January in London 2016

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New Year's Day Parade 2016

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New Year's Day Parade 2016
London Boat Show
Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna
Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna
London Short Film Festival
The Adventure Travel Show
The Adventure Travel Show
London A Cappella Festival
Snowdrop Days 2016
Escaped Alone
Yen
Dinosaur Park
Shrek The Musical
Champagne Life
The Maccabees
London Art Fair
Hozier
Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern
Lumiere London
Saul Leiter
Electronic Superhighway
London ExCeL Wedding Show
Grey Gardens
Drawing on Childhood
Iphigenia in Splott
Easter Rising 2016
The NATYS Comedy Showcase and Awards Final
Bush Hall Presents: Ardal O'Hanlon
IKEA: The Collection
 

 

Brighten up your January with the help of these fantastic London events. From Cirque du Soleil and the English National Ballet to live shows from Hozier and The Maccabees, there's sure to be something that will lure you out of hibernation.

 
 

New Year's Day Parade 2016

The parade returns for the 30th time.

Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JX

Tube: Westminster Station, St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 01st January 2016

 

The London New Year's Day Parade returns for its 30th time in 2016, with the theme of '30 Magical Years'. The cherished turn of the year tradition promises to be even more spectacular than usual this year, with 500,00 spectators expected to pack London's streets and numerous London boroughs submitting entries. Entertaining London since its inception on January 1st 1987, the parade takes around three hours to weaves its way along the 2.2 mile central London route, from outside The Ritz Hotel to Parliament Square. Expect vast, extravagant, Disney-style floats, with plenty of loud music, whistles and dancing in the street, along with marching bands, cheerleaders, street performers, clowns, acrobats, kites, colourful costumes and representatives from each of the 33 London Boroughs.

 
 
 

Dinosaur Park

The show transfers after an award-running run at the Edinburgh Fringe.

St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 02nd - 23rd January 2016

 

After an award-winning run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Superbolt Theatre present an updated, two-act version of their show Dinosaur Park at St James Theatre . Inspired by Spielberg's classic, the production is a celebration of cinema nostalgia and a powerful reminder of our loved ones. Set in Lyme Regis Community Centre, where the Park family - Terry, Jade and Noah - embark on a journey to a misty past. When something goes wrong, family feuds are faced with the rapturous roar of DIY dinosaurs.

 
 
 

Grey Gardens

The Tony Award-winning play transfers from Broadway.

Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD

Tube: Elephant & Castle Station, Borough Station

 

Dates: 02nd January - 06th February 2016

 

Multi Olivier Award-winners Sheila Hancock and Jenna Russell star in the European premiere of Grey Gardens, which transfers to the Southwark Playhouse after winning three Tony Awards on Broadway. Based on the iconic film, the production displays the spectacular rise and fall of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's aunt and cousin, Edith and Edie Bouvier Beale. Starting at an engagement party in 1941, the musical tracks the progression of the two women's lives from American aristocrats to reclusive social outcasts living in squalid conditions.

 
 
 

Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern

A new play by award-winning playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 

Dates: 05th - 30th January 2016

 

Award-winning playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz presents her new work Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, which is staged at the Arcola Theatre in early 2015. Full of the mysteries of nature, sex and supernatural occurrences, the play delves into the world of witches. After decades free from witch hunts in Walkern, Jane Wenham is blamed for a tragic death and charged with witchcraft. Leading to a terrifying ordeal, the village is then torn between those who want to save her life and those who claim to want to save her soul. Inspired by events in Hertfordshire village, it blasts society's hunger to find - and create - witches. Lenkiewicz won a BAFTA in 2015 for co-writing Ida, which also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

 
 
 

Nine Lives

This gripping play aims to tell the real story behind asylum headlines.

Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 

Dates: 06th - 30th January 2016

 

Zodwa Nyoni's new play Nine Lives receives its London premiere in 2015 following an acclaimed debut at West Yorkshire Playhouse and a national tour. Being staged at the Arcola Theatre, the gripping work aims to tell the real story behind asylum headlines, threading together humour and humanity. It follows Ishmael, who has fled his home in Zimbabwe due to a fresh wave of homophobia that is threatening his life. Leeds provides the prospect of sanctuary and a new life among strangers. But, will those strangers accept him and can Ishmael find a new place to call home?

 
 
 

London Boat Show

The major boating show returns for its 62nd year in 2016.

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

Tube: Canning Town Station

 

Dates: 08th - 17th January 2016

 

London's biggest exhibition of boats returns for its 62nd year in 2016, with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing everything from 1.4-metre sailing dinghies to 37-metre tri-deck motor yachts. Visitors to the London Boat Show will be able to see the latest in boating and boating technology and hear from the world's experts in the field in The Show Theatre, which is new for 2016. Further new features for this year include The Mediterranean Bay, playing host to a festival of watersports where visitors can get on the water and try the fantastic sport of water walking and the latest kayaks; and '60s Revival, showcasing the boating accomplishments of the era. There will also be a Guinness bar and a champagne bar so you can immerse yourself into the luxury world that comes with boating.

 
 
 

London Short Film Festival

A festival renowned for its crazy, avant-garde and challenging offerings.

Various Venues London, , London, W1J 9LN

Tube: Woolwich Station

 

Dates: 08th - 17th January 2016

 

After opening to international film makers for the first time in 2015, the London Short Film Festival returns this January with hundreds of film screenings, each hand-picked for the occasion. Renowned for its crazy, avant-garde and challenging offerings, the festival sees around 70 events take place in venues across town, including the ICA, Hackney Picturehouse, and Oval Space. The LSFF really is an ultra buzzing, decidedly edgy and often decadent event, accompanied by training sessions, drunken bashes, live music and awards.

 
 
 

London International Mime Festival

112 performances over 29 days.

Various Venues London, , London, W1J 9LN

Tube: Woolwich Station

 

Dates: 09th January - 06th February 2016

 

Eighteen companies put on 112 performances over 29 days for this year's London International Mime Festival. Taking place at some of the city's best arts venues, the programme of event is made up mainly of UK or London premieres, with artists from Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden and many more - including some of Britain's fast emerging talents and established names. The festival kicks off at the Shaw Theatre with Marcel, performed by Complicite riginal members Jos Houben and Marcello Magni and produced by the famous Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. Further events include The Art of Laughter, providing 60 minutes of brilliant observation and Tipping Point, the new show from Ockham's Razor.

 
 
 

Panic! At The Disco

The band perform a one-off gig in celebration of their new album.

Brixton Academy, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: 12th January 2016

 

Marking the release of their first release in neatly two years, Panic! At The Disco will be performing a one-off show at the O2 Academy Brixton in early 2016. Produced by Grammy Award-nominated Jake Sinclair, who has worked with Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer and Fall Out Boy, Death of a Bachelor is the band's fifth album, due for release days after this Brixton gig.

 
 
 

English National Ballet: Le Corsaire (The Pirate)

The production returns two years after its London premiere.

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

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

 

Dates: 13th - 24th January 2016

 

After performing it in January 2014 - the first time the complete work was performed by a British company - English National Ballet once again present Le Corsaire (The Pirate) at the London Coliseum. The 19th century Russian swashbuckling dance-drama based on the poem The Corsair by Lord Byron showcases some of the most bravura male dancing in the ballet repertoire. The ballet is in three acts, telling the story of Medora, a young Greek girl, who seized by Conrad the pirate who takes her to his grotto and declares his love for her. The staging by Anna-Marie Holmes features music by Adolphe Adam, Leo Delibes and Prince Oldenbourg. Hollywood film designer Bob Ringwood (Batman, Alien 3, Star Trek Nemesis, AI and Troy) has created the sets and costumes.

 
 
 

Champagne Life

The Saatchi Gallery celebrates its thirtieth birthday with an all-female show.

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's Square, King's Road, Hyde Park, London, SW3 4SQ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 13th January - 06th March 2016

 

Though at its current Kings Road home for just eight years, the Saatchi Gallery celebrates its thirtieth birthday in 2016 with an exhibition of high-profile female artists. Declared as "one of the most exciting shows of 2016" by Culture Whisper, Champagne Life shows art works by the likes of YBA Tracey Emin, Portuguese artist Paula Rego and Jenny Saville. At this show you'll also find radical artist Alice Anderson whose Memory Movement Memory Objects exhibition was staged at the Wellcome Collection last year. These recognisable names are shown longside lesser known artists like Iranian-born multimedia artist Soheila Sokhanvari and New York based Suzanne McClelland who enjoys "playing with the notion of what painting is".

 
 
 

Lumiere London

Various venues throughout the West End and King's Cross are transformed by light displays.

Various Venues London, , London, W1J 9LN

Tube: Woolwich Station

 

Dates: 14th - 17th January 2016

 

Having been a successful biannual occasion in Durham since 2009, the Lumiere festival of light is coming to London for the first time in 2016. Produced by Artichoke, the grand spectacle will run for four nights in January and see illuminations and animations projected at twenty locations throughout the West End and King's Cross - the perfect way to inject some colour back into the city once all the Christmas lights are taken down. Artists such as Julian Opie, known for his graphic portraits and large-scale LED figures, Janet Echelman, Tilt, Cleary Connolly and Lab[au] will transform iconic architecture with their 3D projections, interactive installations and extraordinary light works.

 
 
 

Street Feast: Dinerama

London's foremost street food market returns.

19 Great Eastern Street, , London, EC2A 3EJ

Tube: Liverpool Street Station

 

Dates: From 14th January 2016

 

London's foremost street food market is back to brighten up your January with the return of Dinerama. After closing due to a fire late last year, Street Feast's foodie haven has been given a winter makeover and returns with a new roof, two storeys filled with food vendors, and four brand new bars - making a total of ten - serving craft beer and hot cocktails. Fifteen different vendors feed visitors, with seller including Breddos Tacos, Cheeky Italian, Fundi Pizza, Slider Bar, Smokestak, Yum Bun and You Doughnut. Open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm, it's the perfect way to beat those winter blues.

 
 
 

Herons

Fifteen years after its premiere at the Royal Court, Simon Stephens's Herons returns to London.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 15th January - 13th February 2016

 

Fifteen years after its premiere at the Royal Court, Simon Stephens's Herons returns to London to be staged at Lyric Hammersmith . Directed by the Lyric's artistic director Sean Holmes, the play presents the disturbing portrait of adolescent violence through the eyes of a fourteen-year-old boy. Billy is being tormented by bullies, humiliated beyond endurance and is finally pushed to an act of vengeance. "A play that comes over like both an inner-city Lord of the Flies and Dirty Harry with a social conscience." The Daily Telegraph.

 
 
 

Snowdrop Days 2016

Snowdrops take centre stage at this special winter opening.

Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Garden, London, SW3 4HS

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 16th - 24th January 2016

 

See the snowdrops at the historic botanical gardens and enjoy a walk through nature at the charming Chelsea Physic Garden, usually closed during winter but open especially for the Snowdrop Days. While the snowdrops take centre stage you can also see other late winter flowers like wild primulas, miniature iris and crocuses. A plant marquee will also be on site selling a selection of snowdrops and other winter flowering plants - Growing Friends will be on site to advise. The Snowdrop Days also include a series of free talks and workshops including a winter survivals talk, a natural medicine using herbs lesson, and a painting snowdrops course.

 
 
 

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

The renowned company returns for another residency at the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 16th January - 14th February 2016

 

Montreal-based company Cirque du Soleil have made the Royal Albert Hall something of a home-from-home and they return for another January residency in 2016 with Amaluna. The show invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. A story of love, storms and coming of age, it follows the queen's daughter and a brave young suitor, whose love will be put to the test. Cirque du Soleil are renowned for their breathtaking stunts and performers, with this show incorporating hoop diving, juggling, a teeterboard, bar work and aerialists.

 
 
 

Kevin Hart

The comedian performs live at both The O2 and Wembley Arena.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 17th - 24th January 2016

 

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart brings his hugely successful What Now? tour to London in January, taking over The O2 for two Sundays in January and performing two shows at Wembley Arena on the 23rd. Having started his comedy career with small-time gigs in America, it was his first appearance at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival that led to Hart's roles in big comedy films such as Paper Soldiers, Scary Movie 3 and Along Came Polly. He has since hosted the MTV VMA's and embarked on numerous stand-up tours, becoming the only second American in history to sell out The O2.

 
 
 

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure Reloaded

The comedian presents a reloaded version of his extensive comedy show.

Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1A 4AF

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

 

Dates: 18th January - 13th February 2016

 

Having taken it to 28 countries throughout Europe - making it the most extensive comedy tour ever - Eddie Izzard now brings Force Majeure back to London with a Reloaded version, stopping by the Palace Theatre for a four-week residency. The show is full of Izzard's brilliant rambling and whimsical, intelligent, surreal and seemingly unscripted stream-of-consciousness that has become his signature comedy brand. "A comic genius. Eddie has become entertainment incarnate" says The Telegraph.

 
 
 

Billy Connolly: High Horse Tour

At 73 the Legendary Scots jokesmith gets a four star review and a standing ovation.

Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9QH

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 07th January - 06th February 2016

 

Legendary Scots jokesmith Billy Connolly returns to the capital with his first run at the Hammersmith Apollo in six years. For most people, the mere sight of Connolly's funny face and its flowing beard is enough to elicit fits of laughter. The former Glaswegian welder is a wizard of observational comedy ("Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cosy, doesn't try it on") who equally excels at idiosyncratic musings ("I've always wanted to go to Switzerland to see what the army does with those wee red knives") and slapstick one-liners ("So, have you heard about the oyster who went to a disco and pulled a mussel?"). But the comedian will always be best known for his frequent use of the "F" and "C" words and his dealing with gross/risqué subjects such as illness, blasphemy, masturbation, sex or plain toilet humour. Now 73, Connolly seems to have mellowed, showing "not as much rage and more sentimentality" (Evening Standard) but still able to secure a four star review and a standing ovation.

 
 
 

Ivo Graham

The old Etonian brings his Edinburgh act to London.

Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London, W1D 3NE

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station, Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 18th - 23rd January 2016

 

"It's like Hugh Grant's less well-adjusted younger brother trying his hand at standup" says The Guardian of Ivo Graham, a young comedian who graduated from Eton and Oxford. At the age of eighteen he became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious So You Think You're Funny award for new acts at the Edinburgh Fringe. Now approaching his mid twenties, the comedian is "maturing into a fine comic; relating his flaws and failings with seasoned wit" (Wow 24/7).

 
 
 

The Pianist of Willesden Lane

The play is given its London premiere after sold-out runs in the US.

St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA

Tube: Victoria Station

 

Dates: 20th January - 27th February 2016

 

Based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival, The Pianist of Willesden Lane tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who dreams about her concert debut at Vienna's storied Musikverein concert hall. But, with the issuing of new ordinances under the Nazi regime, everything changes and Lisa's dream is put in jeopardy. Making its UK premiere at St James Theatre this winter, after critically acclaimed sold-out runs in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, the play features some of the world's most beloved piano music played live.

 
 
 

Shrek The Musical

The popular musical transfers from the West End.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, Covent Garden, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station

 

Dates: 20th - 31st January 2016

 

Given Shrek's popularity at the Box Office it was only a matter of time before a live version took to the stage and, having proved popular in the West End, Shrek The Musical now goes on tour, stopping by the New Wimbledon Theatre in January. The show brings the much-loved characters from the Oscar-winning animation film to life and features all new songs as well as cult Shrek anthem I'm a Believer. Join Shrek, our unlikely hero, and his loyal steed Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from her tower guarded by a fire breathing love-sick dragon. Add the diminutive Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairytale misfits, and a biscuit with attitude, and you've got a must-see musical comedy.

 
 
 

London Art Fair

Over a hundred of London's best galleries gather under one roof in Islington.

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 20th - 24th January 2016

 

Now in its 28th year, the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre shows no signs of losing its cutting edge. Whether you're buying or just looking you'll have over a hundred of London's best galleries to look through. There are two shows within the show: 'Art Projects', showcasing contemporary art from across the globe; and 'Photo50', a curated exhibition of 50 contemporary photographs. The fair is the perfect platform for art dealers and publishers to publicise their latest news. One such example is The XL Catlin Art Guide which highlights thirty new graduate artists selected from UK art schools by curator Justin Hammond, their 2016 edition is launched alongside an exhibition of work by selected artists.

 
 
 

Escaped Alone

Caryl Churchill's play kicks of the Royal's 2016 season.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 21st January - 12th March 2016

 

The Royal Court Theatre celebrates its 60th birthday in 2016 and commencing the year will be Caryl Churchill's Escaped Alone. Directed by James Macdonald, the production tells the story of three old friends and a neighbour, a summer of afternoons in the backyard, lots of tea, and a catastrophe. For more information you'll have to book tickets!

 
 
 

The Maccabees

The band tour off the back of some sensational shows in 2015, including a stellar set at Glastonbury.

Brixton Academy, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: 21st - 23rd January 2016

 

London-based indie-rockers The Maccabees celebrated their first ever UK number one album with the Marks To Prove It and now perform live with 14 UK dates this winter, including two Brixton Academy shows in January 2016. Off the back of some sensational shows in 2015, including a stellar set at Glastonbury, a homecoming album launch show at Elephant & Castle's Coronet (which the Independent gave 5 stars) and a secret show at The Great Escape the five-piece now head out on their own headline tour. "These new songs are a reminder of why we started the band," says one of the band's guitarists Hugo White.

 
 
 

Pink Mist

This critically acclaimed show is inspired by interviews with returned servicemen.

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: 21st January - 13th February 2016

 

Inspired by 30 interviews with returned servicemen, Pink Mist tells the story of three young Bristol men deployed to Afghanistan. Returning home to the women in their lives, who must now share the physical and psychological aftershocks of their service, Arthur, Hads and Taff find that their journey home could well be the greatest battle. First staged at Bristol Old Vic in 2015, the critically acclaimed show by Owen Sheers, described by The Times as "fearlessly lyrical in its imagery", will now be staged at the Bush Theatre, directed by John Retallack and George Mann.

 
 
 

IKEA: The Collection

Pop-up exhibition celebrating collectors from the king of flat pack furniture.

The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, London, N1 5SH

Tube: Old Street Station

 

Dates: 21st - 23rd January 2016

 

King of flat pack furniture, IKEA makes its first foray into the world of exhibitions presenting a pop-up immersive exhibition showcasing some of the most weird and wacky collectors from across the UK. With taxidermy, toy soldiers, vintage clothing, Lego magazines and Spice Girls memorabilia 'The Collection' is a celebration of the UK's greatest collectors. All collections, from retro fashion to magazines, are housed in storage units you can get from IKEA, of course.

 
 
 

Yen

Ned Bennett directs Anna Jordan's award-winning play.

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

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 13th February 2016

 

Anna Jordan's Bruntwood Prize-winning play Yen receives its London premiere in 2016, with a staging at the Royal Court Theatre. The dark production focuses on Hench and his brother Bobbie, who live in squalor playing out a cycle of PlayStation and pornography. Their mum visits intermittently but she comes with empty pockets and empty promises. When Jenny shows up, however, and shows an interest in their dog Taliban, tenderness is introduced to their violent lives. Ned Bennett directs while the cast includes Alex Austin, Sian Breckin, Jake Davies and Annes Elwy.

 
 
 

Easter Rising 2016

Eighty photos and souvenir postcards show the role photography played in Irish independence.

Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, Soho, London, W1F 7LW

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 03rd April 2016

 

The Easter Rising of 1916, when Irish nationalists staged a rebellion against the British government in Ireland, is marked on its centenary with an exhibition drawn from Sean Sexton's collection, curated by Luke Dodd at The Photographers' Gallery. This free display of eighty photos and souvenir postcards shows the role photography played in the path to Irish independence. Though the 1916 rebellion itself was largely undocumented, images were taken in the immediate aftermath in and around the General Post Office on O'Connell St. Later, the transformative years from the 1840s to 1930s were also visually documented in portraits of executed leaders, scrapbooks, collages and images of rebellion sites, collected as memorabilia and shown here.

 
 
 

Saul Leiter

The American photographer blazed a trail in colour while his contemporaries were shooting in black and white.

Photographers' Gallery, 16-18 Ramillies Street, Soho, London, W1F 7LW

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 03rd April 2016

 

It's only recently that American photographer Saul Leiter, who died aged 89 in 2013, has received due recognition for his pioneering role in the emergence of colour photography. He moved to New York intent on becoming a painter, yet ended up working for magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Elle and British Vogue and became known for his "often painterly images" (The Guardian), "which evoked the flow and rhythm of life on the mid-century streets of New York in luminous colour, at a time when his contemporaries were shooting in black and white". Posthumously, his work continues to get the recognition it deserves in this Photographers' Gallery exhibition.

 
 
 

Drawing on Childhood

Works my illustrators focus on children in fiction who have been adopted or fostered.

The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ

Tube: Russell Square Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 01st May 2016

 

Bringing together works of major illustrators from the eighteenth century to present day, Drawing on Childhood looks at how powerful images of characters in fiction who are orphaned, adopted, fostered or found have been created. Inspired by Lemn Sissay's 2014 Foundling Museum commission, Superman was a Foundling, which focused on the importance of looked-after children in popular culture, the exhibition explores how illustrators have chosen key moment in stories from European folklore and fiction to bring child heroes to life. Through original drawings, first editions and illustrated editions, it will explore characters such as James Trotter from James and the Giant Peach, who was orphaned as a young boy; Hetty Feather, who lived at the Foundling Hospital; Rapunzel, whose parents gave her up as a child; and Cinderella, who had a famous relationship with her Fairy Godmother.

 
 
 

Bush Hall Presents: Ardal O'Hanlon

The actor who famously played Dougal in Father Ted headlines.

Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line)

 

Dates: 22nd January 2016

 

The first Bush Hall Presents of 2016 bursts onto the comedy scene with a juicy line-up of comedic talent headlined by Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon. The actor who played dim-witted Father Dougal McGuire and more recently appeared in the West End in The Weir will be joined by a stella cast of supporting names including fellow Irishman stand-up comedian Andrew Maxwell, British Comedy Award winner and star of Uncle, Nick Helm, and Elis James who's best known for playing Owen in BBC3 sitcom Josh, the most romantic and lyrical Welshman since records began.

 
 
 

The Adventure Travel Show

This event will inspire you to go travelling like nothing else.

Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 23rd - 24th January 2016

 

Back for its 20th year, The Adventure Travel Show is the UK's only event dedicated entirely to discovering the world off the beaten track. Touted as the biggest collection of specialist travel operators, the show gives visitors the opportunity to get face-to-face with specialists adventure travel companies. There's also over 100 free inspirational talks across four theatres to choose from, information on the hottest new destinations, the chance to enhance your travel photography, writing and film skills in a number of seminars, and enjoy An Evening with: The Adventure Travel Film Festival. If this doesn't inspire you on where to holiday in 2016, nothing will.

 
 
 

Red Velvet

Adrian Lester reprises his role as Ira Aldridge.

Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0HH

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

 

Dates: 23rd January - 27th February 2016

 

Adrian Lester, who together with his Othello co-star, Rory Kinnear, jointly won the best actor prize at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, reprises his role as Ira Aldridge in Red Velvet when it transfers to the Garrick Theatre in 2016. The multi award-winning period drama, which originally premiered at the Tricycle Theatre, tells the true story of a young black American actor who's asked to take on the role of Othello when Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, has collapsed on stage. But, as the public riot in the streets over the abolition of slavery, how will they react to the revolution taking place in the theatre?

 
 
 

The Corrs

The Irish band return after a ten year hiatus.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 23rd January 2016

 

After a ten-year hiatus The Corrs are back with a UK tour and will be performing live at The O2 in 2016. The tour comes on the back of their sixth studio album, White Light, which is their first original material since 2004. The band combine rock with traditional Celtic Irish folk themes and are one of only a handful of acts who have held the top two positions simultaneously in the UK album charts. Described by The Standard as "sheer pleasantness", the band will introduce audiences to their new work and no doubt throw in a rendition of Runaway for good measure.

 
 
 

The Master Builder

Ralph Fiennes stars in this new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play.

Old Vic Theatre, 103 The Cut, London, SE1 8NB

Tube: Waterloo Station, Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 25th January - 19th March 2016

 

Award-winning film and stage actor Ralph Fiennes stars in a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder at The Old Vic. Adapted by multi award-winning writer and author David Hare, the production is directed by incoming artistic director Matthew Warchus. The late masterpiece is a searing and mesmeric exploration of power, control, death and life, telling the story of master architect Halvard Solness who has spent his lifetime building the tallest spires in the land. But when Hilde, a radiant country girl, enters his world, age is confronted by youth and a series of revelations builds to a vertiginous climax.

 
 
 

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

August Wilson's play is inspired by real-life Blues legend Ma Rainey.

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

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 26th January - 18th May 2016

 

Having first opened at the National in 1989, August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is revived at the theatre in 2016. One of the ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, the play is set in 1920s Chicago and is inspired by real-life Blues legend Ma Rainey, who uses every trick in the book to fight her producers for control of her music. While recording her album she hits on issues of race, art, religion and exploitation in her community, and is determined that 'Black Bottom', the song that bears her name, will be recorded her way. Risking it all, however, is the band's swaggering young trumpet player. Will his ambition put them all in danger?

 
 
 

Iphigenia in Splott

A clever and dramatic reworking of the Greek myth of Iphigenia.

Temporary Theatre (formerly The Shed), National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station, Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 27th January - 20th February 2016

 

A clever and dramatic reworking of the Greek myth of Iphigenia, who was sacrificed by her father so that the Greek forces could set sail and begin the siege of Troy, Iphigenia in Splott takes the story to a council estate in south Cardiff. Gary Owen's production follows Effie as her life spirals through a mess of drink, drugs and drama every night, followed by unimaginable hangovers the next day. Until one day, something changes and she is given the chance to be something more. Having impressed critics in Cardiff and Edinburgh, Owen's production transfers to the National and will once again drive home the high price people pay for society's shortcomings.

 
 
 

Vault Festival

The six-week arts festival returns and is bigger than ever.

The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, South Bank, London, SE1 7NN

Tube: Waterloo Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 27th January - 06th March 2016

 

Returning for its fourth year, Vault Festival is a six-week arts festival in Waterloo's Leake Street tunnels featuring a wide-ranging programme of performance, live music, discussions and one-off late night parties. The line up for this year's festival includes Squidboy, starring award-winning physical theatre performer Trygve Wakenshaw; festival debut The Various Lives of Infinite Nullity by award-winning company Clout Theatre; and the Diantines Ball from the 'Queen of Canvey' Diane Chorley. The series of Vault Lates include late night parties such as Artful Badger's Valentine's Ball, Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras and FILTHy Silent Disco. Families are also catered for with the biggest Mini Vault programme to date, featuring the Pirates of the Carabina, poet Roger McGough and Lithuanian dance company Puzzle. Bars in the festival are open every night as well as pop-up country pub Suffolk Punch and there are one-off events - both ticketed and free - in the atmospheric tunnels beneath Waterloo Station (accessed via Leake Street). Vault is one of the most exciting happenings on London's fringe.  

 
 
 

London A Cappella Festival

A showcase of some of the best horal, jazz, contemporary and beatbox ensembles.

Kings Place, 90 York Way, King's Cross, London, N1 9AG

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 28th - 30th January 2016

 

The annual London A Cappella Festival showcases some of the best choral, jazz, contemporary and beatbox ensembles, with an eclectic programme that never disappoints. Curated by Grammy Award-winning The Swingles, who perform on the final evening of the festival, and Ikon Arts Management, the 2016 festival welcomes award-winning vocal ensemble Tenebrae Concert, international famed beatboxer Shlomo, French a cappella sextet Opus Jam, and country a cappella group Home Free. As well as the concerts, the festival also hosts a series of vocal workshops and a special LACF Kids day, with fun performances, workshops and a series of exclusive events.

 
 
 

Electronic Superhighway

The development of the Internet, from present day back in time to 1966.

Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

Tube: Aldgate East Station, Aldgate East Underground Station, Aldgate Station

 

Dates: 29th January - 15th May 2016

 

Arranged in reverse chronological order, Electronic Superhighway charts the development of the Internet, beginning in the present day and travelling back in time to 1966. This major exhibition brings together over 100 works to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s today . Named after a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology, the exhibition features multimedia works, film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing by Cory Arcangel, Jeremy Bailey, James Bridle, Constant Dullaart, Oliver Laric and Lynn Hershman Leeson whose 1979-1982 work Lorna was one of the first ever major interactive art installations.

 
 
 

Hozier

Live show by the Dublin-based songsmith who played an unforgettable duet with Annie Lennox.

Brixton Academy, 211 Stockwell Road, London, SW9 9SL

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: 29th - 31st January 2016

 

Soul and contemporary blues-folk from the Dublin-based songsmith and musician who was nominated for Song Of The Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards for Take Me To Church. Hozier, whose global star continues to soar following two Billboard Awards, a coveted Ivor Novello, stunning sets at Glastonbury and Longitude and an unforgettable duet with Annie Lennox at the 2015 Grammy Awards comes to Brixton Academy for one night on his only UK tour for 2016. This is the only chance to see the 25 year old Wicklow native, whose critically acclaimed debut album will soon hit double Platinum status in the UK, as these shows are his last before taking time out to begin work on his new album.

 
 
 

Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse

Charting the emergence of the garden as a major subject in art.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD

Tube: Green Park Station, Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 30th January - 20th April 2016

 

Claude Monet's garden at Giverny is the jumping off point for the Royal Academy's first exhibition of 2016, Painting the Modern Garden. Charting the emergence of the garden as a major subject in art, there are stunning works by Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Kandinsky and Klee among others. More than 120 works - including the monumental Agapanthus Triptych, reunited specifically for the exhibition, Renoir's Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil and Kandinsky's Murnau The Garden II - bring the outdoors in, revealing Monet as a pioneer of modern gardening and bathing the main galleries in colour and light.

 
 
 

Beyond Beauty: Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt

Exploring a civilisation fascinated by appearance and identity, in life and in death.

Two Temple Place, 2 Temple Place, London, WC2R 3BD

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 30th January - 24th April 2016

 

Two Temple Place, a spectacular neo-Gothic mansion on London's Victoria Embankment worthy of a visit in its own right, reopens this January, with an exhibition on 'Transforming the Body in Ancient Egypt'. Beyond Beauty gathers material from six regional museums across the country to explore a civilisation fascinated by appearance and identity, in life and in death. Artefacts up to 5,000 years old show the ancient Egyptians at their most spectacular and intimate via priceless painted coffins, funerary masks, figurines and reliefs unearthed from tombs by Victorian explorers. Personal items such as jewellery, mirrors, hairpins, scent bottles and makeup palettes give an insight into the daily life of the ancient Egyptians.

 
 
 

London ExCeL Wedding Show

Everything you need if you're getting hitched from wedding dresses to hair and beauty tips.

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

Tube: Canning Town Station

 

Dates: 30th - 31st January 2016

 

Getting hitched in 2016? A day spent at the London ExCeL Wedding Show provides everything you need for your big day. With over 105 stands of wedding goodies, the show at the ExCel has endless inspiration and multiple contacts to assist couples in organising their perfect day, all under one roof. The show will have the latest designer wedding dresses, men's formal hire and ladies occasion wear presented by well known high street brands as well as individual designers. Along with the stands, there will be an award winning fashion show taking place at numerous points throughout the day, showing some truly beautiful wedding dresses on a catwalk decorated with floral arrangements. Hairdresser Alix Wright takes time out from shows like The Baftas, MTAs, TOWIE and This Morning to show us the latest bridal hair styles on the runway and will be on hand to give advice on all aspects of wedding day hair.

 
 
 

The NATYS Comedy Showcase and Awards Final

Find out who'll be crowned the best new comedy act of the year.

Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, Bloomsbury, London, WC2H 7BX

Tube: Leicester Square Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Covent Garden Station

 

Dates: 31st January 2016

 

Thirteen new acts are given five minutes to work their magic in the annual final to crown comedy's New Act of The Year. Now in its 33rd year, this comedy showcase and awards event moves to the Leicester Square Theatre in 2016 and promises a variety of performers - from stand-up to sketch shows, singers to surrealist and spoofs. Previous finalists include the likes of Russell Brand, Harry Hill, Ed Byrne, Lee Mack, Tim Vine, Micky Flannagan, Jack Whitehall, Simon Amstel and Rhod Gilbert. Auditions and heats are held between October and December 2015 at the Rich Mix Arts Centre in Bethnal Green ahead of the showcase and awards final at Leicester Square Theatre on Sunday 31st January 2016. Among the thirteen acts are Revan & Fennel, a double act kicking football satire, Josh Pugh, mastering the art of one-liners, and Thomas Rackham who revels inside Birmingham nightlife.

 
 
 

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