April in London means the city finally comes alive with warm weather, outdoor pursuits and a whole heap of energetic things to do. Whether you're up for taking on the mighty London Marathon, cycling the London to Paris bike ride - or just becoming the ultimate race spectator, we've picked out the best bits this April to keep you in cultural shape.
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Our April 2017 highlights
Winner of 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition, vocalist Deelee Dube is a fine modern day chanteuse who invokes inflections of her inspirations – Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Here she lines up with saxophonist Renato D’Aiello, pianist Gabriel Latchin, bassist Jay Dervish and drummer Alfonso Vitale.
London lad Rob Beckett has quickly become part of the comedy mainstream, popping up on Live at the Apollo and various panel shows with his unmistakable toothy grin. He's developed into a hugely accomplished stand-up and will play his biggest show yet in 2017, at Hammersmith Apollo. Expect the usual mix of cheeky stories and witty observations.
Improv gets a bad rap in this country, but anyone who dismisses the genre clearly hasn't seen Austentatious. This highly impressive troupe perform a completely improvised Jane Austen novel, complete with period dress and cello accompaniment, with marvellous results. The performers are all hugely talented, able to keep the gag rate high and the made-up story rolicking along. Tremendous fun.
Get ready to have shirts and skirts stripped back to focus on the skivvies that shape the body below at this exhibition charting how underwear supports and firms the figure, as well as the sexual and sensual appeal it holds. Around 200 garments and accessories will be on display, from long cotton drawers worn by Queen Victoria's mother to an Antonio Berardi dress sported by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Cheesy pop music and ice rinks have gone gloved-hand-in-gloved-hand since whenever you were in secondary school. The ice rink disco is a British coming-of-age rite of passage, and we're delighted that Club de Fromage are allowing us grown-ups to revisit it. The pop music will be present and correct – everything from Abba to Taylor Swift – and your terror of falling over will be reduced by the presence of a licensed bar.
The latest play from the bogglingly prolific and talented team behind 'The Play That Goes Wrong' (or more accurately the 'Play That Goes Wrong' franchise) is their best and funniest work yet. A genre pastiche, screwball comedy and classic farce that’s as clean and clear as its brassy branding, it spins with a manic energy from Two Ronnies-esque wordplay through surreal set-pieces to slapstick stunts prepped to bring the house down. The story of a bungled jewel heist in a sleepy Minneapolis bank branch, it features a host of hilarious but well-drawn characters who roar across the stage and tumble into disaster after disaster, each one more elegantly drawn than the last.
Find great things to do all year round
Kensington Wine Rooms
This popular establishment purrs on, secure in the affections of its Kensington crowd, who treat it like a members’ club, lingering over bottles and meals and filling the place with atmosphere and confident conversation. The front bar, fringed with glasses, attracts the more knowledgeable wine crowd, who browse through 40 wines by the glass and 100 more in bottles (also for off-sale). These include classics typically available only in bottles, along with some more challenging newer-style varieties; the bar staff take pleasure in guiding your choices. Food consists of nibbles and platters. In the comfortable dining room behind, a full and sophisticated Modern European menu is available. Wine matches are suggested for each of the 15 or so dishes, some (for starters, at least) costing more than the food they accompany – a clear and laudable statement of intent. They were worth it, notwithstanding that the waiter lowered his voice to explain that the red Anjou was ‘natural’ and possibly less than smooth. We wish his expertise had extended to the grape blend, since it was off-appellation and delicious. The menu matches local tastes with luxury ingredients such as oysters, foie gras, steaks and côte de boeuf, served with modern flourishes. More interesting were yellow chanterelles, poached duck egg and sourdough toast; springily fresh chargrilled cuttlefish; and an excellent Ibérico pork. Well bedded-in staff kept things fast and friendly.
"Fancy a private wine class? Contact Michael via the site."