What’s on November: Catch up with all the latest happenings in London this season
Words Helen Brown
What’s on November
Fulham Palace Through Postcards
Not so long ago, postcards were effectively a form of social media, with millions sent every week during their so-called golden age. This latest exhibition explores the ‘postcard mania’ in relation to Fulham Palace, the gardens and its Bishops. It offers a snapshot into the social lives of the people who visited the gardens and highlights how the Palace and society have both changed.
Bishop’s Avenue, SW6; fulhampalace.org
National Portrait Gallery
Renowned for being one of the most influential artists of the nineteenth century, Paul Cézanne’s analytical approach to nature influenced the art of Cubists, Fauvists and successive generations of avant-garde artists. This exhibition brings together over fifty of his portraits in a unique and fascinating insight into a central aspect of his work, highlighting the thematic characteristics of his portraiture.
St Martin’s Place; WC2H; npg.org.uk
Murder on the Orient Express
From 3 November
Agatha Christie’s 1934 detective novel is given a new lease of life with an starry cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Judi Dench. Kenneth Branagh both directs and takes the role of redoubtable detective Hercule Poirot, who is tasked with investigating the murder of a passenger aboard a busy, long-distance train.
Alain Elkann Interviews
The archive of master interviewer Alain Elkann encompasses an impressive range of celebrated writers, editors, film stars, directors, designers, politicians, artists, activists and more. His latest book sheds light on the unique style he has applied to an age-old craft. An interesting read for all, offering an unprecedented window into the minds of some of the most well-known and respected figures of the last twenty-five years.
Alain Elkann Interviews, £28, available at Maison Assouline.
The Big Thrill Weekend
The BFI are embarking on a suspense-filled season that promises to chill the viewer to the bone, with a designated weekend offering the chance to delve deeper into the thriller film genre than ever before. The season’s programme at Southbank is divided into three main sections: Can You Trust Them?, Can You Trust Her? and Big Thrill Double Bills, each featuring classic screenings, preview events, a UK-wide re-release of The Silence of the Lambs and more.
Belvedere Road, SE1; bfi.org.uk
North: Fashioning Identity
From 8 November
Turn your gaze away from the capital and up to the North which has spawned some truly remarkable photography, fashion and art. All of the above will be on display in Somerset House’s North: Fashioning Identity, in a unique exhibition of photographs, fashion garments and artworks, from the likes of Alice Hawkins, Raf Simons, Paul Smith and more.
Strand, WC2R; somersethouse.org.uk
From 6 November
Be transported to Shakespeare’s Rome in this thrilling London Season from the Royal Shakespeare Company, comprising four of the playwright’s most gripping plays. Throw yourself full-throttle into sweat of Coriolanus’ battlefield, loose yourself in the love story of Antony and Cleopatra or unpick the epic political tragedy of Julius Caesar; there is something for all.
Silk Street, EC2Y; barbican.org.uk
Sparkle Craft & Food Fair
17 – 19 November
Landmark Arts Centre
Prepare for a truly sparkling Christmas with over 70 individual designer makers offering a spectacular range of contemporary craft, design and culinary delights. Sparkle returns with its diverse range; from sumptuous designer-made textiles to delicious home-made cakes, exquisite hand-made cards and everything in between.
Ferry Road, TW11; landmarkartscentre.org
Magical Lantern Festival
From 24 November
Chiswick House & Gardens
The Magical Lantern Festival is back and it’s bigger, better and much more impressive than last year. The stunning grounds of Chiswick House and Gardens again play host to this annual extravaganza with larger-than-life lanterns, fairground rides, Santa’s grotto, entertainment, food, drink and more.
Chiswick House, Conservatory Yard, W4; magicallantern.uk
30 October – 1 November
Hampton Court Palace
The stunning gardens of Hampton Court Palace will be the setting for a unique cinematic experience this autumn. A giant screen will show Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the East Front Lawns, with Henry VIII’s palace providing a truly unforgettable floodlit backdrop.
East Molesey, Surrey, KT8; hrp.org.uk
From 18 November
We’re creeping into Panto season and kicking things off with Hackney Empire’s spectacular adaption of Cinderella. The classic rags to riches tale will be told in true Hackney style by an award-winning pantomime team as they prove a new pair of shoes really can change your life. Cheer on their spirited heroine and heckle the hideous Ugly Sisters; throw in some singing mice, a Fairy Godmother, glittering sets, big songs, slapstick comedy and a flying horse and you have the perfect family treat for the festive season.
291 Mare Street, E8; hackneyempire.co.uk
Until 5 November
The Book Club
Reverberation is the new and unique body of work inspired by The Beatles’ seminal album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Innovative and some-what abstract, the exhibition employs a range of artistic mediums, from print to photography, to explore the thirteen celebrated album tracks from a renewed and personal perspective.
100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A; wearetbc.com
The Secret Theatre
From 16 November
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Espionage, double-crossing and blackmail come to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in this new spy thriller with powerful contemporary echoes. Set in the heart of the court of Elizabeth I, the story follows spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham as he adopts ever more extreme tactics to keep his Queen and country safe.
21 New Globe Walk, SE1; shakespearesglobe.com
Tom Hanks in Conversation
In a UK exclusive event, Southbank Centre welcomes Tom Hanks to South London to discuss his first foray into fiction. Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Hanks brings these characteristics to his collection of short stories which explore the human condition and all its foibles.
Belvedere Road, SE1; southbankcentre.co.uk
A Christmas Carol
From 18 November
The Old Vic
This joyous adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic stars Rhys Ifans as cold-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge. On a bitter Christmas Eve, he is transported to worlds past, present and future to discover what a lifetime of fear and selfishness has led to. Can he be saved before it’s too late?
The Cut, Lambeth; SE1; oldvictheatre.com
Witness for the Prosecution
From 6 October
London Country Hall
Agatha Christie’s iconic crime thriller comes to the Southbank, uniquely set inside the court room of County Hall. It’s the first major play written by Christie to open since the 1960s and promises a gripping evening of justice, passion and betrayal, with the audience thrillingly placed in the thick of the action.
Belvedere Road, SE1; witnesscountyhall.com
Snow White and the Red Rose
From 29 November
Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Arts Centre has teamed up with acclaimed theatre company RashDash for the perfect family festive treat. Snow White likes to tell stories and paint while sister Red Rose likes to race with the deer and wolves. When a friendly bear knocks on the door, the mischievous pair embark on a brave and magical adventure with fun songs and plenty of festive touches.
Lavender Hill, SW11; bac.org.uk
From 25 November
Across the plains of Ethiopia where grass grows tall and acacias taste sweet, a young giraffe is sent a gift from from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France. But Paris is very far away and so a young boy called Atir comes to the rescue in this emotionally engaging tale that explores what it is like to be different.
1 Clapham Common, SW4; omnibus-clapham.org
Monty Python’s Spamalot
New Wimbledon Theatre
Join King Arthur as he travels with his hapless Knights on a divine mission to locate the illusive Holy Grail… with uproarious consequences. Spamalot is a riotous comedy packed with misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. A tribute, lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
93 The Broadway, SW19; atgtickets.com
From 9 November
Picturing Prince reveals the unique collaboration between the star and his official photographer, Steve Parke; a creative alliance that produced an extensive archive of over 500 images. The pair worked together for 13 years and together pioneered Prince’s eclectic album covers. The exhibition delivers a stripped back documentary of Prince’s enigmatic persona, revealing a depth to his character that was often hidden from the public eye.
32 John Adam Street, WC2N; proud.co.uk
From 27 November
Enter the decadent world of the Bombay Roxy, where the jazz is hot and the atmosphere heady. Night at the Bombay Roxy is a rich, immersive Indian noir from Swamp Studios that will immerse the audience in the intriguing world of 1940s Bombay, where an unexpected and exciting jazz scene was flourishing alongside a uniquely Bombay version of Art Deco style.
The Barkers Builing, 63-97 Kensington High Street, W8; nightatthebombay.com
Opera: Passion, Power & Politics
Told through the lens of seven premieres in seven European cities, this immersive exhibition journey will take you on a journey through 400 years to explore the vivid story of opera, from it’s late-Renaissance origins to the present day.
Cromwell Road, SW7; vam.ac.uk