This weekend in London

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Peckham Levels Beer Festival

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Peckham Levels Beer Festival
London's Chinese New Year
London Art Fair
Picasso and Paper
Space Frames: Granary Square
Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles
Faustus: That Damned Woman


Make the most of your precious time off with the LondonTown weekend guide, which gives you the lowdown on the best events and things to do this weekend in London.


Picasso and Paper

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

Tube: Green Park Station , Piccadilly Circus Station


Dates: 25th January to 13th April 2020


The Royal Academy presents an exploration of Picasso's works on and with paper throughout his prolific 80-year career. More than 300 works are displayed, from intriguing sculptures made with torn and burnt pieces of paper, collages and decades worth of experimenting with printmaking techniques on paper. Highlights include Women at Their Toilette, an extraordinary 4.5 metre collage of cut and pasted papers which is exhibited in the UK for the first time in over 50 years. It's shown alongside outstanding Cubist papiers-colles such as Violin and studies for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Self portraits and the variety of printing techniques he used - etching, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, lithograph and linocut - are explored through works like 'Le Dejeuner sur lherbe' after Manet. The final section looks at Picasso's last decade and features Picasso's printing press from the period.



Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, London, W6 9BN

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 21st January to 23rd February 2020


Legendary west London venue Riverside Studios reopens with Paul Schoolman's stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's 1966 film about a renowned stage actress who recovers from a psychological breakdown at a remote summer beach house in the company of a nurse. Persona stars singer-songwriter Nobuhle Mngcwengi who appears as patient Elizabet opposite Olivier winner Alice Krige as Sister Alma while renowned installation artist and musician William Close plays the Earth Harp - the largest stringed instrument in the world. The harp's strings span out over the audience "turning the theatre into the instrument and wrapping the audience in its magical sound" - actress Alice Krige told Emma Clarendon writing on Love London Love Culture.


London Art Fair

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

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 22nd to 26th Jan 2020


Now in its 32nd 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 galleries from London and beyond to browse through. Well known artists like Marc Chagall, Frank Auerbach and Grayson Perry are featured while West Dean Tapestry Studio hosts live 'textile art in the making'. Sitting alongside the main fair, Art Projects offers a platform for the next generation of artists and gallerists, guest-curated Dialogues takes the theme of 'Talkative Pictures' and Photo50 explores the pool of talented living female photographers over the age of 50. This year Southampton City Art Gallery is the fair's chosen museum partner, highlighting the gallery's modern British and contemporary art collection.


Peckham Levels Beer Festival

Peckham Levels, Levels 1 to 6 Peckham Town Centre Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: Saturday 25th January 2020


Following a successful debut in 2019, the Peckham Levels Beer Festival is back this year and it's bigger than ever. Free to enter, the one-day festival brings together eight breweries as a celebration of Southwark-based, independent beer companies. The line-up includes Brockley Brewery, Brixton Brewery, The Drop Project and London Beer Factory, and each brewery will have its own stall from where they'll serve some of their favourite small batch beers. Bringing the party atmosphere, Mr. Gibbon and Ruben Vibes will provide live music.


London's Chinese New Year

Trafalgar Square, Central, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DS

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


Dates: Sunday 26th January 2020


Join the throng in a stall-covered Chinatown for fun and firecrackers on Chinese New Year in London, one of the most spectacular celebrations in the West with over 300,000 people taking part. This year, the Year of the Rat, the London celebrations take place on 26 January 2020, the Sunday following the date of the Chinese New Year on 25 January. It begins with a dragon and lion dance and a parade of 30 teams which snakes its way from Charing Cross Road via Shaftesbury Avenue through Chinatown. An official opening ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square with speeches from special guests and entertainment by artists from China. More live entertainment can be found on the many stages set up around Chinatown including a martial arts and cultural zone at Shaftesbury Avenue where DJs and taekwondo demonstrations add to the festival fun. In Chinatown you'll also find lion dancing, craft stalls, Chinese zodiac animals and plenty of places to stop off for a dim sum feast.



Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, London, W4 2RP

Tube: Turnham Green Station


Dates: 22nd January to 1st March 2020


A brand-new interactive light festival from the creators of the Magic Lantern Festival, Lightopia brings light installations, acrobats and musicians to Chiswick House & Gardens. The installations have been created using ancient Chinese lantern making techniques along with modern technology to follow the theme of Harmony. A Tree of Light sculpture forms the centrepiece with a 10 metre tall sculpture surrounded by 20 drums that can be used to control the tree's colours. There's also a rainbow tunnel, an 18-metre peacock and 70,000 flickering roses along with street food stalls, bars and a kids zone.


Space Frames: Granary Square

Granary Square, Good's Way, London, N1C 4AA

Tube: King's Cross Station


Dates: 13th January to 31st March 2020


They lit up Coal Drops Yard last winter. Now, from January 2020, Space Frames adds illuminated archways to Granary Square, creating a playful light installation in King's Cross. The light boxes, shaped into archways, circles, semi-circles, ovals and straight lines, mimic the graphic outlines and industrial architecture of Coal Drops Yard. Designed by Dutch design studio Studio Mieke Meijer, the structures are lit from within, acting as beacons, drawing visitors towards and beneath them. The good news is, if you fall in love with this installation, you can see the domestic versions of the lights currently on display at COS in Coal Drops Yard (until end of Feb) and they are available to buy from MDR Gallery on Lower Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard - the Heatherwick Studio-designed shopping district in King's Cross.


Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles

Two Temple Place, 2 Temple Place, London, WC2R 3BD

Tube: Temple Station


Dates: 25th January to 19th April 2020


The importance of textiles, seen through the eyes of seven female collectors, is revealed through 18th-century costume, traditional Balkan costume and contemporary works at this free exhibition at Two Temple Place. Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles shines a light on the women who defied the 'traditional' concept of collecting and went against established norms to create some of the richest, most diverse and global public collections in the UK today. Just two of the seven are Louisa Pesel,the first President of the Embroiderers Guild and Jennifer Harris, Curator of Textiles at the Whitworth gallery in Manchester until 2016. See 1930s block printed fabrics and Yinka Shonibare's slave ship reimagined with batik fabric sails alongside archival photographs, sketchbooks and letters, many of which have never been shown in public.


Faustus: That Damned Woman

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

Tube: Hammersmith Station


Dates: 22nd January to 22nd February 2020


In a Headlong and Lyric Hammersmith co-production, award-winning playwright Chris Bush reimagines the Faustus myth with his new play, Faustus: That Damned Woman. Premiering at the theatre in January, the productions draws on the works of Marlowe, Goethe and further versions of the myth to examine what needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve greatness. In the new piece, Faustus is reimagined as a woman who makes the ultimate sacrifice of selling her soul to the devil in order to make her mark on history.


Portraying Pregnancy

The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ

Tube: Russell Square Station


Dates: 24th January to 26th April 2020


The Foundling Museum presents the first major exhibition to explore the pregnant female body through portraits from the past 500 years. A highlight of Portraying Pregnancy - and the earliest portrait in the exhibition - is Hans Holbein II's drawing of Sir Thomas More's daughter, Cicely Heron, created in the 1520s. All aspects of being 'with child' are examined from the 16th century right up to the present day when Beyonce posted her photo, showing her pregnant with twins, on Instagram in 2017. It became the most liked Instagram post of that year. Religious iconography, Pre-Raphaelite realism and pregnancy being 'airbrushed out' of portraits all feature as does the watershed moment in 1991 when Annie Leibovitz's photo of Demi Moore, naked and seven months pregnant, appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.



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