It’s a big birthday for me this month, so I’m taking a deep breath as I head into a very busy celebratory October. It’s always been my favourite month (how surprising, I hear you say?) but it’s more about the smells, the colours and the cosiness of a month where the leaves turn from burnt orange to chocolate brown and when it’s time to squirrel away and get cosy. Or, you could head out for some of these fantastic events across town. It might just end up being a nutty October in London.
- 1 Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
- 2 Carlos Acosta at the Royal Albert Hall
- 3 Porgy and Bess at the ENO
- 4 Simon Russell Beale and Byron at Cadogan Hall
- 5 Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill
- 6 A Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge
- 7 Oxford Lieder
- 8 English Touring Opera at Temple Church
- 9 Tried and Tested
- 10 IObject
- 11 Company at Gielgud Theatre
Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro
She’s back! Yayoi Kusama will be exhibiting for the twelfth time at London’s Victoria Miro from the 2 October in ‘The Moving Moment when I went to the Universe.’ It will feature new paintings, painted bronze pumpkin and flower sculptures and a large Infinity Mirrored Room. It’s free entry (timed tickets) and you need to be very, very fast to grab one.
Carlos Acosta at the Royal Albert Hall
Following his retirement from classical ballet, Carlos Acosta will perform a selection of favourite and specially-commissioned pieces in a programme marking his thirty years as a dancer. From 2 October.
Porgy and Bess at the ENO
George Gershwin’s operatic masterpiece infused with jazz, ragtime, blues and spirituals comes to the English National Opera this autumn. Set in 1920s South Carolina, it includes the much-loved “Summertime.” From 11 October.
Simon Russell Beale and Byron at Cadogan Hall
Lord Byron – poet, campaigner and serial lover. A superstar, a pariah and a man ahead of his time. Simon Russell Beale narrates this dramatised concert played by world-class pianist Dina Duisen with Rob Heaps as Lord Byron. Byron’s story will be brought to life with performed poems, journals and letters sensitively interwoven with piano works by Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Schumann. 11 October.
Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill
I’ve been so excited about this exhibition and can’t wait for the opening on the 20 October. Horace Walpole’s weird and wonderful collection comes back to Strawberry Hill House for the first time since it was dispersed in the great sale of 1842. The home, which was stripped of many of its fantastic objects and works of art, will be restored to the way it was with the works shown in their original locations.
A Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge
In a townhouse in Copenhagen works Hans Christian Andersen, a teller of exquisite and fantastic children’s tales beloved by millions. But the true source of his stories dwells in his attic upstairs. Starring Jim Broadbent, Martin McDonagh’s A Very, Very Dark Matter travels deep into the abysses of the imagination. From 12 October.
A celebration of European song will be the focus of the 2018 Oxford Lieder Festival which will showcase the familiar masterpieces of the song repertoire while exploring wider cultural influences from Finland to the south of Spain and from Dublin to Moscow. Fascinating talks and study events will illuminate music, art and literature across the continent. International stars including Louise Alder, Toby Spence, James Gilchrist and Sarah Connolly who will appear alongside exceptional young artists, including the winners of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. From 12 October.
English Touring Opera at Temple Church
Choirs from across London will be performing alongside English Touring Opera’s soloists at Temple Church on the 18 October. More than 50 members from the choirs will sing with ETO and its period instrument orchestra in the beautiful 12th Century church.
Tried and Tested
Ian Hislop has been on a mission to find stories of dissent, subversion and satire hidden within the vast collections of the British Museum, for the exhibition I object. 100 objects challenge the official version of events and defy established narratives. With items spanning three millennia – from ancient Mesopotamia in 1300BC to the 2016 Presidential election – the exhibition demonstrates that humans have always subverted concepts of authority. As guest-curator, all objects in the exhibition have been hand-picked by Ian.
Company at Gielgud Theatre
If you love musicals and you love a smart, funny and moving tale about love, life and ladies who lunch, then you’re going to love ‘Company.’ Written by Stephen Sondheim and directed by Marianne Elliott (‘War Horse’), it stars Broadway legend Patti LuPone, a luminescent Rosalie Craig and our own, hilariously funny Great British Bake Off starlet Mel Giedroyc. If you see anything this autumn, go see this one.
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