Arts Ahead: What’s On In London 8–14 March

Our pick of the crop of shows on London’s cultural calendar this week

Be There First: London Shows Opening

Tomorrow, Alison Steadman returns to the West End in Blithe Spirit at the Apollo Theatre. Other big names coming to London theatres this week include Sienna Miller and Sheridan Smith. They star in Flare Path, Terrence Rattigan’s WWII play, which opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on Thursday.

Friday is the opening night of The Watcher at Waterloo East Theatre, a psychological drama about power, status and gender; Sign of the Times, a new comedy starring Matthew Kelly at the Duchess Theatre; The Boy On The Swing at the Arcola Theatre, questioning religion’s role in the 21st century; and The Hurly Burly Show: modern burlesque at the Garrick Theatre.

From Monday, you can see an anti-knife crime play called Shanked at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

This week’s opera suggestions are the English Touring Opera’s European premiere of Fantastic Mr Fox at the Hackney Empire on Thursday; or Aida at the Royal Opera House, from Friday.

If you’re into dance, we recommend Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo at the New Wimbledon Theatre, a stunningly talented group of dancers who present playful, traditional, classical ballet in parody form and en travesti. Don’t hang around, though, they’re only on for two nights!

Art and arty exhibitions include Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer, 1908-72 at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday. From Saturday, you can choose from an exhibition dedicated to Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto at the V&A; Impact: Collisions and Catastrophes at the National Maritime Museum; Watteau: The Drawings at the Royal Academy of Arts, a study of the 18th-century French artist; and The Royal Family, representations of the House of Windsor by artists including Adam Dant, Alan Kane, Tony Oursler at the Hayward.

At the National Theatre from Monday, you can see Postcards from the Future: Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones visualise the impact of climate change on our home town.

Last Chance To See: London Shows Closing

Friday is your last chance to see The Mikado at the London Coliseum.

On Saturday, curtains close for the last time for Parsifal at the London Coliseum; The Sapphires at the Barbican; Fatherland at the Gate Theatre; Hansel And Gretel at the Little Angel Theatre; Our Private Life at the Royal Court; and Vernon God Little at the Young Vic.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year closes at the Natural History Museum on Saturday. And Sunday is your last chance to see Anish Kapoor’s large-scale mirrored installations in Kensington Gardens. Enjoy, and if we’ve forgotten anything, let us know in the comments below.

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