THE PERFORMANCE: Small Island At National Theatre
Andrea Levy’s seminal work returns to the National Theatre for another run of the critically acclaimed production. Set during post-war Britain, Hortense is a Jamaican woman who leaves behind her rural village to pursue her dreams of becoming a lawyer in London. But moving to the ‘Mother Country’ proves far more difficult than she imagined, which is only intensified after the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush. Tickets start from £39.
From Thursday 24th February; Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX
THE EVENT: Kew Gardens Orchid Festival
Kew Gardens has just opened its annual orchid festival at its Prince of Wales Conservatory. This year, the festival celebrates biodiversity hotspot Costa Rica, which recently won the first environmental ‘Earthshot Prize’, awarded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation. The display recreates the varied landscape of Costa Rica, with native animals replicated in stunning horticultural displays – think monkeys, sea turtles, toads and hummingbirds hand-crafted from plants. Don’t miss the display at the conservatory pond, filled with vibrant orchids and bromeliads. Tickets cost £15.
Until Sunday 6th March; Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, TW9 3AB
THE OPERA: Tosca At The Royal Opera House
This dramatic production reimagines an Italian classic. Performed by three different casts during the two-week run, Giacomo Puccini’s opera is set in Rome during the Napoleonic wars. The action, which takes place over 24 hours, follows three main characters: Floria Tosca, her lover Mario Cavaradossi, and the corrupt Chief of Police, Baron Scarpia. Scarpia has lusted after Tosca for many months, but the handsome Cavaradossi stands in his way. When he suspects Cavaradossi of assisting an escaped political prisoner, he seizes his opportunity to plot his downfall.
From Tuesday 8th to Tuesday 22nd February 2022; Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD
THE SUPPER: Lake District Farmers’ Annual Charity Dinner
On Friday 18th and Saturday 19th February, Lake District Farmers is holding two charity dinners at Abbey House Hotel in the Lake District. On both nights, guests can enjoy a six-course meal cooked by top Michelin-starred and celebrity chefs, including Monica Galetti, Mark Birchall, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Angela Hartnett, Matt Abe and Helene Darroze. Chefs will cook two courses each – menu details remain tightly under wraps, but we’re expecting good things. Tickets cost £150pp, and proceeds will be donated to the Armstrong Family Charitable Fund which supports local disadvantaged families.
Abbey Road, Barrow-in-Furness, LA13 0PA
THE EXHIBITION: A Fine Line in Fashion: The Art of Gladys Perint Palmer At Gray M.C.A
Tomorrow, Gray M.C.A is opening an exhibition to showcase the works of renowned fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer. The exhibition has over 30 drawings of designers and famous faces in the fashion world over the years, including Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Moschino, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Philip Treacey. Palmer, who often had a front row seat at fashion shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York during the 80s and 90s, used bold colours and sweeping strokes in her distinctive illustrations. Tickets are free.
Tuesday 15th to Sunday 20th February; Cromwell Place, South Kensington, SW7 2JE
THE FILM: Parallel Mothers
Penélope Cruz won Best Actress at the Venice International Film Festival for her performance in Parallel Mothers. Two women, Janis and Ana, meet in a hospital where they are about to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Middle-aged Janis has no regrets and is exultant. Ana, an adolescent, is scared and repentant. Janis tries to encourage her as they move like sleepwalkers through the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close bond, which will develop and complicate by chance, changing their lives in a decisive way. The film comes from writer-director Pedro Almodóvar, one of Spain’s most celebrated filmmakers and the man behind Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and Volver.
In cinemas now
THE SHOW: Nicola Conte at Ronnie Scott’s
On Friday 18th and Saturday 19th February, Italian musician Nicola Conte is performing at legendary jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s. The guitarist is set to play a series of his own ‘Afro-jazz’ songs, alongside a trombonist, two saxophonists and singers Zara McFarlane, Bridgette Amofah and Carolina Bubbico. Guests will also hear Conte’s first studio album, which he recently recorded. Ideal if you want to enjoy a night of jazz, guests can also choose to dine in the main restaurant for à la carte options alongside the performance. Tickets start from £35.
Various times; 47 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4HT
THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME: Black Tomato x Agatha Christie Ltd
Luxury travel company Black Tomato has partnered with Agatha Christie Ltd for a series of holidays and experiences. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Agatha Christie embarking on an ambitious ten-month journey around the world – and the release of new film Death on the Nile – there are several itineraries to choose from. Available to book separately or create a bespoke trip featuring multiple tours, highlights include ‘The Grand Tour’ with a stay at Brown’s Hotel in London and high tea with historian Lucy Worsley or James Prichard, Christie’s great-grandson; and a ten-night trip around Africa, featuring a stay at Cape Town’s glamorous Belmond Mount Nelson hotel and a private trip to Babylonstoren farm. There’s also a 16-night trip to New Zealand where travellers will visit Christie’s favourite spots on the North and South Islands. Trips start from £1,995pp.
THE TV SERIES: Suspicion, Apple TV
In this new series, Uma Thurman plays a no-nonsense businesswoman in New York. When her son is kidnapped from a hotel, suspicion turns to four British travellers who were at the hotel on the night of his disappearance. Once the National Crime Agency and the FBI are called in, it turns into a trans-Atlantic cat and mouse race to evade the forces at all costs. But not everyone can be trusted, and several questions are raised over the mysterious abduction.
Available to watch on Apple TV now
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