Mix: paint today
Lubaina Himid, The Captain and the Companion, 2017-2018
/ Lubaina Himid
What happens in the most popular of all visual art forms? What does it mean today Through 31 contemporary practitioners of the arts, this exhibition aims to, um, paint a picture.
The Royal Academy is once again hosting the world’s oldest open art exhibition, this time with more than 1,000 works coordinated by an artist group led by Yinka Shonibare under the theme of Reclaiming Magic.
We are very excited about this exhibition about the excitingly experimental Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, whose impressive work includes sculpture, architecture, dance, design and landscape, driven by humanistic values and the use of materials from ceramics to paper to light.
Poussin and the dance
Nicolas Poussin, The Triumph of Pan, 1636
/ National Gallery
The on-screen chaos is underpinned by rigorous planning and meticulous execution in Nicolas Poussin’s amazing and unique dance images (this is the first exhibition to focus on them), where gods and mortals mingle in the ecstatic throwing of shapes.
Later a policeman
I’m not going to lie, I always think Constable is a little … twee. All of these white highlights on pastoral scenes. However, this exhibition aims to show how radical this famous Royal Academician actually was with the expressive, free paintings of his later work.
Hogarth and Europe
William Hogarth has captured and commented on the contemporary British experience in an Age of Change and Enlightenment – but his colleagues across Europe did the same in their own countries. This exhibition places the artist in his European context for the first time.
Peru: a journey through time
Just in time for the 200th anniversary of Peru’s independence, this groundbreaking show will highlight the history, beliefs and cultural achievements of the peoples who began from 2000 BC. Lived in the remarkable landscapes of the central Andes until the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century.
The Credit Suisse exhibition: Dürer’s Travels: Travels of a Renaissance Artist
Albrecht Dürer, Madonna and Child, around 1496–9
/ National Gallery of Art, Washington
With paintings, drawings, prints and letters, this exhibition follows in the footsteps of the great German Renaissance artist who traveled through Europe and toured the Alps, Italy, Venice (then independent) and the Netherlands.
A major exhibition for the Turner Award winning artist, showing current work and selections from her entire career that will unfold (appropriately for someone trained in theater design) over a sequence of scenes.
Life Between the Islands: Caribbean-British Art, 1950s-Today
Spanning an ocean and half a century, this solemn, landmark exhibition focuses on the work of British-based artists and other British artists who have been influenced by the culture of the region.
What is the use of sitting alone in your room? Instead, come and check out this super glitzy cabaret revival. Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley will star in Rebecca Frecknall’s production, which is sure to be the hottest show of the fall.
The tragedy of Macbeth
Is that a very long line for tickets that I see in front of me? This September, four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan will make her UK stage debut alongside James McArdle (aka the Creepy Priest in Mare of East Town) in Macbeth. Even Shakespeare wants a ticket.
The mirror and the light
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy may be over, but this won’t be the last we see of Thomas Cromwell. The last part, released last year, was adapted for the West End by Mantel and Ben Miles, who will repeat his role as Cromwell. Ruffs ready.
Gielgud, September 23 to November 28
Arinzé Kene and the cast of Get Up, Stand Up! in rehearsals
The life, times and music of Bob Marley will come on stage for this big new musical, with Arinzé Kene playing the reggae superstar himself. Directed by Clint Dyer and written by Lee Hall, the man who wrote Billy Elliot the Musical, it will bring life to the West End.
We waited so long to let it go that we turned into an icicle, but Frozen the Musical is finally opening in the West End. After many delays caused by pandemics, the Disney giant opens at the renovated Theater Royal Drury Lane this September.
The normal heart
At the height of the AIDS crisis, Larry Kramer wrote a play about an activist trying to unite his community and fight for recognition from the medical establishment. More than 30 years later, it is experiencing a major revival in the National Theater and is passing the story on to a new generation.
Cush Jumbo plays Hamlet at the Young Vic
Everyone wants to see Cush play Jumbo Hamlet. Production, which has been delayed by the pandemic but will finally open this September, is super sold out, but keep an eye on Young Vic’s website for future availability.
Jasmine Lee-Jones’ debut piece, Seven Ways to Kill Kylie Jenner, was without a doubt one of the most seminal debuts of the past decade. She follows a tired acting student who stumbles upon a piece of history with a one-woman show she will put on.
Life of Pi: Shipwreck with Tiger
Did you have a tough year? At least you’re not trapped on a raft with a huge creepy tiger that you’re not even sure of if it’s real. One of the most beloved Booker-winning novels of all time, Life of Pi has been turned into a thrilling play by Lolita Chakrabarti and is finally reaching the West End this year.
Message in a bottle
Message in a bottle
/ Helen Maybanks
A jukebox dance to Sting’s music that premiered last year, this brilliant, glowing piece by three-time Olivier-nominated choreographer Kate Prince, perhaps unexpectedly, deals with the refugee crisis. It sizzles with energy and strength.
The midnight bell
Matthew Bourne’s highly anticipated new ballet is inspired by the work of the great English writer Patrick Hamilton, who, unlike his contemporary Noel Coward, wrote about the lives of ordinary men and women, in turn inspired by interactions in his local pub.
Romeo and Juliet
Kenneth MacMillan’s breathtaking production, first performed in 1965, is one of the modern classics that brings the hustle and bustle of bustling Verona and its underlying conflicts to life. The cast includes a real life couple (and beautiful dancers) Francesca Hayward and Cesar Corrales.
Royal Opera House, 5. – 24. October; January 10th to February 25th
The Dante project
The Dante project
This highly anticipated collaboration between choreographer Wayne McGregor, artist Tacita Dean and composer Thomas Adès presents Dante’s epic journey from Hell to Heaven, The Divine Comedy, as part of the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Royal Opera House, 14.-30. October
Get ready to faint. Peter Wright’s classic staging of the outstanding romantic ballet is an absolute delight. His coveted title role (which requires not only an exceptional dancer but also serious acting) is danced by most of the directors of the Royal Ballet.
Oliver Mears begins his tenure as Opera Director at the Royal Opera House with this new production of Verdi’s masterpiece, led by Carlos Álvarez in the title role alongside Lisette Oropesa and Liparit Avetisyan.
The magic flute
The magic flute
/ Tristram Kenton
This is the tenth revival of David McVicar’s spectacular production of Mozart’s magical comic opera, which premiered just two months before the composer’s death at the age of 35. A fantastic parable about man’s search for wisdom and virtue, also with dancing animals.
The first production of Janáček’s emotionally complex (and dark) opera at the ROH in 20 years follows two women who find their place in a claustrophobic rural society. Asmik Grigorian makes her Royal Opera debut in the title role alongside Karita Mattila as Kostelnička.
This revival of Phelim McDermott’s lavish staging of Philip Glass’s meditation on Mahatma Gandhi’s early years in South Africa will be a hot ticket. The cast is led by Sean Panikkar as Gandhi, a role in which he made his Los Angeles Opera debut. It’s an ENO debut for conductor Carolyn Kuan.
London Coliseum, 14.-28. October
Angel Blue as Violetta in La Traviata
Five different sopranos take on the coveted role of Violetta in this production of the world’s most performed opera – Lisette Oropesa and Anush Hovhannisyan in the autumn and Pretty Yende, Angel Blue and Hrachuhí Bassénz in the spring. Obvious.
Cal McCrystal returns to ENO to direct this new production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s satire on the British class system, Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty.
London Coliseum, Oct 29th to Dec 11th
Get ready, it’s the beginning of another Ring cycle, this time directed by Richard Jones, that will unfold over the next five years at ENO. While the scheming gods turn the world upside down in search of power, it’s hard to keep seeing parallels …
London Coliseum, November 19th to December 10th
/ Getty Images
The North Shields Springsteen student got off to a great start, winning the Brits Critics’ Choice Award and sending his debut album at number one in 2019. Here he gives a preview of the sequel, which will be released a fortnight after this gig.
Unlike Dua Lipa or Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding was a pop star who reined in the dance anthems during lockdown and released an album, Brightest Blue, which was mostly quieter. Your departure from the arenas for this slightly smaller show should fit the sound.
Like a tired cop caught up in another case before he retires, Elton John had to wait even longer to get his feet up for good after his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was postponed for a year. In November he will finally do nine shows in the O2.
After headlining the All Points East Festival in Hackney later this month, the electronic soul trio will be back for two big London shows of their own. The slightly livelier style of their latest third album is meant to keep the crowd from drifting away.
/ PR handout
One of the founding fathers of Grime is currently riding for more recognition than ever and received his first Mercury Prize nomination for his Conflict of Interest album. It’s packed with guest stars like Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, Skepta, and Dave, so keep an eye out for surprise visitors here.