Drum roll: some big names are coming to London town this March, including Van Gogh, Tom Hiddleston, Anish Kapoor and opera superstars Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufman. With spring in my step, here are some of my favourite things to do in London this March.
Pick of the month
The Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, once the country retreat of architect John Soane, re-opens on the 16 March following a major £12m conservation project. Soane used Pitzhanger as a place to entertain and to display his burgeoning collection of art and antiquities. The Gallery will be presenting three exhibitions a year, the first of which is a series of sculptures by Anish Kapoor.
Theatre in London
Tom Hiddleston of Night Manager fame will be treading the boards at the Harold Pinter Theatre from the 5 March in Betrayal. Keep your eyes open for my review, coming next week. If you haven’t sampled a delicious slice of what’s on offer in the smash musical, Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre, then you’re missing out. And if you’re a fan of the Bard, London’s oldest theatre, Alexandra Palace, is putting on a run of Richard III.
You’ll be spoilt for arty choice this month with the Elizabethan Treasures at the National Portrait Gallery, and Henry Moore’s Helmet Heads at the Wallace Collection. There’s a lot of flesh on show at the The Renaissance Nude at the Royal Academy and in Boilly’s collection of saucy (and delightful) paintings at the National Gallery (there is also a special, and free, spotlight on Boilly at the Wallace Collection). Staying at the National, an exhibition celebrating Spain’s Impressionist, Sorolla, opens on the 18 March, and over at Tate Britain, this year’s biggest blockbuster opens on the 27 March: Van Gogh and Britain. The exhibition will bring together 45 works to illustrate how Van Gogh was inspired by the Brits and how he in turn inspired British artists.
Don’t miss Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, the only gallery-presented art fair dedicated to modern craft and design. On until March 3, the fair showcases exquisite workmanship from 400 artists in 45 galleries. The fair also includes a programme of talks. You can buy tickets here.
Affordable Art Fair
Love art but can’t afford a Hockney? Never fret – first-time buyers can afford the works on sale at the Affordable Art Fair. With a curated collection of 1000 living artists represented by over 100 galleries, there will be plenty of inspiration with which you can fill your blank walls. From 7 to 10 March.
Classical Music and Opera
Soprano Sarah Tynan returns to the ENO in Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow and is joined on stage by baritones Nathan Gunn and Andrew Shore (1 March to 13 April). The London Handel Festival opens on the 27 March with a large repertoire across several venues, and if you’re in south west London, you won’t want to miss the Barnes Music Festival. If Hector Berlioz is your thing, head over to the Insitut Francais for a Tribute to Berlioz, marking the 150th anniversary of his death. The Cutty Sark is turning 150 this month, and to celebrate, they are putting on the Pirates of Penzance. Or you could join Juan Diego Flórez and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall for a gala evening and some Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and more.
And finally, are you one of those frustrated opera-goers who couldn’t get a ticket to La Forza del Destino at the Royal Opera House? You can see it from the comfort of a cinema seat instead, transmitted live on the 2 April. With Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufman on aria duty and Antonio Pappano conducting, this one is not to miss!
Have a marvellous March!
Feature Image: Pitzhanger Gallery (Photo Andy Stagg)