April in London 2017

Stumble this
Previous image

Queer British Art

Duncan Grant, Bathing, 1911 (c) Tate

Next image
Queer British Art
Royal Greenwich Tall Ships
Canalway Cavalcade
Breakin' Convention
Guards At The Taj
Virgin London Marathon
The London Coffee Festival
Angels in America
Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria


Easter, the London Marathon and the Queen's birthday all feature in LondonTown's guide to April 2017 when Lenny Henry treads the boards at the Donmar and the Tate explores Queer British Art.


Queer British Art

The first major exhibition in Britian to focus on queer British art.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station


Dates: 5th April to 1st October 2017


The year 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales, and Tate Britain isn't letting it go unnoticed. Putting on the first major exhibition in Britain to focus on queer British art, well known figures such as Oscar Wilde, and works by artists including John Singer Sargent, David Hockney and Francis Bacon, have been selected for Queer British Art. A combination of playful and political, erotic and domestic works, this exhibition explores how shifts in attitudes towards gender and sexuality found expression in the arts.


The London Coffee Festival

Over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls under one roof.

The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Apr 2017


The London Coffee Festival returns with new features including an art competition linked to the theme of coffee. The four day festival kicks off with an espresso martini party and continues with coffee food pairing, a milk bar and latte art throwdown and the school of chocolate. The Coffee Masters competition also returns for another fast paced competition where sixteen world-class baristas compete for the much coveted title and a 5,000 cash prize. Across the Old Truman Brewery site over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs and art exhibitions are staged, all centred on the caffeinated drink. Visitors also gain access to Milk & Sugar, showcasing some of London's cutting edge fashion, design, art, lifestyle and wellbeing brands.



Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins star in this musical about a doomed romance.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Covent Garden Station, Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 7th April to 13th May 2017


Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins perform together for the first time in the West End as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan in Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical about a doomed romance. Carousel comes with a rousing songbook that includes If I Loved You, June Is Bustin' Out All Over and You'll Never Walk Alone. The semi-staged production is directed by Lonny Price - who was behind the critically acclaimed runs of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close - and features English National Opera's 40-piece orchestra and chorus.


Guards At The Taj

The first play to be staged at the refurbished Bush Theatre, back after a year out.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 7th April to 20th May 2017


Jamie Lloyd, who gave us The Ruling Class and Maids - part of his Trafalgar Transformed programme - directs the European premiere of Guards At The Taj, the first play staged at the remodelled Bush Theatre, back after a year of breaking out. So we can expect an excellent staging of Pulitzer Prize nominee Rajiv Joseph's award-winning comic drama about two Imperial guards, Humayun and Babur. Set in 17th century Agra, the two are ordered to keep watch as the majestic Tajmahal takes shape behind them.


Angels in America

A new staging of Tony Kushner's multi-award winning two-part play.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station


Dates: From 11th April 2017


The National Theatre presents a new staging of Tony Kushner's multi-award winning two-part play, Angels in America, this April. The 1993 play won a Pulitzer, Tony and Drama Desk Award and was later adapted into a HBO miniseries. Now, Olivier and Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse) directs the new production. Set in America in the mid-1980s, in the midst of the AIDS crisis, the genre-busting play, which is made up of two parts - Millennium Approaches and Perestroika - tells the story of a straight and a gay couple as they tackle addiction, diagnosis and desperate illness. Andrew Garfield takes the role of Prior Walter while other cast members include Denise Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle and Russell Tovey.


Royal Greenwich Tall Ships

Around 30 Tall Ships sail down the Thames over the Easter weekend.

Cutty Sark Gardens, King William Walk, London, SE10 9HT

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Apr 2017


A huge Parade of Sail sees around 30 Tall Ships sail down the Thames in convoy on the Sunday of the Tall Ships Festival which runs over the Easter weekend, from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th April 2017. This year, the festival forms part of the Canadian Confederation 150th anniversary celebrations, with ships sailing from Greenwich to Quebec, passing through Sines, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bermuda and Boston. Over the five days there will be a series of activities in Greenwich, Woolwich and on the River Thames while on Sunday 16th April ships, street performers and a grand fireworks finale will take place. It's a wonderful family day out where children can board some of the ships usually off limits to the general public.


Nuclear War

Prolific playwright Simon Stephens presents this new play about desire, death and time.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 19th April to 6th May 2017


Known for plays such as Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Carmen Disruption, Herons and Birdland, prolific playwright Simon Stephens now presents Nuclear War in a collaboration with Imogen Knight, who makes her directing debut. Staged in the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, the story is very much under wraps but we do know it's about desire, death and time.


The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui

Lenny Henry makes his Donmar Warehouse debut.

The Donmar Warehouse, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD

Tube: Covent Garden Station, Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 21st April to 17th June 2017


Lenny Henry makes his Donmar Warehouse debut this April in Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Written by Brecht in 1941 in just three weeks, the play focuses on fictional Chicago mobster Arturo Ui (played by Henry) to create an allegory of Hitler's Nazi Germany. The play has been given a new translation by Pulitzer, Olivier and Tony Award-winning American playwright Bruce Norris.


Virgin London Marathon

38,000 runners take to the streets of London to tackle the 26.2 mile route.

The Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station


Dates: Sunday 23rd April 2017


The largest fund raising event in the world, the London Marathon, returns to the capital in April. One of the top five international marathons, it sees around 38,000 runners - serious competitors, celebrities and charity fun runners - flood the streets of London to tackle the gruelling 26.2 mile route. Attracting thousands of spectators, the course comes alive to the sounds of bands, cheering crowds and pounding feet. The race kicks off at Greenwich Park and Blackheath with a loop around Charlton and Woolwich, continues through Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, crosses the Thames on Tower Bridge before circling Canary Wharf and the City ahead of the showpiece finish along the Embankment, past Parliament Square and onto The Mall in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.


The Ferryman

Jez Butterwortj and Sam Medes present this emotionally wrought family drama.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 24th April to 20th May 2017


Olivier Award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth, who will forever be remembered for Jerusalem, returns to the Royal Court with The Ferryman, an emotionally wrought family drama set in 1981 rural Derry. American Beauty's Sam Mendes directs the play, which beings as the Carney farmhouse in Northern Ireland prepares for the annual harvest. A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor. With such an impressive creative team, we advise booking before it sells out.


Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic

The Turner Prize-winning artists unveils a new work.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Tube: Charing Cross Station, Leicester Square Station, Embankment Underground Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Covent Garden Station


Dates: 26th April to 28th August 2017


Chris Ofili, the artist who famously won the Turner Prize in 1998 using elephant dung on his paintings, unveils a new work, his first foray into the medium of tapestry, in a free exhibition at the National Gallery. Head to the Sunley Room to see the work before it goes on permanent display in the Clothworkers' Hall. The hand-woven tapestry uses imagery which reflects Ofili's ongoing interest in classical mythology and the stories, magic, and colour of the Trinidadian landscape he inhabits.


While We're Here

A moving and melancholic romance about two lovers whose lives form different paths.

Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line), Goldhawk Road Station, Shepherd's Bush Station (Central)


Dates: 26th April to 27th May 2017


Alice Hamilton directs Barney Norris' moving and melancholic romance about two lovers, Eddie and Carol, whose lives follow different paths until they meet again on a park bench in a town full of memories, and rake over the smouldering embers of their dormant desire. A co-production between Up In Arms, Bush Theatre and Farnham Maltings.


Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria

IWM London (Imperial War Museums), Lambeth Road, Elephant and Castle, London, SE1 6HZ

Tube: Lambeth North Station


Dates: 27th April to 3rd September 2017


Part of Syria: A Conflict Explored - a series of exhibitions and events reflecting on the ongoing conflict in Syria - Sergey Ponomarev: A Lens on Syria at the Imperial War Museum is the first UK exhibition of photographs by the Russian documentary photographer. Bringing together colour prints and digital media, the exhibition will feature Assad's Syria and Europe Migration Crisis, two of Ponomarev's award-winning works in association with the New York Times, addressing the consequences of conflict in Syria. Syria: Story of a Conflict, an intimate display of objects and immersive film exploring the origins and impact of the conflict in Syria, will run concurrently with the exhibition from 27th April to 3rd September.


Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths

This major exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Tube: King's Cross Station, Euston Station


Dates: 28th April to 29th August 2017


The British Library marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a major exhibition this year. Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths will shed new light on the world-changing events of this period, putting a focus on the experiences of ordinary Russians living through the extraordinary times. Uniting the personal and the political, the exhibition will tell the story of the Revolution through posters, letters, photographs, banners, weapons, uniform and film, portraying the hope, tragedy and myths at the heart of the seismic Revolution. It will begin with the reign of the last Tsar and explore the growth of revolutionary movements that brought about the transformation of Russian's traditional monarchy into the world's first Communist state. The Royal Academy of Arts also marks the anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a powerful new exhibition, Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932.


Canalway Cavalcade

Colourful waterway festival takes over Little Venice.

Little Venice, Maida Vale, Little Venice, London, W2 1TH

Tube: Warwick Avenue Station


Dates: 29th April, 30th April and 1st May 2017


Canalway Cavalcade is a distinctive waterway festival that has been taking place at Little Venice since 1983. Organised by Inland Waterways Association volunteers, there will be an array of boats, trade show stalls and boater gatherings at this festival for water lovers. As well as the boating activities, there will also be Morris dancing, competitions, food, family-friendly activities and a real ale bar, making it an enjoyable day out for families. Plus, with the location being quaint Little Venice, this creates the perfect opportunity for a gentle stroll and an enjoyable view alongside your lunch and ale.


Breakin' Convention

Celebration of hip hop includes live DJs, graffiti, workshops and dance performances.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April 2017


This annual three-day international festival of hip hop and dance theatre, curated by Sadler's Wells associate artist Jonzi D, is back for a 14th year in 2017. Breakin' Convention 2017 features performances from some of the world's greatest poppers, lockers, B-boys and B-girls including the "rubber-limbed" (The Guardian) Soweto Skeleton Movers from South Africa, Canadian dance duo Tentacle Tribe and leading hip hop crew Just Dance from South Korea. Taking place every May bank holiday weekend, this world-renowned celebration of hip hop dance culture takes over the space with live DJs, graffiti, workshops, performances, after parties and park jam.

Call now: hotel deals 0207 420 4960