Seasonal guide to London

A vibrant hub of cutting-edge arts, culture and cuisine that consistently blazes an international trail, London pulses with a thrilling itinerary of prime entertainment. Discover the English capital’s wealth of theatre, ballet, opera and art alongside its sporting highlights with our round-up of the most unmissable activities.

UNTIL March 28, 2020

Endgame

Samuel Beckett’s dark comedy stars Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming in a double bill with the playwright’s rarely seen short play, Rough for Theatre II. Tucked away on a stark set, elderly blind tyrant Hamm is locked in a stalemate with his servant, Clov. Watch the bleakly funny fallout as the duo cling to their routine of witty savagery and co-dependence.

The Old Vic, The Cut, Lambeth, London SE1 8NB
+44 (0)20 7928 2651
oldvictheatre.com
Image © The Old Vic

Endgame
The Visit
Until April 4, 2020

The Visit

Post-war America sets the scene for Tony Kushner’s new take on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s blackly comic masterpiece, The Visit or The Old Lady Who Comes to Call. Back at the National Theatre after appearing in Mike Leigh’s Grief, Lesley Manville plays the famed and fateful billionaire, Claire Zachanassian.

National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
+44 (0)20 7452 3000
nationaltheatre.org.uk
Image © National Theatre/Philip Vile

UNTIL April 19, 2020

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World

The car is one of the most revolutionary inventions of the last two centuries, and the V&A is celebrating its evolution with Cars: Accelerating the Modern World. Vehicles on display include the first car ever produced, as well as an autonomous flying mobile. Many of the vehicles in this one-off show have never before been displayed in the UK.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL 
+44 (0)20 7942 2000 
vam.ac.uk
Image © Victoria and Albert Museum

Cars: Accelerating the Modern World
Steve McQueen
Until May 11, 2020

Steve McQueen

In recent years, Steve McQueen has been best known for his forays into cinema – Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave and Widows have all opened to critical acclaim. He is also a Turner Prize-winning artist specialising in moving image installation. This exhibition brings together immersive and film installations from across his career.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
tate.org.uk
Image © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery

UNTIL April 13, 2020

Picasso and Paper

When it comes to paper, Pablo Picasso tore up the rulebook. The artist drew on everything from tablecloths to newspapers. He fashioned sculptures and collages using torn, burnt and assorted strips of paper, while reinventing the medium of printmaking. This RA exhibition surveys Picasso’s paper works, showcasing 300 masterpieces from across his career

Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
+44 (0)20 7300 8000
royalacademy.org.uk
Image © RMN Grand Palais/Adrien Didierjean/Succession Picasso DACS 2019

Picasso and Paper
Madame Butterfly
Until April 17, 2020

Madame Butterfly

Anthony Minghella’s much-celebrated production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly returns to the Coliseum. This tale of unrequited love is skilfully told using cinematic images as well as evocative touches from traditional Japanese theatre.

London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4ES
+44 (0)20 7845 9300
eno.org

Image © Tom Bowles

UNTIL May 27, 2020

La Bohème

Puccini’s much-loved classic La Bohème delivers a heady dose of tragedy and drama to the Royal Opera House stage in Richard Jones’ vivid production. Telling of the thwarted love affair between romantic poet Rodolfo and the beautiful but ill-fated Mimì, the show breathes life and colour into the faded glamour of bohemian Paris in the 1930s.

Royal Opera House, Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD
+44 (0)20 7304 4000
roh.org.uk
Image © ROH Bill Cooper

La Bohème
Aubrey Beardsley
Until May 25

Aubrey Beardsley

Inspired by Japanese woodcuts, 19th-century artist Aubrey Beardsley’s distinctive black ink illustrations contributed to the development of the Art Nouveau and poster styles, despite his brief career. The landmark exhibition at Tate Britain – the largest exhibition of his drawings in 50 years – includes his famed illustrations for Le Morte d’Arthur, Lysistrata and Oscar Wilde’s Salomé.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
tate.org.uk
Image © Tate

Until June 14, 2020

Titian: Love, Desire, Death

The National Gallery re-unites a series of mythical paintings from Renaissance painter Titian. The show displays five of the six original paintings on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, commissioned by Spain’s King Philip II. Love, temptation and punishment are all touched upon in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
+44 (0)20 7747 2885
nationalgallery.org.uk

Titian: Love, Desire, Death
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
Until June 21

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

Taking visitors on a vivid sartorial journey from the 1660s to the present day, this striking exhibition at the V&A explores the kimono and its significance, both in Japan and worldwide. Beautiful antique silk examples are featured alongside paintings, photographs and life-sized models to bring the distinct costume to life.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
+44 (0)20 7942 2000
vam.ac.uk
Image © Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Until September 6

Andy Warhol

The first exhibition of ground-breaking pop artist Andy Warhol at the Tate Modern in decades, this major retrospective brings together the icon’s most famous images alongside his lesser-known works. Most anticipated are the 25 pieces from Ladies and Gentlemen, on display for the first time in 30 years. Enjoy them while you can.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
tate.org.uk
Image © Marilyn Diptych credit Andy Warhol: Tate

Andy Warhol
London Craft Week
April 27 – May 3

London Craft Week

Celebrating British and international creativity, London Craft Week brings together hundreds of contemporary and heritage brands, emerging makers, established designers and global galleries. This year, browsers and collectors can augment the spectacle with the organisation’s exciting curated programme of events.

Various locations across London
londoncraftweek.com
Image © Dan Weill Photography

April 27 – May 11

Tristan und Isolde

Christof Loy’s contemporary production of Tristan und Isolde, deemed by Richard Wagner to be his “most audacious and original”, pays tribute to the Celtic legend of eternal love. Spectacularly stylised staging and evocative casting and costumes provide an ingenious backdrop to this ecstatic ahead-of-its-time opera.

Royal Opera House, Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD
+44 (0)20 7304 4000
roh.org.uk
Image © ROH, Bill Cooper 2009

Tristan und Isolde
Photo London
May 14 – 17

Photo London

A celebration of photography and the dynamic community behind it, Photo London brings creatives, curators, dealers and auction houses together at Somerset House for a world-class, four-day event. Running alongside the evocative selection of new works in the exhibitions is an engaging programme of events, installations and award ceremonies.

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
+44 (0)20 7759 1169
photolondon.org
Image © Maya Ines Touam

May 16 – June 21

101 Dalmatians

The charming feelgood story of 101 Dalmatians returns home to its Regent’s Park setting in a new musical production staged al fresco beneath the trees. The opening show of the new season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Toby Olié’s ingenious puppetry brings to life Dodie Smith’s iconic tale of bravery, family and friendship.

Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NU
+44 (0)33 3400 3562
openairtheatre.com

101 Dalmatians
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
May 19 – 23

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Come May, London erupts in full bloom, with boutiques, clubs and restaurants across the capital decorating their façades with frothy sprays of roses and peonies to mark the opening of RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Head into the show to admire state-of-the-art garden designs, rainbows of beautiful blossoms and plenty of opportunity to meet the experts.

London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR
+44 (0)84 4338 7501
rhs.org.uk
Image © RHS and Luke MacGregor

May 23

The Emirates FA Cup Final

One of the most attended football events in the world, with an audience of cheering fans approaching 90,000, the FA Cup Final alights upon Wembley Stadium to cheer the winner of 2020’s coveted cup. Last year’s match saw Manchester City score their way relentlessly to the win – so who will be this year’s reigning champion?

Wembley Stadium, London HA9 0WS
+44 (0)84 4980 8001
thefa.com

The Emirates FA Cup Final
Sunday in the Park with George
June 11 – September 5

Sunday in the Park with George

Billed to be the show of the summer, Sunday in the Park with George summons the darlings of Hollywood and Broadway to the London stage. Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in Stephen Sondheim’s musical about the Impressionist painter and champion of Pointillism, Georges Seurat, as he completes his most famous work.

Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R 0ET
+44 (0)20 7206 1174
atgtickets.com
Image © Matthew Murphy