January in London 2018

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Lia Williams and Juliet Stevenson star in Mary Stuart

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Lia Williams and Juliet Stevenson star in Mary Stuart
Zoe Wanamaker stars in The Birthday Party
Things I Know To Be True
London A Cappella Festival
Long Day's Journey Into Night
New Year's Day Parade
London Boat Show
London Art Fair
Cirque Du Soleil: Ovo
London International Mime Festival
The Birthday Party
Lumiere London
Re:Solutions Festival
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017
Julius Caesar
Hayley Atwell stars in Dry Powder
Vault Festival
Winter Lights Festival
The Adventure Travel Show

© Manuel Harlan

Mary Stuart transfers to the West End where The Birthday Party gets an all-star revival and Lumiere London returns, bigger and spread wider, to light up the city.

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New Year's Day Parade

American cop cars, miniature steamers and drummers Pandemonium join the parade.

Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JX

Tube: Westminster Station , St James's Park Station


Dates: Monday 1st January 2018


American cop cars, miniature steamers and drumming group Pandemonium, who made their first public appearance at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, appear in front of over half a million spectators at London's New Year's Day Parade. The parade, which has been entertaining London since its inception on January 1st 1987, takes around three hours to weaves its way along the 2.2 mile central London route, from outside The Ritz Hotel to Parliament Square, and more than 500,00 spectators pack London's streets to see it. Expect vast, extravagant, Disney-style floats, with plenty of loud music, whistles and dancing in the street, along with marching bands, cheerleaders, street performers, clowns, acrobats, kites, colourful costumes and representatives from each of the 33 London Boroughs.


Re:Solutions Festival

Wellness warriors are invited to celebrate their love of health and wellbeing.

JuJu's Bar and Stage, 15 Hanbury Street, Ely's Yard, London, E1 6QR

Tube: Aldgate East Station


Dates: 4th to 31st January 2018


The month-long Re:Solutions Festival invites wellness warriors to celebrate their love of health and wellbeing. Taking place at Juju's Bar & Stage in the Old Truman Brewery, it's back for its second year and promises to be bigger and better than ever with yoga, dance and fitness classes from the likes of Yogahood, Fat Buddha Yoga and Disco Barre. There will be swing and Cuban dance classes, mindful and meditation workshops, disco barre and Pilates. Nourishing and healthy food will be on offer from the Juju Bean Café with Moju juices, Karma Cola and vegan Cupcakes and Shhht offering guilt-free indulgence.


Cirque Du Soleil: Ovo

Back with a brand new show for the UK, the circus troupe revel in an insect's life.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 7th January to 11th February 2018


The award-winning theatrical troupe Cirque du Soleil returns to the Royal Albert Hall in 2018 with its never before seen in the UK show, OVO. Written, directed and choreographed by Deborah Colker, the show presents a high-flying celebration of nature set in a colourful ecosystem teeming with insect life, including a 14 metre high flying trapeze act. Taken from the word 'egg' in Portuguese, OVO is a story of love at first sight and the life cycle of insects, set in the hidden world at our feet.


The Birthday Party

An all-star revival of Harold Pinter's darkly comic thriller.

Harold Pinter Theatre, 6 Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN

Tube: Piccadilly Circus Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 9th January to 14th April 2018


A trio of Olivier Award winners, Toby Jones, Zoe Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan, star in Harold Pinter's darkly comic thriller about a birthday party at a seaside boarding house. Proceedings descend into disarray when two enigmatic strangers arrive and disrupt the humdrum lives of the residents. This new production of The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre comes 60 years after the play's debut. Ian Rickson, artistic director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, who directed Pinter himself in his last performance as an actor in Krapp's Last Tape, directs.


London International Mime Festival

The 2018 festival sees the return of 2015 Olivier Award winners, Peeping Tom.


Various Venues Dates: 10th January to 3rd February 2018


Dialogue is minimal at the London International Mime Festival. Taking place at some of the city's best arts venues, from Shoreditch Town Hall to Soho Theatre, the programme of events is made up of 11 UK or London premieres, with artists from Finland, France, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand,†Belgium†and beyond joining some of Britain's fast emerging talents and established names. The festival opens with Lahto (Departure), a piece reminiscent of 1960s cult movie Blow Up, performed by Finland's Kalle Nio / WHS at Central Saint Martins Platform Theatre. Further festival highlights include the return of Jakop Ahlbom's five star Horror team who stage another movie-inspired masterpiece, Lebensraum, while at the Barbican two large-scale shows from Belgium see the return of 2015 Olivier Award winners, Peeping Tom, and the UK premiere of epic and extraordinary FC Bergman.


London Boat Show

Messing about with boats. See the latest yachts and meet boating legends.

ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL

Tube: Canning Town Station


Dates: 10th to 14th Jan 2018


London's biggest exhibition of boats returns for its 64th year in 2018, with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing everything from 1.4-metre sailing dinghies to 37-metre tri-deck motor yachts. Visitors to the five day London Boat Show will be able to see the latest in boating and boating technology and hear from the world's experts in the field as well as interviews with boating legends. You can even have a go in the activity pool and learn how to do dinghy sailing, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. Beautiful yachts are moored in the marina and next them is the Watersports Park where visitors can get on the water and try the latest watersports.


Things I Know To Be True

Frantic Assembly tell the story of a family and marriage through the eyes of four grown siblings.

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, 2 King Street, London, W6 0QA

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 11th January to 3rd February 2018


A hit here at the Lyric two years ago and now on a second UK tour, Andrew Bovell's Things I Know To Be True is brought to the stage by Frantic Assembly and State Theatre Company Of South Australia. The drama tells the story of a family and marriage through the eyes of four grown siblings. Original UK cast members, Matthew Barker and Kirsty Oswald, return to reprise their roles as Mark and Rosie. Joining them are Cate Hamer as Fran Price, married to Bob, played by John McArdle, parents who have worked their fingers to the bone. Their four grownup children, ready to fly the nest, struggle to define themselves beyond their parents' love and expectations.


Mary Stuart

Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams play the central roles, allocated with the toss of a coin.

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: 13th January to 31st March 2018


Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williams trade the central roles of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, deciding who gets which part with a toss of a coin ahead of each performance. Following its critically acclaimed run at the unstoppable Almeida Theatre, Robert Icke's adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's political tragedy Mary Stuart gets a West End transfer. Set during some of British history's most crucial days, the drama centres on the lives of the two queens - one in power, one in prison.



David Eldridge's new play transfers from the National to the Ambassadors Theatre.

Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, WC2H 9ND

Tube: Leicester Square Station , Covent Garden Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 15th January to 24th March 2018


A new play by David Eldridge, Beginning invites the audience to be a fly on the wall at Laura's party. With the party coming to the end, Danny is the last straggler and decides to stay for one final drink. The flat is a mess and so are they, what will one more drink lead to? Polly Findlay directs the tender and funny piece, which transfers to the Ambassadors Theatre after a sell-out run at the National in 2017.


London Art Fair

Curated spaces and unmissable art, discover works by renowned artists from the 20th Century to today.

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 17th to 21st Jan 2018


Now in its 30th year, the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre shows no signs of losing its cutting edge. Whether you're buying or just looking you'll have over a hundred of London's best galleries to browse through. This year, five leading contemporary artists - Sonia Boyce, Mat Collishaw, Haroon Mirza, Oscar Murillo and Rose Wylie - select works from Art UK for one-off exhibition within the fair. Talks and tours hosted are by leading experts from Sotheby's and the like and it's open late on Thursday - stop by after work for an insightful programme of talks, tours and performance.



Annie Baker's

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 17th January to 3rd March 2018


Annie Baker, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flick had a sold-out run at the National in 2016, is back with John, a new play about the uncanny impact of inanimate objects. Set in a bed and breakfast in Gettsburg, Pennsylvania, it's the week after Thanksgiving and a young couple from Brooklyn are attempting to save their relationship. Following its staging in New York in 2015 The Guardian critic Alexis Soloski praised "the playwright's feel for character and dialogue" and The New Yorker said it was "so good on so many levels".


Lumiere London

Bigger and brighter, the illuminated installations return with more than 40 light works lighting up London.


Various Venues Dates: 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Jan 2018


A huge success when it lit up London for the first time two years ago, the Lumiere festival of light is back. Produced by Artichoke, the grand spectacle will run for four nights in January and see illuminations and animations projected at different locations throughout London including the West End and King's Cross, Westminster Abbey and the National Theatre, with new destinations Covent Garden, Victoria, the South Bank and Waterloo added. More than a million people came to see the spectacle last time. This time it's bigger and brighter, with more than 40 interactive installations and light works transforming London into a big nocturnal outdoor exhibition. The perfect way to inject some sparkle into the city after the Christmas lights have come down.


Julius Caesar

David Calder and Ben Whishaw lead an all-star in a promenade staging of Shakespeare's tragedy.

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

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 20th January to 15th April 2018


Nicholas Hytner directs a promenade staging of Shakespeare's bloodthirsty tragedy in which Caesar returns to Rome to public adulation and the educated elite plot his assassination to ensure Caesar cannot seize more power from the Roman republic. David Calder plays the title role opposite the brilliant Ben Whishaw (see The Hour, London Spy and his scene stealing turn as Q in the Bond films) and Michelle Fairley as coup conspirators Brutus and Cassius, and David Morrissey as Mark Antony.



Battle of wits between the court composer and his rowdy young prodigy.

National Theatre: Olivier Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 8XZ

Tube: Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 22nd January to 17th February 2018


Following a sell-out run last year, Amadeus returns to the Olivier in 2018. Adam Gillen and Lucian Msamati, who "cuts a swaggering figure in Game of Thrones as the pirate Salladhor Saan" (Guardian), reprise the roles of Mozart and the scheming Salieri. This acclaimed play had its premiere at the National Theatre more than 35 years ago, winning multiple Olivier and Tony Awards before being adapted into Milos Forman's Academy Award-winning film. Now Michael Longhurst directs this battle of wits between the court composer and his rowdy young prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who arrives in Vienna determined to make a splash.


London A Cappella Festival

Some of the best choral groups, beatbox ensembles and throat singers.

Kings Place, 90 York Way, King's Cross, London, N1 9AG

Tube: King's Cross Station


Dates: 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th Jan 2018


The annual London A Cappella Festival showcases some of the best choral, jazz, contemporary, beatbox ensembles and throat singers, with an eclectic programme that never disappoints. In 2018 the festival welcomes global jazz superstars New York Voices, leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music The Tallis Scholars and internationally acclaimed Tuvan throat singers Huun-Huur-Tu. World Beatbox Champions The Beatbox Collective give a performance and workshop, award-winning vocal sextet Estonian Voices perform live and the festival also sees the return of the hugely popular LACF Kids on Saturday 27th January, bursting with events to inspire the next generation.


Andreas Gursky

The UK's first major retrospective of the photographer's work.

The Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XZ

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 24th January to 22nd April 2018


Kicking off the gallery's 50th anniversary year, 2018 sees the Hayward Gallery host the first major retrospective in the UK of the work of Andreas Gursky. Considered one of the most significant photographers of our time, the German artist is known for pushing the boundaries with his large-scale pictures that portray scenes of the global economy and contemporary life. The exhibition will include some of Gursky's best-known works including Paris, Montparnasse, an iconic photo of a seemingly endless block of flats; Rhine II, a digitally tweaked vision of the river as a contemporary minimalist symbol; and May Day IV, which depicts hundreds of revellers at Germany's Mayday techno music festival.


Vault Festival

The fabulous fringe festival expands to bring you 300 weird and wonderful new shows.

The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, South Bank, London, SE1 7NN

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station


Dates: 24th January to 18th March 2018


The boundless Vault Festival is one of the most exciting happenings on London's fringe. Returning for its sixth year, the eight-week arts festival expands to include 300 new shows with a wide-ranging programme of performance, live music, discussions and one-off late night parties. Held at The Vaults in Waterloo's Leake Street tunnels, the line-up for this year's festival includes Neverland, by Theatre Deli and The Guild of Misrule, producers of the 2017 immersive theatre sensation, The Great Gatsby who bring glittering pirates, mermaids, food fights, absinthe bars and live music to the Vaults. There's immersive hip hop dance with Caravan while Lamplighters leads the audience through an improvised spy story in the style of John Le Carre. Chivaree Circus bring their award winning re-imagining of the classic myth of Persephone into a full 8 week immersive circus extravaganza and comedy comes via Edinburgh from Mat Ewins, Graham Dickson and Joe Sutherland.


Dry Powder

Hayley Atwell, star of BBC's Howards End, is not in business to make friends.

Hampstead Theatre, Eton Avenue, London, NW3 3EU

Tube: Swiss Cottage Station


Dates: 26th January to 3rd March 2018


Hayley Atwell, star of BBC's Howards End, makes her Hampstead Theatre debut as Jenny in the UK premiere of Sarah Burgess' witty comedy, Dry Powder. She is joined by Tom Riley and Aidan McArdle in a production placed at the financial heart of New York City. In the same week his private equity firm forced massive layoffs at a supermarket chain, Rick threw himself a lavish engagement party - which even featured an elephant - setting off a Public Relations nightmare. The ensuing comedy explores the vision, the vulnerability, and the vilification of those shaping - and skewing - the economy.


Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2017

Showcasing 47 of the best new and recent fine art graduates.

Block 336, 336 Brixton Road, London, SW9 7AA

Tube: Brixton Station


Dates: 27th January to 3rd March 2018


An important barometer of contemporary art, Bloomberg New Contemporaries comes to Block 336, in London, for the first time. Showcasing some of the best new and recent fine art graduates, 47 artists have been selected to create a show that's playful, clever and thought-provoking. The exhibition includes paintings which re-imagine family memories, photography exploring themes of belonging and 'a sense of home', and films which draw on the conventions of post-war theatre, 'kitchen sink' dramas and TV sit-coms.


Long Day's Journey Into Night

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville star as the parents doomed to a destructive cycle.

Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA

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


Dates: 27th January to 7th April 2018


Jeremy Irons returns to the London stage for the first time in over 10 years opposite Olivier Award winner Lesley Manville as the early 20th century parents, who are doomed to a destructive cycle of love and resentment with their two sons. Richard Eyre directs the star duo in this West End transfer of Bristol Old Vic's 250th anniversary production of Eugene O'Neill's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Long Day's Journey Into Night.


London Short Film Festival

The festival returns for its 15th year in 2018.


Various Venues Dates: 12th to 21st January 2018


Returning for a 15th year, the London Short Film Festival comes to seven venues across London this January with hundreds of film screenings, each hand-picked for the occasion. Renowned for its crazy, avant-garde and challenging offerings, the festival sees events take place at the ICA, Curzon Soho, Regent Street Cinema, Rich Mix and BFI Southbank. Screenings include an anniversary screening of the best of the festival across the 15 years, a triple bill premiere of With Teeth's three commissioned moving image pieces, and a series of Brexit shorts. There's also touching stories about queer characters, a premiere of sound documentaries exploring the thin line between freedom and risk, and the festival's first screening exclusively for deaf audiences.


Winter Lights Festival

Light sculptures, laser and projections help to brighten the dark winter nights.

Canary Wharf, Canada Square Park, London, E14 5AG

Tube: Canary Wharf Station


Dates: 16th to 27th January 2018


Brightening the darkest January days, the Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf brings an array of illuminated installations to the city. The interactive festival - where you can actually get up close to the light sources - includes 30 sculptures, lasers, projections and digital art. Works include Sonic Light Bubble, a six-metre wide living, breath installation; Halo, a giant levitating halo; Apparatus Florius, a multi-coloured light installation featuring giant geometric patterns; and On Your Wavelength, an interactive light and music sculpture that is controlled by your mind.


The Adventure Travel Show

The major travel show returns for its 22nd year.

Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


Dates: Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January 2018


Back for its 22nd year, The Adventure Travel Show is the UK's only event dedicated entirely to discovering the world off the beaten track. Whether you're interested in volunteering, a career break, trekking, diving, safari or cycling, the show gives you access to specialist adventure travel companies who can help. There are over 100 free inspirational talks across four theatres to choose from, information on the hottest new destinations, the chance to enhance your travel photography, writing and film skills. Hear talks from adventurers and experienced explorers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes. There's also a special focus on Africa with a Discover Africa feature that has talks, exhibitors and Africa experts. If this doesn't inspire you to travel in 2018, nothing will.

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