 Dalmatians, with puppetry designed and directed by Toby Olie. Then comes Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's timeless story of two young people torn apart, directed by Kimberley Sykes. Timothy Sheader reunites with Jesus Christ Superstar choreographer Drew McOnie for Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, a marvellous musical with a score that includes 'If I Loved You' and 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. For younger viewers, Dragons and Mythical Beasts presents a new 50-minute daytime show by Nicoll Entertainment and the team behind Dinosaur World Live. Enter a magical world of myths and legends in this fantastical new interactive show.


Renaissance Watercolours: from Durer to Van Dyck

An exploration of the development of watercolour painting through the display of 200 masterpieces.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 16th May - 20th September 2020


This spring, the V&A explores the development of watercolour painting during the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery with its new exhibition, Renaissance Watercolours: from Durer to Van Dyck. The exquisite medium will be shown in its best light through the display of 200 rarely seen masterpieces that illustrates them as a unified art form for the first time. Visitors will see how watercolour painting has played a vital role in our understanding, interpretation and documentation of the natural world with genres themed around landscape, natural history and portraiture. See works by seminal painters including Albrecht Durer, Nicholas Hilliard and Anthony van Dyck.


A Bunch of Amateurs

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's comedy is a love letter to the world of amateur theatre.

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

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 18th - 23rd May 2020


Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford. That's the starting point for Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's comedy A Bunch of Amateurs, the very first play they wrote, which comes to Richmond Theatre as part of a UK tour. This "love letter to the world of amateur theatre" (as its authors describe it) follows the success of The Wipers Times and Trial By Laughter. The lead finds he's sharing the spotlight with a cast of enthusiastic amateur thespians and has to dig deep to find his inner strength - and discover his inner Lear.


Julian Clary: Born To Mince

The famously filthy comedian bares his soul in this outrageously camp show.

Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AH

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


Dates: 18th - 23rd May 2020


In what promises to be an 'outrageously camp' evening, Julian Clary brings his show, Born to Mince, to the Bloomsbury Theatre this May. The famously filthy comedian will bare his soul like never before, all the spirit of entertainment. There will be singing, there will be laughing and there will be plenty of innuendos. Audiences can also expect a sneak preview from Julian's new memoir, A Night At the Lubricant.


Liza Pulman - The Heart of It

The Fascinating Aida star returns to the London stage with her new show.

Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9BN

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 18th - 24th May 2020


After previously wowing audiences with her West End show Liza Pulman Sings Streisand, Fascinating Aida's Liza Pulman returns to the London stage with her new show, The Heart of It at Riverside Studios. The renowned singer and actress will be accompanied by some of the best musicians in the UK to lead audiences through the music of Sinatra, Michel Le Grand, Stevie Wonder and Randy Newman, reinventing a number of well-known timeless classics. Expect to be laughing and smiling one minute and then crying the next with a heart-warming blend of anecdotes and songs.


Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes

Two of the artist's great landscapes are shown together for the first time in 200 years.

Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN

Tube: Bond Street Station


Dates: 20th May - 13th September 2020


In 2020, two landscapes by Peter Paul Rubens will be reunited for the first time in over two hundred years as part of a brand-new exhibition at The Wallace Collection. Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes will place The Rainbow Landscape and A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning together in a striking display. Despite being painted as a companion pair and kept together in Rubens' own collection, the paintings were separated when they were brought to London in 1803. This new exhibition provides new insights into how the paintings were developed and also displays a newly commissioned documentary exploring Ruben's work.


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

The first major survey of the revered London-based painter.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station


Dates: 20th May - 31st August 2020


Tate Britain presents the first major survey of London-based painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye with a showcase of more than 80 paintings and works on paper by the celebrated British artist. Widely regarded as one of the most important painters of her generation, Yiadom-Boakye has become known for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people with many works alluding to historic European portraiture while demonstrating contemporary techniques. Making waves in the art industry, Yiadom-Boakye was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 2018 and shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013.


The Respectable Prostitute

The first staging of Jean-Paul Sartre's in nearly 75 years.

The Playground Theatre, Unit 8 Latimer Industrial Estate, Latimer Road, London, W10 6RQ

Tube: White City Station


Dates: 20th May - 16th June 2020


As part of its summer season, The Playground Theatre teams up with Jonathan Taylor Productions to present The Respectable Prostitute, the play by French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre that spawned a major international film. Set in hot and steamy 1940s America, the play follows an innocent prostitute who wants to tell the truth about a brutal murder that's taken place in the midst of lies, fake news, racism and other daily affronts in the Deep South. This will be the first staging of the play in nearly 75 years.


To Kill A Mockingbird

Rhys Ifans takes on the lead role of small-town lawyer Atticus Finch.

Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 21st May - 31st July 2020


Rhys Ifans, recently seen in On Bear Ridge at the Royal Court Theatre, takes on the lead role of small-town lawyer Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, the new play by Aaron Sorkin based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Set in Alabama in 1934, the enduring story has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide and 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of its publication. The cast of well known and much loved characters includes Atticus's daughter Scout, her brother Jem, their housekeeper and caretaker Calpurnia, their visiting friend Dill, a mysterious neighbour the reclusive Arthur 'Boo' Radley. This story of racial injustice and the loss of childhood innocence is directed by Bartlett Sher who says, "what I most love about the story is this question of 'how do kids learn about justice?'".


All Points East

Tame Impala and Glass Animals, Kraftwerk 3D and Iggy Pop play in Victoria Park.

Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN

Tube: Mile End Station


Dates: 22nd - 31st May 2020


London's hottest new music festival, All Points East, is back for its third year in 2020, taking place over two May weekends at Victoria Park along with four days of midweek fun. To kick things off, there's a three day music festival with appearances from headliners Tame Impala and Caribou as well as Glass Animals and Whitney. It's followed by a four-day community-focused midweek programme of comedy, food, outdoor cinema and more. Then comes a long weekend of three back to back shows with Kraftwerk 3D, Iggy Pop, Chromatics and Johnny Mar.


Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature

Meet amazing creatures from the natural, mythical and wizarding worlds.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 22nd May - 03rd January 2021


Discover the real life creatures, specimens and artefacts from the Natural History Museum's collection which could just as easily feature in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts. A partnership between the Natural History Museum, the BBC and Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature - the museum's most ambitious exhibition to date - recreates remarkable animals in all their fantastic forms. Creatures from the natural, mythical worlds and the Wizarding World are represented by scientific specimens and historic objects as well as digital installations and characters from the wizarding world. See a tiger and a Galapagos marine iguana alongside an Erumpent horn and the dragon skull from Professor Lupin's classroom. Learn about conservationists like Newt Scamander who dedicates his life to better understanding the beasts and you'll leave with a better understanding of why protecting wildlife and the environment is so important.


Foodies Festival, Syon Park

Three days of foodie fun with top chefs and MasterChef champions.

Syon Park, Road, Brentford, London, TW8 8JF

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 23rd - 25th May 2020


The Foodies Festival returns to Syon Park this spring bringing MasterChef winners and famous chefs to leafy west London on the second Bank Holiday weekend in May. This year's line-up of culinary elite includes MasterChef Champion Dhruv Baker, Arnaud Stevens of Plate, Andrew Cole of Bingham Riverhouse and Kerth Gumbs of Ormer Mayfair. There's also a drinks theatre and live music stage as well as workshops, over 20 street food outlets, the Pimms Teapot, cookery classes for kids and garden games and crafting.


The Last Word

The three-week spoken word festival returns.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 26th May - 18th June 2020


The Roundhouse celebrates the spoken word this May with the return of its three-week festival, The Last Word. Bringing together the biggest names and rising stars in the industry, it offers a line-up of poetry, podcasts, sound clashes, supper clubs and shows, blurring the lines between spoken word, music and film to provoke conversations around issues in today's society. One of the annual highlights on the line-up, the Poetry Slam Final returns with talent from all around the UK competing for the winning spot after the regional heats. Further events on the line-up include interactive show The Money, giving players the opportunity to work with a set of strangers in the hope of reaching a unanimous decision on what to spend a sum of money on; The Receipts, an intimate studio session from the acclaimed culture podcast; and British Book, which uses spoken word, poetry and live music to follow two siblings navigating their way through the UK immigration system.


Pet Shop Boys

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe tour with their greatest hits for the first time.

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

Tube: North Greenwich Station


Dates: 28th May 2020


The London-based duo Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe tour with their greatest hits for the first time, begin the seven date UK tour at The O2 on Thursday 28th May 2020. The Pet Shop Boys will be playing songs from their new album, Dreamworld, which encompasses all their hits from the past 30 years but also includes a new single featuring Years & Years. The duo have undoubtedly withstood the test of time - 35 years into their career, the Boys have sold more than 50 million albums and notched over 20 Top 10 hits with their infectious, catchy brand of "high-end, high-art disco pop for mind and body" (The Guardian). Constantly evolving - collaborators have included Girls Aloud, Kylie, The Killers and Lady GaGa.


Arctic: Culture and Climate

Uncovering the people and culture of the most northern region in the world.

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

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


Dates: 28th May - 23rd August 2020


On of the earth's coldest regions, the Arctic and its indigenous peoples, come under the spotlight at a major British Museum exhibition this spring. Select tools and clothing, artworks and objects used in everyday life are displayed to show how these resilient communities have lived in one of the most dramatic environments on the planet for nearly 30,000 years. Rare objects include 28,000 year old archaeological finds excavated from the thawing ground in Siberia and an 8-piece Igloolik winter costume made of caribou fur. The exhibition reveals the great diversity of cultures and the effect of global warming, showing how communities respond to dramatic shifts in the changing landscape in the most northern region of the world.



A new production of Richard Strauss's Greek tragedy.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 29th May - 18th June 2020


This summer you can see a new production of Richard Strauss's Greek tragedy Elektra by German director Christof Loy who staged an "intelligent production" (The Guardian) of Forza del Destino here at the Royal Opera House last year. The "powerful soprano" (Schmopera) Nina Stemme played an "unparalleled" Elektra at the Lyric Opera of Chicago last year and reprises her part in the title role. This passionate opera is about a father who sacrifices a daughter and a wife who kills her husband provoking their daughter to seek bloody revenge. No wonder is has the same power to shock as it did when it first premiered in 1909. Antonio Pappano conducts his first Strauss interpretation for The Royal Opera since 2002 while Finnish soprano Karita Mattila plays queen Klytamnestra for the first time.

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