Home Estate Planning What’s on in February, March and April in London? Top art film and theatre

What’s on in February, March and April in London? Top art film and theatre

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January is a properly bleak month. Not only is hardly anyone drinking but the cultural calendar tends to start slowly, too. That’s already changing, with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Plaza Suite theatre show already in previews and a pair of cracking films coming out later this week (The Color Purple and All of us Strangers, see page 22).

If you need cheering up as we reach the home stretch of this interminable month, here are the films, plays and exhibitions we can’t wait to see.



There is no bigger name in the theatre world right now than Jez Butterworth, best known for his blockbuster 2009 play Jerusalem (and its triumphant return a decade later), and the superlative The Ferryman. As with the latter, The Hills of California will be overseen by theatre director turned filmmaker turned theatre director Sam Mendes. It’s an enticing  confluence of talent that’s sure to be another smash hit. The Harold Pinter Theatre, from 27 January.

2) The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hot off the success of Succession – and laden with an Emmy for her efforts – Sarah Snook prepares to tread the boards in this adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel. If you’re buying tickets based on the star-power of Snook then you’re in luck – it’s a one-woman play in which she takes on all 26 roles, and the Sydney version opened to rave reviews. Haymarket Theatre Royal, from 6 February.


This isn’t just Ibsen, as if that weren’t already enough. This is the internationally lauded production of perhaps Ibsen’s greatest play directed by German director Thomas Ostermeier. And it stars Matt Smith. As close to a sure thing as it gets on the West End, this is one to put in your diary immediately. Duke of York’s Theatre, from 6 February.

4) Macbeth

Another surefire hit, Ralph Fiennes takes the lead in yet another Shakespeare production, although this is Shakespeare with a difference. Unusually it has already toured, with a stint in a Liverpool warehouse that’s been described as ‘semi-immersive’. Back in London it will take place in London in Canada Water’s Dock X – expect something unlike anything you have seen before. Dock X, from 10 February.



American artist Barbara Kruger has been plastering walls and floors and ceilings with provocative slogans for a decade, although this will be her first solo London show in over 20 years. Titled Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, the exhibition is made up of a number of installation pieces, complete with sound and video, exploring the topics of feminism and oppression that have driven the artist throughout her career. Serpentine Gallery, from 1 February.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you’re a fan of large-scale installation art, there is no better place than the Hayward Gallery. Life Forms will be all about… well, life forms. “Undulating, drooping, erupting, cascading and promiscuously proliferating,” these organic shapes are sure to be crammed into every nook and cranny of this winding space. Focusing on the tangible in an age of digitilisation, this promises to be another success on the Southbank.  Hayward Gallery, from 7 February.


So famous for being the fifth member of the Beatles, the long and illustrious artistic career of Yoko Ono is often unfairly overlooked. The artist has now retired entirely from public life but her work will get a chance to shine on the biggest stage at the Tate Modern, where her multimedia works that encompass film, photography, performance and drawings will see their biggest retrospective to date. Tate Modern, from 15 February.



Like that type of cicada that lives underground and only comes out every seven years, the films of Jonathan Glazer are rare occurrences that are to be appreciated and feared in equal measure. He hasn’t released a movie since the incredible, terrifying, heartbreaking Under the Skin, released 10 years ago (which makes me feel very old indeed, given I reviewed it for this newspaper). Zone of interest is a historical drama about a Nazi and his family creating their ‘dream home’ next door to Auschwitz.  From 2 February. 


Undoubtedly the most hotly anticipated movie of the next few months, Dune: Part Two continues the saga, with Denis Villeneuve back at the helm. Few directors can match Villeneuve for pure spectacle and the first instalment of this franchise went bigger and louder than anything he’s done before. Now expanded into a trilogy, expect this film to really luxuriate in its otherworldly visuals as we discover what happens to young Paul Atreides (hint: it probably involves those giant worms that live in the sand). Timothee Chalamet wears this role well and is well supported by a cast that includes Zendaya, Josh Brolin and Florence Pugh. To say “expect fireworks” would be vastly underplaying what you should expect.  From 1 March.


The Coen Brothers worked together as co-directors on 18 films, with only the odd blip among them. People were rightly concerned when they appeared to be going their separate ways, with Joel directing the excellent black and white Macbeth and Ethan set to release his first solo feature film. Drive-Away Dolls certainly appears to tread more closely to familiar Coen Brothers territory than Macbeth, featuring a comedy road trip crime caper with plenty of quick quips and double crosses. Definitely worth checking out. From 15 March.

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