Our pick of the new art exhibitions, theatre and dance shows, and music events taking place this week...
ART / EXHIBITIONS: Tomorrow is the first day for Damien Hirst’s major retrospective at Tate Modern. The show runs for five months, so you’ve got plenty of time to check out the rotting cow’s head, spot paintings, dead sharks, and medicine cabinets. It’s also the opening day of a new show in the National Gallery’s Sunley Room: Titian’s First Masterpiece: The Flight Into Egypt looks at the teenage painter’s ambitious work in the light of his contemporaries.
Two new exhibitions open on Thursday: A Family in Wartime is the Imperial War Museum’s new show; The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned is the latest offering at Hampton Court Palace, exploring the decadent art of the late-Stuart court. From Friday, you can see Animal Inside Out at the Natural History Museum: an exhibition by the team behind Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds, examining the biology, anatomy and physiology of animals.
KIDS: It's Easter Holidays, and if you're a little londonist, there's plenty out there to entertain you! If you fancy some theatre, there's The Legend of Captain Crow's Teeth or Goldilocks or Ruby Red Tells Tales at the at the Unicorn Theatre, all opening this week. Got a child who likes the classics? Take them to a performance of Peter And The Wolf, narrated by Mackenzie Crook at the Southbank Centre on Easter Weekend.
JAZZ: Head to Kings Place on Easter Sunday, for a triple bill of three astonishing pianists and composers The concert will feature compositions from the new Frank Harrison Trio album Sideways; Bruce Barth's latest CD Live at Smalls, New York; and Kit Downes will play a selection of his own pieces for solo piano.
DANCE: My First Sleeping Beauty comes to the Peacock Theatre from tonight. Anna Karenina plays for just two nights at the London Coliseum, also from tonight. From Thursday, the Royal Opera House hosts a triple bill of new talent in Polyphonia / Sweet Violets / Carbon Life. Also from Thursday is Onegin at the London Coliseum: Boris Eifman’s retelling of Pushkin’s classic fuses Tchaikovsky’s classical music and Sitkovetsky’s contemporary rock
THEATRE: Made Up opens at the Soho Theatre from tomorrow, offering a new, improvised musical every night. Get a taste of their noodly improv on the video below. Blue Heart Afternoon opens at the Hampstead Theatre from Thursday, examining integrity and fame, and loyalty and betrayal in 1950s Hollywood.
Anything we’ve missed that you’re really looking forward to seeing this week? Let us know in the comments below.
We also have listings for ongoing shows at London’s top museums on our Museums and Galleries page.