London's cultural scene steams into August with an eclectic range of arty goings on.
Those of you with art collections to refresh are in luck this week. Contemporary Arts Project's "Start You Collection" are offering a whole load of "highly collectible" art for under £200 from Friday, asking, "Without our art collections, how would we understand our cultural roots and trace its development to the present?" Indeed. And let's face it, if you can't invest in property anymore, perhaps art is the way to go.
Alternatively, sneak a peak at someone else's collection at the summer opening of Buckingham Palace from today. Check out what Liz does to impress foreign visitors at a State Banquet, as well as all her treasures: Rembrants, Rubens, Canalettos, etc. Be warned: it's not cheap at £15.50 for each chintz-loving, royal romantic.
For those craving something more summery, we invite you to step outside. The National Theatre's Watch This Space continues to intrigue and amaze. This week, you can see Peruvian percussion on Wednesday; Athena, who's inspired by the songs and poetry of Greece on Thursday; or Jewish, Arabic and Christian song on Sunday.
Over at The Scoop, there's a heady storm of jealousy, desire and forbidden love brewing alongside the usual suits and Prêt sarnies. Blood Wedding is a new version by Ted Hughes of Federico Garcia Lorca's original play, and is on at 8pm every Wednesday to Sunday from this Thursday.
Best of all, both this and the stuff at the National is all free!
Celebs in Theatreland
Celebs, in the form of Alistair McGowan and Connie Fisher take to the stage this week. They're Playing Our Song, a show about the relationship between a neurotic composer and a young, eccentric lyricist, opens at the Menier Chocolate Factory this Monday.
The fabulous, and already extended Pygmalion is rolling to a close at the Old Vic. Really, this is a stonking show: get in there before next Saturday, or you'll regret it.
Make sure you book early if you want to see Josh Hartnett on stage at the Apollo in Rain Man.
If this great "quote" from Josh in the blurb we've been sent about the play doesn't tempt you, we don't know what will:
"It has always been my intent to work on the London stage. While I've had many opportunities it was only when I read the complex and charismatic character of Charlie Babbitt that I knew the time was right. I feel very fortunate to make my London bow with such an esteemed producer and director and I’m also looking forward to working with Adam Godley, who is such an extraordinary talent. Can't wait to live and work in London a city I adore!"