The perfect theatre outing for Mother's Day, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new British musical, The Girls, has "the bare essentials of a copper-bottomed classic" (The Telegraph). Based on the true story, film and award-winning play Calendar Girls, the play at the Phoenix Theatre is inspired by the story of a group of ladies who appeared nude for a Women's Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital. The musical comedy has some "wry, wistful ditties" as well as "some absolute belters (the glorious 'Dare' is a stand-out)" according to the Telegraph. The brave cast strip off everything "with cheeky aplomb", their modesty protected behind cake-stands.
Mother's Day Events
© Clare Kendall
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new Calendar Girls musical makes the ideal outing for mum.
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP
Dates: 28th January to 22nd April 2017
Stunning outfits include the gown the Princess wore when dancing with John Travolta.
Kensington Palace State Apartments, Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX
Dates: 24th February to 31st August 2017
Twenty years on from her death, Kensington Palace traces the evolution of Princess Diana's style in Diana: Her Fashion Story. From the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life, the exhibition will explore how Diana navigated her unique position in the public eye. From her earliest royal engagements, she was closely scrutinised and soon learned to use her image to engage with and inspire people. Visitors will be able to see extraordinary garments from her collection, the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn during her engagement portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981, Victor Edelstein's iconic ink blue velvet gown worn at the White House when the Princess danced with John Travolta, and a blue tartan Emanuel suit worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, which will go on public display for the first time having recently been discovered and acquired by the Royal Palaces.
Beautiful floral displays and demos on the theme of royal women.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU
Tube: Richmond Station
Dates: 24th - 26th March 2017
The annual Florimania weekend is a spring highlight at Hampton Court Palace and this year's display explores the theme of royal women. Taking place over Mother's Day weekend, Florimania is a lovely way to treat busy mums to some time off where they can enjoy stunning flower arrangements in King William III's State Apartments. Take inspiration from some of the keenest garden-loving queens in history, from Queen Mary II and her collection of exotic plants at Hampton Court Palace, Marie Antoinette and the gardens of Versailles, and Queen Charlotte at Kew. You can also see how it's done through flower arranging demonstrations on each of the days.
Enjoy Mother's Day afternoon tea in the beautiful muraled orangery.
12 Crooms Hill, London, SE10 8ER
Visit the Fan Museum, one of London's less well known museums, on Mother's Day and enjoy a special afternoon tea (£15 per person plus museum admission). Sandwiches, red velvet cakes and lavender and Champagne macarons are served in the spectacular orangery with much-admired mural. This unique museum, housed in a beautifully restored 1721 building, celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary with an exhibition of its finest fans including exquisite examples from the 18th and 19th centuries and you can also explore the landscaped Japanese-style garden.
Events at Fan Museum
24th January to 21st May 2017 | £4, concs/child £3, family £10
No show is the same when the cast of six improvise a new Jane Austen novel.
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, London, WC2H 7BX
Dates: 29th October - 26th March 2017
A hit at the Edinburgh Fringe since its first outing in 2012, Austentatious is "A potboiler of a parody, joyously performed", says Alex Hardy, giving the show five stars in The Times. Each show is different as the cast of six improvise a brand new Austen work based on a suggestion from the audience. It's full of swooning ladies, stolen looks and dashing gents and the troupe keep the story line moving along swiftly. No real knowledge of Jane Austen is needed to enjoy the show, as long as you're aware of the Regency style and stance on romance you'll be able to appreciate the skilful improvisation and sheer joy of it all.
Give your mum some home inspiration at Britain's biggest home show.
Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX
Dates: 24th March to 9th April 2017
Britain's biggest consumer home event, a regular fixture since 1908, returns to Olympia featuring everything you need to spruce up your abode. Celebrities appearing at the Ideal Home Show in 2017 include TV presenter and inspirational author Katie Piper, Amazing Spaces presenter George Clarke, interiors adviser Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and DIY expert Clive Holland, best known for presenting BBC 1's 'Cowboy Trap'. The show is divided into seven dedicated sections including areas on home improvements, interiors, gardens, technology, food and housewares as well as fashion and beauty. There are competitions to find the Young Gardeners of the Year and the Ideal Wallpaper Designer of the Year. And Moneysavingexpert.com founder Martin Lewis and his team will be on hand to help you save on the cost of running your home.
Learn how to grow beautiful, colourful flowers throughout the seasons.
Petersham Nurseries Cafe and Teahouse, Off Petersham Road, Petersham, London, TW10 7AG
Tube: Richmond Station
Dates: 21st March 2017
To mark the start of spring, Petersham Nurseries is putting on a special workshop with Georgie Newbery from Common Farm Flowers on 21st March 2017. The Somerset based gardener "has been at the forefront of a quiet revolution" (Telegraph) since 2014, championing the "slow flower movement" at her smallholding in Somerset. Under her guidance you'll learn how to grow beautiful, colourful flowers throughout the seasons. You'll be treated to a seasonal, Italian-inspired menu in the glasshouse restaurant, and you'll get to create your own posy of cut flowers to take home. Part of a series of workshops, look out for more from the 'School of Garden Inspiration' at this very special west London garden centre.
Take your mum to admire the beautiful camellias at Chiswick House.
Chiswick House, Burlington Lane, London, W4 2RP
Tube: Turnham Green Station
Dates: 3rd March to 2nd April 2017
The colourful Camellia Festival, which showcases the wonderful Chiswick House camellia collection, remains free for a third year - a move which has seen visitor numbers quadruple to 16,000. Housed in the gardens' spectacular conservatory, designed by Samuel Ware in 1813, the collection is a national treasure and the oldest in the Western world - it was created in the early years of the 19th century by the 6th Duke of Devonshire. It's wonderful to see these beautiful blooms in the conservatory next to the restored nineteenth-century Italian Garden, replanted in 2012. Known as the Queen of the Winter Flowers, the camellias at Chiswick bring a burst of glorious colour - from pinks to reds, whites to stripes - to the spring season.
An all-star cast make this award-winning comedy a toe tapping hot ticket.
Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, London, WC2R 0NH
Dates: 1st March to 17th June 2017
Amanda Holden, Angela Griffin, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicola Stephenson star in Richard Harris' bittersweet comedy drama, Stepping Out, which choreographs the trials and tribulations of seven women and one man, who meet at a weekly tap dancing class in a north London church hall. Such an all-star cast make this award-winning comedy, directed by Maria Friedman at the Vaudeville Theatre, a toe tapping hot ticket.
Bell's art embodies many of the progressive ideas that we still are grappling with today.
Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, London, SE21 7AD
Tube: Denmark Hill Station
Dates: 8th February to 4th June 2017
Works by the acclaimed artist Vanessa Bell, a central figure of the Bloomsbury Group, go on display at Dulwich Picture Gallery from February 2017. The exhibition charts her move from the refined Impressionism of her early training to a more radical, experimental style. Approximately 100 works, arranged thematically, reveal Bell's bold experiments with abstraction, colour and form. Through portraiture, still life and landscape oil paintings as well as ceramics, fabrics, works on paper, photographs and related archival material we can see how Bell became a pivotal figure in modernist painting.
Glitter cannons and giant balloons, what more could you ask for?
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, London, SW12 9HD
Tube: Balham Station
Dates: 26th March 2017
On Mother's Day, family ravers Big Fish Little Fish bring their multi-sensory dancefloor, glitter cannons and giant balloons to Balham. Top DJs spin old skool club classics, house and hip hop, and - in true Whirl-Y-Gig style - everyone comes together to dance under a colourful parachute at the end. Perfect for families with younger children (age 8 and under), little ones can join in with craft activities and there's a play area with tents and tunnels. The theme is Pop Stars & Rock Stars so dress up if you like and enter the draw to win one of three family guest passes to Camp Bestival this summer.
David Tennant plays the title role in this dark, funny and sexy drama.
Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA
Dates: 17th March to 10th June 2017
David Tennant returns to the West End this March to play the title role in Patrick Marber's Don Juan in Soho. Directed by Marber himself, the play will be staged at the Wyndham's Theatre for a strictly limited 11-week run. The contemporary take on Moliere's classic comedy, Don Juan, first premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in December 2006, directed by Michael Grandage and starring Rhys Ifans. Now, with this West End transfer, more audiences will be able to enjoy the "dark, funny and very sexy" (The Telegraph) production.
Damian Lewis returns to the West End to star in the Tony Award-winning play.
Haymarket Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT
Dates: 24th March to 24th June 2017
Damian Lewis returns to the West End this March to star in Edward Albee's The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? The Tony Award-winning play follows Martin, who is at the pinnacle of his life. He has a loving wife and son, a fantastic career as an architect, and the commission of a lifetime. Despite this, he embarks on a love affair from which there is no going back, with familial relationships collapsing as a result. Ian Rickson, former Royal Court artistic director, directs the late classic, which is full of Albee's characteristically sharp wit and will be staged at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited period.
The award-winning production transfers from Broadway to London.
Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7AQ
Dates: 4th March to 30th September 2017
The award-winning An American In Paris transfers from Broadway to London, arriving at the Dominion Theatre in March 2017. Described by The New York Times as "a perfect integration of dance, romance and classic Gershwin", the show is performed by a company of over 50 actors, dancers and musicians, and is directed and choreographed by the Olivier and Tony Award-winning Christopher Wheeldon. Based on the Oscar-winning 1951 film, the show tells the story of Jerry Mulligan, an American GI striving to make it as a painter in a city that suddenly offers hope and possibility. After a chance encounter with a beautiful dancer named Lise, the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous, modern romance of art, friendship and love in the aftermath of war. The most awarded Broadway musical of 2015, it features timeless songs such as I Got Rhythm, 'S Wonderful and They Can't Take That Away From Me, and is sure to be a hit this side of the pond.
The first major exhibition on modern and contemporary American printmaking.
British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Dates: 9th March to 18th June 2017
This spring the British Museum stages the first major exhibition on modern and contemporary American printmaking. Through the work of artists like Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol,The American Dream: pop to present takes us through fifty years of American art, from Pop art to the New York and West Coast scenes in the early 1960s to the rise of minimalism, conceptual art and photorealism. American printmaking was the ideal medium to express America's power and influence in the days when race, AIDS, and feminism were causing a stir.
This major new exhibition focuses on the artistic relationship between two Renaissance masters.
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Dates: 15th March to 25th June 2017
This major exhibition at the National Gallery focuses on the artistic relationship between the two Renaissance masters, Sebastiano del Piombo and Michelangelo, who became friends as the latter was finishing the Sistine Chapel ceiling. They collaborated on several works, with Michelangelo providing the younger artist with drawings and ideas. The exhibition draws our attention to two of these collaborations in particular: the 'Pieta' for San Francesco in Viterbo, and the 'Raising of Lazarus', painted for the Cathedral of Narbonne. Alongside are works by each before they met, correspondence between the two and an examination of their allegedly acrimonious falling-out.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Diana: Her Fashion Story
Florimania at Hampton Court Palace
Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Ideal Home Show
Grow Your Own Cut Flower Patch with Georgie Newbery
Chiswick House Camellia Festival
BFLF Family Rave X Camp Bestival
Don Juan In Soho
Edward Albee's The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?
An American In Paris
The American Dream: Pop to Present
Michelangelo & Sebastiano
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