London can quite rightly lay claim to the title 'Culture Capital Of The World'. With an unparalleled selection of museums, art galleries, concert halls and theatres London continues to attract the world's most creative cultural talent, as well as creating and nurturing new cultural ventures across the arts.
You could engage all day, every day with the cultural events and venues in London and never see and experience everything that is on offer. It's a bubbling, melting pot of activity that's always producing something new and exciting. But to get a taste of the offerings of the moment we recommend booking tickets to one, or all, of these five amazing London shows.
- Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing. The beautiful reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (www.shakespearesglobe.com) is located on the vibrant South Bank and plays host to the very best renditions of The Bard's plays. From the 28th of April you can see one of his most popular comedies: Much Ado About Nothing. The play has been adapted numerous times for cinema and television, as well as being turned into an opera. The fast flowing wit and banter between Benedick and Beatrice, and the universal themes of gender differences, deception and infidelity, make this classic as fresh today as it was during its debut performances at the original Globe.
- Ballet: The Winter's Tale. Sticking with Shakespeare for a moment, if your tastes lean towards dance then this new ballet by The Royal Opera House's (www.roh.org.uk) Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon is a must see. Running from the 10th of April to the 8th of May 2014 this ballet has all the hallmarks of Wheeldon's stunning modern choreography, married to the timeless tale of love and loss that has proven to be one of Shakespeare's most debated texts, with seams of comedy, romance and drama running through it.
- Musical Theatre: Les Misérables. London's West End is home to the absolute cream of musical theatre. You'll find a huge variety of shows on throughout the year, from the big classics to family-oriented shows and cult musicals. The Queen's Theatre (http://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/Theatres/queens_theatre.asp) is currently running one of the all-time great musicals, Les Misérables until 25th of October 2014. This musical has been the longest running in the world for good reason: epic themes of love and redemption, drama and incredible songs all combine to make Les Mis the pinnacle of musical theatre.
- Orchestral Concert: Steven Isserlis Performs Elgar. When it comes to orchestras London can lay claim to the world's best, with several internationally acclaimed orchestras resident in the city. What better way to spend an evening in London than listening to renowned cellist Steven Isserlis (www.stevenisserlis.com) performing the Cello Concerto by England's most celebrated composer Elgar. Put on by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (www.rpo.co.uk) this concert, taking place on 22nd of April, promises to be an emotionally charged evening. Elgar composed the concerto in the aftermath of the First World War and it was his last major work. Suffused with a haunting desolation, the concerto is the perfect platform for Isserlis' deeply emotional playing.
- Opera: Thebans. Murder, incest, loyalty, love, hatred and revenge are the order of the day in this compelling retelling of Sophocles' Theban tragedies. Award-winning composer Julian Anderson and famed playwright Frank McGuinness take the tale of doomed Oedipus and his daughter Antigone to new heights. A special commission by the English National Opera running from the 03rd of May until the 03rd of June (www.eno.org), this opera is accessible yet richly complex, and promises to be a night to remember.
This is a tiny selection of the wonderful shows and events that occur throughout the city, every day the whole year round. You're never more than a moment away from a cultural revelation in London.
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