Dispatch from the Londoness: Where to Go in London Right Now

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Are you headed to London? You may just well be after reading this enticing list of blockbuster museum shows and compelling productions. (Bryan Cranston at the National—book your ticket!) Diary of a Londoness is a personal and quirky London blog chockfull of the all the latest information for the theatre, film, opera, as well as where to eat, drink, and shop, in London, one of our all-time favorite cities. Walk with the Londoness through the streets of the metropolis and beyond, and experience what it’s like to live in the world’s culture capital. Follow the Londoness on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

ON-STAGE

If you see one west end play this autumn, make sure it’s INK at the Duke of York Theatre. It follows a young Rupert Murdoch (played by Bertie Carvel) and his first year at the helm of the flagging ‘Sun’ newspaper. He seduces Larry Lamb (Richard Coyle) into the role of editor-in-mischief, and bang - ‘The Sun’ as we know it is born. We follow the Machiavellian machinations of the tabloid duo as they attempt, and succeed, to knock the rival ‘Mirror’ off its inky pedestal, and in the end, the solution is titillatingly simple. But in case you haven’t guessed how, I won’t give it away.  

‘Victoria’s’ David Oakes has moved from Buckingham Palace to the Theatre Royal Haymarket to star in VENUS IN FUR. Also treading the boards is Natalie Dormer, and it's a wickedly delicious production. 

We’re expecting some stage fireworks from NETWORK which opens at the National Theatre on November 4. It’s an adaptation of the satirical film which picked up four Academy Awards in 1976. Acclaimed director Ivo Van Hove is in the directing seat, and Bryan Cranston takes the lead role as Howard Beale.

Katie Mitchell’s controversial production of Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR is back at the Royal Opera House after a mixed bag of reviews last year. It’s a dark, provocative and bloody interpretation of the tragic opera, and I’m definitely up for a second serving. 

TOP EXHIBITIONS

How do you capture London fog? Not easily as it turns out. Oscar Wilde proclaimed that Whistler did it best and Whistler agreed: “My own lovely London fogs…I am their painter!” But I think Claude Monet did it best in his Houses of Parliament series, reunited for the first time since 1973 and on show at the Tate Britain in IMPRESSIONISTS IN LONDON. The breathtaking exhibition includes 100 works by Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and others, and captures London’s quintessential Englishness through the eyes of foreigners who fled there during the nineteenth century. How could you possibly fail to be impressed by the Impressionists?  

The Victoria and Albert Museum, in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, has staged a thrilling operatic adventure in seven acts, a journey through seven cities showcasing seven operas against a backdrop of political and social change and turmoil. It’s a jaw-dropping collection of paintings, costumes, musical scores, props, sets, and instruments. OPERA AT THE V&A

Over at the SOANE MUSEUM in Holborn, you can meet an Italian circus strongman turned Egyptologist, and discover tales of robbed tombs and a celebrity Pharaoh. 

You can pirouette away with Degas in DRAWN IN COLOUR at the National Gallery. His ballerinas are the subject of an exhibition which includes thirteen whimsical paintings, pastels and drawings from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, supplemented by seven of the National Gallery’s own. 

FUN IN LONDON

It’s time to get those skates on and hit the ice. Somerset House, the Natural History Museum, the Tower of London and Hampton Court are all set against some rather impressive backdrops, all of which will melt your heart!

It’s the LORD MAYOR’S SHOW on Saturday 11th November, a day brimming with pomp and circumstance. Kick off at 9am with a Thames flotilla, followed by the Lord Mayor’s Procession at 11. Finish off with a bang at 5.15pm with a magnificent firework display over the Thames. 

Sunday 12 November is REMEMBERANCE SUNDAY when we remember those who died in combat. The Prince of Wales will be laying a wreath at the Whitehall cenotaph at 11a.m. whilst the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and members of the Royal Family will watch from a balcony above. 

Visit the eccentrically wonderful DENNIS SEVERS’ HOUSE in Spitafields and time-travel to eighteenth-century London. From the 19 November, the house will be decked in all its Christmas glory. 

RESTAURANTS YOU SHOULD TRY ONCE

  • For vegetarians: Nopi. Chef Ottolenghi is a total genius and your palette will just sing.
  • For oysters: Bentley’s
  • Fancy schmancy: Chez Bruce     
  • Fish and chips: Rock and Sole plaice
  • Italian: Ziani’s. A word of caution: the waiters can be rude, but just pretend you’re in Italy. 
  • Fish: J Sheekey. It’s my favourite restaurant in London and pretty good for some post-theatre star-gazing.
  • Indian: Noorjahan 2. It’s not flashy but it’s my favourite Indian in town. 
  • All-day: The Wolesley Be sure to check out the toilets.

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