What’s On | January

Image: Tristram, ©ROH 2016

From the International Mime Festival and the London Art Fair, to the Royal Ballet’s Giselle and Amadeus at the Olivier Theatre, discover the capital’s best arts events


19 January – 9 March
Often considered to be the quintessential romantic ballet, Giselle revolutionised the world of dance when it was first performed in Paris in 1841. A dramatic tale of love, betrayal and redemption, the ballet follows the tragic journey of the peasant girl Giselle after she discovers the true identity of her love Albrecht – and that he is promised to another. Based on Marius Petipa’s 1884 version (itself modelled on the original 1841 choreography), Peter Wright’s production for the Royal Ballet captures all the romance and poignancy of this theatrical favourite. roh.org.uk

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)

Charles I: King and Collector

27 January – 15 April
When he first came to the throne in 1625, King Charles I set out to amass one of the most legendary art collections of the age. Over the course of his reign, he acquired works by the likes of Titian, Holbein and Mantegna, as well as commissioning contemporary artists, such as Van Dyck and Rubens. Now, over 350 years later, the Royal Academy will reunite some of the greatest masterpieces in the king’s collection into a single exhibition exploring the evolving artistic tastes of 17th century Britain. royalacademy.org.uk

Image: Stéphane Maréchalle


1 February – 27 February
Innovative and ambitious, Satyagraha is composer Philip Glass’ meditation on Gandhi’s early years as a non-violent protestor in South Africa. Sung in Sanskrit and staged using stunning large-scale puppetry, Glass’ use of repetitive musical structures (or ‘minimalism’) creates a mesmerising and contemporary soundscape. Features distinguished British tenor Toby Spence singing Gandhi for the first time. eno.org

Image: Marc Brenner


From 11 January
Following last year’s sell-out run, Michael Longhurt’s critically acclaimed production of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus will return to the stage of the Olivier Theatre this month. When the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrives in Vienna, the musical capital of the world, he is determined to shake up the artistic scene at court; much to the consternation of composer Antonio Salieri. As the man with the power to make or break the talented Mozart’s career, an obsessively jealous Salieri begins a fierce war against the prodigy. nationaltheatre.org.uk

Andreas Gursky, Bahrain I, 2005 © Andreas Gursky/DACS, 2017. Courtesy: Sprüth Magers

Andreas Gursky

25 January–22 April
Perfectly timed to launch the 50th anniversary of the Hayward Gallery, the first major UK retrospective of German photographer Andreas Gursky opens at the Southbank Centre this month. Regarded as one of the most significant living photogaphers, Gursky’s work tends to focus on scenes that symbolise the global economy. Often taken from a high vantage point, his photographs confront the viewer with the limitations of human perception. southbankcentre.co.uk

Image: Banksy, Kate Moss (The Original Colourway), 2005. Courtesy: Gormleys Fine Art

London Art Fair

17–21 January
Opening the international visual arts calendar for 2018, the London Art Fair will celebrate its 30th anniversary this month. Alongside the main fair, two specially curated contemporary spaces will showcase the work of a new generation of artists and collectives; Art Projects will display pieces by global artists, while Photo50 (curated by the Hemera Collective) will examine the metamorphic nature of contemporary photography. londonartfair.co.uk

Image: Sarah Walker

London International Mime Festival

10 January–3 February
Kick-start your cultural calendar for 2018 with a vibrant programme of innovative physical and visual theatre from across the globe in the form of the London International Mime Festival. From Italian jugglers and Mexican clowns to Finnish magic and Dutch mime, the festival presents some of the world’s most unique theatrical performances in different venues across London. There’s also a rare silent movie classic on show (with a live piano accompaniment), as well as workshops in puppetry and theatre led by internationally-renowned professionals. mimelondon.com

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Grace Cain

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