10 Things To Look Forward To In London In 2017

By Zoe Craig Last edited 74 months ago

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10 Things To Look Forward To In London In 2017

Forget 2016; here's what you need to look forward to in London in 2017.

1. Nordic Matters Festival, Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre is planning to explore all things Nordic through 2017, with some scandi-tastic special events.

Think Moomins, Lego, hygge, saunas and gastronomic treats like cinnamon buns, pickling and curing — alongside the most inspiring and intriguing of Nordic art, mythology, literature and music.

The programme looks at the Nordics' reputation as world-leaders in their approach to play, children and young people, gender equality and sustainability — and asks what the UK might learn from our northern neighbours.

Nordic Matters, Southbank Centre, from 13 January throughout the year

2. Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House

Hurrah! Last year's stunning Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House is back.

Just as the rest of London's Christmas lights are put into storage, the grounds of Chiswick House are set alight with gorgeous illuminated sculptures.

The theme for 2017 is the Silk Road, with Europe, Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India and Ancient China all represented. Look out, too, for the funfair, ice rink, and new VR experience that'll see you running round Chiswick House's grounds... with dinosaurs.

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House Gardens, 19 January-26 February

3. Robots at the Science Museum

The Science Museum is going robot-mad in 2017, exploring the 500-year long story of humanoid robots.

They'll be displaying more than 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk, to robots from science fiction, and those working in modern-day research labs. Visit, and you could find yourself interacting with some of the 12 fully-working robots on display.

Robots, Science Museum, 8 February-3 September

4. Secret Cinema Brings Paris to London

London's love for interactive theatrical experiences shows no sign of abating. As well as Alice's Adventures Underground returning to The Vaults, Secret Cinema is back in 2017 with Baz Luhrmann's Oscar-winning Moulin Rouge, starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.

Expect all the usual SC goodness, this time transporting you back to the sexy, seedy 1890s Paris, and down the into the treacherous alleyways and dancehalls of Montmartre during the Belle Epoque.

Secret Cinema presents Moulin Rouge! From 14 February

5. Jane Austen 200

2017 marks 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, so expect various shows, exhibitions and special events to honour the occasion.

There's already a British Library show called Jane Austen Among Family And Friends planned for January, and an exhibition at the House of Illustration in February.

Emma (c) The Folio Society. Part of the House of Illustration exhibition.

6. A New Postal Museum, Clerkenwell

When it opens in mid-2017, London's new Postal Museum will be more than a venue dedicated to showing off the unique history of our postal service (from Henry VIII through to pages of priceless Penny Black stamps, and, er, massive cats); it'll also contain a 15-minute ride through a miniature underground railway.

Detail of the 1980s Greenbat train in tunnel 5.

Yes, 'Mail Rail The Ride' is coming, and we're excited.

7. Pink Floyd at the V&A

The V&A will be hoping for another blockbuster along the same lines as David Bowie Is... with their show for summer 2017.

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains will chronicle the music, design and staging of the enduring band, from their debut in the 60s through to the present day.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains at the V&A runs from 13 May

8. 20th Anniversary of the first Harry Potter book

26 June 2017 marks 20 years since the first Harry Potter book went on sale. Expect plenty of celebratory shenanigans across London, as publishers Bloomsbury and other connected parties aim to get in on the hype.

From October, there'll be a special exhibition on The Magic of Harry Potter at the British Library; the first of its kind celebrating a single series of books by a living author. We're sure this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more Harry Potter goodness at the anniversary moves closer.

Harry Potter's London

9. IAAF and the IPC Athletics World Championships

245 events over 20 days featuring 3,300 athletes from around the globe. The Summer of World Athletics at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be the biggest sporting event of 2017. Tickets for the IPC events start from £10; while you can see IAAF action for £20. It may well be Usain Bolt's final professional appearance in our city.

World ParaAthletics Championships, 14-23 July; IAAF World Championships, 4-13 August

10. Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

2017 is looking like quite a packed year for fans of blockbuster theatre shows.

Sheena Easton is headed to the West End for the first time in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane; while you can see Jane Asher in An American In Paris; and Imelda Staunton will be ranting in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Then there's new musicals like a Bat Out of Hell, the musical, at the Coliseum in the summer, as well as not one, but two Gary Barlow musicals opening in London (The Girls, and Finding Neverland)...

Plus David Tennant is back in the West End playing Don Juan, while Jude Law stars at the Barbican in Obsession, and Daniel Radcliffe celebrates the show that made Tom Stoppard famous with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

But the thing is, it doesn't really matter if you're Doctor Who, Dr Watson, or Harry Potter, there's only one theatre show that's going to steal all the limelight in 2017, and that's this:

The hip-hop musical about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton is one of Broadway's most successful shows ever.

It'll open at the refurbished Victoria Palace Theatre in late 2017, perhaps November, and will star original cast member Lin-Manuel Miranda alongside homegrown talent. If you want to know if all the hype is worth it, you'll need to grab a seat when they go on sale early in the new year: 30 January 2017.

Last Updated 09 December 2016