The best spring events in London
Luke Jerram’s six-metre glowing sculpture has Nasainspired detail. It’s lighting up the Natural History Museum for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11. We have lift-off!
The Crystal Maze Live Experience proved so popular in its Angel location that the owners are moving it to an even bigger, mazier home at the London Trocadero, opening March 29. It’ll have 32 brand-new challenges, more places to be locked in when you fail your task and a Maze Bar. Say it with us: ‘START THE FANS, PLEASE’.
The Old Vic's following up 'An American Clock' with another vintage Arthur Miller play, 'All My Sons' - Miller's tragedy about a shattered family in post-war America, and the patriarch who betrayed them. It's staged by Headlong artistic director Jeremy Herrin, who's been at the helm of a slew of hits including West End political drama 'Labour of Love' and harrowing NT show 'People, Places and Things'. Sally Field, Bill Pullman, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan star.
The stunning glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly (the man behind the giant blue-green chandelier in the V&A's entrance hall) find their natural counterpart in the botanical wonderland of Kew Gardens. The artworks will be located across the whole of Kew, giving Londoners the chance to explore the gardens at the same time as discovering these beautiful artworks.
'Fair is foul, and foul is fair; Hover through the fog and filthy air'. Gather your newt eyes, fetch the cauldron and dust down the tarot cards: Wellcome Collection has a new exhibition exploring the magic of magic. If the revamp of Sabrina The Teenage Witch got you hot under the collar, this is the 2019 exhibition for you. But it does more than just celebrate the dark arts. This being the Wellcome Collection the interest is on how magic meets science, specifically psychology. Learn about the vital role of the female assistant to a magician ['Quick, look at the pretty lady! Ooooh where's the card gone?' etc.], study a ghost-detection kit and marvel at the head of a gorilla costume once worn by Derren Brown. A show to visit with your weird sisters.
Think you're clever? Be prepared for a bit of a knock to your confidence with this interactive exhibition at Barbican. The show brings together the latest in Artificial Intelligence, calmly showing how the cleverest (or maybe stupidest) thing humans have ever done is create machines that outwit us all.
This nine-day festival encompasses a huge selection of horticultural events which are largely volunteer-run and free. Keep an eye on this listing for our pick of the best events. See the Chelsea Fringe website for more details.
Returning for a second year after its successful 2018 launch, All Points East is an eclectic 10-day festival that takes over Victoria Park in late May and early June. The opening and closing three-day weekends are given over to music, with 2019 headliners including Christine and the Queens, The Chemical Brothers, Bon Iver and Bring Me the Horizon. In between there are four days of community-driven entertainment on the site, with comedy, film screenings, street food and much more. Those four days are free to enter, with some ticketed events inside. All in all then, a pretty epic event. Line-up includes: Fri May 24: The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, Primal Scream, Spirtualized, Little Dragon, Danny Brown, Little Simz, Ibibio Sound Machine Sun May 26: Christine and the Queens, Metronomy, Maribou State, Beach House, Honne, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Toro Y Moi, Ezra Collective, Baloji, Rina Sawayama, Cuco Fri May 31: Bring Me The Horizon, Run The Jewels, Nothing But Thieves, Idles, Scarlxrd, Yonaka Sun Jun 2: Bon Iver, Mac DeMarco, First Aid Kit, John Grant, The Tallest Man On Earth, Julien Baker, Snail Mail, KOKOKO!
Retrospective of the innovative abstract expressionist artist Lee Krasner. As the title suggests, one reason for buying a ticket is to check out Krasner's vivid, large-scale canvases that explode in fireworks of colour. But that not all. You'll also be able to see her superb charcoal drawings and some early self-portraits. The Barbican aims to stop Krasner always being mentioned in the same breath as her husband (also an artist). So we're not even going to say his name.
You can’t move for Arthur Miller plays on The Cut nin 2019: the Old Vic is playing host to mouthwatering revivals of ‘The American Clock’ and ‘All My Sons’, and here’s a superb-looking ‘Death of a Salesman’ from the great Marianne Elliott, co-directing with Miranda Cromwell. Fresh from the closing of her landmark ‘Company’, Elliott makes her debut at the Young Vic directing a phenonomenal black-led cast headed by US ‘The Wire’ star Wendell Pierce, plus Brit greats Sharon D Clarke and Arinzé Kene in Miller’s iconic drama about deluded travelling salesman Willy Loman, who struggles to keep it together as his world crumbles. hey are joined by Ian Bonar, Trevor Cooper, Martins Imhangbe, Joseph Mydell, Nenda Neurer, Jennifer Saayeng, Matthew Seadon-Young, and Maggie Service. Design comes from Anna Fleischle.
Let’s tackle the baby elephant in the room first: how does Disney’s new Dumbo look in a live-action movie? Happily, the teeny pachyderm is a suitably heart-melting presence in Tim Burton’s relatively orthodox redo of the 1941 animation classic. All giant expressive eyes and beach-towel ears, he’s a computer-generated creation that exudes picture-book warmth.
Director Jamie Lloyd is levelling up for his last instalment for his Pinter at the Pinter. He’s booked Avengers megastar Tom Hiddleston to star Harold Pinter’s 1973 drama ‘Betrayal’. Hiddleston will play Robert, alongside Zawe Ashton as Emma and Charlie Cox as Jerry. No need to stick around when the play is finished, Samuel L Jackson isn’t going to pop-up for a storyline teaser...
Whatever you do, get outside in London this spring
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