February in London 2018

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Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff star in Macbeth

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Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff star in Macbeth
Ocean Liners: Speed & Style
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Viktor
Roundhouse Rising
Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour
Orchids Festival
Imagine Children's Festival
Sadler's Wells Sampled
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life
The Winter's Tale
The London Classic Car Show
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon: Pluto
London's Chinese New Year
Smile Upon Us, Lord
Zippos: Cirque Berserk!


It's the month that wears its heart on its sleeve. Everything's coming up roses for Valentine's Day on February 14th, Macbeth starring Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie starts at the National and Fatboy Slim plays Alexandra Palace in February 2018.

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Sadler's Wells Sampled

Open weekend where you can dip into dance for as little as £5.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd February 2018


An annual taster and a chance to dip into dance with tickets a mere £5 Sadler's Wells Sampled covers a wide variety of dance, from classical ballet to hip hop, contemporary and tango. It's not just about the performances; workshops, classes and more take place throughout the building with free front of house activities taking place on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd February 2018. Previous years have seen the likes of New York City Ballet, Russell Maliphant Company, Iron Skulls, Jasmin Vardimon Company and Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Company sharing the stage and there are beginners' workshops so you can have a go too.


Ocean Liners: Speed & Style

Discover the glamour and engineering behind the golden age of ocean travel.

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 3rd February to 12th June 2018


Explore the romantic and remarkable age of ocean travel and discover how ocean liners helped shape the modern world at the V&A. A fragment of wooden panelling from the Titanic, luggage belonging to the Duke of Windsor and a 1950's photograph of movie star Marlene Dietrich on board the Queen Elizabeth are among more than 250 objects which show the golden age of ocean travel. Beginning with Brunel's steamship, the Great Eastern of 1859, the exhibition traces the design stories behind some of the world's most luxurious liners. Ship models, objects from shipyards, posters and film explore all aspects of ocean travel from ground-breaking engineering to the fashion and lifestyle on board.


Zippos: Cirque Berserk!

The talented troupe perform impressive high risk stunts.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 5th to 17th February 2018


With jaw-dropping stunts, tricks and contemporary artistry, Cirque Berserk! is back with its most famous - and most dangerous - act, the legendary 'Globe of Death'. In this high risk performance four motorcyclists defy gravity and traverse the inside of a spherical steel cage at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. They're joined at the Peacock Theatre by a talented company of over 30 jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen from all corners of the globe. NOTE: This production contains strobe-lighting and is unsuitable for under 5s.


Imagine Children's Festival

12 days of family fun for children up to 12.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 7th to 18th February 2018


Keeping kids entertained over the February half-term, the Imagine Children's Festival delivers 12 days of family fun for 0-12 year olds. Head to the Southbank Centre for Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up and a Kid Normal event that'll have children aged 7 and above creating a brand new superhero story. This year CBBC presenter and funny man Ben Shires hosts free events in The Clore Ballroom throughout the festival between 10am and 4pm. We're looking forward to the return of firm favourites Bedtime Stories and Fun DMC. That's half-term sorted.


Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch: Viktor

A corpse couple are united in a macabre marriage in Pina Bausch's modern dance.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 08th - 11th February 2018


Deep in the muddy depths of a grave which is still being dug, a corpse couple are united in a macabre marriage. Viktor, created by Pina Bausch, returns to Sadler's Wells from Thursday 8th until Sunday 11th February 2018, performed by the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Set to folk music from Italy, waltzes from Russia and dance music from the Middle Ages to the 1930s, the dance piece contains "moments of beauty and comedy". See, for example, "where women in ballgowns are swung through the air to the soundtrack of 1930s love songs," (The Guardian) when, "the stage floods with joy".


Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour

Favourite professionals and Strictly dancers make ballroom dance cool again.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station


Dates: Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February 2018


Strictly champion Ore Oduba appears at the live version of the popular, glitzy BBC television show, along with judges Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli. The live show features favourite professionals and Strictly participants Susan Calman and Jonnie Peacock, a band and swooping ballroom moves. Performed at Wembley Arena and The O2, the live show follows much the same format as the BBC series, featuring performances from 2017's most popular celebrity and professional pairings, impressive routines by the professionals and the occasional verbal sideswipe from the judges.


Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon: Pluto

Modern dance based on the manga series Astro Boy.

Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Feb 2018


Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui collaborates with Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon from Japan to present the UK premiere of Pluto, a modern dance based on the manga series Astro Boy. Created in the 1950s by the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy starred Atom, a humanoid robot. He and other characters from The Greatest Robot on Earth storyline feature in Pluto which uses clever visual effects, storytelling, physical grace and puppets to illuminate the original comic book tale.


Street Feast National Pizza Day Pizza Palace

The warehouse is transformed into a Pizza Palace with 12 of the UK's best pizza traders.

Hawker House, Canada Street, London, SE16 7PJ

Tube: Canada Water Station


Dates: Thursday 8th February 2018


Foodism presents the first-ever National Pizza Day this February, with over 400 restaurants across the UK offering special discounts. To celebrate the occasion, Street Feast is presenting a huge pizza party on the eve of the occasion, transforming the Canada Water Hawker House into a Pizza Palace on Thursday 8th February. The warehouse will be filled with 12 of the best pizza restaurants and traders in the UK for eight hours of feasting, drinking and dancing. Street Feast favourites like Fundi and Born & Raised will be on the line-up alongside other special guests serving one-off specials, collaborations and pizza puddings.


Girls & Boys

Carey Mulligan stars in Dennis Kelly's emotionally wrought portrait of a romance.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 8th February to 17th March 2018


Starring BAFTA Award winner Carey Mulligan, Girls & Boys sees writer Dennis Kelly collaborating for the first time with director Lyndsey Turner on an emotionally wrought portrait of a romance that begins with a chance encounter in a queue at an airport boarding gate. The Oscar nominated star of Suffragette, Shame and An Education, Mulligan's name will ensure a sell-out success for the show, penned by Dennis Kelly who famously co-wrote Matilda the Musical with comedian Tim Minchin. In fact, the Royal Court extended the run adding an extra week of performances, from 12th to 17th March 2018, before the show even opened.


The York Realist

Jonathan Bailey and Ben Batt star in Peter Gill's affecting drama about two young men in love.

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

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


Dates: 8th February to 24th March 2018


Donmar Associate Robert Hastie, who delighted Donmar audiences with his celebrated productions of My Night with Reg and Splendour, directs a timely revival of Peter Gill's affecting drama about two young men in love, set against the backdrop of 1960s Yorkshire. The all-star cast includes Jonathan Bailey (who's appeared in Broadchurch, Crashing and as Will's love rival in W1A), Ben Batt (Joe Pritchard in Channel 4's Shameless) and Lesley Nicol (better known as Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey) star in The York Realist, a Donmar Warehouse and Sheffield Theatres co-production about love and family ties.


Orchids Festival

Thousands of orchids and tropical flowers create a colourful display.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


Dates: 10th February to 11th March 2018


A stunning visual treat, this year's Orchids Festival at Kew is inspired by the vibrant colours, culture and plant life of Thailand. Thousands of orchids and tropical flowers are used to create beautiful floral displays in and around a bright Vanda tunnel and arches, Thai umbrellas, an exquisite Bang Pa-In inspired orchid palace and a special Thai cart on loan from Thailand's embassy in London. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings you can visit the display for a series of special after dark events with music and workshops.


The Winter's Tale

The Royal Ballet presents

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 13th February to 21st March 2018


After creating Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for The Royal Ballet in 2011 - the company's first full length ballet since 1995 - Christopher Wheeldon then went on to adapt Shakespeare's great romance, The Winter's Tale at the Royal Opera House in 2014. It has been described as "a triumph for The Royal Ballet" and its 2016 revival confirmed it as "a modern classic", according to the Telegraph, one which "demands to be seen". This second revival is your chance to do just that. Intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful, set designs are by Bob Crowley while Joby Talbot offers atmospheric music, making this a masterful modern ballet.


Flamenco Festival London

The festival returns for its 15th anniversary in 2018.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 14th to 25th February 2018


The annual foot-stamping Flamenco Festival London, a fortnight long festival featuring seven shows, celebrates its 15th anniversary at Sadler's Wells in spring 2018. Highlights of this year's festival include singer Carmen Linares and rising stars Arcangel and Marina Heredia who are accompanied by the outstanding dancer Ana Morales. Maria Pages searches for the woman behind the femme fatale of Prosper Merimee's novel. Ursula Lopez, Tamara Lopez and Leonor Leal aim to break all the cliches and stereotypes of the archetypal 'Spanish woman'. Four champions of flamenco puro come together in a homage to La Chana who gives a rare performance and avant-garde choreographer and dancer Israel Galvan directs classical dancer Isabel Bayon as she reinvents herself.


The London Classic Car Show

Legendary getaway cars, vintage motors and the latest models.

ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Canning Town Station


Dates: 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Feb 2018


Over 700 classic cars and some of the most legendary 'getaway cars' from automotive history go on display at The London Classic Car Show which comes to London's ExCel Centre this February. Car manufacturers like Aston Martin and Maserati display new models alongside their heritage cars and celebrities from world of the motoring attend - James May, David Coulthard, Jenson Button and Sir Stirling Moss have all been here in previous years. This year the Grand Avenue pays homage to 'specials', the limited editions, one-offs and prototypes of unique street and competition cars renowned for their rarity, curiosity and desirability. The show also celebrates the work and career of an unsung hero of British motor racing.


London's Chinese New Year

Floats, fun and firecrackers from Chinatown to Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

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


Dates: Sunday 18th February 2018


Join the throng in a stall-covered†Chinatown for fun and firecrackers on Chinese New Year in London, one of the most spectacular celebrations in the West with over 300,000 people taking part. This year, the Year of the Dog, the London celebrations take place on 18th February 2018 beginning with a parade of 30 teams from Charing Cross Road. It starts at 10am with a dragon and lion dance, then snakes its way through Chinatown. An official opening ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square from 12noon with speeches from special guests and entertainment by artists from China. More live entertainment can be found on stages on Shaftesbury Avenue†and Charing Cross Road hosted by Spectrum Chinese radio. For family fun head to Leicester Square where kids can enjoy cultural activities and family-friendly performances. Finally, don't miss the spectacular fireworks display at the end which lights up Trafalgar Square.


Fatboy Slim

The superstar DJ plays an uplifting set of house, dance and electro.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station


Dates: 24th February 2018


The world-famous Brighton DJ, real name Norman Cook, takes to the decks at Alexandra Palace, an iconic London venue he's never performed at but has always wanted to. The former bass player with the Housemartins turned superstar DJ can be relied on to play an uplifting set of house, dance and electro hits like Praise You, Right Here, Right Now and many more. When Fatboy Slim packed out the O2 in December 2016, the FT described him as, "the goofy, gurning life and soul of this arena mega-party". Expect similar stomping beats here and a rave to put a smile on your face.


Roundhouse Rising

Hip-hop heavyweight Little Simz headlines and curates the festival.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 24th February to 4th March 2018


The Roundhouse Rising festival returns for its ninth year in 2018, offering a programme of gigs from emerging artists alongside a series of workshops and seminars aimed at 14 to 25-year-olds. This year hip-hop heavyweight Little Simz, who made her debut here in 2014, returns to headline and curate the festival. The rapper presents her favourite new artists, with DJs, an art exhibition, pop up performances, talks, food and visuals. Artists appearing include folk artist Blair Dunlop (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award) and indie-folk artist Ailbhe Reddy. BBC Music Introducing 1XTRA provides a night of free music and DJ Soundclash crowns the Rising Soundclash Champion. Plus there are panels, workshops, demos and talks from big names in the business at the YouTube space in Kings Cross.



Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff star in Shakespeare's bloody tragedy.

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 8XZ

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 26th February to 12th May 2018


Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this revival of Shakespeare's intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by the National Theatre's Rufus Norris 25 years after his last Shakespeare production. Set in the ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war, ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness. Set design is by Rae Smith, costume design by Moritz Junge, lighting design by James Farncombe and sound design by Paul Arditti.


All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life

100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Tube: Pimlico Station


Dates: 28th February to 27th August 2018


A large-scale painting by Francis Bacon of his friend and artistic rival Lucian Freud is part of Tate Britain's landmark exhibition, All Too Human, which begins in February 2018. The work, not exhibited for over half a century, is one of 100 works by some of the most celebrated modern British artists. With a focus on Freud and Bacon, the exhibition reveals how their art captures personal and immediate experiences and events. Featuring major works by Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer, Frank Auerbach, Paula Rego and many others, this exhibition makes poignant connections across generations of artists and tells the story of figurative painting in the 20th century.


Smile Upon Us, Lord

Russia's Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre illuminates the Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 28th Feb, 1st Mar, 2nd Mar and 3rd Mar 2018


Starring a 40-plus cast, Smile Upon Us, Lord is staged at the Barbican by Russia's Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre, led by esteemed Artistic Director Rimas Tuminas whose "tableaus of striking beauty and grace are a hallmark" (New York Times). Adapted from two novels by Lithuanian-born writer Grigory Kanovich, the story illuminates the Jewish experience in the first half of the 20th century. At times it's fantastical and dreamlike, at others skilfully comic. The company's last visit here was with their sell-out, five-star Eugene Onegin in 2015 which followed its triumphant Uncle Vanya in 2012.


Tango After Dark

World class Argentinean dancers perform a mesmerising show of skill.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 28th February to 17th March 2018 - Various Times


Tango superstar German Cornejo leads his dance company of 10 in the intimate and sensual Tango After Dark. Coming to the Peackcock Theatre stage this February, the show sees the world-class Argentinean dancers perform a mesmerising show of skill that sees tango performed in its most authentic and pure form. The dancing will be accompanied by two singers and seven musicians play tango classics, adding up to an unforgettable evening of that will get you reaching for your dancing shoes.

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