Things to do this week in London 3 to 9 February. It’s safe to say most of us will be happy to wave goodbye to January. It was dry for those doing the inevitable post-Christmas penance (I lift my martini glass up to you in awe), and yet it was also one of the soggiest Januarys I can remember. But hey ho, we survived B Day, the snowdrops and daffs are poking their pretty little heads out, and there is much to look forward to in the cultural calendar.
“A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.” (unknown)
Monday 3 February
The surreal world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, both in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, is given an extra twist in Gerald Barry’s operatic treatment. Barry’s characteristic high-speed energy and riotous sense of humour propel the action forward as Alice plunges down the rabbit hole into the depths of Wonderland. At less than an hour for the whole opera, this short, sharp shot of mayhem is ideal as a family treat. Book here.
Did you know you can attend free concerts at the Royal College of Music. Today, the RCM musicians perform Mozart’s shortest piano trio and over at St Stephen’s Church, you can listen to a programme that includes Schumann’s timeless Fantasiestucke alongside piano music by Chopin. Check the Royal College of Music website for plenty of free events.
Based on the best-selling Gothic novel by Daphe du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel opens at the Richmond Theatre. Helen George (Call the Midwife) takes on the lead role as the enigmatic Countess. On until Saturday 8 February.
Tuesday 4 February
This is the first time that Tate has staged a show devoted to the late 17th century and the first to explore baroque art in Britain. British Baroque: Power and Illusion will include the work of the leading painters of the day – including Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and James Thornhill. It will celebrate grand-scale portraiture, the wonder and artifice of trompe l’oeil, the emotional persuasion of religious spaces and the awe-inspiring impact of baroque mural painting. Many of the works will be on display for the first time – some borrowed from the stately homes they have hung in since they were made. On until 19 April.
Thursday 6 February
Message In A Bottle at The Peacock (Sadler’s Wells) is the new dance-theatre show from triple-Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince to the iconic hits of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting, Songs include Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Walking On The Moon, Englishman in New York, Shape of My Heart and Fields of Gold. On until 21 March.
Friday 7 February
Meet Vincent, created by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, uses cutting edge audio-visual techniques to take visitors on an unforgettable journey in Van Gogh’s footsteps. See how the artist expressed his many emotions through heavy brush strokes and dramatic colours, step into life-size reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings, come face to face with the Yellow House and learn about the science behind Vincent’s beautiful and intense paintings. On until 21 May.
David Mitchell makes his West End debut in Ben Elton’s stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed BBC TV sitcom, Upstart Crow. This all-new comedy – written especially for the stage – will see Mitchell once more don the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare. At the Gielgud Theatre until 25 April.
Saturday 8 February
We loved her as the Queen Mum in The Crown and this Saturday, Victoria Hamilton takes to the stage in Albion. Set in rural England, the play is written by Mike Bartlett, who gave us Doctor Foster and King Charles III, and it’s directed by Rupert Goold. On until 29 February.
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