London events in February

Our guide to the best events, festivals, workshops, exhibitions and things to do throughout February 2019 in London
Paul Shears/ Flickr
By Time Out London Things To Do |
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February 2019 in London is going to be great. We've said goodbye to January and now London is beginning to brighten up. Use the - slightly - longer days to enjoy the month's brilliant batch of events and celebrations. Get loved-up or celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day in London or welcome in the Year of the Pig on Chinese New Year. There are heaps of brilliant events, fun pop-ups and exciting new exhibitions to wander around. Here are our February 2019 highlights. February in London is also the month of Kew Garden's Orchid Festival, London Fashion Week Festival, the London Classic Car Show and Craft Beer Rising.   

Hey, and while you’ve got your diary out, remember that it's never too early to start planning for March either.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar.

Our February 2019 highlights

Valentine's Day Dog Walk
The Dogvine
Things to do

Valentine’s Day in London

Whether you’re blissfully in love or a superbly happy singleton, Valentine’s Day in London (Thursday February 14 2019) has a lot to offer. Here’s your guide to the city’s most romantic restaurants, soppy spots, Valentine’s Day gift ideas, sexy hotels, best bars and dreamy events. 

Things to do, Classes and workshops

Galentine's Day Modern Calligraphy Workshop

icon-location-pin Megan’s on the Hill, Balham
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Give Hallmark the heave-do and brush up on some decorative handwriting with your best buddies. You can post your creations via snail mail afterwards too. Who said love was dead?

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Love Hounds

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Get together with fellow pup lovers and their pooches at a dog day afternoon of games and gifts to raise money for animal rescue charities.

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Things to do, Quirky events

Cycle Speed Dating

icon-location-pin Look Mum No Hands!, Old Street
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Take speed dating up a gear and go on mini-dates with other cycle-minded Londoners. Who knows? It could start a chain of wheely exciting experiences.

Things to do, Performances

Tainted Love with the Embers Collective

icon-location-pin Balabam, South Tottenham
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The Embers Collective are kicking Cupid to the kerb this February, swap soppy tales for stories and songs about tainted love.

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Things to do, Consumer shows and conventions

London Fashion Week Festival

icon-location-pin 180 The Strand, Temple
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Got a passion for extremely beautiful (and pricey) fashion? Go front row for a show and listen to talks from industry experts at this event for fashionistas. 

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Brick Wonders

icon-location-pin Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
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What can you do with 500,000 Lego bricks? Turn them into 50 iconic landmarks, obvs. Your inner child will be left amazed (or incredibly jealous).

Things to do, Markets and fairs

#BuyBlackLondon

icon-location-pin RAW Labs, London
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Support businesses owned by black Londoners at this pop-up, which is raising money for young people in Ghana. They'll be selling all sorts of goods from bath bombs to vegan food and skincare products.

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Theatre, Drama

‘Pinter Seven’

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Soho
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The last part of the epic season of all of Harold Pinter's short plays. Go see former Pinter protégé Danny Dyer as he shows us 'ow it's done. 

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition

icon-location-pin 26 Leake St, Waterloo
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Although it's been five years since his death, the legacy of South Africa's father lives on. Immerse yourself in Madiba's life and come away feeling inspired by his actions.

 

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Things to do, Classes and workshops

Myths and legends family festival

icon-location-pin Museum of London Docklands, Canary Wharf
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Hear magical myths and captivating storytelling at this family celebration of worldwide folklore. Stick around for the mask and puppet-making workshops.

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Home, I'm Darling, Katherine Parkinson
© Manuel Harlan
Theatre, Comedy

‘Home, I’m Darling’

icon-location-pin Duke of York’s Theatre, Covent Garden
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Laura Wade's domestic bliss satire finally makes it to the West End. Kather Parkinson makes a great wannabe ’50s housewife Judy. Prepare for a lot of jive dancing and swing skirts.

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Things to do, Food and drink events

Pie and pint Sundays at Rochelle ICA

icon-location-pin Rochelle Canteen at the ICA (Café), St James'
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A pie and a pint - can you name a more iconic duo? That's the new Sunday night special at the Rochelle Canteen at the ICA: a weekly changing pie plus a pint of lager or stout, for a tenner. 

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Music, Rock and indie

Ealing Music & Film Festival

icon-location-pin University of West London, Ealing
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Watch rock-opera classic ‘Quadrophenia’ or catch the London Mozart Players in concert at this genre-spanning festival.

Things to do, Classes and workshops

LGBTQ History Workshop

icon-location-pin London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell
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Learn about London's queer history from these centuries-old archives. This is part of a series of Saturday LGBTQ+ History Workshops.

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© Don McCullin
Art

Don McCullin

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
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Harrowing images of war and conflict by a true master of the form. McCullin knows how to hit you right in the feels. It might not be easy to see, but it's damn good. 

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Things to do, Markets and fairs

Soho Vegan Market

icon-location-pin Rupert Street Market, Soho
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Chomp on tasty plant-based treats from London's top vegan vendors. If you thought veganism was just boring old veggies then the Soho Vegan Market will prove you wrong. We've got our eyes on Jake's Vegan steaks.

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Things to do, Quirky events

Silent disco at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium

icon-location-pin SEA LIFE London Aquarium, South Bank
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Haven't you heard? Darling, it's better down where it's wetter take it from SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Rave and dance with the fishes at this silent disco.

Tracey Emin 'It was all too Much' (2018) © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photo © White Cube (Theo Christelis)
Art

Tracey Emin: A Fortnight of Tears

icon-location-pin White Cube Bermondsey, The Borough
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Giant selfies and overwrought paintings by probably our most famous living artist. Whatever you think of Emin, you can't deny that she knows how to express emotion brilliantly. 

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Things to do

Chinese New Year in London

The Year of the Pig is coming in 2019 and, as usual, Chinese New Year in London (Tuesday Feburary 5 2019) will be one of the most exciting events in February, full of colour, noise and a whole lot of dragons. 

Things to do, Food and drink events

The Dumped Dumpling Experience

icon-location-pin Leicester Square, Leicester Square
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Down in the dumps? You certainly will be when you embark on the dumped dumpling experience. Breaks up suck, but a plate of steaming, hot dumplings are forever.

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Things to do, Food and drink events

Spanish Calcotada Festival

icon-location-pin Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch, Shoreditch
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Drop chargrilled veg and red wine into your gob from a slightly risky height for this traditional Catalonian food fest. Is this going to be messy? Yes. Will it be fun? Most definitely. 

Cnut Gospels Royal MS © British Library Board
Museums

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

icon-location-pin British Library, Euston
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An incredible treasure trove of objects and manuscripts that show just how continental our country's roots really are. A delightfully academic riposte to Brexit. 

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'Market Place, Goa'. (March 2018) Photograph by Grace Wales Bonner
Art

Grace Wales Bonner

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Check out this multi-sensory installation by fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner broadly based around a series of 'shrines' created by Kapwani Kiwanga, Eric N. Mack, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Wales Bonner herself. 

Theatre, Musicals

‘Leave to Remain’

icon-location-pin Lyric Hammersmith, Hammersmith
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Check out this new musical with songs by Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke. It's an intense gay love story with a catchy soundtrack.

 

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Theatre, Drama

‘My Name is Lucy Barton’

icon-location-pin Bridge Theatre, Bermondsey
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See Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ shaped into a twisty, turny stage monologue. It achieves a cryptic, feverish intensity propelled by a genuinely phenomenal performance from movie star Laura Linney. 

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Art

Nicolas Deshayes: ‘Swans’

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Feast your peepers on glistening ceramics inspired by toilets. These are oddly sexy and delightfully tactile sculptures. Get ready to make a splash.

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Cecil Beaton 'Princess Margaret' (1949) © Cecil Beaton, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Museums

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

icon-location-pin V&A, Brompton
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A really beautiful journey through the work of one of the best fashion houses ever. It's like walking through a dream come true.

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Things to do, Consumer shows and conventions

London Classic Car Show

icon-location-pin ExCeL London, Custom House
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See this impressive showcase of metal and motors. Feast your eyes on over 700 classic cars in a retro environment with music, talks and even a bit of celebrity spotting. 

Hot gin roof, Sipsmiths
© Simon Brown
Things to do, Food and drink events

Hot Gin Roof

icon-location-pin Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
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Wave goodbye to Dry January at Hot Gin Roof where you can knock back a variety of delicious Sipsmith Gin cocktails.

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Theatre, Musicals

‘Songs for Nobodies’

icon-location-pin Ambassadors Theatre, Covent Garden
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Head to this poignant musical stuffed full of songbook standards. You'll get to see a truly stunning performance by Bernadette Robinson. 

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Theatre, Circuses

Cirque du Soleil: ‘Totem’

icon-location-pin Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge
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Check out Cirque du Soleil's annual stint at the Royal Albert Hall. It's got some jaw-dropping set pieces and the acrobats will gobsmacked at some of the tricks they do.

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Ann Sullivan
Things to do, Talks and lectures

Designing Time Out

icon-location-pin Museum of Brands, Ladbroke Grove
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Ever wanted to know what it takes to design a Time Out cover? Join Tom Hislop, Time Out's Global Creative Director, who'll tell you what it's really like to create the magazine's visuals today. 

Things to do, Festivals

Craft Beer Rising

icon-location-pin Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
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February can be miserable, but this should make you hoppy: a three-day festival showcasing bevvies from 175 of the world’s best breweries. 

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Secret London Runs
Things to do, Sport events

The Magic of the London Marathon

icon-location-pin Pavilion Café, Greenwich
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Over the course of an 11 mile (not 26, thankfully) guided running tour, you’ll learn about the first ever London Marathon in 1981; Marathon heroes; Marathon villains; World records for stupid costumes; Celebrities who crumble and more. 

McGuire, Kevin
Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Birds, birds, birds’

icon-location-pin The View, Chingford
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Hosted in The View in Epping Forest, this interactive exhibition combines bird-inspired artwork by local artists with eggs and taxidermy from the museum's collection.

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Tower Bridge day 1 high res.JPG
© Clive N Totman 2008
Things to do, Walks and tours

Behind the Scenes Tours at Tower Bridge

icon-location-pin Tower Bridge, Bermondsey
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Find out what happens behind closed doors on this Tower Bridge tour. You'll get access to parts of the bridge that aren't ordinarily open to the public.

No Man’s Sky, 2016
© Hello Games
Things to do, Exhibitions

Videogames

icon-location-pin V&A, Brompton
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Videogames will encompass both the design and culture of its namesake since the mid-2000s, looking at exceptional artwork and animation, player communities and political conversations that define this era of gaming.

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Yushi Li 'My Tinder Boys – Tom, 20, 5km away' (2017) © the artist. Image courtesy of the South London Gallery
Art

‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’

icon-location-pin South London Gallery, Camberwell
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The annual showcase of talented young artists is back from George Stamenov to Heidi Maribut and Yushi Li, this one's not to be missed.

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Things to do, Exhibitions

WaterAid presents ‘The Water Effect’

icon-location-pin Rich Mix, Shoreditch
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Today, one in nine people around the world still don’t have water close to home. WaterAid is raising awareness of this crisis with this display of portraits focusing on people whose lives are directly impacted by the global water crisis. 

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Things to do, Festivals

Deptford Heritage Festival

icon-location-pin Zion Baptist Chapel, New Cross
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Deptford is hosting its third annual community festival, with this year's events focusing on the life of civil rights activist Kath Duncan. 

The India Club
Photograph: courtesy of The India Club
Things to do, Exhibitions

A Home Away from Home: The India Club

icon-location-pin India Club, Temple
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The India Club is one of the city’s most fascinating post-colonial relics: a bar, lounge and Indian restaurant (one of the UK’s oldest) that’s hardly changed in 65 years. Catch this immersive oral history consisting of interviews with club regulars over the decades plus archive photos and documents. 

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Theatre, West End

The Book of Mormon

icon-location-pin Prince of Wales Theatre, Piccadilly Circus
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Brace yourself for a shock and expect riotous musical silliness from the ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Catch it before shuts up shop in March.

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© Peanuts
Art

‘Good Grief, Charlie Brown!’

icon-location-pin Somerset House, Temple
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Over his tens of thousands of strips, Charles M Schulz combined simple line drawings and emotional non-sequiturs into little bundles of heart-wrenching modern truth. This show, looking at the history of ‘Peanuts’ and the art it inspired is brilliant. 

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Time Out 50: 50 Years, 50 Covers exhibition
Ben Rowe
Things to do, Exhibitions

Time Out 50: 50 Years, 50 Covers

icon-location-pin Museum of Brands, Ladbroke Grove
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Time Out is 50 this year. Since our pocket-sized first issue in 1968, we’ve published almost 2,500 magazines in London and other great cities around the world. Now, you can see our best ever magazine covers at this show.

Theatre, Experimental

‘I'm a Phoenix, Bitch’

icon-location-pin Battersea Arts Centre, Battersea
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Imagine a metaphysical glitter cannon of trauma being fired straight at your chest and you’re halfway to understanding the vast, agonising intensity of Bryony Kimmings’s new solo show. 

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Miroslaw Balka 'Random Access Memory' (installation image) © Miroslaw Balka. Image courtesy of White Cube (Theo Christelis)
Art

Miroslaw Balka: ‘Random Access Memory’

icon-location-pin White Cube Mason's Yard, St James'
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Check out two giant radiators by a brilliant Polish artist. This show is aggressive, oppressive and a lot better than it sounds.

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Miroslaw Balka 'Die Traumdeutung/ 25, 31m AMSL at White Cube (2014). © the artist. Photo © Jack Hems. Image courtesy of White Cube
Art

Miroslaw Balka: Random Access Memory

icon-location-pin White Cube Mason's Yard, St James'
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The artist's White Cube solo show features a huge installation made up of two metal walls heated to 45 degrees - also known as the maximum temperature the human body can tolerate. It will also warm you up just as the mercury starts to plummet in late January.

Things to do, Exhibitions

Orchid Festival

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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Kew Gardens' celebration of the orchid returns for its 24th year, this time with a focus on the plant life of Colombia. See the botanical garden's tropical greenhouse filled with a colourful animal display including a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth and swimming turtles all made up of hundreds of stunning orchids. 

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Theatre, Interactive

‘Counting Sheep’

icon-location-pin The Vaults, Waterloo
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This immersive protest/party puts audience members right in the middle of the 2014 Kiev Uprising. It's full of folk singing, documentary footage, and chances to get involved. 

Ernest Nister 'Mrs Tabitha's Cats Academy' (1892). Image courtesy of the British Library
Museums

‘Cats on the Page’

icon-location-pin British Library, Euston
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A delightful mini history of felines in literature. It's like catnip for anyone with a penchant for kitties and it's going to be purrr-fect (sorry).

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Things to do, Festivals

Festival of New Masculinity

icon-location-pin Multiple venues
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This brand new festival will be debating the pressures of modern masculine identity with a focus on male mental health. There's a packed programme of events including brunches, workshops led by the trans community, panel talks on music and mental health, live podcasts and secret gigs. 

Theatre, Musicals

‘Company’

icon-location-pin Gielgud Theatre, Soho
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Check out Marianne Elliott’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical comedy where the lead role of terminally single 35-year-old New Yorker Bobby (a man) has been gender-switched to Bobbie (a woman), played by Rosalie Craig.

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Hyon Gyon 'Flame' (2010). Private Collection
Art

Hyon Gyon

icon-location-pin Parasol Unit, Hoxton
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Korean shamanism and intense emotions of rage, sorrow and anguish inspire the artworks of Hyon Gyon. This is the first time a European gallery has staged a solo exhibition of her art. 

Bill Viola, 'Fire Woman' (2005) Video/sound installation. Performer: Robin Bonaccorsi. Image courtesy of Bill Viola Studio; Photo: Kira Perov
Art

Bill Viola / Michelangelo

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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What do a contemporary video artist and a Rennaissance master have in common? Find out at the opening exhibition of 2019 at the Royal Academy. 

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The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Things to do, Exhibitions

Superbugs: The fight for Our Lives

icon-location-pin Science Museum, Brompton
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Check out twelve real bacteria colonies, an interactive exhibit examining the microscopic world of bacteria and personal stories of those waging war on superbugs at this exhibition. 

© Barrie Wentzell
Things to do, Talks and lectures

Hendrix Talks

icon-location-pin Handel & Hendrix in London, Mayfair
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Hey there voodoo chile. If you can't get enough Jimi, head to the Handel & Hendrix Museum for this series of talks focusing on how Jimi Hendrix used the guitar and changed the way we think about music. 

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Katie Wilson 'Bedrooms of London - Amelie' (2017) © Katie Wilson
Museums

Bedrooms of London

icon-location-pin Foundling Museum, Bloomsbury
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This sobering exhibition of new documentary photography by Katie Wilson captures the homes of some of London’s 700,000 kids who live below the poverty line.

Caroline, or Change West End
© Helen Maybanks
Theatre, Musicals

‘Caroline, or Change’

icon-location-pin Playhouse Theatre, Charing Cross
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Catch this moving, magical story of injustice in 1963 Louisiana. ‘Caroline, or Change’ is a magical, playful musical that's deeply moving, set to an incredible score combining blues, opera, Motown and church music. 

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The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton (Published 1621). Image courtesy of Bethlem Museum.jpg
Art

‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’

icon-location-pin Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind, West Wickham
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This show is a touching look at 200 years of art inspired by sadness. It’s not just nice painting, it makes an important point about mental health to boot.

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Theatre, Drama

‘Welcome to the UK’

icon-location-pin The Bunker, Southwark
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A riotous satire on the UK's immigration policy. It's massively (and unexpectedly) funny.

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Diane Arbus 'Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961'. Promised Gift of Doon Arbus and Amy Arbus, 2007 Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/ Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Art

Diane Arbus: ‘In the Beginning’

icon-location-pin Hayward Gallery, South Bank
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Diane Arbus's photographs remain some of the most striking, tender and unnerving portraits ever taken. This new show at the Hayward Gallery focuses on the earlier years of the iconic photographer's career (1956 - 62), presenting almost 100 images, many of which have never been displayed in Europe before. 

© Pierre Bonnard, 'Coffee' (1915), Tate.
Art

Pierre Bonnard: ‘The Colour of Memory’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
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It's been 20 years since UK art fans last got a chance to enjoy a major exhibition of Pierre Bonnard's delectably, delicately coloured artworks. This blockbuster exhibition focuses on the French artist's preferred practice of working from

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Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris/ Roger-Viollet
Art

Pierre Bonnard: ‘The Colour of Memory’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
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See this survey of gorgeous, lush, modern figurative painting. It’s not all about light and joy, there’s also melancholy here to make your heart ache.

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All About Eve, Gillian Anderson, Lily James
© Perou
Theatre, Drama

‘All About Eve’

icon-location-pin Noël Coward Theatre, Covent Garden
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Gillian Anderson is playing the ultimate Broadway icon in ‘All About Eve’. Fasten your seatbelts because this one's going to be a belter.

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Holly Brooks
Things to do, Food and drink