What’s New in London


Saatchi Gallery, 2 April – 4 September 2016

The first international exhibition on the Rolling Stones will take over the entire two floors of the Saatchi Gallery, with nine thematic galleries. EXHIBITIONISM combines over 500 original Stones’ artefacts, with striking cinematic and interactive technologies offering the most comprehensive insight into the band’s fifty-year history. For more information saatchigallery.com

Conceptual Art in Britain: 1964 – 1979
Tate Modern, 12 April – 2 August 2016

This exhibition explores a period in British history, where artists abandoned the traditional approach to art and suggested news ways of engaging with the realities of the world beyond the studio. The radical and controversial works took inspiration from real world issues, which led artists to create works that often portrayed themes and issues, from feminism to troubles in Northern Ireland. This exhibition shows conceptual art within the context of its time. Artists featured include, among others: Keith Arnatt, Conrad Atkinson and Victor Burgin. For more information tate.org.uk

Shakespeare in Ten Acts
British Library, 15 April – 6 September 2016
This landmark exhibitions takes visitors on a journey through the 400 year history of William Shakespeare, such as the first production of Hamlet and demonstrates how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generation theatre-goers. Shakespeare in Ten Acts, showcases over 200 unique and rare items such as the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand, an authentic Shakespeare signature, the earliest printed edition of Hamlet from 1603 and Shakespeare’s First Folio. For more information bl.uk

Maria Merian’s Butterflies
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, 15 April – 9 October 2016
In 1966, Maria Sibylla Merian spent two years living in Suriname in South America to study animals and insects, exploring the life-cycle of the insects which was relatively unknown at the time. Maria Merian’s Butterflies tells Merian’s story through her works in the Royal Collection, acquired by George III. Over 300 years since they were made, some of the finest images of the natural world ever produced will go on display, showing brilliant partially printed and hand painted works. For more information royalcollection.org.uk    

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear
V&A Museum, 16 April 2016 – 5 February 2017

Addressing the practicalities of underwear and its role in the fashionable wardrobe whilst highlighting its sensual appeal, this exhibition will explore dress reformers and designers such as Paul Poiret, who argued for the beauty of the natural body, as well as entrepreneurs and innovators who have played a critical role in the development of more effective and comfortable underwear. On display will be around 140 garments and accessories for men and women together with fashion plates, photographs and film, advertisements and packaging to introduce changing concepts of the ideal body. For more information vam.ac.uk

Pick Me Up: Graphic Art Festival
Somerset House, 21 April – 2 May 2016
The festival displays all forms of graphic art including illustrations, animation, 3D installations and more from top emerging artists and established industry names. This year, Pick Me Up will host a retrospective exhibition of works by typographer and printmaker Alan Kitching, featuring over 100 prints, showing his journey from apprentice to world-renowned designer. Visitors will be able to meet some of the artists, designers and illustrators plus create their own work at hands-on workshops and events that run throughout the 12-day festival. For more information somersethouse.org.uk

Sicily: culture and conquest
British Museum, 21 April – 14 August 2016

The British Museum will open the first exhibition in the UK to explore 4000 years of history of the island of Sicily. The exhibition will provide insight into the vibrant past of the Italian island and shed light on the remarkable artistic and architectural achievements of the island. Over 200 objects will be brought together from the British Museum’s own collection, along with loans from Sicily and around the world. For more information britishmuseum.org

The A to Z of London: Acton Open Weekend
The Transport Museum Depot, 23 – 24 April 2016

Celebrating the centenary of the Johnston font, the weekend’s events will include calligraphy demonstrations, font making activities, talks about Edward Johnston, and the opportunity to see the Big Steam Print in action, printing on a giant scale using a vintage steam roller. Ride on the miniature railway, explore behind-the-scenes on a curator led tour or take part in a fun family workshop. For more information ltmuseum.co.uk

Events & Activities

CircusFest 2016
Roundhouse, 4 April – 24 April 2016

CircusFest will return this April with a programme that’s bursting with high-flying UK and international circus acts. The award-winning Finnish Race Horse Company will start proceedings with a gallop, with the UK premiere of ‘Super Sunday‘ – featuring a wheel of death and a human catapult. The programme also features ‘Kin’, a brand new work from the dance troupe Barely Methodical.  Although there are performances across London, at Jackson’s Lane, ArtsDepot and The Albany, the main CircusFest hub is at Roundhouse, where there will be foyer performances and a weekend of free hula-hooping, acrobatics and street dance workshops. For more information roundhouse.org.uk

Goosebumps Alive at the Vault
The Vaults, Waterloo, 6 April – 29 May 2016
From the acclaimed designer of Alice’s Adventures Underground, explore Goosebumps Alive at the Vault and immerse yourself in pure fear. This immersive theatre experience taking place in the abandoned underground world of Waterloo might just bring back nightmarish childhood memories you wish you had forgotten. Be warned, with a haunting score from The Tiger Lilies, Stine’s creations might seem almost alive.

After-school Club for Grown-ups
Natural History Museum, 8 April 2016
Channel your inner child at this one-off event that will take you back to your formative years. Explore the Museum after hours, take part in games and learn about the natural world. Activities will include a torch-lit trail of Museum galleries, a dinosaur T-shirt making class and a treasure hunt. The venue will also play host to a bar offering themed cocktails and snacks, before the Silent School Disco takes place. For more information nhm.ac.uk

Feast of St George
Trafalgar Square, 23 April 2016
London celebrates St George’s Day with a day of free activities, food stalls, children’s games and more at the Mayor of London’s annual Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square. The Feast of St George is inspired by St George’s Day’s 13th-century origins as a national day of feasting. For more information london.gov.uk

Virgin Money London Marathon
Various locations, 24 April 2016

Every year, approximately 36,000 people run the marathon through the streets of London. Some run for personal achievement, some to raise money for their favourite charity; and many run in outrageous fancy-dress. Previous years’ costumes have included a giant penguin, a London bus, Superman, and a slow-moving snail. The marathon is open to all abilities, from beginners to professional athletes. The first half of the route runs just south of the Thames through Greenwich and Blackheath. After crossing the river on Tower Bridge, runners pass some of the capital’s famous landmarks, including the Coca Cola London Eye and the Tower of London, before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace. For more information london-marathon.co.uk


Sunset Boulevard
London Coliseum, 1 April – 7 May 2016
Glenn Close will make her West End debut as Norma Desmond, the faded silent movie star, in Sunset Boulevard. The full English National Opera orchestra will appear on stage alongside the cast in this semi-staged production. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, Sunset Boulevard is not to be missed.   

Udderbelly Festival
Southbank Centre, 7 April – 17 July 2016
This extravaganza of comedy, circus and family entertainment returns to the Southbank Centre, in the iconic upside down purple cow. Enjoy stand-up performances from some of the brightest talent as ‘Best of the Comedy Store’ returns, plus see who wins the title of best stand-up at the English Comedian of the Year Grand Final. Grab a drink at one of the biggest outdoor bars in London and enjoy delicious food in the pasture, which is completely free to enter.

The Menuhin Competition 2016
Southbank Centre, 7 – 17 April 2016
The Menuhin Competition is the world’s most prestigious competition for young violinists, with juniors under 16 and seniors up to the age of 21 competing. The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Menuhin’s birth, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, and will include an array of activities to celebrate his life.Taking place over 10 days the programme for this biennial event includes formal competitions, recitals and much more. The competition is hosted in a different country every two years so don’t miss this rare opportunity to watch it in London.
Cutty Sark, 8 April 2016
Audiences can enjoy an award winning improvised theatrical comedy, spun in the style of Jane Austen, this April. Audience members suggest a title for an Austen Novel, which is picked at random, and the improvised performance begins. Performed in period costume and accompanied by live music, this comedy performance is an immersive and fun experience. Whether it’s Sixth Sense and Sensibility or Double O Darcy, no two shows are ever the same.

Funny Girl
Savoy Theatre, 9 April – 10 September 2016
After a sold out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Funny Girl, starring multi-award-winning stage and screen star Sheridan Smith, will transfer to Savoy Theatre. This modern classic is based on the bitter-sweet story of Fanny Brice and her rise to Broadway fame amidst a stormy relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein. Prepare to sing your heart out as the iconic score returns with songs including Don’t Rain on My Parade, People, and You Are Woman, I Am Man.

The Flick
The National Theatre, 13 April – 14 May 2016
The award winning play by Annie Baker arrives at the National Theatre from New York. The production directed by Sam Gold, sees three employees mopping the floor at a run-down movie theatre in central Massachusetts. Following their battles and heartbreak in a gripping production, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.
She Said
Sadler’s Wells Theatre, 13 – 16 April 2016

Sadler’s Wells Associate Company presents a new triple bill dedicated to choreography by women, featuring three world premieres from world-class choreographers Aszure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang. Barton presents a piece set to a score by Mason Bates. Lopez Ochoa, in collaboration with director Nancy Meckler, presents the story of Frida Kahlo. Wang brings the Greek heroine Medea into the realm of classical China, in a piece set to a new score by Jocelyn Pook.

Breakin’ Convention
Sadler Wells Theatre, 30 April 2016

Breakin’ Convention represents the origins and evolution of hip hop culture from around the world and around the corner, seeking to position hip-hop dance alongside more historically established art forms. This year’s festival sees dance crews, Antoinette Gomis (France), Iron Skulls (Spain) and The Ruggeds (Netherlands) plus local DJs, workshops and graffiti artists.

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