What’s On In The Capital?

A culture vulture’s guide to the best of the rest! An exclusive selection of art lectures, sales, exhibitions, festivals and creative events in London taking place this week and beyond… (By Shio).


Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel:  London Coliseum, WC2N.  The legend of Jack the Ripper is known across the world, but what of the women who lived in terror while he stalked London’s Whitechapel neighbourhood in 1888?  This new opera, with a libretto by Emma Jenkins, explores powerful themes of community and women struggling against the odds, posing questions about the hypocritical attitudes of ‘respectable’ society. The mythic status of the unidentified serial killer is addressed through a refreshingly modern lens, which speaks to us over a century later. With vocal and orchestral writing that always packs an emotional punch, Bell’s score features music that is mercurial and explosive one moment and heart-wrenchingly beautiful the next.  March to April 2019 (booking now!).  Tickets:  From £14.50.  (londontheatredirect.com)

Emilia:  Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, SE1.  The little we know of Emilia Bassano is restricted to the possibility that she may have been the ‘Dark Lady’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets – and the rest of Her Story has been erased by History. Commissioned specifically for Shakespeare’s Globe, and with an all-female cast, this world premiere will reveal the life of Emilia: poet, mother and feminist. This time, the focus will be on this exceptional woman who managed to outlive all the men the history books tethered her to.  Until 1st September.  Tickets: from £5 (Standing).  (shakespearesglobe.com)

Carmen La Cubana:  Sadler’s Wells, EC1R.  Sizzling new musical featuring Bizet’s classic score flavoured with authentic Cuban styles.  Inspired by Oscar Hammerstein II’s Broadway hit Carmen Jones, Christopher Renshaw (The King and I) directs this UK premiere, with new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton), mixing opera with salsa, mambo, rumba and cha-cha-cha and including musical favourites such as Habanera.  Featuring a large company of singers, dancers and musicians, Carmen La Cubana is a sultry take on one of the most famous operas ever created, set against the simmering turmoil of Revolution in Cuba, 1958.  1st to 18th August.  Tickets:  From £15.  (sadlerswells.com)

Julie:  Lyttleton Theatre (National Theatre), SE1.  August Strindberg’s Miss Julie finds a new home in contemporary London, as Carrie Cracknell (The Deep Blue Sea) directs a cast including Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Eric Kofi Abrefa (The Amen Corner).  Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them.  Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean. It descends into a savage fight for survival.  Until 8th September  (cinema live screening:  6th September).  Tickets:  From £15.  (nationaltheatre.org.uk)

Exit the King:  National Theatre, South Bank.  Patrick Marber (Three Days in the Country, Hedda Gabler) directs his new version of Exit the King with a cast including Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill, A Christmas Carol) in the title role and Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Man and Superman) as his first Queen.  Somewhere in Europe the kingdom is disintegrating. It’s the last day of King Bérenger’s life. Queen Marguerite is preparing for the end and Queen Marie is in denial. The King is 400 years old and dying, but he’s clinging on for dear life…  Until 6th October.  Tickets:  From £15.  (nationaltheatre.org.uk)

Festivals & Fairs:-

South West Four Festival:  Clapham Common, SW4.  Saturday Line Up:  Dizzee Rascal, Slushii, Marshmello, Dillon Francis; Sunday Line Up:  Chase & Status Live, Bugsy Malone, Craig David, James Hype.  25th to 26th August.  Last tickets available:  £62.50 + booking fee.  (southwestfour.com)

Gals Aloud:  Not the Tucking Kind:  Underbelly Festival, The Spiegeltent, South Bank.  They Can’t Speak French, but they are escaping their Biology to become GALS ALOUD, the ultimate Drag tribute to the best girl band of this millennium, Girls Aloud.  A full show packed with the hits of Girls Aloud, solo singles, hilarious TV appearances, costumes, boys and a few surprises along the way.  So if you’re looking for Something Kinda Ooooh, this is The Show for you. See Nadine, Cheryl, Nicola, Kimberley and Sarah as you’ve never seen them before..and get ready for the return of Javine. This could be the start of Something New!  23rd August.  Tickets:  From £17.50.  Age:  16+ (mild language).  (underbellyfestival.com)

The Gals Aloud Show (Underbelly Festival) is presented by Tuck Shop and lasts 60 minutes.

Trigger Happy:  (Part of Camden Fringe Festival),  Aces & Eights, NW5.  Sarah Mann is So You Think You’re Funny competition Runner-up 2017. Matt Chadourne runs QED Comedy Lab, running multiple comedy shows in Oxford and London. Blake AJ also tells jokes.  Come enjoy an hour of stand-up comedy from three fresh voices. Blake has recently returned from teaching and performing comedy in Vietnam. Matt is an American who has traded rural Tennessee for English Oxford. Sarah is a professional trombone player, who does not appreciate being called a tromboner.  Dates throughout August.  Tickets:  £5.  (acesandeightssaloonbar.com)


Summer Lates:  St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M.  Explore the vast Cathedral Floor and Crypt and marvel at the exquisite architecture and intricate mosaics. Test the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery and experience the panoramic views over London at nightfall from the Golden Gallery. See where some of the nation’s most famous heroes and artists are buried and simply take-in the breathtaking calm of St Paul’s.  Thursdays throughout August, 6.30 to 9pm.  Tickets: £18 (Adult), £8 (Child).  (stpauls.co.uk)

Lingering Ghosts Exhibition:  St Martin in the Fields, WC2N.  Hand-scratched photographic portraits with the eyes erased.  What does it mean to be an asylum seeker in the UK? This was the starting point of  Sam Ivin’s research, which began at a drop in centre in Cardiff, Wales and continued all over England. It seeks to raise questions about how the UK’s migration system treats those who arrive in our country seeking safety.  Until 30th August.  Free entry.  (stmartin-in-the-fields.org)

Look At You Now:  Lyttleton Lounge (Lyttleton Theatre) and across the National Theatre building, SE1.  Look At You Now features photo portraits by young people of 53 theatre-makers who are connected with the NT.  Young people mentored by some of the UK’s leading professional photographers used iPhones to recapture a childhood photo of each of the sitters. This exhibition presents the original inspirational image alongside the new portrait in pairs throughout the building, presenting a unique visual living history charting where people start, and what they have gone on to achieve.  Until 9th September.  Free entry.  (nationaltheatre.org.uk)

Beautiful Allotment:  Geffrye Museum, E2.  Where allotments naturally find their homes on wasteland, Beautiful Allotment has taken up residency in the stunning Victorian gardens of the Geffrye Museum. The magnificent grounds have been transformed into a serene oasis, where bookable day beds, handcrafted potting sheds, makeshift cocktail bars and raised BBQ areas are mixed in with trailing plants, vegetable patches, repurposed items and homemade, handpicked pieces of furniture to create a living, organic and beautiful outdoor destination.  Until 19th August.  (beautifulallotment.com)

Beautiful Alottment at the Geffrye Museum until 19th August.


Stylist Live:  Olympia London, W14.  This November Stylist Live will return to Olympia London, bringing everything you love about Stylist magazine to life across three days of experts, interviews, comedy, food, beauty and fashion exclusives.  Take a seat at the Stylist Catwalk, shop hundreds of pop-up boutiques, discover the trends that will shape your life in 2019, and enjoy the free beauty treatments on offer.  9th to 11th November.  Tickets:  3-Day Festival Pass £30.  (live.stylist.co.uk)  For exhibitor applications, see live.stylist.co.uk/apply-to-exhibit.

Pop-Up Dior:  Harrods, SW1X.  The Paris fashion house’s signature pieces will be mixed with new styles and limited editions (in Harrods green!).  For the first time ever, there will be a personalisation service for their iconic Book Tote.  4th to 31st August.  (harrods.com)


Ned’s Tours:  The Old Vic, SE1.  Who are some of The Old Vic’s most famous patrons? What happened to the fourth level of the theatre? Are there any ghosts lurking backstage?  Explore behind-the-scenes of The Old Vic and discover nearly 200 years of theatrical history. The National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and English National Opera all began life at The Old Vic. Acting legends from Laurence Olivier to Judi Dench have all performed on our stage. For a chance to follow in their footsteps, learn about The Old Vic’s fascinating past and see our theatre in a new light, join Ned on one of his famous tours – he brings first-hand experience, insight and many a tale.  18th August.  Tickets:  £10.  (oldvictheatre.com)



[Credits:  Feature image:  ‘Exit The King’ at the National Theatre, South Bank, until 6th October (nationaltheatre.org.uk)]


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