Arts Ahead: What’s On In London 23 – 29 August

By Zoe Craig Last edited 84 months ago
Arts Ahead: What’s On In London 23 – 29 August

Our pick of the exciting art, theatre and exhibitions opening this week. Plus a few last-chance-to-see notices, so you don't miss out

Be There First: London Shows Opening

South Pacific opens at the Barbican tonight. The show has won awards on Broadway and wowed audiences in Toronto. Let’s see if EastEnder Sam Womack can keep up with the starry US cast now it's transferring to London. Shame they didn't bring South Pacific weather with them today…

Also opening in London’s theatres this week is Batman Live at The O2 (in an "all-new live-action arena adventure"), and Mack and Mabel at the Greenwich Theatre.

If you’ve got theatre-loving kids looking for entertainment towards the end of the summer holidays, check out U Fest, the Unicorn Theatre’s new arts festival for young people aged 8 to 108. Learn circus skills, physical theatre, opera, the Lindy Hop and how to rap. Events cost £5 each.

The new exhibitions that have caught our eye this week are: Freedom from: Modern Slavery in the Capital at the Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands. This new show, which opens today, promises to lift the lid on the shocking reality of trafficking and forced labour in the capital. Its opening coincides with International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

From tomorrow, you can check out This Is Design at the Design Museum: examining the impact of design on the modern world, and how it shapes our lives and culture.

Opening on Friday, you can see Best of British Illustration at the Bankside Gallery. It’s a touring exhibition of illustration commissioned in the UK today, including work by Ian Pollock, Simon Spilsbury and David Hughes.

Finally, we’re getting close to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and with it comes a new show at the Imperial War Museum. Francesc Torres: Memory Remains is an exhibition of photographs by Torres exploring the interior of Hangar 17 at JFK Airport which, following the attacks on New York in September 2001, was filled with material cleared from the World Trade Center site.

Last Chance To See: London Shows Closing

Saturday is your last chance to see Butley at the Duchess Theatre, Chicago (Chicago!) at the Cambridge Theatre, London Road at the National and Love Never Dies at the Adelphi.

Fela! closes at Sadler’s Wells on Sunday. And Potted Potter stops its top-speed wizardy silliness at the Garrick on Monday.

Monday is also your last chance to see Tracey Emin’s show at the Hayward, and At Home in Japan at the Geffrye Museum. Enjoy!

We have listings for ongoing shows at London’s top museums on our Museums and Galleries page

Last Updated 23 August 2011