Rosemary Waugh is a journalist, art critic and copywriter. Her work has been published in the New Statesman, Condé Nast Traveller, the Financial Times, The i, the Evening Standard, The Independent, Art UK and more.
The 15 best hotels in San Francisco
When staying in San Francisco, we can't stress the importance of picking a place to stay that gives you access to the city's sights—but also encompasses the city's character. Whether you're visiting, hosting family, or booking a staycation, there is something suitable (and excellent) in every neighborhood and price range. Book something downtown near the best attractions or the North Beach neighborhood to be near touristy Fisherman's Wharf, or maybe a neighborhood outside the center that feels less crowded. No matter your decision, you'll get to check off the best things to do in the city from a comfy base at one of the best hotels in San Francisco. RECOMMENDED: Coolest Airbnb homes you can rentRECOMMENDED: The best boutique hotels in San FranciscoRECOMMENDED: The best cheap hotels in San Francisco This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 13 best treehouse Airbnbs in Atlanta
Atlanta is one of the most exciting places to say in Georgia, and that's not just because it's the capital. The birthplace of memorable musical movements, Coca-Cola, and the world's largest drive-in restaurant, it's really got its own vibe going on. But what makes this place so unique? That's got to be the lush urban tree canopy, which gives Atlanta the nickname of the City in a Forest. Yeah, it's pretty woody here. Of course, you've got to make the most of the greenery while you visit. And there's no better way to be at one with nature than by renting your very own treehouse. From whimsical escapes toting hammocks and rope bridges to sleek loft-like structures coated in glass from top to toe, these are some of the most sought-after Airbnbs to stay in right now. Ready to book yourself in for a treetop stay you'll never forget? Let's go. Recommended: The best hotels in AtlantaRecommended: The best things to do in AtlantaRecommended: The best Atlanta Airbnbs with poolsRecommended: The best Airbnb cabins in Atlanta This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 12 best Airbnbs in Prague
Prague is gorgeous, cultured and just hands-down brilliant. So don't settle for substandard hotels when you can have the complete Prague experience in a quirky little Airbnb that enables you to see the city like a true local? The city's Airbnbs aren't only cheaper (most of the time) than a hotel, but they're unique. Think cute houseboats on the river, chic urban lofts and characterful homes with exposed beams. Mmm delightful. Let us show you some of the best places to stay in the capital and make sure your fun days exploring the vibrant restaurants, bars, and museums on offer are topped off with relaxing nights in one of the best Airbnbs in Prague. RECOMMENDED: Best hotels in Prague Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 47 best things to do in Madrid
47 might seem like a lot, but the truth is, this could quite easily be a list of the 4,700 best things to do in Madrid. Even that would be selling the Spanish capital short. Madrid is a magnificent city, one that ticks every box anyone could want. Looking for genre-defining art and elite museums? You’ll find plenty. Hungry? Madrid’s restaurants are some of the best in Spain. Short on cash? Not to worry, there is no shortage of excellent free things to do here too. Madrid is a city that does both. There is enough here to keep return visitors engaged while newcomers are in for the experience of a lifetime. Madrid is achingly cool, blissfully beautiful and delightfully convivial, all at once. You’re lucky to be here, we’ll say that much. RECOMMENDED: 🛌 The best Airbnbs in Madrid🏨 The best hotels in Madrid 🏡 Where to stay in Madrid🏰 The best attractions in Madrid
The 10 best Airbnbs in Dublin
Found on the Republic of Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is a capital city jam-packed with fun. It's soaked in history and plays host to endless glorious pubs and restaurants. But whether you fancy a foodie holiday or want to watch one of the many gigs and games (check out the Aviva Stadium), you certainly won't be short on things to do. Plus, it’s by the sea! You can't beat the sea. Of course, to truly take in the city, you’ll need a good base to recharge your batteries at night (or early in the morning, we won't judge), which is why we’ve gathered the capital’s very best Airbnbs. From central locations to beautiful beach-side homes and cute, quaint cottages, here are some seriously cool Airbnbs in Dublin. RECOMMENDED: The 24 best things to do in DublinRECOMMENDED: Where to stay in Dublin Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 13 best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands
Nothing says a getaway quite like a trip to the Scottish Highlands. A place where you're sure to escape the hustle and bustle of the city scene. Hike mountains, dip your toes in the loch, and watch the sunset over the gorgeous landscape. Doesn't that sound perfect? And of course, a place that idyllic needs to be enjoyed with a stay at one of the many unique Airbnbs in the area. Cosy and comfy cottages with wood-burning stoves (you'll need it with the cold weather), glamping pods, and even castles; how could you ever choose? We've picked out the best of the best to help you decide. You're welcome. RECOMMENDED: 🇬🇧The best Airbnbs in the UK🏴Check out the best Airbnbs in Glasgow🏰 Off to Edinburgh? Here's where to stay Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 18 best Airbnbs in Florida
Beach vibes and sunshine only. Florida is known for its incredible beaches and the outrageous number of sunny days per year. Ugh, jealous. But Florida is actually also one of the Union's most diverse states. From the Everglades’ world-beating nature to the Sunshine State’s unique cities, there’s a world to discover in the Panhandle and beyond. Let's not beat around the bush, there are a ton of reasons to visit Florida (not just for Disney World). And when you do visit, there's no doubt you’ll need a top-tier place to stay – which is where we come in. We’ve sifted through the state’s Airbnbs to find the finest around so there's something to suit everyone. Happy vacay, baby. RECOMMENDED:🇺🇸Discover the 12 best Airbnbs in Colorado🏡Find the coziest Airbnb cabins in the U.S.🏨See the best hotels in Colorado Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 9 best beachfront Airbnbs in L.A. for surfing and sun lounging
Experience L.A.’s totally gorgeous and world-renowned beaches like a local. You can live out the sort of dream life that L.A. promises in the movies and on TV: shopping, strolling and sunbathing like you do it all the time, with no cares in the world. We wish. There are many snazzy beachside hotels in Los Angeles, but to get the full beachfront experience, an Airbnb may be worth considering. We've come up with the best of the best – from Long Beach all the way up to Malibu – all within mere steps from the sand. So, sit back, relax, and bask in the glorious sunshine in one of these stunning beachfront Airbnbs in L.A. 🏖 See our list of L.A.'s top beachfront hotels🎟 After the best things to do in L.A.? Here you go🌴 Check out the best neighbourhoods to stay in when in L.A.💰 Discover the most luxurious Airbnb rentals in Los Angeles Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 15 best online stores for flower delivery in NYC
There's always something to remember and buy gifts for. Birthdays, anniversaries, house warmings, new babies, promotions... you name it. They deserve a gift, too. But, hold on a second. Don't rush to your nearest grocery store for a bouquet of wilting roses just yet, we have your back. Luckily, we live in NYC in the 21st century where you can get flowers delivered straight to your door for the very next day – or in some cases, that exact same day. And who doesn't love being gifted a bunch of flowers? And it’s not just bouquets you can get sent to your loved one. You can get potted plants (perfect for plant fanatics) and even more brought straight to their door. We’ve saved your bacon by rounding up all of the very best flower delivery services in NYC, ready for you to choose your fave. Read on folks. RECOMMENDED:🍫Check out the best chocolate deliveries in the USA How do we know it's the best of the best? Our lists are expertly curated by our local experts far and wide to offer you the lowdown on the best delivery services in NYC. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 10 coolest Airbnbs in Philadelphia
Philly isn't just a place for insanely good cheesesteaks and rich history (but boy are those cheesesteaks great). It's also a thriving patchwork of a city filled with the best parks, breweries, indie shops and unique eateries. And what could be better than completing your stay in town with an ultra-cool Airbnb to rest in after your travels? We've weeded through all the options to present you with the coolest Airbnbs in town – paying particular attention to the spots that offer the one-of-a-kind, local experience that you’d never get in a Center City hotel. Aren't we nice? Choosing an Airbnb in Philadelphia puts you in the heart of our incredible neighborhoods, but still close enough to access all the best Philadelphia attractions. Plus, in many cases, you’ll spend a lot less than you would at a regular hotel, which means you’ll have more cash to spend on dinner at one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia or the best bars in Philadelphia. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in PhiladelphiaRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnb cabins in Philadelphia Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 13 best Airbnbs in California
California dreamin' on such a winter's day... Head out to California on a road trip or for a few days' break to see what the Golden State has to offer. While 'something for everyone' is definitely overused, it's simply true - California really does have it all. It has some of the best restaurants and attractions in the country plus beautiful beaches, rugged national forests and national parks, vast deserts, and stunning mountains. But on your trip, you'll need somewhere to rest your head, so where to begin? Heading out to commune with nature? Go all in with a mountainside yurt or a treehouse in the forest. If you’re feeling the artsy vibe, try an artist’s loft in Los Angeles. Alternatively, those looking for the baller lifestyle might consider a stay in a luxury beachside villa. Solitude seekers will love chilling in a homesteader cabin in the desert. The possibilities are endless. Whatever your reason is for heading to California, these Airbnbs are some of the best. However, if you’re not down with the quirky nature of these options, there’s always our list of the best hotels in California to help you out. RECOMMENDED: See our list of the best things to do in California Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
The 11 best Airbnbs in Las Vegas
Taking a trip to Sin City and looking for somewhere to stay? You'd think it would be easy with over 150,000 hotel rooms in the city, but alas, it's not. While you could check into one of the city’s many fabulous hotels, why not get the whole Vegas experience and rent out an Airbnb? Whether you're visiting for a stag do, checking out the Vegas Strip, or wanting to see one of the many amazing drag shows the city has to offer, there's something to suit everyone. From skyline apartments to glam suites, check out our list of the best Airbnbs in Las Vegas. We’ve found rentals for all kinds of Sin City experiences. Viva Las Vegas! Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.
Listings and reviews (55)
The Uncertain Kingdom
A state-of-Brexit-Britain portmanteau film is exactly the kind of well-meaning project that could result in a lot of on-the-nose cringeworthiness. But ‘The Uncertain Kingdom’, a collection of 20 shorts made by 20 different filmmaking teams (each with a budget of £10,000), is a largely brilliant, subtle and multifaceted group of timely films. Comprised of documentaries, fictional dramas, animations and a smattering of comedy (ten of the total 20 were shown at the press viewing), the collective aim of ‘The Uncertain Kingdom’ is to give a fair and unjudgmental hearing to the wildly different experiences of UK citizens, from second-generation immigrants in the South East connecting with their heritage through their names, to food bank users in a freezing, dilapidated Blackpool. Highlights include Siân Docksey and Sophie King’s ‘Swan’, a funny slice of satire about an Englishman who voluntarily takes the ‘advanced citizenship test’ and, after passing with flying colours, is granted the honour of being turned into a stunning white swan. Equally, Paul Frankl’s fable-like story of a Bolivian mother trying to save her son’s life with the help of a mystical tree is a compelling bit of magic realism. But the best are ‘Verisimilitude’ (written by Justin Edgar), in which the brilliant Ruth Madeley plays Bella, an actress and wheelchair user employed to tutor a pretentious, non-disabled actor who has to perform as a disabled character on screen, and Hope Dickson Leach’s ‘Strong is Better T
‘Afterplay’ review CANCELLED
'Afterplay' is cancelled due to Covid-19 A man enters a Moscow café after a hard day’s rehearsal at the city’s opera house. He’s working on Puccini’s ‘La Bohème’ under the guidance of a draconian German conductor, while a teenaged protégé steals the limelight as Mimi. Or is he? Brian Friel’s slight-but-slightly-lovely one-act play is filled with ‘untruths’. The violinist, Andrey (Rory Keenan), and the woman he meets in the café, Sonya (Mariah Gale), are snatched from Anton Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ and ‘Uncle Vanya’. Over thin cabbage soup and semi-fresh bread (him) and cold tea with vodka added to it (her), they construct the stories of their existences. Andrey’s is full of flagrant lies, while Sonya’s is subtly but significantly altered to protect her emotions. For people familiar with Chekhov, Andrey and Sonya start off seeming like pleasantly changed characters. Andrey, pampered and irresponsible in ‘Three Sisters’, appears driven and creative. Sonya, who in ‘Uncle Vanya’ deserves to be called ‘poor Sonya’ for how life always serves her shrivelled, juiceless lemons, also has the markings of a more together person. Seated at the table with her calculations and papers, laced into schoolmarm boots, there’s a no-frills modernity to her 1920s persona. But the most Chekhovian thing of all about Friel’s play is how nothing has changed one bit. Andrey and Sonya (both peripheral characters in their original plays), are eventually forced back to their familiar narratives: she’s cru
Merce Cunningham’s game-changing radicalisation of dance demands an approach to documenting it that goes beyond the traditional. So, director Alla Kovgan’s visual-heavy, 3D attempt makes a lot of sense. For the American choreographer (1919-2009), dance was not a representation of something else, it simply was ‘the thing’, with every interpretation an audience placed on it equally valid. Arguably, then, the best documentary of his output would just be the dances themselves because Cunningham never intended to create work with some kind of ‘story’ hidden behind it. Kovgan basically honours this with a collage of restaged dances in woodlands, concert halls and glass-encased architecture, plus short bits of footage from the earlier stages of Cunningham’s career (1944-1972), including the establishment of the now world-famous company bearing his name. This documentary could never be accused of not letting the dance speak for itself – indeed, the historic and new segments of body-stockinged dancers moving with undulating, freewheeling motions to John Cage’s atonal music are by far the best parts of the film. But the whole thing suffers from relying too heavily on the familiar (and familiarly boring) narrative of: ‘maverick is panned by critics’ followed by ‘world catches up to maverick’s genius’. There’s also crushingly little interrogation of Cunningham’s practice or in-depth analysis of his evolution as a choreographer and dancer. For regulars in the Sadler’s Wells audience, ther
Aubrey Beardsley review
The Victorians: buttoned-up, sermonising, empire-loving sexophobes. And their art? Sentimental pictures of big-eyed children and bigger-eyed spaniels, right? Well, #NotAllVictorians. Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) did things differently. His slinky black-and-white drawings are filled with sex and death and… well, sex and death mainly. Associated with Oscar Wilde – he produced the illustrations for Wilde’s ‘Salomé’ – Beardsley’s images caused a fair amount of scandal. They also titillated and thrilled, and while it would be false to imagine Victorians up and down the land plastering their bedroom walls with Beardsley soft porn (rather than imagining a smallish group of bourgie art-loving Londoners consuming it), the simple existence of it beautifully disrupts what we think we know about the Victorians. This gorgeous retrospective covers pretty much everything Beardsley did, from early medievalist and mythological subjects through to illustrations for The Yellow Book (a quarterly arts publication) and explicit pictures of Ancient Greeks getting frisky. The earlier pieces are similar to Edward Burne-Jones’s work but while Burne-Jones was crushingly bad at depicting feet, Beardsley is king at drawing heels (an underrated talent if ever there was one). The small curve of flesh below the ankle is, perhaps, the sexiest thing of all in his artworks. The obviously sexy pics, meanwhile – the ones with the extra-large cocks and the woman having a powder puff popped between her bum cheek
‘I Think We Are Alone’ review
If Richard Curtis had decided to make indie theatre instead of films, his output might well have looked a little like Sally Abbott’s ‘I Think We Are Alone’. Co-directed by Kathy Burke and Scott Graham, the sweetly sincere – but overly simplistic – play presents a patchwork quilt of London, each square filled with a character. There’s the black mum from Lewisham who’s massively proud of her son for getting to Cambridge, but forgets to ask if her dreams make him as happy as they make her. There’s the white cabbie who recently lost his wife and just wants a passenger who will talk to him, even if it’s so he can tell them the slightly awkward story about the time ‘an Arab’ gave him a £250 tip. There’s the saintly cancer patient who prefers visualisation techniques and positive thinking to ever being angry about her condition. And, finally, there are the two estranged sisters, one working as a chipper hospice nurse and the other as an insomniac HR manager. Swirled into the mix are constant reminders of death and loneliness. Both sisters seek release through getting wasted, one in a blaring techno club and the other at a smart-casual large-glass-of-Picpoul-de-Pinet bar. The Lewisham mother, Josie (played by a brilliant Chizzy Akudolu), talks openly about her dead dog, but can’t even start to process her dead dad. But these people never become more than neat archetypes of different walks of life. Instead of watching a collection of complex, indefinable humans, we’re presented with a
‘The Tempest’ review
William Shakespeare’s final – and possibly weirdest – play is set mainly on a far-flung island. Its main character, Prospero, is a sorcerer, one of his companions is a sprite named Ariel, and its title refers to a conjured storm. Especially when compared to his weighty history plays, this is Shakespeare in fantasy mode, his Jacobean toe-dipping in the waters JRR Tolkien and others would fully dive into centuries later. Tom Littler’s production for the pint-sized Jermyn Street Theatre hints at the mythological storytelling elements of the play by opening the show in a room lined with rows of books, wooden carvings and an old-fashioned toy boat with handkerchief sails. When Prospero (Michael Pennington) and his daughter Miranda (Kirsty Bushell) first start talking, it could easily be the set-up for an expanded storytime, in which the grave Pennington simply narrates the whole piece from the comfort of his study. The inspiration for the production, in fact, is the artist Paul Gauguin’s travels in Tahiti, although you wouldn’t necessarily know that from simply watching it (perhaps a good thing, given how hugely problematic Gauguin’s output from his Tahitian period is). Instead, the whole thing plays out as a largely traditional, albeit small-scale, staging of the story. The only really notable part is how foregrounded Whitney Kehinde’s Ariel – and her relationship with Prospero – is. Her role in thwarting Prospero’s enemies and controlling the run of events often makes her a more
‘Pass Over’ review
Antoinette Nwandu’s ‘Pass Over’ is like a radical rewriting of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, with the aged homeless men, Estragon and Vladimir, switched for two young black men, Moses and Kitch, who pass repetitive days on a street corner under an elevated train track. But while Nwandu echoes Beckett’s blend of sharp, crackling comedy and utter despair, there is one major, crucial difference to her play. Beckett’s tramps existed inside an anywhere, anytime vacuum; Nwandu’s young men are grounded in a reality that’s horrifically recognisable. Paapa Essiedu’s Moses and Gershwyn Eustache Jnr’s Kitch kill time through ritualised jokes, routines and daydreams. They tease and playfight; get angry at each other’s presence; and share their imagined versions of heaven, listing its rewards like kids writing to Santa Claus. There’s a beautiful tenderness to their exchanges, the way there often is just below the bantering, back-chatting surface of guys’ friendship. And, as the sun comes up each day, they discuss how they’re going to leave this spot, get up from this kerb and ‘fulfil their potential’. Yet the thing keeping them on the kerb isn’t their motivational skills or a ride out of there, but the lurking presence of the white police officers who keep shooting men like them. Eustache Jnr’s Kitch is the softer of the pair, the one who is more willing to keep playing their childish games each day and who is more instinctively trusting of the bizarre, hyper-American stranger (Al
Léon Spilliaert review
This show opens with a black blob. An inky, scrawly, looming lump of damp mountainside, like a geological metaphor for impending doom. And from there, it doesn’t get much lighter. Léon Spilliaert was born in Ostend, Belgium, in 1881. He spent most of his life between there and Brussels, and his gothicky, wobbly paintings are filled with the frigid features of the local landscape. The strongest sense conveyed is how freaking freezing it is. Every tiny figure is battered by a bitter wind, each hunched-over human a drastically poor opponent when pitted against the elements. His favoured medium of fuzzy Indian ink washes and gouache makes everything look like it’s viewed through the evening mizzle. This neatly comprehensive exhibition moves through the themes of Spilliaert’s career, including the Symbolist-ish illustrations he made for a couple of books and his woe-is-me self-portraits. But Spilliaert was remarkably consistent. He found his niche and stuck to it. And that niche was: desolation. These are sad, gloomy, lonely images in which even the women he idolises turn their back on poor Léon. There are paintings titled ‘Alone’ and ‘Misery’ (the latter showing a bit of black cloth dripping from a droopy clothes line). The most obvious artistic comparison is with Edvard Munch, but whereas the painter of ‘The Scream’ slapped his bare soul across the canvas, spreading existential angst like Marmite, Spilliaert gives only a sense of emptiness. And that’s the essential problem of
Florencia Cordeu spends a considerable portion of ‘Autoreverse’ in a hazmat suit, the kind a person wears on a nuclear site or at a fresh crime scene. She breathes through a surgical mask and snaps on latex gloves before delving into a box. The cassette tapes she picks out are each in their own zipped plastic sandwich bag, like pieces of evidence.The set-up works as a visual metaphor for Cordeu’s whole autobiographical performance. The past needs preserving in small, sealed chunks before it disintegrates; it also risks contaminating the present, spreading like buried radiation detected years later with a Geiger counter.Cordeu and her family fled Argentina for Chile when she was one year old to escape the military dictatorship. Her uncle is one of the ‘disappeared’ citizens thought to have been murdered by the regime, although her family have never fully understood what happened to him.This one-woman show, co-created and directed by Omar Elerian, makes heavy use of cassette-tape recordings of family life before and after they left Argentina. They contain the usual childhood episodes such as make-believe games with superheroes, a funny anecdote involving a very fat cat falling on to the roof of a soft-top car and reflections on the adults’ secretive political life.It’s palpable how much this show means to Cordeu and how it’s part of her quest to make sense of the missing men, country and memories in her life. There are some lovely small passages evoking South America: the peach
Wine, book, paper bag, nail varnish, thermos, cups, sheets, mushrooms, pebbles, orange juice… there sure is a lot of stuff on stage at the opening of ‘Persona’, and you notice it because the rest of the stage design is sleek, cool and metallic. The household detritus stands out the way it would if you emptied the cupboard under the stairs and dumped its contents in the middle of a modernist office boardroom. This adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s film, directed by Paul Schoolman, is unafraid of add-ons in other ways. An extra character, known as The Narrator, provides a sort of meta-commentary for the story itself, using extracts from Bergman’s own writings. There’s also a live soundtrack performed on something called an earth harp. Officially the world’s largest playable stringed instrument, this beast has one end of its strings attached to the back auditorium wall and the other to a great wooden curve embossed with the words ‘EARTH HARP’.The fundamentals of the story, however, are basically the same. Elisabet Vogler (Nobuhle Mngcwengi, who brings by far the most nuance to the entire show, simply through facial expression) is a famous actress who becomes a selective mute and is admitted to hospital. A strange co-dependent relationship develops between Elisabet and her nurse, Alma (Alice Krige), who is obsessed with the actress.But the psychological intricacies that make the original film so fascinating are absent here. The interjection of Bergman’s words brings little insight a
‘Scenes with Girls’ review
Back in 2015, Miriam Battye’s ‘Trip the Light Fantastic’ played at the Bristol Old Vic for just over a week. It was about a young man teaching an old man to ballroom dance and they performed it in the basement with a couple of plastic chairs. Despite seeing literally hundreds of plays since, I still, every so often, find myself thinking about this little treasure of a show, cuddling the memory of its understated brilliance. Fast-forward five years and, glory be, Battye’s at the Royal Court! And, true to form, it’s with a play that’s every shade of lovely. As with ‘Trip the Light’, there’s nothing in a basic description of ‘Scenes with Girls’ that suggests it’s going to be as gorgeous as it is. Tosh (Tanya Reynolds) lives with Lou (Rebekah Murrell) and they’re occasionally visited by Fran (Letty Thomas), their sort-of smugly engaged chummy mate. As it says on the tin, the play is made from little snapshots of their lives, each scene gradually filling in the backstory while dragging them towards an emotional earthquake. The rest is just ‘them’. All the ridiculous, hilarious, half-spoken things that fill their heads and world. Things like Tosh’s dream of decapitating Henry VIII and planting flowers in his severed spinal cord; Polly Pockets embedded in thighs; cocks with the aroma of omelettes. They speak with the assurance of bored, over-educated women – Tosh is writing a thesis – checking in with each other about ‘the narrative’ and what’s ‘normative’. It’s very, very funny a
Where to get immersive in London right now
Theatre The blockbuster ‘The Burnt City’ Punchdrunk are the gods of immersive theatre, their intense, gloomy, hyperdetailed epics making most other immersive theatre shows look like glorified fancy dress parties… which to be fair, they basically are. After a long absence from the UK, Punchdrunk returned in 2022 with their gargantuan Trojan War epic ‘The Burnt City’.One Cartridge Place, Woolwich. Until Apr 16 2023. From £56.50. The Insta fave ‘The Great Gatsby’ Party like it’s Prohibition with a visit to the immersive version of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Guests are encouraged to fully embrace the 1920s vibe with flapper-style clothing and plenty of bootleg booze. London’s longest-running immersive show, it finally leaves town early in 2023 as its building is being redeveloped, though a comeback is possible.Immersive LDN. Until Jan 7 2023. From £41. The niche one ‘The Witches of Oz’ The Vaults has carved out an unexpected niche as a home for queer immersive dinner theatre fabulousness. ‘The Witches of Oz’ sees the team behind improbable smash ‘Mulan Rouge’ – that's a mash-up of ‘Mulan’ and ‘Moulin Rouge!’ – join forces for a brand new show riffing off Frank L Baum’s ‘Oz’ books that follows the adventures of Dorothey in an enchanted kingdom. The Vaults. Booking to Jan 14. From £20, or £45 dining. Photograph: Christoph Bolten Art The blockbuster ‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ From ‘The Starry Night’ to those joyful sunflowers, this 360-degree VR experience takes you in
The V&A’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ exhibition opens this weekend
This trip down the rabbit hole was set to be one of London’s cultural highlights last summer. The V&A’s highly anticipated ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ exhibition was due to welcome fans in June 2020, but for obvious reasons, its opening was delayed. The immersive show will now debut this very weekend. Designed by the award-winning Tom Piper, creator of the Tower of London’s poppies installation, ‘Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser’ will chart our continued devotion to all things Alice over the past 157 years. Zenaida Yanowsky as the Red Queen, and artists of the Royal Ballet in The Royal Ballet production of ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’ © Johan Persson/ Royal Opera House / ArenaPAL We now know the displays will feature the original concept art for Disney’s 1951 animated version, plus sketches and costumes from Tim Burton’s deliciously weird 2010 film. These include Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter outfit and Mia Wasikowska’s Alice costume, both designed by the Oscar-winning Colleen Atwood. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.jpg Other star attractions from the 300-plus items on display are John Tenniel’s iconic original illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s story and sketches by Ralph Steadman, former collaborator of Hunter S Thompson. Photographs by Tim Walker are also going to be on show, plus fashion designs by Vivienne Westwood and Viktor & Rolf. For more details and to book tickets, click here. Check out the V&A’s kimono exhibition online.For even more of a trip, t
ウサギの穴から始まる不思議の国への旅は、この夏のロンドンで見逃せないイベントの一つになるはずだった。しかし、2020年6月に予定されていたヴィクトリア＆アルバート博物館における「不思議の国のアリス」をテーマにした展覧会『Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser』の開催が、2021年3月末まで延期されることになった。 この展覧会は157年にわたり愛されてきた『不思議の国のアリス』の全てを網羅。展示のデザインを担当したのは、ロンドン塔でのポピーを使ったインスタレーションなどの仕事で知られるトム・パイパーだ。 Zenaida Yanowsky as the Red Queen, and artists of the Royal Ballet in in The Royal Ballet production of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, to music by Joby Talbot, with set and costume designs by Bob Crowley. Premiered at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 25 February 2011. ARPDATA ; ALICES ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND ; Music by Talbot ; Zenaida Yanowsky (as the Red Queen) ; The Royal Ballet ; At the Royal Opera House, London, UK ; 25 February 2011; Credit: Royal Opera House / ArenaPALJohan Persson 展示の目玉は、ディズニーが1951年に公開したアニメ作品のために制作されたコンセプトアートの原画。また、ティム・バートンが監督した2010年公開の映画『アリス・イン・ワンダーランド』のスケッチのほか、デザイナーのコリーン・アトウッドがデザインし、ジョニー・デップが演じた帽子屋やミア・ワシコウスカが演じたアリスが着てオスカーを獲得した衣装もフィーチャー。さらに、ジョン・テニエルがルイス・キャロルの原作本のために描いた挿絵の原画、ハンター・S・トンプソンとの仕事で知られるラルフ・ステッドマンによるスケッチ、ティム・ウォーカーによる写真、ヴィヴィアン・ウエストウッドやヴィクター＆ロルフによるファッションデザイン作品など、300点を超える展示物が一堂に会する。 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.jpg 展覧会期間は2021年3月27日（土）から12月末までの予定。ソーシャルディスタンスを確保しながらの開催になるため、十分な会期が設定されている。アリス展のチケットはまだ販売されていないが、ヴィクトリア＆アルバート博物館はすでに段階的に営業を再開。現在は、訪れる時間帯を予約すれば、無料の常設展を見ることが可能だ。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『ジブリ美術館が9月に一般客受け入れを再開』 『ハリポタの世界に旅へ、テーマパークについて現在分かっていること』 『ロンドンに世界最大のイラストレーション展示施設が誕生』 『世界の美術館のアートマスク9選』 『アートは飛躍するのか』
Covid-19 closed this widow’s exhibition of her husband’s art after just one day, so we put it online
On the morning of March 16, 90-year-old Diana Cohen travelled from Norfolk to King's College London's Bush House in London for the opening of ‘Alfred Cohen: An American Artist in Europe’, a retrospective of her late husband’s work and the first public exhibition of it since 2001, the year he died. But by that evening the show had been formally closed to the public as part of London’s coronavirus lockdown. The product of 20 years work, and a labour of love on the part of Diana Cohen and Max Saunders (the artist’s stepson and co-curator of the show), it had been open less than 24 hours. Alfred Cohen was born in Chicago in 1920, the son of Latvian immigrants to the United States. His American art education preached the virtue of all things French and, not long after the Second World War, he moved to Paris, the first step in a new life that ended with his permanently relocating to Britain. His paintings – many of which are landscapes – are a pool of different influences swirling together. There are river views bearing the wispy imprint of Impressionism; a patchwork of blocky, boldly coloured rooftops in a borderline abstract manner; and a parade of joyfully creepy carnivalesque characters completed along the wobbly, whimsical lines of Marc Chagall. Best of all, he painted countless images of London and the Thames, filled with nods to Whistler and Monet, but imbued with something more modern and melancholy. They’re empty, quiet vistas – and they feel weirdly appropriate for right
London’s getting a new cinema – and it’s inside a launderette
After a bit of escapism? Paradise City, the latest immersive cinematic experience from Backyard Cinema, opens on April 17 and it’s tropical-themed. Concealed behind a retro launderette that guests will enter through, the neon-soaked, plant-filled interior will form the backdrop to screenings of classic films, live performances and light shows. Housed in Backyard Cinema’s permanent space in Capital Studios, Wandsworth, Paradise City invites Londoners to watch a film while reclining on giant beanbags and sipping luxury cocktails (including champagne slushies). They will also be able to buy food and snacks from Honest Burger and Mother Clucker, plus artisan pizzas and vegan dishes. Photograph: Backyard Cinema The line-up of movies is crammed with feelgood hits, including a good dose of kitsch in keeping with the setting. Along with singalong screenings of films including ‘The Greatest Showman’ and ‘Grease’, the bill features popular favourites like ‘Dirty Dancing’, ‘School of Rock’, ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ and ‘Moulin Rouge!’. Previous Backyard Cinema experiences include The Winter Night Garden, The Lost World and Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’ in a church with a live choir. This latest enterprise ensures at least one bit of London will resemble a tropical paradise in late spring, no matter what the weather is doing outside. Paradise City is on from Apr 17 at Capital Studios. Click here for more details and to buy tickets. For the best films to see in cinemas across Lo
The V&A Museum of Childhood has revealed its stunning new look
London’s V&A Museum of Childhood has announced plans for a major makeover. The Bethnal Green landmark will reopen in 2022 with a radically reimagined interior by AOC Architecture, including three new galleries and a re-configured central space. Colourful, playful and filled with natural light, the £13million refurb has the needs of little ones at its heart: the new displays and interactive exhibits are all being designed according to how children aged 0-14 years learn best. The museum closes on May 11 2020. To mark the start of its new phase of life, three-day free festival RE-INVENT will be on across the May bank holiday. Visitors will be able to explore specially commissioned art installations, live music and drop-in events. The museum is also partnering with Ideas Store Whitechapel and local schools to hold events and activities during its two-year closure. The shiny new space features three galleries: ‘Imagine’, ‘Play’ and ‘Design’. ‘Imagine’ is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-inspired display bringing together the most famous characters from myths, legends and storybooks – from the Loch Ness Monster to Paddington Bear. It will also include the itsy-bitsy National Collection of Dolls’ Houses. 'The Stage' area of redesigned V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green Photograph courtesy of V&A Museum of Childhood In ‘Play’, children and their families will make their own fun with interactive exhibits showcasing the weird and wonderful world of games, whether that’s soft play,
The Serpentine Pavilion 2020 has just been announced and it’s inspired by London
While it feels like winter isn’t going anywhere fast, it’s time to cast your mind forward to the summer. The design for the Serpentine’s annual pavilion has just been announced and this year it has a special London focus. The temporary structure, which opens on June 11, is designed by Johannesburg-based architectural studio Counterspace. The all-female team of Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar (who, incidentally, were all born in 1990, making them the youngest ever architects to get the prestigious commission) have created a structure integrating ‘places of memory and care’ from Brixton, Hoxton, Hackney, Whitechapel, Edgware Road, Peckham, Ealing, North Kensington and elsewhere in the city. The completed pavilion will include small, moveable parts that will first be on display in those London neighbourhoods as part of a series of community events. The pieces will then be incorporated into the main structure in Hyde Park throughout the summer months. The geometric shapes making up the main bulk of the dark grey and pink-tinted construction are also inspired by existing London spaces used by migrant and other marginalised communities. Counterspace’s design marks the twentieth anniversary of the Serpentine Pavilion. The first, in 2000, was designed by Zaha Hadid and since then the commission has famously embraced bold, experimental designs. Last year, Japanese architect Junya Ishigami’s design involved a cooling, black slate roof sweeping dramatically across th
This art installation is a jukebox playing London-themed songs
What’s your favourite London-related song? The Kinks’ earworm hit ‘Waterloo Sunset’? Taylor Swift’s seismically divisive ‘London Boy’? Nick Cave’s gloriously gloomy ‘Brompton Oratory’? Or perhaps you instantly answered that question with The Clash’s seminal ‘London Calling’. Whatever tune best captures London for you, the simple fact is that our fair city has served as inspirational fuel for a lot of musicians. And, thanks to a new art installation at the London Mithraeum, you can now choose between 70 London-themed tracks on a specially created jukebox. Artist Susan Hiller, who passed away in 2019, completed the ‘London Jukebox’ project over ten years from 2008-2018 (meaning: no Taylor Swift on the tracklisting). The featured songs dart through London’s neighbourhoods from Kilburn High Road to New Cross, Hammersmith to Mile End, plus a fair old whack dedicated to central and the West End. The artist intended the compilation to be a homage to all the different areas, people and sounds of the capital. Visitors to the London Mithraeum, an ancient Roman temple restored to where it was originally excavated, can listen through headphones to a track of their choice or hear one selected by someone else. But first – how many of those 70 can you guess in advance? ‘London Jukebox’ is on at the London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space until Jul 11 and is free to visit. Click here for more details. And for more great art exhibitions to visit, check out our guide to all the latest openings.
This east London art project is printing money to wipe out local debt
Last year, a genius art project took over an old Walthamstow bank and started printing its own money. Featuring local community heroes instead of the Queen, Bank Job’s artwork banknotes were sold for a total of £40,000. Half of that went to charity and the other half towards abolishing more than £1 million of high-interest debt in the community, which had been written down in value by being resold on the secondary market. The UK economy is turbocharged by debt. It’s created by banks in the form of loans to people and companies, then sold and resold in the financial market. But while the banks get bailed out in times of crisis, it’s estimated that more than half a million Londoners are in problem debt – often as a result of taking out predatory payday loans. This project wants to tackle that. And so Bank Job has big plans for 2020, including the release of a full-length documentary about debt. But now it’s been asked to leave the ex-bank it has run as a community space since 2018. Support the project by treating yourself to one of its artwork bonds or coins, or head to its website to find out how else you can help Bank Job stay on the high street and fight for economic justice – with art! Sign up here to get the latest from London straight to your inbox.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 exhibition has opened – and the images are stunning
From the tiniest creepy crawlies to giant roaring beasts, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award captures the awesomeness of the entire animal kingdom. This year’s winners were announced this week and they include a startled Chinese marmot, a spider disguised as an ant and a pair of super adorable horned sheep. You can see all the winners, plus many more entrants, at the Natural History Museum’s annual exhibition, which opens today (October 18). To get you excited, here’s a peek at some of the winning images – and yes, firework-watching sound effects are necessary throughout. Overall winner and joint behaviour – mammals winner: 'The Moment' by Yongquing Bao © Yongqing Bao / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 Animal portraits winner: 'Face of Deception' by Ripan Biswas © Ripan Biswas / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 Mammals behaviour joint winner: 'The Equal Match' by Ingo Arndt © Ingo Arndt / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 Invertebrates behaviour winner: 'The Architectural Army' by Daniel Kronauer © Daniel Kronauer / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 Amphibians and reptiles behaviour winner: 'Pondworld' by Manuel Plaickner © Manuel Plaickner / Wildlife Photographer of the Year Birds behaviour winner: 'Land of the Eagle' by Audun Rikardsen © Audun Rikardsen / Wildlife Photographer of the Year Animals in their environment winner: 'Snow-Plateau Nomads' by Shangzhen Fan © Shangzhen Fan / Wildlife Photographer of the Year Wildlife Pho
Don’t miss Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace – it’s the site of an epic art heist
The Maurizio Cattelan exhibition at Blenheim Palace this autumn has received more publicity than it could ever have wished but, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons. Two days after opening, one of the artworks – a solid gold, fully working toilet titled ‘America’ valued at £4.8million - was stolen in a smash-and-grab raid. America, 2016, Victory is Not an Option, Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace Photograph: Tom Lindboe/courtesy of Blenheim Art Foundation The bling loo was intended for public use, but sadly visitors are now limited to the manor house’s regular facilities. But don’t let regular ol’ ceramic toilets stop you from visiting this year’s exhibition before it closes on October 27 – there’s still plenty of reasons to make the trip. Untitled, 2018, Victory is Not an Option, Maurizio Cattelan at Blenheim Palace Photograph: Tom Lindboe/courtesy of Blenheim Art Foundation Cattelan’s conceptual installations cleverly riff on the oddities found in an English estate of this sort, including the monumental pieces of taxidermy and heroic battle scenes adorning the walls. It’s disconcerting, fun and completely different from seeing his art in a normal white-walled gallery. Photograph: Pete Seaward/Blenheim Palace And when you’re done with that, head out for a walk in the expansive grounds. The rose garden is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-style paradise, with lots still blooming at the start of autumn, and The Cascades (basically a mini waterfall) is picture-per
Night at the museum: a weekend festival takes over London’s leading institutions
Forty London museums and galleries are being taken over for a mix of late-night gigs, tarot readings and DJ sets. How many can you make in one night? London, meet Emerge, a brand new festival that’s breaking down the doors of more than 40 iconic museums and galleries for a brilliant programme of lates spanning 11 boroughs (Fri Sep 27-Sat Sep 28) . You’ll only need one ticket per night whatever you choose, whether that’s an Ady Suleiman gig at the Horniman, gothic fairytales at Strawberry Hill House or poetry in a former convent. Queues are inevitable, and with miles separating some of these venues, you’ll need to plan your night wisely. Put on your plimsolls, you have a lot of ground to cover… Friday Ice Sound Bath at London Canal Museum Cool off with an arctic dip in the sonic soundscape of Tom White. The electronic musician layers sound samples from an ice factory and the waterways of London to create a chilling immersive experience. The cleverest part is how it references the Victorian ice business, which transported boatloads of frozen stuff along the canals. Ice, ice, baby. London Canal Museum. Tube: King’s Cross. 6pm. Can’t make it Friday? This one is on the Saturday too! Number One London House of Scandal at Apsley House Slip on some silk stockings and ramp up the face powder, we’re on our way to Regency England. Held at Apsley House, former home of the Duke of Wellington, this party takes you back to when pamphleteers were the Twittersphere and the servants knew you