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Hayward Gallery (c) Morley Von Sternberg

This week: 22 – 28 January

22 January 2018 Suzanne Frost

Now that the official “most depressing day of the year”, Blue Monday, is over and done with and the nights are getting that little bit longer again (a whole 2 minutes every day nonetheless), here are a few ideas to fill those nights with culture.

The Brothers Size
The prodigious playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of Academy Award winning film Moonlight, wrote The Brothers Size while still studying at Yale University. The story of two African American brothers - the hard working Ogun and his feckless younger brother Oshoosi, in trouble with the law in a fictional small town in Louisiana – is told as a fable playing on elements of Yoruba, a spiritual, religious and cultural concept from Southwest Africa giving the show a hallucinatory quality somewhere between ritual and reality.


The Brothers Size (c) The Young Vic

The Brothers Size is at the Young Vic from 19 January – 14 February
 
 
Burns Night at Hammersmith Town Hall
This week brings us Burns Night, a celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns and all things Celtic around his birthday on 25 January. While many restaurants will offer special Burns Night themed menus, the Ceilidh Club will make a proper event of it with Burns Night at Hammersmith Town Hall. Three hours of Ceilidh dancing (traditionally with a caller who calls out the steps so no need for previous knowledge), the piping in of the Haggis and recitals of Burn’s poems culminating in a rendition of Auld Lang Syne make for a proper Scottish celebration.
 
Burns Night at Hammersmith Town Hall hosted by the Ceilidh Club is on 27 January and 3 February
 
Cinderella
This week will be the last chance to catch Matthew Bourne’s ballet Cinderella at Sadlers Wells.  In typical Bourne style, the contemporary dance wizard has taken a popular story and given it a cinematic and innovative makeover. Set in London during the Blitz, Cinderella yearns after a dreamy fighter pilot while her evil stepfamily dances the night away at the historical Café de Paris, which got destroyed in a bomb strike in 1941. Will the mysterious Angel of death guide Cinderella to find her pilot among the ruins and debris of wartime London? Cinderella looks stunning thanks to Lez Brotherton’s costume and set designs that make a bygone era come alive on stage.
 

Ashley Shaw and Liam Mower in Cinderella (c) Johan Persson

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella is at Sadlers Wells till 27 January
 
Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery
After two years of refurbishment and a restoration of its iconic pyramid roof lights, the Hayward Gallery, a landmark of Brutalism architecture on London’s Southbank, is reopening on the 25 January. Marking the 50th anniversary of the gallery that has always championed modern pioneer artists, the opening exhibition is the first major UK retrospective of German photographer Andreas Gursky. Famous for his often large-scale images of sites and scenes from contemporary life, Gursky’s images celebrate “the pure joy of seeing”. Photographs taken from high vantage points challenge the limits of the human eye and allow a ‘democratic’ perspective where every detail on show is given equal importance.

The Hayward Gallery interior (c) Morley Von Sternberg

Andreas Gursky is at the Hayward Gallery 25 Jan - 22 Apr 2018

 

The Hunt For The Cheshire Cat
For something a little more crazy and curious, a new Alice in Wonderland inspired adventure experience by HiddenCity promises strange and surreal entertainment. Follow a trail of clues across the city in search of the Cheshire cat who has escaped Wonderland.  The 3-hour adventure game for adults (supervised children are welcome) is designed for teams of 2 – 5 participants or multiple teams to race against each other and will take you through galleries, literary archives, into dark cellar vaults and for tea with a suited Queen. Curiouser and curiouser…
 


The Hunt for the Cheshire Cat can be booked at https://cheshirecat.inthehiddencity.com/ and tickets are £23 per person.
 
 
 
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