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April 2022 / Diary / by Ali Howard

Culture Fix: May 2022

Musical.

My Fair Lady
7 May-27 August, London Coliseum 

If a slice of old-school escapism feels like just the ticket, Lerner & Loewe’s cherished musical sees its first major West End revival in 21 years. This incarnation, directed by Bartlett Sher, premiered on Broadway in the spring of 2018 and went on to receive award after glittering award. Excitingly, the London production will feature 36 musicians from ENO’s illustrious orchestra, with a ravishing score that boasts I Could Have Danced All Night, Get Me to the Church on Time, and I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face. The cast includes Amara Okereke as Eliza Doolittle, Stephen K Amos as Alfred P. Doolittle, Harry Hadd0n-Paton as Henry Higgins, and the one and only Dame Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs Higgins.

St Martin’s Lane, WC2N (eno.org) 

Photography by Joan Marcus

Print Fair 

London Original Print Fair
26-29 May, Somerset House 

As much as we appreciated the art world’s online efforts over the last few years, there’s nothing quite like a physical fair for visual art inspiration. Excitingly, LOPF goes IRL this month with a much-anticipated in-person event at Somerset House. Now in its 37th edition, the fair offers an unrivalled opportunity to peruse and purchase original prints spanning five centuries, from a host of global dealers, galleries and studios. Expect a mix of old and modern masters, from Rembrandt and Canaletto to Whistler, Matisse and Picasso. If you’re after something a little more contemporary, we’re promised the likes of Cornelia Parker, Grayson Perry and Paula Rego, too.

Strand, WC2R (londonoriginalprintfair.com) 

Left: Chris Levine, Lightness of Being. Right: Norman Ackroyd, A Coloured Etching, 1968

 

Exhibition

Roy Mehta: Revival
Until 29 May, The Library at Willesden Green 

This retrospective exhibition invites us to step back in time, specifically to the years 1989-1993. Revival features the documentary work made by photographic artist Roy Mehta, who studied the culture, faith, and heritage of Brent’s lively community. Expect a visceral journey through the streets and social clubs of Harlesden and Willesden with individual portraits, groups, landscapes and interiors telling us exactly how life was back then. A must-see for north Londoners with a love of local history.

95 High Road, NW10 (020 8937 3400; brent.gov.uk/libraries) 

Art Fair 

Affordable Art Fair
5-8 May, Hampstead Heath  

There’s much to celebrate for Affordable Art Fair this month: not only is the physical collectors’ fair returning after a two-year hiatus, but this edition marks its tenth anniversary at Hampstead Heath. Featuring over 100 leading galleries from all over the UK and across the world, there’ll be thousands of pieces on offer – and many with tantalisingly affordable price tags. Artworks are priced from just £50 and are capped at £7,500. And while AFF is always a wonderfully global affair, this special edition promises new installations and initiatives celebrating Hampstead’s rich artistic heritage.

Lower fairground site, Hampstead Heath, NW3 (affordableartfair.com) 

Theatre 

The Breach
6 May-4 June, Hampstead Theatre

US playwright Naomi Wallace makes her Hampstead debut this month with the first in a trilogy of plays focusing on her home state of Kentucky and its varied communities. The Breach is a story of love and survival in 1970s America, and a specific set of youths, which Wallace says, “shines a light on the political landscape designed to fail them and the American Dream intended to fool them.” Artistic Director at Hampstead Theatre, Roxana Silbert says Wallace is: “a fierce and remarkable writer. Her award-winning, politically-charged and provocative plays have been performed all over the world and I am honoured that we are staging the UK premiere of her latest play.”

Eton Avenue, NW3 (020 7722 9301; hampsteadtheatre.com) 

 Workshop

Floral design & tablescaping
14 & 25 May, Judith Blacklock Flower School

Ahead of RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May, florist extraordinaire Judith Blacklock is offering two very special floral workshops. In the first, at her studio, we’ll learn the art of tablescaping and in particular, how to use flowers to create a spectacular table runner guaranteed to impress dinner guests. The second, held at Harvey Nichols, is a hand-tied bouquet and cocktail masterclass, in which we’ll learn the secrets behind a florist-bought bouquet followed by a specially created (and well-earned) cocktail mixed by the department store’s own mixologist, inspired by fragrant flowers in full bloom. A treat
for the senses.

4-5 Kinnerton Place South, SW1X (020 7235 6235; judithblacklock.com) 

Theatre 

& Juliet
Until 24 September, Shaftesbury Theatre

This gloriously irreverent re-telling of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers sees its well-deserved West End extension, along with a cast reshuffle that includes Tom Francis as Romeo and Keala Settle as Nurse, while the talented Miriam-Teak Lee continues in her feisty feminist reincarnation of Juliet. The joyous musical features stadium-filling pop anthems from legendary songwriter Max Martin, including Baby One More Time, It’s My Life, and Roar. Expect a riotous romp – and remember to leave your cynicism in the 16th century.

210 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H (020 7379 5399; andjulietthemusical.co.uk) 

Photography by Johan Persson

Exhibition

David Wightman: Ariel
Until 14th May, Grove Square Galleries

Subvert your expectations with this exhibition by artist Wightman, where pieces of wallpaper are used as a medium to create compositions of landscapes, transforming the everyday item into something spectacular. Inspired by the colour theory of Josef Albers and the sublime landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich, Wightman’s fantasy vistas defy strict categorisation, evoking elements of both the Romantic and the Abstract. Why not brighten your day and drop in to take a look?

156 New Cavendish Street, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6YW (020 8103 4905; www.grovesquaregalleries.com)

Andromeda ii by David Wightman Grove Galleries

David Wightman, Andromeda ii (2021). Acrylic and collaged wallpaper on canvas, 80 x 120 cm