We're big fans of March. It has the first bank holiday of the year, lots of great activities to get stuck into ready for spring, St Patrick's Day and there's also Mother's Day – which you can start planning in advance now you've remembered, for once.
Here's our guide to the best events, free stuff, art and music, which should keep you busy for the whole of March
RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar
Our March 2017 highlights
Like Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood,’ Barry Jenkins’ ‘Moonlight’ follows Chiron, a young, introverted African-American, from child to high school pupil to adult. Growing up in a black ghetto of Miami, with crack dealing and violence as his only prospects, Chiron is bullied by his classmates, then by his high school classmates. In short, Barry Jenkins’ beautifully shot film (only his second feature-length) is a fantastic example of contemporary American cinema's potential.
Singing, dancing, a parade and a pint or two - the Irish have always known how to party and celebrating St Patrick's Day in London is no exception. St Patrick’s Day in London is a chance for Irish London (and, of course, anyone and everyone who's Irish-at-heart) to hit the streets and show the city the true meaning of the word ‘craic’.
Will this be the last outing for Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, as the actor has seemed to suggest? If it is, he's certainly going out with a bang – lots of them, in fact, as Logan fights and snarls his way through this heavy-handed action epic. But beneath the beatings, some thoughtful, dark themes are explored, making for an atmospheric and very timely blockbuster.
Explore the area the late singer called home in this street art tour through Camden Town. Produced in collaboration with Global Street Art, the trail features Amy-themed street art by artists such as Captain Kris, Mr Cenz, Philth and Amara Por Dios. The walk leads to a newly commissioned installation at Jewish Museum London by renowned street artist Pegasus called 'Love is a Losing Game'.
There probably won't be any talking candlesticks in this version of the traditional fairy tale, but there will be Emma Watson, who's sure to fire up the role of Belle. It's an adaptation of Disney's classic animated film, but given a sparky makeover and a starry cast – Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, Dan Stevens and Ian McKellen all feature alongside Watson.
The Caravan was 'London's most bohemian rendez-vous' and now the National Trust and the National Archives have brought it back to Freud, the bar that now stands where the club was. As well as tours, there will be an exciting programme of themed talks, debates and performances capturing the spirit of queer club culture. Evening openings will allow a strictly limited number of ticket holders to enjoy club ‘membership’ for a night. Booking essential.
This show takes a look the Land of Opportunity through the prism of its artists and their printed works. There'll be many familiar pop faces here. Ed Ruscha's slick images both chronicle and celebrate everyday Americana; Andy Warhol peeks into the darker side of the nation's history with images of disgraced president Richard Nixon and bereaved First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Issues of racial divide – no less pressing than they ever were – are explored by African-American artist Kara Walker.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a truckload of Lego making its way to the South Bank. A purpose-built tent will pop-up by the London Eye this month for 'The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes', a collection of larger-than-life sculptures of iconic comic book characters contructed entirely in Lego. Artist Nathan Sawaya used almost 2,000,000 bricks to recreate the heroes and villains of your childhood. It's like seeing life in 8-bit.
Get ahead of the game and plan the perfect Mother's Day in London pronto. From the best restaurants in London, to mum-friendly exhibitions and lovely free London events to explore – steal our fail-safe ideas and itineraries for Sunday March 26 2017 and treat your mum to the mother of all Mother's Days.
Isabelle Huppert plays a tech company entrepreneur who takes revenge on the man who brutally raped her in her home in what becomes a provocative, psychological film from Paul Verhoeven. Yes, that's the guy who gave us 'Basic Instinct' and Showgirls', but this is an altogether more complex and challenging flim, feturing an outstanding performance from Huppert.
The Royal Court's tack to the left under Vicky Featherstone had borne some serious fruit in the shape of this collaboration with the towering genius Simon McBurney, fresh from blowing our minds with his theatre company Complicite's reality-shredding 'The Encounter'. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, 'The Kid Stays in the Pictures' charts the rise and fall of legedary Hollywood man Robert Evans.
When Martin Scorsese puts away his strutting cocks – his raging bulls, comedy kings and Wall Street wolves – the results can be astounding. 'Silence' is a furiously alive and concentrated parable about faith under fire set in seventeenth-century Japan that ranks among the greatest achievements of spiritually minded cinema.
Abba. Junk food. Watching Jeremy Kyle. Thwacking dawdlers on Oxford Street over the back of the head with a copy of Time Out. We've all got our guilty pleasures, and this hugely fun night celebrates the musical side of them. It's a high-quality but ultimately cheesy party of pop, disco, dance tracks, R&B and soft rock, where you can hear anything from Hanson to Haim to Soft Cell to Whitney to Beyoncé, accompanied by dancers, live acts cabaret performers, balloons and a lot of glitter Leave your hipster credentials at the door, dress up and get guilty!
Explore how architecture and family life in Japan changed after 1945 with this new exhibition at the Barbican. The legacy of WW2 and the changing face of Japanese society wrought huge changes in the way the nation lived, and the way Japanese design principles influenced the West over the last 70 years.
Free events this March
Showcasing a diverse collection of over 35 emerging artists, the return of the Vending Machine Art Gallery will see artistic interpretations around the theme of ‘Celebrating Multiculturalism’ exploring the global and ethnic influences that surround us every day.
Don't give your Mum the same old bunch of flowers this Mother's Day. Take your ma to Libreria's March bookclub for some intellectual chit chat about 'Scoop', Evelyn Waugh’s classic satire on journalism, and discuss whether the novel is as relevant in todays climate as it was when first written. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Join artist Emma McGarry as she invites people to explore the properties of materials, while taking a closer look at the human behaviours of decision-making and power relations in her hands-on art workshops. Running alongside Pilvi Takala’s solo exhibition at the Pump House Gallery, the workshops will offer a series of lively activities throughout the day.
Noise of Art and Red Gallery present the first exhibition of photographs, film and artwork documenting the story of French electronic music from the start of the 20th century to the present day. The exhibition presents the culture surrounding the music scene and features contributions from members of the public, as well as DJs, artists, photographers and key figures in the story of French electro including Laurent Garnier, Jack de Marseille, Jean Michel Jarre and more. The exhibition is accompanied by a launch party (Mar 17, £5) and various other events on 18, 23, 29, 30, 31 Mar at various venues. Find out more here.
Potter down to Albion Street for a taste of all things Nordic. The pedestrianised stretch between London’s Finnish and Norwegian churches will be lined with dozens of stalls selling Scandi snacks, crafts, homewares, jewellery and toys. Live bands will accompany the action during the afternoon and a life-size Moomin will be available for hugs. Head to the Finnish Church (have 50p ready to put in the donation pot) for more Moomin paraphernalia, plus Littala ceramics and Fazer chocolates. A barbecue will be grilling meaty goodies in the yard and their café will be serving up malty mämmi – a traditional Finnish Easter dessert – and cinnamon buns.
Get your hands on unique and original ceramics from over 60 innovative ceramicists, and DIY potters at the Independent Ceramics Market. Exhibitors include current students, up-and-coming graduates, and established ceramicists from various London ceramic studio's and workshops including, Turning Earth, Glebe Road Studios, Peckham The Kiln Rooms and Ceramics Studio Co-op. Once your bags are full of quirky finds have spot of lunch at the on-site cafe.
Science Museum Lates are teaming up with the Royal Society to explore the latest breakthroughs in science and how they could change the world. Travel to the furthest reaches of space in the VR experience ‘Space Descent VR with Tim Peake’ and discover the secrets waiting to be unlocked within our DNA. There’ll be talks from Adrian Owen on the ‘gray zones’ of consciousness and musicologists from JukeDeck will be explaining how AI is hitting the dance floor. All this, plus live music and a silent disco.
Immerse yourself in the history of London’s second river in this retrospective exhibition showing photo journalist Peter Marshall’s photographic homage to the River Lea. See scenes spanning four decades which chart the river’s transition from a bustling industrial zone into decline and a forgotten backwater through to the present day.
Art exhibitions this March
Ten Days, Six Nights - no, it's not some weird European erotic film, but a week and a half of live art in and around Tate Modern's tanks. There's loads going on throughout the week, with the daytimes all free and the evening performances ticketed at various prices. The full list of what's happening can be found by clicking here, but to help you decide what to see, here's our pick of the best events to catch. 1 A cloud of fog by Fujiko Nakaya Go fog yourself in Fujiko Nakaya’s swirling sculpture made of mist, which will be enveloping the Tate’s terrace for the duration of the show. Nakaya has been creating fog sculptures since the 1970s, obscuring everything from bridges to forests in her signature damp blankets of atmosphere. 2 A dinner party as art by Isabel Lewis Food, drink, dance, music and scent all get mashed up in Isabel Lewis’s ‘Occasions’, which are basically massive coordinated art shindigs – part performance, part installation. She’ll be hosting these occasions throughout the week, and visitors are actively encouraged to get involved in putting the art in party. 3 A world of drone by Phill Niblock This interdisciplinary art pioneer (he dips his big artistic toe into everything from dance to music to film) is doing a night of early film pieces. It’s all accompanied by dance and new music that does the usual brilliant Niblock thing of building up layer upon layer of heavy, heady and totally overwhelming drone sounds. 4 Some weird shit by Wu Tsang and Fred
Admit it, you’re addicted to your phone. You’re addicted to social media, to likes, to notifications, to retweets – it’s okay, we all are. And young Scottish artist Rachel Maclean’s green-screened video installation is here to smash us out of our click-reverie. In a glittering pink-carpeted room, Maclean has basically created a long, angry, nasty, bubblegum-pop attack on social media masquerading as a broadband advert A pretty, noseless, yellow-skinned character acts as a metaphorical embodiment of data (as in 4G data). Pizza-faced zombie hordes worship her, chanting her name on the streets, while rabbit-faced hackers attack her and chew through Ethernet cables. There are viruses and trolls, then beautiful Data bloats and goes bald, and the world they inhabit goes post-apocalyptic. The chants for data get all Gregorian, as if the masses are worshipping at a church of social media. It's all fallen apart. It’s a treat to find something so odd and so contemporary in Tate Britain. The museum needs to put more effort into showing younger art that explores how people are living right now. The ‘Art Now’ series, which this is part of, just scratches the surface. More of this. Please. Maclean has created a vicious, surreal, fairytale-like deconstruction of modern lives lived online. It’s like an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ but, you know, not painfully oversimplified, and actually good. Her aesthetic can become a little grating, but she’s made something relatable and strong here, with
If there are no original ideas left in art, it’s probably because Robert Rauschenberg had them all. Over the course of his 60-year career (he died in 2008 aged 82), he reinvented, reused, recycled and revolutionised himself so many times that walking around this retrospective feels like stumbling through a textbook on twentieth-century art history. There’s pop, abstract expressionism, conceptualism, performance art, installations: it’s all right here, and Rauschenberg played a part in all of it. The show is roughly chronological. It starts with a tyre print spanning almost a whole wall of paper (from a car that was being driven by John Cage), there’s a painting of pure black, another of white, there’s a work by Willem de Kooning that’s been completely erased. Young Rauschenberg was a cheeky bastard. Then he decided that painting needed re-engineering. He abandoned the conceptual abstraction and suddenly his canvases have buckets or fans attached to them, or they’re lying on the floor with a taxidermy goat plonked on top. In these ‘combines’, paintings become sculptures and collages: they move beyond the canvas. The reinvention never stops. Rauschenberg discovered screen-printing in the early ’60s. Now the works are covered in photos from the news: war, politics, sport. Right here in front of you is the birth of pop art. These images are iconic, they’re little slices of history. And he just kept going. By the ’70s he’d turned his attentions to performance. Then collabora
If you get a thrill from staring fear in the eye, then forget horror movies, rollercoasters and your bank balance, Alice Theobald’s show is about something far more terrifying: marriage and babies. The entrance to the main space in the gallery is blocked by an imposing wall of sandbags covered in chintzy pillowcases, a military fortification rendered docile and domestic. Astroturf leads you through the barricades to a bunch of spot-lit glass screens scrawled with conversations. One is about someone’s dad slipping and needing to be put in a home, another finds a bloke confiding in his mate that the mother of his baby won’t let him touch her nipples anymore, that he’s become second best. These are private, intimate moments – waypoints in everyone’s path through adulthood. A baby monitor on the wall picks up the sound of passers-by outside, adding their dreary fleeting chitchat to the melee. A Stannah Stairlift whips you downstairs, a stuttering helter skelter to adult hell, where you’re immersed in a 3D film of two guys pushing a baby through a park, talking about their fear of taking the ‘next step’. Many of the characters here are men. Is Theobald criticising the plague of millennial Peter Pan man-babies, or using their voices to tell a common story? I’m not sure, but Peter Pan man-babies are going to find this painfully uncomfortable. You might have countless friends who are settling down and feeling happy about it, or you might even be one of them. But there are coun
Details of Parreno's commission for Tate Modern's vast Turbine Hall space have been pretty damn vague. But we should definitely expect something grand, ambitious and dazzling. Quite possibly with bio-reactors, helium canisters and ventriloquism. Read our full guide to Tate Modern's Hyundai Commission: Philippe Parreno
You can say this for Helen Johnson: not many artists could fill their paintings with images of white British men farting lyrics from the Australian national anthem and get away with it. She is merciless with her target: the land-grabbing, money-driven British colonialists who landed in Australia and carved it up for their own gain. Her unstretched, ceiling-high canvases zig-zag through the ICA’s Lower Gallery, layer upon layer of caricatured images and barely legible text unpicking the wounded elements of Australia’s history. Johnson’s work is heavily conscious of the ‘civilised’ veneer of these colonialists: how they rewrote history for indigenous peoples, and made bloody-handed deals over tea. Like a nineteenth-century satirical cartoonist, she uses bawdy and scatological commentary to rip the rug out. Scenes in parliament are crowded with images of portly bums imposing their mark on the country. The idea of trespassing runs through each work. ‘Bad Debt’ is covered in exogenous animal species and noxious weeds brought to Australia from Britain. These are surrounded by muddied hands and feet that crowd and suffocate the painting. Look closely, and you’ll see a microscopic view of smallpox, a virus that devastated Aboriginal communities in Sydney. It’s a shame there is no information around to help contextualise the show, as it is crammed with hidden jokes and historical references that are so easily missed. ‘Warm Ties’ feels excessively cartoonish at times, particularly w
No one liked Victorian art in the 1960s, when Sir Frederic Leighton’s masterpiece ‘Flaming June’ couldn’t reach its ultra-low estimate at auction. No one cared about it except for Puerto Rican industrialist Luis Ferré, who spotted it in a Mayfair gallery and snapped it up for just £2,000. He then whisked it away to the brilliantly named Museo de Arte de Ponce in his home country. But when it was first painted in 1895 and shown along with five other works, Sir Fred was a big deal. And now, all but one of those original pieces have been brought back together. There’s ‘Twixt Hope and Fear’, with the best eyebrows in art history. Then there’s ‘Candida’ and ‘The Maid with the Golden Hair’, both quiet, gentle, English paintings of quiet, gentle, English girls. Then there’s ‘Lachrymae’, all forlorn and grumpy. But the obvious star of this exhibition is ‘Flaming June’. It’s such an oddly shaped work, its perspective folded towards you: it looks like it should extend forever but it’s all scrunched up in the foreground. She’s a crumpled pile of fabric and fiery hair, flesh peeking through or hiding in the folds of her dress. It’s a seriously sexual image, the vivid orange fabric making her into a metaphorical satsuma for Victorian viewers to peel with their eyes. Leighton turns you into a voyeur. If it wasn’t so beautiful, and so strikingly composed, it would make you feel dirty. But it’s a Victorian masterpiece – a classical, calm, thoughtful work of vulnerable beauty. It’s only