January in London 2019

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Cate Blanchett - When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

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Cate Blanchett - When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other
Cirque Du Soleil: Totem
The Catherine Tate Show
London International Mime Festival
London Art Fair
Pierre Bonnard: The Colour Of Memory
Notre Dame De Paris
Royal Opera House: Queen Of Spades
English National Ballet: Manon
Home, I'm Darling
London Short Film Festival
Akram Khan: Until The Lions
Ian McKellen On Stage
Vault Festival
Leave to Remain

© Steven Chee

Cate Blanchett storms the stage, Catherine Tate arrives in the West End and Cirque du Soleil returns to its London home, the Royal Albert Hall, in January 2019.

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London's New Year's Day Parade

The colourful parade weaves its way along the 2.2 mile central London route.

Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, London, SW1P 3JX

Tube: Westminster Station , St James's Park Station


Dates: Tuesday 1st January 2019


American cop cars, miniature steamers and drumming bands 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.


When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other

Cate Blanchett stars in the world premiere of Martin Crimp's powerful new play.

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

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 4th January to 4th March 2019


Cate Blanchett makes her debut at the National Theatre in January 2019 starring in the world premiere of Martin Crimp's powerful new play, When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other. Katie Mitchell returns to the National following a sold out production of Cleansed in 2016 to direct a cast which includes Stephen Dillane whose films include Welcome To Sarajevo and The Hours and who is best known as Stannis Baratheon in Game Of Thrones. Using Samuel Richardson's 1740s novel Pamela as a starting point, Martin Crimp's play "breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire, and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play" according to the official release.


The Catherine Tate Show

The comedian and actress brings her well known characters to the West End for seven shows.

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

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


Dates: 7th to 17th January 2019


The comedian and actress Catherine Tate brings her critically-acclaimed television show to the West End, appearing as the argumentative teen Laura Cooper, foul-mouthed yet lovable grandmother Joannie, among others. These well known characters from her hugely successful BBC series 'The Catherine Tate Show' come to life at Wyndham's Theatre from 7th January 2019 for a strictly limited season of seven shows - catch Geordie Georgie and Essex girl Sam while you can.


London International Mime Festival

Cutting edge circus, physical theatre and live art at Sadler's Wells, the Barbican and beyond.


Various Venues Dates: 9th January to 3rd February 2019


It's all about action at the London International Mime Festival, championing cutting edge circus, physical theatre and live art. In 2019 Gandini Juggling, creators of Pina Bausch-inspired international hit Smashed, collaborate with Alexander Whitley to give us Spring at Sadler's Wells, physical theatre company Gecko performs The Wedding at the Barbican, and Theatre Re's latest show, Birth, comes to Shoreditch Town Hall. Barely Methodical Troupe's Shift opens the festival at The Platform Theatre while Thick & Tight delight at the Lilian Baylis Studio. Stan's Cafe makes a rare London appearance with The Capital and Green Ginger explores the inner reaches of the human body in Intronauts, both at Jacksons Lane. International artists to look out for include Olivier de Sagazan, ice puppeteers Theatre de l'Entrouvert, and 2018 Total Theatre Award winners Focus & Chaliwate. Workshops, artists' talks and discussions complement the performance programme, which also features two classic silent films at the Barbican Cinema.


London Short Film Festival

This year's festival puts the focus on alternative '80s culture.


Various Venues Dates: 11th to 20th January 2019


Returning for a 16th year, the London Short Film Festival puts the focus on alternative '80s culture with short films and live performances. Now! That's What I Call '80s Short Film screens the formative calling cards of the decade's great filmmakers, now established British directors. Electronic supergroup Wrangler play live and there's a rare screening of cult figure John Lurie's Fishing with John. Behind the Wall commemorates 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there's a focus on Africa Is A Country and the influence of Derek Jarman for the likes of The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys and Marianne Faithful is explored. You have two chances of seeing the full award winners programme, with two screenings on the final Sunday of the festival at Curzon Soho and Rio Cinema in Dalston. Renowned for its crazy, avant-garde and challenging offerings, the festival also takes place at the Regent Street Cinema, Rich Mix, Air Draft, Grow Hackney and the ICA.


Akram Khan: Until The Lions

Akram Khan's five star dance comes home as he performs it for the last ever time.

Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 11th to 17th Jan 2019


This "little firecracker of a show" (Telegraph) premiered here at the Roundhouse in 2016 and now, three years on, Until the Lions returns home as the multi-award-winning dancer and choreographer Akram Khan performs it for the last time. Alongside two female dancers and four live musicians, the choreographer stars as the warrior Bheeshma and uses a blend of kathak movement and contemporary dance to tell the story of Amba, one of the great, unsung heroines of the Mahabharata. The story, of a princess abducted on her wedding day and stripped of her honour, explores themes of gender and time. For this special piece, Khan reunites with some of the artistic collaborators behind his hugely successful DESH - "a mesmerising odyssey to his parents' homeland" (Telegraph) - including writer Karthika Nair, visual artist Tim Yip, lighting designer Michael Hulls, and dramaturge Ruth Little.


Cirque Du Soleil: Totem

The world-renowned circus troupe returns to the Royal Albert Hall.

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

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 12th January to 26th February 2019


Following a successful run back in 2011, Cirque du Soleil's Totem returns to the Royal Albert Hall once again in 2019. The production will see the world-renowned circus troupe return to the Kensington venue for the second year running after they enjoyed a critically acclaimed record-breaking run of Ovo in 2018. Totem celebrates the extraordinary journey of the evolution of mankind, from our amphibian state to our dream to fly. Audiences of all ages can enjoy the show and to this date more than 4.5 million people in more than 45 cities have seen the show. Expect plenty of gravity defying stunts, highly polished acrobatics and theatrical showiness.


Royal Opera House: Queen Of Spades

Norwegian director Stefan Herheim's four star production chills the soul.

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station


Dates: 13th January - 01st February 2019


Norwegian director Stefan Herheim presents a spectacular production of Pyotr ll'yich Tchaikovsky's adaptation of the Alexander Pushkin story of a penniless soldier taking up gambling in order to make enough money to marry. One of Tchaikovsky's most impressive and varied scores, The Queen of Spades has grand choruses, intimate arias and tender duets, including Prince Yeletsky's aria 'Ja vas lyublyu'. Tchaikovsky himself is placed at the heart of the action, imagining the opera into life as his story in this four star production which "chills the soul" (Guardian). The characters - including the impoverished soldier, Gherman, who sets out to win Liza from Yeletsky - give voice to the composer's unfulfilled desires.


London Art Fair

See works by David Hockney, Banksy and Grayson Perry as 100 galleries gather under one roof.

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 16th to 20th Jan 2019


Now in its 31st 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 a hundred galleries from London and beyond to browse through. Well known artists like David Hockney, Banksy and Grayson Perry are featured while Danielle Arnaud Gallery's stand shows the work of five women artists. Hazelton Fine Art Galleries brings a selection of Salvador Dali bronze sculptures to their stand, marking the 30th anniversary of the artist's death. Sitting alongside the main fair, Art Projects offers a platform for the next generation of artists and gallerists, and Photo50 showcases current trends in contemporary photographic art. This year Eastbourne's Towner Art Gallery has been selected as the chosen regional museum, showing works of art by the likes of Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, John Nash and Wolfgang Tillmans.


English National Ballet: Manon

A young woman is torn between her true love and a wealthy suitor.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

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


Dates: 16th to 20th Jan 2019


A revival of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet, set to Jules Massenet's music performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic, comes to the London Coliseum this January. English National Ballet presents Manon, the tale of a young woman torn between her true love and a wealthy suitor. Famous for its expressive choreography and dramatic challenge, the ballet features aristocrats and beggars, courtesans and harlots as the action flits from a gambling den in 18th century Paris to a desolate Louisiana swamp.


Leave to Remain

An exciting new play from TV writer Matt Jones with music from Bloc Party's Kele Okereke.

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

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 18th January to 16th February 2019


An exciting new production from TV writer Matt Jones, the world premiere of Leave to Remain will be staged at Lyric Hammersmith this winter. Jones has previously worked on Doctor Who and Mr Selfridge, and for this modern love story he has teamed up with Kele Okereke, lead singer of Bloc Party, and director Robby Graham. Okereke will provide the soundtrack while Tyrone Huntley and Billy Cullum take on the roles of Obi and Alex, a young gay couple leading busy lives in London. When Alex's visa comes into question, the couple face an uncertain future.


Pierre Bonnard: The Colour Of Memory

Four decades of work by the French artist who had a profound impact on modern painting.

Tate Modern, Bankside Power Station, 25 Sumner Street, London, SE1 9TG

Tube: Blackfriars Underground Station


Dates: 23rd January to 6th May 2019


A major exhibition of works by French painter Pierre Bonnard, a friend and contemporary Henri Matisse, known for his unconventional use of colour and his preference to work from memory. Showing around 100 of his greatest works, this Tate Modern exhibition emphasises Bonnard as a 20th century artist who had a profound impact on modern painting and would become an influential figure for later artists like Mark Rothko and Patrick Heron. Spanning four decades from 1912 to his death in 1947, the exhibition includes breakthrough works like Dining Room in the Country and The Lane at Vernonnet.


Notre Dame De Paris

Quasimodo falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda.

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO), St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

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


Dates: 23rd - 27th January 2019


Cathedral bell-ringer Quasimodo falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda in the original French production of the musical based on the novel by Victor Hugo. Twenty years after its Parisian debut, and after receiving international acclaim in 23 countries worldwide, Notre Dame de Paris is performed at London Coliseum in French with English subtitles and with a live orchestra. Gilles Maheu directs an international ensemble of singers, dancers, acrobats and musicians as our hunchbacked hero stalks the rooftops of Paris. Opera fans be warned: the music, by Richard Cocciante, is described as "pop-rock musical" by The Telegraph.


Vault Festival

The festival returns with its biggest and boldest programme to date.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Lambeth North Station


Dates: 23rd January to 17th March 2019


The boundless Vault Festival is one of the most exciting happenings on London's fringe. Returning for its seventh year, the eight-week arts festival boasts its biggest and boldest programme to date in 2018 with more than 400 shows on the line-up. The wide-ranging festival covers performance, live music, discussions and one-off late-night parties and this year will be more diverse than ever with 53% of the pieces being female-led and a quarter of work coming from LGBTQIA artists. The headline act for 2018 is Counting Sheep, an award-winning Ukrainian folk opera, while other theatre highlights include Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist, Boys and Katie & Pip. There will also be comedy from James Acaster, Phil Wang and Helen Bauer along with drag act King for a Night and Valentine's special Eat Your Heart Out! from Shotgun Carousel.


Ian McKellen On Stage

The unstoppable Sir Ian performs for 20 dates at theatres and arts centres across the capital.

The Space, 269 Westferry Road, London, E14 3RS

Tube: Canary Wharf Station


Dates: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th January 2019


Most people think about putting their feet up at the age of 80 but Ian McKellen, star of stage and legend on screen celebrates his 80th birthday with an 80-date, 8-month country wide tour. In London, alone, he's appearing on 20 dates at theatres and arts centres across the city and, what's more, all the profits will be donated to each theatre's charitable projects or restoration funds. His impromptu solo show last year - now the stuff of legend - treated theatre goers to "a bit of Gandalf and a couple of Shakespeare speeches" when injury prevented him from performing King Lear. For this special 80th birthday tour you can expect more of the same as well as convivial conversation, anecdotes and a reflection on his life. It opens at his local arts centre, The Space, in January and ends in Orkney in August. London venues include the National Theatre, Young Vic, Bridge Theatre, Richmond Theatre, Above the Stag, Hampstead Theatre, Arts Theatre, Old Vic, Royal Court, The Queens Theatre, RADA (for students only), Donmar Warehouse, Questors Ealing, Lyric Hammersmith, Duke of York's Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East before one last blast at the National Theatre.


Home, I'm Darling

Katherine Parkinson reprises her role in Laura Wade's dark comedy.

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: 26th January to 13th April 2019


The IT Crowd's Katherine Parkinson reprises her lead role in Home, I'm Darling, a dark comedy written by Laura Wade (who penned Posh) about sex, cake and the quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife. The "accomplished and generous-spirited" production (The Independent) proved a hit when it played at the National Theatre last year. Now Parkinson (whose role as Jen in the IT Crowd "brought her something close to a cult following" - The Guardian) is back as Judy, a stay-at-home wife and feminist. Asking "under-asked" questions (Evening Standard), the play centres on "contemporary domestic structures" and gender roles. Whaddya know, being a domestic goddess is not as easy as it seems.


Bill Viola/Michelangelo

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, W1J 0BD

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 26th January to 31st March 2019


Pairing the work of pioneering video artist Bill Viola with drawings by Michelangelo, this Royal Academy of Arts exhibition explores the affinities between the two. Conceived as an immersive journey through the cycle of life, the display shows a selection of Michelangelo's most poignant works, including those from Windsor such as his drawings of the Crucifixion, alongside 12 major installations spanning Viola's entire career. Though working five centuries apart and in radically different media, the exhibition reveals a deep preoccupation with the nature of human experience and existence that the two artists share.



A one-woman show about a 24-year-old who dreams of becoming a rapper.

Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Dates: 30th January to 16th February 2019


Nicole Lecky's Royal Court writing and performing debut, Superhoe is a one-woman show about 24-year-old Sasha Clayton. Living at home with her mum, step dad and little sister, Sarah dreams of being a famous rapper. Previously the most popular girl at school, she now spends most of her time alone in her bedroom, scrolling through social media. However, she's sure everything will change as soon as she releases her first EP.

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