Arts Ahead: What's On In London 13-19 August

By Zoe Craig Last edited 104 months ago
Arts Ahead: What's On In London 13-19 August

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David Byrne with his Playing the Building installation. Photo: Jonathan Birch
What's that? You're looking for an update on London's arts scene? In August? Are you insane? Can't you just head to Edinburgh like the rest of them? No? Well, you asked for it. Slim pickings on openings, we're afraid.

Be There First: London Shows Opening

If you are still in our fair city, and you're not already up to your necks in the amazing offerings from the Camden Fringe Festival, here's the rest of this week's recommended cultural fodder:

Fans of bizarre musical instruments should jam along at Playing the Building at the Roundhouse tonight (or the next two Thursdays). How often can you say you've played a steam engine repair shed? We thought not.

Art lovers can take their pick from two cool-sounding new shows. Londoners Through a Lens opens at the Getty Images Gallery on Saturday: photos from 1900-1990 from the archives show the changing faces of Londoners through the last century. We quite enjoyed their last show. The Art of Guinness opens at the brilliant Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising on Wednesday. An exhibition of posters, commercials, beer mats which is sure to leave you with a craving for the black stuff.

Over in theatreland, dance aficionados should check out Mariinsky Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty tomorrow and Saturday at the Royal Opera House.

Alternatively, Avocado, a collection of monologues from London and New York, opens at the Kings Head Theatre on Tuesday.

If you feel your summer has been lacking in Sartre, you can make amends at the Southwark Playhouse from Tuesday. No Way Out (Huis Clos) promises to lead you into a dangerous and seductive underworld as two women and a man trapped in an empty room tango their way through desire, jealousy and fear. They use the word "visceral" in the blurb; you have been warned.

Last Chance to See: London Shows Closing

Dirt, a critically-acclaimed one-man show exploring being invisible in today's society, vanishes from the Arcola Theatre on Saturday.

Sam Mendes' transatlantic theatre project comes to a close for this year at the Old Vic on Saturday. Catch Ethan Hawke and other delicious international stars of stage and screen in The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale before it's all over if you can. (Next year's offerings, The Tempest and As You Like It will star Stephen Dillane and Anne-Marie Duff - exciting stuff!)

Over at the Young Vic, The Girlfriend Experience also closes on Saturday. We rather liked it.

Once on This Island takes its surprisingly sad ending off stage at the Hackney Empire this Sunday. Sunday is also your last chance to Go On A Bear Hunt with any young theatrephiles you know at the Duchess Theatre. Finally for this week's theatre news, Time and the Conways closes at the National Theatre on Sunday.

For the art world, the only thing closing this week that you really should scamper along to if you haven't already is the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. Particularly if, like us, you're rather gripped by the BBC's silly Desperate Romantics at the moment. Let us know if there's anything we've missed...

Last Updated 13 August 2009