Arts Ahead: What's On In London 29 April-5 May

By Zoe Craig Last edited 115 months ago
Arts Ahead: What's On In London 29 April-5 May

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Havana Rakatan is at the Peacock Theatre from 5 to 23 May. Photo by Sven Creutzman

London's cultural scene travels all over the globe this week, and even takes some steps into other worlds... Take your pick from the following, and enjoy your long weekend:

London Shows Opening:

Havana Rakatan, a Cuban fusion of Spanish culture and African spiritual beliefs, opens today at the Peacock Theatre. Expect dance excitement in the form of mambo, bolero, cha-cha-cha, rumba and salsa. It's on until 23 May. And if you go on a Tuesday, you can indulge in a free introductory salsa class after the show.

Also opening today is the grandly titled London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film (or Sci-Fi-London if you'd rather). Think Star Trek all-nighters, Wolverine, and premiers of Stingray Sam and The Hunt for Gollum. Plus documentaries, shorts, events and labs all with a lovely, fresh, other-worldly, geeky aroma.

In theatreland, classic farce Rookery Nook opens at the Menier Chocolate Factory tonight. Romeo and Juliet opens the summer season at Shakespeare's Globe tomorrow. As does a new Bollywood version of Wuthering Heights from the imagination of Deepak Verma (that's EastEnders' Sanjay to me and you) at the Lyric Hammersmith. Ibsen's tale of a raucous dreamer, Peer Gynt opens at the Barbican on Friday.

And also from Friday, Various Voices: London Sings Out! brings a long weekend of song to the Southbank Centre. More than 60 gay, lesbian and transgender choirs will perform alongside cabaret and ballroom dancing; plus everyone's favourite chirpy soprano, Lesley Garrett.

In the art world, Sam Shaw's iconic (and lesser-known) pictures of Audrey and Marilyn go on show at Proud Central from tomorrow. And Snozzcumbers and Frobscottle, a look at the genius work of Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl, opens at the V&A Museum of Childhood from Saturday. Psst: if you're popping in on Monday, Quentin will be signing books from 11-12pm as part of the museum's Fantastic Frobscottle weekend. Fantastic, indeed.

Last Chance: London Shows Closing

Two very different plays about love in the 1950s close this week. Mrs Affleck's jealous obsession finishes at the National today; Plague Over England, which looks at Sir John Gielgud's conviction for homosexuality, closes at the Duchess Theatre on Saturday. Also closing this weekend is Tusk Tusk, Polly Stenham's second play at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs on Saturday.

The fab and fun, Monsters Inked at Idea Generation Gallery closes on Monday. We rather liked it. Let us know what you're up to in the comments below, and have fun!

Last Updated 29 April 2009