London Summer Guide 2018
There’s nowhere quite like London in the summer. From world-class art fairs to open air theatre, the Wimbledon Championships to the BBC Proms, there’s an incredible amount to do, see and enjoy across the capital. With our guide to the best summer events in London, you won’t miss a minute of the action.
Shakespeare's Globe: Summer Theatre Season 2018
Shakespeare’s Globe turns 21 this year and it’s marking the occasion with a season of theatre that’s reflective and questioning, tackling important issues of refuge, race, and censorship through its performances and parallel festivals. Players will be treading the boards this year with productions of Hamlet and As You Like It—both written around the time the original Globe was built in the 16th century—as well as Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and more.
Shakespeare’s Globe, 1 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT
Così Fan Tutte
Part of the Opera Holland Park’s 2018 season, this new production of Mozart’s comic opera, Così Fan Tutte, is being directed by Oliver Platt, who previously directed the company’s performance of La Cenerentola. A tale of love and assumed identities, subterfuge and seduction, the opera centres around a fidelity test and the ensuing chaos it unleashes.
Opera Holland Park Theatre, Ilchester Place, London, W8 6LU
Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up
One of the 20th century’s most recognised artists, known for her vibrant self-portraits, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived an extraordinary, if painful, life. The new exhibition at the V&A explores her life and how she fashioned it through her personal possessions, from clothes and cosmetics to photographs; a collection which has never before been seen outside of Mexico.
V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
The Turn of the Screw
Henry James’ suspenseful, thrilling tale of a governess and her charges in an isolated English country home, The Turn of the Screw is a classic ghost story. Reworked by Benjamin Britten as a 20th-century English chamber opera, this production—performed outdoors for a week-long run in June—is a collaboration between the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and the award-winning English National Opera.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Inner Cir, London, NW1 4NU
Masterpiece London Art Fair
A highlight of the season for art collectors, this year’s Masterpiece London brings together 160 world-class international exhibitors with new and established collectors for the chance to discover and acquire exceptional works of art, design, jewellery and furniture. Held in the grounds of the historic Royal Hospital Chelsea, this year’s event comprises a full programme of events, including panel talks, tours and Champagne tastings.
South Grounds, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4LW
Michael Jackson: On the Wall
Coinciding with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday, this new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery explores the impact the artist had on contemporary art, as well as his continuing influence as a cultural figure. Thanks to loans from collections worldwide, this extensive exhibition will showcase pieces by Andy Warhol, Isa Genzken, and Kehinde Wiley, among numerous others.
National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE
An unmissable fixture of the London summer season—best enjoyed with a glass of Pimm’s and some fresh strawberries and cream—Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. This year, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Angelique Kerber, among others, will step up to the grass courts for the chance to win the titles (and the extraordinary prize money, which this year is in the tens of millions across the various events).
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Road, London, SW19 5AE
BBC Proms 2018
Back with an eight-week programme featuring more than 90 concerts, this year’s BBC Proms promises to be yet another glorious celebration of music. The Proms kick off in July with an all-British programme and take in everything from tributes to Leonard Bernstein and the first ever Young Musician Prom to concerts showcasing New York disco funk, UK folk music and the fusion sounds of traditional and contemporary Cuba and Jamaica during its run.
Various locations around London
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening
Open to visitors for 10 weeks over the summer, Buckingham Palace— the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen— is one of the capital’s most popular attractions. Visitors can explore the 19 State Rooms, take in some of the Royal Collection’s most eye-catching treasures, from Sèvres porcelain to paintings by Canaletto, and watch the famous Changing of the Guard.
Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London, SW1A 1AA
Paul Simon at BST Hyde Park
Paul Simon is headlining this year’s British Summer Time festival for a one-night-only performance in July. Travelling the globe on his farewell tour, Simon will bring out classics like “Graceland” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, as well as songs he wrote during his time as part of the famed duo, Simon & Garfunkel, including “The Sound of Silence” and “The Boxer”.
Hyde Park, London
The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy
Focussing on just one year of Pablo Picasso’s career, this new exhibition at the Tate Modern will feature more than 100 works, including paintings, drawings, and sculpture, as well as family photographs. Highlights of the landmark exhibition, which has been organised with the Musée National Picasso-Paris, include The Dream (Le Rêve) and three paintings of Picasso’s lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, brought together for the first time since 1932.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
The Future Starts Here at the V&A
More than 100 objects will be on display as part of The Future Starts Here, an exhibition encompassing and illustrating the power of design in shaping the future. Arranged around four central themes – home, public, planetary, and afterlife – the exhibition will challenge visitors to question how technological advances are effecting change.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture
An exceptional experience for lovers of impressionist master Claude Monet, the exhibition at the National Gallery considers his relationship with architecture, rather than the more typical explorations of the natural world, such as the famed water lilies or the landscapes around Argenteuil. The exhibition showcases works from across the span of Monet’s career, culminating with the sensational series on Rouen Cathedral.
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House
Part of the highly anticipated summer season at the Royal Opera House, this performance of Swan Lake is a new production of the classic ballet, with additional choreography from the Royal Ballet’s artist-in-residence, Liam Scarlett. Telling the tragic tale of Odette and her prince, Swan Lake will be performed on the main stage this spring, captivating London with its story of doomed love, betrayal, and a terrible curse.
Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre Season
The 2018 season of the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre gets off to a strong start this May with its Olivier Award-nominated production of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Imbued with a sense of the supernatural and enhanced by its spellbinding use of puppetry, the performance will run until June, when the programme will shift to The Turn of The Screw, a co-production with the English National Opera, and As You Like It, among other productions.
Regent’s Park, Inner Cir, London, NW1 4NU
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018
Some of the best nurseries in the world are lined up to attend the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show, one of the most iconic flower shows in the world. This year’s event will put small, urban gardens in the spotlight, as well as offering attendees the chance to enjoy 10 show gardens, the floral bonanza of the jam-packed Great Pavilion, and extended opening hours on Friday night for Chelsea Late, which will include live music and an artisanal food market.
London Gate, Royal Hospital Road, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, SW3 4SR