Arts Ahead: What’s On In London 20-26 December

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas on London’s cultural calendar… slightly quiet when it comes to new arty openings…

THEATRE: Tonight, you can pick from Swallows And Amazons at the Vaudeville Theatre, an Bristol Old Vic production with a score by Neil “Divine Comedy” Hannon, minimal props, inventive production values, and plenty of theatrical magic.

Also opening tonight is Stones In His Pockets at the Tricycle Theatre, an Olivier Award-winning comedy about a Hollywood film crew invading a piece of rural Ireland; and one for the mums, The Rat Pack Live From Las Vegas at Wyndham’s Theatre.

Three other Christmassy kids show you might fancy are Murmurs (starring Aurélia Thierrée) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall from tonight; Christmas Tales at Chickenshed from tomorrow; and Bagpuss at Soho theatre, which opens on Thursday.

MUSIC: If you still haven’t had your Christmas choir fix, you’ve got two opportunities at Kings Place this week. There’s a Ceremony of Carols in Hall One from 7.30 tonight; and Handel’s Messiah in the same space from 7.30pm on Thursday. Or, head to St John’s Smith Square in Westminster, where there’s A-grade choral concerts every night in the run-up to Christmas, including another performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Academy of Ancient Music and Polyphony.

On Friday, you can choose between twee singing harmony trio The Le De Dahs in the Clore Ballroom at lunchtime, (see below for a taster); and the Denys Baptiste Quartet’s last show of 2011 in the Clore Ballroom from 5.30pm.

We have listings for ongoing shows at London’s top museums on our Museums and Galleries page

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