It's a busy week for London's cultural calendar. So close your curtains against the rain, get out your diaries and start planning to attend some amazing arty events over the next seven days...
Be There First: London Shows OpeningDon't say we didn't warn you: Ben Hur Live at The O2 opens today. It'll rack up just three performances before heading off on a world tour. Apparently, it features "an incredible sea battle with galley (sic) and more daring stunts than you can shake a toga at."
Also opening today is Bounce's critically acclaimed hip-hop dance version of One Flew Over The Cookoo's Nest, Insane in the Brain, at the Peacock Theatre. We'll bring you a review just as soon as we can. If you prefer your entertainment a little more traditional, catch Verdi's grand opera Don Carlo at the Royal Opera House from today. Alternatively, catch a South African interpretation of the English Mystery Plays by Yiimimangaliso: The Mysteries opens tonight; again, keep an eye out for a review in the next couple of days. Finally for this week's theatre news, we recommend Lenny Henry's Othello at the Trafalgar Studios from Friday. It got good reviews while it was on in Leeds.
Artswise, Twiggy : A Life in Photographs opens at the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday: and it's free, so perfect for popping into if you're killing time around town over the next few months. More modern fashion images are on display at Somerset House from Thursday at SHOWStudio: Fashion Revolution. If you're looking for some proper paint-and-pencils art, may we suggest the Jerwood Drawing Prize at the Jerwood Space, or the 20/21 British Art Fair at the RCA; both start tomorrow.
The London Design Festival kicks off on Saturday. There's so much going on over the week-long celebration of design, even we get lost in their website. If you twisted our arms and demanded highlights, we'd probably say Spanish designer Jaime Hayón's interactive chess board in Trafalgar Square, and Design Less Ordinary at the Brick Lane Gallery. If you're feeling overwhelmed, check out our preview coming in the next couple of days for some more highlights.
Finally, for film fans, the London Spanish Film Festival opens at the Ciné Lumière on Friday, featuring some of the best Spanish films from last year, including Fesser's controversial Camino.
Last Chance to See: London Shows Closing
On Sunday, take your pick from the following shows coming to a close: Stockwell at the Tricycle Theatre; Troilus and Cressida at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; Live Forever: portraits by Elizabeth Peyton at the Whitechapel Gallery; Corot to Monet: A Fresh Look at Landscape from the Collection at the National Gallery, and finally Futurism at Tate Modern. Let us know if we've missed anything!