Arts Ahead: What's On In London 1 – 7 May

By Zoe Craig Last edited 146 months ago

Last Updated 01 May 2012

Arts Ahead: What's On In London 1 – 7 May

This week’s hottest theatre, dance, opera, classical, world music, jazz and art events

DANCE: This week's dance recommendation is Breakin' Convention at Sadler's Wells. Breakin' Convention is a three-day celebration of hip hop dance theatre and culture. There’s stage performances, workshops, film screenings, DJ demos, freestyle sessions and even some live aerosol art.

THEATRE: Tomorrow, Bola Agbaje's latest play, Belong, about a British MP who flees to Nigeria, opens at the Royal Court. Over at the National, Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale reprise their roles in the successful show, Collaborators from tomorrow. From Thursday, Mike Bartlett's play, Love Love Love opens at the Royal Court, starring Claire Foy, Victoria Hamilton and Ben Miles. Also opening on Thursday is The Art of Concealment, about Terence Rattigan's life at the Riverside Studios. Finally, on Friday, Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison makes his West End debut in Step 9 (Of 12), a dark and provocative drama about addiction.

OPERA: On Friday, one of the big shows of the London 2012 Festival, Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass, comes to the Barbican. The show breaks all the conventions of opera, and is widely credited as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century.

Little Londonists: Two interesting-sounding shows open at the Unicorn Theatre today. The Man With The Disturbingly Smelly Foot (based on Philoctetes by Sophocles) is suitable for ages 7-10; and How To Think The Unthinkable (an adaptation of Antigone) looks at the story of Greece's most famous teenager, for ages 11 to 14.

ART: London’s art galleries are responding to the twin influences of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in style this week. Take your pick from: Politics and Olympics: Ideals and Realities at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon from today. Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer traces the close relationship between royalty and religion throughout the ages at Lambeth Palace Library, also from today. Cities of the Modern Games shows 26 large-scale images of all the past host cities of the Modern Games, from Athens in 1896 to Beijing in 2008 at Tower Bridge from tomorrow.

If you’re less interested in the Jubilympics then Picasso Prints: The Vollard Suite opens at the British Museum from Thursday – 100 etchings by the artist, recently acquired by the museum. At The Queen's Gallery from this week, you can see the largest ever exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's studies of the human body: Anatomist opens on Friday.

WORLD: Legendary Tuareg rock band Tinariwen bring their growling, hypnotic guitar sound to Shepherd's Bush Empire on Thursday. Tinariwen are Tuaregs, nomads from the Sahel in remote West Africa. Their most recent album, “Tassili”, is a quieter, more contemplative affair than their earlier work, but it'll still sound incredible in the Shepherd's Bush auditorium.

CLASSICAL: British composer David Matthews curates a Sibelius weekend at Kings Place from Thursday, focusing on the intimate side of the great Finnish symphonist. Tonight, meanwhile, the best French string quartet in the business – Quatuor Ebène – perform Mozart, Schubert and Tchaikovsky at Wigmore Hall.

JAZZ: Grammy Award-nominated Indian-American jazz pianist Vijay Iyer is one of jazz's original voices. He brings his trio and clever, stylish music to Dalston's Vortex for two concerts starting today. Here's the trio in action.

Anything we’ve missed that you’re really looking forward to seeing this week? Let us know in the comments below.

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