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    Experience an immersive circus re-imagining of Persephone’s presumed seduction by Hades in 'Becoming Shades'.

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    It is safe to say that the vegan revolution is well and truly underway!

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    Are you a theatre fan? Then this guide might be for you!

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    Enjoy a delicious 3 course meal - plus wine - at award-winning Indian restaurant ANOKHA!

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    The National Gallery exhibits a vast range of works undertaken in black and white.

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    Check out our guide to this unusual and inventive festival

What to do this week

This week’s top theatre

  • Image credit: The Birthday Party
  • EAST
The Birthday Party

An impressive cast including Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker and Stephen Mangan star in Harold Pinter’s darkly comic The Birthday Party this January. Two enigmatic strangers arrive at a sleepy boarding house, disrupting the lives of the inhabitants and filling the house with menace.

The Birthday Party runs at the Harold Pinter Theatre 9 January - 14 April.

EAST

Best mates Mike and Les strut through London’s East End, brawling, swearing and living for the moment in Steven Berkoff’s startlingly original and influential masterpiece. Shocking, riotously funny and entirely unapologetic.

EAST runs at the King’s Head Theatre - where the play made its London debut in 1975 - from 9 Jan - 3 February.

Things I Know to be True

Beautiful, funny and bold, Things I Know to be True takes a tender yet unflinching look at the mechanics of family and marriage. Bob and Fran’s four children are grown and ready to fly the nest, struggling to define themselves beyond their parents’ love and expectations.

Things I Know to be True runs at the Lyric Hammersmith 11 January - 3 February.

This week’s top films

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Following the murder of her daughter, and the local police department’s failure to find the perpetrator, Frances McDormand plays a mother out for answers and to publicly highlight the unsolved crime by purchasing three billboards with her own message to Woody Harrelson’s Sheriff and his team. Written and directed by In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths director Martin McDonagh, it’s no surprise that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri strikes the perfect balance between razor sharp black comedy and tense drama.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is out 12 January

Darkest Hour

This charged political period drama follows Winston Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister during World War II, weaving around three of Churchill’s greatest wartime speeches and explores the different facets of who Churchill was as a Prime Minister and, importantly, a man. Darkest Hour is the latest directorial offering from Atonement’s Joe Wright and stars Gary Oldman in a Golden Globe winning performance as the man himself.

Darkest Hour is out 12 January

All the Money in the World

January is always a filmic feast for good drama and Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World does not disappoint on that score. Based on the true story, the film focuses on the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty and his grandfather’s, billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, refusal to meet the ransom demands to set him free. Although there’s been as much press for the decision to recast patriarch Getty from Kevin Spacey to Christopher Plummer, as there has been for the film itself, this thrilling drama boasts excellent performances, with Michelle Williams as the mother fighting to get her son back being a real standout.

All the Money in the World opens 5 January

Hostiles

This tense period western drama sees Christian Bale as a U.S. Army Captain reluctantly tasked with escorting dying Cheyenne chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family back to their tribal land. When their paths cross with a widow (Rosamund Pike) stricken by the murder of her family, the group must band together to navigate the dangerous and unforgiving landscape.

Hostiles opens 5 January

Molly’s Game

Kicking off Awards Season with some fantastic drama, Molly’s Game sees the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin. Based on the true story of Molly Bloom, Jessica Chastain leads this intelligent drama focusing on Molly’s rise to running an underground Poker empire and the consequences once the FBI get involved.

Molly’s Game opens on 1 January

(Image credit: STX Films)

This week’s top exhibitions

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

Exploring the tradition of painting in black and white for over 700 years, Monochrome combines more than fifty works from old masters and contemporary artists alike for a bold insight into the power of black and white.

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White is at the National Gallery until 18 February 2018

Thomas Ruff: Photographs 1979 – 2017

Thomas Ruff, German photographer and editor, has transformed the possibilities of the contemporary photograph. The Whitechapel Gallery hosts a collection of his work, spanning his career for the last few decades. Highlights include his portraits and his take on the ‘nude’.

The Thomas Ruff exhibition runs until the January 21 2018. Tickets are £12.95.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Not Everyone Will Be Taken into the Future

This exhibition includes some of the most inventive and challenging installation work of the 20th Century by Russian artist Ilya Kabakov, as well as more contemporary works made in conjunction with his wife Emilia. Look out particularly for ‘Labyrinth (Songs for my Mother)’ and the title installation, ‘Not Everyone Will Be Taken Into the Future’.

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Not Everyone Will be Taken into the Future is at the Tate Modern until 28 January. Tickets from £10.

Cézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

Paul Cezanne was a prolific painter creating over 1000 paintings before his death in the 1860s, many of which were striking and emotional portraits. Cézanne Portraits come to National Portrait Gallery for a new exhibition highlighting an often over-looked part of his work.

Cézanne Portraits is at the National Portrait Gallery until 11 February 2018.

Tove Jansson 1914-2001 - LAST CHANCE

Tove Jansson is famous for her creation of the world of the Moomins. This exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery displays Jansson’s other work, including her paintings, sketches and illustrations, revealing the many skills of this remarkable woman.

The exhibition runs until 28 January 2018. Tickets £15.50.

This week’s top food & drink

Kudu

The latest establishment to join Peckham’s ever-growing list of impressive eateries is Kudu; a South African inspired restaurant opening just off Queens Road on Friday 12 January. The décor is impossibly snug with rusty hues, brass features, and even an ‘orangerie’ in the back. Chef Patrick Williams has devised a menu of modern South African dishes and promises to be mouth-watering affair.

Kudu opens at 119 Queens Road, SE15 2EZ on 12 January 2018.

Bread Ahead Café

Bread Ahead is not a new name for the London scene. In fact, their stall in Borough Market (and their original London home) is one of the market’s most popular stalls. Their latest venture is a bakery in the heart of Soho. This time however, there’s the welcome addition of a café, so you can take a seat, sip grab a coffee and chow down on one of their renowned doughnuts.

Bread Ahead Café is now open at 21 Beak Street, W1F 9RR.

Drake and Morgan: Grab Life by the Claws

Helping you escape the January blues is Drake & Morgan, with a low-calorie, money-saving new year’s offer. Their Reef, Beef and Bubbles deal is just £9.95 for a combination of succulent steak, prawns and green leaves, accompanied by a chilled glass of bubbles (alcohol option available). For just £19.95, you can push the boat out and upgrade to a serving of lobster, steak and chips with a glass of champagne if you fancy.

Drake and Morgan can be found at various locations across London.

The World’s Best Martini Challenge

Following on from the success of last year, The World’s Best Martini Challenge is back with its hotly anticipated final taking place at Oslo, Hackney on Thursday 18 January. Featuring six spectacular finalists and three independent judges, guests can expect to spend the evening tasting their way through the world’s coolest gin brands and Martini recipes before choosing your winner.

The World’s Best Martini Challenge takes place on 18 January 2018. Tickets are £15.

Things to do in London today, tomorrow and this weekend

London Calling brings you London’s best cultural events, arty activities and fantastic competitions. From film festivals to fine dining and fringe theatre performances to blockbuster art exhibitions, discover London’s most thrilling events and best kept secrets. And with our jam-packed weekly newsletters, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do in London again!

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