Anna Fox, Hampshire Pram Race, 2006. From the series Back to the Village 1999 - ©Anna Fox courtesy James Hyman Gallery, London
Be There First: London Shows Opening
We've got a trio of interesting paints-based art exhibitions opening this week. Tomorrow sees the opening of Arshile Gorky at the Tate Modern (Armenian-American abstract expressionism) and Paul Nash at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (watercolours on war and beautiful landscapes). Crash, a group show of works inspired by the writer JG Ballard, opens on Thursday. Participating names you'll recognise include Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Salvador Dalí, Roger Hiorns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Damien Hirst and many others.
If photography's more your thing, this week you can choose between two freebies: the Deutsche Börse Prize 2010 at the Photographer's Gallery (opens on Friday) and Rankin: From Congo with Love at the National Theatre also from Friday.
One way to really beat the cold spell is to head to the hot beats and heated passion of the London Flamenco Festival at Sadlers' Wells. Two weeks of Spain's maestros of flamenco, including contemporary and traditional performances, start from Saturday.
It's a packed week in theatreland. Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth's latest award-winner opens in the West End on Wednesday. Prokofiev's opera The Gambler opens at the Royal Opera House on Thursday, as does Lope De Vega's Madness in Valencia at the Trafalgar Studios. On Friday, with good Valentine's Day timing, The Elixir of Love opens at the London Coliseum. Think of a 1950s-small-US-town-set rom-com, and add stunning Donizetti tunes and a massive dose of popularity. If you're looking for something slightly tougher, try Heldenplatz at the Arcola from Friday: a post-war look at the right-wing attitudes of some of Austria's most prominent citizens.
And on Monday at the Rose Theatre, Judi Dench and Peter Hall are getting together for a run of A Midsummer Night's Dream. We'll let you know if it's any good(!)
Last Chance to See: London Shows Closing
Saturday is your last chance to see Rapture Theatre Company's modern Glaswegian Hamlet at the Greenwich Theatre.
If you're looking for last-minute Valentine's Day ideas, Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai closes at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, as does the updated version of Ibsen's play, Hedda, at the Riverside Studios; Taylor Wessing Prize at the National Portrait Gallery; and The Conversation Piece: Scenes from Fashionable Life at The Queen's Gallery. Enjoy.