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London events in May

Get ready for a marvellous month with our selection of the best events, exhibitions and things to do in May 2020 in London

Swans, Kensington Gardens, London, May 2017
Richard/ Flickr
By Time Out London Things To Do |
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Prepare yourself for a marvellous May in London. Spring has officially sprung, the days are warming up and London’s parks are at their blooming best. Spend those sunny May days in London exploring the capital's great outdoors or sinking a drink (or two) on one of London's rooftop bars, which have just started to open. Be sure to make the most of not one, but two Bank Holidays in May, by checking out the city's new exhibitions and theatre shows. May in London is also the month of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London Craft Week, London Wine Week, the Hackney Half Marathon, Chelsea Fringe and Museums at NightHere's our guide to the best events, parties, pop-ups and things to do in May 2020 in London. You're in for one sweet, sweet month.

While your diary’s out, remember that it's never too early to start planning for June either.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

The best May events in London

1
Tom Stoppard, 2019
© Matt Humphrey
Theatre, Drama

‘Leopoldstadt’

icon-location-pin Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road
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The 81-year-old theatre legend’s new play is about the titular Jewish quarter of Vienna and follows it from its heyday as a haven for the Jews of Europe to the clampdown of the Nazi regime. 

2
'Welcome to Iran' at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Theatre, Drama

‘Welcome to Iran’

icon-location-pin Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford
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Artistic director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nadia Fall has written and will also direct this narrative of Tehran life. It's a story of illicit raves and escaping the morality police, which aims to create an alternative view into an often-misunderstood country. 

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3
'Omeros' at Gate Theatre
Theatre, Drama

‘Omeros’

icon-location-pin Gate Theatre, Notting Hill
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Poet Derek Walcott's ‘Omeros’ is his landmark work; in it, he reimagines Classical epic the Iliad for a setting on Caribbean island Saint Lucia. 

4
Nmon Ford, Orfeus: A House Opera, Young Vic
© Jose Zakany
Theatre, Musicals

‘Orfeus: A House Music Opera’

icon-location-pin Young Vic, Southwark
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You want a mash-up of opera, house music and the Orfeus myth? SURE YOU DO. Created by American baritone Nmon Ford, ‘Orfeus’ is set in a dystopian near-future and features creator Ford himself as the eponymous hero, who must save the poet Eurydice from his fascist father, Pluto.

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5
Dear Evan Hansen, Broadway cast 2018
© Matthew Murphy
Theatre, Musicals

‘Dear Evan Hansen’

icon-location-pin Noël Coward Theatre, Covent Garden
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The tearjerking Tony-winner ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ comes to London. The musical concerns the eponymous troubled teen, who writes himself a series of letters to help him cope with a profoundly difficult time in his life, following the tragic death of a school friend.

6
Dóra Maurer 'Relative Quasi Image' (1996) Private collection © Dóra Maurer Photo: Vintage Galéria / András Bozsó
Art

‘Dóra Maurer’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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This year-long free display will introduce British audiences to Dóra Maurer, an Hungarian artist who started making work at a time when her country's government were trying to mould artists' output to their own political ends. 

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7
Hairspray, Michael Ball, 2019
Theatre, Musicals

‘Hairspray’

icon-location-pin London Coliseum, Covent Garden
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Check out this revival of the big-hearted, acceptance-preaching, ’60s-homaging musical. It’s being billed as a new production, though fans of the original are unlikely to be disappointed, as it reunites director Jack O’Brie, choreographer Jerry Mitchell, and star Michael Ball. 

8
Sunday in the Park with George, Jake Gyllenhaal
Theatre, Musicals

‘Sunday in the Park with George’

icon-location-pin Savoy Theatre, Strand
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Jake Gyllenhaal made his stage debut in London, but has stayed away since. Finally, though, he’s back, reprising his lead role in this recent Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant 1984 musical.

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