Arts Ahead: What’s On In London 9 – 15 November

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Miss Dior, René Gruau. Circa 1960. Black ink, gouache and watercolour. Private Collection. Copyright: SARL René Gruau

Here’s our pick of what’s new in London this week. And there’s lots of excitement for fans of big new art shows and exhibitions.

London Shows Opening: Be There First

In art this week, Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and the Line of Beauty opens at Somerset House tomorrow: illustrations by the famous artist for magazines, posters, and perfume bottles. Fans of fabric design should head to Bankside Gallery from tomorrow: St Jude’s in the City shows artist-designed fabrics and prints by Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld, Emily Sutton and others. On Thursday, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize opens at the National Portrait Gallery: 60 of the best images from the 6,000 entered. And RCA Secret is back for another year at the Royal College of Art. Try your hand at guessing which of the £45 postcards are by big stars when they go on display on Friday.

And a new exhibition opens at the Wellcome Collection on Thursday: High Society looks at the role of mind-altering drugs, from Egyptian poppy tinctures to the cocaine eye drops used by the Victorians. The exhibition’s free and runs until February next year. Friday sees two more big exhibitions open in London: the World Press Photo Exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall, and Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices at the British Library.

It’s a quieter week for those hoping to head to something new at one of London’s theatres. Tonight, Britain’s national contemporary dance company, Rambert Dance Co perform a triple bill at Sadler’s Wells. Also from tonight, Bill Bailey’s Dandelion Mind at Wyndham’s Theatre, running until the start of December. Opening tomorrow, real-life husband and wife Alexander Hanson and Samantha Bond star in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre.

Last Chance To See: London Shows Closing

Tribes closes at the Royal Court on Saturday, as does Tomorrow Morning at the Landor Theatre, Red Bud at the Royal Court, A Guide to Sexual Misery at the Arts Theatre and Reasons to be Cheerful at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Sunday is your last chance to see Blood and Gifts at the National Theatre. Let us know about anything we’ve missed in the comments below.

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