Oh it’s good to be back London, and June is the gift that keeps on giving. Here’s a round-up of some of the best things to do in London this June including art exhibitions, theatre, events, opera and classical music. And as an extra bonus, keep your eye on my Instagram page early next week for a fantastic giveaway, courtesy of Opera Prelude.
Simon Russell-Beale returns to the Bridge Theatre in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Bach & Sons. Michael Sheen takes the lead in Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood at the National Theatre, and star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet take to the outdoor stage in the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Book Ahead for September
Jennifer Saunders returns to the Harold Pinter Theatre in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit about a couple who are haunted by a previous relationship. The Mirror and the Light, the highly anticipated final chapter of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, comes to the Gielgud Theatre.
The Barnes Children’s Literature Festival returns in June with guests including Julia Donaldson, Michael Morupgo and Jacqueline Wilson. More here.
Opera and Music
Opera Holland Park re-opens on 1 June with a season which includes the Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata. More here.
Enjoy cabaret, dinner and drinks with the London Cabaret Club.
The fabulous Miss Hope Springs – she of the big voice and the even bigger hair – is streaming on the Wigmore Hall website throughout June and in honour of Pride. It’s not her first time at the Wigmore – yours truly was there a few years ago and you can read my review here.
The Marylebone Music Festival is back for a sixth year with an eclectic programme which includes: Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony; Classical Kicks from Ronnie Scott’s; and Peter and the Wolf directed by Bake Off’s Sue Perkins. Soloists from the Royal Opera House and English National Opera will perform in A Night at the Opera. Book here.
Following a sold-out installation in summer 2020, the jaw-dropping Gaia is returning to the Painted Hall this summer. This monumental sculpture by Luke Jerram amazes audiences as it rotates slowly while suspended in mid-air, an exact replica of Earth made using NASA imagery. Book here.
The most visited immersive, multi-sensory experience in the world is making its hotly anticipated debut in the heart of Kensington Gardens this June. Created by Grande Experiences, Van Gogh Alive gives visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves into Van Gogh’s artistry and truly venture into his world. Van Gogh’s masterpieces come to life, giving visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings. Opens 4 June. Book here.
Royal Style in the Making opens at Kensington Palace on 3 June, an exhibition which explores the intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client, revealing the process behind the creation of a number of the most important couture commissions in royal history. On display will be the wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales, on show for the first time at Kensington Palace in 25 years, together with a rare, surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. More here.
The Aga Khan Foundation is delighted to announce The Silk Road Bazaar — an artisan market Between 11 – 13 June, when a select group of artisanal vendors from several countries found along the historic Silk Road trading route will come together to form the Silk Road Bazaar. Visitors will be able to buy Ottoman-inspired silks from Turkey, Pakistani homeware, Afghan jewellery, leather accessories from Cairo, handmade Uzbek hats, small batch artisan teas and baklava. The vendors will be complemented by food and drink suppliers. More information here.
A global gathering of the world’s most ambitious and imaginative designers, curators and design institutions comes to Somerset House this June. Es Devlin, London Design Biennale’s artistic director is installing a 400-tree forest, Forest for Change, which aims to encourage debate on climate change. Devlin’s other projects include Beyonce’s tours, the stage for The Lehman Trilogy as well as the Closing Ceremony for the Olympics. Expect some magic in the Somerset House courtyard. More here.
The Museum of the Home is re-opening on 12 June after an extensive 3 year-renovation. More of the Museum’s collections, spanning 400 years, will be on display in the new Home Galleries. The Museum’s Rooms Through Time have been refreshed and include two new rooms: the Victorian Room – a London parlour set for a séance; and the 1976 Front Room which explores the migrant experience of African-Caribbean families setting up home in the UK.
Enter the world of Charlotte Perriand at the Design Museum, whose pioneering designs shaped the 20th century. Step inside recreations of some of her most famous interiors, including the apartment designed for the Salon d’Automne in 1929, and enjoy some of her furniture up close, such as the iconic Chaise Longue Basculante and the Fauteuil Pivotant. Opens 19 June. More here.
Mayfair Art Weekend, the annual celebration of the world’s internationally renowned gallery district, will take place this summer from 25 to 27 June. Inviting audiences back to see art in real life, the extended programme launches with the second Mayfair Sculpture Trail from 2 to 27 June. More here.
More! Oliver Twist, Dickens and Stories of the City is a new exhibition at the Charles Dickens Museum which will explore the characters, events, places and personal tales of triumph and tragedy that inspired and shaped the novel that made Charles Dickens a household name across the world. More here.
Pop over to the Serpentine Gallery and experience the 20th Serpentine Pavilion. Designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, the pavilion opens on 11 June 2021.
From June 10 to July 3, London-based affordable art gallery Kahn Gallery will be showing exclusive new artworks by Sussex artist Sam Peacock. As part of “Tide”, Peacock will be exhibiting work created during the first lockdown. You can also buy Sam’s works online.
The Wallace Collection is re-opening on 3 June with a new exhibition which reunites two great masterpieces of Rubens’s late landscape painting: A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning and The Rainbow Landscape. Thanks to an exceptional loan from the National Gallery, this is the first time in two hundred years that these works, long considered to be companion pieces, will be seen together. Pre-book your free tickets here, and make sure you head into the prettiest pink café in town for tea and a slice of cake.
A new and free exhibition opens at the Guildhall Art Gallery celebrating all things Noël Coward. It marks the 100th anniversary of Coward’s West End debut as a playwright, brings a wealth of dazzling visuals and effervescent wit to London as the capital emerges from lockdown. Tickets are free but pre-book your timeslot here.