10 things to do in London in spring 

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Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures) (1972) David Hockney

Shows, exhibitions and events now booking in the capital

1. 42nd Street returns to the West End

Booking to 22 July, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. 

The classic feelgood musical-within-a-musical returns to the West End for the first time since 1984, with erstwhile pop star Sheena Easton leading the huge cast. Although the film on which it is based came out in 1933, the original stage version was only produced on Broadway in 1980 – running for over 3000 performances. Hit songs include 'We're in the Money', 'Keep Young and Beautiful', 'Lullaby of Broadway', 'I Only Have Eyes For You' and, of course, '42nd Street itself.' The hot ticket in London this spring and summer.


2. David Hockney at Tate Britain (pictured above)

Tate Britain. To 29 May

This retrospective, ahead of Hockney's 80th birthday, traces the artist’s innovative journey, from his student work of the early '60s, through his LA pool scenes (main pic), to his intricate photo-collages and experimental works.


3. See Homeland's Damian Lewis in the West End

Theatre Royal Haymarket. 24 March – 24 June 

Catch Lewis (right) and Sophie Okonedo starring in the dark comic piece of theatre, Edward Albee’s 'The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?' A classic full of Albee’s characteristically sharp wit.


4. Ride on the world’s tallest tunnel slide 

Olympic Park, E2

Whiz down 178 metres of transparent tunnel winding through through the famous loops and curves of this iconic helter-skelter sculpture, a collaboration between Anish Kapoor and Carsten Höller.


5. Immerse yourself in the world of the Great Gatsby

Central London venue to be confirmed. 1 June – 2 July

Immersive theatre has been on the rise for a while: now, here’s a chance to lose yourself in the gilded world of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby and his Jazz Age set.

Writer/director Alexander Wright’s version of the Fitzgerald novel goes on in and around the audience, all strongly encouraged to wear fancy dress: the exact version of the story you get is entirely dependent on you, as the action is spread across several different spaces that you can wander at will.

The Great Gatsby had an acclaimed short run in January and is coming back in June. The Guardian said: 'The quality of the music and the frenetic explosions of flapper dancing distil the spirit of the book like liquor in a prohibition-era teapot.'

More info and booking: londontheatredirect.com

6. Star Wars exhibition

The O2. To September 2017

Explore the characters of Star Wars in this interactive exhibition. The collection of 200 props, models, costumes and artwork from the original Star Wars films, an interactive identity quest and insightful scientific content, allows you to follow the dramatic journeys of the characters from Star Wars. The first stop of 12 cities on its six-year world tour.


7. Have adventures in Moominland

Southbank Centre. To 23 April

Get lost in Moominland, the eccentric fairy-tale world created by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, between 1945 and 1993. Clamber through forests, huddle in caves or set sail to find the Moomin family. Learn how Tove Jansson created these unique landscapes, characters and stories, while uncovering some special original drawings with a 50 minute tour. (On Thursdays and Fridays, an additional off-peak session runs at 7pm for adults only.)


8. Catch Eduardo Paolozzi

Whitechapel Gallery London E1 7QX. To 14 May


A retrospective of the late giant of British pop art who, across five decades, produced a large body of work including sculptures, screen prints, collages and textiles. (Picture courtesy Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.)


9. America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s

Royal Academy, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD.  To 4 June 

Some of the 20th century’s most powerful art, brought together for a once-in-a-generation show. The exhibition marks the first time many of these iconic American works – including Grant Wood’s American Gothic, pictured (courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago) – have been beyond North America. America after the Fall tells the story of a nation’s fall from grace and irrevocable changes to the American dream.


10. A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Young Vic,  SE1 8LZ. To 1 April 

Dark fantasies and nightmarish visions unfold in this bold take on Shakespeare's tale of love, betrayal and desire, with ‘madcap arch provocateur’ Joe Hill-Gibbins as director. 



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