This Is London - 8 November 2019


This Is London - 8th November 2019


Events 4

Armistice Day at the Cenotaph

The Snowman returns to The Peacock

EFG London Jazz Festival

Music 8

Christmas with the Royal Choral Society

National Symphony Orchestra

Scarlet & Gold

Exhibitions 14

Tutankhamun at Saatchi Gallery

The Household Cavalry Museum

Lucian Freud Self Portraits

Leonardo: Experience a Masterpiece

Theatre 18


Sara Bareilles West End Debut in Waitress

Touching The Void opens

Proprietor Julie Jones

Publishing Consultant Terry Mansfield CBE

Associate Publisher Beth Jones

Editorial Lucie Henry Louise Kingsley Eleanor Collett

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Welcome to London

As the 692nd Lord Mayor of the

City of London, I am delighted to welcome

you to one of the greatest and most

culturally diverse capitals in the world.

Over 300 languages are spoken in the city,

which has an enviable reputation as a

hugely popular visitor destination with a

global financial centre and a vibrant arts

and culture scene.

On Saturday 9 November, tens of thousands of people will line the streets

of the City of London – otherwise known as the Square Mile, the ancient but

thriving business district around St Paul’s – for the Lord Mayor’s Show, a

unique tradition which dates back to Magna Carta in 1215.

There is nothing quite like it, in terms of size, colour, or ability to bring

together so many diverse participants – including young people from

London’s schools and community groups, dancers, musicians, and members

of the Armed Forces – in one celebratory and inclusive event. Over 6,500

people, 120 horses and an eclectic mix of decorated floats will feature in this

year’s three-mile-long procession. For my part, I will be waving to the crowds

from the golden State Coach, which has been used by the Lord Mayor in every

Show since 1757.

It will be my privilege to serve as the global ambassador for UK-based

financial and professional services and during my year in office, I will focus

on three key themes – championing innovation, growing our global trade and

investment, and promoting culture and the arts.

I wish you an enjoyable holiday in our wonderful capital.

William Russell, Lord Mayor Elect of London


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The annual Armistice Day Service will

be held on Sunday 10 November at the

Cenotaph in Whitehall to honour the

servicemen and women who sacrificed

their lives for their country. The service

has changed little since it was first

introduced in 1921 – hymns are sung,

prayers are said and a two minute silence

is observed on the stroke of 11 o’clock,

the World War One moment of ceasefire.

Wreaths are then laid by the Royal

Family, leaders of the Armed Forces and

politicians. The ceremony concludes

with a march past of war veterans, an

enduring gesture of respect for their

fallen comrades. Visitors will line the

streets for the service in Whitehall or

watch the screens in Trafalgar Square.

Armistice Day is commemorated on

11 November to mark the armistice

signed between the Allies of World War I

and Germany at Compiègne, France,

for the cessation of hostilities on the

Western Front of World War I, which

took effect at the ‘eleventh hour of the

eleventh day of the eleventh month’

of 1918.

The first Armistice Day service was

held at Buckingham Palace, with King

George V hosting a ‘Banquet in Honour

of the President of the French Republic’

during the evening of 10 November

1919. Armistice Day events were also

held in the grounds of Buckingham

Palace on the morning of 11 November

1919. This would set the trend for a day

of Remembrance for decades to come.



While the politicians are preparing for

the General Election on 12 December,

visitors to London can discover the

history and heritage of the world-famous

Houses of Parliament and find out how

the UK Parliament works as extra tours

of the building will be available

throughout November.

You will travel through the Commons

Chamber and the Lords Chamber, where

many passionate debates have taken

place (and still do), follow in the

footsteps of Her Majesty the Queen at

the State Opening, and be inspired by

Westminster Hall which is almost

1,000 years old.

The Lords Chamber.

Photo: UK Parliament/Roger Harris.

For 90 minutes, a knowledgeable

guide will take you on an entertaining

and informative tour. Alternatively, set

your own pace using the new

multimedia guides and choose one of

the nine language options. Special

versions of the guided and self-guided

tours are available for families visiting

with children.

Advance booking for tours is

recommended but not always essential.

You can book tickets online at, by telephoning

020 7219 4114, or on the day at the

Ticket Office located in front of Portcullis

House on Victoria Embankment.

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Photos: Tristram Kenton.



Raymond Briggs’ festive favourite,

The Snowman, has whisked generations

of children off to a wintery wonderland for

a festive adventure year on year. Now the

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s magical

live stage show journeys back to The

Peacock to charm both young and old for

its 22nd consecutive year.

Based on the much-loved film and

book, the enchanting stage adaptation

features exquisite dancing, magic and live

music, including the unforgettable classic

Walking in the Air. The family favourite

follows the story of a young boy’s

adventures when his snowman comes to

life on Christmas Eve. Featuring a

dazzling array of colourful characters

including dancing penguins, a beautiful

snow princess, her wicked beau Jack

Frost and, of course, Father Christmas

himself, The Snowman is the perfect

Christmas treat for the family and a

wonderful introduction to dance for the

very young.

Inspired by the film directed by Dianne

Jackson and produced by John Coates,

The Snowman has become a must-do

Christmas activity, ‘guaranteed to melt the

heart of even the most cynical Scrooge’

(The Guardian). Featuring choreography

by Robert North, direction by Bill

Alexander, design by Ruari Murchison,

lighting by Tim Mitchell and timeless

music and lyrics by Howard Blake, the

performance has been seen by audiences

of over half a million at The Peacock. The

Snowman is visiting The Peacock as part

of a UK and international Tour, and will be

performed until 5 January.

For tickets, telephone 020 7863 8222.



The Luna Cinema, the UK’s leading

producer of open air and pop up film

screenings, is back with its festive

cinema, The Luna Winter Cinema,

offering audiences the chance to enjoy

classic festive films on the big screen in

two unique settings. With long winter

nights fast approaching, nothing puts

you in the Christmas spirit as much as

curling up to watch your favourite

Christmas film on the big screen.

The Luna Winter Cinema will run from

15 – 23 December, returning to the

stunning pavilion of Kensington Palace

in West London.

The ultimate festive cinema

experience gives film fans a chance to

take a break from the chaos around lastminute

Christmas shopping and the

festive party season, to snuggle up and

enjoy iconic Christmas classics on the

big screen with friends and family.

With the chance to enjoy classic

festive favourites such as ‘Love Actually’,

‘Home Alone’, ‘It's A Wonderful Life’ and

‘Elf’, it will be an unashamedly

Christmassy extravaganza including

delicious mulled wine, mince pies and

hot chocolate on offer as well as a full

bar – the perfect Christmas outing.

Further information and tickets from

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The prestigious theatre production

company Shakespeare at the Tobacco

Factory are celebrating their 20th

anniversary with a brand-new adaptation

of Much Ado About Nothing.

Following a critically acclaimed run at

the Tobacco Factory in Bristol, the

production makes its London debut on

12 November at Wilton’s Music Hall, the

oldest working music hall in the world.

In 2017, the company received rave

reviews for their restaging of Othello, and

now return with their take on Shakespeare’s

comedy about the precarious path to

finding love, and how both innocent

trickery and treacherous pretence can have

disastrous consequences.

Home from war, a group of soldiers

attempt to put their fighting days behind

them. But adjusting to civilian life isn’t

easy, especially when love is in the mix.

How do you let go of your demons?

How do you learn to be your real self

again? And what does that mean for the

friendships that helped you survive?

Directed by Elizabeth Freestone and

set against the stunning backdrop of

Wilton’s Music Hall, this dark comedy is

tumultuous, riotous and entirely


Much Ado About Nothing by

Shakespare at the Tobacco Factory.

Photo: Mark Douet.

Terri Lyne Carrington.


The EFG London Jazz Festival returns

this year for its 27th incarnation,

running through 15-24 November

spanning over 350 gigs across 70

venues around the city and featuring the

talents of over 2000 musicians. Over the

course of its 10 day programme, the

festival – still London’s largest citywide

music event – presents a wide-ranging,

thoroughly of the moment curation

(overseen by Director of Programming,

Pelin Opcin, now in her second year at

the EFG London Jazz Festival) which

cherrypicks the scene’s fastest-rising

stars alongside shows that revisit vital

legacy artists and catalogues, presented

via innovative new interpretations,

collaborations and formats.

This year’s festival kicks off on Friday,

15 November with the Jazz Voice

signature gala performance, bringing the

likes of Corinne Bailey Rae, Cécile

McLorin Salvant, Judi Jackson and

Cherise Adams-Burnett together for an

evening at the Royal Festival Hall,

backed by Guy Barker’s 42 piece

orchestra. A true icon, Herbie Hancock

returns to London to play this year’s

festival, whilst Danilo Pérez (of The

Wayne Shorter Quartet) will perform the

European premiere of his new Global

Messengers project. Chrissie Hynde and

Iggy Pop will be both performing new

material from their recent, jazz-informed

album releases, and Rhiannon Giddens

(Carolina Chocolate Drops) plays Royal

Festival Hall, alongside a special

performance at HM Prison Wormwood

Scrubs, commissioned and delivered in

partnership with Koestler Arts.

This year’s artist in residence is

multi-Grammy Award winner, Terri Lyne

Carrington. The drummer, singer,

producer and activist will celebrate the

release of her forthcoming new album

‘Waiting Game’ with a Kings Place

residency featuring both her own Social

Science band and guests from the

forefront of the UK jazz scene including

Emma-Jean Thackray and Soweto Kinch.

Mercury Prize-nominee Soweto will also

headline his own festival show, drawing

from his forthcoming ‘Black Peril’ project.

EFG have partnered with the London

Jazz Festival for over a decade, and in

2019 has joined forces with Serious to

launch the EFG Elements Series, a run of

shows which epitomises the rich creativity

and variety which the festival showcases.

Blending some of the best jazz traditions

with innovative collaborations, this year’s

selected EFG Elements shows are Jazz

Voice, Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan

Fortner, Christian Sands (supported by

Camilla George) and Scott Bradlee’s

Postmodern Jukebox.

Soweto Kinch.


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The Royal Choral Society has sung

at the Royal Albert Hall every Christmas

for over a hundred years. This

December, the choir returns to its

spiritual home with a festive programme

packed full of glorious carols old and

new – including traditional sing-along

favourites for the audience to join in.

The choir will be accompanied by the

renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

and the Band of the Irish Guards under

the baton of Royal Choral Society Music

Director Richard Cooke.

This unmissable gala concert on

10 December (19.30), includes seasonal

standards Silent Night, The Twelve Days

of Christmas and O Come all Ye Faithful

as well as modern classics O Holy Night

(regularly voted the UK’s best-loved

carol) and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia

on Christmas Carols. It’s the perfect way

to get into the festive spirit.

The annual performance of Handel’s

sacred oratorio Messiah returns to the

Royal Albert Hall as part of their 2019

Christmas celebrations. It will be

performed on 18 December at 14.30 and

19.30. Having featured on the

programme since 1871, Handel’s

Messiah is a true Royal Albert Hall

tradition. Over a hundred sublime voices

from the Philharmonia Chorus and the

majestic sounds of the Royal

Philharmonic Orchestra are combined

with the talents of special guest vocalists

Elgan Llyr Thomas (tenor), Katie Bray

(mezzo), Natalya Romaniw (soprano)

and William Thomas (bass).

The magic of a full choir singing this

beloved masterpiece in the Hall’s iconic

auditorium makes this a Christmas

concert not to be missed.

For tickets, telephone 020 7589 8212.



An unforgettable evening of timeless

stories and truly exceptional cabaret

from the West End star of Fiddler on the

Roof and three-time Olivier Award

winner, Maria Friedman, will take place

at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday

10 November. In a thrilling collaboration

with musical director Theo Jamieson,

Maria Friedman’s new show From the

Heart celebrates some of the greatest

songwriters and titans of Broadway.

Friedman explores the full range of her

creative inspirations in a show that takes

in Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch,

Michel Legrand, Adam Guettel, Joni

Mitchell and Randy Newman. The pair

bring their unique spin to great songs,

musical theatre classics and some brandnew

material for an evening of

reimagining and reinvention. Maria

Friedman is an actress and director of

stage and screen, best known for her work

in musical theatre. She is a seven-time

Olivier Award nominee, winning three. Her

first win was for her 1994 one-woman

show, By Special Arrangement. She has

also twice won Best Actress in a Musical

for the original London productions of

Passion and Ragtime.

The Royal Choral Society.

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Photo: Matthew Walker at Standout Company.

Oliver Towse as 'Gatsby'.



The Guild of Misrule’s The Great

Gatsby, created and directed by

Alexander Wright, is currently wowing

audiences in its brand-new West End

venue IMMERSIVE | LDN, continuing its

record as the UK’s longest running

immersive production. It’s the roaring

twenties – an era of bootleg liquor, red

hot jazz and hedonistic pleasures. Jay

Gatsby has invited you to one of his

infamous parties and that’s not an invite

you want to turn down...

The Great Gatsby allows audiences to

fully immerse themselves into the world

of Jay Gatsby and the glamour of the

Roaring ‘20s. With cocktails, dancing

and scandal, this heart-racing adaptation

of the seminal jazz-age story puts the

audience at the heart of the action.

From 13 November, audiences can

opt to enjoy a fine dining experience,

designed by IMMERSIVE | LDN catering

partners Flavourology, who will also be

designing and producing the food

element for all other events in the venue.

With a menu that includes dishes

inspired by The Great Gatsby including

an amuse-bouche made of buttermilk

fried chicken with champagne

hollandaise and caviar ‘From St Louis to

West Egg’, a main of bourbon cured

salmon with celeriac puree and

remoulade ‘Bootleg Bourbon Salmon’

and a pudding of spotted dick under a

white chocolate dome with custard

parfait and salted caramel sauce, ‘Gatsby

was an Oxford Man’ (all with vegan

alternatives), audiences will begin their

journey into the world of Jay Gatsby with

an unforgettable edible adventure.

Tickets for the dining experience at with the first

service taking place on Wednesday

13 November.

Producers Louis Hartshorn and Brian

Hook, who are currently co-producing

the immersive production of The Wolf of

Wall Street, have launched a new


dedicated to developing and staging

theatre-led immersive experiences, and

IMMERSIVE | LDN is the newest of their

network of venues, which will house

cafes, bars and rehearsal and workshop

spaces to help the development of new

work. It is housed in a 32,000sq ft

historic building in the heart of Mayfair,

which was home to the Queen Victoria’s

Rifles Association until 2017.

First conceived in 2015 when director

Alexander Wright and producer Brian

Hook were running The Fleeting Arms,

a pop arts and community pub in an

abandoned building in York, The Great

Gatsby first came to London as part of

VAULT Festival in 2017 and sold out

before the show opened. Since then,

the show has played night after night

at Gatsby’s Drugstore in SE1, inviting

audiences into the hedonistic world of

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s extraordinary tale,

and in 2018 it became the UK’s longest

running immersive production.


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The National Symphony Orchestra

will perform a concert of Mozart

Requiem and Sinfonia Concertante for

Violin and Viola on Remembrance

Sunday at St John’s Smith Square

(19.30). Two great soloists join forces in

the first half of the concert to perform

Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin

and Viola. Tasmin Little (violin) says; ‘It

is a magical work, with a divine first

movement, rhapsodic in places and with

beautiful interplay between violin and

viola. The slow movement is very

profound and this is offset by a terrific

final movement which leaves everyone

feeling elated!’

Philip Dukes plays the viola part, and

said ‘Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante

remains one of my favourite concertos to

perform. The concerto is unquestionably

one of Mozart’s finest. Few would argue

that the slow movement contains some

of the most exquisite melodies and

harmony, and the interplay and artistry

afforded to the soloists in the outer

movements is both mesmerising and


The second half of the concert

features Mozart’s Requiem, sung by the

Locrian Singers, a 20-strong

professional choir. Shared amongst the

full choir and four soloists, the music

moves between imposing, grand

gestures and heartfelt intimacy. The

Requiem encompasses the fears of death

and judgement, the sorrow of separation,

yet with a distinct journey towards

peacefulness and reconciliation – an

appropriate conclusion for

Remembrance Sunday.

The concert also includes Handel’s

Zadok the Priest. Rimma Sushanskaya

conducts the National Symphony

Orchestra (leader: Rita Manning), Robert

Matthew-Walker of Classical Source

says ‘... fine playing exudes a sense of

music-making of rare excellence, fully

up to the stature of the music... This is

genuine music-making by wholly

experienced professionals seeking to

impart their love of great music’.

Tickets are available from the Box

Office on 020 7222 1061 or online via

the website at From

18.00, the Box Office is open for that

evening’s concert only.

Tamsin Little

Photo: B Ealovega.


Dorfman until 23 November

Eight people are seated round a large

glass oblong table in American

playwright Annie Baker’s third play

(following The Flick and John) to be

seen at the National Theatre. In charge,

at the top of the table, is Sandy with his

luxuriant almost white hair and,

apparently, a string of past successes (in

what field exactly is never made clear) to

his name. He’s looking for a new

plotline, and the assembled creatives –

some old hands, a few new faces – are

here to brainstorm ideas for the next big

story to be used in, perhaps, a film,

a TV series, an advert?

Co-directed by Baker and designer

Chloe Lamford (who stacks one corner

of the thrust stage high with cases of

Perrier to sustain them during the

lengthening sessions), the unhurried

pace of this more or less plotless two

hours won’t be to everyone’s taste.

But there’s considerable humour to be

had in this finely acted production as,

encouraged by Conleth Hill’s

manipulative and increasingly absent

Sandy (he’s banned all mobiles except

his own, on which he receives a stream

of disconcerting messages from home)

they recount details of their first sexual

encounters and talk of monsters and

regrets in what seems destined to be a

futile search for a suitable story.

Stuart McQuarrie’s uncomfortable

Danny M2 tells a poignant tale involving

his experience with chickens whilst

Matt Bardock’s Danny M1, like Arthur

Darvill’s Dave, is a far more brash and

eager contributor.

Sinead Matthews’ token woman

embraces the situation as she knits and

snacks healthily on eggs, whilst Fisayo

Akinade’s Adam is a consistently

thoughtful presence. And obliging PA

Sarah (Imogen Doel) pops in and out to

organise takeaway food – her ever

changing outfits marking the passage

of time.

Louise Kingsley

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Julia Imbach (Kostantina) and AJ Bentley (Adam) in

MAMMA MIA! The Party. Photos: Helen Maybanks.


Let’s face it, when has anyone been to a

celebration of any sort – birthdays,

weddings, you name it – when toes have

not tapped, nor dance floors resounded,

to the legendary songs of ABBA? The list

is endless, Dancing Queen, Super

Trouper, Voulez Vous and Gimme Gimme

Gimme, to name just a few. It was an era

of uplifting anthems which a succession

of generations came to know and love.

Escapism – certainly; a phenomenon of

true musical talent – without question.

As we all know, the songs became

Mamma Mia! The Musical on stage, and

two spectacular film successes, which

have now effortlessly transformed into

Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2 London,

a joyful celebration of good food, singing

servers, familiar storyline and a singalong

medley of the famous ABBA hits enjoyed

by packed houses on a nightly basis.

The concept is the vision of ABBA’s

Bjorn Ulvaeus who set the story to the

music he wrote with Benny Andersson,

(some with Stig Anderson). Along the

way, Björn shared his dream for Mamma

Mia! The Party with producer Ingrid

Sutej, added the wit of Sandi Toksvig,

and the show was born.

We begin with Adam and Konstantina,

who have fallen in love on the Greek

Island of Skopelos. There’s a catch,

though, as Konstantina’s father doesn’t

approve of her new English love for fear

he will take his daughter away. The story

is an exploration of Niko’s journey to

acceptance of his daughters choice, with

a few external factors (such as a very

stern looking Grandmother observing

from the balcony) helping him along the

way. The performances are all very

strong and young actress Julia Imbach

as Konstantina vocally steals the show.

The plot is a little tenuous but there are

some great one liners – ‘there’s nothing

camp about ABBA’ springs to mind.

However, that isn’t what Mamma Mia!

The Party is about.

Go for Elin Andersson’s impressive

acrobatics or for the terrific band who

play the songs of ABBA faultlessly. The

finale is really something to behold, with

more sequins and glitter than you can

imagine and all the greatest hits meshed

together in a fabulous singalong. The

audience is encouraged to jump out of

their seats and party with the cast, an

opportunity which most grabbed with both

hands. It’s enormous fun.

And, good news, there are still tickets

available for visitors who want to see the

hottest new show in town.

Lucie Henry



Body Worlds London, the exhibition

that uses real human bodies preserved

through Dr Gunther von Hagens’

‘Plastination’ process to teach visitors

about anatomy and truly allows them to

explore the beauty under our skin,

celebrated its first anniversary at the

beginning of October.

Since it first opened its doors in

Piccadilly Circus, the exhibition has

had a jam-packed year. Having been

endorsed by some of the UK’s biggest

health organisations, Body Worlds have

made it their mission to educate the

general public on how best we can look

after our bodies. The attraction has also

made its mark on London’s tourism and

cultural map, winning the 2019 Trip

Advisor Travellers Choice Award.

Body Worlds is the only exhibition of

real human bodies with its own

established donor programme.

Currently, there are over 18,000 Body

Worlds donors worldwide who approved

to donate their body for public display

and educational purposes.

Peter Tabernal, CEO of Body Worlds

London said: ‘We are so proud of

everything we have achieved in just one

year here at Body Worlds London and are

so excited to look forward to the future,

with more great partnerships in the

pipeline. Becoming part of this great city’s

cultural landscape has always been so

important to us, and we feel we’ve done

just that through our incredible ventures

and collaborations that reach out to so

many different parts of the community.’

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Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden

Pharaoh which opens at the Saatchi

Gallery this week is the final chance to see

these glittering world heritage artefacts

before they return to Egypt forever.

Visitors will explore the life of King

Tutankhamun, and the storied discovery

that captivated the world.

To commemorate the 97th

anniversary of the discovery of

Tutankhamun’s tomb on 4 November,

CityLights, an immersive entertainment

company, have partnered with IMG to

debut a ground-breaking art virtual

reality experience Tutankhamun: Enter

the Tomb at the Saatchi Gallery.

Audiences who opt for this add-on will

experience the impossible – flying

through a photorealistic version of the

legendary pharaoh's tomb, as Howard

Carter would have uncovered it in 1922.

‘We are so delighted to have the

opportunity to glimpse at these

‘wonderful things’ in London. This

extraordinary discovery, nearly 100

years ago, was the first global media

event, capturing the imagination and

fascination of every generation in every

country. It is about exploration, works

of art and the passion for antiquity,’

commented George Herbert, the 8th Earl

of Carnarvon and his wife, Lady Fiona


London is the third stop in a ten-city

world tour, which broke records in Los

Angeles before becoming France’s most

attended exhibition of all time with more

than 1.4 million attendees.

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the

Golden Pharaoh is presented by Viking

Cruises and produced by the Egyptian

Ministry of Antiquities and IMG.


The Household Cavalry Museum in

Whitehall holds the history of some of

London’s most well-known and

recognisable soldiers, the Queen’s Life

Guard and the Blues and Royals. Known

by the distinctive red and white plumes

on their helmets, they stand guard both

on foot and horseback in Whitehall and

at St James’s Palace.

Formed in 1660 by King Charles II,

the Household Cavalry has served both

on and off the battlefield, always

accompanied by their horses. Originally

composed of three regiments, the Life

Guards, the Royal Horse Guards or

‘The Blues,’ and the Royal Dragoons or

‘The Royals’, the soldiers’ purpose was

to act as a bodyguard for the King and

preserve the peace.

Museum visitors should arrive early to

attend the daily changing of the guard at

11.00. Part way through the ceremony, go

back inside the museum and watch the

horses being brought back into the

stables. This perspective offers a close up

look at the horses and soldiers dressed in

full uniform and is only available to

museum visitors.

Emma Skahill

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Leonardo da Vinci, 'The Virgin of the

Rocks', about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8



The National Gallery is to become a

painting studio, an imagined chapel and

a room-sized experiment in a new

immersive exhibition that leads visitors

through the mind of Leonardo da Vinci

to explore his masterpiece, ‘The Virgin

of the Rocks’. The secrets of Leonardo’s

masterpiece are revealed in four distinct

spaces. Each space invites you to look at

the painting in a new way.

'The Virgin of the Rocks' is a complex

and mysterious painting which has

intrigued people for centuries. For an

artist who notoriously left works

unfinished and from whom even fewer

survive, this is a rare example of one of

his large-scale paintings. It gives an

insight into some of Leonardo’s groundbreaking

scientific observations,

demonstrating techniques and innovations

which transformed Italian painting.

Leonardo began his painting career in

Florence, but in the early 1480s he

moved to Milan in search of new

opportunities. Shortly after his arrival in

the city he received the commission to

paint ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’. The

painting was to be part of a grand

altarpiece which included a wooden

statue of the Virgin Mary. The altarpiece

was destined for the chapel of the

Immaculate Conception of the Virgin

Mary in the church of San Francesco

Grande, the principal church of the

Franciscan Order in Milan and the

largest church in the city after the

Cathedral. It was commissioned in 1483,

but wasn't completed to the

Confraternity’s satisfaction until 1508,

twenty-five years later. A dispute over

money led Leonardo to sell his first

version of the picture – which is now in

the Louvre, Paris. The confraternity

finally managed to come to an

agreement with Leonardo, and he began

work on a second version of the painting

which is now in the National Gallery


The idea of Mary’s Immaculate

Conception was much debated in

Medieval Europe – the Franciscan order

supported it, while the Dominicans

contested it. Supporters of the

Immaculate Conception argued that in

order for Christ to be born without

original sin (which originated at the

moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God

in the Garden of Eden), his mother,

Mary, also had to be free of sin. It was

therefore necessary for the Virgin to

have been conceived by God even before

the creation of the world – and so before

original sin.

In 1476 (less than a decade before

‘The Virgin of the Rocks’ was

commissioned), Pope Sixtus IV at last

adopted the feast for the Western church.

The subject was still so new there was

no standard way of showing it, giving

Leonardo free rein to create a new


In his final version he painted the

Virgin, the infant Saint John the Baptist

(a gilded cross under his arm), and an

angel, kneeling behind Christ – a

chubby cross-legged child. The three

figures communicate with each other

through their hand gestures and directed

gazes while the angel acts as a heavenly

witness to the scene.



The National Theatre is one of over

500 organisations taking part in

Discover! Creative Careers Week

(18-22 November), a national initiative

backed by the Department of Culture,

Media and Sport in England to

encourage diverse new talent for the

country’s booming creative industries.

National Theatre Young Technicians.

Photo: Dan Weill Photography.

The creative industries employ over

3 million people and the sector is

growing three times faster than the rest

of the UK economy. The National Theatre

will be welcoming 130 state secondary

school students from across Greater

London on Wednesday 20 November to

an action-packed day that will shine a

light on backstage and offstage roles to

inspire the next generation of talent.



A major retrospective exhibition

devoted to the work of celebrated British

artist Bridget Riley is on view at the

Hayward Gallery. Spanning 70 years of

the artist’s working life, it is the largest

and most comprehensive exhibition of

her work to date. Bridget Riley is one of

the most distinguished and

internationally renowned artists working

today. Her pioneering approach to

painting involves the skilful balancing of

form and colour, yielding a continuous

but highly varied enquiry into the nature

of abstraction and perception.

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The Royal Academy is presenting an

exhibition focusing on Lucian Freud’s

visceral self-portraits until 26 January. It

will be the first of its kind spanning the

artist’s career of almost seven decades

though the media of paint, etching and

drawing. The display will feature over 50

works charting his artistic development

from early, more linear and graphic

works to the fleshier painterly style that

became the hallmark of his later work.

The majority of pieces on display are

from private collections and many have

not been seen publicly for decades.

The exhibition reveals his unexpected

and wide-ranging exploration of the

self-portrait and his dedication to the

cause of art. ‘Drawing’, will focus on

Freud’s early works in the 1940s. They

reveal a playfulness in his presentation

of his own self-image that was

especially evident into the 1960s.

‘Transition’ focuses on the 1950s noting

a gradual transition towards a mature

style, prompted in part by changes to his

working method. Freud’s intense

friendship with Francis Bacon also

contributed to his development, seen in

works such as Self-portrait, (c.1956).

The exhibition charts a life’s journey,

from young boy to old man in a detailed

study of the artists own ageing process.

Reflection (Self-portrait), 1985

Oil on canvas, 55.9 x 55.3 cm

Private collection, on loan to the Irish Museum

of Modern Art © The Lucian Freud Archive /

Bridgeman Images.


If one considered the commercial

value of art by the square centimetre, it

might be a surprise to learn that some of

the world’s most expensive paintings are

portrait miniatures.

The ‘Art of Limning’ goes back to at

least medieval times when sumptuous and

beautiful illuminated manuscripts painted

in watercolour on vellum were being

produced. From these writings developed

the highly skilled art of portrait miniatures.

The art form flourished until the arrival of

daguerreotypes (the first publicly available

photographic process) in the late 1830s.

The fall from fashion of miniatures was

quick and profound.

However, in 1896, the Society of

Miniature Painters mounted their

inaugural exhibition which brought

about a dramatic renaissance of the

genre. Having been granted the Royal

Charter in 1904 by King Edward VII, the

Royal Society of Miniature Painters,

Sculptors and Gravers (RMS) are to

present their 124th Exhibition, or as it

was described in the 1920s ‘an academy

of work in little’, between 28 November

and 8 December at the Mall Galleries.

With a maximum frame size of 15.24

x 11.45cm, today’s miniaturists explore a

wide variety of subjects, including

portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, interior

scenes, marine, wildlife and stunning




Six months ago, Netflix launched its

landmark series ‘Our Planet’, which took

viewers on an emotional journey;

showcasing Earth’s breath-taking wildlife

as never before, whilst putting a

spotlight on conservation for the first

time in documentary filmmaking.

It’s thanks to Sir David Attenborough

and series like ‘Our Planet’ that the world is

waking up to the rapid decline of wildlife

and the urgent need to address threats

such as climate change, with conservation

playing a crucial role in preserving the

world for future generations.

The Whitley Fund for Nature, a charity

that champions outstanding grassroots

conservation leaders, has joined forces

with ‘Our Planet’ Series Producer

Alastair Fothergill to host a special event

exploring the making of the documentary

and the conservation taking place behind

the camera. Alastair – who is also an

Ambassador for WFN – will be joined by

Whitley Award winner Jayson Ibañez, a

WFN supported conservationist whose

work to protect the Philippine Eagle is

featured in the documentary.

The event will take place on

Wednesday 4 December at the Royal

Geographical Society. Guests will enjoy

a lavishly illustrated and entertaining

talk, as Alastair reveals behind-thescenes

footage from the making of this

ground-breaking series.

Alastair Fothergill.


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Photo: Catherine Ashmore.

A scene from Translations by Brian Friel – foreground Ciaran Hinds, Julian Moore-Cook.


Olivier Theatre

Ian Rickson’s revival of Brian Friel’s

play is set in County Donegal with piles

of drying peat (part of the Irish psyche)

carved from the bogs lining the external

walls of a house whilst giving a sense

of an era long gone. The fantastically

detailed Olivier set with sounds, lighting

and odour of burning peat, evokes a

feeling of west coastal Ireland and hits

the senses.

The play involves the clash of

cultures and language of 19th Century

England and Gaelic speaking Ireland

with the arrival of British soldiers

carrying out the task of modernising

maps and place names, the anglicising

of Irish place names and the purpose of

the map being linked to a land tax (the

source of provocation and conflict for

the indigenous inhabitants). Most of the

play is set in an unlawful hedge school

and Ciarán Hinds’ reprise of his central

role as an alcoholic teacher is certainly

felt. The plot centres around a love story

between a non-English speaking native

girl and English officer, Maire and


A play concerning the differences

between the two languages involved might

be something of a struggle to follow for

non-Gaelic speakers and could be off

putting. However, the play is entirely in

English. The conflicts and

misunderstandings between the two

languages are beautifully expressed by the

central actors. In particular, the devices

used in the scene between Maire and

Yolland where they describe their feelings,

with each failing to understand the other’s

words, enables the audience to grasp the

romance and humour of the situation.

At times, funny and, at others, deeply

sombre in mood. The live musical

accompaniment has a strong modern

Celtic tone and seems appropriate.

Translations has an appeal to anyone

with an interest in clashes of British and

Irish politics, and indeed any clashes of

cultures. Even in modern times, this play

contrasts events which have continued to

echo the recent history of the ‘Troubles’

from the 1970’s and remains relevant

today to the extent that the British

interface with Ireland still plays a major

role in current politics.

Eleanor Collett



International bestselling artist Sara

Bareilles who wrote the music and lyrics

for the hit musical Waitress will be

making her West End debut in the New

Year and will be reuniting with Olivier and

Tony Award-winning actor Gavin Creel

following their hugely acclaimed reception

in the Broadway production. Sara Bareilles

will perform in the lead role of Jenna with

Gavin Creel as Dr Pomatter from

27 January to 7 March.

Sara Bareilles first achieved

mainstream critical praise in 2007 with

her widely successful hit Love Song,

which reached No 1 in 22 countries

around the world from her debut album

Little Voice. Since then, Sara has gone on

to receive seven Grammy® nominations,

two Tony nominations and three Emmy

nominations. Making her Broadway debut,

Sara composed the music and lyrics for

Waitress, and made her Broadway acting

debut in 2017 by stepping into the show’s

Sara Bareilles in Waitress.

lead role. On April 5, 2019 Sara released

her fifth full-length and first album of

original material since 2013, entitled

Amidst The Chaos, to rave reviews. For

this latest body of work, she joined forces

in the studio with legendary Academy®

Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett.

Photo: Shervin Lainez.

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After exhilarating audiences across the world,

Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s worldwide

cult phenomenon is back to haunt the West

End, and it’s more spine-tingling and terrifying

than ever.


West Street, WC2 (020 7395 5405)


Step through the wardrobe this winter into the

magical kingdom of Narnia for the mystical

adventures in a faraway land.


One Tower Bridge, SE1 (0843 208 1846)


One enormous diamond, eight incompetent

crooks and a snoozing security guard. What

could possibly go right?


Piccadilly Circus, (020 7492 0810)


A Polytechnic amateur drama group are

putting on a 1920s murder mystery and

everything that can go wrong... does!


Catherine Street, WC2 (0330 333 4810)


The 30th anniversary of the publication of

Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting

his extraordinary struggle for survival on the

perilous Siula Grande mountain in the

Peruvian Andes.


St Martin’s Lane, WC2 (020 7492 1552)


An innocent outsider, a suspicious rural

community, a gothic house and a misty marsh

are the ingredients of this Victorian ghost story.


Russell Street, WC2 (0844 871 7626)


With technical brilliance and split-second timing,

Michael Frayn’s comedy looks behind the scenes

with a company of actors in a hilarious tribute to

the unpredictability of life in the theatre.


Charing Cross Road, WC2 (0330 333 4811)


Ian McKellen brings his one-man show to the

West End for a limited run following a UK tour

celebrating his 80th birthday this year.


Panton Street, SW1 (0844 871 7622)

Royal National Theatre

Plays in repertory



Following a sold-out run in 2018, Ian Rickson’s

production of Brian Friel's masterpiece returns.


Based on the celebrated novels by Elena

Ferrante, an epic story of love, violence,

ambition and self-destruction.



The official report of all Parliamentary debates.

A witty and devastating new play by Simon



Athol Fugard’s masterwork explores the nature

of friendship, and the ways people are capable

of hurting even those they love.



Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker returns to the

National Theatre with her latest extraordinary



South Bank, SE1 (020 7452 3000)



Stage play based on the Harry Potter franchise

written by Jack Thorne, based on an original

story by J.K Rowling.


Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (0330 333 4813)


Marianne Elliott co-directs Arthur Miller’s 1949

classic, bringing a unique vision to one of the

greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen

through the eyes of an African-American family.


Denman Street, W1 (020 7452 3000)


Agatha Christie’s whodunnit is the longest

running play of its kind in the history of

British theatre.


West Street, WC2 (0844 499 1515)


Peter Nichols’ funny and moving masterpiece

is the extraordinary play inspired by the

author’s own experience of raising his



Whitehall, SW1 (0844 871 7632)

Celebrating the countdown to Christmas

at Hamleys with the cast of the RSC’s

award-winning Matilda The Musical.


First show in Mischief Theatre’s residency at

the Vaudeville Theatre, Groan Ups is a brandnew

play which looks at how people grow up.

Are we the same at 30 as we were at 13?


Strand, WC2 (0330 333 4814)


Stephen Mangan, Kara Tointon and Sue

Johnston in the world premiere of the

hilarious, classic Ealing comedy,


Charing Cross Road, WC2 (0844 482 5120)



Hit Broadway musical brought to life by an

all-female creative team, featuring original

music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles.


Strand, WC2 (020 3725 7060)


New stage musical reveals the untold story

of Tina Turner, a woman who dared to defy

the bounds of her age, gender and race.


The Aldwych, WC2 (0845 200 7981)


Hit Broadway story of how a clever,

misunderstood girl with emerald green skin

and a girl who is beautiful and popular turn

into the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda

the Good Witch in the Land of Oz.


Wilton Road, SW1 (0844 826 8000)


New feel good musical – supported by his

mum and friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice,

beats the bullies and steps into the spotlight.


Shaftesbury Avenue, W1 (0330 333 4809)

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Tudor Queens meet Pop Princesses in a

musical retelling of the six wives of Henry

VIII. A celebration of sisterly sass-itude,

powered by an all-female band.


Great Newport Street, WC2 (020 7836 8463)


Critically acclaimed Royal Shakespeare

Company production of Roald Dahl’s book,

directed by Matthew Warchus.


Earlham Street, WC2 (0844 800 1110)


A brand new production of Irving Berlin’s

seasonal favourite. This feel-good family

musical lights up the Dominion for a strictly

limited season from 19 November.


Tottenham Court Road, W1 (0345 200 7892)


Concert staging starring Michael Ball, Alfie

Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Matt Lucas.


Shaftesbury Theatre, WC2 (0844 482 5151)


Long running epic romance by Andrew Lloyd

Webber, set in Paris opera house where a

deformed phantom stalks his prey.


Haymarket, SW1 (0844 412 2707)


Disney‘s phenomenally successful animated

film is transformed into a spectacular stage

musical, a superb evening of visual delight.


Wellington Street, WC2 (0844 871 3000)


Over two hours of the non-stop hit songs that

marked Michael Jackson’s live performances.


Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (0330 333 4812)


Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical with

lyrics by Glenn Slater adapted from the film.


Drury Lane, WC2 (020 7492 0810)


Hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, set

around the story of a mother and daughter on

the eve of the daughter’s wedding.


Aldwych, WC2 (0844 482 5170)


UK Premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical

which tells the remarkable true story of 7,000

stranded air passengers in the wake of 9/11.


Charing Cross Road, WC2 (0844 871 7627)


West End transfer of the revival directed by

Trevor Nunn, starring Andy Nyman as Tevye.


Northumberland Ave WC2· (0844 871 7631)


The story of the world’s favourite Nanny is

spectacularly brought to the stage with its

famous and unforgettable songs.


Old Compton Street W1 (0844 482 5151)


A crude, witty and satirical show telling the

story of two young and naive mormon



Coventry Street, W1 (0844 482 5110)


Based on the much loved movie and making its

West End debut, Dolly Parton’s musical comes

to London for a strictly limited season.


Strand, WC2 (020 7492 0810)


A hilariously irreverent new musical that

proves when it comes to love, there’s always

life after Romeo. Told through pop anthems

of the last three decades from legendary

songwriter Max Martin.


Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2 (020 7492 0810)


The landmark, record-breaking and top-rated

television series written by the late, great John

Sullivan, becomes a new British musical.


Haymarket SW1 (020 7930 8800)


Based on the five-time Oscar® nominated

film, starring French-Canadian stage and

screen star Audrey Brisson as ‘Amélie

Poulain’. From 29 November.


Palace Street, SW1 (020 7087 7900)


Lin-Manuel Miranda's multi award-winning

musical, based on one of America’s Founding

Father, Alexander Hamilton.


Victoria Street, SW1 (0844 248 5000)

Touching The Void ®.

Photo: Michael Wharley.



War Horse co-director Tom Morris’

production of Touching the Void will

open in the West End at the Duke of

York’s Theatre this week, previewing

from 9 November with opening night

on 14 November.

The production marks the 30th

anniversary of the publication of

Joe Simpson’s book, charting his

extraordinary struggle for survival on the

perilous Siula Grande mountain in the

Peruvian Andes. Alongside this struggle

is the appalling dilemma of his climbing

partner Simon Yates, perched on an

unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the

rope tying him to the severely injured

Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the

void, Simon is faced with the agonising

decision to cut the rope that binds them.

The first ever stage version of

Touching the Void, adapted by The

Lyceum's David Greig from the awardwinning

memoir by Joe Simpson, which

also became a BAFTA- winning film.

They are joined by Designer Ti Green,

Sound Designer and Composer Jon

Nicholls, Lighting Designer Chris Davey,

Movement Director Sasha Milavic

Davies and casting by Jill Green CDG.


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Having recently undergone a full

redesign, St James Bar at Sofitel London

St James is set to make an impressive

mark on London’s drink scene with an

exciting new cocktail menu entitled

‘Passport’ launching this week.

The new menu is a collaborative effort

from the team behind St James Bar and

will take guests on an inspirational flavour

journey across the globe. New cocktail

compositions will showcase unusual or

indigenous spirits from the countries they

represent and others will conjure nostalgic

memories of unforgettable trips and life

defining moments. The menu itself will

resemble a real passport and each cocktail

will have a stamp of the country it is

inspired by, inviting guests to escape to

exotic and far-flung corners of the world

without having to leave the luxury of

St James Bar.

Drawing inspiration from the famous

blossom season of Japan, Shodu

infuses delicate Japanese tea flavours of

black cherry, green tea and apricot to

make a sweet syrup which is then

combined with Japanese Roku Gin,

lemon and egg white. 5 to 7 is a nod to

the sacred national concept of Aperitivo

and mixes Campari-infused coffee,

Amaro Montenegro, pink grapefruit and

soda to make a refreshing Italian spritz.

1st Step remembers one of America’s

greatest feats – man’s legendary first

steps on the moon. Notes of grapefruit,

strawberry and orange Curacao offset

Maker’s Mark rich Lunar Bourbon and

are finished with a twist of black pepper

and a puff of edible dark spray. Similarly,

Heaven Howler is a tribute to Iceland’s

prohibition period which blends local

Icelandic Himbrimi Old Tom Gin with a

pale ale adding refreshing herbal

flavours of rhubarb and thyme.

The bar snacks pairing menu has

been created in collaboration with

Anthony Demetre of Wild Honey

St James. He has worked closely with

the bar team to create a series of

delicious small dishes designed to

complement the flavours of the countries

represented in the drinks menu.



Hawksmoor has launched a new

cocktail menu consisting of twenty six

drinks for the Winter season. The new

list follows Hawksmoor’s second win for

Best International Restaurant Bar at Tales

of the Cocktail in New Orleans earlier

this year.

Hawksmoor’s new cocktail ethos is a

result of six months of travel, tastings

and tinkerings by world-class teams of

bartenders led by Liam Davy

(Hawksmoor Head of Bars) and

legendary cocktailian Nick Strangeway

who created their original list back in

2006. On their travels, they came across

a word coined in Renaissance Italy that

seemed to sum up their approach:

sprezzatura – a certain nonchalance, so

as to conceal all artistry and make

whatever one does seem uncontrived

and effortless. The result is a set of

deceptively simple-seeming drinks that

belie the hours of painstaking research

and technique that has gone into them.

This festive season, a Christmas

burger will be available at Spitalfields

Bar. There will also be Beef in Blankets,

maple roasted parsnips and bacon,

sprouts with chestnuts, Christmas Eve

pudding as well as Carla’s mince pies on

the menu.

t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

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