What’s On? London’s Performing Arts Scene Summer ’18

Gosh, so much stuff is going on in London’s Performing Arts scene between June and August; it’s hard to keep up with everything! So why don’t I help you all out? For this article, I will let you in on what’s happening at theatres and dance companies. Enjoy!

Beginning of June

As an A-Level Dance student, I have studied famous practitioners like Christopher Bruce and Bob Fosse, but one has really stood out to me, and amazingly, he has many great shows coming up this season, hooray! Ending on June 9th, the Akram Khan Dance Company is marking Khan’s final performance as a solo dancer in a new full-length piece: XENOS. Kahn takes to the stage along with five world-renowned musicians, shifting between classical Kathak and contemporary dance. “Khan conjures up the shell-shocked dream of a colonial soldier in the First World War. XENOS takes place where humanity stands in wonder and disarray, on the border between East and West, past and present, mythology and technology” (sadlerswells.com). The venue is at Rosebery Avenue, ticket prices ranging from £12 up to £45 depending on your choice of seating. Performance times are 7:30pm from Monday to Saturday, with the absence of a performance on Thursday the 7th of June, and a school discount performance the day before. The running time is 1 hour and 5 minutes with no interval. *Please note that under-five-year-olds are not admitted to this event; for more information, please check out https://www.sadlerswells.com/

Moving on, described as “the most active amateur theatre company in Inner London”, the company that I worked at for two weeks for work experience, and where my dad acts, is hosting Shakespeare’s classic: Antigone. This show is also ending this Saturday 9th of June, and a play that my dad has booked tickets for…very excited! “Jean Anouilh‘s version of this timeless story is one of the greatest French plays of the 20th Century – a brilliantly theatrical treatment of Antigone’s passionate and fatal determination to give a proper burial to her fallen brother in defiance of state authority. Written in Nazi-occupied France in 1944, the play’s rich web of political, moral and psychological themes could hardly be more pertinent today” (towertheatre.org.uk). The performance is at the Theatro Technis in Camden; the prices of tickets are cheaper when bought online or through phone bookings rather than on the door. Antigone is shown every evening at 7:30pm of this week, except for Sunday. There is also a matinée showing at 3pm on the final performance day. *For more information, please check out http://www.towertheatre.org.uk/

End of June

Now, I was meant to see this play, but social gatherings called and I couldn’t obviously miss out on a evening meal with a friend, so my parents went without me, but boy do I still want to go! “A marriage on the rocks. A community under pressure. ‘The Daughter-in-Law’ is D H Lawrence’s groundbreaking play about sex and inequality in the shadow of the Nottinghamshire mines. Radical for its sensitive and honest portrayal of working-class life, it was never published or performed in Lawrence’s lifetime. This searing production – the first in London for over 15 years – is staged in the round and underground at Arcola Theatre” (arcolatheatre.com). This “engaging” performance, as my mum calls it, ends on the 23rd of June. Playing at both the Arcola and Dippermouth Theatre, The Daughter-in-Law is holding a pre-show discussion called ‘Lawrence and Women’ on Monday 11th of June at 6:45pm. For more information, please check out https://www.arcolatheatre.com/


End of July

I’ve only ever attended one opera, and unfortunately my memory of it is very blurry, but one thing I am clear about is my desire to see the mesmerising musical: The Phantom of the Opera! (Close enough…right?) I have always wanted to watch it and probably will over this summer. When I break up for school on the 20th July, I wouldn’t mind popping down to Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End to witness the sheer beauty of this timely classic, “now in its 32nd year’”(uk.thephantomoftheopera.com). You can buy tickets at the box office, by phone, or online at https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk; for performance times, price of tickets, and seats, *please check out the https://uk.thephantomoftheopera.com * because I know I definitely can’t wait to see this fabulous musical, what about you?

End of August

Last but not least, on the Friday just gone, my friend invited me to be a part of an immersive performance of The Great Gatsby, which we absolutely loved and adored! It was particularly helpful for me, not only as an A-Level Drama student, but also an A-Level English student studying the novel. Best advertised on  https://www.lovetheatre.com as: “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. Step into a heart-racing immersive adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal jazz-age novel which puts you in the heart of the action. Slip on your dancing shoes and watch the story unfold around you in this unique theatrical performance. The cocktails are flowing, the music is playing, the party is in full swing and there’s the chance of more than a little scandal. Immerse yourself in one of the greatest stories of the 20th Century”. The show is on until the 30th of September this year. *Please note it is recommended for ages 14 and above, and all children and adolescents under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by an adult* You must remember that this is an immersive theatre production without seating (ignore your assigned seats declared on the website) where guests are encouraged to walk around, mingle, and have a drink; 1920s attire is welcomed, although not required. 


I hope you find my recommendations helpful; make sure to consider attending at least one of these great shows!


Words by Ruby Mendoza-Willcocks


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