January in London 2020

 
 
 
Previous image

Tom Stoppard's new play Leopoldstadt is at Wyndham's Theatre

Next image
Tom Stoppard's new play Leopoldstadt is at Wyndham's Theatre
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
Toby Jones and Richard Armitage star in Uncle Vanya
English National Ballet: Le Corsaire
London International Mime Festival 2020
London's New Year's Day Parade
Faustus: That Damned Woman
Picasso and Paper
Daniel Radcliffe stars in Endgame
English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala
Baby Lame opens the London Short Film Festival
London Art Fair
Sadler's Wells Sampled
Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
RAGS The Musical
The Sunset Limited
Living with art: Picasso to Celmins
Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life
NoFit State Circus: Lexicon
Royal Ballet: Onegin
London's Chinese New Year
Secret Theatre Project: The Invitation
Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles
Battersea Light Festival: Battersea Power Station
The Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair
Royal Opera: La Boheme
 

© Matt Humphrey

Maxine Peake appears at the National Theatre, a new play by Tom Stoppard arrives in the West End and Cirque du Soleil returns to its London home, the Royal Albert Hall, in January 2020.

Filter by category:
 
 

London's New Year's Day Parade

More than 500,000 spectators gather to watch this cheerful annual parade.

Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, London, SW1P 3JX

Tube: Westminster Station , St James's Park Station

 

Dates: 01st January 2020

 

American cop cars, miniature steamers and drumming bands appear in front of over half a million spectators at London's New Year's Day Parade. The parade, which has been entertaining London since its inception on January 1st 1987, takes around three hours to weaves its way along the 2.2 mile central London route, from outside The Ritz Hotel to Parliament Square, and more than 500,00 spectators pack London's streets to see it. 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.

 
 
 

NoFit State Circus: Lexicon

A mesmerising blend of aerial dance, music and comedy.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station

 

Dates: 03rd - 18th January 2020

 

Under the direction of Firenza Guidi, NoFit State, the UK's leading large-scale contemporary circus company, presents a circus show which combines aerial dance, music and comedy to portray a world inhabited by quiet misfits and furious poetry. Lexicon is a mix of heart-stopping acts including aerial acrobats from Lyndall Merry on the Swinging Trapeze, Vilhelmiina Sinervo and Rosa-Marie Schmid on the slack and double ropes and Pablo Meneu reaching new heights on the aerial straps. NoFit State last performed at the Roundhouse in 2012-13 with Bianco and now return with a new show that has the energy of gig with a live band, nail-biting balancing acts, juggling and clowning around.

 
 
 

English National Ballet: Le Corsaire

Get swept away by this swashbuckling romp.

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: 08th - 14th January 2020

 

Expect a swashbuckling romp as English National Ballet present Le Corsaire at the London Coliseum, successfully staged here in 2016. 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 sets and costumes by Hollywood film designer Bob Ringwood (Batman, Alien 3, Star Trek Nemesis, AI and Troy) with music by Adolphe Adam, Leo Delibes and Prince Oldenbourg. It all adds up to "a show that feels very much like a one-stop antidote to the mid-January blues" (The Telegraph).

 
 
 

London International Mime Festival 2020

Ten international companies and eight British groups make up this year's programme.

 

Dates: 08th January - 02nd February 2020

 

It's all about action at the London International Mime Festival, championing cutting edge circus, physical theatre and live art. Back for its 44th year in 2020, the festival will bring together ten international companies along with eight British groups for a series of World, UK and London premieres at venues such as the Barbican, Jacksons Lane and Sadler's Wells. Special co-commissioned productions from the likes of Thick & Tight, Told by an Idiot and Vamos Theatre are some of the highlights while Ockham's Razor will be opening the festival with their show, This Time which provides a tender take on relationships and ageing.

 
 
 

Coming Clean

A couple's relationship is severely tested when gorgeous Robert walks into their lives.

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY

Tube: Charing Cross Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 08th January - 01st February 2020

 

Following a critically acclaimed West End run last year, Kevin Elyot's Coming Clean returns to the Trafalgar Studios this January for a strictly limited run. The debut work from the author of acclaimed drama My Night With Reg, the piece is set in 1982 and tells the story of committed couple Tony and Greg, whose relationship is severely tested when gorgeous Robert walks into their lives. Through razor-sharp wit, the story questions love and fidelity. The full cast will be returning for the production with Lee Knight (A Very Very Very Dark Matter and Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire) starring as Tony and Stanton Plummer-Cambridge (Macbeth and The Durrells) taking the role of Greg.

 
 
 
 

Battersea Light Festival: Battersea Power Station

Four interactive installations shine a light on the former power station.

Battersea Power Station, Circus West, Sopwith Way, London, SW8 4NN

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 08th January - 16th March 2020

 

Banishing the winter blues, Battersea stages a light festival of four installations at the former power station whose distinctive chimney columns punctuate the south London skyline. Perhaps the most visually striking is Talking Heads, created by Viktor Vicsek; two heads, each composed of 4,000 customisable LED lights, react to one another to create a myriad of facial expressions. The light installations, free to enjoy from 8th January until 16th February, also include a large interactive screen with a thousand buttons which you can use to make patterns, 140 filtered fluorescent tubes which bring light to the historic Grade II*-listed Coaling Jetty and an interactive neon sign which draws you in with its bright colours, provoking message and loud rustling noises.

 
 
 

RAGS The Musical

Immigrants travel to America in search of a better life in Stephen Schwartz's powerful musical.

Park Theatre, 11 Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP

Tube: Finsbury Park Station

 

Dates: 09th January - 08th February 2020

 

As the 20th century beckons, Jewish immigrants arrive in New York to start a new life with a sense of hope in the heartwarming RAGS The Musical. Carolyn Maitland, Dave Willetts and Sam Attwater star in Stephen Schwartz's powerful musical when it comes to the Park Theatre in January 2020. Hope Mill Theatre's celebrated musical tells the story of Russian immigrant Rebecca, who, with her son David, travels to America in search of a better life. The songwriters of Wicked and Annie and the book-writer of Fiddler on the Roof come together to reveal Rebecca's struggle to decide what matters more to her - staying true to her roots or adopting a new cultural identity in an attempt to 'fit in'.

 
 
 

London Short Film Festival 2020

Bite sized slices of film at a festival renowned for its avant-garde offerings.

 

Dates: 10th - 19th January 2020

 

Returning for a 17th year, the London Short Film Festival puts the focus on alternative '80s culture with film and performance. The festival opens with a cabaret-infused night spectacular, More Than Just a Pretty Face - Alt Drag Revolution, with Baby Lame, host of RuPaul's DragRace podcast on BBC sounds. The festival continues with Walls Come Tumbling Down, a live concert led by Mercury nominated composer-instrumentalist Laura Jurd. More musical highlights include Belgian-Congolese musician Baloji performing live and The Best of Blondie, a screening of the band's VHS compilation of all their music videos. Penelope Spheeris Shorts shows a cross-section of the director's early short films before the success of Wayne's World. For the 500 or so short films being shown there are prizes totalling £5,500 to be won. The UK strand, hosted at the BFI Southbank, includes Lena Headey's directorial debut and an acting credit from Maxine Peake while the international competition is held in partnership with frieze. Renowned for its crazy, avant-garde and challenging offerings, the festival takes place at the ICA, BFI Southbank, Science Museum and historic independents including Dalston's Rio Cinema.

 
 
 

Cirque du Soleil: Luzia

Escape to an imaginary Mexico in Cirque du Soleil's latest dare devil acrobatics show.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 12th January - 16th February 2020

 

Thirty years after Cirque du Soleil first introduced its phenomenal acrobatics to UK audiences, the Canadian company stages Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall. Receiving its UK premiere, the production is 'a waking dream of Mexico' that suspends audiences between dreams and reality in an imaginary Mexican land. Featuring brand new acts and striking production never before used at the Royal Albert Hall, it will provide a chance to see another side of Cirque du Soleil with a journey from an old movie set to the ocean and onto an arid desert. Performers include hoop divers, contortionists, aerialists, jugglers, street dancers and more.

 
 
 

Uncle Vanya

Toby Jones and Richard Armitage star in a brand new adaptation of Chekhov's masterpiece.

Harold Pinter Theatre, 6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 14th January - 02nd May 2020

 

Toby Jones plays the disaffected Uncle Vanya while Richard Armitage is the local doctor Astrov as Olivier Award-winner Conor McPherson - who directed a landmark production of The Seagull in 2007 - brings a brand new adaptation of the Anton Chekhov masterpiece to the Harold Pinter Theatre. Full of tumultuous frustration, dark humour and hidden passions, the drama heats up when Sonya's father returns with his beautiful new wife. When he finally declares that he intends to sell the house, the polite facades crumble and repressed feelings start to emerge. Fans of The Detectorists star, Toby Jones, can also see him at the Royal Court Theatre in Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp in autumn 2019.

 
 
 
 

Living with art: Picasso to Celmins

See works by Picasso, Matisse, Hockney and Celmins.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Tube: Tottenham Court Road Station , Russell Square Station, Holborn Station

 

Dates: 14th January - 05th March 2020

 

Works by everyone from Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse to David Hockney and Bridget Riley go on display at the British Museum in 2020 as part of Living with art: Picasso to Celmins. Ahead of a tour throughout the UK, the exhibition premieres at the museum with a showcase of rare works, many of which will be on public display for the first time in more than a decade, from a wide-ranging collection belonging to Evening Standard film critic Alexander Walker. Covering almost one hundred years of modern art, from 1908 to 2002, the exhibition reflects on important artistic developments during this period. Lucian Freud, Vija Celmins, Sean Scully and Philip Guston also feature.

 
 
 

The Welkin

Maxine Peake stars in Lucy Kirkwood's new play.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 15th January - 23rd May 2020

 

Maxine Peake returns to the National for the first time since 2002 to star in Lucy Kirkwood's new play, The Welkin. The playwright first came to our attention with Chimerica - the hottest ticket in the West End in 2013. She sets this new drama in Suffolk in 1759 whenSally Poppy has been sentenced to hang for murder. When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of twelve matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she's telling the truth. With only one midwife, Lizzy Luke (played by Maxine Peake), prepared to believe the defendant the matrons debate the correct course of action. Directed by James Macdonald, the cast also includes Natasha Cottriall, Cecilia Noble - a "Windrush Lady Bracknell" as Telegraph critic Dominic Cavendish described her in Nine Night - Dawn Sievewright and Ria Zmitrowicz.

 
 
 

Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life

Rarely seen works by the Italian artist go on display in this major new exhibition.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN

Tube: Highbury & Islington Station

 

Dates: 15th January - 11th April 2020

 

In a major new exhibition, The Estorick Collection explores Tullio Crali's love of Futurism through a display of rarely seen works by the Italian artist. With a strong focus on technology and in particular the genre of aeropainting, Carli utilised machines as a source of creative inspiration, and many of his works challenged conventional notions of realism by combining recognisable elements with more abstract inclusions. Spanning the entirety of his career with works from the 1920s through to the 1980s on display, Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life places his iconic aeropaintings, visual poetry and mixed-media reliefs on display.

 
 
 

Beckett Triple Bill

Three of Beckett's best short plays make up this triple bill.

Jermyn Street Theatre, 16B Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LT

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 15th January - 08th February 2020

 

Jermyn Street Theatre launches its 2020 season with a Samuel Beckett Triple Bill, staging three of the playwright's best short plays. Directed by Trevor Nunn - former artistic director of the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company - the triple bill is made up of Krapp's Last Tape, Eh Joe and The Old Tune with a stellar cast including Niall Buggy, Lisa Dwan, James Hayes and David Threlfall. While Waiting for Godot, Endgame and Happy Days are undoubtedly Beckett's best-known works, this triple bill shines the light on three more poignant and compelling works.

 
 
 

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

Over 25 illuminated installations brighten the darkest January days.

Canary Wharf, Canada Square Park, London, E14 5AG

Tube: Canary Wharf Station

 

Dates: 16th - 25th January 2020

 

Brightening the darkest January days, the Winter Lights at Canary Wharf bring an array of illuminated installations to the city. The interactive festival - where you can actually get up close to some of the light sources - features over 25 installations including sculptures, lasers, projections and digital art. A giant kaleidoscope, fountain of music and light, faces lit up by phone screens, a hundred circles of red light and a foam thunderstorm cloud are all part of this year's festival. Some pieces reuse and recycle everyday materials like Lactolight, by Westferry Circus, made from 7,344 recycled plastic milk bottles repurposed as a large low-res video screen. In addition to the light installations, street food hubs house traders selling everything from pizza and waffles to Middle Eastern and Swiss dishes.

 
 
 
 

The Sunset Limited

A new play from the writer of No Country for Old Men and Blood Meridian.

Boulevard Theatre, Walker's Court, London, W1F 0BS

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

 

Dates: 16th January - 14th March 2020

 

A London premiere from multi-award-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy - known for The Road, No Country for Old Men and Blood Meridian - The Sunset Limited explores the themes of redemption, faith and free. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Terry Johnson, the play sees two men's lives change forever when they have a chance encounter on a subway platform, and audiences will no doubt be drawn into the powerful, existential conversation. Gary Beadle takes the role of 'Black' while Jasper Britton will play the role of 'White'.

 
 
 

English National Ballet 70th Anniversary Gala

The company celebrates 70 years with three specially curated gala performances.

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: 17th - 18th January 2020

 

As part of its 70th anniversary season, English National Ballet celebrates with three specially curated gala performances at the London Coliseum on 17th and 18th January 2020. Showcasing the talent of the entire company, as well as the future stars of the ballet world from English National Ballet School, these performances include extracts from some of the best known works from the company's repertoire. It begins with a blend of film and performance using archive footage of the company which dissolves into live performance on stage. Enjoy extracts from great masters such as Balanchine, Petit and MacMillan before the programme concludes with a showcase of talent in Harald Lander's Etudes, first performed in 1955.

 
 
 

London Model Engineering Exhibition

The South's largest model engineering exhibition returns for its 45th year.

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

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 17th - 19th January 2020

 

Over 14,000 model engineers, craftsmen and model making enthusiasts typically visit the London Model Engineering Exhibition - the South's largest model engineering exhibition. Returning to Alexandra Palace this January, it celebrates its 24th year in 2020 and sees more than 45 clubs and societies present at the event, showcasing over 2,000 models. See demonstrations of all sorts of models and toys from remote controlled helicopters to trucks and tanks at this key event for specialist suppliers who will be on hand to provide everything needed for visitors' hobbies.

 
 
 

The Adventure Travel Show

The UK's only event dedicated entirely to discovering the world off the beaten track.

Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 18th - 19th January 2020

 

Back for its 24th year, The Adventure Travel Show is the UK's only event dedicated entirely to discovering the world off the beaten track. Whether you're interested in volunteering, a career break, trekking, diving, safari or cycling, the show gives you access to specialist adventure travel companies who can help. There are over 70 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. Hear talks from adventurers and experienced explorers including Anna Foulkes, Simon Cockerell and Sam McManus. If this doesn't inspire you to travel in 2020, nothing will.

 
 
 

RuPaul's DragCon UK

The stars of the hit show sashay across the pond for a celebration of all things drag.

Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station

 

Dates: 18th - 19th January 2020

 

Following the huge success of RuPaul's Drag Race UK and major RuPaul conventions in LA and New York, RuPaul's DragCon is making its way across the pond to London this January. RuPaul Charles, Michelle Visage and UK winner The Vivienna will be among those in attendance at what's become the world's largest celebration of drag culture. Taking place at Olympia London, the two-day event will boast art, pop culture and plenty of drag as well as panel discussions on LGBTQ rights, fashion, make-up and more. Watch show-stopping drag performances on the main stages and dance away to live DJs with RuPaul himself among the line-up.

 
 
 
 

Royal Ballet: Onegin

Tchaikovsky's most-loved opera returns to the London stage.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 18th January - 29th February 2020

 

John Cranko directs Tchaikovsky's most-loved opera, based on the Alexander Pushkin novel, about the young country girl Tatyana, who believes that the dashing Onegin is the man of her dreams, however, is humiliated when he rejects her and flirts with her older, engaged sister. John Cranko's adaptation of Pushkin's verse-novel, "is suddenly flavour of the month" said The Telegraph reviewing this "welcome revival" of Onegin at the Royal Opera House in 2013. Made in 1965 for Cranko's Stuttgart company, this portrait of a young girl's doomed infatuation is "one of the great ballerina vehicles" and includes a dream pas de deux danced by the youthful Tatiana who transforms from a bookish country girl into a sophisticated woman at the pinnacle of St Petersburg society.

 
 
 

The Royal Ballet & Rambert: Aisha And Abhaya

Lavish costumes and contemporary dance collide in this new production.

Linbury Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 21st January - 09th February 2020

 

Kibwe Tavares's newest creation sees lavish costumes and contemporary dance collide. The world premiere of Aisha and Abhaya, a poignant ballet about two sisters, is staged in the Royal Opera's Linbury Theatre. A combination of visually stunning film with striking choreography, it's performed by Rambert with choreography by Sharon Eyal and music by GAIKA.

 
 
 

Persona

Riverside Studios reopens with Paul Schoolman's stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film.

Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9BN

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 21st January - 23rd February 2020

 

Legendary west London venue Riverside Studios reopens with Paul Schoolman's stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film about a renowned stage actress who recovers from a psychological breakdown at a remote summer beach house in the company of a nurse. Persona stars singer-songwriter Nobuhle Mngcwengi who appears as patient Elizabet opposite Olivier winner Alice Krige as Sister Alma while renowned installation artist and musician William Close plays the Earth Harp - the largest stringed instrument in the world. The harp's strings span out over the audience "turning the theatre into the instrument and wrapping the audience in its magical sound" - actress Alice Krige told Emma Clarendon writing on Love London Love Culture.

 
 
 

Lightopia

A brand-new interactive light festival.

Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, London, W4 2RP

Tube: Turnham Green Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 01st March 2020

 

A brand-new interactive light festival from the creators of the Magic Lantern Festival, Lightopia brings light installations, acrobats and musicians to Chiswick House & Gardens. The installations have been created using ancient Chinese lantern making techniques along with modern technology to follow the theme of Harmony. A Tree of Light sculpture forms the centrepiece with a 10m tall sculpture surrounded by 20 drums that can be used to control the tree's colours. There's also a rainbow tunnel, an 18-metre peacock and 70,000 flickering roses along with street food stalls, bars and a kid's zone.

 
 
 

Faustus: That Damned Woman

Award-winning playwright Chris Bush reimagines the Faustus myth.

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

Tube: Hammersmith Station

 

Dates: 22nd January - 22nd February 2020

 

In a Headlong and Lyric Hammersmith co-production, award-winning playwright Chris Bush reimagines the Faustus myth with his new play, Faustus: That Damned Woman. Premiering at the theatre in January, the productions draws on the works of Marlowe, Goethe and further versions of the myth to examine what needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve greatness. In the new piece, Faustus is reimagined as a woman who makes the ultimate sacrifice of selling her soul to the devil in order to make her mark on history.

 
 
 
 

London Art Fair

Browse and buy from over a hundred galleries from London and beyond.

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

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 22nd - 26th January 2020

 

Now in its 32nd 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 galleries from London and beyond to browse through. Well known artists like Marc Chagall, Frank Auerbach and Grayson Perry are featured while West Dean Tapestry Studio hosts live 'textile art in the making'. Sitting alongside the main fair, Art Projects offers a platform for the next generation of artists and gallerists, guest-curated Dialogues takes the theme of 'Talkative Pictures' and Photo50 explores the pool of talented living female photographers over the age of 50. This year Southampton City Art Gallery is the fair's chosen museum partner, highlighting the gallery's modern British and contemporary art collection.

 
 
 

The Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

Unusual finds and genuine antiques from 150 traders.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 21st - 26th January 2020

 

Held in Battersea Park in winter, spring and autumn, The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair mixes unusual finds with genuine antiques covering everything from furniture to textiles, glass to garden artefacts dating from the 1700s to the 1970s. The first of the three annual fairs, the winter fair will see the foyer display inspired by Alice in Wonderland: an adventure in decoration, a whimsical homage to illustrator John Tenniel. Popular with buyers from Soho House, Colefax & Fowler and Anthropologie, visitors may also spot David or Victoria Beckham, Eddie Redmayne or Miranda Richardson at this popular antique fair where more than 150 dealers come together. Located within easy reach of Chelsea, there's a courtesy shuttle service running from the Sloane Square Hotel.

 
 
 

Portraying Pregnancy

An exploration of the female body through portraits from the past 500 years.

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

Tube: Russell Square Station

 

Dates: 24th January - 26th April 2020

 

The Foundling Museum presents the first major exhibition to explore the pregnant female body through portraits from the past 500 years. A highlight of Portraying Pregnancy - and the earliest portrait in the exhibition - is Hans Holbein II's drawing of Sir Thomas More's daughter, Cicely Heron, created in the 1520s. All aspects of being 'with child' are examined from the 16th century right up to the present day when Beyonce posted her photo, showing her pregnant with twins, on Instagram in 2017. It became the most liked Instagram post of that year. Religious iconography, Pre-Raphaelite realism and pregnancy being 'airbrushed out' of portraits all feature as does the watershed moment in 1991 when Annie Leibovitz's photo of Demi Moore, naked and seven months pregnant, appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

 
 
 

Peckham Levels Beer Festival

Eight local breweries sell their favourite small batch beers.

Peckham Levels, Levels 1 to 6 Peckham Town Centre Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST

Tube: Denmark Hill Station

 

Dates: 25th January 2020

 

Following a successful debut in 2019, the Peckham Levels Beer Festival is back this year and it's bigger than ever. Free to enter, the one-day festival brings together eight breweries as a celebration of Southwark-based, independent beer companies. The line-up includes Brockley Brewery, Brixton Brewery, The Drop Project and London Beer Factory, and each brewery will have its own stall from where they'll serve some of their favourite small batch beers. Bringing the party atmosphere, Mr. Gibbon and Ruben Vibes will provide live music.

 
 
 

Leopoldstadt

Tom Stoppard's new play Leopoldstadt comes to Wyndham's Theatre.

Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA

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

 

Dates: 25th January - 13th June 2020

 

Tom Stoppard's epic family drama and "his most personal play yet" (The Times) comes to the West End in January 2020. Set in Vienna in 1900, Leopoldstadt is the story of a Jewish family who made good. But it was not to last. Over the next fifty years this family, like millions of others, was to re-discover what it meant to be Jewish in the first half of the 20th century. The sixth collaboration between Sonia Friedman Productions and Tom Stoppard, Leopoldstadt - his most humane and heart-breaking play - reunites Stoppard and director Patrick Marber who last collaborated on Travesties in 2017. A passionate drama of love, endurance and loss.

 
 
 
 

Picasso and Paper

An exploration of Picasso's works on and with paper from intriguing sculptures to prints.

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

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station

 

Dates: 25th January - 13th April 2020

 

The Royal Academy presents an exploration of Picasso's works on and with paper throughout his prolific 80-year career. More than 300 works are displayed, from intriguing sculptures made with torn and burnt pieces of paper, collages and decades worth of experimenting with printmaking techniques on paper. Highlights include Women at Their Toilette, an extraordinary 4.5 metre collage of cut and pasted papers which is exhibited in the UK for the first time in over 50 years. It's shown alongside outstanding Cubist papiers-colles such as Violin and studies for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Self portraits and the variety of printing techniques he used - etching, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, lithograph and linocut - are explored through works like 'Le Dejeuner sur lherbe' after Manet. The final section looks at Picasso's last decade and features Picasso's printing press from the period.

 
 
 

Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles

Shining a light on a rich seam of women stitching together significant textile collections.

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

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 25th January - 19th April 2020

 

The importance of textiles, seen through the eyes of seven female collectors, is revealed through 18th-century costume, traditional Balkan costume and contemporary works at this free exhibition at Two Temple Place. Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles shines a light on the women who defied the 'traditional' concept of collecting and went against established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and global public collections in the UK today. Just two of the seven are Louisa Pesel, the first President of the Embroiderers Guild and Jennifer Harris, Curator of Textiles at the Whitworth gallery in Manchester until 2016. See 1930s block printed fabrics and Yinka Shonibare's slave ship reimagined with batik fabric sails alongside archival photographs, sketchbooks and letters, many of which have never been shown in public.

 
 
 

London's Chinese New Year

Over 300,000 people celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Rat.

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

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

 

Dates: 26th January 2020

 

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 Rat, the London celebrations take place on 26 January 2020, the Sunday following the date of the Chinese New Year on 25 January. It begins with a dragon and lion dance and a parade of 30 teams which snakes its way from Charing Cross Road via Shaftesbury Avenue through Chinatown. An official opening ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square with speeches from special guests and entertainment by artists from China. More live entertainment can be found on the many stages set up around Chinatown including a martial arts and cultural zone at Shaftesbury Avenue where DJs and taekwondo demonstrations add to the festival fun. In Chinatown you'll also find lion dancing, craft stalls, Chinese zodiac animals and plenty of places to stop off for a dim sum feast.

 
 
 

Endgame

Alan Cumming, Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson make the up all star cast.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Southwark Station, Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 27th January - 15th March 2020

 

Alan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe take to The Old Vic stage this January to star in Samuel Becket's Endgame. Oscar-nominated Cumming will take the role of Hamm in the macabre comedy while Hollywood star Radcliffe will be his servant, Clov. Trapped at home with his servant after an unknown disaster, Hamm is blind and debilitated while Clov is unable to sit down. Locked in a stalemate, they are only interrupted with the arrival of Hamm's ancient parents. Jane Horrocks of Absolutely Fabulous and Karl Johnson of King Lear will star alongside Cumming and Radcliffe and the play comes as part of a double bill with Beckett's Rough for Theatre II.

 
 
 

Vault Festival

An eight-week festival of theatre, comedy, immersive experiences and parties.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station

 

Dates: 28th January - 16th March 2020

 

The boundless Vault Festival is one of the most exciting happenings on London's fringe with one of the largest curated arts programmes in the world. Returning for its eighth year in 2020, the festival offers eight weeks of theatre and comedy, immersive experiences, cabaret, live performances and late-night parties. This year, while the central hub will remain in the underground Vaults, 18 spaces across Waterloo and the South Bank will also be hosting events with the climate crisis at the forefront of the programme. Eco Week in Week 4 will present shows such as Matt Winning's It's the End of the World as We Know It and the carbon-neutral musical adventure How To Save A Rock. Another focal point will be global stories with highlights including Far Gone, inspired by writer John Rwothomach's experiences of nearly being kidnapped by a guerrilla rebel group in Uganda and Santi & Naz, a queer love story set against the backdrop of the partition of India.

 
 
 
 

Secret Theatre Project: The Invitation

An immersive theatre show set at a fictional Masquerade Palace.

Town Hall Hotel, 8 Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF

Tube: Bethnal Green Underground Station

 

Dates: 28th January - 05th April 2020

 

Fresh from a sell-out run in Hong Kong, Secret Theatre Project is back in London with a brand new immersive theatrical show. Described by the organisers as 'Eyes Wide Shut Meets SE7EN', The Invitation takes place at the fictional Masquerade Palace, in the wonderfully historic Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Everything is not what it seems as you gradually learn of the role you play in determining the fate of this arcane world of masked secrets, hidden clubs and tragedy. You can opt for immersive dining as part of the theatrical experience and enjoy food by Simon Shand, head chef at the hotel's Corner Room restaurant, before the show. As the theme is Masquerade Party you'll be expected to wear a mask and be a part of show. Since launching in 2008, Secret Theatre Project has succesfully staged shows world-wide including Edward Scissorhands in an abandoned factory in New York and the critically acclaimed Code 2024.

 
 
 

Royal Opera: La Boheme

A sensitive production of the love story between a penniless hero and a seamstress.

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

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station

 

Dates: 10th January - 13th February 2020

 

Richard Jones's sensitive production of Puccini's passionate opera about a Parisian courtesan replaces John Copley's previous 1974 production for the Royal Opera (which was in the repertory for 41 years). "Jones takes a work by the scruff of its neck and makes of it something startlingly new" said the Independent reviewer, following the premiere in 2017. Our penniless hero, Rodolfo, meets Mimi, a seamstress, and they fall in love. Highlights include their introductory arias and love duet in Act I, the chorus and soloists in the second act, set against a lavish backdrop of arcades, a restaurant and Christmas Eve crowds who "look as though they've just stepped off the sides of a tin of Quality Street" (The Guardian). Writing in The Spectator Michael Tanner admitted he, like Puccini when it wrote it, "cried at the end".

 
 
 

English National Opera: Carmen

An exploration of the complex relationships between the sexes.

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: 29th January - 27th February 2020

 

Calixto Bieito's "tough, dark, spare and intelligent" (The Guardian) production of Bizet's classic love story about Don Jose and his all-consuming passion for Carmen explores the complex relationships between the sexes at the tail-end of Franco's regime in the 1970s. Performed by English National Opera at the London Coliseum, mezzo Justina Gringyte plays Carmen - a role in which she captures the character's "reckless vulnerability superbly" (The Guardian) - and rising star Sean Panikkar makes his ENO debut as Don Jose. Last staged here in 2015, when it earned four star reviews, this hot-blooded production has been "enjoying enormous success in opera houses all over the world" (Independent) for close to 20 years.

 
 
 

Sadler's Wells Sampled

An annual taster of a wide variety of dance with tickets from just £5.

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

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 31st January - 01st February 2020

 

An annual taster and a chance to dip into dance. With tickets from just £5 Sadler's Wells Sampled covers a wide variety of dance, from classical ballet to hip hop, contemporary and tango. This year's line-up includes circus from Machine de Cirque, popping and tutting from Geometrie Variable, tango from world champions Ezequiel Lopez and Camila Alegre, two BBC Young Dancers, cutting-edge contemporary from Company Wayne McGregor and an excerpt from Botis Seva's Oliver Award-winning BLKDOG. It's not just about the performances; come early for the full experience, including front of house performances, live DJs and workshops so you can have a go too.

 
 
 

The Haystack

A world premiere from new writer Al Blyth.

Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, London, NW3 3EU

Tube: Swiss Cottage Station

 

Dates: 31st January - 12th March 2020

 

A production of debuts, The Haystack is a brand-new play from talented writer Al Blyth and the directional debut of Roxana Silbert's - Hampstead Theatre's new Artistic Director. Receiving its world premiere this winter, the explosive thriller sees Neil and Zef, two twenty-something computer whizzes, become embroiled in the murky world of GCHQ. With a window into top secret intelligence operations and access to something that even they weren't meant to see, it isn't long before the duo start to question their roles.

 
 
 
 

Mushrooms: The Art, Design And Future Of Fungi

A celebration of the progressive, poetic and psychedelic wonder of mushrooms.

Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 31st January - 26th April 2020

 

Take a trip into the weird and wonderful world of mushrooms this winter with Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi. A major new exhibition at Somerset House, the event celebrates the progressive, poetic and psychedelic wonder mushrooms evoke with the works of more than 40 leading artists, designers and musicians exploring its colourful cultural legacy. Artists such as Seana Gavin and Haroon Mirza illustrate the playful side of mushrooms while other highlights include watercolours from renowned author Beatrix Potter, John Cage's limited edition Mushroom Book of recipes, and a look at groundbreaking experiments that are set to utilise mushrooms in exciting new ways such as sustainable shoes and a decomposable mushroom burial suit.

 
 
 

The Visit

Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving star in this updated version of Durrenmatt's love story.

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

Tube: Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 31st January - 04th April 2020

 

Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving star as former lovers in Friedrich Durrenmatt's visionary revenge story, transported into mid-20th-century America by Tony Kushner, the American playwright who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Angels in America. Set in the town of Slurry in post-war New York, The Visit (or The Old Lady Comes to Call) introduces us to Claire Zachanassian, the world's richest woman who returns to her hometown. Beautiful but intimidating, her arrival - the locals hope - signals a change in their fortunes, but they soon realise that prosperity will only come at a terrible price.

 
 
 

Death Of England

Rafe Spall stars in this powerful new one-man show that tackles racism and identity.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 31st January - 07th March 2020

 

Black Mirror and Hedda Gabler actor Rafe Spall returns to the National Theatre this winter to star in Clint Dyer and Roy Williams's new play, Death of England. The powerful one man show focuses on Michael, who is feeling both powerless and angry following the death of his dad. With heartbreak and difficult truths about his father's legacy spurring him on, he voices an unplanned elegy that tackles difficult topics on the country that moulded him. Written specifically for Spall by Williams and Dyer, the production is sure to make for engaging but uncomfortable viewing as he addresses the audience directly and touches on racial tension, identity and class in Britain.

 
 
 

IN THIS ARTICLE

 

RELATED ARTICLES

 
 
 
SALE London Hotels

From cheap budget places to stay to luxury 5 star hotels see our special offers for hotels, including Crowne Plaza Kings Cross from 53% off.

 
 
 
Call now: hotel deals 0207 420 4960