Diary July 2017Exhibition, opera, film & theatre


OPERA Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Holland Park offers a welcoming initiation into the pleasures of opera, with the west London venue’s 2017 summer repertoire ranging from Janáčeks masterpiece Kat’á Kabanová, a tragic tale of love and adultery, to Zazà, Leoncavallo’s intoxicating portrayal of a Parisian music-hall singer. But the highlight is arguably its adaptation of the classic Lewis Carroll tale, the perfect way for families to discover opera. With music by composer Will Todd and libretto (in English) by Maggie Gottlieb, it has been hailed by critics as “pure life-affirming joy”. 13th, 15th, 19th to 22nd and 25th to 29th July at Opera Holland Park

FILM Dunkirk

It was the darkest of the Second World War – but also the point when hope triumphed over seemingly inevitable defeat. In 1940, with France’s resistance broken and hundreds of thousands of British soldiers trapped across the Channel, all seemed lost. Somehow, however, a vast majority were successfully evacuated to fight another day. Director Christopher Nolan, known for his epic productions (Interstellar, The Dark Knight), has brought together a magnificent cast including Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy; the result is a viscerally convincing recreation of an extraordinary event, staged in the face of the most overwhelming odds. Opens on 21st July in the UK


Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Turner Prize-winning potter and printmaker Grayson Perry – known also for his cross-dressing public persona – has conquered the world of high art and courted widespread appeal. Now he is set to entertain, enlighten, educate and generally shaken up gallery-goers. “The new works of all ideas about popularity hovering around them,” Perry says. “What kind of art do people like? What subjects? Why do people like going to art galleries?” It promises to be a memorable cultural experience. Until 10th September at Serpentine Gallery

THEATRE The Tempest

Prospero is the wondrous wizard who holds sway over a magical island – and it’s role that the peerless Simon Russell Beale was born to play. Now, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed Stratford-upon-Avon production of The Tempest transfers to the Barbican. And while Beale is the prize draw, RSC artistic director Gregory Doran’s exploitation of state-of-the-art technology is also compelling, using a hologram to transform the character of Ariel into a 3D apparition. The upshot is the world that Shakespeare imagined brought to colourful life for this saga of shipwrecked courtiers in a story of betrayal, magic and revenge. Until 18th August at the Barbican

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