Forget the Beast from the East and get out in London this April. Here’s my guide to the best London theatre, classical music, opera, exhibitions, and yes, there might even be a couple of outdoor activities to put a spring in your step!
Favourite this Month
An Ideal Husband – Vaudeville Theatre
Oscar Wilde’s thoroughly British comedic masterpiece at The Vaudeville needs no introduction, but what I’m most excited about is getting my bum in the hot seat to watch real-life father and son, Edward and Freddie Fox, playing it up on-stage.
Oh, I love London Society! It has immensely improved. It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.” (An Ideal Husband, Oscar Wilde)
Tried and Tested
Hope to Nope – Design Museum
The Hope to Nope exhibition opened this week, and it’s as good as I anticipated. It’s a must-see for graphic design and politics students, although I would recommend this to everyone (and anyone over the age of 10). It examines the role of graphic design, political messages, propaganda, social networking and digital media on the world stage in the last ten turbulent years. Events include Brexit, Black Lives Matter, the Obama Presidency, the Trump election, and the 2008 Financial Crisis. Am I allowed to say Hope to Nope is dope?
Classical Music and Opera
London Handel Festival
The London Handel Festival is back, exploring the great composer’s music and life. Featuring 20 Handel Singing Competition finalists, most of the festival events take place at St George’s, Hanover Square and St John Smith’s Smith Square, with a programme which includes opera recitals, concerts, musical walks, insight events and organ concerts. On until 16 April.
Danielle de Niese at Southbank Centre
My brother-in-law is getting hitched on the 27 April which means I must give up my two tickets to see the American soprano (virtual sob). Her repertoire includes Roussel, Chausson and Schubert, with Sir James Galway at the flute and Mark Simpson at the clarinet. It promises to be a sparkling evening.
RAF 100 Series – St Clement Danes
Classical song with the beautiful RAF church of St Clement Danes as a backdrop – what could be more magical? The RAF 100 Series includes 5 evening (ticketed) and 24 lunchtime (free) recitals, with established international artists performing alongside upcoming young artists.
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
I went to see this production back in 2006, and it haunts me still. Stalin hated Shostakovich’s opera so much that he walked out of the 1936 production, but I was deeply rooted into my Royal Opera House seat for this pitch-dark tragedy. Antonio Pappano is conducting with Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role.
Isabella Plantation – Richmond Park
Visit Richmond Park’s 40-acre Victorian woodland with its famed rhododendrons and camellias. The azaleas spring to life at the end of April, and it’s a breathtaking sight to behold.
National Tea Day – Chiswick House
Chiswick House and Gardens is celebrating National Tea Day on the 21 and 22 April with FES-TEA-VAL. Explore the dedicated Tea n’ Treat Village Events, take a mixology class, and best of all, see Lord Nelson’s teapot.
The Moderate Soprano – Duke of York Theatre
David Hare’s new play is the story of an intense love affair: the two great passions in John Christie’s life were opera and a beautiful young soprano, Audrey Mildmay, with whom he was completely smitten. Together with his formidable drive, they fuelled what many first saw as a monumental folly in the South Downs. Glyndebourne was triumphantly born amidst rolling lawns and the sound of sheep from across the HaHa. It was to become revered the world over.
The Writer – Almeida Theatre
Ella Hickson returns to the Almeida following the success of Oil in 2016 with the world premiere of The Writer, directed by Blanche McIntyre. Romola Garai (Atonement, The Minitaurist) takes on title role in this ambitious political play. Her character wants to change the shape of the world, but a new way of thinking needs a new story. How can she make herself heard?
Mood Music – Old Vic Theatre
In a top London recording studio, a young songwriter, her producer, their lawyers and psychotherapists go to battle over who owns a hit song. A sly, wry exploration of the dark side of the music industry with Ben Chaplin and Jemma Redgrave.
Tonight at 8.30 – Jermyn Street Theatre
Kicking off on the 10 April is a series of nine one-act plays written by the delicious wit Noel Coward. The plays are staged as three trios.
Monet and Architecture – National Gallery
This is the first exhibition which focuses on Monet’s relationship with architecture. More than 70 paintings will be on show, with a selection of village paintings, an exploration of the modern city and his series of works portraying Rouen Cathedral.
Rodin and the art of Ancient Greece – British Museum
This April, the British Museum will present works by Rodin in a new light and explore how he admired the art of antiquity, particularly that of ancient Greece. Visitors will be able to appreciate Rodin’s extraordinary talent as a sculptor by showing his work alongside the very Parthenon sculptures that inspired him. Thanks to a collaboration with the Musée Rodin in Paris, over 80 works in marble, bronze and plaster, along with some of Rodin’s sketches will be displayed in conversation with ancient Greek art.
Surface Work – Victoria Miro
Taking place across Victoria Miro’s London galleries, this international, cross-generational exhibition is a celebration of women artists who have shaped and transformed, and continue to influence and expand, the language and definition of abstract painting. More than 50 artists from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia are represented. The earliest work, an ink on paper work by the Russian Constructivist Liubov Popova, was completed in 1918. The most recent, by contemporary artists including Adriana Varejão, Svenja Deininger and Elizabeth Neel, have been made especially for the exhibition.
Roy’s People’s Art Fair
Now in its second year, Roy’s People’s Art Fair is back this April with a new home in the Oxo Tower Wharf. The artist-led art fair will feature 80 carefully selected artists who will be personally showcasing their pieces to the public during this free four-day fair.
Frankenstein Festival – Science Museum
The Science Museum is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in scientific style with immersive theatrical events, hands-on activities and experimental storytelling. The festival will explore the ethical, scientific and technical questions surrounding whether or not we should create ‘life’. On from 3 April to 8 April.
#LondonessLoves #londonopera #londontheatre #londonart
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