Clowns, kid-friendly theatre, clothes worn by the Queen and site-specific cinema: welcome to this week's Arts Ahead...
Be There First: London Shows OpeningLa Bête opens at Comedy Theatre tomorrow, starring big theatre names Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley. It's the story of a dramatist, a clown and a princess. Also opening tomorrow is I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, about the effects of a LA earthquake on a bunch of 20-somethings.
Aftermath in the Old Vic Theatre Tunnels opens on Thursday; it's a tale of 35 people fleeing violence in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Or you can see Wolfboy at the Trafalgar Studios, also from Thursday: Daniel "not quite Joseph" Boys stars in this new psycho-sexual musical thriller.
Little londonists aged six and over should get involved in Beastie at the Barbican, a participatory performance for kids from 6-10 opening on Saturday. Or there's a reimagined Macbeth for everyone 6 and over at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, which opens on Sunday. Or from Monday, you can take cultured kids to The Railway Children in Waterloo Station, featuring a real steam train.
Our opera offering this week is a revival of La Traviata at the Royal Opera House, directed by Richard Eyre, starring soprano Angela Gheorghiu. We're promised sumptuous 19th-century Parisian designs...
Art lovers can head outside to see Jean Nouvel's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion from Saturday (preview pics here); or inside to see US painter John Singer Sargent's less-familiar landscapes in Sargent and the Sea at the Royal Academy of Arts. And the ever-popular and free Press Photographer's Year opens in the National Theatre foyer on Monday.
And if you're into crafty fashion-designy things, don't miss Horrockses Fashions: Off the Peg Style in the 40s and 50s at Fashion and Textile Museum from Friday. It's an exhibition dedicated to Horrockses Fashions Limited, a company known for its popular full-skirted dresses (worn by the Queen herself).
Film fans should head to Greenwich from Friday: the three-week-long Greenwich Film Festival opens with Five Children and It (but we prefer the sound of Sense and Sensibility in the Queen's House next week...)
Last Chance To See: London Shows Closing
Saturday is your last chance to see Love The Sinner at the National Theatre, Dandy In The Underworld at the Soho Theatre, Lulu at the Gate Theatre, Tosca at the London Coliseum and Manon at the Royal Opera House. If we've missed anything, let us know!