Welcome to your December-January cultural calendar
Words Cecilia Mezzi
Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
3 December – 19 January
After a sell-out world premiere in 2016, Matthew Bourne’s triumphant adaptation of the 1948 British drama based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale comes to Sadler’s Wells. The golden-age Hollywood tale of one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world, and the growing conflict between the two men who inspire her passion, is performed by a cast of sublime talents including Adam Cooper, Ashley Shaw, and Dominic North, and many more. Tickets £15 – £75.
Fatoumata Diawara at Roundhouse
23 January – 1 February
For her In the Round show, Fatoumata Diawara will perform material from her critically acclaimed album Fenfo, an experimental masterpiece which celebrates her Malian roots. Hailed as one of Africa’s most trailblazing and outspoken voices, Diawara received two nominations at the 61st Grammys for Best World Music Album for her album Fenfo and Best Dance Recording for Ultimatum, featuring the British duo Disclosure. The singer-songwriter has recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, played Glasto and shared the stage with Sir Paul McCartney. That’s some CV. Tickets from £20.
Signal: End Homelessness at Lion & Lamb
Fabric resident Anna Wall and friends host a Christmas knees up to raise funds for the UK’s homelessness crisis. Held at East End favourite Lion & Lamb, all proceeds will go to Crisis and Centrepoint. Every Christmas, Crisis gives homeless people around Great Britain warmth and companionship, plus support in the year ahead to help leave homelessness behind. Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity, will help support thousands of homeless young people over Christmas and into 2020. Ceri, Georgio Oniani, Robert Cary, and Thoma Bulwer join Anna behind the decks, with special guests TBA. Tickets £10.
Words Weekend in Sage, Gateshead
Friday 6 – Sunday 8 December
The first edition of storytelling festival Words Weekend lands in the stunning setting of Sage, Gateshead. A celebration of spoken word and music, the programme is packed with inspiring talks, workshops and panel discussions. 40% of the 60+ events are free, and the programme will be fully BSL interpreted. Striving to unite communities and ignite imaginations through the power of words and stories, Words Weekend will host guests including Nadiya Hussain, mega-star Margaret Atwood and Samira Ahmed. Tickets from £16.40.
Luna Cinema at Kensington Palace
Until 23 December
Luna Cinema returns to the striking Pavilion located on the Orangery Lawn of Kensington Palace for more festive movie magic. With its grand facade, landscapes grounds and interior hung with fairy lights, it’s the perfect spot to settle down with a mulled wine and catch a Christmas classic. This year’s programme includes Home Alone, Love Actually, Elf and The Holiday, to mention a few. The Luna Bar is on hand with a full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including beer, prosecco, wines, spirits and soft drinks, as well as popcorn and snacks. Tickets £18.50.
From 26 December
Greta Gerwig, the talent behind coming-of-age hit Lady Bird, is back with winter’s must-see movie. Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women explores the timeless story of the March sisters in 1860s New England, four young women determined to live life on their own terms in the aftermath of the American Civil War. This new adaptation focuses on the sisters’ young adult lives, particularly after Meg, Jo, and Amy leave their family home. The stellar cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep. Cinema prices vary.
King’s Choir at Barbican
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Witness them at the Barbican with this glorious programme of festive classics, including a selection of carols performed by the chapel choristers. The choir has a history dating back to the fifteenth century and is one of the world’s best-known choral groups, having performed all around the globe. Every Christmas Eve, millions of people worldwide tune into A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a service that has been broadcast each year by the BBC since 1928! Tickets from £22.50.
Skate Lates at Somerset House
Until 12 January
Celebrate 20 years of ice skating on London’s most beautiful ice rink at Somerset House. One of the capital’s best-loved winter traditions offers skating lessons, late-night DJ sets on the ice and – new this year – a Skate All-Nighter on Saturday 7th December. This year’s Skate Lates line-up welcomes Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, hip hop turntablist DJ Yoda and London collective Krankbrother, with a range of cocktails on offer throughout the evening. Wheelchair users are welcome. Adult tickets from £11.
Victoria Sin at Somerset House
See multi-disciplinary drag artist Victoria Sin in conversation with curator Taylor Le Melle for Grounding Practice, a series exploring the sustainability of artistic practices. Hosted by Somerset House Studios, the series invites some of the most exciting artists of the contemporary arts scene to discuss their inspirations and how they navigate a hyper-competitive art market. Victoria Sin will share their thoughts on gender politics and the mainstream media, as well as the fetishisation of femininity. Tickets £10.