what to commit your time and wallet to? Get a head start by browsing
through our five-star recommendations to the best of London's current
you missed its debut at the National Theatre in 2003, pull out all
the stops to see the West End return of Elmina's Kitchen
at the Garrick Theatre. Set on the mean streets of Hackney's Murder
Mile, this is a powerful family drama that centres on café
owner Deli's struggle to prevent his adolescent son from being dragged
into a life of Yardie crime. Author Kwame Kwei-Armah - of Casualty
and Celebrity Fame Academy renown - himself stars in Angus
Jackson's production, which also features Dona Croll, Shaun Parkes
and Don Warrington. Previews
from 20 April, booking to 20 August.
Box office: 0870 890 1104
Charman's A Night at the Dogs won the 2004 Verity Bargate
Award for best new play by a first-time playwright and now arrives
at Soho Theatre dripping comedy and menace in a tale of thwarted
ambition and misplaced hopes. Neil Stuke and Joe Armstrong are particularly
effective as Del Boy and Rodney-style brothers involved in a dog-racing
syndicate with some of their Walthamstow car repair shop colleagues.
Workplace banter takes a back seat when their big night out at the
track goes awry, forcing loyalties to be tested and masculinity
to be put firmly in the dock. Runs to 14 May.
office: 0870 429 6883
has certainly seen its share of spectacularly misfiring musicals
over the years, so it's ironic that the capital's favourite smash-hit
musical, The Producers, should be an ode to the producing
of flop shows. The real treat and surprise of this production is
Britain's own Lee Evans, who makes a sweetly vulnerable, hilariously
funny foil to the manic excesses of Broadway actor Brad Oscar. There
isn't a false note in the casting anywhere in a musical that pokes
fun at Nazis, old ladies, gay men and Swedes with equal and reckless
comic abandon. Booking to October 2005.
Read a selection of your comments here
Box office: 0870 890 1109
price is high but the value much higher," reckons one of our
Online readers of Acorn Antiques, the new Victoria Wood musical
at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which asks audiences to cough up
the highest prices ever for a West End show (£65 for the best
weekend tickets, more expensive than Broadway). In its defence it
reunites Celia Imrie and Duncan Preston from the original TV sketch
show, and features a side-splitting turn by the inimitable Julie
Walters as the perpetually stooped and crumpled Mrs Overall, tea
tray in hand and macaroons at the ready. Booking
to 23 April.
a review and selection of comments here
Box office: 020 7930 8800
Royal Haymarket (The
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1965 the Motown record label spearheaded its first foray into the
UK market with a package tour featuring some of its biggest stars.
To mark the event 40 years on, Redferns Music Picture Gallery in
Bramley Road W10 presents Hitsville UK: Motown In Britain,
a collection of rare photographs of luminaries such as Marvin Gaye,
Smokey Robinson, The Supremes (pictured) and Stevie Wonder. Remember
them this way, before the advent of bad drugs, untimely death and
middle age. Runs to 4 June. Info:
020 7792 9914
Go to our
Flagellation (1607, detail pictured right) is one of fifteen paintings
at the National Gallery charting Caravaggio's Final Years.
The exhibition focuses on the last, exiled years of the fugitive
Italian painter's life - following his flight from Rome after killing
a man in a duel - and explores the mature and compelling style he
developed immediately before his death in 1610. Runs
to 22 May.
Tate Britain's Turner Whistler Monet traces the dialogue
between three of the great 19th century European artists and the
links between their art. This blockbuster of a show features 100
paintings, watercolours, prints and pastels, many of them concentrating
on river views and London waterscapes such as Monet's Charing
Cross Bridge in overcast light (pictured). Runs
to 15 May.
our special report here
Gallery Associate Artist John Virtue's take on the London cityscape
is remarkable: soot-blackened buildings emerge in silhouette against
a dark, elemental skyline in a manner that recalls Turner and other
painters of the great European landscape tradition. His
London Paintings take in views of St Paul's Cathedral, the
city and Trafalgar Square from the roof of Somerset House and the
National Gallery itself. Unmissable. Runs
to 5 June with a supporting exhibition of drawings and sketches,
also to 5 June, at the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House WC2.
culture goes under the microscope in Bullet Boy, Saul Dibb's
powerful and moving directorial debut. Ashley Walters (aka So Solid
Crew's Asher D) and newcomer Luke Fraser deliver compelling performances
in this low-budget British drama, about a freshly-released jailbird
who struggles to go straight on the mean streets of Hackney. On
paper the clichés stack up; on celluloid the movie delivers
an all-too-believable message about the impact of firearms on a
a video report on Bullet Boy here
huge hit in its native France, period drama The Chorus sticks
to a familiar songsheet: the one where a kindly teacher slowly but
very surely wins over his urchin pupils. Centred
on the soaring sound of a boys' choir, this Oscar nominee may be
a school of schlock, but if you're willing to submit, it'll charm
your ears and toast your cockles.
people, five moments from a marriage told in reverse: there's a
neat simplicity to 5x2, François Ozon's chamber piece
about modern relationships. Beginning with Gilles (Stéphane
Freiss) and Marion (Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi, pictured) as
they sign their divorce papers then 'backtracking' back to key moments
in their life together, this is a slyly ironic take on affairs of
the heart. Like Irreversible - but without the jolts - it's
proof that time does indeed destroy all things.
makes new leaps in Chris Wedge's animated coming-of-age yarn Robots.
From the people who brought you Ice Age comes a fully realised
and seductive futuristic world like the best Meccano Set ever imaginable.
Ewan McGregor lends his voice to humble bot Rodney Copperbottom
who negotiates the big smoke of Robot City to find his fortune,
with the help of Robin Williams, Jim Broadbent and Halle Berry.
The Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968) equals The Life Aquatic
With Steve Zissou for brilliant, psychedelic surrealism. Bill
Murray lends a sobering edge to Wes Anderson's vividly imagined
tale of a washed-up oceanographer hunting a mythical shark while
struggling to make a human connection with his long-lost son Ned,
played by Owen Wilson (pictured). It will have you thoroughly immersed.
Read a review and selection of comments
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