If Christmas drinks and present shopping got in the way of your December arts injection, fear not – some of the best plays, exhibitions and films are still running. From heart-warming musicals to thought-provoking art, here are the highlights of last season’s culture still on in the capital…
THEATRE & DANCE:
Romantics Anonymous, Shakespeare’s Globe
A charming tale of two shy chocolatiers who fall in love, adapted into a musical by Shakespeare’s Globe Artistic Director Emma Rice. The plot centres around Angélique, who makes the best chocolates in France, and Jean-René, an awkward chocolate factory owner whose business is crumbling into the ground. Both seek help for their social anxieties: Jean-René favours self-help tapes and Angélique joins a support group, Les Émotifs Anonymes, before fate brings them together. Rice’s stage version of the original French-Belgian film Les Émotifs Anonymes is an uplifting, foot-tapping love story filled with all the magical wonder of her Kneehigh productions. Tender, passionate and fuelled by chocolate, if there’s one show to see before it’s gone, this is it.
21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT; running until 6th January; tickets from £10
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Sadler’s Wells
Forming part of Sadler’s Wells 30th birthday celebrations, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is a thrilling and evocative love story set in London during the Second World War. Bourne’s interpretation of the classic fairy tale has a true war-time romance at its heart – a chance meeting which results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, who are together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the horrors of the Blitz. Performed to composer Prokofiev’s magnificent score, the ballet also features an Oliver Award-winning set design.
Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4TN; running until 27th January; tickets from £12
Network, National Theatre
Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston made his London theatre debut in Lee Hall and Ivo Van Hove’s adaptation of Network, based on the 1976 Paddy Chayefsky film of the same name. The story depicts a dystopian media landscape in which Howard Beale (Cranston) is a news anchor who isn’t pulling in the viewers. In what’s meant to be his final broadcast, he unravels live on screen, but when the viewer ratings soar, the network seize on their newfound prophet and Howard becomes the most popular thing to watch on TV.
While tickets are largely sold out, £20 Friday Rush tickets will be available online at 1pm on the Friday of the week preceding this performance. £15/£18 Day Tickets are also available in person from the Box Office at 9:30am on the day of the performance (two tickets per customer and seats may offer a restricted view).
Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX; running until 24th March; tickets from £15
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY:
Modigliani, Tate Modern
During his brief and turbulent life, Modigliani developed a unique and instantly recognisable pictorial style. Modigliani’s seductive nudes – controversial when they were first shown in 1917 but now among the best-loved paintings of the 20th century – are a highlight of the exhibition, while his lesser-known work including thought-provoking sculptures and portraits of his friends, lovers and supporters (including Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi and his partner Jeanne Hébuterne) are on show too.
Bankside, London, SE1 9TG; running until 2nd April; tickets from £15.90, or FREE for members and under 12s
Basquiat: Boom for Real, Level 3 Barbican Centre
An exhibition of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the pioneering prodigy of the 80s downtown New York art scene. Viewers have the opportunity to engage in the explosive creativity of Basquiat who worked with Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Blondie, among others. Featuring rare film, photography and archive material, the show captures the spirit of this self-taught artist, poet, DJ and musician whose influence, since his death at 27 in 1988, has been enormous.
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS; running until 28th January; tickets from £12, or FREE for members and under 14s
Thomas Ruff Photographs 1979 – 2017, Whitechapel Gallery
An exhibition drawing from the full range of Thomas Ruff’s work: from his acclaimed Portraits – to his most recent press++ photographs, drawing on newspaper archives from the era of the space race and Hollywood starlets. Cosmology, suburbia, nudity, utopianism, catastrophe – these are some of the subjects addressed in Ruff’s photographic series, based on almost four decades of his investigation into the status of the image in contemporary culture.
77 – 82 Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX; running until 21st January; tickets from £9.50
Call Me By Your Name
Set in the summer of 1983, precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who's working as an intern for Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendour of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
Janet hosts an intimate gathering of friends in her London home to celebrate her political ascension to Shadow Minister for Health. After her acerbic best friend and others arrive, some with dramatic news to share, an announcement by Janet's husband provokes a series of revelations. As the sophisticated soiree starts to unravel, a night that began with champagne soon ends up with arguments, shouting and a pointed gun.
The true story of Molly Bloom, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defence lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led people to believe.