Arts Ahead: What's On In London 18-24 May

By Zoe Craig Last edited 102 months ago
Arts Ahead: What's On In London 18-24 May

0518_merchants_of_bollywood.jpg
The Merchants of Bollywood is at the Peacock Theatre from tomorrow until 5 Jun
It's all about dance and opera this week. Plus a couple of new theatre shows, and a great film festival at the Barbican. And don't forget to check out those last chances!

Be There First: London Shows Opening

So dance fans: tonight and tomorrow, you can see the UK premiere of Babel (words) by Sadler's Wells Associate Artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He's collaborated with Damien Jalet as co-choreographer, and renowned visual artist Antony Gormley for this, the final part in a triptych of works which included FOI and Myth. Or you can catch the catchy theatrical dance spectacular, The Merchants of Bollywood at the Peacock Theatre from tomorrow, which charts the history of the world's largest and most prolific film industry, and its stars.

If you like your opera shows big, sung in English, in the round, and starring an old Pop Idol, then here's the show for you. For three nights from Friday, you can see Carmen at The O2. Darius Campbell (prev Danesh) is playing Escamillo the toreador on the final night. Alternatively, you could opt for Tosca at London Coliseum from tonight: the ENO-produced show is directed by one famous opera star (Catherine Malfitano) and stars another: Amanda Echalaz. Variety is the spice of life, right?!

London's Theatreland, is pretty varied this week too. First up is Ditch, a new play in a new space: Beth Steel's futuristic debut is being staged in the Old Vic Tunnels, with an opening night on Thursday. We'll let you know what we think. Or head up to Hampstead Theatre for Canary from Monday (a new play, exploring the changing attitudes towards homosexuality over the last five decades), or the rarely performed Henry VIII opens at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on Monday.

From Monday, art fans should look out for the latest Fourth Plinth treasure in Trafalgar Square: Yinka Shonibare's artwork, Nelson's Ship In A Bottle.

And there's a treat for film lovers too this week: Saturday sees the opening of the Barbican's animation festival, Animate the World. Over six days, you can enjoy premieres, award-winning films, family favourites and a programme specifically aimed at the adult animation admirer.

Last Chance To See: London Shows Closing

Saturday is your last chance to see Posh at the Royal Court; Polar Bears at the Donmar Warehouse; and Little Gem at Bush Theatre.

And you'll have to be quick if you want to catch either of these top art shows: Painting History: Delaroche and Lady Jane Grey closes at the National Gallery on Sunday. As does Celeste Boursier-Mougenot (those magnificent musical birds) at the Barbican Curve. Enjoy.

Last Updated 18 May 2010