What to see and do in London in the month of January.
14 January-2 May | Harold Pinter Theatre
We wouldn’t usually look to Chekhov for mid-winter warmth, but this January we’re invited into a crumbling country estate in the heat of summer where Sonya (played by Aimee Lou Wood) and Uncle Vanya (Toby Jones) are found idling their days away. When Sonya’s father and owner of the house Professor Serebryakov (Ciarán Hinds) returns with alluring new wife Yelena (Rosalind Eleazar), and declares his intention to sell, the polite façade begins to crumble. Conor McPherson’s fresh adaptation of the 1898 classic portrays life at the turn of the 20th century – and it’s illed with turbulent frustrations, dark humour and hidden passions.
Panton Street, SW1Y (0844 871 7622; haroldpintertheatre.co.uk)
Nikoleta Sekulovic: The Hypatia Collection
28 January-22 February | Rebecca Hossack
This multifaceted exhibition twins Sekulovic’s arresting nudes with carefully selected chairs from London furniture brand Viaduct, appealing to our love of product design as much as visual art, whilst toying with the concept of the female gaze. The Madrid-based artist uses mothers as models – a deliberate move, and one that she says empowers the sitters with a “space in time to be still, to be a muse, neither pretending or trying to please anyone.” The works are both contemporary and timeless, each one awarded an ancient Greek name of a female poet or philosopher, while the design-led Viaduct chairs bring a striking sculptural element.
2a Conway Street, W1T (020 74364899; rebeccahossack.com)
Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles
25 January-19 April | Two Temple Place
Unearthing the collections (and backstories) of seven pioneering women, this free exhibition explores how textiles and costume not only exist as artworks but as documents of human history. The collaborative project offers a rare chance to view exquisite textiles from the anthropological collections of traditional Balkan costume by Edith Durham, to the groundbreaking contemporary South Asian collection of Nima Poovaya-Smith. A must see for anyone with more than a passing interest in the woven.
2 Temple Place, WC2R (020 7836 3715 twotempleplace.org)
Keb’ Mo’ & Band
22 January | Subterania
In one of just three UK performances before he heads to mainland Europe, then on to India, legendary bluesman Keb’ Mo’ will grace this Portobello music venue – one that’s no stranger to the greats. Known as the “modern master of American roots music” the singer, guitarist and sonwriter presents a set illed with musical treats that are both deeply expressive and highly personal. “When you are in a certain part of your life, the concept of an album is woven into the process,” he says of 2019’s Oklahoma. Not to be missed.
12 Acklam Road, W10 (subterania.net)
London Art Fair
22-26 January | Business Design Centre
January is anything but dreary for the Capital’s art lovers. Opening the international art calendar is this five-day delve into the best modern and contemporary works on offer, with over 100 galleries taking part alongside the event’s acclaimed dedicated spaces. ‘Photo50’, the fair’s annual celebration of contemporary photography returns and includes Laura Noble’s Occupy the Void, an exhibition exploring female photographers over 50. ‘Platform’ celebrates a single artistic medium, movement or culture – this year the focus is Threading Forms. And ‘Art Projects’ seeks to support emerging international galleries with a curated presentation entitled Dialogues. Don’t miss the accompanying talks and tours as well as Thursday Late for after-hours performances and discussions.
52 Upper Street, N1 (020 7150 5956; londonartfair.co.uk)
In the round
24 January-1 February | The Roundhouse
Now in its fifth year, this short series of shows allows the Capital’s music lovers to enjoy intimate sets from an eclectic mix of artists whilst taking full advantage of the iconic Camden venue’s shaping. As its name suggests, each concert is set up around a circular stage and offers an informal yet fully-seated gigging experience. This year’s highlights include Badly Drawn Boy, Anaïs Mitchell and Jorge Drexler, with a finale from Brit soul superstar Beverley Knight that promises to be nothing short of fabulous.
Chalk Farm Road, NW1 (0300 678 9222; roundhouse.org.uk)