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Last-chance London: the plays, shows and exhibitions closing in January

Written by
Claire Tayler

With 2016 here already, now's your last chance to grab tickets to some of London's best shows and spaces. We've rounded up our favourites the city has to offer.


Food and drink




Street food stars Fleisch Mob have taken over Deptford's double-decker venue, 'Big Red' loaded with with seasonal dishes, local beers and DJs if you choose your night right.

Running until Friday 8th January



Popdown at the Vaults

High-end dining in the dark vaults of Waterloo right by Leake Street's graffiti tunnel. An unusual scene for chefs from the lauded likes of The Fat Duck, Le Gavroche and Maze will be piling up four courses of plates and some interactive surprises.

Running until Saturday 16th January



Wintery Experience with Bompas & Parr

In true creative and ostentatious style, inventive experience connoisseurs Bompas & Parr have teamed up with scientists - real scientists! - to create a wintery wonderland where every last light, sound and experience is geared up to 'provoke a romantic response'. Those crafty scientists. It all takes place on The Shard, no less.

Until Sunday 31st January



With roots in Yalla Yalla and Black & Blue, levantine restaurant Ceru serves dishes from Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel, and is a rarity in pop-ups, based at Cannon Street. You've only got the start of January to get your fill of bold spices, roasted aubergines and lamb meatballs.

Running until Monday 4th January




Winter fun


Winter Wonderland

Get the last of your festive cheer in at Winter Wonderland. Who cares if Christmas has gone? You've still got a couple of days to revel with your inner child at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. Visit the huge ice rink surrounded by 100,000 lights, choose between two circuses (because one's just not enough), whizz up the observation wheel and Magical Ice Kingdom before heading to themed bars to perch in front of a real fire (except for the Ice Bar, as you might expect). It should be good news too, as all the kids should be bored by Christmas and ready to celebrate Easter.

Running until Sunday 3rd January



Get your skate on. You've got a couple more days to dash on to the ice at a number of places around the city. Head to a modern monument at the ice rink in front of the London Eye, get traditional at the Natural History Museum's rink and Tower of London, and could anywhere feel more incredibly Londony than a skate by Somerset House? Or you could head out of Zone 1 to Hampton Court's rink in beautiful surroundings.

Running until Sunday 3rd January. Don't worry though, some of London's ice rinks will stay open for February, too.






Ann Veronica Janssens

States of Mind: Ann Veronica Janseens

The multicoloured smoke machine of the Wellcome Collection's States of Mind: Ann Veronica Janssens is officially titled 'yellowbluepink' but also known as the 'that colourful smoke machine room where all your friends are taking selfies'. The strange and enchanting exhibition comes to an end this January. As do the overwhelming queues (we say optimistically).

Running until 3rd January


Tintin at Somerset House

From a comic strip in 1929, to 24 books worth of be-quiffed adventures around the world, Tintin now comes for a small holiday at Somerset House. The exhibition uses artefacts from the Hergé Museum in his homeland of Belgium to explore both character and creator.

Running until Sunday 31st January


Celts: Art and Identity

Rough, hairy and shouty, the Celts are a category of seventeenth century folk whose culture and language spread around Europe. The world of all 'Celtic' culture is a rich, complex, but decidedly unclassical worldview and style of art. The British Museum's exhibition not only grapples defining the Celts, but also has a story to tell: one about what we understand by cultures and peoples, and how they can be appropriated for different ends.

Running until Sunday 30th January


The World Goes Pop

The World Goes Pop is seen as the first large-scale delve into a world greater than Andy Warhol. It's about the art that escaped the history books and shows how pop wasn't confined The Factory or New York streets. From Latin American to Asia, 200 pieces of work come from Peru, Israel, Argentina, Japan, Brazil and Eastern Europe - and women get a look-in too, notably omitted from the canon of pop art. With art flying off the walls in some cases, it's bright, noisy and really fun.

Running until Sunday 24th January


ICA's Bloomberg's New Contemporaries

Bloomberg's New Contemporaries show is an annual barometer on the fine art work produced in the country. In typical ICA style its a show that aims to be brave in its curation, always striving to drive the arts scene forward in to new territory. 

Running until Sunday 24th January 



Foundling Museum's Fallen Women

The Fallen Women is a show that explores the Victorian Women who campaigned for the Foundling Museum to take their illegitimate babies into care. Paintings, drawings and newspaper illustrations give a window in to their stories, in the beautiful museum building that's a step into the past.

Running until Sunday 3rd January 


Goya: The Portraits

Goya could paint like a dream and this, the first portrait exhibition of the Spanish painting don, is well worth a visit. Hit and miss, with hits dramatic and playful and misses showing senior aristocrats with unusual proportions, there's a depth to his paintings so grab a free booklet to help dig into his work. We gave it five stars.

Running until Sunday 10th January


Jean-Etienne Liotard

Jean-Etienne Liotard was one of the 18th century's accomplished portraitists of his day - an idiosyncratic chap armed with a box of pastels and a knack for self-publicity, his 'unflinching powers of observation' show 18th century society through an international cast of bankers, doctors, thinkers and actors recorded with intimate ease.

Running until Sunday 31st January



The world of M.C. Escher is not only amazing but also weird. The Dutch artist owns the niche of impossible perspectives, gravity defying waterfalls and buildings morphing into bodies. Etcher was an architect-turned print maker, and started creating his mind-melting images in the 1920s but they really took off in the '60s when people's interest in far out prints really took off. Groovy.

Running until Sunday 17th January



Plays and theatre

Bull at the Young Vic


Bull at the Young Vic

Bull is a dog-eat-dog play that takes the psychological drama of The Apprentice and feeds it steroids. It was recast for a return to The Young Vic in 2015. Settle down by the on-stage boxing ring for a tight play about dysfunctional, manipulative characters in this relevant play.

Running until Saturday 16th January



Jane Eyre

One-hundred-and-seventy years after the words were penned, Sally Cookson's adaptation brings the stage to life with playfulness, with a set dressed in a part-Ikea-part-playground design, which the cast circle with passion, vibrancy and humour to Benji Bower's beautiful soundscape. Everything is covered in this National Theatre performance, not least the extensive script, bringing the performance to three hours and twenty minutes.

Running until Sunday 10th January




The juggernaut that is Cats is rebooted with rappers and pop stars and the same aerobic choreography, gorgeous junkyard set and still impressive costumes at the much-loved London Palladium. It's undeniably weird and nostalgic - all the more after 21 years on the stage.

Running until Saturday January 2nd



Everything else

Free People pop-up

The semi-permanent home of Urban Outfitter's boho sister label closes this month. The haute-hippy store is selling the last boho pieces up until the end of the month.

Running until Sunday 31st January


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