April in London 2018

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Virgin London Marathon

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Virgin London Marathon
Sam Smith
Eliades Ochoa
La Linea
The Encounter
The London Coffee Festival
Viviana Durante Company - Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time
Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical
Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition
Country Living Magazine Spring Fair
Mood Music
Monet and Architecture
The Moderate Soprano
The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture
Fashioned From Nature
Chess
Rodin and the art of ancient Greece
 

 

Don't be fooled, Easter falls on 1st April in 2018. It's the London Marathon on 22nd and Chess returns to the West End for the first time since 1986.

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Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical

The award winning musical returns to London's West End.

 

It wowed audiences and won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and now Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell - The Musical is back, appearing at the Dominion Theatre from 2nd April 2018. Jay Scheib directs the high-octane rock'n'roll musical based on Meat Loaf's 1977 album, about a rebellious youth called Strat, who falls in love with the daughter of the despotic leader of a post-cataclysmic city. The songbook includes tracks from Bat Out Of Hell, one of the best-selling albums of all time which sold over 50 million copies worldwide. Well known songs include the massive hit I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) and the anthemic title track. "Impressive staging, clever production and a back catalogue of hits ensure the Meat Loaf musical is a smash hit" said the Manchester Evening News.

 
 
 

The Moderate Soprano

David Hare's play tells of the passion of the founder of Glyndebourne opera.

Duke of York's Theatre, St Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4BG

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Charing Cross Station, Covent Garden Station, Piccadilly Circus Station, Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 5th April to 30th June 2018

 

Hampstead Theatre's 2015 hit The Moderate Soprano transfers to the West End in April 2018. David Hare's play tells of the passion of the Glyndebourne opera festival founder whose admiration for the works of Wagner leads him to embark on an ambitious project: the construction of an Opera House on his estate in Sussex. It's the story of a love affair between unlikely bedfellows, in the face of scrutiny, sacrifice and war in Germany. Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll reprise their roles of Glyndebourne founder John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay. Jeremy Herrin also returns to direct the play which has a brand new set and costume designs by the multi award-winning theatre and opera designer, Bob Crowley.

 
 
 

Cheek by Jowl: Pericles

The renowned French ensemble gives Pericles an arresting interpretation.

 

Renowned French ensemble Cheek By Jowl presents its first Shakespeare production in the French language, performed with English surtitles: Pericles. Last seen here at the Barbican in the explosive Ubu Roi in 2014, Cheek by Jowl gives Pericles an arresting interpretation as the leader of Athens navigates stormy seas, pirates, brothels, incest, shipwrecks, human traffickers and tournaments. This Barbican co-production, staged in the Silke Street Theatre, comes to London as part of a UK and international tour directed by Declan Donnellan. During the run there is a Weekend Lab with Assistant Director Marcus Roche.

 
 
 

Sam Smith

The British soul singer plays his four massive gigs at London's O2.

The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB

Tube: North Greenwich Station

 

Dates: 6th to 10th Apr 2018

 

London-based singer-songwriter Sam Smith fist made waves in the music industry when he featured on Disclosure's track Latch in late 2012 and Naughty Boy's La La La in May 2013. Since then he's transitioned into a solo career, come up with the theme tune for a Bond film and now releases his latest album, The Thrill Of It All. He's certainly come a long way since his debut single, Money on My Mind, which took inspiration from Major Lazer's Pon De Floor to create an undoubtedly catchy chorus. This 2018 UK Arena Tour includes his biggest headline shows to date and ends with four dates in London at The O2.

 
 
 

Monet and Architecture

From villages to modern cities, buildings played an important role in Monet's pictures.

 

Monet maybe best known for his paintings of lilies - impressionistic images of the floating flowers immediately spring to mind - but buildings played important and unexpected roles in his pictures. With Monet & Architecture the National Gallery presents the great French master in a new light. The first exhibition devoted to Monet's relationship with architecture, it shows over 70 works of the built environment from villages to modern cities - including the Houses of Parliament, Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges in London. Bridges and buildings of suburban Paris are displayed along with strikingly modern paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare, ending with his monumental series of Rouen Cathedral.

 
 
 
 

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture

The gallery presents the great French master in a new light.

 

Monet may be best known for his paintings of lilies - impressionistic images of the floating flowers immediately spring to mind - but buildings played important and unexpected roles in his pictures. With Monet & Architecture the National Gallery presents the great French master in a new light. The first exhibition devoted to Monet's relationship with architecture, it shows over 70 works of the built environment from villages to modern cities - including the Houses of Parliament, Waterloo and Charing Cross bridges in London. Bridges and buildings of suburban Paris are displayed along with strikingly modern paintings of the Gare Saint-Lazare, ending with his monumental series of Rouen Cathedral.

 
 
 

Arcade Fire

The Canadian indie-rockers come to London as part of a huge tour.

SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, Earls Court, London, HA9 0DH

Tube: Wembley Park Station

 

Dates: 11th, 12th and 13th April 2018

 

Canadian indie-rockers Arcade Fire come to Wembley Arena in April 2018 as part of a huge UK and Ireland tour. They'll be playing 'in the round' at each venue - a format that proved popular at London's York Hall where the band played a run of intimate gigs in summer 2017. With new album Everything Now - "a record about information overload" - showing "an emphatic return" to "lofty standards" (NME), Arcade Fire still has the ability to light up a gig with their rousing, anthemic art-rock records.

 
 
 

The London Coffee Festival

Over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, cocktails, music and art.

The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

Tube: Aldgate East Station

 

Dates: 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Apr 2018

 

The four day London Coffee Festival returns with coffee, cocktails, music and art all linked to the theme of coffee. The festival includes live roasting demonstrations, an espresso martini party, coffee food pairing, a milk bar, latte art and the school of chocolate. Across the Old Truman Brewery site over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs and art exhibitions are staged, all centred on the caffeinated drink. Visitors also gain access to Milk & Sugar, showcasing some of London's cutting edge fashion, design, art, lifestyle and wellbeing brands.

 
 
 

English National Ballet: Voices Of America

A mixed bill from American choreographers, including a premiere by William Forsythe.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station

 

Dates: 12th to 21st April 2018

 

English National Ballet return to Sadler's Wells in 2018 with a mixed bill of American-style neo-classic ballet. Voices of America brings together works from three generations of American choreographers, including the world premiere of a new creation by William Forsythe. Having not devised anything for a UK ballet company for more than 20 years, this is an exclusive piece for the English National Ballet. As well as the premiere, Forsythe's Approximate Sonata 2016, originally created in 1996, will be performed having recently been reworked while other pieces in the bill include Jerome Robbins' 1951 ballet The Cage and Aszure Barton's Fantastic Beings.

 
 
 

The Encounter

Complicite combines traditional story telling with cutting-edge technology.

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tube: Barbican Station , Moorgate Station

 

Dates: 14th April to 5th May 2018

 

First performed here at the Barbican in 2016 and following a hit Broadway run and international tour, The Encounter, by Complicite Theatre Company returns this spring. In a fusion of noise and narrative, the solo show combines traditional story telling with cutting-edge technology. Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, it sees Simon McBurney transform audiences into the humid depths of the Amazon. It's 1969 and Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer, has found himself lost among the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil. The encounter will change his life and bring the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.

 
 
 
 

Viviana Durante Company - Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time

Ballerina Viviana Durante directs Kenneth MacMillan's earliest works to mark 25 years since his death.

 

Italian ballerina Viviana Durante directs a programme of Kenneth MacMillan's earliest works at the Barbican's Pit. Having worked with MacMillan at The Royal Ballet, Durante has both danced and revived his creations. To celebrate his legacy and to mark 25 years since his death, she selects extracts from House of Birds and Danses Concertantes and presents Laiderette in full. Together, they highlight the boldness, insight, complexity, wit and relevance of MacMillan's choreography. Performed by artists from Ballet Black, Scottish Ballet and The Royal Ballet, including principals Lauren Cuthbertson, Francesca Hayward and Edward Watson, each contains a passionate pas de deux, another famous MacMillan forte.

 
 
 

Absolute Hell

Joe Hill-Gibbins directs Rodney Ackland's plunge into post-war Soho.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 

Dates: 18th April to 23rd May 2018

 

Thirty years after the rediscovery of Absolute Hell Joe Hill-Gibbins returns to the National Theatre to direct Rodney Ackland's plunge into post-war Soho, full of despair, longing and a need to escape. Branded 'a libel on the British people' on its first airing in 1952 under the title 'The Pink Room', the play was panned. Revised and rewritten but no less shocking, Absolute Hell, as it was re-titled, premiered at Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre in 1988 at a time when the world was ready for it. For this current staging Joe Hill-Gibbins, known for his bold productions, is likely to remain true to Ackland's provocative original.

 
 
 

La Linea

The 10 day London Latin Music Festival brings live music to venues across London.

 

There are around 145,000 Latin Americans in the capital and La Linea, the 10 day London Latin Music Festival which takes place in April, will make them feel right at home. In quite a coup, former Buena Vista Social Club frontman Eliades Ochoa returns to the UK for the first time since the band's farewell tour in 2015. There's the UK premiere of a tribute to Latin American composers in Hollywood, Sonorama, with music from the likes of Juan García Esquivel, Lalo Schifrin and Maria Greve in a big brass and electronic reinvention led by Mexico-City based composer and performer Camilo Lara. Global phenomenon Mexrrissey premiere their brand new show 'La Reina is Dead' at the Barbican. Also look out for Latin beats by Chilean-French singer Ana Tijoux, Iranian/Cuban quartet Ariwo, Senegalese outfit Orchestra Baobab, and Catalonian supergroup La Pegatina.

 
 
 

Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Award winning photos of everything from travel to portraiture, photojournalism to architecture.

Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 20th April to 6th May 2018

 

The World Photography Organisation stages a large-scale London exhibition showing the winning and shortlisted images of the 11th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House. Five hundred of the best professional and amateur contemporary photographs from around the world are selected, capturing everything from fashion to travel, portraiture to sport and photojournalism to architecture. The award is worth $25,000 to the winner and the exhibition includes new works by the photographer who receives the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award which was given to Martin Parr last year.

 
 
 

Mood Music

In a claustrophobic recording studio, two songwriters engage in verbal warfare over their music.

 

The Old Vic celebrates its 200th birthday this spring with Mood Music, a new play by Joe Penhall who wrote the award-winning West End musical Sunny Afternoon. He reunites with long-term collaborator, the Notting Hill director Roger Michell who worked with Penhall on 2012's Birthday at the Royal Court. In the world premiere of Penhall's drama, set in a claustrophobic London recording studio, two songwriters engage in verbal warfare over their music. They're flanked by their lawyers and psychotherapists as we learn about the creative process and raging narcissism.

 
 
 
 

Fashioned From Nature

This blockbuster exhibition looks at the complex relationship between fashion and nature.

 

The latest in a series of major fashion exhibitions at the V&A, Fashioned from Nature looks at the complex relationship between fashion and the natural world. Tracing back to 1600, it will explore how fashionable dress continuously draws on the beauty of nature for inspiration and how pieces by the likes of Christian Dior, Dries van Noten and Philip Treacy reflect this. The exhibition will also delve into how fashion's processes and constant demand for raw materials can have a damaging effect on the environment. Pieces on display include Emma Watson's Calvin Klein dress made from recycled plastic bottles, an upcycled dress by Christopher Raeburn, and an 1875 pair of earrings formed from the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds.

 
 
 

The Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes

The Queen's 92nd birthday is marked publicly by the gun salutes.

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: Saturday 21st April 2018

 

The Queen celebrates her 92nd birthday in 2018 and on 21st April - The Queen's actual birthday, which she celebrates privately - the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in London. The 41-gun Queen's Birthday Gun Salute in Hyde Park takes place at midday, followed an hour later by a 62-gun salute at the Tower Of London. It's a spectacular show of pomp and ceremony and it's also the only time when you will see horses legally at a full gallop in a Royal Park - with a ton and a half of cannon in tow. While the Queen's Birthday Gun Salutes are held to celebrate her actual birthday on 21st April, there are further celebrations for her official birthday in June which is marked by Trooping the Colour.

 
 
 

Virgin London Marathon

38,000 runners take to the streets of London.

The Mall, Westminster, London, SW1Y 5AH

Tube: St James's Park Station

 

Dates: Sunday 22nd April 2018

 

The largest fund raising event in the world, the London Marathon, returns to the capital in April. One of the top five international marathons, it sees around 38,000 runners - serious competitors, celebrities and charity fun runners - flood the streets of London to tackle the gruelling 26.2 mile route. Attracting thousands of spectators, the course comes alive to the sounds of bands, cheering crowds and pounding feet. The race kicks off at Greenwich Park and Blackheath with a loop around Charlton and Woolwich, continues through Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, crosses the Thames on Tower Bridge before circling Canary Wharf and the City ahead of the showpiece finish along the Embankment, past Parliament Square and onto The Mall in the shadow of Buckingham Palace.

 
 
 

Awful Auntie

The stage version of David Walliams' book is thrilling fun for everyone over five.

New Wimbledon Theatre, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

Tube: Wimbledon Station

 

Dates: 24th to 28th Apr 2018

 

The Birmingham Stage Company, who recently completed a record-breaking tour of David Walliams' Gangsta Granny, now turn their attention to Walliams' Awful Auntie. Awfully thrilling fun for everyone over five, the stage show tells the story of Stella, who set off to visit London with her parents. Waking up from a coma three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened. But not everything Aunt Alberta tells her turns out to be true in this tale of frights, fights and friendship. Featuring a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost.

 
 
 

Eliades Ochoa

The former Buena Vista Social Club frontman makes his UK solo debut.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Tube: South Kensington Station

 

Dates: 25th April 2018

 

One of the most important Cuban musicians of all time, the former Buena Vista Social Club frontman, Eliades Ochoa, makes his solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall, fronting his own band. A winner of several Latin Grammy nominations and awards, Ochoa will be playing a special set adding hot brass into the swinging guitar and conga mix. A principal performer in the worldwide sold-out Adiós Tour with Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, this is the first time he'll play in London since that farewell tour in 2015. His appearance is part of the London Latin Music Festival, La Linea, a 10 day festival taking place at various venues across London, featuring everything from traditional Cuban music to ska and electronica.

 
 
 
 

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair

Home and interiors inspiration as well as crafty talks and workshops.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, Islington, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th Apr 2018

 

As much a part of spring as daffodils and snowdrops, for Londoners spring also means the arrival of the Country Living Magazine Spring Fair at Alexandra Palace. Full of home and interiors inspiration, the show hosts over 400 exhibitors who set up stalls packed with cushions, fabrics, clothes, bags, jewellery, homeware and plenty of other crafty goodies. There's a newcomers market, showcasing first-time crafters, workshops and talks on topics like flower arranging, bee keeping and block printing. So not only can you give your home and wardrobe a spring clean but you can also try your hand at something new.

 
 
 

Chess

The first West End revival since the original 1986 production.

 

Laurence Connor directs the first West End revival since the original 1986 production, which starred Elaine Paige, of Chess. The famous eighties musical written by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, with Tim Rice, tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s. his new West End production, presented at the London Coliseum features English National Opera's award-winning orchestra and chorus. It's directed by Laurence Connor, whose recent credits include School of Rock and Miss Saigon, Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar. Choreography is by Stephen Mear.

 
 
 

Rodin and the art of ancient Greece

Connecting Rodin, the art of antiquity and sculptures on the Parthenon.

 

French sculptor Auguste Rodin, one of the greatest and most innovative sculptors of the modern era, took his inspiration from the art of antiquity. He regularly travelled to London and visited the British Museum to sketch. So it's entirely appropriate that this is where Rodin and the art of ancient Greece, an exhibition staged in collaboration with the Musee Rodin, is being held. Visitors can see how Rodin admired the art of antiquity, particularly the works of Phidias who carved the sculptures on the Parthenon.

 
 
 

London Burlesque Festival

The festival celebrates its 12th birthday in 2018.

Shaw Theatre, 100-110 Euston Road, Soho, London, NW1 2AJ

Tube: Euston Station , King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 27th April to 2nd June 2018

 

With the welcome news that Madame JoJo's is due to reopen in 2018, burlesque in London is enjoying a revival. Flying the flag for a saucy striptease, the London Burlesque Festival celebrates its 12th birthday in 2018. Brought to you by the infamous King of Burlesque, Chaz Royal, the man behind the hilariously named 'Pavabotti - The Naked Tenor', the festival showcases the very best in burlesque, glitz, vaudeville and sizzling striptease. Taking place at Shaw Theatre, the festival opens and closes with glittering ceremonies with five shows in between by the winners from the World Burlesque Games as well as a Tattoo & Twisted Revue - alternative artists of the underbelly performing scene. If you crave suspenders, stockings, whips, lace, red lips, lascivious ladies, pert posteriors and a bit of a slap 'n' tickle then this is the event for your diary.

 
 
 

Nightfall

This bruising drama sees a formidable mother struggle to cope after her husband's death.

The Bridge Theatre, 3 Potters Fields Park, London, SE1 2SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 28th April to 3rd June 2018

 

Laurie Sansom stars in Barney Norris' bruising drama set on a family farm outside Winchester, where a formidable mother struggles to cope in the aftermath of her husband's passing. When her daughter's boyfriend gatecrashes the reminiscence, flush with money from a job at an oil refinery, the family's simple dream of living off the land comes under threat.

 
 
 
 
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