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London events in April

Plan an amazing April 2019 with our selection of the best events, exhibitions and things to do in London
By Time Out London Things To Do |
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You can guarantee that April in London has some pretty amazing things in store. Spring has officially landed in London and Easter is just around the corner. With warm, sunny weather on the way, hit up the city's rooftop bars, which are just starting to open, take a walk around London's fabulous parks, and start picking out your spot to wave on the brave souls taking part in the London Marathon. April in London is also the month of Cocktails in the City, the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race (or, the Goat Race - if you're more into goats that boats) and the London Games Festival. There’s a whole load of other London happenings, openings and pop-ups to get involved in. Here are our April 2019 highlights to get you started.

While you're here, there's no better time to start planning your diary for May too. 

RECOMMENDED: Our definitive London events calendar

Our April 2019 highlights

Things to do, Food and drink events

The BBQ Club: Patch & Picnic

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
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South Bank pop-up The BBQ Club returns next month, and this year you can reserve a private picnic spot right by the Thames - plus a gourmet hamper for four. 

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David Levenson (rspb-images.com)
Things to do

The Wildlife Walk

icon-location-pin RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve, London
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Turn off your phone and take a stroll around the Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve. It's guided by RSPB experts, who'll be able to help you tell your mallards from moorhens. 

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Reduce Speed Now!

icon-location-pin Somerset House, Temple
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This open-air installation brings together the world’s leading ecological voices, including 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and author Zadie Smith, and turns their thoughts into enormous, solar-powered LED signs.

Kate Friend
Things to do, Late openings

'Fuel' by Kate Friend

icon-location-pin Ace Hotel London, Shoreditch
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State of the planet got you down? Check out photographer Kate Friend's images of the 100ft waves which batter Nazaré in Portugal, before listening to a panel discussion on the optimistic future of renewable energy.

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Things to do

The Monster

icon-location-pin Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill
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At 300 metres long and with 40 hazards, this giant inflatable obstacle course really is one huge beast. See if you can beat the wobble (and tackle the 18 metre-long mega slide), before thrashing around in a unicorn ball pit. 

Things to do, Quirky events

Silent Disco at The View from The Shard

icon-location-pin The View from the Shard, London Bridge
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The silent disco phenomenon reaches new heights at these exclusive Time Out events. Pick your channel and choose your side as three DJs battle it out over separate wireless channels, playing the best in pop, rock and party classics, while you dance the night away at 1,000ft. The View from The Shard is the visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe's tallest building, The Shard. With unparalleled, panoramic views, it offers visitors a unique perspective on the capital.

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Things to do, Food and drink events

Maître Choux Easter Éclair Hunt

icon-location-pin King's Rd and Kensington High St, London
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If you fancy something a little more bougie than a chocolate egg. Maître Choux will be hiding mini éclairs all around the King's Road over the Easter weekend. 

Job ref: EV250415
Tom Simpson
Things to do, Festivals

Feast of St George

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden
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St George's Day started out in the thirteenth century as a national day of feasting, so this event is fitting. Look out for demons from leading London chefs as well as an English farmer's market and a banqueting area. 

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Hito Steyerl Installation view. Design by Ayham Ghraowi, Developed by Ivaylo Getov Courtesy of the Artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery (New York) and Esther Schipper Gallery (Berlin) Photograph: © 2019 readsreads.info
Art

Hito Steyerl: ‘Power Plants’

icon-location-pin Serpentine Gallery, Knightsbridge
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Social inequality made visible and lushly beautiful. Steyrel mixes nature and data to shocking effect. Steyerl is swinging her art like a club, and you can feel every blow.

Time Out says
Theatre, Circuses

‘A Simple Space’

icon-location-pin Underbelly Festival, South Bank
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This stripped-back Aussie circus show returns to headline Underbelly Festival. It's great fun, heavy on skill, light on bells and whistles. 

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Things to do, Classes and workshops

London Paint Party

icon-location-pin The Old Street Gallery, Shoreditch
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The London Paint Party team are once again offering an evening of drinks, dance music and canvas creativity. Unleash your inner Pollock and dab away while sipping prosecco and listening to DJs. 

Joan Snyder 'Proserpina' (2013) Image courtesy of the artist and BlainSouthern. Photo: Fionn Reilly
Art

Joan Snyder: ‘Rosebuds & Rivers’

icon-location-pin Blainsouthern, Mayfair
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Gorgeous abstract paintings that are thick and gloopy. These are textured stunning works of contemporary art.

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Theatre, Drama

‘Toast’

icon-location-pin The Other Palace, St James's Park
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Watch the adaptation of food writer Nigel Slater's memoir, Toast. Set in 1960s West Midlands and it'll also set your tastebuds well-seasoned.

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Edvard Munch 'On the Waves of Love'. Image courtesy of Munchmuseet
Art

Edvard Munch: ‘Love and Angst’

icon-location-pin British Museum, Bloomsbury
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Prints from art's greatest miserablist. The eyes of his works follow you around the room, and they'll haunt you when you leave. 

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Ali Wright, Going Through, The Bush Theatre
Ali Wright
Theatre, Drama

‘Going Through’

icon-location-pin Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush
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A moving narrative of child migration. Go see the richness of communicating using sign language and the losses, as well as the gains, of integration into a new kind of life. 

Time Out says
Things to do, Food and drink events

The Chocolate Cocktail Club

icon-location-pin 202 Brick Lane, Brick Lane
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Kove chocolate and cocktails? Then prepare for a serious sugar rush at this pop-up which combines the two. Your ticket includes a chocolate martini, which you can chuck back while you check out the menu of chocolatey twists on classic cocktails. 

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Copyright joan cornella, courtesy Public Gallery
Art

Joan Cornellà: ‘I’m Good Thanks’

icon-location-pin PUBLIC Gallery, Shacklewell
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Surreal, grotesque cartoons with a horrible sense of humour. Cornellaá is nasty, critical, cynical, misanthropic: it's great. What lacks in tact, it more than makes up for it in hilarity. 

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The Crucible, Yard Theatre
© Helen Murray
Theatre, Drama

‘The Crucible’

icon-location-pin The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick
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A trippy, haunting take on Miller's classic. It's atmospheric as hell and it's a dazzlingly weird look at a collapsing community. 

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Copyright Ed Fornieles, courtesy Carlos Ishikawa
Art, Contemporary art

Ed Fornieles: ‘Cel’

icon-location-pin Carlos/Ishikawa, Stepney
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Live action role play for confronting the patriarchy. It's a halfway between a deeply unethical psychological experiment and a particularly nasty episode of ‘Big Brother’. It's aggressive, uncomfortable, and really, really good. 

Time Out says
Theatre, Drama

‘Top Girls’

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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Caryl Churchill's iconic feminist masterpiece. Lyndsey Turner's massive production is a once-in-a-lifetime staging.

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Emma Kunz 'Work No. 013' © Emma Kunz Zentrum
Art

Emma Kunz: ‘Visionary Drawings’

icon-location-pin Serpentine Gallery, Knightsbridge
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Stunning geometric drawings from a healer and naturopath. The Serpentine has become a great place to sit and look at something beautiful. This is art to soothe your soul. 

Time Out says
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Flea at Vinegar Yard

icon-location-pin Vinegar Yard, London Bridge
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Formerly Flea at Flat Iron Square, this vintage and makers' market has moved to Vinegar Yard, bringing heaps of old books, clothing, specs, and cameras with it. 

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Job ref: EV250415
Tom Simpson
Things to do, Festivals

Feast of St George

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden
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St George's Day started out in the thirteenth century as a national day of feasting, so look out for the live demos from leading London chefs as well as an English farmer's market and banqueting area at this party in Trafalgar Square. 

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Things to do

Easter in London

There's a lot to like about Easter in London – two whole days off, gratuitous chocolate consumption and if we're lucky, some springtime sunshine. Spend the year's first bank holiday hitting up spring fairs, wild nights out and giant Easter Egg hunts. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Horniman Easter Fair

icon-location-pin Horniman Museum, Forest Hill
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Get stuck into the Easter trail, settle in for family-friendly theatre, join a creative workshop or just sit back and relax while someone paints bunny whiskers on your face at this fun fair. 

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Dona Croll – John of Gaunt
© Ingrid Pollard
Theatre, Shakespeare

‘Richard II’

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Adjoa Andoh stars in this adaptation of the Bard's ‘Richard II’. In the hands of a top-notch cast of women of colour, the commonwealth-obsessed noblemen at the centre of this Shakespearean tale appear increasingly pathetic.

Time Out says
Art

Sixty Years

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
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Tate Britain's biggest show of the year will feature works produced only by women and will look back on the history of British art in the last 60 years. Celebrate the country's most important artists like Susan Hiller and Bridget Riley. Now that's what we call girl power.    

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Benjamin Ealovega
Things to do, Exhibitions

Power Up

icon-location-pin Science Museum, Brompton
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It’s technically a Science Museum exhibition, but ‘Power UP’ is really an arcade of 160 consoles spanning 40 years of gaming history, from Pong and Pac-Man to the latest VR experiences.

Things to do, Walks and tours

5km Street Art Running Tour

icon-location-pin Various London locations, London
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Build up your calves and your brain on this run through spray can-strewn east London. Spot works by Banksy, Zabou, Phlegm and more as you pound the pavements and learn all about their art and inspirations along the way.

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David Salle 'Equivalence' (2018) © David Salle / VAGA at ARS, New York and DACS London, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and Skarstedt, New York.
Art

David Salle: ‘Musicality and Humour’

icon-location-pin Skarstedt, London
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Silly cartoons, bawdy humour and advertising imagery: it sounds silly, but Salle is a master of visual composition, and these are brilliant paintings.

Time Out says
Vaisakhi Festival
Raj Gedhu
Things to do, Festivals

Vaisakhi Festival

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden
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Twenty million people worldwide celebrate Sikh New Year. Head to this free festival in Trafalgar Square with talks, traditional food, turban tying and a jam-packed programme of live performances and kirtan (spiritual music) sessions. 

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Theatre, Drama

‘Downstate’

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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Bruce Norris's drama about a quartet of sex offenders. Behind the dark humour, it's smart and sensitive. 

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© 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 this series of talks focusing on how Jimi Hendrix used the guitar and changed the way we think about 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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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.

Time Out says
© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Art

‘Shadows of War: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimea 1855’

icon-location-pin The Queen's Gallery, St James's Park
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In 1855, Roger Fenton arrived in the Crimea to photograph scenes and figures from the ongoing Crimean War. There hasn’t been a London show of Fenton’s creations since 1856. That’s a shame because this small show is a fascinating early example of what we now call war photography. 

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Things to do, Sport events

London Marathon

icon-location-pin Various London locations, London
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Join the crowds of spectators lining the 26.2-mile route of the world-famous London Marathon and cheer on your favourite runners as they break a sweat while wending their way through the capital. 

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. 

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Steve Ullathorne
Theatre, Circuses

‘A Simple Space’

icon-location-pin Underbelly Festival, South Bank
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Prepare yourself for an hour of mind-bending acrobatics. Gravity & Other Myths return to the Underbelly with this contemporary circus show where seven performers push themselves to the physical limit. It's raw, frantic and delicate. 

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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This show 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. 

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Fiddler on the Roof, Playhouse Theatre 2019
© Johan Persson
Theatre, Musicals

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ review

icon-location-pin Playhouse Theatre, Charing Cross
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Trevor Nunn’s intense, dark-hued production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is as close as this Broadway classic could get to gritty naturalism. Andy Nyman is a real highlight where he makes wearily humorous work of the central role of Tevye, a dairyman bellowing ‘Tradition!’ at his five daughters.

Time Out says
© Don McCullin
Art

Don McCullin

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
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This five-star show is full of 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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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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A survey of gorgeous lush, modern figurative painting. It's not all about light and joy, there's also melancholy here to make your heartache.

Time Out says
Theatre, Drama

‘All About Eve’

icon-location-pin Noël Coward Theatre, Covent Garden
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See super-director Ivo van Howe's take of the movie classic. Gillian Anderson is phenomenal. 

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Theatre, Musicals

‘Follies’

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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Great shows are rare; flawless ones happen only under a blue moon. But Dominic Cooke’s revival of this wry, classy American musical, back for an encore at the National Theatre, is both of the above.

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Borders Inclusivity_Farshid Moussavi and Zineb Sedira
Art, Contemporary art

‘Is This Tomorrow?’

icon-location-pin Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel
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Artists and architects working in cahoots to build immersive installations. Some of this is ingenious, intriguing and a whole lot of fun.

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© Anthea Hamilton. Image courtesy of the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery.
Art

Anthea Hamilton: ‘The Prude’

icon-location-pin Thomas Dane, St James'
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The Turner Prize-nominee brings a wall that looks like Battenberg cake and giant butterflies to central London. It's just as fun as it looks.

Time Out says
Nicholas Hilliard 'Man Among Flames'. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery
Art

‘Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver’

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Leicester Square
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See tiny windows into the upper echelons of Elizabethan life. These stunning works of exquisite skill make for a beautifully meditative art experience. 

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Magdalene Ball, Cambridge, England, 2015. Picture credit: © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery;
Art

Martin Parr: ‘Only Human’

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Leicester Square
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The nation's favourite photographer brings his Brexit-plus images to the National Portrait Gallery, again proving that he is a great recorder of human contradictions.

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Come from Away, West End 2019
© Matthew Murphy
Theatre, Musicals

‘Come from Away’

icon-location-pin Phoenix Theatre, Covent Garden
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This sleeper hit Canadian musical is set in the days after 9/11. It's a beautifully crafted hymn to the power of community. 

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Things to do, Food and drink events

The Chocolate Cocktail Club

icon-location-pin 202 Brick Lane, Brick Lane
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Love chocolate and cocktails? Then prepare for a serious sugar rush at this pop-up which combines the two. Chuck back a chocotini, before glugging back some chocolate wine. 

Gladys Nilsson, A Cold Mouth, 1968 © the artist. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York
Art

‘How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s’

icon-location-pin Goldsmiths CCA, New Cross
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A group show of little-known pop-inflected psychedelia. It's mind-blowingly good, and huge amounts of fun. 

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Betrayal, Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, Charlie Cox
© Charlie Gray
Theatre, Drama

‘Betrayal’

icon-location-pin Harold Pinter Theatre, Soho
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What a way to wrap up Jamie Lloyd’s epic Pinter at the Pinter season: megastar Tom Hiddleston will star in Pinter’s 1978 masterpiece ‘Betrayal’, a drama about a trio of self-deceiving lovers which devastatingly unfolds in reverse chronological order. 

RH038879
Lily FRANEY
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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Agnolo Bronzino, 'St. Sebastian' (c.1533) © Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza, Madrid
Art

‘The Renaissance Nude’

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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Take a titillating trip through the various ways the nude was used in the Renaissance at this show at the Royal Academy of Arts. It's nudgy, it's winky, and it's a lot of fascinating fun. 

Time Out says
© Franz West Privatstiftung
Art

Franz West

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
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See absurd drunken art by an Austrian who didn't give a hoot. who knew art could be so fun. 

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Dorothea Tanning 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik' (1943) © DACS, 2018
Art

Dorothea Tanning

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
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See the life and work of one of the most important, and most overlooked, surrealists. At her best Tanning produced stunning works of dark, twisted beauty. 

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Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. © Phyllida Barlow Photo: © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photography: David Parry
Art

Phyllida Barlow: ‘Cul-de-Sac’

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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Big, imposing sculptural assemblages of concrete and fabric: Barlow knows how to dwarf a viewer, but something about that is totally and perfectly calming.

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Things to do, Quirky events

Mecca: Players Bingo

icon-location-pin Mecca Camden, Camden Town
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Dabbers at the ready for this big boozy bingo night in a classic London bingo hall. There are big prizes up for grabs, a hilarious host, pop-up restaurants, mixologists and live music. 

Joaquín Sorolla 'The Pink Robe (La bata rosa)' (1916) © Museo Sorolla, Madrid
Art

Sorolla: ‘Spanish Master of Light’

icon-location-pin National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
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Joaquín Sorolla's a big deal in Spain, but little known in the UK. That's about the change with this neat show of portraiture, landscapes, social painting and dazzling sea scenes.

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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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The V&A goes bigger than a post-war circle skirt with this massive retrospect of the great designer. This is the biggest fashion exhibition the museum has staged since ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ and it looks hot. 

Time Out says
Edvard Munch 'On the Waves of Love'. Image courtesy of Munchmuseet
Art

Edvard Munch: ‘Love and Angst’

icon-location-pin British Museum, Bloomsbury
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It's the exhibition whoever invented the scream emoji has been waiting for. The British Museum stages a huge exhibition of Norway's most famous painter, Edvard Munch, focusing on the artist's unique ability to crystalise intense human emotions like grief, sorrow, jealousy and desire. 

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Copyright Jenny Holzer and Tate
Art, Contemporary art

Artist Rooms: Jenny Holzer

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
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American artist Jenny Holzer’s work is decades’ worth of statements, aphorisms, quotes and poetry. She takes words and sentences and plasters them over the streets, prints them on cups and condoms and sends at lightspeed along LED columns. 

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© RMN
Art

‘Van Gogh and Britain’

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
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A lesser-known fact about the Dutch painter is that he was a bit of an Anglophile. Here's your chance to admire his artworks alongside those by British artists who, in turn, owe a debt to Van Gogh. 

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Photographer: Dave Morgan, Artwork © Anish Kapoor, courtesy Lisson Gallery
Art

Anish Kapoor

icon-location-pin Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Ealing
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He's done it again, he's done it again, Anish Kapoor, he's done it again. Head over to Ealing and get a load of his really shiny creations. Be prepared to be discombobulated (in a good way).

Time Out says
9 to 5 the Musical
© Pamela Raith
Theatre, Musicals

‘9 to 5 the Musical’

icon-location-pin Savoy Theatre, Charing Cross
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Check out Dolly Parton's own musical adaption of her hit 1980 film. It's gloriously OTT - and they do the title song four times. 

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Photograph of William Marriot in Pearson’s Magazine. Image from the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature, Senate House Library, University of London
Museums

‘Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic’

icon-location-pin Wellcome Collection, Bloomsbury
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Gather your newt eyes, fetch the cauldron and dust down the tarot cards: Wellcome Collection has a new exhibition exploring the magic of magic. 

A Clockwork Orange, directed by Stanley Kubrick (1970-71; GB/United States). Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) in the Korova Milkbar. Still image. © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Museums

‘Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition’

icon-location-pin Design Museum, Kensington
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The ionic filmmaker movies, ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Dr Strangelove’ and others, are famous for involving some of the most ambitious sets ever created. This is your chance to see props, costumes, photographs and other memorabilia. 

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Detail from Pierre Prévost Panorama
Image: courtesy of Museum of London
Things to do, Exhibitions

Panorama: London’s Lost View

icon-location-pin Museum of London, Smithfield
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Back in 1815, a French artist named Pierre Prévost climbed the tower of St Margaret’s Church in Westminster and started sketching. Although the 100-foot panorama he created was lost, the 20-foot painting he made as a dry run survived. Bought last year by the Museum of London, it's now on public display until September. Head down and time-travel – without having to worry about cholera, Napoleon or the Corn Laws.

Photo: Tate (Matt Greenwood)
Art

Mike Nelson: ‘The Asset Strippers’

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
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Giant machines symbolising the death of industrial Britain. It's overwhelming and poignantly sad. 

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Theatre, Musicals

‘Waitress’

icon-location-pin Adelphi Theatre, Charing Cross
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Sara Bareilles's smash hit Broadway musical about a pie-baking waitress has made the leap across the pond for its West End run; Katharine McPhee stars as its lead.

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Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Craft and Graft: Making Science Happen’

icon-location-pin Francis Crick Institute, Euston
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Get clued up on the latest scientific research in the UK. With 15,000 families of fruit flies on show, it might just put you off your dinner.